1921 was a very good year for me:
I was born in Monk Bretton, near Barnsley into a hard working Yorkshire family, which immediately gave me a wonderful basis on which to build my future; without which I could never have laughed in the face of adversity.
By the early 30s, mother, with my brother and I, had moved to the village of Great Bowden in Leicestershire. There I attended the Market Harborough King Edward VII Grammar School until mother died; at which time, I left on compassionate grounds.
After several jobs, I enlisted in the Royal Navy in 1938 and, in May 1939, joined my first of many ships, HMS Southampton. Within a week or two we sailed from Chatham, my Home Base, to join HMS Glasgow at Portland in order to provide an escort for the liner, Empress of Britain, carrying King George VI and Queen Elizabeth for their visit to Canada and America.
Whilst Their Majesties were carrying out their duties, the crews of the Royal Navy vessels were being entertained ashore in Quebec, New York and Boston.
Not long after our return to the UK, WW2 was declared and the Royal Navy’s first job was to search out and destroy enemy warships and supply ships. After that we took on the duties of safeguarding our own and friendly supply vessels, ferrying troops to and evacuating them from war zones.
Many of those activities, in which I was involved, are the subjects of stories that I have submitted.
WW2 Ships and Operations
HMS Southampton [1939 North Sea, North Atlantic, Iceland Patrols and action]
HMS Edinburgh [1940 North Sea, North Atlantic, Barents Sea and action]
HMS Galatea [1940 Norwegian Campaign]
Dunkirk [1940 May 27 to June 4 — on beach evacuating troops]
HMS Phoebe [1940/41 Mediterranean Escort Duty — Evacuation of troops Greece/Crete]
HMS Eridge [1942 Convoy Duty (Malta)]
Aetos (GreekDestroyer) [1942 Escort Duty]
D H Lownsdale (Supply Ship) [1943 North Africa Convoy]
Fu Kwang (Tanker) [1943 North Africa Convoy]
Bassethound (Tanker) [1943 North Africa Convoy]
Phoenix (T124X Invasion Party) [1943 Preparation training for Invasion of Italy]
Taranto [1943 Landing]
Brindisi [1943 Landing and setting up Signal Station]
Southampton [May/June 1944 — commandeered part of town for invasion training]
HMS Kingsmill [D Day 6 June - Normandy Invasion — Gold Beach]
VE Day [May 1945]
HMS Calpe [May 1945 — sailed to Far East]
HMS Sussex [VJ Day - continued struggle with uprising in Indonesia]
HOME IN 1946