Monday, 4 November 2013

War Hero in my family ...

I actually watched some TV on Saturday night ...

I forsook Strictly and stumbled across he last few minutes of a programme, about The Great Escape on Channel 5. Just those few minutes of which were so interesting, I was truly miffed that I had missed the rest.

I tried to get to Sagan for my birthday a few years ago. The weather intervened, and its not much good tramping through the woods to see the memorial in a blizzard, and when they are buried under 30cm of snow. Let alone escape from a tunnel like those brave men did one night ...

Next up was War hero in my family again captivated, as David Gower and Sara Cox, discovered with historians, what their relatives had been doing, as brave young men back in 1944.

I had been doing just the same, some reseaching about my father, just a few minutes before the programme aired.

So this is my discovery, made on the internet, just before the TV programme. My father was serving on HMS Wager - Prince Phillip (of Greece) the first officer on HMS Whelp. Prince Phillip is married to someone important in Blighty, cannot remember who ...

HMS Whelp - HMS Duke of York - HMS Wager
Whats it all about ? - Well the newspaper cutting, is of part of the 'British South Pacific fleet' the British representatives at the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay in 1945. Yes my father was there just as he told me he was.

He told me stories which I wish that we had captured, in writing, whatever happened to the photos.

He told me about depth charging submarines. Nearly drowning at Trincomalee Ceylon. The junks armed with machine guns, that popped out of the side of the boat as you drew near. Suicide attacks by Japanese aircraft, crossing the line ceremonies, overseen by Neptune, and meeting Americans at Guam.

I joked with Trevor last night on FB about the photo, he asked 'if it was from the war, and was Uncle Albert there'. Strange thing was 'Uncle Albert' flew a Lancaster, he got a DFM, and a mention in the London Gazette. I cannot imagine having done anything like, what they did, myself at the age of 21 ...

War hero in my family, guess now we will never know ... 

Footnote: 

I sent a tweet to David Gower, on twitter, last night with the photo above, after all we had something in common. His Uncles having taken a major part in the D Day landings, in 1944. I had thoroughly enjoyed sharing his experience on TV. 

His 7000+ followers on twitter now know my father did something too - Thank you David for sharing that with your audience ...

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