Merchant Navy Day

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by merchantman, Sep 3, 2012.

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  1. Bouillabaisse

    Bouillabaisse LE Book Reviewer

    Well worth remembering - another batch of mostly-forgotten heroes of the war, without whom this country would have lost.
  2. My old man served in destroyer escorts and always had a lot of respect for the Merchant Marine, so RIP fallen comrades, stand easy.
  3. My Fathers family lost 3 members in MN in 1940:

    HM Trawler Argyllshire (Armed Trawler) (RNPS), sunk with all hands, by S Boat E34 off Dunkirk, 1 June 1940. Lowestoft RNPS Memorial
    SS Mill Hill (Merchantman) torpedoed, sunk with all hands, by U32, North Atlantic, 30 August 1940, Tower Hill, MN, Memorial
    HMS Jervis Bay (Armed Merchantman) sunk, 62 survivors, by Pocket Battleship Admiral Scheer, Capt. Fogarty Fegan was awarded posthumous VC, 5 November 1940, MN, Liverpool Memorial.

    All 3 lost at sea with their ships. They were all MN but were taken up with their ships into Royal Navy (except SS Mill Hill).

    Thank you for the reminder of Merchant Navy Day.

    Attached Files:

  4. On the first day of war, all 93 of British Petroleum's tankers were chartered for the duration, 44 would be sunk with the loss of 657 crew.
    Bloody grim odds, all volunteers, and when your ship was sunk, if you survived, your pay stopped.
  5. When I was at sea in the 1970's there were still a few of the WWII old boys arround. They were a tough bunch. I heard quite a few interesting tales on long quiet bridge watches.
  6. And if you were taken prisoner, you were treated as a civilian with a lot worse conditions than Service PoW's

  7. They were that, a Chief Engineer of my acquaintance from back in the day, a very dour old Jock,

    Were you ever torpedoed Chief?
    Must have been hard abandoning a torpedoed ship?
    Nay lad, it was easy, just wait a while and the water always come up to meet you.

    Tough old bugger had 3 tankers torpedoed out from under him and kept going back.

    My Great Grandfather and his son

    WALL, CHRISTOPHER Master 05/06/1917 62 Mercantile Marine United Kingdom TOWER HILL MEMORIAL

    WALL, CHRISTOPHER Master 29/03/1917 22 Mercantile Marine United Kingdom TOWER HILL MEMORIAL
  8. My first job had an ol' MN fella working there, remarkable in that he needed a bottle of whisky a day to get by.
    Up to and including the single bottle the chap was compos mentis, as soon as he had a swig over that he was falling down drunk.
  9. Why the RFA are now all sponsored reservists.

  10. Never knew that - bad deal
  11. For All Seafarers

    Even in peace, scant quiet is at sea;

    In war, each revolution of the screw,

    Each breath of air that blows the colours free,

    May be the last life movement known to you.

    Death, thrusting up or down, may disunite

    Spirit from body, purpose from the hull,

    with thunder, bringing leaving of the light,

    With lightning letting nothingness annul.

    No rock, no danger, bears a warning sign,

    No lighthouse scatters welcome through the dark;

    Above the sea, the bomb; afloat the mine;

    Beneath, the gangs of torpedo-shark.

    Year after year, with insufficient guard,

    Often with none, you have adventured thus;

    Some, reaching harbour, maimed and battle-scarred,

    Some, never more returning, lost to us.

    But, if you 'scape, tomorrow, you will steer

    to peril once again, to bring us bread,

    To dare again, beneath the sky of fear,

    The moon moved graveyard of your brothers dead,

    You were salvation to the army lost,

    Trapped, but for you, upon the Dunkirk beach;

    Death barred the way to Russia, but you crosst;

    To Crete and Malta, but you succoured each.

    Unrecognized, you put us in your debt;

    Unthanked, you enter, or escape, the grave;

    Whether your land remember or forget

    You saved the land, or died to try to save.

    John Masefield
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Also not forgetting AMC "Rawalpindi" sunk by "Scharnhorst"
  13. Bouillabaisse

    Bouillabaisse LE Book Reviewer

    Someone else pointed to this BBC archive but if you have a spare hour read "Another Door" parts one onwards. A Marconi radio officer's ccount of being sunk and his subsequent escape from Singapore. I'd say he was nails, but it seems to have been parr for the course back then.

    BBC - WW2 People's War - Royal Navy Category
  14. As I roved by the dockside one evening so fair
    To view the salt waters and take in the salt air
    I heard an old fisherman singing a song
    Oh, take me away boys me time is not long

    Wrap me up in me oilskin and blankets
    No more on the docks I'll be seen
    Just tell me old shipmates, I'm taking a trip mates
    And I'll see you someday on Fiddlers Green

    Now Fiddler's Green is a place I've heard tell
    Where the fishermen go if they don't go to hell
    Where the weather is fair and the dolphins do play
    And the cold coast of Greenland is far, far away

    Now when you're in dock and the long trip is through
    There's pubs and there's clubs and there's lassies there too
    And the girls are all pretty and the beer is all free
    And there's bottles of rum growing on every tree.

    Where the skies are all clear and there's never a gail
    And the fish jump on board with one swish on their tail
    Where you lie at your leisure, there's no work to do
    And the skipper's below making tea for the crew

    Now I don't want a harp nor a halo, not me
    Just give me a breeze and a good rolling sea
    I'll play me old squeeze-box as we sail along
    With the wind in the riggin to sing me a song

    John Conolly