Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Front row, far left

Today we remember all of the wonderful men and women who have served our country in war - people like my Dad who went off to sea as a teenager (front row, far left) and returned, in the words of Coleridge, "a sadder and wiser man". 

He wouldn't talk much about war at sea, saying that you couldn't begin to understand the stress and horror of it all unless you were there. Instead he'd tell us funny stories about mischief he got up to as a sailor (Is that where I get it from?) About fifteen years ago, before he passed away, he penned a few words about his experiences . I'm sure he would be Ok with me sharing a few snippets. 

BIG Thanks cobber.

Those days immediately after my demobilisation from the Navy seemed strange and surreal. The state of alertness was still there. Every time the telephone rang I would get quite a start.
Sleeping in a bed was quite unusual. There was no ships' movement or the continuous sound of ships' motors to which we had all become accustomed . A couple of times I woke up sleeping on the floor.
POWs were coming home and with them came the true and shocking story of the brutal treatment they endured. But they were a great mob and we shared many hilarious experiences of our times in the services.
I had enjoyed a comradeship with my shipmates that has never been equalled. It is a comradeship borne out of complete trust - "My life is in your hands. Your life is in my hands." That comradeship continues today.

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