Thursday, January 20, 2011

For those in peril on the sea

HMS Quorn
Originally uploaded by The original SimonB
OK, this is the third attempt to commit what I'm thinking into words (and you really wouldn't want to see the previous drafts) and it is going to have to go something like this.

Having just listened to a reading of Alistair Maclean's HMS Ulysses I am once again staggered by what people go through in times of conflict and would really like to dig deeper into the ships, the convoys and general life at sea. OK, so I know that is a work of fiction, but it has a pretty good grounding in the reality of the matter. Even I can recognise a lot of the truth of the descriptions from a few cross channel and north sea ferries and a trip around HMS Belfast.

My Grandfather served in the navy during the Second World War, but like many of his contemporaries was reluctant to talk about the experience. I don't know why some people close off that whole area of the past while others go on to write books, make films, set up web sites and so forth and generally spend all their time expounding on the subject. Maybe there is a corellation between those who talk or not about their history in the forces and whether they were willingly in the fray or reluctant draftees, I'm sure the answer is out there if I wanted to look.

Anyway, I do sometimes wish that Grandpa had fallen a bit more into the latter category as there is so much I would have liked to ask him while he was still around to be asked. So here's a cheer for Stanley for going through it all when the country needed it, and thanks for those who are able to keep it in our minds.

1 comment:

Cocktails said...

My Grandfather never spoke much about the war either. Thankfully though, his father who fought in WWI wrote a diary about his experiences. It's guarded but still quite a story. It's the best family heirloom we have.