Wednesday, January 13, 2010

An Aussie in the British Navy

I have been having a grand time, in between my volunteer Hospice Work, visiting seniors in long-term care (LTC). The research in autobiographies tells us that recording our lives for posterity, gives us many psychosocial benefits. It gives us a perspective on our lives, some understanding of our accomplishments, and a chance to write some wise words for our family and friends.

One of my bitter regrets was not having closure with my mom and dad before mom passed over from cancer and dad developed dementia with his brain tumour. They had so many stories, now forgotten, or details are confused in my brain!

To that end, I have been volunteering in a LTC home and doing some writing with them.
Once gentleman, who served on a British Navy vessel, spurned some research. I have since been contacting others who served.

Since many of our WW II vets are passing over, and all of our WW I vets are gone, we need to record these stories for generations to come.

This is the story of Victor Humphries. It is his birthday today, and I wish him many happy returns!

He served in the British Navy. He is an Aussie. I found him researching The Renown.

Hi Jennifer,

 I served on the HMS Valkyrie based on the Isle of Man, and on a Radar  training ship HMS Pollock (An ex Russian Icebreaker) in the Clyde during WW2. I did 12 weeks Basic training at HMS Ganges in Shotley Ipswich, then I volunteered for RDF = Radio Direction Finding as it was called in the early days. It was renamed Radar much later.
I did 8 weeks  training on radar in Gunnery and navigation, then one week on HMS Pollock, then one week in Portsmouth Barracks then drafted to the Battle  Cruiser HMS Renown where I spent the rest of the war, having been half way round the world before I was 20. 
I did meet various instructors, but life was so fast in those days , and I will be 85 on Wednesday 13th , and  67 years have flown by, and the memory fades, 

Happy new Year 
Kind regards Victor.

And another:
Hi Jennifer, 
A few pics spaning years of my life, 

I wrote for a website Called "FINEST HOUR" which is dedicated to Winston Churchill it was my first trip on HMS Renown and I was worried as we went across the North Atlantic unescorted, we usually had destroyers to protect us from German U boats, but as we could do 32 knots, it made us hard to catch. Also, 2 months after this trip we took Winston to the Terhran conference with Stalin and Roosevelt. 
You may  use pics or anything you wish, 
Kindest Regards Victor

Here is the article Victor wrote: 


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