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Liverpool Retired Merchant Seafarers

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room talk and swinging the lamp.  Gerry Myles ( Secretary & Treasurer)  

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Forum: Liverpool Retired Merchant Seafarers
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EXCERPT FROM LRMS NEWSLETTER





D-Day A Nations Gratitude


Tom Lennon a reader from Aussie sends this message by e-mail.

Hi there fellow seamen, I love going through this website and enjoying the many tales, it is quite inspiring, and when you live a long way from home it’s great to read about what’s going on, I only learned about this site after my trip home in April-June 2004.

My sister sends me out the Legion magazine; and I was reading about the D-Day celebrations, a subsidised trip on a ship to the Normandy beaches for Vets and their Wives, etc., So I decided to combine my trip home to visit my family still over there, with the D-Day celebrations.

I also wanted to call into the War Pensions Office in Blackpool, a couple of queries about my War Pension; I get for losing my eye through the action on the Salerno, Italy invasion. I was discharged as a Deck Boy but reinstated as a Cabin Boy at the old age of 15 years,.

I was on a tanker on D-Day carrying Octane, so I considered myself a Vet; anyway after surviving the Rigid Security getting into the offices at Blackpool. After being told politely they could do nothing about the Australia Govt, pinching 40 cents out of every dollar of my Pension, I felt completely stuffed when I was told that I could not qualify for the Subsidised trip to Normandy Beaches because I was not living there. To which I replied, “Maybe not, but I was there on the day.”

Then when I was back I happened to read about an Aussie that sailed in the British Merchant Navy, The Article described how he was on a Tanker carrying Octane on D-Day, and that he had been awarded the ‘French Legion of Honour Medal’ by the French Ambassador in Brisbane Australia

Thinking he might have been on the same ship as me, the ‘Empire Chapman’, I contacted him, he lives about a four-hour drive from here. We exchanged a couple of letters, and no he was not on the same ship, He was on one called “Voco” and said he wasn’t actually there on D Day; it was three weeks later, taking supplies over

Oh well that’s what it’s all about all about.

Tom Lennon.

From the Editor

Join the club Tom; you are one of a multitude, (see the Knotty Ash Heroes on Page 7). We print a picture of your ship in wartime livery hoping it will “make up” for the insulting treatment you have had.

At the time, you were not treated fairly, for instance, were you told that if your ship was sunk and you should be taken prisoner, that as a civilian in the war zone, taking an active part in the war you could be shot as a spy. Most MN men at D-Day were not told.

During and since the War, Tom Lennon and his shipmates were repeatedly told they were civilians and non-combatants. What was it like at Salerno, Normandy and the rest, for a fifteen year old, did it feel like it was not a fight, the Sqaddies seemed to think it was a bit rough.

Pat Moran editor LRMS .

Submitted by Gerry Myles LRMS Website Host

Re: EXCERPT FROM LRMS NEWSLETTER

Re Tom Lennon...picked Tom up a couple months ago on the internet and exchanged our sea experencies....we were on the Duchess of Bedford together 1942/43...my first ship as a Radio Officer....Tom has certainly had a varied life .....I was so sad to hear about his problems...he told me about Salerno etc....I was on Duchess of Bedford Set 1942 when we sank a uboat 300 odd miles off Boston...we were sailing independantly with passengers aboard...Boston we loaded US troops for Iceland and brought Brits back to UK...then we exercised around Western Isles for invasion of North Afria at Arzue(near Oran) I left her in late 1943 and Marconi sent me to London to P&O..sailed on QE from Glasgow as passenger to NY...three days on train to San Fransisco(Jan10th 1944)...US Navy told us ship keel not even laid in San Pedro..Feb moved to Los Angeles our ship Empire Crossbow a Landing Ship Large keel just laid in San Pedro!!!!We sailed end of March for Portsmouth independantlyUS Navy gave RN..13 of this type of ship carried 5000 troops......we did exercise landing on south coast...Empire Crossbow was at Le Hamel on Gold Beach at ZERO hour.....we were on T124X articles and White Ensign...left August 1944...joined ARAWA in Liverpool...after war sailed with Harrisons...swallowed anchor and worked Liverpool area for Decca Radar....USA doesnt dock pensions...I believe Canada does makes one "ponder" just discovered your website...searching for British Merchant Navy website....kindest regards Geoffrey Hayes born Ambleside 1924 retired to Palm Desert California(miss the sea but view BBC Liverpool and its webcams)

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Re: EXCERPT FROM LRMS NEWSLETTER

Dear Sir,
Having mislayed my badge after atended the anniversary in Liverpool 1993 with my ship HMNZS Canterbury. I keen to contact the badge producters so I could purchase another I beliver there were two made at the time.Has another badge been made for the 65th this year. Thank you for your help.

Email   Battle of Atlantic 60th Anniversary Badges  
Re: Re: EXCERPT FROM LRMS NEWSLETTER

Dear Sir.
I have recently read your post on the Retired Merchant Seafarers website about the Battle of the Atlantic. I am called Mark Sweeney, I am 14 and live in Liverpool. I am taking part in project on behalf of my School, St. Edward's College, about the role Liverpool played in the Battle Of The Atlantic, in partnership with a school in Canada. After reading your post, I was wondering if you would be prepared to assist me in my project, which would take the form of a short film. Our partner school, has told me that a documentarist had expressed an interest in the short film we are making. It is, of course at your discretion that I would use any information you would be willing to provide me with.
Thanks for your time,
Mark Sweeney
Liverpool

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