Long Time Passing- Gone To Fighting Part 4
HMS Bellona , I am not sure and my mother can’t remember how long my father was on this ship-
Loose Lips sink ships and not even wives were beyond the censor pen.
It seemed the Bellona had some teething troubles with the electrical systems- is that why my father ended up on the HMS Speedwell a mine sweeper? I haven’t found the time line yet but I remember this being spoken about by my father the Murmansk Run and found mention of an incidence that caused him problems throughout the remainder of his life.
1400 – Explosion in our ship don’t know whether we hit or what it is yet someone gave a scream.
1445 – Explosion was heater drain observation tank in boiler room exploding. 2 stokers seriously scalded and 1 fractured elbow.
We left Harmatris to two Russian tugs and proceeded to Polyarnoe (Russia) at all speed.
What Cyril Green did not mention in was as the escaping steam scalded the two stokers -one had a huge wrench in his hand and as my father went his aid he was smashed in the abdomen by the flailing stoker. This unbeknownst at the time caused a serious stomach injury- which eventually perforated on another trip .
My searching of the internet that afternoon with my mum I have learned what this young lad who ended up being my dad was doing whilst the censors were censoring his mail
PHOTO – Sickberth Attendent Henry Brown
NOTE: As I linked back to Mr. Brown’s photos I wondered did he treat my dad on the day boiler blew?
All the Sweepers up here suffer very much with engine trouble due to the extreme climate and rough sea combined with ice.
I’ve just been out to have a look at the sea! We are moving around in circles until tomorrow waiting to contact the convoy and the sea is covered by ice covered with snow not quite thick enough to prevent us moving, yet thick enough to freeze us in if we stop
M.S.6 From S.B.N.O., N.R.
I should like Commanding Officers of all Minesweepers to know that I fully appreciate the good work in the difficult conditions in the past few days searching, escorting, and hunting under the nose of the enemy sea and air forces. It does everyone, but especially the Engine room department, great credit that all ships have been ready for service whenever called upon and I am sure that valuable lives and ships have been saved by the good work performed.
CommanderSenior Officer, Sixth Minesweeping Flotilla