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#1 Oct 27, 2017 9:51 am

New Historian
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Papa God's revenge

My father's passage to England in the depths of the war in the Atlantic:

The troopship left the sheltered waters of the Caribbean and headed into the Atlantic, bound for New York City. As the ship sailed northwards the temperature gradually fell, traumatizing the ship’s thin-blooded passengers. Mid-Atlantic is not the best place to have your first exposure to winter weather. By the time the ship docked in a freezing cold New York Harbour just before Christmas 1941, none of its passengers were on deck to witness the breathtaking sights on display. Except for my father huddled on deck under dozens of blankets; he wasn’t going to miss this!

He wrote to his father on the back of a postcard of the Empire State Building: “Sailed into New York Harbor this morning, past the Statue of Liberty, docked at the Hudson River Terminal in Manhattan. Unforgettable!! Your loving son.”

The ship stayed in New York for a few days, enough time for the Caribbean contingent, travelling in groups for safety, to taste the pleasures of the greatest city in the world. Our father told us stories of going to the world famous Apollo Theater in Harlem and not understanding a word of what the “hep cats” were saying to them!

Back on the boat trouble started the day the ship was to set sail for England. On the voyage up from Grenada, my father and four of his friends had occupied one of the best cabins on the ship: in the middle of the stern deck, with breezy portholes on all four sides. Unfortunately for my father and his friends, a group of British naval officers joined the ship in New York and immediately commandeered our father’s cabin.

My father and his friends were told in no uncertain terms: sling your hook! They protested but to no avail; and were turfed out to the crowded accommodations below decks, and seek out whatever rough berths they could find. But Papa God have a funny way with revenge.

Three days out of New York City the convoy ran into one of the feared Atlantic storms. For one terrifying night, icy winds tore through the ship’s rigging, slicing through crew members unlucky enough to be on deck duty. Towering walls of water crashed onto the decks, shaking the ship to her bones. Throughout the night the petrified passengers remained battened down tied to their bunks, praying to their own gods. With each huge wave the ship would slowly right herself, shuddering from stem to stern, then go ploughing head on into the next mountainous wave.

The following morning the storm subsided and our shell-shocked, sea-sick sailors emerged gingerly on deck, to survey a scene of utter devastation. There they found to their horror that the storm had ripped away everything on deck, including our father’s ex-cabin and all its inhabitants!

The meek shall, indeed, inherit the berth!

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#2 Oct 28, 2017 8:28 am

Dancer
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Re: Papa God's revenge

New Historian  going into the archives , eh ? Not a bad story , but the title , got me confused .
>> Matthew 5:5  ( I looked that up )'

  The meek shall inherit  the earth '

Pay more attention at /  to Church.   Just GO.
sad.lol.

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#3 Oct 28, 2017 10:32 am

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Re: Papa God's revenge

My father worked at the Metrovicks factory in Trafford Park Manchester, on the assembly line for the famous Lancaster bombers, the scourge of Germany’s industrial heartland.

The Luftwaffe rained a barrage of destruction upon England’s industrial heartland, with Manchester a prime target. In one devastating night’s bombing raid destroyed 13 Lancasters while they were still on the runway, a raid in which dozens of Darwin’s co-workers died. Every night there was a raid or at least an air raid warning. You got so conditioned that as soon as the siren went off you dropped whatever you were doing and ran to the nearest shelter, like Pavlov’s dog.

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#4 Oct 28, 2017 12:09 pm

Slice
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Re: Papa God's revenge

Not sure how you get these stories, but it is always fun to read them.

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#5 Oct 30, 2017 6:26 pm

houston
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Re: Papa God's revenge

New Historian wrote:

My father worked at the Metrovicks factory in Trafford Park Manchester, on the assembly line for the famous Lancaster bombers, the scourge of Germany’s industrial heartland.

The Luftwaffe rained a barrage of destruction upon England’s industrial heartland, with Manchester a prime target. In one devastating night’s bombing raid destroyed 13 Lancasters while they were still on the runway, a raid in which dozens of Darwin’s co-workers died. Every night there was a raid or at least an air raid warning. You got so conditioned that as soon as the siren went off you dropped whatever you were doing and ran to the nearest shelter, like Pavlov’s dog.

Another interesting read, Historian. Some of the best stories are passed on from our fathers. I see the Lancaster fly over quite often these days and still looking to capture a good photo when it doesn't catch me by surprise.
Flights are offered to the public, but for $5,000 I decided on the bucket list for now. Who knows, your dad may have had a hand in assembling that plane.
Years ago I stopped into the museum in St. Georges. Two things stuck in my mind. One was the size of the stuffed Fruit Bat, that thing gave me the jitters.
The other was the stories and photos displayed of Grenadians that took part in the world wars. Shipped up north with the clothes they were wearing. Like you say, they hit cold weather no warm socks. They were not outfitted with any proper gear. Many suffered frost bite.

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#6 Nov 03, 2017 5:36 am

New Historian
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Re: Papa God's revenge

houston wrote:
New Historian wrote:

My father worked at the Metrovicks factory in Trafford Park Manchester, on the assembly line for the famous Lancaster bombers, the scourge of Germany’s industrial heartland.

The Luftwaffe rained a barrage of destruction upon England’s industrial heartland, with Manchester a prime target. In one devastating night’s bombing raid destroyed 13 Lancasters while they were still on the runway, a raid in which dozens of Darwin’s co-workers died. Every night there was a raid or at least an air raid warning. You got so conditioned that as soon as the siren went off you dropped whatever you were doing and ran to the nearest shelter, like Pavlov’s dog.

Another interesting read, Historian. Some of the best stories are passed on from our fathers. I see the Lancaster fly over quite often these days and still looking to capture a good photo when it doesn't catch me by surprise.
Flights are offered to the public, but for $5,000 I decided on the bucket list for now. Who knows, your dad may have had a hand in assembling that plane.
Years ago I stopped into the museum in St. Georges. Two things stuck in my mind. One was the size of the stuffed Fruit Bat, that thing gave me the jitters.
The other was the stories and photos displayed of Grenadians that took part in the world wars. Shipped up north with the clothes they were wearing. Like you say, they hit cold weather no warm socks. They were not outfitted with any proper gear. Many suffered frost bite.

Thanks, yes indeed we must keep the words of our parents alive in writings, before time and age remove them from our memory permanently.

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#7 Nov 03, 2017 7:01 pm

Expat
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Re: Papa God's revenge

New Historian wrote:

My father worked at the Metrovicks factory in Trafford Park Manchester, on the assembly line for the famous Lancaster bombers, the scourge of Germany’s industrial heartland.

The Luftwaffe rained a barrage of destruction upon England’s industrial heartland, with Manchester a prime target. In one devastating night’s bombing raid destroyed 13 Lancasters while they were still on the runway, a raid in which dozens of Darwin’s co-workers died. Every night there was a raid or at least an air raid warning. You got so conditioned that as soon as the siren went off you dropped whatever you were doing and ran to the nearest shelter, like Pavlov’s dog.


Metrovickers which closed in the 1960s had the same parent company as Rolls Royce (Mulliner Park Ward) when I worked there in the late 70's and 80s... Vickers.  That makes us almost related... LoL

I almost certainly helped build.... https://www.rmsothebys.com/am14/amelia- … rd/1064955    Either building the body or making and fitting the drophead.

Lots of factories turned over to the war effort. When I worked at Park Royal Vehicles building buses I remember hearing they used to build the wings and the engine cowlings for the Halifax Bombers there too.

Last edited by Expat (Nov 03, 2017 8:34 pm)

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