MY GRAND DAD – JUNE 1944
I have done a couple of acting roles recently which involved the subject of war. Archie Dobson’s War was about a boy, me, Archie, who witnessed what happened to his family when the war came and took away his father and other relatives and what seemed exciting at the time soon turned into something much more serious. I also recently played a role of an autistic boy who along with a group of other children foiled a German assault in Harriet’s Army, which is due to screen this month on CBBC. My mum helped me with this article last night. She dug out a pile of papers I have never seen before and this was prompted by me asking if my Grand dad had been at the D.Day Landings. I never met my mum’s dad because she was one of the youngest in her family and she had me late so I had a Grand Dad who served as a Royal Marine during the 2nd World War. Here is a photo of him when he was 18 years old and he joined the Royal Marines on the 19th May 1937.
Thomas Carr 6/10/1918 to 11/8/1998
We have lots of old documents including medical, identity and photographs. He served on many ships during the war including HMS Ark Royal. We have a certificate of service which charts where he was and what ship he was on. He was on the Ark Royal when it sank during his term. He obviously got off safely. My mum said he never talked about the war and if she asked him he would say he wanted to forget it. During July1943 and Februrary1945 He was serving on HMS Duke of York pictured below.
On 29 March 1944, Duke of York and the rest of the Home Fleet left Scapa Flow to provide a support force for Convoy JW 58. The ship operated in the Arctic and as cover for carriers conducting the Goodwood series of air strikes on the German ship Tirpitz, sister ship to Bizmark, in mid to late August With the sinking of the Tirpitz, Hitler lost the last influential ship of his surface battle fleet and this marked the end of Germany’s naval war in northern waters. With the safe arrival of so many ships, and the destruction of three U-boats, plus a fourth incidental kill, and six shadowing aircraft, JW 58 was one of the most successful Arctic convoys run by the Allies during World War II. JW 58 was the last Arctic convoy for several months. The sequence was discontinued during summer 1944 as all naval forces were required for Operation Neptune, the cover for the Normandy landings. It re-commenced in August 1944 with Convoy JW 59. Decorations to those taking part in JW 58 were announced on July 18 1944
He was compassionately discharged from The Royal Marines in April 1947 because my Grand Mother was seriously ill. However, she went on to survive him by some 10 years. This photograph shows his various medals including the Africa Star, the Atlantic Star, the Pacific star and a special Russian commemorative medal. Grand Dad joined the Liverpool Metropolitan Police straight after his discharge and remained there until he retired. The picture also shows his medals for life saving and The Red Cross which I suppose he had to have for the police. The big silver one with the blue and white ribbon is a a medal for Exemplary Police Service.
I knew nothing of this and it has been really interesting to research it. I wish I had met my Grand Dad and this article is a tribute to him and all the other servicemen and women who are taking part in this remembrance day.