Tuesday, 20 November 2012
Royal Wedding plus other history.
Royal Wedding plus a trip to the Med and Exodus. ....................................................................................... The wedding of Princess Elisabeth and Prince Phillip on Wednesday November 20 - 1947 did not get my full attention being there were far more important things afoot that were soon to add another facet to that what was expected of me as a Naval person. Sailing that day from Portsmouth taking passage on A/C HMS Illustrious of WW2 fame, we called into Gibraltar on our way to Malta. On arrival I joined HMS Mauritius, commanded by Captain Lord Ashbourne, which after training, I became a Member of the Boarding Party. Up to the the time my duties came to an end on May 15 - 1948 when Ben Gurion Took over the reins in Israel - formerly Palestine. I with others had boarded five vessels containing So called Illegal Immigrants most vessels carrying several hundred souls mainly recruits for the Haganah (Ben Gurion's followers opposed to those of the Stern gang), The largest Ill/Imigrant numbers involved were the PAN"S IE the Pan Crescent and Pan York each carrying Seven thousand souls. A boarding Crew from HMS Phoebe took on the Pan York, and our boarding crew twelve of us the 7,000 plus on the Pan Crescent....... Dressed in leather backed Yankee helmets, boots gaiters number 8's shin and arm pads also cricket box, .38 revolver and a large baseball bat. I had a very bad feeling,. However, we arrived in Famagusta Cyprus where the Army took over, after a couple of days at sea with little sleep. most of us on rejoining our ship discovered the only legacy of our visit was a dose of crabs......... Google The Pans 1948 for more info..... Back soon ...Vest.
To advise that Vest (Les Bowyer) passed away this morning. Regards, Chris (Son).
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