January 7 1946. on this date Yours truly VEST had served in the Royal Navy for Four Years and had served on this ship* for three plus years I was just Nineteen and five months of age.
Due to wartime business with the opposition namely the forces of Nippon, the steering namely the rudder became split on the way back to Sydney from Tokyo The *HMS King George V, a 40,000 ton Battleship after a several trials was deemed seaworthy provided its speed did not exceed ten knots.
The 'King George V' had left from No 6 Wooloomooloo dock Sydney on Sun Jan 6 1946 The temp was also 46C, a military band played on the jetty as sad girlfriends waved good bye mid the tune of 'Land of hope and Glory'. it would be the last time a British battleship would be seen in mainland Australian waters..***
As I glimpsed at a shore line never to be seen again until my return on Aug 4 -71 with my family., The KGV Sailed to Hobart.
. It seemed our Captain had had a bet with his friend another Brit Engineering Captain who was the Skipper of the 39ft Sloop 'RANI', that if he won the Inaugural 'Sydney to Hobart' race he would bring the ship down to Hobart. Sorry Aussies The Poms won that first race; it is not mentioned too often
Yes it was Seventy years ago today when a 15.5 year old vest a 4ft 10" Barnardo boy of no fixed abode was given to the Royal Navy (Brit) By Watts Naval Training School for a finders fee of 25 pounds sterling.
Incidentally the journey for KGV from Sydney Jan 6 was finally over on March 13 -1946. ..66 days
KGV The Flagship of the BPF The forgotten Fleet)
*** except for Fremantle on the way back to UK.
The last Laugh... The Royal Navy have been paying my 25% pension at the current rate for over 48 years., as the say " Money for old rope"
Vest, part of history.
BTW I am unwell and will not be posting for a while. also My Rosemary is not in the best shape she is losing it , it is so sad.
To advise that Vest (Les Bowyer) passed away this morning. Regards, Chris (Son).
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