by Ken Garrett

It was Christmas 1944. We were on a floating dry dock in Scapa Flow. The crew partied all day on saved up rum. I drank very little as I had a date with a communications wren in Lynness, but after supper I went down the ladder to get below where a lighter was supposed to pick me up. When the lighter came along side, I put my finger down my throat to make my self sick so I could enjoy the dance. The petty officer in charge of the lighter said I was the first person ever, to get sick underneath a ship.


One day I was on leave in Glasgow, after visiting a few pubs. A friend and I were strolling along the main street in the city when two elderly Royal Navy AB's wearing a police armband stopped me for wearing my hat on the back of my head. I was promoted to leading seaman a couple years hence, but my ID card was not up graded, as most were not. I was charged with impersonating a Leading Seaman plus being inproperly dressed with my hat on the back of my head. A couple of months later, when the charge came through, Captain Desmond Piers was laughing when he read the charges. He told me I was sentenced  to one day's stoppage of leave starting to-day.  I replied "we are two hundred miles from Norway and won't be back to Scapa for quite some time". The Captain replied " that's the funny part". He was a great Captain and this was the only charge I had in five years.

Back To Stories Index