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 A Matelot's Life, Tags; Open
Jem Yards
 Posted: Oct 16 2015, 06:59 PM

Trooper, 15th Hussars
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Group: Retired
Posts: 21
Member No.: 78
Joined: 4-September 15

Status: Offline

Location: The Med
Year: 1944

"Tour the World! Join the Royal Navy!"

That’s what the recruiting poster had said. So far, he’d seen Scotland, Portsmouth, and now sunny Malta. When war had been declared James ‘Jim’ Yards, had been too young to join in the fun from the start. As the war had progressed, the chance of him fighting in it had increased. Though his real father had died in the last one, mum had remarried and her new husband Jack had become basically the same thing. The only father Jim had known told him to volunteer with the navy before he was told where to go and do his fighting. Jack was a proud veteran of Jutland and thought John Jellicoe on par with Lord Nelson and The Almighty.

Jim casually peered over the armoured side of His Majesties’ Ship Terpsichore and marveled at the ink-dark sea rushing by below as the T-Class destroyer plowed forward. He never got tired of that peculiar sensation of speed and power. He raised the glass back to his eyes lest the Officer of the Watch catch him not doing his job. He scanned the water and the sea around him, the first streaks of dawn were approaching away on the horizon. Today would be another hot one for sure. This whole heat and sun lark would be a Mediterranean holiday if it wasn’t all the shooting and the threat of an unscheduled swim. Better this than the Atlantic or worse…. the Arctic. Jim moved his glass across the horizon.

Moving the glass slowly, he counted four ship from where he stood. Directly behind them sailed Black Prince and behind her Ajax. He recognized those two by their pennant numbers. And by the fact that some helpful sod had pointed them out back in the Grand Harbour in Valetta. Loose lips and all that. Good ship that one, Ajax. She had hunted down the Graf Spee back in ’39. Just one of many the reasons Jim had decided to follow Jack’s advice and join the navy.

Allowing his mind to return to the task at hand, his eyes fell further back in the column. The two American destroyers signaled to each other. He could only see one of the lamps winking in the dawn, but it must be quite a chat, judging by the rate of the flash though Jim couldn’t read it all. Time to stop being rude… Jim moved his glasses back over his assigned patch of salt water.

Indeed, they were all sailing for France, one happy yet determined band of warriors to attack Hitler and his mob. The news was full of the events in the channel and northern France. Had they forgotten about men like Jim? He seemed to think so. They were squeezing the enemy from the opposite direction fighting just as hard.

“Tea’s up” a cheerful soul announced appearing from the gloom with a half dozen steaming mugs. Tea, glorious tea, just the thing to take the edge of the morning chill.

Jem Yards - Trooper, 3 Squadron, 15th Hussars
Tide Evans
 Posted: Oct 25 2015, 04:32 PM

Quartermaster, Royal Navy
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Group: Retired
Posts: 113
Member No.: 12
Joined: 4-May 14

Status: Offline

The lads on watch were quick to claim a mug and just as quick to scurry back to their appointed station. Tom Evans, known by most as Taff or, behind his back, Unlucky, stood by the rail, his gaze never resting too long in one place even as he sipped absently at the scalding hot tea. It seared his tongue and the back of his throat as it went down but he hardly noticed.

"Be a scorcher today," the Welshman remarked offhandedly. If he was glad for the presence of other ships around them, he showed no sign of it. Even in a convoy there was no guarantee of safety. Submarines were hard to spot and harder to kill. Vicious bastards, submarines. He felt perfectly justified in hating them. He'd had three ships torpedoed out from under him by submarines.

He glanced at the youngster nearest him. Some lad called Yards or something. "Anythin' out there?"

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