L/S George David Cook        DJX163572

 

Dad George was born in Truro but the family moved to Ilfracombe where George went to school and later married  Joyce Hatchley, a local girl who was a teacher of ballet, tap and other types of dance. He joined the Royal Navy as a boy at15, starting at Ganges and spent a lot of his wartime service on the aircraft carrier H.M.S. Illustrious. He was on the guns when they were heavily attacked as a result of their attack on Taranto and ended up in the water and was rescued and taken to hospital on Malta to be treated for his injuries. He then joined the escort carrier H.M.S. Searcher  until going to the Far East. He returned to the U.K. on H.M.S. Norfolk. George joined the Submarine Service in 1947 and served in H.M.Submarines Thule, Selene, Sea Scout, Amphion, Astute and finally, Affray.
His last long-time boat was Amphion which he left to have a cartilage operation - he played football for the Submariners and was very popular with his mates.

George had been on leave from Dolphin where he was waiting the start of a higher radar course - he was L/Seaman (Radar). We were desperate to find a flat down at Gosport so that we could all be together. I had gone to my own home to have our son, Kevin, he was then seven months, so old enough for us to move and George wanted us to be with him and follow him around. He was looking forward to finishing his time and settling down to a home life - he had about 18 months left to serve. George was very upset when he was saying goodbye to Kevin, he was very near to tears and I had to walk away. When he got back to Dolphin he was going all out to find accommodation for us to join him.

He was then lent to Affray for about two weeks to allow another L/S (Radar) to go to a shooting contest. Affray was still in the dockyard undergoing a refit, but she came across to Dolphin and George joined her on Friday, 13th April. In his letter, George wrote "Black Friday, but not to worry". She was due to do a trip later in April but it was brought forward to the 16th. It was a war exercise, "Training Spring", taking out two classes of trainee officers who would be doing the crew's work except for the key jobs such as Radar. Sonar etc. They were also to take four marines using folboats.

Mum & Dad Wedding

It was a rush to get the boat cleaned up after being in the dockyard. Another lad from Ilfracombe was also in Affray, C.E.R.A. Jim Bennington, and both George and Jim had been at school together as boys but had never met up in subs until then. In his letter, George said that while he was trying to clean up the control room, Jim was making a mess with his oil can ( he was outside E.R.A. ).

Jim was not at all happy about the state of the boat and most of the departments had defects and one was radar. All efforts to delay the exercise were over-ruled by Blockhouse. Although George himself never told me about this, he did write in his letter, " The sooner I get off this boat the better" ...

 

Joyce "Joy" Cook

24th May1924 - 5th November 2009

Joyce & Kevin

Joyce and Kevin at the 50th Anniversary Memorial Service at Gosport
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