Aireborough Historical Society

1939 to 1945 Home Guard and Royal Navy memories. Part 4

H.M.S. Anson

Title 1939 to 1945 Home Guard and Royal Navy
Name
Sam Kilburn
Gender Male
Date of Birth February 1926
Currently Residing Rawdon
Subject
"Eventually we sailed again for Hong Kong where we were given our Demob groups.
Having joined at a very early age I had a low group, number 54 in fact which meant that I would be among the earlier groups to be repatriated.
I was told I would be going home on H.M.S. Shropshire and did in fact board her, but then with eleven other men we were told that the Shropshire was overcrowded and we were put ashore again to await the arrival of H.M.S. Anson two weeks later and on which I eventually sailed home although to my mind we were even more overcrowded than on the Shropshire, any way we were on our way home and too excited to worry about overcrowding.
We sailed home via Singapore, Colombo, Aden up to the Red Sea to Suez, across the Mediterranean to Malta, (where the Maltese took a photo of us entering the Grand Harbour at Valetta)
where we stayed for a few days before going on through the Straights of Gibraltar and Bay of Biscay to Portsmouth, where we disembarked and returned to H.M.S. Mercury for demob.

We were fitted with our civilian demob suits and given our travel warrants and sent on leave in my case 56 days foreign service leave.
I had been at home for about a month when a brown envelope marked O.H.M.S. arrived informing me that I should return to Portsmouth as since the Admiralty couldn't retrain telegraphists fast enough I was to be retrained for six months and was posted to H.M. Sirius in dry dock in Portsmouth.
My duties for the next 6 months were to check for incoming messages and maintain the batteries and equipment in the communication room and then I was free to go ashore whenever I liked, so it wasn't too bad, but the time did seem to drag as I was dying to get home again and start living a civilian life"
Sam Kilburn.

Photo is H.M.S.Anson in Malta 1945
Written April 2013

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