ARCTIC CONVOYS- THE MURMANSK RUN- U-BOAT ALLEY -HELL ON EARTH
IT WAS NOT UNTIL THE VIDEOS BELOW WERE SHOWN THAT MY FATHERS STORIES ABOUT GUTS, COURAGE AND FORTITUDE CAME ALIVE.
THIS FORGOTTEN THEATRE OF WAR WAS INDEED HELL ON EARTH.
AS THE NOVELIST ALISTAIR McLEAN SAID 60% OF THE SURVIVORS CAME BACK MENTALLY SCARRED.
WINSTON CHURCHILL DESCRIBED IT AS THE WORST JOURNEY IN THE WORLD.
MY DAD IN 1944 WAS 35 YEARS OF AGE NEWLY PROMOTED TO PETTY OFFICER.
HE HAD ALMOST 20 YEARS OF ROYAL NAVY EXPERIENCE BEHIND HIM.THE KIDS OF 16 AND 17 THAT ARE MENTIONED COULD NOT HAVE HAD A BETTER ROLE MODEL.
Frederick John Alford(Fred Alford) Royal Navy volunteeered 23/06/1925 – 11/08/1939. Re enlisted 5/05/1941. Promoted to Petty Officer 17/07/1943
Joined HMS Rowley 9/09/1944 Left HMS Rowley 14/03/1945.
Convoys he served on to Murrmansk RA 061A,SC161,SC162 and SC165 between 14/11/1944 and 31/01/1945.
Was on board Rowley when along with British frigate HMS Duckworth they sank U Boat U-1208 on the 24/02/1945 in the English Channel south-east of the Isles of Scilly by depth charges.All hands 49 in all of the U-Boat were lost.
My Father always remarked that RNR Lt Cdr Frederick John Gwynn Jones used to sit back on his chair on the bridge of Rowley and was heard on several occasions whilst in U Boat Alley and looking up at the skies to exclaim in a loud voice:”Come on Jerry,nice juicy convoy for you.”
My Father always said he tried not to let his countenance show that he was not in total agreement with the Captain.
SPONSORED BY CUTTING CORNERS MITRE MAKERS LTD