I joined the PWSTS in Ingham aged 15 in
May 1941, I enjoyed my time at the school and looked forward to my first
sail and all the adventures which it would entail, at such a young age we
were quite naive to the dangers of being at sea during wartime. I finished
at PWSTS in December 1941 and I traveled to Liverpool where I joined the
Blue Funnel Line and went on to serve on the Menelaus. My first trip to
the states was supposed to take 9 days however ended up taking 11 after
having to make evasive action to avoid submarines. Shortly after having my
first birthday at sea (16), on the 1st May we had an encounter with a
disguised German raider, which sent out an Motor Torpedo Boat flying the
white ensign. There is an interesting account of the action which can be
found in A Merchant Fleet in War by Captain S.W.Roakill, R.N. starting
from the last paragraph on page 88.
After the war I came to live in Anglesey, North Wales and worked at Wylfa
Nuclear Power Station until my retirement.
In the picture I have attached there is some of the deck crew of the
Rhexenor, I can identify Robert Hughes (Bobby) as the man holding the cat,
and myself, Fred Hinson, the man to his right in the checkered shirt. Also
Jimmy Mason, the man standing to the left with his hands in his pockets.
There is also a shot of the Achilles sailing in Calafornia in 1948.
The photo on the right is one of me now, aged 88.
Menelaus, boarded in Birkenhead - 11.12.1941 - 25.06.1942
Antilochus, boarded in Birkenhead - 13.07.1942 - 11.09.1942
Antilochus, boarded in Birkenhead - 29.09.1942 - 13.11.1942
Antilochus, boarded in Birkenhead - 20.11.1942 - 21.06.1943
Antilochus, boarded in Birkenhead - 14.07.1943 - 27.11.1943
Priam, boarded in Birkenhead - 15.12.1943 - 17.04.1944
Priam, boarded in Birkenhead - 26.04.1944 - 01.06.1944
Priam, boarded in Birkenhead - 13.06.1944 - 14.08.1945
Bellerophow, boarded in Birkenhead - 25.09.1945 - 22.11.1945
Rhexenor, Boarded in Birkenhead - 17.12.1945 - 27.09.1946
Rhexenor, boarded in Birkenhead - 20.10.1946 - 03.04.1947
Rhexenor, boarded in Birkenhead- 11.04.1947 - 29.10.1947
Achilles, boarded in birkenhead - 16.01.1948 - 05.07.1948
Achilles, boarded in Birkenhead - late 1948 - 21.03.1949