John Ross


Entered Ingham in March 1940, left at end of year to go to sea. My stay at Ingham was a memory never to be forgotten - arriving there while snow was still on the ground & washing ones clothes in bare feet outside was an experience not to be forgotten. One of my other memories was two of us sitting on the sides of the fireplace which to me was the biggest I have ever encountered.

Fred Paynter was a great instructor and we learnt so much from him. At the time of Dunkirk the memory of making Molotov Cocktails was to his young cadets something else to remember (preparing for the invasion). The bigger boys had the job of positioning the yachts on the Broads to stop Float Planes from landing (LDV) later known as the Home Guard. I remember that Fred Paynter was the only one armed (Dad's Army) there were numerous Dog Fights during this period.

During December 1940, another cadet (Pennington and self) left for Cardiff to the British Sailor's Society. We spent the next few days at the docks trying to find a ship to take us on as Deck Boys. We were eventually taken on by the captain of MV Kars a Tanker of the Western Oil Shipping Co. Our job was as Signalman while in convoy and doing deck work i.e. cleaning out the oil tanks before arriving in Trinidad. We had joined the ship 22nd January 1941 - I left the ship in December 1941 after a couple of trips with the idea of joining the RN. The Kars was sunk off Canada 22nd February 1942 with only 2 survivors.

HMS Ganges March 1943 - Training
HMS Westcott - 1943-1944 - Atlantic & Arctic convoys
HMS Pelican - 1944-1945 -Normandy landings, Italy and Mediterranean
Returned to Guernsey 15th May 1945, stayed one year, returned to Southampton & back to sea.

Sterling Castle 30.8.46 - 8.1.47 - South Africa
Rochester Castle 22.1.47 - 7.9.47 - SA & East Coast through to the Med. and along the coast of Nth Africa.
Queen Elizabeth 3.2.48 - 20.4.48 New York
Empire Ken 11.5.48 - 18.9.48 To Sth America with refugees
Durban Castle 6.10.48 - 12.3.49 Sth Africa
Atlantis 14.3.49 - 9.7.49 To NZ with immigrants
Matina 16.7.49 - 12.10.49 Costa Rica to Holland
RFA Fort Beauharnois 18.10.49 - 3.2.50 Fleet reserve

I had applied to go to NZ and sailed on the Atlantis as a passenger arriving Wellington on my 25th birthday. In 1953 joined the NZ Army as a Signalman and did a couple of years in Korea. Spent time in the 121 Evacuation Hospital and the British Commonwealth Military Hospital in Kure, returning to NZ 1945. Having settled in Auckland working in Bridge building and contracting for myself until retirement. I have served as a Welfare Officer for the Returned Service Association for 20 yrs and as a Volunteer at the Auckland Was Memorial Museum for the same length of time. I have had a full life and have enjoyed every moment of it.    John Ross - Class 1940

  John Ross




          Three Guernseymen: Malcolm Bourgaize, Collin Le Tissier and John Ross