This post presents an extract from the memoirs of Jim Caldwell (1921-2014) who served in the navy between 1937-1952. The memoirs were written in September 2007, just before Jim suffered from Dementia. Jim led a fascinating life. He was born in 1921 in Belfast in a home for single pregnant women whose families had disowned them and with no means of financial support. His mother could no longer support him aged three and he was given up for adoption. He had a hard childhood and was passed from pillar to post but in 1932 he entered the Watts Naval Training School in Norfolk. His time in the Royal Navy was full of events during the Second World War, including working on supply convoys to Russia. After the war Jim joined the firm of R. A. Brand, a company based in Manchester with which he worked for nineteen years and in later life he acted as agent for Shirley Williams MP.
Jim’s memoirs are varied and interesting, and he is particularly detailed about the little-studied process of mothballing ships after the war. Jim explains the process and also the dangers and problems that needed ingenious solutions….
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