From Baker to Submariner Cook
I worked for my father as a baker until I became of age to be called up, I wanted to join the Navy with no thought of being volunteered for Submarines. Being a baker I was made a cook, but I really wanted to do something else. However in those days we had to do what we were told.
After I finished my training as a cook four of us were drafted to the Maidstone in Trincomalee I went then to my first boat HMS Surf, I shall never forget that first trip, The boat was swarming with cockroaches, When we returned we were sent to Colombo to be de-bugged and air conditioning fitted. I celebrated my twenty first on board the small ship we were staying on. Sippers all round I did not take my rum ration for at least six months after that. Then back to Trincomalee where they decided to send Surf home, I thought this is alright I am going home already. No luck!, It was back to the depot ship but was soon drafted to HMS Terrapin. We sailed from Tricomalee and after the patrol we returned to Freemantle. Two Patrols from there and finally the one where we were nearly sunk, I have read since we were the last submarine to be depth charged. I should add I was the only cook aboard these boats. It was not easy as I was also part of the gun crew. I have always said if I had to go again it would be in Submarines, we were one big happy family.
Finally I finished at Barrow "to standby" HMS Amphion the first of the old A class. The Astute was berthed just behind her.
After the new Astute was launched in 2006 we were invited to Barrow to look over her and was made very welcome by Commander Wittiker and his crew, The night before we were invited to The Barrow Submariners Association meeting, we were made very welcome.
Just to add the Astute has six chefs aboard. Finally I was presented with a picture of the three boats I served on and also a photograph or Rear Admiral George Zambellis and me in front in front of Astute.