Surviving the U boat sinking of the RMS Laconia 12 September 1942 — Broadsides – A collection of bits and pieces

What John doesn’t mention here is that he was a young schoolboy in Gibraltar in the 1950’s and has fond memories of his many escapades there. You can find further details on his blog and he also contributes, on Facebook, to Gibraltar Old Photos 2.

I lived in Gibraltar, as a serving Royal Signals soldier, from 1974 to 1976. I was a Corporal, and single when I first arrived, living in Governor’s Cottage camp. I was promoted shortly afterwards and move to the Fortress Sergeant’s Mess, in Town Range, just above the The Convent.

I returned home to get married in July 74, and my wife joined me in Gib, even though we had nowhere to live. We hopped from quarter to quarter when people were on leave in UK and then ended up in 263/7A Main Street, a very small flat that cost £14 per week.

Our daughter was born in October 75 and holds dual nationality, so Gibraltar, of course, holds a very dear place in our hearts.

Gibraltar:  British families, survivors from the RMS Larconia, torpedoed by German U-Boat on the 12th September 1942 RMS Laconica was originally commissioned as an ocean-going luxury passenger ship for the Cunard line. With the outbreak of WWII she was requisitioned by the Admiralty and fitted with eight six inch guns and two three inch guns. […]

Surviving the U boat sinking of the RMS Laconia 12 September 1942 — Broadsides – A collection of bits and pieces

The journey

It really was delightful, travelling alongside my wife and daughter. The sun 

shining brightly, a gentle breeze keeping the temperature just right.

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Familiar sights passed us by, dreamlike in the heady scent of May blossom.

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The car slowed, turned, and came to rest outside the building adorned with so many flowers.

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I’m sure I could see my old friend Chris. It must be years since we last met!

Other familiar faces seemed to fill every corner of the peaceful space.

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My favourite music played as we entered, and as everyone left, but me!

Look after each other | Peter Matthews — Whispers and Echoes

Please click on the link below to see my latest haiku published today.

Friends and family Treat everyone with respect Maintain wellbeing Peter Matthews, a country boy at heart, lives with his wife in the suburbs of Nottingham, England.  His greatest achievement is that he has aged fairly gracefully but has avoided growing up.  Peter has written poetry from the age of sixteen and blogs regularly at www.pollymermaid.wordpress.com.

Look after each other | Peter Matthews — Whispers and Echoes

Farewell Daisy | Peter Matthews — Whispers and Echoes

Daisy appeared in my Almost a Catastrophe on 11 June. Sadly, we had to say farewell to her on 21 June.

Click on the link below to see my haiku which appears on Whispers and Echoes today.

Time to say goodbye There can be no healing now Thank you faithful friend Peter Matthews, a country boy at heart, lives with his wife in the suburbs of Nottingham, England.  His greatest achievement is that he has aged fairly gracefully but has avoided growing up.  Peter has written poetry from the age of sixteen and blogs […]

Farewell Daisy | Peter Matthews — Whispers and Echoes

The good, the bad, and the ugly #2

This week’s #writephoto is below. Check out the rules and all of the fabulous entries by clicking on the link

The Fisherman – Image by KL Caley

The good

Perfect fishing day

Caught them by the bucketload

Returned them unharmed

The bad

Constant casting, perfect calm

Fish are fasting, free from harm

What’s for dinner now no fish?

I’ll get thinner, oh I wish!

And the ugly

He’d fished here for years, first as a boy with his Dad, then as a youth while others were chasing girls, now as a man, alone. 

It was a perfect pastime. 

He loved to cast and dream, to snooze and remember, to breathe the fresh air, occasionally to catch a fish.  He loved the solitude, the perfect reflections that rippled every time he cast, or drew in his line. He even loved it when it rained and the fish rose to the surface, seeming to delight in the shower.        

He thought of it more as feeding the fish, rather than a battle of wills to lure them on to his hook. 

Over the years he’d fed them worms, grubs, and all sorts of ground bait, but the best days fishing was surely the day he’d fed them his wife!

The good, the bad, and the ugly

This week’s #writephoto is below. Check out the rules and all of the fabulous entries by clicking on the link.

The good

Family day out

Dressed for the English Summer

Splashing in puddles

The bad

Paddle at the seaside

walking with a squelch

eating too much ice cream

pardon when I belch

tummy feeling funny

find a loo real quick

dearie me I’m feeling ill

oops, I’m being sick!

And the ugly

Are you sure Dad?

Yes, pet. I promise everything will be OK.  We just need to stamp our feet 20 times more and you will never ever see that nasty man again.  I promise!

So we did.  We stamped, and counted, never to see that nasty man again.

Below the sand, six feet down, with little air remaining, the nasty man could sense the pounding and, in abject terror, understand its meaning.

A little bit of Dad

In my final Lundi limerick yesterday I used the hamlet of Acton and linked it to the fact that it played a large part in my Dad’s life.

In the process of digging out a bit of real life background, rather than the normal wikipedia, or google sources, I rummaged through the suitcase that I brought away from Dad’s house after he died at the grand age of 96.

Mum had died nearly 11 years before and everyone expected Dad to follow fairly swiftly after. He was, after all, a hard working farm labourer, who had relied on Mum for meals, clean clothes, and a welcoming home. We had all, of course, forgotten his hard upbringing, his determination, and his adaptability.

Within a couple of weeks he had bought himself a microwave. “I’ve always wanted one of these but your Mother would never have one”, he said.

He went on to cook his own meals, wash, dry, and iron his clothes, vacuum the house, and thoroughly enjoy the whole new leaf that he’d turned over. My little sister (three years older than me), who lived a few miles away, kept an eye on him, had him over for Sunday lunch and, over the coming years, gradually helped him more, according to his needs.

Anyway, this isn’t meant to be a definitive history of Dad, purely an extension of the information about his link to Acton.

The suitcase I mentioned earlier has quite a few Bibles, and other books, in it, each one has a story to tell. Dad was a Methodist Local Preacher from the age of 20 until failing hearing, and health, caused him to retire, although he remained ‘on the books’ until his death, and received several certificates of Long Service, even up to 75 years service! It just could not be done nowadays!

Dad was a marvellous preacher. Inspiring, knowledgeable, plain speaking, always linking to everyday life, articulate but never verbose. In everyday life you would never dream that he was a gifted and effective preacher. He was a quiet, mild mannered man whose goodness shone out for all to see, always willing to help, support, and encourage all that he encountered.

First out of the case is a School photograph from 1922 when Dad was 12
How smart they all are, and I love the bicycle parked around the corner! Dad would have done a couple of hours work before going to school and would have many jobs to complete when he got home.
Sunday School prize that Dad received from Acton
Note the Superintendent was John Matthews, an uncle
and a 19th birthday present from an Auntie
A present from the Local Preachers Association on his recognition service as a preacher (Oct 14th 1929)
21st birthday gift to Mum
An article that appeared in the Local Preachers Newsletter after Dad died

Lundi limerick #105

Thinking of Acton I’m glad

so special to Mum and to Dad

It’s where they first met

and their future was set

Such a wondrous life they both had.

 

There is not a lot to be said about Acton,  a small hamlet in Staffordshire. You could so easily drive through it without knowing and yet, without its existence, I may well not have existed!

The one building that is there, an old Wesleyan Methodist Church that closed in 2003, is where my father, Charles Matthews, went to Sunday School, then to Chapel. Where he met my mother Irene Lily Matthews, née Talbot. Where they first started courting,  all very prim and proper in those days. Where Dad first qualified for his  75 years as a Methodist Local Preacher.

I will add some photographs to a later post, and give a little more detail. I thought it appropriate that for the last of my two years worth of Lundi limericks (Lundi being french for Monday, for those who hadn’t noticed!!) I should write about somewhere extra special.

Thank you Acton. Thank you Mum and Dad.

 

 

 

Song Lyric Sunday 05/01/2020 – La

song-lyric-sundayThank you to Jim Adams, who hosts Song Lyric Sunday and gives us the chance to share lots of familiar, and some not so familiar, songs.

If you fancy sharing one of your favourite songs you can find out how to participate, and also listen to all the great entries, here.

This week Jim has given us the task of finding a song with La in the title, or lyrics. Now, surely, that is every single song ever written! If we don’t know the words what do we all do? We sing along with La, la, la, and it is international as shown in these German lyrics to the, now what’s it called? The La la la song!

Es gab so viele Lieder, die meine Mutter sang
Ich werde nie vergessen wie eines damals klang
Ein Lied von Einsamkeit, von Liebe und Glück
Die Träume meiner Kindheit bringt mir dieses Lied zurück
La lalala lalala lalala…
La lalala lalala la…
La lalala lalala lalala…
La lalala lalala la…

My first La song of pop memories just has to be Pat Boone’s 1962 hit “Speedy Gonzales”. You could sing along to it, dance to it, it was funny, and it introduced the UK audience to new food and drink. What more could we ask for?

Pat Boone (his really name) is still active at the age of 85 and was married, at age 19, to Shirley, who was also a recording artist and television personality. She died in January 2019.

I hope you enjoy this fun memory of mine!

 

Speedy Gonzales

Pat Boone

It was a moonlit night in Old Mexico.
I walked alone between some old adobe haciendas.
Suddenly, I heard the plaintive cry of a young Mexican girl:

La la la, la la la la la la la la, la la la la la la la la, la la la la
la la la la.

You better come home Speedy Gonzales, away from tannery row.
Stop all of your drinking with that floosie named Flo!
Come on home to your adobe and slap some mud on the wall!
The roof is leaking like a strainer. There’s loads of roaches in the
hall.
(La la la la)

Speedy Gonzales (Speedy Gonzales),
why don’t you come home?
Speedy Gonzales (Speedy Gonzales),
how come you leave me all alone?

“He, Rosita, I have to go shopping downtown for my mother,
she needs some Tortillias and Chilli Pepper!”

La, la la la la la la la la, la la la la la la la la, la la la la la la
la la.

Your doggie’s gonna have a puppy, and we’re running out of Coke.
no enchiladas in the icebox, and the television’s broke.
I saw some lipstick on your sweatshirt, I smell some perfume in your
ear.
Well, if you’re gonna keep on messin’, don’t bring your business back
a-here.
(La la la la)

Mmm, Speedy Gonzales (Speedy Gonzales),
why don’t you come home?
Speedy Gonzales (Speedy Gonzales),
how come you leave me all alone?

“He, Rosita, come quick!
Down at the cantina, they’re giving green stamps with Tequila!”

La, la la la la la la la la, la la la la la la la la, la la la la la la
la la
La la la la, la la la la la la la la, la la la la la la la la, la la la
la la la la la.

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Buddy Kaye / Ethel Lee / David Hess

Speedy Gonzales lyrics © Bienstock Publishing Company