Rick Fennell - Joined The Strathallan as Third Butcher
Rick joined Strathallan in March 1938 as Third Butcher, he made a close friend of Jean
(Lofty) Rousselle, who was the Fish Chef. Rick was asleep when the Torpedo struck and was thrown out of bed, he was in charge of a Lifeboat full of Nurses, being the only Male aboard it became embarrassing at times when natures call had to be answered, the nurses used their Tin Helmets as Rick looked the other way, he often smiled over this story.
They were picked up by the Verity. Lofty was in another Lifeboat and was seen still wearing his Chefs Hat.On board the Verity packed shoulder to shoulder with other survivors, a call went to Action Stations, much to everybodys dismay.
The Skipper came over the Tannoy stating that even the Royal Navy had some idiots in it, it was a false alarm.
It would be interesting to know if anybody remembers the Rocket incident. Rick tells me that a large gun was fitted on an upper deck , possiby 5″ or 6″, a battery of Rockets were situated immediately below. Wartime instruction were very brief and Rick had the task of pressing the fire button when the Rockets were in the correct position, trained and positioned by the experts, however the big gun fired which frightened Rick to death and he inadvertantly pressed the button.
A whole salvo of Rockets either landed in Algiers or the Sea. Incidently the first time the Gun fired the Quartermaster was knocked out with the concussion. They say truth is stranger than fiction! Rick’s next Ship was SS Champolian, followed by The Strathnaver, he left the service in 1947. Hope this will be of interest to all who visit Rick’s story.
Story kindly supplied by Eddie Grant.
Rick is 90 years old, alive and well living in Driffield Yorks. Anyone remember him. Any messages will be passed on email me firstname.lastname@example.org