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The Wartime Memories Project - The Second War

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SQMS Albert Edward "Spav" Spavins

British Army Royal Army Service Corps

from:West Lulworth

My father, SQMS Spavins, was a Lancastria survivor. He told me that as he was one of the last people aboard ship he had to go to the boat deck because there was no room below. As the ship began to sink he tried to persuade one of his friends to jump with him. However, his friend could not swim. Dad jumped and as he looked up his friend lit a cigarette and waved him goodbye. He does not remember how long he spent in the water but eventually a mine sweeper, very overloaded, passed by and someone threw him a lifebelt and along with many others was towed home to England. He was wearing only a shirt when he got home. When he finally got a new uniform and equipment he came home on leave. He was in a bad way and told me that the Stuka dive bombers had somewhat un-nerved him.

Dad recovered and some years later volunteered once again with RASC/EFI to go to Korea. It so happened that I was with The Somaliland Scouts at the time and when Dad returned from Korea I flew over to Aden and met the ship where I met my father and some of his friends.

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