At the outbreak of WW2 (Sept 1939) my father, a retired naval officer, rejoined the Royal Navy and sailed in HMS Montclare, a Canadian Pacific Liner converted to an Armed merchant Cruiser used to escort transatlantic convoys of merchant ships bringing arms and food from Canada and USA to Britain
MYSELF AGED 7
Aged seven I attended Tower House Primary School, about 200 yards from our house in Dartmouth.
When the Naval College was on leave, the children of Tower House were encouraged to go swimming in the College pool under the watchful eye of Petty Officer Savage
On the 18th of September 1942, my mother was telephoned from the Naval College to say that swimming had been cancelled as Petty Officer Savage was unavailable.
SAINT CLEMENTS CHURCH
Walking back from school after delivering the note, I heard several very loud explosions. Looking down the road I saw an aicraft above the tower of St Clements Church. It was flying directly towards me.
Six enemy aircraft had attacked Dartmouth. Bombs had fallen leaving 25 dead. The Royal Naval Colleg was badly damaged.
How had the RAF Spitfires turned up so promptly to repel this surprise attack? .
CDR SHANNAN STEVENSON
In December 1941, HMS Montclare arrived in Falmouth UK for a quick refit and a chance for shore leave for the crew. My mother, two brothers and I moved to the Pentargan Hotel for a brief family reunion. Christmas 1941 was a happy time - the USA had joined the war and optimism was high.
STAFF OF BRITANNIA COLLEGE, 1942
Nine months after our Christmas holiday in Falmouth, and after more than two years on transatlantic convoys, my father joined the staff of Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, UK, where he taught Seamnaship to future officers of the Royal Navy