Stoker Wilson

Thanks for that Stirling, hadn't seen it in the Press.
In a similar vane - I attended my uncle's funeral yesterday. Grand old man, 91, died on 19th March. On Monday he was told he had cancer, on Wednesday he drove himself to the hospital, where he died on Saturday. Great way to go, though he does leave a grieving widow to whom he had been married for 69 years.
I caught an early train from York and arrived at Beckenham crematorium in plenty of time so had a look round the cemetery. I have always wanted to see the grave of Frank Bourne, for those not aware, Colour Sergeant Bourne, of "Zulu" fame. Unlike the character portrayed by Nigel Green in the film, Bourne was only 24 when he made Colour Sergeant and took a major part in defending Rourkes Drift. He served his time, then when war broke out in 1914, volunteered again (by my reckoning he would then have been about 59), and served throughout retiring as Lt. Col. He finally died on VE day, May 8th 1945, also at the age of 91. Now there's a career spanning a few years and some momentuous events. From the Zulu wars to the V2 rocket. Good innings that man!

This has reminded me of the story of another submariner Stoker called John Capes. It was brought to my attention when I visited Kefalonia, the location of 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin':Apparently, Capes was never able to convince the Admiralty of the truth of his wartime tale because he hadn't been listed among the 'souls on board' when Perseus sailed from Malta. Indisputable proof only came to light in 1997 but Capes had died in 1985.

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