Friday, September 19, 2014

The Radio Officers' War - a talk by Harry Scott, Sunday, 28 September at 2.30pm

The first talk of our 2014/2015 syllabus is on Sunday, 28 September, when we will hear Harry Scott, whose talk is 'The Radio Officers' War '.

It takes place at the Corn Exchange and Ormiston Institute, Market Square, Melrose, TD6 9PN. Map.

Ian Robert Hendry Waddell, whose home was in Galashiels, was a bright and gifted 20 year old who joined the Merchant Navy in 1940 after qualifying as a Seagoing Radio Officer at Leith Nautical College. In all, he made 14 crossings of the North Atlantic Ocean at a time when German U-boats were sinking a huge amount of Allied shipping. He wrote a series of journals, and wonderfully descriptive and amusing letters, about his life and work at sea.

He captured on film the dramatic events as his ship was bombed during the Allied landings in Norway. Ian also described the harrowing scenes, he and his shipmates witnessed, and the danger they faced, as they became involved in the dramatic rescue of the crew of a Royal Navy ship sunk by a U-boat.

Radio officers had a lot of responsibility – listening to weather reports, warnings of storms and about enemy shipping, maintaining communication with the outside world, listening for distress calls from other ships.

I think you'll find this a very interesting talk whether you're interested in family history, World War II, radio or shipping. I warmly invite you to attend the talk whether you are a member or not. Doors open at 2pm; the talk begins at 2.30pm. It’s free to come in. We'll have a range of family history publications available to buy, and there’ll be light refreshments (donation expected) available after the talk. If you have a problem with your family history, please discuss it (no charge) with one of our volunteers.

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