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Ldg Seaman Peter Shorer

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Pioneer

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    Posted: 23 May 2007 at 9:04am

 The Crew of MTB 398 in the Med

The crew members in full photo from the left top is Chalky White, TM (Trained Man); Bill Baker, Stoker; Michael Munns W/op; Unknown; in front of Bill Baker is Motor Mac(name unknown);  Coxswain; (name unknown); Peter Jordan TM;(from Ilford.); in front of Motor Mac is Wine gum Tommy,TM,(worked at Rowntrees and daily had an apron pocket full of wine gums, which we said he stuck to his protruding front tooth to suck them and make them last longer);  to his left Ginger Wadey, Stoker; in front of him Geordie Monegan AB, from Geordie land  I believe the unnamed one may be the Scotch Gunner who put the fore sight on the left Vicker’s K and the rear sight on the right Vicker’s K (Vicker’s K were a pair of .303 machine guns on the starboard 21" Torpedo Tube, and also on the Port Tube for the Trained man to operate when occasion arose).

I volunteered at 18 and was turned down unfit for all purposes, due to rheumatic fever as a child.  Six months later I received my call-up papers to report, and was sent to a heart specialist who said I was medically unfit, but physically fit so he gave me the option of 'in or out'.  I said "get me into the Navy and I'm in" which he did.  By the 7th of September 1942 I was at HMS Ganges. (I think they must have been scraping the Barrel to include me).

    When the war finished in Europe The MTB's were paid off, in Malta. GC., and I passed Professionally for my Hook, on HMS Norfolk, County Class Cruiser in Valetta, and then joined HMS Javelin, J class destroyer, in Alexandria, for three months , then HMS Marne, M class Destroyer to return from the Med to UK. And was de-mobbed on 1st July 1946.

 

(Some of the actions that this boat was involved in are described in "Mediterranean MTB's At War" by L Reynolds and H Cooper - Pioneer)

 



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote johnk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2007 at 12:58pm

Hi Pioneer,

 

Many thanks for the above, despite the option of not going to war, Mr Shorer went!.

 

John

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pioneer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 June 2007 at 2:03pm

I have had the good fortune to be able to prove what was fast becoming a 'myth'. I myself could just not believe the story of somebody 'riding a Torpedo Tube'. Having had first hand knowledge of a 'Short Boat' at speed and knowing of the 'buffeting' that would certainly be risked if attempting that very dangerous antic - Peter Shorer has proved me wrong - Here is a shot of him on MTB 398 in the Med 1944.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tramontana Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 June 2007 at 3:08pm
One of the best books I have read about the Coastal Forces in the Med during the War is "Flag 4" by Dudley Pope, a really good read and a good reference book toboot
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pioneer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 October 2007 at 2:08pm

It truly is amazing what talent is ‘out there’.

Having only very recently been introduced to Peter Shorer – the Ex Leading Seaman who had a predisposition for riding Torpedo Tubes - (I still can’t quite believe that, although having seen the proof!!) – Peter has kindly given me permission to relate this story as it refers to Malta GC. Very recently (Sept ’07) CFVA had a plaque dedicated to HMS Gregale, the wartime Coastal Forces base on Malta.

[An article should appear in the next (December) CFVA (London) Newsletter]

HMS Illustrious is greatly revered in Malta GC, because that Aircraft Carrier was central to the relief of the Siege of Malta in 1943.  The forth ship to bear the name (now five) the ‘Illustrious became severely battle damaged. Its then Captain saw the state of its Ship's Bell and had it sent back to the National Maritime Museum as an interesting war relic that dramatically showed its signs of battle scarring by shell and shrapnel.

(The forth HMS Illustrious was to survive the war, being ‘paid off’ and ‘broken’ in the mid ‘50’s).

In 1976, Malta GC asked the National Maritime Museum if they could have HMS Illustrious’ Bell for display in the St Elmo’s Museum, but the original could not be made available. 

A Mr John Munday (then in charge of such items at NMM) asked Peter Shorer if he could make a reproduction of the Bell as a private commission. (He had been employed at the British Museum London since 1939, then aged just fifteen - "to learn to work with antiquities" - and had made many such repro’s, (and he still does!).

The original Bell was taken to his Studio; moulded inside and out with silicone rubber, to retain surface texture and form.  The procedure was complex with many layers of fibreglass and resin etc laid onto the surface of the moulds to a suitable thickness, The resin, mixed with the fibre glass, had been coloured to a brassy colour, matching the original where appropriate. To simulate the cold feel of Brass he included a quantity of marble dust to the resin around the edge of the reproduction, so that it would feel cool to the touch instead of the ‘warmth’ of resin.

He took the original, and the replica, back to the NMM and was met on the steps by the Duke of Edinburgh; (Patron of the Trustees). He asked "Which is your reproduction?"  He commented "How did you do that?" and "Well done" (The first image shows the Duke of Edinburgh having details explained by Peter at the NMM) 

This occurred thirty years after the war had finished, but Peter strongly felt that moment as - ‘having once been a Leading Seaman and here he was talking to an Admiral – (having to explain what he did’). As a CF veteran Peter still has respect for Rank, and an appreciation of what they are being told.

 

Peter and his wife took the replica to Malta G.C. with that photo attached to the box.  When Customs knew what was inside, and after he had said "This is me", - the Customs Man said " and this is -------?" pointing to D of E. They carried the box and ushered them both out to a waiting taxi and set them on their way.  It was finally handed to a gentleman who was to present it to the Museum later in the week.

Peter states that he and his wife Audrey then went on to enjoy Malta (as it was thirty years ago) and while it was a bit different to his first visits, the Gut, which was without its clip Joints, and Eateries "Steak and Chips, Johnny?" and Blue Label and chemical beer, had reverted back to its previous name of "Strait Street".

When Peter’s replica was presented it was a Brassy colour with ‘scorch’ colours relating to its battle-worn history.

It had not been painted Battle Ship Grey during its war service life, so it remains a mystery why someone has seen fit to paint it in the current false grey colour.

As currently displayed.



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