- Bracegirdle, Warwick, DSC, Commander, RAN (Rtd)
- Biographies and personal histories, RAN operations, WWII operations
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Perth I
- June 1990 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
On arrival at the Greek naval hospital we were cleaned of oil fuel. Terry looked like Bosambo. As they cleaned the oil off certain parts of my anatomy using methylated spirit it stung me and I swore. The Greek doctor with a smile said “Ah, Aussies – Aussies”.
We were put to bed in the officer’s ward. Some pillows and sheets were powdered with window glass shattered by the explosion some two miles away. My gold cuff links had been taken from my torn shirt and placed in a match box by my bed side. Both of us were dressed in long white night shirts. A Greek medical orderly attended us with a bottle of Greek Metaxa brandy. At every groan we were given a tot. I groaned for about half a bottle and slept. After daylight I wrote a message for the British Embassy to report our whereabouts. This coincided with a visit from Ajax Captain who was being briefed on the international situation. German troops were attacking across the border. The situation very grave. Ajax Captain called for us in an old taxi and took us round to Phaleron Bay. We were dressed in blue combination jacket and trousers over the white night shirts. Two lieutenants looking very distressed and poorly indeed.
They hoisted us inboard in stretchers by the crane. As I was lowered to the deck I heard the Captain call “Commander – who are those lascars – we can’t take just anybody”. I was too sore to grin, with bruises the size of plates all over my body and a singing in my ears.
We were home. Two monkey jackets had been lost and two night shirts gained for the temporary loan of two ammunition barges. Since then I have been allergic to ammunition ships. So has Terry.