Star Gazing: the Battle of the Atlantic programme at FACT
Our Veterans In Practice (VIP) group have been working closely with Atlantic Star Veterans in the run up to the celebrations this weekend.
24 May 2013
In the run up to the Battle of the Atlantic commemorations in Liverpool this weekend, Phil Roberts, a member of our VIP group, interviewed Atlantic Star Veteran Tom Graham about his experiences. Here is what he had to say:
"Tom, a gentleman of World War II (and quite a character ) had some great anecdotes and a few remarkable meets with famous people, including the late great heavyweight world champion Joe 'the brown bomber' Louis who he met on board during the war. Tom said he was nervous about speaking to him so he reached out and shook hands with his foot as Joe lay on his bunk.
He also talked about meeting Marlene Dietrich who he was fortunate enough to receive a kiss from. He then told us about meeting the daughter of someone particularly famous - none other than the daughter of Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, yes him... that Winston ...the Winston who led the country with the allies to victory over Germany. Tom showed Churchill's daughter around his ship. He had a glint in his eye whilst he told me this tale and looked at me cheekily as he went onto say he met many a celebrity on his travels but then went on to relate his experiences which were a joy and a pleasure to listen to which will hopefully come through in the footage we've filmed for the documentary Atlantic Stars which will be shown during the Battle of the Atlantic commemorative events."
Paul Fallows, a VIP, has written a blog post for the Veterans In Practice web page and Brett Squires, also a VIP member, has written a fantastic poem after being inspired by meeting with some of the Atlantic Star Veterans:
I interviewed some local heroes today
About the “Battle of the Atlantic”
And the roles they did play
When the Royal and Merchant navies
To get supplies past a hidden enemy
In such arduous weather
Various medals upon their chest
The “Atlantic Star” stands out from the rest
Had their job never been done
We know the war would never have been won
So thank you all for your determination
For helping us remain a “British Nation”
All the details for the Star Gazing programme, including all of the interviews with the Atlantic Star Veterans, can be found at liverpoolveterans.co.uk.