Father was a private in the 23rd battalion 2ndNZEF
Re: G. B. 1940
I am in the process of writing the story of my father's war time trials and tribulations. He was a good story teller and as a kid I listened with interest but didn't really take it in. Before he died in 1980 he tried to get me to write it all down but I guess I thought he would live forever. Now I am left with little fragments of memory (and not terribly accurate) and brief notes in a Bible.
Some facts can be found on line for the average soldier but in my father's case he took a different path for some of the time. He was a private in the 23rd battalion 2ndNZEF and while training in Britain became involved in an elite sniper group LRDG until he was reinstalled in his unit just before being dispatched to the middle East on January 4th 1941.
Some time before this date he was on board a ship bound for Archangelsk only to be turned back at Murmansk.
My question is would you have any knowledge of naval or merchant shipping movements from Great Britain to Archangelsk in the Winter of 1940 (probably November or December) ? Would he have been a spotter? How did they get picked for this job? And why from the army?
Thank you in advance
Russian convoys did not start till 1941, and I can find no details about any merchant ship sailing to Archangel from Britain in 1940. I am not saying there were not any, but I did not find them.
I suspect your Father might have been involved as a Defensively-Equipped-Merchant-Ship (DEMS gunner), both