Arthur Gardner

Photo:Arthur Gardner pictured on holiday in Great Yarmouth.

Arthur Gardner pictured on holiday in Great Yarmouth.

Arthur Gardner

Photo:Arthur (standing far right) pictured while on leave in Australia. To read more about Arthur's time in Australia please press the link to the transcript on the botttom of the page.

Arthur (standing far right) pictured while on leave in Australia. To read more about Arthur's time in Australia please press the link to the transcript on the botttom of the page.

Arthur Gardner

Photo:Arthur following demobilisation in 1946.

Arthur following demobilisation in 1946.

Arthur Gardner.

The first trip

Arthur Gardner tells of his first trip out to sea.

Hard conditions

Arthur Gardner recalls the hard conditions on the Russain convoys.

'You couldn't get a job for love or money'

Arthur Gardner talks about the difficulties he experienced trying to find employment after demobilisation.

Recollections of life in the Navy and service on the Russian Convoys.

Life on the Home Front

Arthur was thirteen years old at the outbreak of war and was living with his family in Bexleyheath. He recalls the first day of war and the fear of immediate bombardment:

‘We all sat down, listened to the wireless. It was on a Sunday and we all got up and looked out the window. We were expecting big bombs to come over straight away but they didn’t come...There was a few people round up the street trying to get in the shelters. One old girl was...getting a bit hysterical went up the road screaming cos...at that time we’d seen on the pictures about the Germans bombing...Spain.

The heavy bombardment of London resulted in extensive damage to buildings around the capital. As a young man Arthur began work in the building trade and became involved in the repair work of houses damaged by air raids. To further assist the war effort Arthur joined the Home Guard and later began fire watching.

Navy life

Once allowed to join the forces, Arthur volunteered for the Navy. During his first experience of service on a ship Arthur experienced an episode of acute seasickness:

‘I was so sick and bad they could have chucked me over the side, I wouldn’t have cared. But it’s not an excuse in the navy to miss your duties...they used to carry me up to the gun deck... [I]n that four days we got into Reykjavik and I was pleased that the ship stopped moving. But then we were coming home the next day I was frightened out of me life in case I was sick again...but from that time on that ship could roll, boll, pitch or toss or do what it liked never affected me again.’

During his time in the Navy, Arthur served on the Russian convoys and at the end of the war he was sent to Australia where he remained until January 1946.

Downloads

Interview with Arthur Gardner
Interview with Arthur Gardner (191k)
To read the full transcript of Arthur's interview please press the above link.

The first trip
The first trip (74k)
Transcript of audio clip with Arthur Gardner.

Hard conditions
Hard conditions (81k)
Transcript of audio clip with Arthur Gardner.

'You couldn't get a job for love or money'
'You couldn't get a job for love or money' (75k)
Transcript of audio clip with Arthur Gardner.

This page was added by Malin Lundin on 21/02/2012.

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