July Joined Deal as a Band boy age 14 years.
1939 Jan Commissioned HMS Ramillies visit Australia, New Zealand.
1940 Ramillies in the Med
1941 Convoying in the Atlantic from Canada to England
<click left for Ramillies history>
torpedoed off Madagascar by a Japanese Submarine, ship did not sink
and no loss of life. Ship towed to Durban where she was
patched up and limped back to Portsmouth. Ramillies paid off and I was
posted to Scarborough.
1943 Joined HMS Ganges
1944 Joined HMS Scylla hit a mine during D Day and towed to Chatham.
Paid off and returned to Scarborough
1945 Commissioned HMS Cleopatra and sailed to the Far East. Was off
Burma when first atomic bomb was dropped.
1945 War Ended and posted to ITC RM in Topsham Near Exmouth & still
played in the Band on Drums.
1950 Posted to Deal in Kent Still in Marines.
1952 De mob'ed
Mates 'Acky' Axford, Snooky, Len Mizer all in Ramillies
Bust Blake went with a number of our chaps went to Canada to the School
I am now retired and living in Scarborough where I can be contacted
by email through my son-in-law.
'Nobby' Clarke and 'Ollie' Oldreave ~ Deal 1935
Ramillies ~ 1939
I can tell you that Nelson has been in contact by phone a couple of
times with Jan Greenleaf and if you can imagine two 90 year olds both
with hearing aids shouting down the telephone lines from Scarborough
to Plymouth reminiscing about their times together when they were both
14 year old lads at the School of music.
All I can say is that Nelson is over the moon and I am having to explain
how the power of the internet can bring people together.
I am an ex Training Ship Arethusa boy and an ex Submariner so we have
much the same longing to meet old shipmates using old boy forums. It
is amazing how it brings old comrades and shipmates together after generations
I did note that Nelson Clarke was referred to Nelson in most cases and
he tells me that he would only be known as Nobby Clarke. One other piece
of information is that when the war in Europe ended he was posted to
the Cleopatra in the Far East and he took on the role of ships barber
or perhaps unofficial barber. After his demob he took a course on hairdressing
and was a barber in the Scarborough area until he retired about the
age of 75. This trade that began unofficially in the Royal Marine Band
onboard Cleopatra mapped out the remainder of his working life and from
this acquired skill he was able to take care of his family consisting
of his wife Sylvia and 3 children for all his working life.
Regards Paul & Tina Whitfield
Take care Richard and keep up the good work.
This was taken in
2005 on their Diamond wedding anniversary.
Sadly his wife Sylvia has now passed away.