Number of posts : 960
Age : 69
Localisation : Merseyside
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Wildenrath Detmold
Registration date : 2008-10-30
|Subject: Uncles ship 18/7/2010, 21:36|| |
My uncles ship was featured on Yesterday (ex history channel) again today. He was on the crew of SS Automedon which was shelled and sunk by the German raider Atlantis in the Indian Ocean.
For reasons unknown, she was carrying top secret documents which showed how weak we were in the far east and couldn't really defend against a Japanese attack. As the bridge party were all wiped out, no one was left to throw these overboard in the weighted bag. The Germans discovered them and they were urgently flown to Berlin and handed over to the Japanese. It was as a direct result of this that they went to war. It begs the question as to why a little slow steamer was entrusted with such a devastating "cargo". My uncle maintains that it was one of Churchills plots. He may have a point as they could have been flown out much more safely.
My uncle was very badly wounded by shrapnel and was only saved because the Germans took him on board and their surgeon operated on him. He survived four years in a POW camp, Milag Nord. He contracted pneumonia while there and once again his life was saved by the rather strange method of being wrapped in wet blankets. This was thanks to a Hungarian doctor who fled to Britain but was not allowed to practise here so went to sea as a ships doctor. He was also captured and helped save the lives of many men in the camp.
My uncle is still alive although in poor health. He still has shrapnel in his body causing one doctor to tell him his x-rays were not right. He corrected him. Last survivor of SS Automedon as the only other one died last month. I admire him very much.
Just thought I would share that.
There is a book about it which I think is called Mrs Ferguson's tea set. Strangely it is written by a Japanese former ambassador. There is a photo of my uncle in the book from when he met the author at the book launch in London.
Number of posts : 643
Localisation : North Yorkshire
Cap Badge : RAOC
Registration date : 2009-08-27
Number of posts : 1291
Localisation : Sutton Coldfield
Cap Badge : RAOC
Places Served : Dad, Hamburg, Bad Oeynhausen, Iserlohn, Bury, Osnabruck, Worcester. Me Detmold, Bielefeld, NI, HK
Registration date : 2008-01-03
|Subject: Re: Uncles ship 19/7/2010, 09:48|| |
Interesting Mike. I wonder if it would have made a difference in the end?