Above: H.M.S. Resolution, Plymouth Sound, July 1945
Dear Mom & Dad,
Just a few lines in reply to your welcome letter which I received this morning. I have been on the trade test for the past two days now. I started on it Monday morning and I have not yet finished it. First of all I had a written test on various lighting circuits and motor wiring diagrams. I think I did that OK, then I had to strip down a faulty motor, find what was wrong with it, repair it and put it together again which was not so easy. That took me all day yesterday, this morning they gave me an electric fire which they had purposely made faulty. I had to find all the faults, repair them and get the fire working again, that was pretty easy. Then I had another exam which was verbal about most of the things that one is likely to find in electric circuits, not quite as easy of the first as some of the things he asked me about I hadn’t had the experience of such as armature winding which is a trade on its own. This afternoon I had to wire a simple circuit on a steel plate, it was really simple but I had to rush it as they only allowed me two hours to do it in. Still I think I shall be finishing in the morning so I shall be able to get on with the Stokers course. There is a snag which has cropped up, before I can transfer even if I pass the trade test I have to pass the Stokers exam with at least 75%. I got 65% in the exam which we had on Friday so I shall have to do a bit more swotting.
Yesterday I should have sat my final school exam which I have to pass out with 60% so I am getting miles behind with the course.
I still have not heard from Norman although I wrote to his home address. The only thing that I can think of is that he is moving around a lot and my letters have not caught him up yet. I had another letter from Alan yesterday he sat his trade test last week and is waiting for the result to come through. By the way if I do pass both exams I have to go to Exeter for another short test before I go to Skegness.
I haven’t had a letter from Roy since I came back off leave I don’t know what has happened to him. I have heard that he is courting so perhaps he doesn’t have much time for letter writing.
Last Saturday I saw the R.A.F. play “Flare Path” which was very good although a bit out of date as it was supposed to be a story about the R.A.F. about 1941.
Thursday I saw Anna Neagle and Rex Harrison in “I live in Grosvenor Square” which was a film that you would like, although it was written during this war it is not like the usual type of war film. It takes place in the village of Exmoor and deals quite a lot with Plymouth and Devonshire which made it seem more interesting.
I had a cake from Barmouth the other day which went down very well although it was burnt a bit.
Has Dad done any good at football yet this year, its certainly a bit more interesting this year with Birmingham and Aston Villa meeting the Arsenal and Tottenham and all the London clubs. Plymouth Argyle started up this season in the League, they shared ten goals at Southampton a pretty good performance considering they haven’t played for five years. Tell Dad I think the Wolves will win the cup this year and they will meet Charlton in the final. I think Coventry need watching as well, a pretty good performance to beat the Arsenal wasn’t it.
Nel Tarleton and Vince Hawkings and I think Bruce Woodcock are fighting in Devonport Naval Barracks next week, I hope I can manage to get in as it is for Forces only.
The News of the World Victory Show is on down here this week with Henry Hall, Claude Dampier, Susette Tarri, Tessie O’Shea and a lot more famous stars. It is free to forces on Friday night but I expect there will be a queue from the theatre as far as Bristol or so.
Pleased to hear Jean has passed her exam O.K. a very good performance wasn’t it. How many subjects did she have to sit.
I should say three rabbits three shots was beginners luck when I was at Skegness I got five bulls and an inner out of six shots on the fun fair so rabbits run, run, run if I have a crack at them.
I hear the Navy will be demobbed up to Group 26 by the end of the year so if it keeps up that rate I should be out by summer of 1947.
Well I think that is about all for now so I will close down for the time being.
All my love till next time
x x x x x x x x x
This letter wasn’t dated.
In late June/early July Graham transferred to the H.M.S. Imperieuse at Devonport. Commissioned on the 12th May 1944, this floating training establishment consisted of two battleships moored together – the H.M.S. Revenge and the H.M.S. Resolution. Graham was on board the latter. Over the next few years, the Revenge and the Resolution were joined by a number of other ships. The Imperieuse was finally decommissioned on the 1st June 1948, and the individual ships dispersed.
The play Flare Path was written in 1941 by Terence Rattigan. It was revived in 2011 and is still being shown in 2016.