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Photograph of Jimmy Harris

Jimmy Harris

Jimmy belongs to: Royal British Legion Seaman's Mess

Jimmy was born in Dulwich in London. Jimmy served in both the Royal Navy and merchant navy. He was on the Ashanti when it ran aground at Whitburn in 1940.

Jimmy was interviewed by Kylea Little on 22 November 2005. The interview took place at South Shields Royal British Legion and lasted 43 minutes and 54 seconds.

Photograph of Jimmy Harris
Photograph of Jimmy Harris

Meeting his wife on Ocean Road, South Shields

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"In King Street, I had just been flung out the, the Golden Lion pub for being under 18"

In King Street, I had just been flung out the, the Golden Lion pub for being under 18 and it was black, I was with a mate of mine and we had both come out. Because we weren’t in uniform, you see. We never had our uniform, it was screwed up all over the place, you see, with us being on the rocks. So we had the same dress all the time- boilersuits and seaboots, so then we were just kids, probably out of the shipyard, you know. He just said, “how old are you?”, “17!”, “out!”

So out we went and I bumped into her, she was walking along with her friend and I bumped into her and we got talking and we arranged to meet again and we met again and we sat in Ocean Road, bought chips, couple of pennyworth of chips and, we never had the money to go to the pictures. We sat there and ..anyway… I took her home one night. I went home with her and found out where she lived and then we got pulled off the rocks and we were all sent back to our depots, we went to Chatham.

Well, when I was in Chatham I got leave, I got 14 days leave so I came north again, so I spent it with her. I found the house eventually because I had only ever been there in the dark but I found it and she was amazed- she never thought she’d ever see me again. And I got lodgings in Fowler Street, a lodging house there, half a crown a night. I stayed two nights there and then they put me up in their house for the rest of the fortnight.

And that was in November, I had my birthday there, my 18th birthday there in that house. And then I went back through the torpedo school and I came and got married on a weekend leave.

Jimmy has 13 memories in the memorynet:

This memory has these themes:
Relationships | The North East | Work

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