Explore > Themes > Living Conditions > Jimmy Harris
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

The uniform in the Royal Navy

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"Royal Navy and the clothing... You got your uniform when you joined"

Royal Navy and the clothing... You got your uniform when you joined- you got two of everything. You got your uniform when you joined and that was the finish. You got no more- no matter how long you were in. You got threepence a day for the upkeep of your clothing and you bought everything after that. And threepence a day was equivalent to about..well.. there were 240p to the pound so that was an 80th of a pound a day. An 80th of a pound per day which is about one and a half pence. And thatís what we got and we were expected to maintain, you know, clothes. Well nobody ever did. You spent it, you patched up, you made things, we survived but you got nothing. And then when the Arctic came into the equation and we started running up to Russia it was bitterly cold, you know, very, very cold but the first time, the first couple of trips out there were absolutely terrible. And then they issued us with thick woollen underpants and sheepskin lined coats which had to be handed back in after each trip.

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This memory has these themes:
Clothing | Living Conditions | Work

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