Express & Star

Memories of serving his country resonate for Stafford serviceman as he reflects and remembers

The memories of war, combat and service are fresh in the mind of a Staffordshire Second World War veteran as he prepares for Remembrance Sunday.

Last updated
George still has his medals from his years of service

George Wright can still remember the clang of metal and the smell of cordite from his position on an armed ship during his spell serving in the war, having joined as a boy seaman in the Royal Navy in 1943.

That began a military career which saw him serve as a soldier following the war, then begin a career with the Army Cadets,training young cadets and seven decades with the Royal British Legion, working as a welfare officer, all while rising to the role of president.

He did all this while staying in Stafford where he lives with his partner Pat, having been previously married, but losing his first wife Pauline in 1977, and also having six children and 11 grandchildren.

The 96-year-old from Stafford was one of a group of schoolboys from the town who went down to enlist during the war, but were told they were too young to be in the regular Navy and were offered another route in.

He said: “There was a crowd of us, all mates at school, who went down to join up, but were told that we were all too young as I was 16 at the time, but there was any opportunity to sign up as boy seamen, so two of us went into the Navy.

“I served in the Mediterranean on HMS Aurora in the access station where the shells came up for the magazines and we passed them on, so that was my main role and when we weren’t in action, we’d look out for German convoys trying to get into north Africa and get on the radio to the look out.

“I didn’t see combat up front as I was down in an enclosed metal canister, but you knew it was going on and if the ship went down, you’d be going with it, but you just carry on with the rest of them.