Merchant Navy. British
Roster information listed for Terry Worsley
|Ship||Type||Rank / role||Attacked on||Boat|
|Triona||Steam merchant||Trimmer||11 Jan 1944||U-532|
Recollections of serving aboard Triona by Terry Worsley in April 2012:
I signed on the Triona as a trimmer - my first ship. It was August 1943, in No. 9 Dock Salford and it was only her second voyage - the first voyage was to Philadelphia. We left Salford and proceeded to Barry where we loaded coal for Alexandria. We joined the assembly point, Milford Haven for convoy. En route to Alexandria going through the Bay of Biscay a single aircraft (presumably German) came over, dropped a couple of bombs, hit nothing and as all the guns in the convoy were popping off at him, he made a swift exit. A little later another plane came over and the guns opened up again, the plane immediately dropped some flares to indicate he was friendly then he, quite understandably, flew off. After discharging the coal in Alexandria we were then given orders to proceed to Fremantle lightship. It transpired that the Captain was something of a heavy drinker and was in no state to deal with the business of going through the Suez Canal and one of his colleagues shopped him to the authorities. When we were in Aden taking bunkers - the system was to erect staging up the ships side and with two men on each stage the bagged coal from a lighter was passed up a bag at a time and a guy on deck would empty the bag into the bunker hatch. Amongst most of the crew, the Captain, clad in a dressing gown were watching the proceedings and he remarked that passing the coal up bag by bag was excellent exercise and he dismissed one of the two men on the top staging, climbed over and spent a while doing his job and whilst so doing he remarked: What the hell, I will be hung, drawn and quartered tomorrow. True enough, he was taken ashore the following day and the chief mate, Mr. Long took command. I never knew what became of the Captain.
From then on things became normal and we reached Fremantle without incident and went on to Adelaide, Wallaroo and Port Lincoln loading bagged wheat for Colombo. At this point it is perhaps worth mentioning that I had three brothers in the Army, two of whom were in Singapore, one of them, Bill, was evacuated before it fell but the other, Tom was taken prisoner and subsequently died in Changi prison camp. Bill at the time I left home was, after his evacuation, stationed in Colombo and his address which I had with me was simply his name and army number c/o RAF Colombo. When I got ashore in Colombo (New Years Day 1944) I asked a British soldier in the street if there was any chance of locating my brother from that vague address. He pointed to a large building saying that they could probably help. I showed the address to another soldier on the steps of the building and he said em>Oh yes, I will have a motor bike going there in a few minutes and within ten minutes I was on the back of a motor bike heading to Musaeus College where my brother was billeted. On arrival, there were very few soldiers about and when I asked where Bill Worsley was I was told that he had gone with a few others to the beach at Mount Lavinia and would be back shortly. I asked if there was a barber in the camp so I could have my hair cut whilst I waited and it was whilst I was in the barber's chair that Bill walked in - he had been told that Your brother is here having his hair cut which he thought of course, he was having his leg pulled. We spent a very pleasant week together overshadowed somewhat by the news he gave me that our mother had died on September 3rd (on that date I was in the Triona anchored in Milford Haven).
After the cargo was discharged, we again set sail back to Fremantle and a few days out was when we were torpedoed by U-532 at about 04.10 (local time) on January 12th. Luckily we had the torpedo nets streamed which caused the torpedo to detonate before hitting the ship. I had come off the 12 to 4 watch and was in a cabin for four with others and I was sitting on the low bunk when suddenly the upper bunk fell down on me, shook from its fixings by the vibrations of the explosion. As you will imagine, it did not take me long to extricate myself and head with all speed to the boat deck. The ship suffered some damage which resulted in a very pleasant six weeks or so in Melbourne whilst she was repaired. We again loaded bagged wheat for Colombo where we arrived without incident (my brother was still there). As the Triona was destined never to return to the UK and it was designed to have a Lascar crew (there was a separate galley aft for their use which was securely locked whilst we were crew). We were paid off in May 1944 and returned to the UK as passengers from Bombay after an interesting train journey from Colombo. Captain Henderson took over from Captain Long whilst in Colombo. It is good to know that Triona survived the war and went on carrying phosphates until 1960.
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