For Posterity's Sake
A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project
Service information for:
As of Oct 2019, Rex Rose is alive and well.
Rex's submission to The Memory Project: "We were down in the engine room and the steam goes through the, these turbines they call it, things that make the propellers go around. And then it goes into a condenser because they have to keep recycling that fresh water. So you have to look after that, you know, itís getting cooled properly and then youíve got the valve open to give the right speed. They ring down from the [shipís] bridge how many revolutions they want, like 90 or 120 revolutions. And you adjust the throttles so that they give that speed. Like you donít know whatís going on outside at all, whether itís day or night or anything because obviously, youíre in the engine room. Youíre on four hours and off eight. Like go 12:00 to 4:00, youíre off at four til midnight, and you go back on at midnight until 4:00 in the morning. And there are a group of you that do this. So there are two people on all the time, around the clock. Youíre always down in the engine room and looking after the pumps and the throttles on the engines. And sending the signals through to the boiler room so that they know how many fires to put on and if itís oil fire, to keep the pressure at the same. And I think it was 300 pounds per square inch, I think. In the stokehold, you get signals from the engine room but itís pressurized, like thereís a big fan there and itís blowing, sucking the air in from up on deck and blowing it down into the stokehold and then out through the boiler and up the stack. So you have to go down, you go down through one door and you shut that and then thereís like a trap door and you go down a ladder and seal that behind you. And then you have to keep enough pressure on there to keep that air going through the boilers. It sounds kind of difficult but really, theyíve been doing this for years and years and years. When youíre used to it, itís not bad. VE-Day [Victory in Europe Day], we were in the British Channel, we were in the English Channel and they had the radio on, like they had shortwave radio. And it was piped, you know, wired through the ship so you could hear the news. We were told to go into Portsmouth in England to oil up. We go into Portsmouth and we hear all the big deal, wonderful celebrations. We could see the fireworks going off on the English coast as we were going down the channel and into Portsmouth. We oiled up and they sent us out for another five days on patrol, up and down the English Channel, waiting for the German U-boats to surrender. So our, my experience of VE Day was very low key. And we heard about the riot in Halifax, how they broke into the liquor store and everything and here we are, puttering along up and down the English Channel. We went back into the Foyle river, going up to Londonderry, and there were about four U-boats tied up down near the mouth of the Foyle river. They had surrendered and it was so, sort of, strange. Here, the [German] crews were still on them, the crews hadnít been taken off. And here they are, standing watching us going up the river, you know. You think to yourself, I wonder if they ever had us in their periscope sight? Did we ever drop depth charges near those people? And yet, they were just, you know, fellows just like ourselves. Seems, I donít know, it was a funny feeling, is the only way I can describe it."
Ships served in:
HMCS CATARAQUI - Enlisted 31 Mar 1943. Commenced active service 02 Jul 1943
HMCS NADEN - 20 Jul 1943 - 07 Nov 1943. New entry training as an ERA
HMCS NADEN II - 08 Nov 1943 - 15 Dec 1943. MTE Training.
HMCS GIVENCHY - 16 Dec 1943 - 17 Feb 1944. MTE Training.
HMCS NADEN - 18 Feb 1944 - 28 Feb 1944. MTE Training.
S.S. PRINCESS JOAN - Served in SS Princess Joan 20 Feb 1944 - 19 Apr 1944. For engine room training.
HMCS GIVENCHY - 20 Apr 1944 - 25 Apr 1944. Eng Supt
HMCS CHATHAM - 20 Apr 1944 - 10 Sep 1944 as an A/ERA 4c, RCNVR
HMCS KELOWNA - Served in Kelowna 11 Sep 1944 - 28 Sep 1944 as an A/ERA 4c, RCNVR
HMCS NADEN - 20 Sep 1944 - 04 Oct 1944
HMCS PEREGRINE - 05 Oct 1944 - 25 Oct 1944
HMCS SCOTIAN - 26 Oct 1944 - 11 Jan 1945
HMCS GATINEAU - Served in Gatineau 12 Jan 1945 - 08 Jun 1945 as an A/ERA 4c and ERA 4c, RCNVR. Rated ERA 4c 01 May 1945
HMCS SHELBURNE - 09 Jun 1945 - 11 Sep 1945
HMCS YORK - 12 Sep 1945 - Demobilized 02 Nov 1945
PO ERA Rex Rose, Victoria, BC - 1943