In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar
Wartime memories of James Gillespie recounted by his daughter.
The navy "lost" him after he enlisted. Things were so busy in Halifax and crowded that they put him in a rooming house. Then somehow forgot about him. They almost marked him as AWOL. He finally showed up and asked why he hadn't been contacted! He was just a kid, of course ... just 18.
The Minas was almost hit by a French ship on D-Day ... I've seen mention of this in other sources as well.
He talked about not being allowed off the boat all day June 4th and 5th ... invasion was delayed. It was really hot, he said. Of course, the minesweepers were one of the first out.
He told us of visiting the Canary Islands for fruit ~ especially bananas. And seeing Nazi ships in the harbour doing same thing.
They used to give them melted hot chocolate (not chocolate mixed with milk, actual melted steaming chocolate) after they came in from sentry duty on deck in winter in North Atlantic.
He heard from shipmates for years and years via Christmas cards.
Ships served in:
(JG) Portrait of PO James Gillespie (JG02) Press Release on HMCS MINAS crew member EA James Gillespie