AN EMAIL service to help former Royal Navy workers re-discover lost contact has been set-up by a former servant.
“LIFE in the Royal Navy can be very different in comparison to the conventional office job, as you build strong relationships with those you work with,” explains Mike Crowe.
Being forced to live with someone, and work with them at the same time, results in strong friendships being made.
Unfortunately, for our World War 2 heroes, staying in touch with their colleagues was impossible as servants were moved from ship to ship with no direct contact available to those they worked with in the present or forseeable future.
However, Mike’s email service has ensured that former servants can reunite with their former colleagues.
Mike said: “I can guarantee all servants to the Royal Navy will have, at one point or another, looked back and pondered what happened to ‘old chalky white on HMS Rustybucket’ once the war ended.
“Whilst plenty of servants have discovered what happened to their colleagues, and now great friends, many have not.”
The service provided is entirely free – there’s no printing, photocopying, paper, envelops or stamps and Mike explained the significance of people signing up.
He added: “The service goes back to time in the Royal Navy, life in the RN is very different to civilian life.
“For those who spent months in a submarine on patrol, they had to get on with their crew-mates – they had no choice.
“Even on surface ships the crew would live, eat, sleep, work and play together so as a consequence strong bonds were formed.”
Despite the friendships, a lack of technology left crew members with no form of contact for their former colleagues as, in Mike’s opinion, work, family and leisure life takes over.
He added: “We have lived lots of lives with different people, however none of those bonds will be as close as the Royal Navy days – when I look back those friendships loom up as being the strongest relationships of my life.
“That is why remembrance parades and reunions bring out such a strong contingent of men, however – as servants to the Royal Navy will know – you can get drafted onto another ship and friendships will start to form all over again.”
Currently, nearly 400 people are signed up to the monthly mailing list – if you’re looking for someone from the Royal Navy then you can sign up by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
For those who just want to live the camaraderie again, R.N.Shipmates are hosting another reunion next April at Tillington Hall Hotel in Staffordshire with all members of the public invited.