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IT'S PAINTING AND DRAWING HERE From Monday 25th. April
A Short History of an Old Royal Marine Commando Who Had Been There and Done That, Saw it All But, Never Told it All
Colour Sergeant Albert John Marriott R.M. 43 Commando 1940-45
Albert (Bert) John Marriott,
Was Born at no.12 Temple Street, Southwark, London, October 30th. 1922, Early Schooling was at St.Judes, Southwark, and Later Culvert Road, Tottenham N.15 (Below)
He Left School 30th. October 1934 and the age of 12 years it seems, His Best Subject had been Carpentry so he Found Himself employed as a Joiners Mate in a Furniture Factory Starting off Glueing the Dowl Pegs in Those 1930's Chairs you still see Everywhere Today.
Three Years Later Bert Joined Taylor Woodrow International a Rapidly Expanding Company on his Home Patch. They Worked on Projects all over the World, so Travel here and there was in the offing,
In 1930, Frank Taylor moved down from Blackpool to London where Taylor Woodrow rapidly expanded the scale of its private housebuilding - by the mid-1930s it was building at a rate of 1,200-1,500 houses a year. The Company built over 1,000 houses at Grange Park in Hayes and set up its headquarters in Adrienne Avenue in Southall.
In 1935, the various housebuilding companies were amalgamated and floated on the London Stock Exchange as Taylor Woodrow Estates.
In 1937, Taylor Woodrow Construction was formed and, after a modest start, the company was soon engaged in defence work. With the outbreak of war in 1939, all private housing development stopped. for six years Taylor Woodrow built military camps, airfields, and factories culminating in work on the Mulberry Harbour.
But His Career was cut short as he was called up for the 1939-45 War, His Family had been Moved to Norfolk, away from Londons Blitz, and he Enlisted in a Norwich Recuitng Office in Duke Street which still exists today and Serves the same purpose tempting the young lads of today into a honourable career.
We are Land, Sea and Air, The Marines
Bert Had signed up for the Royal Marines, and was soon on his way to Portsmouth. After Six Months Training He was Posted to H.M.S. Belfast 9 a Light Cruiser Still anchored today in the Pool of London as a Living Museum. Here He did 6 months service on the North Sea and North Atlantic Convoys, Finishing Up with a 6 month spell in Iceland. Here Follows an account of those days by his own hand.
Hvitaness, Iceland 1942. "During the earlymonths of 1942, was drafted to RN base at Hvitaness. The Daily details of Our Company of 200 Marines was to Supply Ammunitions, Stores and Mail to various 'Battle Wagons, Cruisers and Destroyers.' The weather was foul! and the Sea was as Rough as it could get. Most of the 'Big Ones' lay a mile off the jetty's, but the Destroyers could get along side, as other small boats but, from Cruisers upwards, it meann't a trip out to them and this wasn't easy sometimes. The CPO in charge of the Victuling Party was a 'Right Craphouse,' he worked us Marines into the ground! Everyday in spite of the Heavy sodden clothing we had to wear, to keep out the Cold Arctic Wind, We were Perished to the Bone, Wet and Fed up to the Teeth, if he had heard any off us on the Moan he would have us up on Report, and That mean't even more work, after everyone else had gone off duty, Yup Iceland was 'One Fucking Nightmare,' I always try and forget. I Spent Six months up there, with Practically No Daylight! 16 hours a day there was hardly any daylight at all, that time of year. I Met a few 'Bods' on the Battleship H.M.S. Prince of Wales and Several Guys onthe Cruiser, H.M.S. Sheffield. One was Brother of My Brothers Wife Vera, it was a small world in conflict, we always made sure that we got our share of 'Sippers,' when we went down to the Mess in The Sheffield. I Did meet up with him again at 'Gib' (Gibralter) He was Full of the news of Gerry BattleWagon 'Bismarck' The Sheffield had sent two 'Tin Fish' (Torpedo's) into Her, which helped put her beneath the waves, where she belonged. I happened to mention the CPO, who we had put up with, up in Iceland, and he smiled and said, "I heard that Bastard went overboard Bert," But he Never said if it was by Accident or Otherwise, :0) I Transferred to 42 Commando in 1942, Plenty of 'Shit' with this 'Leotard,' Plenty of 'Here, There and Everywhere' in Belgium with Raids on the 'Zeebruge Knoll'. More Commando Training at Fort Gomer down on Englands South Coast in Readiness for the Normandy Landings on 6th. of June 1944, 'Plenty More Shit' Here But Good Teamwork saw us through to Victory. Back in England for Christmas 1944, but after two weeks rest up we were shipped out again and joined H.M.S. Illustrious (Commando Carrier) Heading for North Australia, to See off the 'Japs,' Entered New Guinea as the War was coming to an End, The Final Job for Our Company was to look after 16,000 Japanese Prisioners of War, While awaiting return to the U.K. for 'Demobbing' It was Now May 1946, I had Served 6 Years in The Royal Marines and Came Out Tough as Old Boots and I Still am." he said, giving Me the 'Old Thumbs-up' Some thing he Famously always did when His Comrades 'The Royal Marines' were in the News wether it be in The Falklands, Iraq or Even the R.M. Band on the Royal Yacht 'Brittania' He even did it on his Death Bed as I asked him to give us a 'Thumbs-Up for the Marines' Which he always Did with a Knowing Wink.
Last Orders of The Day 1945
Bert is Ringed in Picture Taken From a Historical Record wrongly Labeled By the Author as October 1944 and it was 42 & 43 Commando Combined
Front Three Rows Fifth Squad 'The Burnets' Back Row My Oppo's
Tomally, Linksey, Robinson, Hill, Mac, and Whitey.
Taken in Ostend, Belgium, Christmas 1944.
R.M.S Combined Op's Not R.M. 43 Commando, B & F Platoons
No.4 Company R.M. Engineers.
"With All The Shit We Went Through These Were Little Reward" ~ Signed A.J.Marriott
Bert was Demobbed in Australia in 1946 and thought about staying out there, instead of returning to Bombed Out London He Had Met a Girl in the Admiralty Islands, But he did Return and thats Why I don't Where a Grass Skirt, :0)
Instead he Returned to Work for Taylor Woodrow International, and was Shipped Out again to Kenya, East Africa as Part of the 'Ground Nuts Scheme' where supposed fortunes were to be made in Peanuts. Here He Met Our Mum a White Seychelles National, He also Served in the Kenyan Rifles Police against the Tribes in the infamous Mau Mau Uprising, When they achieved independence Bert and Glady's were already Back in England with my Kenya born Brother James and Sister Shirley. That was the End of His Military Career For Good, a Crane Driving Roll awaited him in Tottenham again with Taylor Woodrow, he finally retired from Them after nearly 40 years loyal service as Depot Manager Hiring Out Cranes he once operated. He than decided to up sticks and Move to Sunny Norfolk after spending a nice Holiday there in 1967, he took up a Security Guard roll at Caistor Holiday Camp, (Back in Uniform again) he would ask people,
"You on the Camp," if No than he would encourage them to leave! :0)
We would always take the Mick and Ask Him if he was, "On the Camp" It had its Perks as he would raid the huge larders and bring home bags of Jam Tarts, etc. accompanied into the Larders by the local Beat Sergeant After a Chicken Leg or Three. After Yet again retiring from that Job Bert continued with his Woodworking Skills Building and selling all manner of Pine Furniture in his Workshop at the Rear of the House inbetween taking another Job as a Boiler House attendant, at Little Plumstead Hospita He was one of the Oldest People Ever to pass his City & Guilds Exams as Boilerman.
He always Thought of the Royal Marines and was Proud to Have Served in 42 Commando for the rest of his Life
Bert Finally Gave Up His Struggle For Breath after His Lungs Were Found to still have Traces of East African Dust in Them, But official it was Emphysema, in November 2007 I fed him his Last Meal of Ice Cream and Got the Famous Thumbs Up God Bless Him and All his Comrades