The following has been received from Kafai Wu whose late father Kin Yuen Wu (nicknamed Charlie) served in HMS Carysfort as a Hong Kong LEP (Locally Entered Personnel) Cook/Steward.

My father passed away about 8 years ago and I have been going through his albums and talking to my mother about the stories from his Navy days.  Some stories she shares with us from what my father told her are magical and heart warming.  I felt the urge to scan as many photos as I can to store them digitally as most are very small pictures and fading.  (See photo section).

This is the ship that Dad served on in the Royal Navy, HMS Carysfort.  I believe this is when they were docking into Sydney.  If you look closely you can see that the whole ship's company are all in their official Whites and standing on the deck.  Dad is amongst them and remembers being told that an official photographer would be taking a picture of the ship as it entered Sydney and that any crew that wanted to be in the photograph had to be in uniform and on deck as HMS Carysfort entered the harbour.

This is Dad with Jock (see photo section), most likely not his real name as most crew members were given nicknames.  I believe my dad's was Charlie.  There is a story to this photogaph which Dad was always proud of.  Back in these days, racism was common amongst the British towards the Chinese in the crew and Jock was no different.  He had a temper and drank and would pick a fight with anyone, white and Chinese alike.  Whenever he saw dad he would swear and push him out of his way and generally bully him and you can imagine on a ship there is not a lot of room to escape.  Dad accepted all this with the usual quiet self assured way of his and he would try and keep out of his way.  One day he saw Jock sitting in a corner by himself, looking sad and depressed.  Dad went up to him and asked if he was all right and Jock told him he had been fined by the Captain again and that meant he was going to miss out on buying a fishing rod that he had set his heart on.  Dad asked him how much he needed and when Jock told him Dad said that he would loan him the amount he needed until he got paid.  Jock was amazed and asked Dad but what about himself?  The amount was all of dad's wage for that month.  Dad told him that he wasn't planning on leaving the ship that month and he trusted Jock to pay him back seeing he was on the same ship as him.  Jock was truly amazed that someone that he had bullied and made life miserable for would do this and he promised Dad that he could trust him to pay him back.  Dad told him that he knew he would and he gave Jock the money to buy his rod.  He kept his word and paid Dad back as soon as he was next paid and from then on he and Jock were good friends and as you can see from this picture (see photo section) friendship comes in all shapes, races and sizes.


Kafai Wu

October 2013