Continuing my series of 'Stranger than fiction' articles, this story has been written by one of the senior residents of The Peninsula.
True Stories from WWii:  Bob Charlesworth. RAN [ret.] In his own words; as written by his daughter, Dr Avis Ridgway PhD, whom you know as one of our guest speakers.
 
Now, I'm betting that you think this is a contrived story from a 98 Year - old man; it is not. As you may determine, Bob's memory is beyond reproach. Mind you, with what happened to him, his Navy service is no doubt seared into his memory.
 
It reminds me of the tale of a psychiatrist who was going to charge $500 to help a sailor overcome his fear of Reds under the Bed. The sailor instead spent $10 and bought a saw from Bunnings.
 
Bob Charlesworth R.A.N.– W1675  WW11
 
Bob Charlesworth joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1940 and initially trained at Cerberus, (Flinders)  for three months.
 
Following training, Bob went with other recruits to Sydney, sailing from Sydney Harbour on the ship Aquitania via the south of Tasmania. The Aquitania anchored offshore near Fremantle before sailing on to Bombay where three weeks shore leave was given. From Bombay, Bob joined the British merchant liner Ormond, sailing across to Mombasa in Kenya, moving down the coast of East Africa eventually reaching Cape Town and into the Atlantic to reach the Port of Freetown in Sierra Leone.
 
The Ormond eventually reached Clydeside in Scotland, where Bob picked up the Moreton Bay in May ’41 an old merchant ship, fitted with guns. For all navy personnel aboard, it was action stations for three months of perilous convoy work. The Moreton Bay finally sailed safely on to Birkenhead near Liverpool, where naval personnel were moved by train to Portsmouth and given leave.
 
Bob vividly recalls in his own words one Pacific adventure in service to his Country.
 
Whilst serving in the Pacific aboard Q.1359 (a small diesel motor launch) on a mission with Far Eastern Liaison Office (F.E.L.O.) to assist with the operations of F.E.L.O., when and where required, I became disabled with a severe bout of Malaria. I was put ashore by Captain Lt. Hard on an island and left in the care of a local native. Being unable to do my job as coxswain of the ship that comprised a small crew of 15 people was a problem for operational services of F.E.L.O.and for this reason I was temporarily placed on the island.
 
A comical reflection, considering the comatose position I was in with Malarial Fever, relates to being put ashore on this tiny island with an Owen gun and a Luger P 08 (a 9mm German pistol) to protect myself with. Lying on a low bed in a native hut not far from the beach with the guns under the bed, my native carer would arrive with food and water (mainly rice). Each time he was accompanied by his pet (a large spider crab), which was secured to his waist with a piece of string. In my fevered state I recall being more concerned about this than anything else.
 
Fortunately, Motor Launch Q1359 returned a week later taking me to Morotai, where I was transferred to 2 / 9th Australian General Hospital AGH for treatment.
 
 
 
                            Didn't you used to be Bob Charlesworth?
 
 
Tell Da Prez the Model and Year of Manufacture of this Sedan to win a bottle of wine.
 
 
 
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