University of Oxford
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Chocolate Incentive: Edward Balaam's Naval Transfer

online resource
posted on 2024-06-05, 19:46 authored by Their Finest Hour Project Team

Edward Balaam was called up to the Royal Navy on 4/1/43. He was sent to Skegness and trained at Butlins there, before being assigned to HMS Royal Arthur as a radio operator. In June 1944, he was transferred to the destroyer Havelock.

He volunteered to go onto the submarine Safari as submariners got an extra chocolate ration. It was a hard life and as he didn't want to hot bed in a hammock; he managed to make himself a bed between the torpedoes. He remembers the sub being a greenish colour from the chlorine gas. The Safari sank and damaged 70 enemy vessels.

After the war, he served on the mine hunter Lundy, destroying mines around the British coast. This was dangerous work and some of his fellow companions were killed.


Item list and details

1. - 3. Photos of Edward Balaam and group photo at training in Butlins Skegness 4. - 12. Traning notes ( part) and images of the Destroyer HMS Havelock 13. Newspaper clipping of the sinking of HMS Safari 14. - 19. Mine Sweeper operations after the war onboard HMS Lundy 20. - 21. Enlistment notes 22. Letter from Eisenhower prior to D-Day to all troops 23. Hat band from HMSubmarine (24) - (26) Medal Box medal and letter from Admiralty

Person the story/items relate to

Edward Balaam HLN36962

Person who shared the story/items


Relationship between the subject of the story and its contributor

He was their father.

Type of submission

Shared at West Meads Community Hall, West Sussex on 11 November 2023. The event was organised by Bognor Regis u3a.

Record ID

107743 | BOG070