University of Oxford
21 files

Photos from Royal Navy Submarine based in China

online resource
posted on 2024-06-05, 19:35 authored by Their Finest Hour Project Team

The contributor was born in 1937. He was a schoolboy during the war and has memories of shelters, Americans, evacuees, playing on bomb sites after the war, wearing gas masks, and rationing. The contributor went with his mother to watch a speech made by Winston Churchill.

The contributor's father, Eric Sylvester, joined the Royal Navy. He was posted in China in 1938, where he served on a submarine for two years. The submarine was potentially sunk by Italy in 1940. The contributor's father received the war medals that are included in the memorial album.

The contributor discussed a book about Newbury during the Second World War, which described bombings of schools and elderly care homes. The contributor recalled Americans arriving for D-day, and the contributor's mother became acquainted with Americans who were very generous.

The contributor also discussed photos of the Commonwealth War Grave. He noted that Jesse Alfred Charles used to entertain children with puppets; that Stanley Clifford Rowlings passed away from a mosquito bite that became septic while stationed in the East; and that Police Constable Albert Alexander was injured when a police station in Southampton was bombed and was one of the first humans to receive penicillin, although the dose administered was not high enough.


Item list and details

1. Photo album with images from Royal Navy submarine stationed in China during the Second World War, including medals awarded to Eric Sylvester.

Person the story/items relate to

Brian Sylvester and Eric Sylvester

Person who shared the story/items

Brian Dennis Sylvester

Relationship between the subject of the story and its contributor

Brian Sylvester was the contributor, and Eric Sylvester was the contributor's father.

Type of submission

Shared at West Berkshire Museum, Newbury on 17 January 2024.

Record ID

113405 | NEW002