University of Oxford
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Wartime Experiences of a Young Maritime Gunner

online resource
posted on 2024-06-05, 19:37 authored by Their Finest Hour Project Team

The contributor shared that his father, Norman Thorpe Garfield, was a maritime gunner. Norman was born 28 May 1923 in Medboure, UK, and he died in 2011. Norman joined the Army at 15 years of age and was forced to leave due to his age. When Norman turned 16, he rejoined the Army and was enlisted on 9 September 1939. The contributor explained that Norman was originally sent to Africa, although he finished his service in India. The contributor confirmed that Norman was not in India for the partition, as he had left to attend to family matters at home and he had broken both of his legs in an accident.

Following the war, the contributor advised that Norman moved to Jersey. The contributor stated that his father did not speak to him about the war, and the contributor believed that this was due to his father feeling that he had not contributed "anything special" to the war effort as he had not participated in front line combat in France or Germany. The contributor noted that Norman had seen Japanese prisoners of war in India.

The contributor also shared that his mother was in the Women's Land Army. The contributor noted that his mother never spoke to him about her wartime experiences aside from sharing that she was in Downton for a portion of the war for unspecified reasons. The contributor's parents were married on 21 May 1949.


Item list and details

1. St John and Halifax story in The Maritime Gunner 2. Ship photo 3. Photos from India 4. Jersey identity card 5. Birth and death certificates 6. Industry newsletter

Person the story/items relate to

Norman Thorpe Garfield and Mavis June Garfield.

Person who shared the story/items

Michael John Garfield

Relationship between the subject of the story and its contributor

Norman and Mavis Garfield were the contributor's parents.

Type of submission

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

Record ID

116669 | NEW001