Interview with Alec Moore


Interview with Alec Moore




00:21:50 audio recording


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I came into this world in 1923 and I was born on a small farm called The Furze in the village of Roos East Yorkshire. I was christened Alec Moore, Alec with a C as a lot of people put X on the end, and I stayed on this farm for six years, and then in 1929 we up’d sticks and went to live at Holmpton, now Holmpton is in the RAF annuals now but that comes later, I left school in august 1937 at the age of 14 and went to work at a the grocers shop which was four miles away from the village at a place called Patrington and I had to ride back and forth with a cycle which was normal in them days, I left there to start work back in the village joiners shop on my fifteenth birthday, 21st February. Now because of the war work, the village joiners shop slowed down so I left and went to work for Sangwin’s of Hull who were doing war work for the military at Spurn Point mainly shuttering for concrete, now seeing what the Army did with their full packs etc. running up and down these sand dunes which is mainly Spurn Point. I decided to volunteer for the RAF, during March I had to go to Hull for the usual medical, I passed that OK, and then I had to go to Padgate for a couple of days which was attestation etc. then in May I left the firm I was working for because I was called to Padgate for my training which was the 7th of May, now the 7th and 8th May were the TWO nights that Hull was really and truly Blitzed. So I did my Basic training at Padgate after passing out I went to Bassingbourne where I was for a few days, then I was posted to White Waltham for training as a Ground Observer, now we ground observers we did the same duty as the civilian ground observers who covered England, Scotland and Wales but we had our own ideas of why the RAF did it in Northern Ireland, now once I had passed out as a ground observer I was recommended for an NCO’s course now that started on the 1st September and I was tested on the 11th and I passed it, after five days leave I was posted to Edlinton Northern Ireland. Ground Observers were used all over Northern Ireland, the observer posts were seven miles apart with different places where we had to relay our information which was aircraft height where it was going and what it was. The post consisted of four observers, three wireless operators, accommodation was a Nissen hut containing all the required equipment, beds, cooking utensils and the wireless post where they operated. The lookout post was nearby and it had all the necessary plotting equipment on it, I was reclassified to LAC back dated to 1st of September and on the 31st I received my LAC pay. During November 41 to April 21st 42 I was moved around to quite a number of these observer posts in fact I was posted to eleven different ones not very long at each one, on the 2nd of April I was made acting Corporal, then I was home for some leave 14 days April to May 1942. Whilst on these posts we had to look after ourselves so needless to say we made sure we wouldn’t go hungry one day I decided to do a Rice Pudding after writing home and asking for instructions I duly started with a dish with rice and milk but not realising how rice swells I ended up with a two gallon galvanised bucket, Happy Times. One of the chaps when he came off duty would sit on the end of his bed and within a couple of minutes he was hard fast asleep, we always said he would go to sleep on a clothes line. Another one only smoked “Craven A” cigarettes never anything different he wouldn’t offer one and he would not accept anybody else’s. In June 42 I decided on a change of job where I was working more, I applied to be a concreter in the work service it was July before I had to go to Belfast for an interview with the assistant engineer, I also had a medical, I passed both OK but received notification in July that our CO had refused the application. One good thing was during July 42, I received my Corporals pay, still being moved around to different posts. On the 30th October 1943 I decided to re-muster to Motor Boat Crew, I had my medical and my interview and passed both of them OK. January 20th I was posted to Corsewall in Scotland for my Motor boat course, half term test in February and in March I had a trade test and passed that AC1 67%. Then home for 14 days. On the 7th April 1944 I reported to 5 BC Blackpool whilst waiting for a posting you go on parade in the morning and you’re given all kinds of duties, another chap and myself we were main escorting AWOL Airmen who had to go for interviews etc. in May I was posted to Ilfracombe there were sixteen of us in the detachment the billet was in the pub on the corner of the harbour, the launch was an ST 1400 Seaplane Tender our job was Target Towing in the Bristol Channel for the Liberators from Chivenor to practice bombing, they rarely had a Hit. On the 3rd of August I had an LAC test and I passed that 81%. September I went to West Kirby to await a posting so I volunteered for Cookhouse duties now whilst on cookhouse duties one job was to ensure the trough for washing your fighting irons knife, fork and spoon that the water was kept hot because of the grease etc. many a time there were dropped in because of splashing fingers. Some airmen came and claimed them otherwise they went into a spare box for anybody who wanted them. Now in November we left West Kirby for Greenock and we sailed on the 9th , Now we arrived at Naples on the 17th November then we left Naples and we went across to Bari and then from Bari across on the “Otranto” to Port Said then from Port Said we went down to Kasfareet and then in January 1945 we returned to Port Said and were allocated to Pinnace 1353 now from January to March we were sailing backwards and forward, we eventually arrived at Haifa from Port Said and there we were stuck in Haifa all of February because we had an engine failure , now then, a new engine came through for us but the Officer in charge at Haifa said it was theirs , eventually after numerous communications hear there and everywhere we had the engine fitted then we left for Beirut and then from Beirut to Famagusta now we really had a rough crossing we were all in the wheelhouse and in the Fo’csle where all our gear was ,When we went below it was anywhere but on its shelves. So we arrived in Famagusta on May 10th we then left for Larnaca, now our job at Larnaca was towing Targets for Beaufighters to practice Rockets concrete headed ones but we rarely had a hit. Now, whilst I was there I had to go down into Larnaca to get some provisions , when I came back up the jetty …No Launch… it had to go out because one of the Beaufighters had come down a bit low, wingtip hit the water, that was it, into the drink. So we later rescued the engine. During July 45 I had to go back to Port Said so I left Larnaca for Famagusta then from Famagusta on the “Fooerdick” arrived at Port Said in August I started my 2nd class Cox’ns course whilst I was on one of the launches moving about in the harbour I came up For’ard and the front stay caught my Cap which I had had with me all those years it went into the Harbour, so it is now at the bottom of Port Said Harbour. We Had a Trade Test Board and I passed at 88% during this course there was a callout the “Empire Patrol Disaster” when the ship caught fire so all launches that were available with volunteer crews went to assist. Now October I got posted to Alexandria then I was sent to Suez and the reason for that was three or four of us we were on board this tanker because the tanker “DROMUS” was taking two HSL’s that had been hoisted aboard and we were there to scrape and clean the hull’s, these were to be taken to Basrah but they were off loaded at Abadan, they were towed by tug to Basra, after them leaving the tanker it was going on to Australia so I asked the CO in charge “Any Chance of staying on the tanker” obviously the answer was Negative, After five days at Basrah I went by BOAC Sunderland to Bahrain and there we were billeted at the BOAC Seaplane post , this was quite a large detachment as I just said our accommodation was the BOAC staging post that had been taken over by the RAF in 1946 whilst there I had a spell in hospital in Muharraq with Yellow Fever then along comes June the 5th I had a release medical July 16th I left Bahrain by Dakota for Shaibah then went up to Basrah for a week then back to Shaibah for three days then we went by Lancaster they had taken all of the innards out and we were all sat in there for Kasfareet I stayed there for twelve days. And got to know my release gen on the 7th and then we left Kasfareet for Port Said and I boarded HMS OTRANTO we sailed at 1800 hrs we docked at Southampton at 0800 on the 16th we left by train for Hednesford, I went through the procedure of being kitted out in Civvies etc. then was taken to Stafford station. I then finally arrived home on the 19th of August at 0715hrs in the morning with a total of 77 days leave which expired on the 3rd of November and on the 11th of November I started on my joiners rehabilitation course in Cottingham Rd, Hull. So my life in the RAF was two halves as you might say 11 different places in Northern Ireland and about 14 different places in my RAF Motor Boat career. You will have probably worked out that I am now 93 years old coming up 94 but I don’t feel it by a long way I hope this is interesting for you, A bit that I missed out was the fact that when we were at Bahrain we used to use tank landing craft and these were used for conveying vehicles etc. when they were offloaded because there was no deep water for RAF Muharraq we had to take them under the causeway when the bridge opened so that we could off load for Muharraq RAF Station. I mentioned Holmpton at the beginning now it is known as RAF Holmpton because of the Cold War an underground Bunker there which is well and truly hidden but is open during the summer months to the public to see what the working life was down underground, so I know it is nothing to do with Motor Boats crews etc., but is just a piece of RAF Information . Thank You


“Interview with Alec Moore,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 16, 2024,

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