Over The Bar

George Thomas Patterson

Former Royal Marine PO/X114719-t

9th September 1923 - 16th July 2015

.George Patterson (later referred to as Gud) . Was born on the 9th September 1923 in Salford Lancashire. Gud was one of four children born to Frederick & Sarah Patterson.
............Gud’s father, Federick served with 7/8 Battery, Lancashire Fusiliers. In 1916 he and members of his unit suffered heavy bombardments of shelling and mustard gas. Fredrick endured and returned home from the Great War suffering ongoing breathing problems caused by the gas in the trenches of the Somme. Fredrick died in 1940 aged 50. As most will know, the times were tough during the 1920s and 1930s and the people of Manchester were no exception. Like many kids of the neighbourhood, life on struggle street was not easy using a rolled up newspaper for a football and swimming in the Manchester Ship Canal was a summer highlight for Gud and his mates.
............On leaving school at 14 Gud  found employment in local engineering workshop, learning the trade of a fitter and turner. At the age of 18 Gud enlisted into the Royal Marines. He was instructed to report to Royal Marines Deal , and had the pleasure of becoming a fully paid up member of His Majesty’s Royal Marines on the 19th August 1942. Gud often commented that for him the Marines life could not have been better. The fact he received three square meals a day impressed him to no end.
............After his recruit training and with his already acquired trade experience as a fitter, he was posted to a trade division and spent much time initial time in Scotland. On the 6 June 1944 saw the commencement of Operation Neptune and then subsequently Operation Overlord (D DAY landings). Gud found himself in the engine room of landing craft off Gold Beach, which was the centre of the five nominated landing areas. Gud kept his involvement on the D Day landings to himself. It wasn’t until sometime later he informed the family that he made several trips across the Channel, before being posted back to Scotland.
............In early 1945, the Royal Marines invited Gud on a world cruise (although he was not aware of his destination at this time). However, after more training and more training he and many other Bootnecks found themselves boarding the Royal Mail ship HMS ANDES, heading for a land down under. The trip from the Panama Canal to Sydney was non-stop with an average speed of 21 knots, the trip was completed in record time that still stands today. Gud relates to his arrival through the ‘Heads’ in wartime Sydney as arriving in heaven..On arrival and receiving shore leave, the Bootnecks made a beeline for the boozer only to find along the way a number of fruit and fresh produce vendors, the boozer was put on hold and the vendors were cleaned out of their stock of oranges, apples and bananas. Amazed by the abundance of fresh fresh food Gud thought he has arrived in the land of milk and honey. On dis-embarkation, Gud received his posting orders to report to the Fleet Air Arm and subsequently posted to Archerfield in Brisbane. The Marines were assigned the workshops and accommodation facilities vacated by the Yanks. Much to Gud’s surprise the Americans left their tools and gear behind. Gud “borrowed” these tools and continued to use them all his working life.
............During his time in Brisbane Gud met a lady from Maryborough. Beryl Ashworth, recently moved to Brisbane and was working at Mc Whirters Department store in Fortitude Valley, they started courting when the Marines again spoiled his day, Gud received orders in April 1946 informing that he was going home. So with the clock ticking and some pulling of strings they were married within the week. Gud was off to Blighty and Beryl was left waiting along with six hundred other Aussie Brides for the arrival HMS Victorious to secure their passage back to England. Life changed quickly for Beryl with not just on the ship but when she arrived in England. She saw a scared country recovering from war and rationing all that was available, a level of austerity that was unaccustomed to as an Aussie country girl from Maryborough.
............After receiving his demob suite, matching shoes and a golden hand shake of 58 pounds 16 shillings and 6 pence , Gud quickly realised that the land down under was for him. On the 12 November 1948, Gud returned with Beryl and new arrival Ian on the converted hospital ship Somertshire. Gud often told the story that the first fleet made better time for the trip, Gud arrived in Fremantle with a telegram informing of a position with Engineering Firm Evans Deakin (ED), he started at E.Ds two days after arriving to Brisbane in January 1949 and retired from E.D.s in July 1982. Gud enjoyed the canteen food.
............Gud and Beryl built their family home way out of town at Wynnum North, they had three more children which translated to eight grandchildren, and then twelve great children, and Beryl now eighty nine still lives in the ‘Castle’ on Sandy camp Rd, and wild horses will unlikely remove her.
............Gud informed recently before his passing that the three greatest events in his life were meeting his wife of 69 years, his family and the Royal Marines. If it had not been for the Royal Marines and the cruise ticket on the ANDES to Australia back in 1945 his life would have been very different.
............In closing Gud was very proud of all his family. When he left Manchester he left all he knew he ploughed head first into the unknown for a new life in Australia. This experience is shared by Gud’s first-born granddaughter Megan who has done the same thing (but in reverse) and now has her own family in Botley, Hampshire and working as a school teacher ...........so the circle turns.
RIP   George Thomas Patterson 9/09/1923   /    16/07/2015
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