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  1. Merry Christmas to one and all , I thought I would share this story as it’s maritime related and a reminder of how lucky we all have it now. A wee family story about how my Grandad spent one of his christmas days and a reminder of how lucky we all are, it was writen by his son in law. Before he died I spoke to Uncle Ownie (my grandads brother)about his wartime experiences. He mentioned he had been stationed on Gibraltar when a troop ship came in which had been attacked and damaged by the Bismarck. He'd found out his brother Edward (Ned) was on board and he asked for and received permission to visit him on board. It was to be nearly six years before Ned saw any of his family again. The troopship was on route to Egypt and he was with the Eight Army through North Africa and Italy until the end of the war. ! The Bismarck encounter didn't sound right so I did some digging on the Internet and came up with the following.! The Empire Trooper, a captured converted German liner, left Greenock on 18th December calling at Liverpool and joining Convoy WS5A. 600 miles west of Cape Finnestere, early on Christmas Day 1940 the Empire Trooper having fallen behind the convoy, was attacked by the German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper. A shell struck the ship below the waterline. Reports of casualties vary between two and sixteen troops killed. A small corvette escort ship attacked the Hipper and probably saved the troopship from being sunk. The troops spent most of that Christmas Day lined up along one side of the ship trying to keep the damaged area out of the water while makeshift repairs were made. The ship then sailed to the Azores where temporary repairs were made before going on to Gibraltar and the chance meeting of two brothers. (I copied and pasted it so sorry for the gaps)
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