“JUST A DIRTY OLD TRAMP”

Evergreen - - News -

David Med­hurst who now lives in Tau­ranga, New Zealand, en­quired about a song which he and his wartime chums en­joyed singing at school in London. All he could re­mem­ber was that a dirty old tramp steamer brought home the ba­con. Could I please trace it?

Well I could, and I did. Writ­ten in 1940 it was a trib­ute to the Mer­chant Navy which suf­fered ter­ri­ble wartime losses in both men and ships. A later con­voy sys­tem lim­ited the de­ple­tion but pro­por­tion­ally, more of our brave mer­chant sailors lost their lives to the Ger­man U- boat and Nazi navy, than any other ser­vice. Did you know, how­ever, that by the end of the war around 90 per cent of U- boats had been de­stroyed and the Ger­man navy had been all but oblit­er­ated?

REX FEATURES

Gor­don Mur­ray the pup­peteer, who has died aged 95, cre­ated Cam­ber­wick Green, Trump­ton and Chigley ( see Ev­er­green, Au­tumn 2004). Left to right, are Mickey Mur­phy the baker, Cap­tain Flack of the Fire Brigade, Windy Miller and vil­lage gos­sip Mrs. Honey­man with her baby.

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