“JUST A DIRTY OLD TRAMP”
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?
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.