On the 6th August 1945, the world was changed forever. Thousands of lives were lost within an instant. A city wiped out in the blink of an eye. However, the end of war was in sight.
The terrible tragedies in Hiroshima that day and then again, three days later in Nagasaki saw Japan surrender as the allied troops began to take hold of the war in 1945.
One of those closer than many to the tragic events of that day was Frome Nursing Home family member David King, 93 years young, who was serving on the HMS Venerable in the South Pacific on that fateful day.
“I was actually serving in the South Pacific, when they dropped the first atomic bomb,” David says.
David’s naval service had begun in 1944 and serving on the flagship of the fleet he travelled to the Mediterranean Sea, through the Suez Canal and into the Pacific Ocean where he spent the majority of his time in service.
Serving with his younger brother Trevor, David was on one of three ‘light fleet carriers’ that served in the British Pacific Fleet.
A light fleet carrier was a ship that was home to two different types of aircraft, Corsairs and Barracudas that would take off and land on the ship.
Although in modern day naval aviation technology allows for aircraft to land and take off safely from aircraft carriers, back in the 40’s and 50’s crashes were far more common as the technology was less advanced.
“We used to get bad crashes in my day, terrible,” David said, when asked what he remembers most from his naval service.
Although the War concluded in 1945, David continued to serve in the Navy mostly in the Far East, travelling to Australia, Fiji and back to the UK via Malta. David’s eyes light up at the mention of his day’s spent on the water and recalls many a happy memory from this time. His favourite of all his destinations during his touring was Australia because it was most like his home of England.
David and his wife Pamela have lived in Frome, Somerset, all their lives and have seen the town transform and evolve throughout their times spent there. David attended the former Wesley Boys School in Frome before spending his senior school years at Sexey’s School in nearby Bruton.
David is now a well-loved family member at Frome Nursing Home where he has lived since September this year. Pamela, although 92 years young, visits David every other day and is embraced as part of the Frome family.
Friend of the home and Frome’s Royal British Legion Chair Jane Norris donated the home a wreath so that everyone at the home could pay their respects and honour those who gave their lives in military service. Frome Nursing Home can’t thank Jane and the local Royal British Legion enough for giving all in the home the opportunity to join the local community in commemorating the sacrifice of servicemen and women in this country.
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