Our Grimsby Hero

I never met my Uncle Ted, but have heard many stories about him over the years. Edward, Ernest Staples, was the 5th of 10 Children. He was born in Grimsby in November 1924. His father did not want him to join the Army, so he enlisted for the Royal Navy and joined as an Ordinary Seaman at the age of 17. The family were very proud of him and looked forward to the letters he sent home. My mother, who was only a toddler at the time, would always get a mention at the end of the letters, with love from her Tiddley. Ted later joined the crew of HMS Charybdis along with his fellow Grimbarian, Dougie Knight. As the story goes, some time in October 1943, Ted and Dougie were due some leave. Dougie came home to Grimsby, but Ted, wanted to save his leave in the hope he could come home for Christmas. He wrote to inform the family of this, but tragically, that was the last letter they ever received from him as the ship was torpedoed and sank on the 23rd October 1943 with the loss of many lives. Ted was just 18. His body was recovered and is buried in Dinard Cemetary, France. I never tired of hearing stories about him. All that is left is a part of a letter that he wrote and a photograph of a lovely smiling young man, who i am proud to call my uncle. His memory will live on in the family forever.

Submitted by Gill Atkinson

Photo: Edward Ernest Staples 11/1924-23/11/1943

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