On this day in Yorkshire 1944

50 Days in an Open Boat

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 19th October 2016, 9:00 am

Among those decorated by the King at a recent investiture at Buckingham Palace was Mr. Kenneth Cooke, of Bridlington a carpenter in the Merchant Navy, vho received the George Medal.

He told the King that he survived 50 days in open boat after his ship had been torpedoed in the South Atlantic.

Only one other member of the crew survived.

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When the King asked him if he could go to sea again, Cooke smiled sadly and shook his head.

“I have been discharged from the Service,” he said.

Mr. Frederick Bennett, of Castleford, a sergeant in the Scots Guards, had a long talk with the King who, as Duke of York, was colonel the Scots Guards.

“The King asked me where I had been wounded.” Mr. Bennett said. “I told him it was at the Anzio beachhead. and that I have a job with N.A.A.F.I. now.”

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