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A missing sail and compass … Part 2

March 12, 2012

My dad had an older brother, Douglas, who graduated from university with a degree in Mathematics.  He joined the Royal Navy and after the war became a school teacher this ended when he got tuberculosis.   Then he became a nuclear physicist and  was sent out to Maralinga to test a nuclear bomb (1955). Because his entire sea service in the Navy was swinging the anchor round the Isle of Wight. (Unlike is little brotherwho had sailed the world several times) So he opted to fly out to Maralinga via Singapore and back via America thus circumnavigating the world and giving him the opportunity to visit his maternal grandfather Lawless in Boston.

My dad had also visited the family in America. During the war when his ship carrying rockets, destined for Russia, were to be unloaded in New York and transported across land.  The dockers in New York were not prepared unload them as they had their war heads on them – even though ship’s crew offered to help – it was still considered unsafe and against union rules.  While they argued, Dad took a greyhound coach to Boston.  Where he was greeted by the family with open arms as he was the dead spit of grandfather Lawless, who had immigrated to Boston from Ireland many years before.

On the other hand, while in Australia poor Douglas had grown a beard.  When the Lawlesses met him at the New York airport they were horrified. They couldn’t get him to the barber quick enough – only hobos wear beards. Douglas was annoyed as it was his pride and joy.

While he was at Maralinga, one of the other men involved with the testing was intrigued by Douglas’ name (Carrick) which he had only ever heard it once before. Had ‘Douglas got a younger brother?’ ‘Was he in the Merchant Navy?’  ‘Well ask him what he’s done about that sail?’

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