Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Local stories: Mr Tenby

I travelled to Hayle to meet local man, Chris Tenby. Mr Tenby's father served in the First World War,  an experience that he never spoke about when he returned home. He was hit in the leg by shrapnel at the front in 1917 and was hospitalised in Sheffield until 1921. Doctors worked intensively on his wound by immersing it in hot and then cold water to get circulation going. Although he was never able to bend his injured leg,  he returned to his business in Cornwall and lived into his nineties.

Mr Tenby was 17 years old when the Second World War began and joined the Royal Navy soon afterwards. He served across the world for four years - from Malta to South Africa - and has some remarkable stories. I asked him what he remembered most, 'The good times mostly'. And there were plenty of 'good times' amid the horrors of war. Trading cigarettes for cigars in Singapore and buying ice cream in Italy unwittingly with the equivalent of a one hundred pound note! Apparently, the shop assistant was gone for twenty minutes to get enough change.

A remarkable man.