Navy veteran visits HMS Belfast after sailing on her more than 60 years ago

Navy veteran visits HMS Belfast after sailing on her more than 60 years ago

30 November 2017

Navy veteran visits HMS Belfast after sailing on her more than 60 years ago

George ‘Sharky’  Ward, 90, from Caversham in Berkshire, fulfilled his wish to return to the ship where he served in the Royal Navy. The ship played a big part in his time posted in Egypt in the 1950’s – and brings back many memories.

During his 14 years in the Royal Navy, George was posted in many locations including the Mediterranean and Africa. Serving at the rank of Petty Officer, he was a Naval Gunner.

Recently, George had made contact with his local SSAFA branch to try to find some company with a similar military history. After breaking his hip and being stuck in hospital for over four months, he told his SSAFA caseworker, Karen Scott, that he would love to see the ship again.

Finally, when he was fully recovered, George was able to contemplate making the journey to the River Thames in London. Karen organised every detail for him and accompanied his visit to the war ship that he loves.

Speaking of his day out, George Ward said: “This was really special for me. Firstly because it brought back a lot of memories for me from when I was younger. Secondly because I have been so isolated since I broke my hip, it is a real milestone to be able to complete the trip.

I am lucky to have shared this trip down memory lane with my SSAFA caseworker, Karen Scott, who has helped me to get to this point. I would encourage any other veterans in need to come and speak to SSAFA, they’ve given me a great deal of personal support”.