A D-Day war veteran will talk about one of the Second World War’s most intriguing untold stories in Hull.
The T124T, known as the Tatty Mob, were a wartime Naval Rescue Tug Service.
Jim Radford – who is believed to be the youngest surviving fighter from the D-Day landings – will discuss his experiences and perform some of the songs of the Tatty Mob at Ferens Art Gallery on Saturday 28 March at 2pm.
The Hull-born veteran was just 15 when he took part in D-Day on what was his first trip to sea. He sailed out of Hull in the rescue tug Empire Larch in 1944.
Jim, a folk and shanty singer, served as a galley boy on board a deep-sea tug where he helped to construct artificial harbours in northern France.
Jim said: “Although I still have family & Folk Singer friends in Hull, I long since lost contact with my schoolmates from Hull College of Art & Crafts (1942 – 44) & with the men who sailed with me to Normandy in 1944, so I’m hoping this event may attract one or two survivors.”
— Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City (@HullMaritime) March 5, 2020
So many Hull men joined T124T that it was referred to as The Hull Navy. The Battle of the Atlantic would have been lost without them, but wartime secrecy has meant few people know what they did and just how crucial their role was.
Councillor Daren Hale, deputy leader of Hull City Council, said: “Jim is an inspiring individual with a fascinating story to tell. This is a great opportunity to hear his account of serving the country alongside other courageous Hull seafarers.”
Jim is a regular attender and performer at maritime and folk music festivals around the UK. He remains actively involved in the British section of the Veterans for Peace organisation.
In October 2015, he was appointed a Chevalier of the Legion d’Honneur by the French Republic in recognition of “steadfast involvement in the Liberation of France during the Second World War”.
Book a place here.
A copy of Jim’s book will be on sale at the Ferens for £25.