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The Saga of Tommy Shenfield.

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Old 2nd June 2024, 09:41
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The Saga of Tommy Shenfield.

What follows is an incident that happened as told by my Dad that happened during his time as an apprentice with Shell Tankers. I think it happened when he was serving on the Horn Shell in 1940 to 1941.

One of the officers, possibly the 2nd Mate, was a gentleman named Tommy Shenfield. Apparently he was one of those chaps you meet who enjoyed a laugh and playing pranks. The ship was on its last voyage before going into dry dock for a refit, so there seemed to be a severe outbreak of "Tankeritis." Leg pulling and practical jokes were the order of the day. Some fire extinguishers had been emptied in mock battles between the Engine Room staff and the deck officers. Most of the Pyrene extinguishers in the engine room had been used to clean boiler suits. Tommy had been quite prominent in these activities, until he let it be known that his "funny" accent was because he had been born in South Africa to Dutch parents. This immediately triggered accusations and more jokes about him being a German spy, which gained even more traction when Tommy let it slip that his name was really Thomas Schoenfeld.

One day near the end of the voyage, Tommy arrived on the Bridge when it was his time off watch. He approached the First Mate who was holding the watch and started to ask him why it was ok for everyone to make fun of his accent and make false accusations about him throwing "secret messages" over the side for enemy submarines to pick up.(Dad was on the watch too,and witnessed the whole event.) Tommy had been poking the Mate in the chest while keeping one hand in his jacket pocket. He asked the Mate if he could take a joke too. The mate replied that "Of course Tommy, you know I could."
Tommy immediately whipped the Mate's hat off, and brought his other hand down on top of the Mate's head, smashing a rather old and smelly egg into his hair.

"Very good Mister Mate, the yolk's on you now!" replied Tommy, beating a hasty retreat.
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Old 2nd June 2024, 10:38
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Ah yes, the South African Dutch ‘spy’.
As used in the 1958 film, Ice cold in Alex. But in that case he really was a spy.
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Old 2nd June 2024, 22:09
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Captain Renault would quickly sort him out.
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