Edwin Hunt – D-Day & Life on the Thames
Born on 20 March 1920 , Ted was bound apprentice to his father in 1935 where he joined one of the last companies who were towing barges using a rowing boat! At the outbreak of WW2, he volunteered as a sapper waterman in the Royal Engineers and served in Arctic Norway, April–May 1940. By 1944 he was commissioned and as a captain commanded fifteen of the Rhino landing craft on Gold Beach on D-Day. In four months, all sixty-four of these landing craft put ashore 93,000 units (tanks, guns and vehicles) and 440,000 tons of military stores.
Demobilised as a major he returned to civilian life as a college lecturer in navigation and watermanship at the City & East London College, Bunhill Row, London from 1948 until 1985. You can see a great clip of Ted teaching watermanship in the youtube clip at the bottom of this post.
As a Royal Waterman, he was appointed Bargemaster to Her Majesty in 1978 and retired from royal service in 1990.
Ted is currently in Normandy for the 70th Anniversary of D-Day
To hear Teds amazing story first hand , take a moment to watch the videos below:
There are 6 parts to this brilliant interview that can be found here
You can see Ted teaching Watermanship in this BBC 1963 film ‘The Apprentice Lighterman’ – Skip to 16.25 into the video