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Rodney Wells

The Last Great Cruise of The Queen Mary
https://www.theonlinebookcompany.com/OnlineBooks/QueenMary/Celebrations/Find?celebrationsSectionName=CrewStories&name=rodneywells

Commis Waiter

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Story by: The Queen Mary Archivist

Date added: 5 Oct 2017

As was reported for 17th November :
A ship's muster after an overnight search turned a feared tragedy into a happy ending for the Long Beach-bound liner Queen Mary. Rodney Wells, 16-year-old dining room steward/commis Waiter, missing and presumed lost overboard, turned up safe+ sound and "in big trouble" early today. He had been taunted by some of his young shipmates and. unable to take their goading, spent the night in a vacant passenger cabin. Besides the stem-to-stern overnight search, the giant liner lost four hours circling slowly off the coast of Uruguay in hope of "rescuing" the missing youngster.

After being ‘hauled-up’ before the Staff Captain he was then transferred to the Purser’s Office.

Rodney Wells – his own account

His account as extracted from a personal letter written 2 March 2018

I met Captain Treasure Jones one morning on the bridge whilst the ship was off the coast of Uruguay after the lads I sailed with said they saw me jump over the side of the ship.
However, I was hiding from another Catering boy who was a homosexual. Where I came from in Wiltshire, a village called Potterne, there was never any talk of homosexual activity. I was so innocent and [the thought] of having this boy do some act on me at such a young age, I was not going to let it happen.
So one day it came to a crunch. The boy (to this day I don’t know his name) tried his evil ways with me. I pushed him away and grabbed a fire nozzle to defend myself. I ran from the cabin and was confronted by the Master-at-Arms, the ship’s security in those days. He took the nozzle off me and asked me what was going on, so I told him the story. That night was a crew film-show. I told some chefs I knew, about the incident and they told me to bed-down on a spare bunk in their cabin.
Unknown to the chefs, the Queen Mary turned around for about three hours looking for me. Of course, I got told about this in the morning and I was summoned to the Captain’s Disciplinary Hearing where, lucky for me, I was the innocent country boy who was going through the problem in the 60’s that some young boys were having to put up with. The other boy was warned by the Captain that he would be flown home for our next port of Valparaiso, Chile, if he made any more problems and he was to leave me alone.
I was then a Bellboy, a Telegram Boy, besides many other rolls during the rest of that wonderful, never to be missed, voyage to Long Beach.

My next voyage was to join RMS Franconia in New York to cruise the Caribbean. From then on I sailed on many other vessels and with many companies, until retiring in 2011, having finally completing 45 years at sea.
As a member of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary he was in the two Gulf Wars as well as the Falklands War.

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