Written by John Hancock (nephew)
I was delighted to have found your website and to have seen your dedication towards a museum in memory of all those brave men who served on the Arctic Convoys. My Uncle Edmund 'Teddy' Wiley served on the Russian Convoys. My Uncle served on the HMS Nigeria where he was a Leading Seaman. He joined the Royal Navy in 1933 and went onto the HMS Nigeria on 3rd September 1940. My mum said that he loved the Nigeria and he always said that no one would ever sink her. Mum spoke often of the horendous conditions while he served on the Artic Convoys, yet dispite all this he got through it.
Then in 1942 he and his ship was put onto the urgent Malta Convoy, code named Operation Pedestal, to save Malta. Sadly, my Uncle was one of the many young brave men who was killed during Operation Pedestal on August 12th 1942 when his ship was torpedoed. He was just 27 years old and left behind a young widow of 26 and four young children as well as a mother and father who had lost their only son, and two sisters who had lost a brother. It always haunted my mother, she could never talk about her brother without crying her heart out.
From my aspect it is the terrible price of war that ripples through the generations of a family. I was born in 1964 so I never experienced the war nor sadly was I able to know my Uncle Teddy. However I proudly display a photo of him on my wall at home and try to pass on his memory as much as possible. I will never forget all those who gave so much for our freedom today.
When I found your website I wanted to write and over the years I have spent so much time trying to find out as much as possible about my Uncle and where he served in the Navy. Included with this email is a picture of him as well as a magazine I have from 1943 which has some very interesting information about the Arctic Convoys.