Halcyon Class Minesweepers HMS Leda
Commander A H Wynne Edwards

          Source: PQ17' by Godfrey Winn

Wynne‑Edwards, ruddy cheeked, hospitable, warm‑hearted, whose ship, LEDA, became such a second home to me out there that I cannot even now think of her and her crew without my heart contracting.

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It was seven o'clock in the morning, and the telephone beside my bed was ringing and a woman's voice I did not recognize was asking to speak to me.

 

"They gave out over the wireless last night that the LEDA had been sunk. But they made no announcement about casualties. Could you possibly find out if my husband is all right?"

 

I marvelled at her composure, but then that was the way my own Captain's wife would have behaved, too. "The one good thing I ever did was to marry the right girl." On my return I had written and told her that and many other things beside and now I saw her husband's ruddy, open face, saying goodbye to me on the quayside. I certainly had not recognised death in his eyes that day. Was I still drugged and dreaming this conversation? With an effort I pushed the bedclothes back off my chest, as though with the same gesture to free my mind. From a long way off, at the other end of a tunnel I heard myself answer. "I'll ring up the Admiralty at once, Mrs Wynne‑Edwards.

 

This was something I could do legitimately without feeling I was being a confounded nuisance. And the news they we able to give me, in due course, checking the names, sent me rushing to dial "Telegrams". For the LEDA's Captain was among the rescued. He was safe, on land. One vigil at least through the long night was at an end.

 

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..Commander Wynne-Edwards (of the recently sunk HMS LEDA) turned up too, not looking in the least like a survivor who, a fortnight before, had been clinging to a Carley float, but in a brand new uniform, and with a brand new ship awaiting his command, to take over from a Yankee shipyard,

          Source: PQ17' by Godfrey Winn