The Biggs' Boys
By Ken Stofer
Copyright 2005-2007 Ken Stofer, All Rights Reserved
Biography of Stan Sharcott
I lived in Duncan before the war working as a stencil boy with Hillcrest lumber mill. My grandfather was British Army in Egypt and India. My father was in the C.A.S.C. I tried to join the R.C.A.F. but was refused on account of my short stature. According to them I was a half inch too short.
My boss at the mill told me about Capt. Seymour-Biggs, so I wrote to him and received a letter in return telling me how to apply.
I was 19 when I left. There was a ship, the M.V. Ross, loading lumber at Crofton, not far from Duncan. I signed on as a deckhand and spent some time at the wheel. We left on April 1, 1939. I was the lone R.A.F. recruit on the ship. We went through the Panama Canal to England, arriving at the Surrey Docks, London, on May 12. I was paid off with Three Pounds Ten shillings. About $18 in those days.
It was six days before I signed up at Victory House, on Kingsway in London. They tried to persuade me to take a petrol driver's job, but I stuck to my guns and said I had traveled 4,000 miles and my mind was made up to become an aero engine mechanic. (This was a childhood ambition, age 10, while in Victoria Protestant Orphanage).
Square-bashing was a stiff and rigorous experience at N0. 1 RAF Depot Uxbridge. I must have looked different to the English fellows. One day on parade, and in P.T. dress at the time, I was asked where I came from.
I went to Flight Mechanic School at Hednesford, Staffs. My postings after training took me to 240 Flying Boat Squadron at Invergordon, Scotland, then moved with 240 to Calshot.
One day at Calshot, while working on a flying boat a strange thing happened. A chap called up to me from the floor, "Hey, Stan Sharcott." I looked down at him a bit puzzled as to how he knew me; then my mind flashed back to 1939. When I boarded the bus and left Duncan to join the R.A.F. a passenger on board had asked me how I had arranged to get to England. I told him about Captain Biggs and dismissed him from my mind, until now. Yes, sure enough it was him (the guy on the bus who had asked me about Biggs). Small world. He had worked passage the same way I did. From Calshot I went to N0. 1 School of Army Co-op, Old Sarum, Salisbury, and worked on many types of aircraft. I went to Ingham, Lincolnshire to work on "Wellingtons" and then to Lakenheath, Suffolk to work on Stirling bombers. I was with 199 Sqdrn at Pocklington for awhile and then posted to 513 Squadron.
I spent some time with 1653 Conversion Unit, followed by stints with 51 Sqdrn and 182 Sqdrn.
I was U.T. for a pilot at one time but my documents caught up with me and my trade proficiency was too high to waste. I transferred to the R.C.A.F. and demobbed at N0. 8 Release Centre in Vancouver, B.C. April 27, 1945.
I didn't want to be demobbed and so asked why? I was told the forms had already been processed. I felt that all my efforts had blown up in my face.
After the war in civvy life I worked in a garage, went commercial fishing, was a fishery patrol man and finally worked 10 years at Gold River Pulp Mill.(Vancouver Island).
----- Stan Sharcott
Copyright 2007 Ken Stofer, All Rights Reserved
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