Garrick "Garry" Watson Chalmers Grayburn

Garry, RNZN 7549, served on HMS Gambia as an Able Seaman during the final days of WWII. His friend, Paul Edgar emailed me in April 2023, saying that I use to drink with Gary at the Howick Club sadly he has passed , but he told me of the Gambia off Japan and she fired the last shots of the war , he spoke about the kamikaze plane that when it hit a US ship - they all cheered - as it did not hit them.

Paul also wrote to tell a little more about Garry. Hs wife was a WREN as well. He was based in Malta and Gibraltar after the war, Garry told a great story about being alongside a British destroyer and nearly all his ship's crew had gone on shore leave. The captain of the destroyer asked the ratings that were left via the captain if they would like to go out on a sea trial- so off they popped to Algiers. The British matelots took them to a brothel which had a burlesque show - Garry was stunned! The destroyer then took them back to Gibraltar.

Garry became a builder by trade and was a more than honest trader. Garry died peacefully at Summerset on the Park, Auckland, New Zealand, on January 29, 2022, aged 84. He had been married to Erla for 73 years. Another friend, Matthew Humphrey, remembers him as "a smiling giant of a man whose gruff manner belied his totally decent nature."

Garry Grayburn

The second photo of Garry taken in 2014, by NZIPP Photograph by Lisa Harrington 1108-2619. CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0.