• Amazing World War II rescue story

    Amazing World War II rescue story

    Men’s group hears of lucky escape

    The Resthaven Onkaparinga Community Services Men’s Group hears lots of interesting stories, but none so amazing as the lifesaving rescue of Mr Stephen Jones by fellow Resthaven client, Mr Bob Biggs, during World War II.

    Coordinator and Men’s Group facilitator, Corinne Lama, says, ‘It all started during an Arctic expedition during WWII.’

    ‘Mr Jones*, who was serving on the ship, was swept overboard by a large wave. Amazingly, he was then swept back on board, where he was caught by Mr Biggs – a fellow navy man whom he had never met.’

    ‘In 2014, Mr Jones told this story to a Resthaven Onkaparinga Community Services Home Support Worker, Wayne, while Wayne was supporting him at home.’

    ‘Mr Jones said he was lucky to be alive.’

    ‘In November 2018, Wayne recounted this story to our Men’s Group.’

    ‘Of course, this story sounded very familiar to Mr Biggs, who asked Wayne where he had heard the story.’

    ‘When Wayne told him it was from a man he’d spoken to four years ago, Mr Biggs said, “Yes, he was lucky, I was the one who caught him and saved his life!”’

    ‘It turns out that the two men had remained friends all this time, until Mr Jones passed away.’

    ‘It was just by chance that they were both clients of Resthaven Onkaparinga Community Services.’

    ‘Apparently, five of the servicemen from the group still keep in in contact and meet up occasionally to reminisce.’

    ‘Mr Biggs is now 96 years old, and, in January 2019, will meet with the French Ambassador in early 2019 to be presented with a WWII highly decorated award at the Adelaide Town Hall.’

    Jayne, Mr Biggs’ goddaughter, says ‘Bob loves chatting about his medals, all well deserved.’

    ‘As he tells me, Churchill said the Arctic convoys to Russia were the most difficult and harrowing assignments of the war.’

    ‘He has a great recall of his time spent on the ships, and of rescuing Mr Jones that day in the ocean.’

    What an amazing tale to tell!

    *name has been changed to protect privacy

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