Kriklem Veetay Of Victor A. Crofts.

When applying in the early 90s for a job to supplement his pension in his retirement, my step-grandfather was asked for a CV. Astounded to be asked for one for such a routine position, and having never been asked for one before in his life, he went home and wrote this…

V.A. Crofts

Kriklem Veetay

Wee Kurik V

Wot ahve dun

Victor Alan Crofts. Born 22nd June 1923, Bishop Hill, Woodhouse in the borough of Handsworth, Sheffield, Yorkshire.

Educated at Thurcroft Primary and Elementary Schools and Maltby Grammar School in yorkshire and H.M.S. Ganges at Shotley Suffolk.


Coal Miner

Thurcroft Colliery and Silverwood Colliery in Yorkshire and Snowdown Colliery in Kent.

Jobs held:- Trammer, Engine Driver, Haulage Hand, Conveyor Belt Maintenance and Collier.

Royal Navy

Second Class Boy, First Class Boy, Boy Telegraphist, Ordinary Telegraphist, Telegraphist, Leading Telegraphist and Petty Officer Telegraphist.

Trained at:- H.M.S. Ganges and H.M.S. Impregnable, HM Signal Schools at Leydene in Hampshire and Bombay in India,Submarine Schools at Fort Blockhouse, Gosport and Blyth, Northumberland and Submarines L23 and L26 at Rothesay, Isle of Bute. Leadership School, Corsham, Wiltshire.

Ships served in:- H.M.S. King George V and submarines H.M.S. H44, H.M.S. H50, H.M.S. Truculent, H.M.S. Thrasher, H.M.S. Statesman & H.M.S. Sentinel.

Other ships accomodated on or troopships:- H.M.S. Iron Duke, H.M.S. Kenya, H.M.S. Titania, H.M.S. Cyclops, H.M.S. Forth, H.M.S. Al Rawdah, H.M.S. Wu Chang, H.M.S. Adamant, H.M.S. Wolfe, Hospital Ship Tjitjalengka (Dutch)

Troopships:- Monarch of Bermuda, Ascania, Alaunia, M.S. Batory (Polish), Cap Touraine (French)

Merchant Navy:

Jobs Held:- Plate Washer, Tourist Class Waiter, Cabin Class Waiter, First Class Waiter, Kosher Waiter, Night Steward, Wine Steward, Saloon Steward, Lounge Steward, Smoke Room Steward, Dock Steward, Valet, Barmen and Bedroom Steward.

Ships sailed in:- Queen Mary, Caronia, Scythia, Saxonia, Aquitania, Rangitane, Athenia, Gothic, Dominion Monarch, Kenya (B.I.), Queen of Bermuda, Paraguay Star, Brasil Star, Shepperton Ferry, Hampton Ferry, St Patrick, Invicta & Free Enterprise

Licensed Trade

Jobs Held:- Barman, Bar cellarman & Bar Manager.

Pubs Worked in:- Old Bell Hotel, Warminster; Peterborough Arms, Fulham; Golden Lion, Dover Stage, Falcon, Dublin Man o’ War, Dover; Plough & Harrow & Rice Arms, Tilmanstone; Coach & Horses, Sholden; West Beckenham Conservative Club, Burma Club, Park Lane; Walpole, New Cross.


Jobs held:- Labourer Ganger, Timberman, Piling Hand (Top man), Miner’s Labourer, Partition Erector, Handy Man, Dumper Driver.

Firms Worked For:- Castains, John Howard, Mowlem, Wates, Mitchell Construction

Projects:- Gasworks (Bromley & Sutton), New Barracks (Dover), Grain Silos & Jetty (Tilbury), Sinking Shafts (Datchett), Thasmes Barrier, London Bridge, Relief Sewer (Deep Excavation, Greenwich), Victoria Line (Vauxhall to Brixton), Underpass, Bromley-by-bow, New Underground Station, Blackfriars, New Vicarage, Tilmanstone.

Estate Maintenance:- Barbican, City of London. Estate Cleaner, Ventilation Cleaner, Garage Cleaner. Shakespeare Tower & Ben Jonson House

Other Full Time Jobs.

Stores Checker:- Muirheads, Precision Engineers, Elmers End, Kent

Yard Labourer, Storekeeper:- Haffendens, Rubber Manufacturers, Sandwich, Kent

Dock Runner:- Wood International Forwarding, M.A.T. Transport, Orwell House, Felixstowe.

Casual Jobs

Newspaper Boy, Door to Door Salesman (my father made a medicine called “Blood Mixture” and I had to hawk it at 2d a bottle. It was terrible stuff), cabbages and cauliflowers etc. (grown on my father’s allotment), vinegar, candles, dusters, and those things that came in little white packets (for a trader who came to the village on a horse and cart from Sheffield. I think the most he ever gave me was 6d all day (2½p)), Potato picking, pea picking, carrot weeding, furniture remover, security man at auction sales, fighter (I was promised 2/- per round but only managed to stay four and got a good hiding and 2/6 (12½p) for my efforts. I retired from the ring immediately). G.P.O. as a christmas casual. Station cleaner, Wellington, N.Z., Wine Waiter at the Northern Club, Auckland, N.Z. and Stevedore in both places. Then comes the real pits. Sold blood in New York for $5 a pint (600cc). Still, you could buy a really good shirt for that.

Docks in Dover, unloading fruit, tomatoes & seed potatoes. Road Sweeper in Dover. When they were building the new terminal at the Eastern Arm they filled the harbour with chalk from the back of Whitfield, carried by big dumpers. I had to keep the road clean, from the chalk pit to the harbour. 12 hour shifts, nights and days.

Places I have visited (or as many as my failing memory can recall):-

Felixstowe; Sheerness; Dover; Folkstone; Portsmouth; Gosport; Southampton; Falmouth; Devonport; Plymouth; Barrow in Furness; Liverpool; Campbeltown; Rothesay; Dunoon; Greenock; Glasgow; Rosyth; Blyth; Hull; Tilbury; London; Larne; Belfast; Londonderry; Cork; Orkney Islands; Shetland Islands; Iceland; Lofoten Islands; North Cape; Spitzbergen; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Quebec; Montreal; New York; Norfolk, Virginia; Cristobel, Colon; Balboa; Panama City; La Gauira; Recife; Salvador; Rio de Janiero; Santos; Montevideo; Buenos Aires; Hamilton, Bermuda; Nassau; Kingston, Jamaica; Caracas Bay; Williamstadt; Curacoa; Port au Prince, Haiti; Havana; Pitcairn Island; Auckland; Wellington; Lyttleton; Port Chalmers; Fremantle; Portland; Melbourne; Sydney; Brisbane; Gladstone; Vigo; Lisbon; Las Palmas; Tenerife; Madeira; Gibralter; Marseilles; Malta; Port Said; Suez; Port Tewfik; Ismalia; Aden; Bombay; Madras; Mandapam; Jaffna; Trincomalee; Colombo; Malacca Straits; Mombasa; Tanga; Zanzibar; Dar Es Salaam; Beira; Cape Town; Antwerp, Dunkerque; Calais; Boulogne; Cherbourg; Le Havre.