Ajax Veterans Street Dedication: Slater Crescent
- Media Type:
- Street Name: Slater Crescent
Name of Veteran: Harold Thomas Kitchener Slater Sept. 11, 1914-May 1984
Rank: Engine Room Artificer
Ship Served: HMS Ajax
Date of Service on Ship: Jan. 11, 1938-May 21, 1940
Year of Visit/Dedication: September 11, 2014
Veteran or Family Visit: Colin and Jenny Slater, son and daughter-in-law
Veteran of the Battle of the River Plate: Yes
Died at Battle: No
Harold Thomas Kitchener Slater was born on September 11, 1914 to Thomas Slater and Martha Taylor in Gillingham, Kent. He had one brother, Cyril and one sister, Elsie. His parents were originally from Derbyshire and his father worked for Chatham Dockyard until his death in 1922.
Harold joined the Royal Navy in July 1930 at the age of fifteen. At first he was sent to Fisgard Training School to train as an Engine Room Artificer apprentice, then to Pembroke. It was five years later, in January 1935 that he joined HMS Furious.
Harold joined HMS Ajax on January 11, 1938 and stayed onboard until May 21, 1940. He also volunteered for service in submarines in June 1939. From the Ajax it was on to HMS Holderness, where he rose to the rank of Chief Engine Room Artificer and left in 1943. For the last two years of World War Two, he served a variety of other ships all as a CERA. He saw action in the South Atlantic, North Atlantic, Dunkirk, and the Mediterranean and was involved in the D- Day invasion.
After the war Harold stayed in the Royal Navy on several ships and postings, including Malta where he served for approximately three and a half years. He retired in 1954 and signed up in the Emergency Reserves. He then began his career with North Thames gas board as a mechanical engineer. In the last four years of his working life he worked at the Chatham Dockyard as a civil servant, retiring in 1979.
Harold was married to Violet Anne Camm in 1947 and they had four sons; Colin, born in 1947, Peter in 1950, Clive in 1955 (deceased at 9 months), and Mark born in 1957. He loved football and supported his home team. He played cricket locally and in later life enjoyed an occasional round of golf. Harold had many great holidays with Violet, and spent his last few years with family. He passed away at home in May 1984 of a heart attack. He was only sixty nine years old.
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- Location of Original:
- Original document and image located in the Ajax Archives.
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