In March 1941, Alec ‘Maxey’ Maxim followed in the footsteps of his father and uncles by joining the Navy.
He began his training in Gosport and spent a week in the ‘tank’, followed by three weeks in Blyth where he underwent testing for the Submarine Service.
From there, he went to the Rothesay-Depot Ship “Cyclops” and joined the H28 training boat before returning to Dolphin for a week.
His next assignment took him to Vickers Armstrong in Barrow to join Templar P316. Departing Barrow in 1943, ‘Maxey’ sailed up the Clyde to Holy Loch and the Depot Ship, HMS Forth.
In July 1943, HMS Templar, under the command of Lt. D.J. Beckley DSO RN, participated in the Allied assault on Sicily, conducting patrols to protect convoys from interference by Italians. They returned to Malta and then departed for Beirut in August 1943.
From there, they travelled to Port Said and then Aden via the Suez Canal, eventually transferring to the Far Eastern Fleet based in Colombo.
Despite encountering challenges with their equipment and enduring depth charges, Templar continued their patrols.
In January 1944, they torpedoed and damaged the Japanese Cruiser Kitakami and sank the Japanese cargo ship Tyokai Maru using their last three torpedoes.
Under the command of Lt. T.G. Ridgeway RN, Templar conducted further special operations off the coast of Sumatra in April 1944. In May 1944, they sank the Kumano Maru and faced five depth charges in total
Templar carried out special operations, dropping off and picking up spies along the coast of Siam.
One man, known as ‘Doris’ due to his long wavy black hair, left a lasting impression on ‘Maxey’.
Unfortunately, ‘Doris’ did not return with the others one day.
After returning to Malta for repairs and escorting a British convoy from Cape Town to Liverpool, Templar underwent a refit at Troon dockyard, including the installation of a snorkel.
They sailed to Malta in February 1946, and it was there that Alec met and married Nina.
Discharged in August 1948, Alec and his new family sailed back to England on the SS Orduna.
Being on regular reserve, ‘Maxey’ was called back up in March 1951 for 18 months and joined HMS Scythian under Lt. Peter Haig.
While on Scythian, they encountered challenges such as getting stuck in the mud off Bristol and hitting an uncharted rock in the Irish Sea.
After being discharged in October 1952, ‘Maxey’ went on to have three children, Patricia, Alec, and Michael, and enjoyed a variety of jobs before retiring from HM Customs and Excise in 1988.
Alec retired to Malta with Nina and eventually returned to the UK in 1998. Sadly, Nina passed away in 2003, leaving behind a loving family that includes six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ‘MAXEY’, HAVE A GREAT DAY AND ALL THE VERY BEST TO YOU, FROM YOUR ASSOCIATION.
Original article can be found here Alec Alfred ‘Maxey’ Maxim Submariners Association