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Born in 1923, Charlie Erswell spent his childhood at Berwick-upon-Tweed. He joined the Royal Navy in December 1941 and for the next five years was in the thick of the action, as described in Surviving the Arctic Convoys.


After demobilisation in 1949, he pursued a varied engineering career. For 12 years before retirement at 65 he manufactured artificial limbs in Leeds for Roehampton Hospital, London.


He lives with his second wife, Betty in Yorkshire. Between them, they have numerous children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.