War vet recalls his experiences in book

Geoff Shelton pictured in Red Square, Russia
Geoff Shelton pictured in Red Square, Russia

A 91-year-old highly decorated war veteran has just published his second book – this one covering his exploits as a teenage ‘masthead lookout’.

Netherlee resident Geoff Shelton served in the Royal Navy between 1943 and 1947, and this new book charts his experiences of his travels in the Arctic Convoys during World war Two amongst other sorties.

And as you get to know Geoff he has many a tale to tell, including being an invited guest of Russian President, Vladimir Putin in May 2015 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Victory Day. Not only was Geoff flown first class on Aeroflot, he was provided with a driver and a car for the duration of his stay. He said dining at the President’s table and having a seat on the central dais in Red Square were definite highlights of that trip.

Geoff recounted to our reporter how, as an 18-year-old, he served on the Arctic Convoys suplying Russia, as a ‘masthead lookout’.

With temperatures reaching minus forty, it was a hazardous job, and one which has left Geoff with leg problems to this day. He still vividly remembers seeing a colleague die from the cold and not being able to do a thing about it.

As well as having five UK medals, Geoff also has the Russian commemorative medals celebrating the 40, 50, 60. 65 and 70th anniversary of Victory day. He was also given one of Russia’s highest awards for valour displayed in wartime during the defence of the Soviet Union – the Ushakov Medal.

Geoff’s new book ‘Masthead Lookout’ is available in bookshops or online.