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Brentwood sea cadet remembers his great grandfather for the 75th VE day anniversary

PUBLISHED: 13:22 07 May 2020 | UPDATED: 13:23 07 May 2020

Brentwood sea cadet, 12-year-old Milo Talley. Picture: Talley family

Brentwood sea cadet, 12-year-old Milo Talley. Picture: Talley family

Talley family

A 12-year-old Brentwood sea cadet is celebrating VE Day by remembering his great grandfather, who escaped almost certain death at the Battle of the Denmark Strait.

PO Sydney Talley around 1940, a year before the Battle of the Denmark Strait. Picture: Talley familyPO Sydney Talley around 1940, a year before the Battle of the Denmark Strait. Picture: Talley family

Milo Talley will be celebrating the 75th anniversary of VE Day like his fellow shipmates from TS St Vincent in Brentwood – at home.

This week, the cadets have been getting ready, making bunting, learning wartime songs and baking wartime recipes.

Unlike most of his fellow cadets however, Milo and his family, will also be remembering his great grandfather, Sydney William Talley who served in the Royal Navy on HMS Hood during the Second World War.

Petty officer (PO) Talley had been stationed on HMS Hood for some time when his chief petty officer insisted that he take his overdue leave. Shortly after leaving the ship, in May 1941, the Hood and the battleship the Prince of Wales were given orders to make way to intercept the German battleship Bismarck and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, who were heading towards the Atlantic to attack allied convoys.

Milo poses doing  a Milo poses doing a "V" to honour the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe. Picture: Talley family

On May 24, 1941, during the Battle of the Denmark Strait, the Hood came under heavy shelling from the Bismarck, causing a multitude of explosions on board, which sank the Hood within a few minutes.

This catastrophic event claimed a huge loss of life, with only three of the crew surviving.

HMS Hood was the last battle cruiser built for the Royal Navy. Having had its design revised after the Battle of Jutland in 1916, it was believed to be invincible.

Milo is part of TS St Vincent Sea Cadets in Brentwood. Picture: Milo TalleyMilo is part of TS St Vincent Sea Cadets in Brentwood. Picture: Milo Talley

PO Sydney Talley, thanking his lucky stars for that overdue leave, was always haunted by the death of his shipmates.

In the years that followed however, Sydney went on to have a long and happy marriage to Sarah Talley, three sons, four grandchildren and cadet Milo is one of nine great grandchildren alive today.

Milo has recently spoken about Sydney in a VE Day commemorative film for Brentwood Borough Council.

The Brentwood Sea Cadets are continuing to train cadets and parade virtually, online.

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