Hero Jim inspires Arran to join Navy

Photo Neil Cross'Arran Hunter with his great grandfather Jim Ball, a former Naval Seaman who has inspire Arran to follow in his footsteps
Photo Neil Cross'Arran Hunter with his great grandfather Jim Ball, a former Naval Seaman who has inspire Arran to follow in his footsteps
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A young Navy recruit is following in the footsteps of his war hero great-grandad.

Arran Hunter, 21, from Kirkham, was inspired by his great-grandad Jim Ball, 92, who served as a seaman on board the HMS Queen Elizabeth in the Second World War.

Photo Neil Cross'Arran Hunter with his great grandfather Jim Ball, a former Naval Seaman who has inspire Arran to follow in his footsteps

Photo Neil Cross'Arran Hunter with his great grandfather Jim Ball, a former Naval Seaman who has inspire Arran to follow in his footsteps

Former Blackpool and The Fylde College student Arran said: “A lot of my friends had gone into the Navy and I kind of got persuaded by them, and obviously my grandad did the same thing, so between those two things I felt like it was meant to be.

“Every time I speak with him he seems really happy that I’m doing it.

“He’s told me quite a few stories about his time in the war. He had a huge book made up about the ship he was on, with stories about what it went through.”

Arran joined the Navy in October, when he was posted to Plymouth for training on board the HMS Raleigh.

He now heads off to his second stage of training on board the HMS Collingwood, where he will learn all the specialist skills needed to become a weapons engineer.

He said: “It was the standard military training, with lots of early starts and lots of physical exercise. There was lots of shouting. It was hard but I really enjoyed it.

“Now I’m going through specialist branch training.

“There’s always the chance I’ll see combat, being in the military. But not for a long while yet.”

Jim, who joined the Navy at the age of 18, carried out strike operations against enemy boats off the coast of Norway during the war.

He was awarded six medals for his bravery, including the Atlantic Star.

The great-grandad-of-two said: “I hope Arran makes a good success of it.

“He seems very keen and of course the Navy will be very different now.

“They have proper bunks on their ships now.

“Ours were always a bit rough.”