The concept of "True Lives" came from myself and was inspired by my Dad, Stanley McKessock, who was called up to the Royal Navy at the age of 18 during WWII. He loved films and we spent many weekends watching Laurel & Hardy, Hammer House of Horror etc as I grew up. In later years, we'd watch Friends & Frasier and various other TV programs & films. He laughed at True Lies (a Schwarzenegger / Curtis spy movie - his eyes twinkled at Tia Carrere!) and that's where this name / concept came from. I just remember my Dad, a loving, placid, smiley man who went through bad & good times and still had that twinkle in his eye in his 80's.
Like so many Veterans of WWII, he never spoke about the war, he had some ordeals he'd gone through.. and he had a sense of humour. True Lives is about all of that. The bravery, the smiles, the sadness, the truth of every persons individual story during the convoys to Russia. In 2008 I discovered other veterans online and the concept of our RACC club began (although, I think it was just always there!) and then when we discovered that the original Russian Convoy Clubs were closing.. my family, along with other Veterans families & friends, came up with the idea of trying to let people know about events before they happened and so the Russian Convoys Club 21st Century (online) was born.
I used my concept of "True Lives : The Men of The Convoys" on the website of the russian arctic convoy museum project at Loch Ewe. I began with my Dad's story and gradually (from 2011-2015), almost 5 years of giving free professional I.T. support for the project, I had published dozens of stories from the convoys. It was amazing receiving & promoting the stories of these men (& some women) and an absolute joy to meet and talk to Veterans in 2013 who travelled from all over the UK to a Veterans Reunion.
We also know that many so-called 'clubs' have an elitist / clique aspect to them and that is something we discourage. There are no egos here.. just families & friends. To everyone who has supported us, a big huge Thank You. More memories from the Convoys will follow so please join us in the future and never forget the boys, girls, men & women of WWII. In Loving Memory to "Stan The Man" - my dad & my friend and to all the Dad's & Grandad's.