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30 NAVY NEWS, JANUARY 2010
Royal
Rupert
Memorial will honour
Canadian
visitors
recalled
DO YOU remember the
destruction of the German naval
base at Wilhelmshaven after
the war and the subsequent
victims of Emergency
get warm
welcome
reconstruction of the town?
PLYMOUTH branch and No 4
If so, The Wilhelmshaven
Area members pulled out all the
Association (TWA) would like to
stops to ensure that friends from
hear from you.
ON Remembrance Sunday in and Whirlwind.
the HMCS Kootenay Association
The TWA is a group of staff
Kyrenia, in the self-declared
Patrol boats and the minesweepers
enjoyed a special reception at
and pupils at the former Army
‘Turkish Republic of Northern
of 104 and 108 Squadrons – HM
the WOs and SRs mess in HMS
boarding school, Prince Rupert
Cyprus’, the British High
Ships Wilkieston, Woolaston,
Fiskerton, Maxton, Leverton,
Drake.
School, between 1949 and 1972. Commissioner to Cyprus Peter
Burnaston and Walkerton – also
They gathered in remembrance
It stood in the former naval yard,
Millett unveiled a memorial to
spent lengthy periods on patrol
of the incident in which a gearbox
and Naval Party 1735, originally
the 371 British Servicemen – based at Famagusta.
explosion cost the lives of nine men
led by Capt Edward Conder, was
including 13 Royal Navy sailors
The Fairey Gannets of 847 NAS
while the destroyer was carrying
instrumental in getting the town
out full-power trials in the Western
back on its feet.
and 15 Royals – who gave
were crucial for air surveillance
Approaches in October 1969.
The school hall was Churchill
their lives during the Cyprus
and, on one occasion, Sea Venoms
The incident was the worst
House, built for the Naval Party as
Emergency of 1955-59.
of 809 NAS, from HMS Albion
attacked targets in the Troodos
peacetime accident to affect the
a recreation centre, and last year
The eight pillars forming the
Mountains.
Canadian Armed Forces.
representatives of the TWA went
memorial, in a slight crescent, are
728 (Commando) Flight, which
Memories were toasted with
to Germany to retrieve keepsakes
hewn from Indian granite.
later merged into 848 NAS, played
a tot of Pusser’s rum and with
from the buildings which were
For the 450 relatives, friends and
a pioneering role in commando
Kootenay Beer, brewed specially
about to be demolished.
residents involved, the unveiling
rotary wing operations by working
for the occasion by Summerskills
Committee member Barbara
ceremony was deeply poignant
in conjunction with 45 Cdo RM
of Plymouth.
Steels saved the bell tower from
– especially as many had not
in the same mountainous area.
The 40th anniversary pilgrimage
Churchill House and a window
previously visited because of the
In September 1955, as the
continued over the weekend with
from the school church, built in
complicated political situation.
situation in Cyprus started to
a service at St Andrews Church
1955.
Throughout the period of the
escalate, 3 Cdo Brigade RM
and at the Mayflower Steps,
She was also presented with
Emergency, when the Greek
(40 and 45 Cdos) were rushed
followed by a reception at the
a ‘time capsule’ which had been
Cypriot EOKA organisation led a
from their base in Malta to begin
Royal Plymouth Corinthian Yacht
buried in 1945 at a ceremony
bloody fight for independence from
operations in the Limassol and
Club.
where Mary Churchill laid the the UK, ships of the Mediterranean Kyrenia areas respectively.
The Kootenay was towed back
foundation stone, and a workman Fleet conducted anti-arms Subsequently, 45 operated in
to Canada after the accident, and ● Bugle Cpl James Christopher sounds The Last Post during the
had found in the rubble of the smuggling coastal patrols. the Troodos Mountains and 40 in
Act of Remembrance in Cyprus served until the middle of the
now-demolished building. The ships involved are too the Paphos area.
1990s.
If anyone has any information, numerous to list but, as an The Brigade was recalled to
The bodies of the dead are, for The hope is that, should peace
Plymouth shipmates tried a marina
records, archives or documents example, those who lost their lives Malta for Suez in 1956, but from
the most part, buried in Wayne’s and reconciliation come to Cyprus,
new venue – the Anchorage Hotel
relating to the site, contact came from HM ships Alamein, 1957-59, 40 and 45 completed
Keep Cemetery, but that is situated the memorial can be re-sited in
at Babbacombe Downs – for their
Barbara at b.steels248@ Aphrodite (Flag Officer Middle further tours in the Troodos
in the UN Buffer Zone, and Wayne’s Keep.
Trafalgar celebrations.
btinternet.com East), Delight, Diamond, Ranpura Mountains and the Paphos Forest.
gaining entry can be bureaucratic, Further information about
They were joined by members
difficult and tiresome. the British Cyprus Memorial of the Bodmin, Launceston,
The new memorial has been Trust can be found at www. Bishops Cleeve, Saltash, South
sited in the old British Cemetery britishcyprusmemorial.org, Bristol and Watford branches.
in Kyrenia which, incidentally, and there is a link to the British Guest speaker was Cdr Charles
contains a VC – Sgt Samuel Cyprus Memorial 1955 to 1959 Crichton, and more than £460
McGaw of the Black Watch. (online) Book of Remembrance.
was raised for charity.
Bourne
take part
in RAF
event
EVERY year Bourne branch is
invited to take part in Families
Day at RAF Wittering, which
now has a large Naval contingent
working on Harrier jets.
This year was no exception.
Shipmates manned a tent selling
and giving away Navy-themed
items – whilst also looking to
recruit new members.
It all took place during
● Modelmaker Peter Williams carries his version of the LCM3, accompanied by the chairman of the
an impressive flying display
Aldershot branch of the Normandy Veterans Association, Ted Emmings
programme and in between some
very heavy showers.
Model gift for museum
Other events during the year
have included collections at local
supermarkets to raise funds which
AROUND 25 members of During World War 2, 8,631 of his skills to model-making.
are then distributed to worthy
the Aldershot branch of the these craft were built in the UK “These landing craft were the
causes in and around Bourne
Normandy Veterans Association and US, and many were used on unsung heroes of D-Day, playing a
which have given assistance to
gathered at Southsea to present June 6 1944. crucial role in the first 24 hours,”
branch members.
a model of a Royal Navy landing The LCMs carried part of the said Peter.
More than 100 members and
● Dickie and Eileen Doyle unveil the restored Indian Prince fi gurehead
craft to the D-Day Museum. Allied forces across the Channel The 1:16th scale model, built
guests sat down to the branch’s
at the HMS Ganges Association museum
The model is of a Landing on D-Day, and then ferried troops to carry an off-the-shelf working
Trafalgar Night dinner, which
Craft, Mechanised (Mk 3) or and supplies to the beaches from model Sherman tank, took two
featured the odd sea shanty and
LCM3, one of the workhorses of larger ships lying offshore. months to research and the same
a tot or two.
the Normandy Landings. The model was made by Peter again to construct.
Members were joined by Lt Cdr
Ganges fi gurehead
The full-size version was 15m Williams, who served in the RN It was presented to Andrew Andy MacDonald, who is based at
long, had a steel hull and could Medical Branch before retraining Whitmarsh, the Military History RAF Wittering, and Cdr Graham
carry 60 troops, supplies or even as a mechanical engineer. Officer of Portsmouth Museums Creedy (Retd), as well as Bourne unveiled at Shotley
a single tank. Since retiring Peter has turned and Records Office. Town Mayor Trevor Holmes.
FOLLOWING a little over two and partners or relatives who
years of restoration by Mr and help in the museum retired for
Mrs Kelvin Thatcher at their a finger buffet and drinks at the
workshops in Fakenham, Norfolk, Shipwreck restaurant, adjacent to
the ‘Indian Prince’ figurehead was the museum.
officially unveiled in the HMS The figurehead was donated to
Ganges Association museum. the museum by the Trustees of the
Kelvin Thatcher gave a talk on Royal Hospital Greenwich.
the problems he had encountered Dating from 1821, it came from
while carrying out restoration the second HMS Ganges, launched
work, as well as the difficulties in Bombay and withdrawn in 1861
he and the museum staff had to be converted to a training ship
in getting the figurehead into for boys.
position within the museum. Ganges then lay at Mylor in
The unveiling was carried out Falmouth until 1899, when she
by Dickie and Eileen Doyle, who was moved to Harwich.
were the major contributors to the When training moved ashore
restoration costs. in 1905 the figurehead followed,
On completion of the formal and on closure of HMS Ganges in
ceremony, 140 guests, including 1976 the icon went to the Royal
Peggy Dunlop, George Maxfield Hospital School at Holbrook, in
and the many ex-Ganges lads Suffolk.
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