NAVY NEWS, OCTOBER 2010
Veterans’ double century
TWO wartime Naval
celebrated their hundredth birthdays over the summer. First to the three-figure mark
was Cdr Bill King, the oldest- surviving submarine commander from World War 2. Cdr King, who also made a name for himself post-war as an author and fearless yachtsman, celebrated his century with a family party at his home, Oranmore Castle in County Galway. Cdr King won seven medals, including the DSO and Bar and the DSC, and commanded three boats.
Trusty in March 1941 and later HMS Telemachus, which he took to the Far East between July 1943 and August 1945, conducting several uneventful patrols. Cdr King later became the oldest person to complete a solo circumnavigation, at the age of 58. Two months after Cdr King reached 100, Jack Milham reached the same milestone. Jack served in the far East and
Eastern Mediterranean, returning to the UK with the Fleet Air Arm in 1943, though he speaks little about his wartime experiences. He retired at 45 as a lieutenant commander, but remains active today, often helping out at the Emmanuel Baptist Church in his home town of Gravesend.
HARLOW branch are mourning the death of S/M Pearl Roalf, wife of branch chairman Peter. S/M Pearl, who died in July
Among the standards at Pearl’s funeral were those of No 5 Area and the Essex branch of the Fleet Air Arm Association.
at the age of 81, was the first holder of the branch Certificate of Appreciation, and had been an associate member of the branch for some 30 years.
● BACK in July 2003 we printed a story about the HMS Daring 1952-54 Association visiting Kefalonia to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the earthquake which destroyed or damaged virtually every building on the Greek island. Daring raced to the scene to help the stricken islanders in 1953, and 50 years on they presented members of the association with a plaque of appreciation. The men of Daring promised that it would be passed to the new Type 45 destroyer, then in build... and that promise was fulfi lled when members enjoyed a day at sea in Daring, when the plaque was handed over to CO Capt Paddy McAlpine (pictured above with members) for safekeeping.
£50 (AND WOOD’S RUM) PRIZE PUZZLE
The first was HMS Snapper, which sank several small enemy vessels before the then Lt King moved on in December 1940. Lt Cdr King moved on to HMS
THIS year saw the 70th anniversary of the loss of aircraft carrier HMS Glorious and her escorts HM ships Ardent and Acasta – and veterans marked the occasion
at home and abroad. The three ships were sunk
on June 8 1940 by gunfire from German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau west of the Lofoten Islands during the evacuation of Norway with the loss of more than 1,500 men – an event which still arouses controversy seven decades later.
The Glorious, Ardent and
Acasta Association (Glarac) started their tribute to the men who died with a simple service at the Glarac memorial in the National Arboretum in Alrewas, followed shortly after by a service at St Nicholas Church in Devonport Naval Base. The focus then switched across the North Sea
to Harstad in
Norwegian memorial fulfils Glarac ambition
Norway, the last port of call for the two destroyers before they joined Glorious. The party – including
associates from Canada, Australia and Scotland – were taken by Norwegian landing craft out into the Andfjord, with snow-topped peaks
standing out against the
blue summer sky. After two hours the craft stopped, the ramp was lowered and a service of remembrance held – 200 miles east of the ship’s resting place, but as close as the visitors could be taken. A relative representing each
ship’s company laid wreaths on the still waters, with Cdre James Morse laying a wreath on behalf of the Royal Navy. Later the same day, back in
Harstad, a toast was proposed to all three ships at 1825hrs _ the exact time that Ardent sank beneath the waves in 1940. The following day a service was held in Trondenes Church,
attended by members of the local community as well as British Embassy staff. The congregation then walked the short distance to a plaque, draped in blue silk, which was unveiled by the local mayor and S/M Mike Sellick (Ardent) who, with his wife Jenny, had set the ball rolling for the trip.
With similar plaques established
in Alrewas, Devonport and Malta – more Maltese sailors were lost in Glorious than any other single ship – Glarac had fulfilled an aim of its constitution, “to perpetuate the memory of the 1,531 who lost their lives on Glorious, Ardent and Acasta.” With the formal part of the
visit now over there was time to see some of the history of the area, including the 16in ‘Adolf guns’ high above Harstad, while a further small ceremony was held at the grave of Telegraphist Jack Pilkington, who served in HMS Glorious.
With new friendships forged,
the party returned to the UK. Further details of Glarac can be found at their website, www. glarac.co.uk
● S/M Mike Sellick with the Glarac plaque in Trondenes
Glory’s Austral links
A SHIP association is hoping a like-minded group on the other side of the world might be interested in displaying a token of a friendship forged more than 60 years ago. The HMS Glory Association held a reunion shortly after bushfires ravaged South Australia early last year, and resolved to send a donation.
A cheque for £500 was duly sent via the Australian Red Cross – but members also wanted to recognise the links between them and the Antipodes. A small, lightweight panel was prepared in time for S/M Bernard Skam to take with him to Sydney, where S/M Peter Wright picked it up and continued to Canberra. The panel carries the association
crest, recalls “the great kindness, hospitality and generosity shown by the Australian people to the ship’s company during visits
1945 and the early 1950s when our two countries were engaged in the fight for democracy during World War II and in Korea.” It also bears a copy of the donated
THE mystery frigate in our
August edition (right) was HMS Mermaid, originally ordered by
Ghana as the Black Star. And Mr M. Hatton of Whitstable
in Kent wins our £50 prize for submitting the correct answers. This month we have two prizes – our normal £50 and a bottle of Wood’s Old Navy Rum. To be eligible to win the rum you must confirm that you are 18 years old or over, and you must also live in the UK (including Northern Ireland, Eire and the Channel Islands). Based on a post-war American design, the highly-regarded Commonwealth navy icebreaker pictured above was later transferred to the country’s coastguard, and saw more than 30 years service before she was sold for scrap in 1987. What was her name?
Complete the coupon and send it to Mystery Picture, Navy News, HMS Nelson, Portsmouth PO1 3HH. Coupons giving the correct answer will go into a prize draw to establish two winners. Closing date for entries is November 15. More than one entry can be submitted but photocopies cannot be accepted. Do not include anything else in your envelope: no correspondence can be entered into and no entry returned.
The winners will be announced in our December edition. The competition is not open to Navy News employees or their families.
MYSTERY PICTURE 188 Name . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . My answer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I confirm that I am 18 years old or over . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
cheque sent to the people of Victoria affected by the bushfires. Unfortunately the Australian War Museum could
and the panel is now back in the UK awaiting news of another interested party which may be able to put it on display.
Barham service hold
THE HMS Barham Association will
service in Westminster Abbey on Saturday November 27. Members and guests should
enter the West Door by 1430hrs and proceed to seating in the centre of the nave. After the service the book of
remembrance will be open for inspection. Some members have planned
to meet at the Methodist Central Hall restaurant for a light lunch and get-together before
service, while the Union Jack Club has given permission for members and friends to use the club’s bar and restaurant after the service.
Warriors still not forgotten
THE guns on the Western Front had been silent for a year when a woman visited a London hospital and inquired of the matron whether any wounded Servicemen remained on the wards. She was shocked to learn that 600 remained too ill or badly injured to be discharged – and that thousands more were in the same situation around the country. The
Cunningham, talent, woman
American-born soprano with very good connections in Europe. Miss Cunningham had a second that for philanthropy,
and her concern at the plight of the wounded, bored and lonely warriors
establishment of the Not Forgotten Association, with the objective of providing entertainment and recreation opportunities for those whose lives were damaged in the Great War. Princess Mary was the charity’s
led to the immediate
was Marta a celebrated
first patron, and remained so for her entire life, being succeeded by the Duchess of Kent, who handed over the torch to the Princess Royal in 2000. In 1926 the
officially defined its task as being ‘to provide comfort, cheer and entertainment for the wounded ex-servicemen still in hospital as a result of the Great War’, but as the decades passed it has evolved to help a wider group of veterans, including those wounded in more recent conflicts. As the years went on the
Association has adapted to meet changing needs and extended its activities to include those wounded in more recent conflicts, seeking to “act generally for the benefit of Service and ex-Service personnel with disabilities or who are wounded,
the organisation of, or provision of items or facilities for, leisure and recreational activities, travel, holidays and outings.” It now provides
entertainments programme across
the year” for injured serving or ex-Servicemen and women who have a war pension or receive compensation from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme or are currently suffering ill health. ‘Entertainment’ includes the
museums, boat and steam train journeys,
trips such as visits to the country throughout “an including Association
provision of TVs and licences as well as holidays and pilgrimages, day
events, and the Association also arranges concerts. The Queen allows the
Association to hold a garden party each year at Buckingham Palace and a Christmas party in the State Apartments of St James’ Palace. Last year the Association
provided such entertainment to more than 9,000 people. Applications for assistance or to join activities are generally made through the Services Personnel and Welfare Agency, the Royal British Legion, SSAFA Forces Help or Combat Stress, For more information, Association’s
● Members of the HMS Anson Association who served in the battleship gather for their AGM at the Royal Maritime Club, Portsmouth
Gratitude in print
MEMBERS of the HMS Anson Association have demonstrated their thanks to the Royal Maritime Club in Portsmouth by presenting a print of their old battleship. Association chairman S/M Syd Clapson handed the print to club general manager John Anderson, saying it was a goodwill gesture for all the effort put in by staff and management to make sure the association’s meetings went well over the past few years. A plaque was also presented, and S/M Syd said they had already booked in for next year. The chairman said that although the Battleship Anson had been a
Chatham-manned ship, it was to Portsmouth that she returned from the Far East on July 29 1946. S/M Syd was a Royal Marine on board on that day, and recalled how his then girlfriend – now his wife – was there to welcome him home.
part of her war career on Arctic convoys, and was involved in the attack on the Tirpitz, but later transferred to the Far East and was present at the relief of Hong Kong, with Syd and his colleagues taking on security duties as there was no police force following Japanese occupation.
Anson had spent the early
Forgotten Association, 4th Floor, 2 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0DH.
ALMOST 30 Kenya Navy veterans and friends gathered at the Church House Inn, Rattery, to revive memories of their service in Mombasa in the 60s and 70s whilst training the country’s navy. A warm welcome was extended to three new guests at the RN Training Team Kenya annual reunion. John Barrington Carver,
CO of patrol craft KNS Chui in the early years from 1962, gave some harrowing accounts of the dangers and difficulties faced by RN training staff during this volatile period. A bouquet was presented to guest of honour Hilary Hall.
the the Director, Not tattoos and sporting
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