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ROYAL NAVAL ASSOCIATION


Battle of the Atlantic and SAR memories


THIS year sees two major anniversaries for the Royal Navy – the Battle of the Atlantic 70th and the helicopter Search and Rescue 60th. Navy News and the Royal Navy communications organisation will be covering both anniversaries in detail, but we want to look beyond the official records. Do you have any recollections of either the Battle or of rotary- wing Search and Rescue missions over the years? And do you have any


photographs which might deserve a wider audience? If you have any anecdotes, recollections or images which help us describe the human dimension – life on board escort warships or merchantmen on the high seas, maybe, or a memorable rescue mission in a Navy helo – and you are happy for us to publish them in the paper and online, then please send them to Navy News, HMS Nelson, Portsmouth PO1 3HH or email edit@navynews.co.uk Such information may also be of interest to the wider media and broadcasters, so we may in some circumstances get back to you to see if you are happy to talk to journalists or film-makers about your experiences – please include a contact number or email address.


Hotel full WITH months still to go, this


year’s National Conference in Liverpool is already looking to be a major gathering of shipmates. More than 500 have booked the Adelphi Hotel package, and the establishment is now full. The gala dinner, at the same


venue, is also nearly full. Area 10 has identified some accommodation,


alternative


including the appropriately- named Lord Nelson Hotel in Horton Street, near Lime Street station – say you are with the RNA party for special rates. If you are having problems finding accommodation for June 14-16 contact Dave Tollerton at Stoker8@virginmedia.com, or call 0151 933 4992.


Island connection celebrated


A CONNECTION between the Isle of Wight and the ‘Cockleshell Heroes’ raid on Bordeaux has been marked by the local branch of the RNA.


£50 PRIZE PUZZLE In December 1942 ten Royal


Marines from the RM Boom Patrol Detachment, led by Maj ‘Blondie’ Hasler RM, carried out the daring raid against the Nazi war effort in occupied France. Operation Frankton saw the


men slip away from submarine HMS Tuna off the Gironde estuary in five two-men canoes or cockles, aiming to paddle 105 miles upriver to place limpet mines on Axis shipping in the port. Of the five canoes launched, only two struggled past enemy defences to press home their attack, and just two of the ten commandos survived to make it back to Blighty. Information was


discovered


THE mystery ship in our December edition (right) was HMS Sluys, which went on to become the Iranian ship Artemiz.


Eddie Summerfold, of Bury,


wins £50, while William Smith, of Kidlington, Oxford, wins a bottle of rum, kindly donated by Pusser’s Rum, in the same draw. This month’s mystery ship, above


(foreground) was a trawler which, with her sister, acted as an RNR training ship in the 1970s, as well as testing mine countermeasures equipment, before being returned to her owner in 1983.


Our ship gave her name to the class – (1) what was her RN name, and (2) what was her original name? We have removed her pennant number from the image.


Complete the coupon and send


it to Mystery Picture, Navy News, HMS Nelson, Portsmouth PO1 3HH. Coupons giving the correct answers will go into a prize draw to establish a winner. Closing date for entries is March 12. 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 winner will be announced in our April edition. The competition is not open to Navy News employees or their families.


MYSTERY PICTURE 216


Name . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . My answers (1) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (2) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


www.navynews.co.uk


revealing that the canoes used in the heroic raid were designed by Fred Goatley of East Cowes. Fred was retired at the


time, but acted as a consultant to


SARO (Saunders-Roe)


Laminated Woodwork Ltd at Folly Works on the River Medina at Whippingham. The work was carried out after much consultation between Fred and Maj Hasler.


The 9ft double-ended paddles


were also made on the island by Morey and Co, timber merchants in Newport. To commemorate the island connection,


branch members


attended the unveiling of an information panel adjacent to the now-derelict Folly Works (pictured above). Also


in attendance were


members of Fred Goatley’s family, Sea Cadets from Ryde unit, island dignitaries and members of the Isle of Wight Society, who funded the project.


l VICTORIA Cross holder Lt George Hinckley was remembered on the anniversary of his death – December 31 1904 – in the Victorian Chapel at Ford Park cemetery in Plymouth. Veterans and standards from Plymouth and Saltash branches, the Association of Wrens, and the Associations of the RFA, HMS Ganges, Merchant Navy and Coldstream Guards attended. Lt Hinckley won the VC as an AB aboard HMS Sphinx in China in October 1862, rescuing two wounded officers from open ground while under heavy fire


Aegean tribute planned


THIS year sees the 70th anniversary of the sinking of the destroyers HM Ships Panther, Eclipse, Hurworth, Rockwood, Dulverton and Intrepid, plus Greek destroyers Queen Olga and Adrias, writes S/M Albert Poulter. The destroyers were lost between September 26 and November 14 1943, fighting the war in the Aegean Sea and during the Battle for Leros. The battle, a crucial element in the Dodecanese campaign, was a grim episode for the Allies, with British troops being heavily attacked less than two weeks after landing, capitulating within two months. Many British troops were lost or taken


prisoner on the islands. The 70th anniversary commemoration


festival, to be held on Leros in Port Lakki later this year, is for those shipmates that lost their lives in HMS Intrepid and the Greek destroyer Queen Olga – both sunk on September 26-27 in Port Lakki Bay. However,


The other aforementioned destroyers


will not have a monument in the Dodecanese area, and shipmates and relatives of those who died are also welcome to join in to remember them. The Greek destroyer Adrias, which suffered damage with the above destroyers, has its monument along the shore, not far from the Intrepid monument, with memorial ceremonies on October 22. The Island of Leros is small and beautiful and the people are most welcoming. The navy expression ‘Once Navy,


Always Navy’ I think is very true. From when I joined the Navy at 18, in


all shipmates and relatives,


past and present, irrespective of ship or status, would be very welcome if they would like to attend.


the first week in January 1943 as Ordinary Seaman (CW) (I was demobbed as PO(RM)R in August 1946), the Navy has been like one big family, always friendly and willing to help each other. RN veterans and their relatives are getting fewer at these memorial services, and as some of you are thinking of booking holidays in the Greek Islands, I thought you would like to know beforehand, that your attendance at Leros to swell the ranks would be very much appreciated.


Was Jellicoe behind town’s Navy link?


ALRESFORD branch


And although the branch only commissioned in 1993, the historic Hampshire market town had connections to the Royal Navy long before that date. The most notable link between


the town, near Winchester, and the Navy was the coal-burning Hunt-class minesweeper HMS Alresford – otherwise known as a ‘Smokey Joe’ after the enormous amount of smoke produced by


celebrates its 20th anniversary with a formal lunch on April 14, with former Controller of the Navy and branch president Admiral Sir Derek Reffell and several founder members planning to attend.


their boiler design. She was laid down on the River


Clyde on April 30 1918 and launched in 1919. The ship’s crest was the result liaison with the town clerk to reflect Alresford’s badge,


of a


black rampant lion on a white and chequered field with a Latin motto Cavendo Tutus,


translated


into English as ‘Safe by Taking Care’. Why should a town of only a


few thousand souls have come to the attention of those who name warships?


The theory is because of the connection between Alresford and Viscount Jellicoe, who was born and bred in Southampton, 15 miles to the south-west.


By 1919 Jellicoe had risen to the rank of Admiral of the Fleet – the same year that his younger brother, Rev Frederick Jellicoe, was appointed vicar of St John’s Church, Alresford.


And also the same year that


HMS Alresford was launched, part of a class that had been renamed to avoid confusion with signals. Surely that was no coincidence?


Although HMS Alresford had


been designed to keep the seaways safe by sweeping them of mines, the end of World War 1 made her too late to see action and she was thus modified and went into service as a tender to the Navigation School in Portsmouth. For the next 20 years she


steamed round the Isle of Wight carrying classes of naval cadets – including the Duke of Edinburgh at the start of his naval career – teaching them the rudiments of navigation. During this period the town supplied hampers of watercress to the ship, and in return the crew made several visits to Alresford to partake in various sporting contests (although invariably losing at football). At the start of World War 2 HMS Alresford was converted back to her original role of minesweeping and became a warship at last. She carried explosives to Cherbourg for the blowing up of harbour installations there to prevent them falling into German hands, she managed to shoot down a German bomber, and took part in the costly raid on Dieppe in August 1942, surviving enemy fire and managing to tow a vessel fully loaded with Canadian wounded back to Newhaven. She also undertook


minesweeping duties in the Channel and continued with her duties with the Navigation School. Sporting


links to the


together with the town’s support of the ship, were also continued throughout the period of conflict. In 1945 HMS Alresford was placed in reserve and in 1947 she was sold for scrap. But the links to the town remain – a replica of the ship’s crest, a photograph of the ship and a commemorative plaque, which were personally presented by the officers and crew, hang proudly as a permanent memorial on the south wall of


St John’s parish church, New Alresford.


The establishment of a branch of the RNA has also maintained and strengthened the naval links. Alresford is an active branch of around 40 members, meeting at the


Recreation and Leisure Centre at Arlebury Park. town,


Truculent collision recalled


A CEREMONY remembering the 64 sailors and dockyard workers who died after a collision between a submarine and a merchantman in the Thames 63 years ago has been held at Chatham. The men were lost when HMS


Truculent, on sea trials, collided with the Swedish tanker SS Divina on January 12 1950 in the estuary after confusion over lights. Some died when the boat sank,


others escaped but were swept to their deaths in the icy river. The ceremony also remembers


five crewmen of an RAF Coastal Command Lancaster who died when their aircraft crashed during the rescue operation. The service,


the main by Medway Towns Submariners


organised in Association


chairman S/M Archie Watt, was held at the St George’s Centre, attended by more than 200 people. Some 20 standards were in attendance,


Submariners Associations, the RNA, RNR, Royal Engineers Association, Merchant Navy, RAF Association, Royal British Legion and Sea Cadets.


Fitting send-off


SOME 18 members of East of Scotland RMA, along with our Standard bearer S/M Roddy Campbell and bugler S/M Jeff Smart, gathered at the Parkgrove Crematorium,


Angus, to attend the funeral of the late A/Cpl James Parsons. James served in the Corps from


1947 until 1970, including drafts to Malaya, Cyprus and Aden. A resident of Kirriemuir for the


past 20 years or so – alone since his wife Lottie died in 2000 – he died in late August aged 83. As the Crown Office could not


Royal British Legion Scotland approached the East of Scotland RMA, who in turn contacted the RMA central office who arranged for payment of the funeral, therefore giving James a send-off as a befitting tribute to a fellow Royal Marine.


trace any family members, and to save him from a pauper’s grave, the Arbroath branch of


the Friockheim, in representing


l Albert Poulter (centre) with Vice Admiral Elleniadis of the Hellenic Navy (right) and two clerics in Leros last September


FEBRUARY 2013 : 29


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