NAVY NEWS, JUNE 2010
TIRELESS veteran Cdr Eddie Grenfell, who conducted a hard- fought campaign for recognition for the men who served on the Arctic Convoys, was welcomed to Moscow’s Red Square for the historic Victory Day parade.
Cdr Grenfell was one of four
convoy veterans who were hosted by the Russian government with air fares, hotels and entertainment all laid on in the capital’s heart. The
retired officer, whose
ship was bombed on the final of four convoys through the Arctic, saw at first hand the suffering of the Russian people in a military hospital at Murmansk. He told Navy News: “We had
seats on the tribune during the Victory Parade on Red Square on Sunday May 9. “Afterwards we had lunch at the Kremlin Palace in the presence of President Dmitry Medvedev and the Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
“I had seen how Russian cities
were all but completely destroyed in the war. The Russian people have rebuilt everything. “Moscow is the most impressive city I have ever seen, and its citizens the kindest I have ever experienced – all showing their heartfelt
gratitude to the war
veterans, Russian and allied, who gave them back their torn and battered country.” He added:
schoolchildren are taught to respect war veterans, which was evident every time we met them.” This was the first time in the Parade’s 65-year history that
● Cdr Eddie Grenfell
and American troops
joined their Russian and former Soviet allies in Red Square. Soldiers from No.2 Company,
1st Battalion Welsh Guards and the Central Band of the RAF formed a part of the 11,000 multinational troops assembled for the event. The
A first for
THE TIME OF YOUR LIVES
A NEW scheme to ‘dial a sailor’
set telephone lines
buzzing in Liverpool and Adelaide as eager ‘bachelor girls’ tried to fix dates with visiting matelots.
The lines in HMS Blake and HMS Ajax were hot with ‘dialling dollies,’ offering friendship and hospitality. The ‘rent-a-Jack’ service had been tried first in HMS Blake in Cape Town, and was so successful that other ships soon joined in.
When HMS Blake reached Australia, the phone lines were soon hot with offers of dinner dates and other delights (unspecified...), while 12,000 miles away in Liverpool the Leander-class frigate HMS Ajax was so overwhelmed with calls that demand exceeded the supply of sailors.
We fl ick back through the pages of Navy News to see which stories were drawing attention in past decades...
1990 marked the 75th anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign, and the frigates HMS Argonaut and HMS Broadsword represented the Royal Navy at ceremonies in Turkey attended by the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, and
premier, Bob Hawke. In the Dardanelles, through which the Royal Navy had tried to force a passage to Constantinople, HMS Argonaut located the war graves of the battleships HMS Ocean and HMS Irresistible, sunk by shore batteries in 1915. Broadsword joined in the
international sail-past at the Turkish Canakkale
memorial, within sight of the legendary shores of Troy. Both British ships had earlier spent an enjoyable four days in Istanbul, building up a strong friendship with HMAS Sydney and the logistics ship HMAS Tobruk.
● Type 42 HMS Manchester
Victory Day Parade
remains a hugely significant event in the Russian calendar as some 27 million people from the Soviet Union died during World War 2. At the Parade, Mr Medvedev
said: “Time has great power. But it is not as powerful as human memory – our memory. “We shall never forget the
soldiers who fought on the front, the women who replaced men in factories,
the children who
underwent suffering unthinkable for their ages.”
requested “a 6ft 2in tall Irishman with a red beard” and refused all substitutes, while a Liverpool girl, told that no more sailors were available, remarked “I bet one would come if they knew what I had to offer by way of entertainment.” The (more solemn) official aim of the scheme was “to encourage and provide... hospitality to the benefit of the ship’s company and to allow civilians to meet the sailor at his best in family surroundings.” Jack’s always at his best...
One girl in Liverpool June 1980 introduced
BLUE tapes and white lanyard were
modernised square rig, which had brought in a new, plainer style and also seen the end of the famous bell-bottomed trousers.
When the new rig was
introduced, the separate front tapes and lanyard were omitted from the jumper, with the
aim of simplifying experience the
uniform, its upkeep and wear and tear. But
that tapes gave a better front- closure, and many people
missed the traditional look which the lanyard gave, so it was reintroduced. However, many young ratings had never coped with tapes and lanyards before, and needed detailed instructions on how to wear them. The tape,
with its fishtail
ends, was tied in a bow, while the lanyard had a running turk’s head knot and formed a loop behind the ear. “Uniform provides a regular talking point and can arouse strong
DRUG dealers’ plans to grow millions of dollars’ worth of cannabis went up in smoke after HMS Manchester found tonnes of the illicit crop on the island of Monserrat. The Type 42 destroyer was patrol
on anti-drugs in the
Caribbean when her Lynx helicopter crew spotted two major sites and ten more areas of commercial production. Lt Ian Oakes flew the aircraft
over the volcanic island, while his flight observer, Lt Steve Gray, kept a lookout for the carefully cultivated rows of plants
tucked away forests below.
The warship had recently helped police in Tortola
uncover several fields of cannabis plants which were later destroyed.
in the war the Australian
Corporal Christopher Lewis Harrison
RM. Bravo Company 40 Commando. May 9
in Afghanistan. Aged 26. (Full report earlier in paper on page 5 with tributes.)
Surgeon Vice-Admiral Sir John Harrison.
Joined the RNVR late in the war and transferred to the RN in 1947. His fi rst ship as naval surgeon was the frigate Sparrow on the North American and West Indies station then his appointments alternated between various naval hospitals worldwide and he continued training at Barts, where in 1953 he began to specialise in radiology. He contributed to the advance of diving medicine writing several textbooks and papers on the causes of bone death by nitrogen bubbles blocking blood vessels. He was a member of the Medical Research Council’s decompression sickness panel for many years. On promotion to surgeon rear admiral in 1977 he was appointed Dean of Naval Medicine and offi cer in charge of the Institute of Naval Medicine. As Deputy Medical Director-General during the Falklands War, the success of the medical support was largely attributed to him. He retired in 1983 and was president of the Medical Society of London 1985-86. March 7. Aged 88.
surgeon. Served as ship’s doctor in Skate 1942
Atlantic convoys and treated
Peter Murray Kerr DSC. Wartime ship’s
survivors of the cruiser Curacao that sank after colliding with the liner Queen Mary. In 1943 he joined the newly-commissioned Savage (23rd Destroyer Flotilla) employed on Arctic convoy duties and on Boxing Day as part of the escort for Duke of York and Jamaica during the Battle of North Cape when Scharnhorst was sunk. While sailing with convoy JN65 he helped save the lives of about 60 survivors of the destroyer Lapwing after she was sunk by U968 and was awarded a DSC for his service. February 7. Aged 95.
Cdr John Raymond George Sexton.
WE branch. Served 1955-91 in Sirius,
Cook, Albion, Forth, Southampton and Liverpool, also Collingwood and HMNB Portsmouth. Collingwood Volunteer Band, HM Coastguard, Veterans Association and ARNO. April 26. Aged 71.
Gordon ‘Robbie’ Roberts.
Observer. Served in Firefl y Squadrons 792, 812 (Black Flight), 827 (Black Flight), 837 and others; also 13th, 14th and 16th Carrier Air Groups in Glory, Ocean, Triumph and Indomitable and air stations at Culdrose, Hal-Far, Sembawang and Trincomalee. FAA Offi cers; and 14th Carrier Air Group associations. April 5. Aged 84.
Capt Meyrick DSC. Captain of
Morecambe Bay in the 1950s and a member of the association. Ken Smallpage. Associate member of
HMS Morecambe Bay Association. His wife Mary christened the ship in 1944. Barry Stone. Stoker. Served 1953-55 in Diana, 8 Mess. HMS Diana Association; also the Stokers Association.
George Nicholas ‘Nick’ Lodge. LAM.
Served 1958-70. Ganges Boy then RNAS Abbotsinch, Bulwark, RNEC Manadon, Albion, RNAS Brawdy and attached to 42 Commando Brigade 1967-69. April 6. Aged 67.
Dick Clay. PO Seaman. Served in Kale and founder member of HMS Kale Association. April. Aged 89.
John Grantley Guy. CPO Engine Room
Artifi cer. Served 1944-47, fi rstly in the American lease-lend ship Braithwaite (1944- 45) which, in a two-week period, took part in the sinking of three U-boats off the Hebrides receiving specifi c mention for two of these. Upon leaving the Braithwaite in Brooklyn Naval Yard, New York, he travelled by rail to British Columbia to join the Canadian Liberty Ship Spurn Point (1946); then joined his fi nal ship the American minesweeper Chance (1946-47) in Aultbea, Scotland. December 15. Aged 86.
Graham Syass. CPO. Served 1971-92
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in HMS London then drafted to submarines 1974 and served HMS Conqueror, decommissioned HMS Dreadnought (80-83), Sceptre (83-88) then Sovereign (89-92). April 22. Aged 56.
William ‘Bill’ Petty. Stoker Mech.1/
M(E)1. Served 1951-58 in Newcastle (FEF), Maidstone and Pellew; also TS Endeavour (Bristol). May. Aged 77.
Ronald ‘Bob’ Anthony Peppiatt. Chief
Aircraft Artifi cer 1943-65 (Boys service 1941-43). Served with Sea Fury, Sea Hawk, Gannet, Sea Vixen and Scimitar aircraft at Seahawk (1953), Goldcrest 896 Squadron (1954-55), Victorious 893 Squadron (1959- 60), Fulmar AHU (1960-61) and Seahawk 894 Squadron Air Eng (1962-65). May 13. Aged 84.
Alan ‘Curly’ George Bailey. Stoker 1st
class. Served 1942-48 on submarines Osiris, Thermopylae and ships Gambia, Sobkra and Tana. April 17. Aged 86.
Ernest Arthur Cripps. Signalman. Served
WW2 in Golden Fleece and Malta convoys. April 25. Aged 85.
Murray ‘Sharkey’ Ward. POME RN 1950s
and Chief Engineer RFA. A founding member HMS Belfast Association and long-time committee member. April 11. Aged 80. Dennis Dalton. PO. Served in Bruce,
Wakeful, Troughbridge, Chequers, Chevron, Chivalrous, Dampier, Sheffi eld, Aphrodite, Apollo and Manxman. Member of HMS Bruce Association. April 27. Aged 78.
Frederick ‘Barry’ Keen AM(A). Served the
Fleet Air Arm 1943-46. Bristol and District branch FAA Association. April 10. Aged 85.
James ‘Lofty’ Christmas. Took part in
Operation Dynamo and recently interviewed for a BBC2 documentary due to be broadcast June 5. Association of Dunkirk Little Ships. April 30.
ROYAL NAVAL ASSOCIATION
Denis C Lochhead. Able Seaman. Served
1942-46 in Fencer, Crane and Adamant on Atlantic and Russian convoys, also the British South Pacifi c Fleet. RNA member for 66 years. March 24. Aged 85. John Arnold. Served in Ganges then Exeter for the River Plate confrontation with the Graf Spee. After gunnery training at Pembroke and Nelson he served in Rodney, Nelson and Euryalus (Russian convoy duty) completing his service in Fife. Crawley branch. April 9. Aged 86.
Ernest Peter ‘Boats’ Humphreys. Served
in Coastal Forces and Benbow (Trinidad), Peekshill (New York), Kedah, RIN. Maidstone branch. April 17. Aged 87.
Edward ‘Ted’ Smith. Founder member
and treasurer of Loughton RNA also a member of the Royal British Legion. April 22. Aged 84.
Victor ‘Terry’ Smith. A/LEM (X)(Air).
Served 1955-57 at Collingwood, Ariel, Bulwark, Daedalus and Fulmar. Life member of Chelmsford RNA. February 28. Aged 76.
Walter ‘Wally’ Clarence Harrington.
Joined Ganges 1943 and served in Sussex, Atlantic convoys, Combined Ops/Beach Commando with Mountbatten in India. Chairman and president for many years of Sudbury, Halstead and Hedingham RNA also member of Burma Star Association. April 15. Aged 83.
Eric Falconer. Served WW2 aboard
Flower-class corvettes including Stonecrop and was in Japan when the Japanese surrender took place. Founder member and life member of Congleton RNA and served as chairman, welfare offi cer and standard
president and full life member of South Bristol RNA, previously a member of Bristol Branch; also RBL, Algerines and Merchant Navy Associations. Ships included Romola. April 24. Aged 76.
Joyce Ward. Associate member
Nuneaton branch. April 1. Aged 75.
William Spooner. Associate member
Nuneaton branch; also ex-RAF and a Burma Star member. April 23. Aged 87.
William ‘Bill’ Dickinson. Served during
WW2 in the Far East and Honorary Consul to Thailand in Toronto. Burma Star Association and Southern Ontario RNA. April 15. Aged 84.
bearer; also member of Flower Class Corvette Association. April 23. Aged 84.
Brian Neal. Stoker/Mechanic. Vice
March 29. Aged 85. Dennis Pratt. AB. Served in Waterwitch.
Ronald ‘Ron’ Stoneham. Sto/Mech.
Served in Welfare. April 20. Aged 81. Bill Lewington. Eng/Mec. Served in
Welfare. April 23. Aged 77.
Espiegle. April 26. Aged 85. Dennis McGrath. AB. Served in Plucky. May 1. Aged 84.
HMS ILLUSTRIOUS ASSOCIATION Robert ‘Bob’ Avery. Signal Boy aboard
Illustrious 1948 and survivor of the Illustrious’ Liberty Boat disaster in October. April 2.
Stanley Drucquer. Served aboard
Illustrious 1941-42 and subsequently served RNVR. January 6. Roy Martin. Associate member. February
Arthur Mitchell. Served aboard Illustrious 1944-45. April 15. Aged 84.
Alan Pike RM. Served aboard Illustrious
1943-45. February 19.
121. Wounded when serving on MTBs during the Operation at Dieppe. April 21. Aged 87. L Hinchcliff. Served on board LBK 6, LBW 27 and Supply & Repair Flotilla 38. April 25.
C J ‘Cliff’ Alexander. AB. Submarine
Service 1955-58 in Scotsman (55-57) and Tactician (57-58). New Zealand branch. Aged 74.
D ‘Dave’ Cassie. CC.R.Mech. Submarine
Service 1955-90 in Artemis, Alaric, Tally-Ho (Israeli Tanin Rahav), Narwhal, Tudor and Renown. Gosport branch. Aged 76.
P ‘Pat’ Fitzgerald. AB UW3. Submarine
service 1955-61 in Subtle, Auriga, Aurochs, Telemachus, Walrus and Explorer. Beds & Herts and Scotland NE branches. Aged 72.
R ‘Roger’ Foster. AB UW3. Submarine
service 1956-66 in Trespasser,
Grampus and Finwhale. Medway Towns branch. Aged 73.
E B ‘Eric’ Johnson. CPO E1 Mech.
Submarine service 1956-77 in Talent, Alaric, S Crew (Sleuth and Trespasser), Seascout, Dreadnought and Conqueror. Morecambe Bay branch. Aged 72. R Pederson. AB. Norwegian Navy. Submarine service WW2 in Urredd Ula B1 (Norwegian), Scotland NE branch. Aged 90.
G P ‘George’ Skipper. Sto.Mech.
Please call 023 9272 6284 for details or email:
LST & LANDING CRAFT ASSOCIATION
G Cooper. Served on board LSTs 11 and 394, Naval Beach Party 1578, Albatross and Dodman Point. October 11. A B Finch. Served on board LCTs. January 13. Harold Fellows. Served on board LCT
L/Tel. Served in
as CO from September 8.
Lt Cdr Angus Essenhigh to MCM1 Crew
2 as CO at HMS Blyth from May 24.
Lt Cdr James M B Parkin to MCM1 Crew
7 as CO at Faslane from July 20.
Lt Col Matthew Stovin-Bradford to 30
Commando IX Group RM as CO from April 19.
Capt Steve Dainton to HMS Cumberland
CO from August 1.
Lt Cdr Adrian C Fryer to HMS Clyde as
Talking Navy News
Navy News is available free of charge as a digital file on memory stick or email from Portsmouth Area Talking News for those with difficulty reading normal type. Contact 023 9269 0851 and leave a message with a contact number, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Submarine Service 1950-53 in Thule and Upstart. N.Ireland branch. Aged 82.
J ‘Jim’ Lindsay. AB LTO. Submarine
service WW2 in Shalimar and Subtle. Scotland NE branch. Aged 86.
F ‘Frank’ Williams. AB HSD. Submarine
E ‘Eric’ Willoughby. CPO ME(N).
Submarine service 1953-86 in Trespasser, Trenchant, Tactician, Porpoise, Grampus and Rorqual. Gosport branch. Aged 78.
R H J ‘Bob’ Wishart. CPO Ck. Submarine
Service 1961-80 in Finwhale (1962-63), Totem (1963-65), Anchorite (1965-66), Ambush (1967-68) and Rorqual (1969-70). West Scotland & Scottish branches. Aged 69.
Tradewind and Thule. Merseyside branch. Aged 84.
in Sirdar, Tactician,
Winners of our DVD competition in our April issue to win Road Warriors in Afghanistan are: Mr M Hall, Tonbridge, Kent; Mr C Jacobs,
and-support/establishments/training- establishments/hms-collingwood/hms- collingwood-open-day-2010
Sultan Show: Saturday and Sunday June
Armed Forces Day: Saturday June 26:
support/establishments/naval-bases-and- air-stations/rnas-culdrose/rnas-culdrose- air-day-2009
Saturday July 30-31: www.na
Portsmouth Navy Days: Sunday August
AUGUST Portsmouth Navy Days: Friday and
support/establishments/naval-bases-and- air-stations/rnas-yeovilton/rnas-yeovilton- air-day-2009
Culdrose Air Day: Wednesday July 28:
Yeovilton Air Day: Saturday July 10: Collingwood Open Day: Saturday June JUNE
Swindon, Wilts; Mr E Davies, Buriton, Hants;
Mr S Myers, Plymouth, Devon
Bristol; Mr P P Storrs,
Speak to John Lister
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