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slash1
northampton
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1 of 25  Sat 25th Apr 2015 11:35am  
Member: Joined Apr 2011  Total posts:137

Wondered how many people on here have done time in the Royal Navy? I think that I know of three. Are there anymore out there? Joined HMS Raleigh 1st November 1960, did my 9 years from 18. Left April 1971. Had brilliant training and education, provided me employment for life, retiring at 70. Happy days, all of it. Navy and civvy street.
Royal Navy connections
Bags
Saltash
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2 of 25  Tue 28th Apr 2015 8:25am  
Member: Joined Jul 2013  Total posts:99

My brother Iain wasn't in the Navy but has strong Naval connections. In the nineties and early noughties he used to write the scripts for their training films and do other work for the M.O.D. He is also the editor of 'Warships International Fleet Review' and writes books on naval history. His last two being 'Killing The Bismarck' and 'Hunter Killers', both of which caused a bit of controversy. He lives in Plymouth and I live just across the Tamar in Saltash nowadays.
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matchle55
Coventry
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3 of 25  Tue 28th Apr 2015 9:03pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2014  Total posts:175

My late father's home port was Devonport, his ship was HMS Duke of York which he joined in 1943. I do not know what action the ship saw during his time on it but I do know that it was present in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrender was signed on the USS Missouri. He arrived home in 1947 after over 2 years away.
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Primrose
USA
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4 of 25  Wed 29th Apr 2015 2:25pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2011  Total posts:189

matchle55, my dad's naval career started at Devonport also. Not sure at which port he joined HMS Wrangler, a destroyer, but he did spend time at Scapa Flow. He too was with the Token Force that accepted the Japanese surrender. He loved his time in the navy, visiting India, Ceylon, Malta, some port(s) in North Africa, and Australia. My mum proudly has his certificate from King Neptune given to him when he crossed the equator. I found details for his ship at this site - Naval History - and it reminded me of many of the stories he told about his experiences and helped me put them into sequence. I wonder how many Coventry men were at the Japanese surrender, probably unaware of each other.
Royal Navy connections
matchle55
Coventry
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5 of 25  Wed 29th Apr 2015 4:04pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2014  Total posts:175

HI Primrose, most of those places you mention I seem to recall him mentioning. As I type this his "crossing the line", or King Neptune certificate, is on the wall in front of me, it is dated 19th June 1945, obviously on his way out to the Pacific, and ultimately Japan. I did have a Coventry Telegraph cutting giving all the Coventry men on board at that time, if I can find it I'll put their names up, about 6 or 7 I think. Another well known person on board at that time serving as a marine was Harry H Corbett, better known as Harold Steptoe
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Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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6 of 25  Wed 29th Apr 2015 6:32pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1682

matchles55, hi, My brother was on aircraft carriers, aircraft 'engineer' he brought home the most astonishing photo I have ever seen, a kamikaze plane about fifty-feet in a dive above the ship he was on, it over shot the ship by inches. His ship was also called in to Pearl Harbour to assist, couple of days after 'Pearl' was hit. Can't remember which factory he worked in before the Fleet Air Arm but worked for Coventry Climax after.
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Primrose
USA
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7 of 25  Wed 6th May 2015 4:14pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2011  Total posts:189

Matchle55, my mother read me the date off Dad's certificate from King Neptune - 26th May 1945. Apparently he had crossed the equator at least one time before this but there wasn't the time then for the ceremony and the certificates. I read about your dad's ship's WW2 history - fascinating stuff. It seems your dad arrived in Sydney in July 1945 soon after my dad had left. I also discovered on the Naval History site that for about a week in August 1945 the Duke of York and the Wrangler were part of the same task force: "18th - Off the south coast of the Island of Honshu DUKE OF YORK and the destroyers WAGER and WHELP joined the remaining units of the British Pacific Fleet, now known as the Token Force and designated Task Group 38.5, comprising the battleship KING GEORGE V, aircraft carrier INDEFATIGABLE, light cruisers NEWFOUNDLAND and HMNZS GAMBIA and the destroyers BARFLEUR, TEAZER, TENACIOUS, TROUBRIDGE, WAKEFUL, WRANGLER and HMAS NAPIER and NIZAM." And, Kaga, my dad also told a story of how a kamikaze pilot who had been hit tried to fly down the searchlight beam of the ship and crash on the deck. What ship was your brother on?
Royal Navy connections
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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8 of 25  Wed 6th May 2015 5:01pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1682

Primrose, Hello, good work, yes the Indefatigable, Fleet Air Arm, I know little of his service life, his letters home were always full of red censorship lines, but he did return without injury, so did we all. My sister from a gun-site in London, I from the Palestine conflict, my younger brother from the Malayan conflict. I believe my youngest brother has all my elder brothers records, must ask him if he has the photo still?
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Primrose
USA
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9 of 25  Wed 6th May 2015 5:32pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2011  Total posts:189

Blimey, Kaga, according to the Naval History website, HMS Indefatigable WW2 history your brother's ship was also in Sydney at the same time as my dad's! (Not to mention being part of the same task force at the surrender with dad's and Matchle55's dad's ships.) When dad was in Sydney, some of the sailors were invited to a sheep station for a few days R&R. What they didn't realise was that this required a two day train journey to the middle of nowhere. They spent a couple of days there with absolutely nothing to do, then sat on the train for another two days back to Sydney! Much as they appreciated the kindness of the sheep station owners, it wasn't what they had in mind for fun. Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised that there are at least three members of this forum who have close relatives whose naval careers took them to the same place at the same time but I must say I am. Makes it seem more vivid to hear other people's experiences.
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slash1
northampton
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Thread starter
10 of 25  Wed 6th May 2015 6:43pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2011  Total posts:137

Very interesting stuff. Can't imagine what it would have been like on a warship in wartime. Joining in 1960, quite a while since any Naval hostilities, it never entered my head as a possibility. Think about it now and wonder how I thought that. I would guess that most of the people that I joined up with thought similarly. Had the pleasure of visiting Sydney and Japan in early 60's in happier times. As well as many, many other countries all over the world also.
Royal Navy connections
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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11 of 25  Mon 11th May 2015 7:55pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1682

Slash 1, Hi, The older you get the more you will say did I do that, or was that me that visited all those places.and it's a nice feeling. The war time, no one was allowed to say where they were or where they had been, not by letter, and letters got delayed and tied up. My brother received a letter telling him his new brother was crawling everywhere, two months later he received a letter dated two months before the one he had received, to say he had a new brother, things like that happened often. Every letter that we received had been censored, even if it was his mates surname it was unreadable. Sometimes censorship was comical.
Royal Navy connections
matchle55
Coventry
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12 of 25  Tue 12th May 2015 9:26am  
Member: Joined Feb 2014  Total posts:175

On 6th May 2015 4:14pm, Primrose said: Matchle55, my mother read me the date off Dad's certificate from King Neptune - 26th May 1945. Apparently he had crossed the equator at least one time before this but there wasn't the time then for the ceremony and the certificates....
I was talking to my brother and he said that Dad had told him that whilst they were out there the crews of the KG5 and the DoY swapped ships so that dad actually arrived home on the KG5, so for some reason either the ship and/or its crew specified to come home first. Another ship of the KG5 class was also out there with the KG5 prior to the Japanese surrender was the Howe but she had departed to Durban for an engine refit. I have photos of the destroyer HMS Wager accompanying dads ship.
Royal Navy connections
matchle55
Coventry
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13 of 25  Tue 12th May 2015 7:57pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2014  Total posts:175

Further to my post number 5, these are the men serving on HMS Duke of York at the same time as my dad. Able seaman Dennis Hancock, 23, Colchester st, Coventry. Marine Jack Walkley, 1, Abbey hill , Kenilworth. Leading Stoker Jess Sheppard, 10, Bristol rd, Coventry. Able seaman Grenville Miles, 33, Winchester st, Coventry. (my dad).
Royal Navy connections
pixrobin
Canley
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14 of 25  Tue 12th May 2015 8:28pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2014  Total posts:994

Though I was in the army rather than the navy I did my photographic training at the navy photographic schools in Lee-on-Solent (1964) and Lossiemouth (1967). Pressure? What's pressure? An exam every Friday morning. Fail that and you had a train ticket back to your unit on Friday afternoon. The initial course started with 12 squaddies and only 6 finished.
Royal Navy connections
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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15 of 25  Wed 16th Sep 2015 7:27pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1682

Roger Turner mentioned the Thetis on a different toplc, HMS Thetis (99) sailors died because the Admiralty refused to allow holes to be cut in the hull, the sailors could have been saved within five minutes but they did not want the submarine to be weakened, so they let the crew die. 1939, I remember how we crowded round the radio listening for news, stood on the pavement waiting for the papers, normally kids don't really get affected by grown up things, but in this instance we were greatly affected, the name 'Thetis' stuck with me all my life. Later the Thetis went into action with a new name, and went down with all hands..
Royal Navy connections

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