Events

TRAFALGAR DAY UPDATE

This is not a French ship but one like it was at Trafalgar. You can have a shot to help it sink the French again

on the 21st Oct by joining the fun out Samford way.

Contact Alan Bibby or Charlie Greensmith for details.

The Royal Navy Assoc. Qld. Branch

is Putting it on it should be a good day out.


hello after a while

IT HAS BEEN A WHILE BUT AFTER A COUPLE OF TECH PROBLEMS WE SEEM TO BE BACK IN THE NEWS BUSINESS

        OUR FIRST BIT IS TRAFALGAR DAY

             DETAILS TO FOLLOW SHORTLY. 

             THE ROYAL NAVAL MANS ASSOC. 

    ARE HOLDING A FUNCTION WE ARE INVITED.

 

HMAS AE1 World War I submarine found after century-long search

Updated 

The first Allied and Royal Australian Navy submarine lost in World War I has finally been found after a 103-year search off the coast of Papua New Guinea.

“Australia’s oldest naval mystery has been solved,” Defence Minister Marise Payne said.

“It was … a significant tragedy felt by our nation and our allies.”

HMAS AE1 was holding 35 crew members when it went missing off the coast of the Duke of York Islands on September 1914.

Twelve previous private and government-funded expeditions over the years failed to find the vessel, which was a grave to so many.

The latest, 13th and final search began on board the vessel Furgro Equato last week.

The missing sub was found yesterday 300 metres under water near the Duke of York Islands.

After the discovery, the crew on board the Furgro Equato took part in a commemorative service to remember the officers and sailors who lost their lives.

“The boat and her crew, who’ve been on eternal patrol since 1914 … have now been found,” Ms Payne said.

“I truly trust that this discovery will bring peace of mind to the descendants of the families of the crew who lost their lives on board and perhaps in time it may also enable us to discover what caused the submarine to sink.”

The submarine was the first of its kind for the Australian fleet and was 55 metres long.

“For the Navy, it demonstrates the persistence of a view that fellow mariners always have and that is, we always seek to locate and find where those who sacrificed so much for their country actually laid at rest,” Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Timothy Barrett said.

The previous searches helped to narrow down where the wreck might be and improvements in technology helped discover the final locations.

A deep drop camera allowed the search party to confirm they had found the missing submarine.

“The final confirmation in this particular case, having found an image on the seabed, was to put a camera down alongside that wreck and actually be able to determine that it had the features that we say belonged to AE1,” Vice Admiral Barrett said.

Media player: “Space” to play, “M” to mute, “left” and “right” to seek.

VIDEO: Jeremy Fernandez explains the significance of AE1, Australia’s first submarine (ABC News)

The exact location of the wreck will be kept under wraps for now, with the Australian Government working with the Papua New Guinea Government to preserve the underwater site and to form a plan for a lasting commemoration.

The search party was jointly funded by the Australian Government, the Silentworld Foundation, The Australian National Maritime Museum and Find AE1 Ltd.

A maritime chart showing Rabaul harbour and the surrounding area, including the Duke of York group of islands.

HMS GANGES Queensland Division – Newsletter Sep-Oct 2017

 

HMS GANGES ASSOCIATION

Queensland Division

Newsletter No 60

 

September – October 2017

 

 Welcome aboard everyone,

 

Unfortunately I start this newsletter with sad news of the passing of ex Ganges man Gerry Hughes, I have been advised by his partner that Gerry passed away earlier this year. RIP Shipmate

 

Also apologies for the lateness of this newsletter, I have now moved to Burrum Heads and purchased a new computer as my old one was KIA on the way up here.

 

MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL

For those wishing to renew their membership the following details were provided by the Treasurer

Account is H.M.S.Ganges Association Queensland.

Westpac Capalaba  034080 380466.

 

Members $20.00.    Associate members $5.

 

Last newsletter Ship Quiz.

 

Only correct answer was Geoff Dann of Cairns Qld. As Geoff correctly emailed me it was HMS NELSON departing Portland.

Due to the lack of support I won’t be including this segment in future newsletters. Thanks to all those who participated. Instead I will highlight one of our amazing members.

 

 

 

This month: Richard Richardson

 

Richard was born in Hastings Sussex on the 21st July 1938, and lived throughout the war and right up to when I joined the navy in a little village called Ringmer, about 8 miles East of Brighton.

He joined HMS Ganges on the 13th October 1953 and served for 25 years, retiring on the 21st July 1978. I was a “from here to the right” communication rating in that at one stage in the annexe the whole recruitment was fallen in and informed that they required more volunteers for communications. Several people volunteered but not enough so they decided to detail some of us off.  An officer went along and said “3, 6, 9, 12 from here to the right communicators’. I wanted to be a gunner!!!

I am glad that it worked out like that though as it was probably the best thing that ever happened to me. As a visual signalman I was always on the bridge and always knew what was going on.  I felt sorry for the stokers stuck down below and always in the dark and I tried to keep them in the picture as far as legally possible.  Of course a lot of the stuff that I dealt with was secret and definitely not allowed to be released to anybody.

My sea going started with an 18 month commission in HMS Newfoundland and was probably the best commission that a young boy could possibly have. We left Portsmouth and did our work up in the Med. based on Malta. Then through the Suez canal and on to the Far East, visiting Singapore, Australia, Japan, Korea, Subic Bay, Hong Kong and several places that I can’t remember now. At one stage I was loaned to HMS Comus when some of her people were on advancement courses.  When it came time to come back home we were the first cruiser to recommission by air, 14 flights out and 14 flights back.  I was on flight 10 and we crashed at Karachi.  The pilot couldn’t get the wheels down and so we left a lot of the aircraft strewn along the runway. It was a Handley Page Hermes belonging to Britavia.

 

I also spent a couple of years at Whitehall wireless station and nearly a year with 43 CDO Royal Marines. Our watch had just gone on for the all night on at Whitehall Wireless and the chief of the watch came round just to make sure that everyone was there and suitably briefed during the takeover.

When he got to my desk he said

 

“There you are Dick, there is a draft chit for you”.

 

When I said “Where to Chief” he replied, “43 Commando Royal Marines”.  I just laughed and said, “O.K. where is it really to” As it turned out he was absolutely right and he wasn’t joking.  I complained bitterly and slapped in to see the boss but he pointed out that the Royal Marines are part of the Navy and if they are short of personnel they can draw on the Navy to make up numbers.  I had to go, needless to say kicking and screaming, but the funny thing is that after I had been there a few weeks I didn’t want to come back to gens again. I thoroughly enjoyed myself after I got over the initial shock. When they had enough people again I had to go back to the navy and I didn’t want to do that either.It’s a strange thing, human nature …

 

Other ships include Liverpool and Boxer (HMS Bellerophon reserve ships Portsmouth) which then moved on to HMS Vanguard, a wonderful ship, then HMS Agincourt for a commission in the Med.

Several times I went to HMS Mercury, the signal school at East Meon, for advancement courses and finished my time there as a Quartermaster. Shore bases included Commodore Naval Drafting at Lythe Hill House, Haslemere, Windmill Hill Signal Station, Gibraltar married accompanied, HMS Mauritius married accompanied, and Ricasoli Signal School, Malta for Killicks course.

I served in HMS Nurton as a killick and HMS Carron as a killick (yeoman) I did another commission in the F.E.S. in HMS Dido (the fourth of the Leander class) and served two years in HMS Apollo (the 25th of the Leander class) which we collected from the builders yard on the Clyde and took away on her first commission. I also served a short spell in HMS Dolphin MSO.

 

Richard’s hobbies include model making, here is a quick history and his current project..

My interest in model making started about ten years ago with aircraft, tanks and armour and ships.  Since then my trophy cabinet has steadily filled up and some of my models have already featured in the news letter. It keeps me out of the pub …….(and broke!!)

HMS Compass Rose

Just before the start of WWII the Admiralty in London realised that in the event of a war they were going to be desperately short of escort vessels.  They needed something that could be built quickly and cheaply and mainly in civilian dockyards.  They had six options and the one chosen was based loosely on a whale catcher called the Southern Pride that was already in existence at Smiths dockyard.  It was a strong, sturdy little ship designed for use in the Southern Atlantic and the Antarctic.  With a lot of modifications this would do admirably for coastal escort work.  As it turned out the flower class served in every theatre of operations, including on the notorious Russian convoys in some of the worst weather in the world.

   

They were operated by many nations including Britain, France, Canada, America, Australia, New Zealand, Greece, India, even Germany.

The British ones were all named after flowers and the first one was HMS Gladiolus launched on the 24th. January 1940.  269 were built during the war, 42 in Canada, 4 in France, although the French ones were captured and operated by the Germans after the fall of France.

The flower class were not only used for convoy escorts, at least 54 were fitted out as minesweepers and some even served as ocean going tugs to bring damaged merchant ships into port. 25 were lent to the U.S. Navy.

 

 As the design evolved many variations came into being and no two were exactly alike.  Some differed slightly, and some had major differences like longer forecastles, more sheer and flair to their hulls for better sea keeping, forced draft ventilation instead of mushroom vents and many other improvements such as putting the mast behind the bridge instead in front of it. Six different variations of bridges were fitted starting with the merchant ship type on the early ones.

 

 This model is of HMS Compass Rose from the book and film “The Cruel Sea” by Nicholas Montsarrat who served as an officer in corvettes (HMS Campanula) during WWII.

 

 

 

To contact Scotty

Graham Slaney

1 Harlequin Close, Burrum Heads Qld 4659

 Phone  0434896017.

e-mail scottyslaney@gmail.com

skype: G50raham@hotmail.com

 

 

P.S. If you no longer wish to receive newsletters from sunny Queensland, please advise and I will remove your details from the list. Until we meet again, fair winds to you all..

 

 

Orkney service marks HMS Vanguard sinking centenary

Orkney service marks HMS Vanguard sinking centenary

Wreck of HMS VanguardImage copyrightPA
Image captionRoyal Navy divers changed the White Ensign on the wreck of HMS Vanguard as part of the commemorations

A service to mark the centenary of one of the biggest tragedies in the history of the Royal Navy has taken place in Orkney.

More than 800 people died when HMS Vanguard sank in Scapa Flow.

A series of internal explosions ripped through the battleship at about 23:20 on 9 July 1917.

A memorial service was held in St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, on Sunday evening to mark the exact moment of the explosions.

Commemorative events also took place above the wreck site and at the Lyness Naval Cemetery where 41 of the men are buried.

The White Ensign on the wreck of the Vanguard was also changed by a team of Royal Navy Divers.

A book of remembrance compiled for the commemorations was handed over to the people of Orkney at the service.

HMS Vanguard
Image copyrightORKNEY LIBRARY AND ARCHIVE
Image captionHMS Vanguard sunk almost immediately after the accidental explosions

Built in 1909, Vanguard was the eighth ship to bear the name and was one of the new generation of Dreadnought battleships.

On 9 July 1917, the ship had been conducting exercises in Scapa Flow and had anchored for the evening.

At 23:20 a series of catastrophic explosions, most likely caused by an accidental magazine explosion, resulted in the ship sinking almost immediately.

Of the 845 men aboard, only two survived.

As part of the commemorations, Royal Navy divers from HM Naval Base Clyde’s Northern Diving Group (NDG) travelled to Orkney to change the White Ensign on the wreck of Vanguard.

Wreck of HMS Vanguard
Image copyrightPA
Wreck of HMS Vanguard
Image copyrightPA

Leading diver James Brown said: “The waters of Scapa have always held a special place in NDG’s heart. Whenever an opportunity arises for us to work in Orkney there is a competition within the team to secure a place.”

Naval regional commander Scotland and Northern Ireland, Captain Chris Smith said the history of the Royal Navy and Scapa Flow were “tightly entwined”.

“The devastating explosion, completely accidental rather than a result of enemy action, was a shock when it happened and the tragic loss of more than 840 lives is still felt through their descendants and those in Orkney who feel passionately that we should mark the centenary in appropriate fashion,” he said.

“I am very happy to be joined by the ship’s companies of HMS Dasher and HMS Pursuer as well as the Northern Diving Group and personnel from the current HMS Vanguard as we support the welcome efforts of Orcadians in commemorating the loss of this great battleship and all but two of her crew in suitable fashion.”

BLACK TOT DAY 2017

 GANGES CREW REMEMBER THIS LAST YEARWell guess what? We are doing it again this year.

Venue

H.M.A.S DIAMANTINA

at the Maritime Museum Southbank Brisbane.

Monday 31st July 2017

Time turn up 1100 to1145 up spirits 1200

Courtesy of PUSSER’S RUM

DRESS OF THE DAY ASSOC. SHIRTS.

SEE YOU ALL THERE.

 

Minutes of the HMS GANGES Association – Qld Division AGM 2017 held on 24 June

 

MEETING OPENED 11.45am.

Present: Dexley Johnson, Jack Gardiner, Ian Thomson, Kennedy Anderson, Charlie Greensmith, Graham Slaney, Judy Gardiner, Joy Thomson, Linda Anderson, Lorna Greensmith.

Apologies:  Roger Bower, Brian Samuels, Ray Barker, David Bird, George Baker and Jack Stacey.

 

Acceptance of the Minutes of last AGM and Extraordinary General meeting was proposed

by Charlie Greensmith and seconded by Ian Thomson. Minutes accepted unanimously.

 

Executive positions vacated.

 

Dexley Johnson appointed by the meeting as temp. Chairman.

 

Dexley Johnson called for nominations for Executive positions of President, Treasurer and Secretary from the floor. Charlie Greensmith nominated Graham Slaney for President. Seconded by Ian Thomson.

 

Carried unanimously.

 

Graham Slaney took the Chair.

 

Dexley Johnson nominated Linda Anderson for Treasurer. Seconded by Ian Thomson.

 

Carried unanimously.

 

Ken Anderson nominated Lorna Greensmith for Secretary. Seconded by Jack Gardiner.

 

Carried unanimously.

 

The President asked the meeting if anyone is aware of people not receiving his emails to please notify him.

 

Treasurer’s Report Presented. Acceptance moved by Charlie Greensmith. Seconded by Lorna Greensmith. Passed.

 

Ian Thomson asked why some members are awarded 50 and 60yr. certificates from UK Div.

and others are not. Charlie and Ken explained that in order to receive certificates people must be a member of the UK Div. for at least 5 years.

 

Dexley, Charlie and Ken reaffirmed that when the Qld. Div. formed it was decided at a general meeting that ass. members could serve on the committee owing to the small number of members able and willing to participate due to large distances.

 

Lorna Greensmith proposed Charlie Greensmith as Rum Bosun due to his long associations

with South Trade …importers of Pussers Rum… who provide us with rum for our tots at meetings. Seconded by Joy Thomson and Dexley Johnson. Carried. Much thanks to our previous Rum Bosun, Ray Barker, who is unwell at the present time. We all wish him a speedy recovery.

 

A gathering for the 47th anniversary of Black Tot day to take place on Mon. 31st July in the ward room of the Diamantina at the Maritime Museum was suggested. Charlie to contact

Alan Bibby to confirm.

 

Christmas party to be held at Palms Resort at Beenleigh on Sunday 26th Nov. 17. More info.

will be sent in the newsletter. Dexley suggested fish and chips or chicken from a local fast food shop as an alternative to a BBQ. Decision still open.

 

Because of the increased cost of UK membership, Lorna raised the issue of perhaps joining our president as a member of the UK Div. as a position rather than a person so that we would always have a rep. to the UK. Ken and Charlie said they would happily serve that function as they were members already and that they did not think the UK Div. would let us do that anyway.

 

Linda asked that a reminder be sent out in the next newsletter that yearly fees are now due.

 

Meeting closed at 12.30pm.

Southtrade International