HMS GANGES Victorian Division Newsletter (Masthead 236)

Victoria Australia

Chairman: David Lines.   Secretary: Harry Harrison 54, Tamworth Road, Kilsyth, Vic 3137

Telephone Harry 03-9728-3200 mob. +61418809712



Chairman David Lines. Stood down from chairing the meeting, due to a medical adversity. Secretary  HarryH Opened the meeting and Welcomed all. David was wished a speedy recovery.

Birthdays Joan Kime, Harry Kime and Harry Thacker Happy Birthday to all.

Apologies Winifred Harrison, Owen and Carmel Dingle, Harry Thacker, Charles Jenkinson, Sally Briscoe, John and Maureen Hannant,

Sick List.  John Hillman, John has been in hospital and was gravely ill, but has once again rallied and it was really good to see him at the meeting almost hale and hearty again. All our very best John.

Since the meeting in a telephone conversation with Derek Ernst he informed me that he is now in Palliative care at home. The chemotherapy is no longer effective. He plans to step down as President of the South Australian Division. Derek has worked tirelessly for the SA division ably supported by his good wife Judy, who also has medical problems. The Victorian Division wishes Judy Derek and family our very best wishes for the difficult coming days.

Treasurers Report The Divisional general account stands at $3,897.48. With one un-cashed cheque of $200 for TS Tingara. Chairman David explained that due to circumstances the cheque has not been handed over to date. Available monies $3,697.48

 Correspondence Bank Statements. The Buzz from Guzz. South African Division Masthead. All commented on the professional presentation of the news letter.

UK Association   All quiet on the Northern Front. From press reports all are enjoying a warm summer, hottest for a number of years. Enjoy shipmates.

General Business 1) The October get together. Chairman David has paid a deposit on16 rooms at Cadell on the Murray Resort Moama.  David has paid it personally, so please pay $50 deposit to David at the venue. Secretary has organised bus trips a full day tour oh Tuesday 2nd. October to place of interest with lunch at Morison’s winery inclusive cost $93pp. Also a half day tour of local scenic attractions including the Great Aussie Beer Shed Folk Museum. Cost $73pp  A full itinerary of both tours will be promulgated. The tours are orgsnised by Ross and Jill Young of Echuca Maoma Bus Tours. Treasurer asked approval from meeting for $200 be transferred from Divisional funds to the operators as a deposit. Approval was given. Contact details are in the letterhead. A program of all activities is being formulated and will be circulated at the next meeting.

AOB 1) Mike Bennett Chairman RNA: – Said the June birthday lunch was a success and enjoyed by all. The July lunch will have a Mamma Mia Italian theme and the lunch an Italian cuisine flavour. Cost id $10 and this month for $2 you can purchase a thermal soup mug with heater to have a hot Minestrone soup. August lunch will be the Bah Humbug it Ain’t Christmas lunch will be. With the menu lamb and ham Christmas pudding and Champagne and Brandy Christmas cake. $10 for members.

Mike went into great detail of how he and his wife Sue have been hacked resulting in considerable stress. They now only have a mobile and no landline. Mike has had a message service set up for RNA bookings it is purely a message service, if people wish a reply please leave their number. The number is 5931647.

Mike stressed the importance of being aware of scam if you do not recognize the number delete the same for emails. Members should remember that government agencies and banks do not cold call requesting details. Hang up and call your local bank or the government agency to verify bona fides.

Harry Kime President of the FNMC gave a run down on the successful sausage sizzle held at Bunnings Frankston it realised about $2,000 for FNMC funds. He thanked all those volunteers who worked hard to ensure the success of the day.

The FNMC annual dinner will be held at the FNMC on Saturday the 25th.August at 1900hrs. Cost $40 for members and $50 for guests cost includes a bottle of white and red wine per table. It is a formal dinner to celebrate 27 years of the FNMC.

David Lines requested that the screen used at RNA lunches be moved back to enable the end tables to see the screen without having to move tables. Harry said he will investigate.

Harry also explained that funding has been provided to build a proper archive storage facility. For a fee associated Associations will be able to store archives. Secretary Victorian Division HMSGA HarryH said that there are documents and albums that the division would like to store. Secretary to collate and when appropriate, store them.

Reading different newsletters of the difficulty some Divisions are experiencing in finding suitable meeting venues we are fortunate to have the facilities of the FNMC available.

There was no further business Secretary HarryH Thanked Joan Kime for a delicious lunch and Ann Hillman for a delicious Pavlova and Trifle Thank you Joan and Ann and Thank you Harry Kime for tending the bar.

Next Meeting Seven Bells (11:30) Wednesday July 25th. 2018

Regards – Harry Harrison

Thought for the month: – If at first you don’t succeed— you’re like most other people.



HMS GANGES Victorian Division Newsletter (Masthead 235)

Victoria Australia

Chairman: David Lines.   Secretary: Harry Harrison 54, Tamworth Road, Kilsyth, Vic 3137

Telephone Harry 03-9728-3200 mob. +61418809712



Chairman David Lines. Opened the meeting and Welcomed all.

Birthdays John Hannant, Flo Livingston Happy Birthday

Apologies Mary Stephens, John and Maureen Hannant, Charles Jenkinson having a make and mend, Albie and Brian Cunliffe Albie is fine Brian the flu, John Hillman, Pat Vary medical appointment, Owen and Carmel Dingle on holiday.

Sick List. John Hillman has had some medical problems and has been in hospital he is now at home and recuperating. We send our best wishes that you are recovering well John. Also our best wishes to our barman Mark Kinder who is ill with pneumonia. It is the season of colds and flu so we urge you all to take good care of yourselves. Our very best wishes.

Treasurers Report The Divisional general account stands at $3,867.48. An uncashed cheque a donation to TS Tingara of $200 available monies $3,667.48

Correspondence Bank Statements. Minutes from May COM meeting, A letter from Mary Stephens to say she is now in an aged care facility and cannot attend meetings. She extends her best wishes to all.

UK Association  Steaming in smooth waters.

General Business 1) The October get together.16 Rooms are on hold at Cadell on the Murray Resort Moama. Chairman David explained costs are $105 for a double room, $100 for a single this an increase of $5 since our last stay 2016. There is also a large family room available contact David for details. Chairman David will pay the deposit on all rooms at $50 and pay David at the get together.

A bus tour with Echuca  Maoma bus tours has been arranged a full day tour on the Tuesday. Those present intending to attend voted  and with the preferences of those who contacted the secretary the second option which includes lunch at Morrisons winery for a cost of $93pp was decided on by a majority vote. The half day tour on Thursday was accepted. A program for the 5days will be formulated later. A copy of the bus tours will be forwarded to all who have indicated they will attend.

We have 21 attendees to date if anyone is interested but not sure of whether or not they can make it please contact either Chairman David or Secretary HarryH.

AOB  1) Mike Bennett  Chairman RNA:-    June 10th. birthday  lunch will celebrate the clubs birthday, the official Queen’s Birthday  and the 97’th birthday of HRH Prince Phillip Duke of Edinburgh. Requested that those attending wear 50’s attire.  “Mike stressed that those in un-ironed birthday suits will not be admitted.”

Birthday Entertainment will be provided by De JaVue and lunch catered for. For catering purposes those wishing to attend please contact Mike.

2) Harry Kime FNMC explained it has been a busy time for the club. There were 97 attended the HMAS Sydney lunch.

Chairman David thanked Harry Kime and Joan the Masked Chef for Lunch and Barbara Canty for a delicious dessert. Harry Kime for attending the bar.

Next Meeting Seven Bells (11:30) Wednesday 27th June. 2018

Regards – Harry Harrison

Thought for the month: – A little nonsense now and then , is relished by the wisest men Anon





HMS GANGES Association Meeting 9 May 18

Minutes of Meeting held at
RNA Uxbridge
388A Long Lane, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB10 9PG

9 May 2018
Colin Gent Chairman
Cliff Snelling Secretary
Phil Bridge Treasurer
Ken Bushnell Membership Secretary
Des Kerrigan Events & Standards
Tony Willders Reunion Co-ordinator
Florrie Ford Certificates Secretary
George Barnham
Topsy Turner
Observers: Jim Goddard, Dennis Cracknell, Annette Bushnell, Christine Snelling
Meeting opened: 1112
1. Opening Remarks
The Chairman, Colin Gent, welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked them for attending. He also thanked the Chairman and Committee of RNA Uxbridge for providing the venue and refreshments for the meeting.
Colin said that this meeting was predominately a review of Reunion & AGM 2018, and to put in place a programme to go forward to Reunion & AGM 2019. He thanked the wives who gave up most of their time to run the Raffles, help with Membership, and generally support the Committee whose hard work made Reunion 2018 such a success.
2. Minutes of Previous Meeting
The minutes of the previous meeting held on 10 January 2018 at RNA Tamworth were approved as a true record and accepted. There were no matters arising.
3. Secretary’s Report
The Secretary, Cliff Snelling, said he had received several emails congratulating the Committee on
another successful Reunion. Everyone had mentioned what a great job the Committee had done and that without our commitment and dedication the Reunions would not be the success that they are.
4. Financial Report – Reunion 2018
Treasurer, Phil Bridge, provided an analysis of the income and expenditure for Reunion 2018. This
detailed all cash received over the weekend from various raffles and donations, and the expenses
incurred, including donations to the Sea Cadet units, the Pipe Band, the Awesome Cabin Buoys, and Grand Draw winners. The figures showed a small loss of £254.57, much lower than in previous years.
The Rum Maiden Raffle raised £820 which was donated to the Scarborough SCC Fund. The Church
Collection raised £522.40 and this was donated to Prostrate Cancer UK; we have received a letter of
thanks from them. The Grand Draw made a profit of £3,586.20.
5. Membership Report – Reunion 2018
Membership Secretary, Ken Bushnell, said that MemSec station was very busy on the Saturday with
members requesting their new Membership Cards, and this led to the station being re-opened again on the Sunday.

As at 7 May 2018:
Active Members 1250
Life Members 727
Associate Members 83
Lapsed 366 (216 Life Members)
TOTAL 2426
Crossed the Bar 7
New Members 10
The above stats are since the AGM at Mill Rythe on 14 April 2018
Ken said that there was an increase of friends and guests of Ganges Boys requesting to join the
Association as Associate Members. Those people requesting Associate Member forms praised the whole weekend as being well organised, very well run, and most enjoyable.
6. Certificate Secretary – Reunion 2018
Certificate Secretary, Florrie Ford, said the presentations had gone well this year, and was well organised. He already had some names for next year. Sir James Burnell-Nugent was impressed with the certificates and had asked if his signature could be embossed.
Action: Florrie to investigate further.
7. Reunion 2018 debrief
Reunion Co-ordinator, Tony Willders, said he had received nothing but positive feedback. The new Uckers boards were well received, the Pipe Band was excellent, the Saturday evening entertainment was great, Mill Rythe in-house entertainers were very good, Shep and the Awesome Cabin Buoys were of course ‘awesome’.
8. Reunion 2019
Tony said that booking forms for next year would be sent out with the Summer Gazette. IOW Tours have already received nearly 200 bookings.
Tony stated that we need a decent Union Jack and Ensign for Reunion, and we need to gather all flags in one place. Topsy Turner volunteered to be the official custodian of the flags.
Tony said we needed to purchase two more Uckers boards, this expenditure was approved by the
Florrie suggested a Drumhead service for the church service next year.
Action: Florrie and Tony to put together an outline to be discussed at the next committee meeting.
Jim Goddard said that on the IOW Tours website they offered free places when booking groups and asked how the Association allocated these. Tony said that the contract agreed between HMSGA and IOW Tours was not the same as we require sole exclusivity when booking a venue, and we as an Association cannot negotiate better prices than IOW Tours. All members attending Reunion pay the same rate for their accommodation. Committee Members and their wives also pay the same rate, they do not receive any discounts. If we do not achieve the minimum number of bookings required to cover the cost of the venue no cost is incurred by the Association; any loss is borne by IOW Tours.
The General Data Protection Regulation comes into effect on 25 May 2018. This changes the law on how organisations handle personal information, particularly with an increasingly digital era. HMSGA takes your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information to administer your membership, to provide you with your Gazette, and inform you of any events.
Our Membership Secretary, Ken Bushnell, had been appointed as the person responsible to ensure that the Association complies with the GDPR.
Action: Membership Sec: Copy of Privacy Policy to be sent to all members with option to opt out;
Membership forms to be updated; personal information to be monitored.
Secretary: Confidentiality letters to be obtained from IOW Tours and Gazette Printers.

10. Articles for Summer Gazette
The Secretary reminded Committee Members that their submissions for the next Gazette needed to be sent to Dick Lloyd, by the 1st June deadline. Booking forms for the next Reunion and the Privacy Policy also need to be sent.
11. Committee Meeting Dates & Venues
The next Committee Meeting is Wednesday 12th September at 1200.
Venue: Gillingham Golf Club, Woodlands Road, Gillingham, ME7 2AP
It was suggested that a future Committee Meeting may be held on HMS Belfast.
Action: Secretary to contact
13. Any Other Business
• Des Kerrigan and Florrie Ford attended the V E Celebration Day on board HMS Belfast on 8 May.
They were welcomed aboard by the Hon Tim Lewin, Vice-President of the HMS Belfast Association,
and presented a cheque for £100 from the HMSGA to help offset the costs of the celebrations. A full
report and photos will be included in the Summer Gazette.
• Phil Bridge said that Sir James Burnell-Nugent reported that the medals awarded at HMS Raleigh to the class leaders and deputies of the HMS Ganges Division are really appreciated.
• The plate on the Ganges Trophy needs some repair. HMS Raleigh is to investigate the possibility and costs.
• Phil Bridge said that some shrubbery is required around the Mylor memorial. It was agreed to
provide £200 for the purchase of the shrubs. It was also agreed to increase our annual payment to
the gardener to £250 to cover the cost of maintenance of the memorial, regular grass cutting, and
planting and looking after the new shrubs.
Proposed: Des Kerrigan Seconded: Florrie Ford
• Phil Bridge said that he attended the HMS Ganges Association Museum AGM and a new Chairman had been elected.
The Chairman thanked everyone for making the effort to attend.
Meeting closed: 1425

HMS GANGES Association South Australian Division Newsletter

The Shotley Buzz No56

Friday, March 09, 2018


We held our first meeting for 2018 yesterday, having stood down for 3 months in the hot weather, so what did mother nature do for us turned this week hot also, so I sent out a prior message to members to come in their short sleeved Ganges shirts leaving blazers and ties at home. We opened the meeting welcoming everyone, reading Charlie’s Prayer and observing a minutes silence for absent shipmates. We made a special welcome to Sid Groom and Elizabeth who had travelled from Murray Bridge, it was good seeing Sid looking good and talking so well following his severe stroke some time back.


It was International Women’s Day and as usual our ladies played a very important role in our gathering, amongst the ladies present was Val Freeman who organises the WRNS in SA and our treasurer Margaret Burgess, on reflection over the years at national reunions many a mention has been made by overseas visitors what impact the ladies have in Ganges Australia.


Apologies were received from Alan Ford at Renmark, Dave Diss, Jess Owen from the York Peninsular who sent greeting to members, Steve and Jan Plumb also  sent greetings to members they are moving to live in Malaysia for a couple or so years we wish them well in their new adventure, but will keep them on our list. Peter Thomas who is 98 YO 1st April was really looking forward to attending but he had an horrific fall earlier in the week and is great pain with a badly torn shoulder muscle, we wish him a speedy recovery. Tom Marling had to call off at the last minute his house is in chaos having the place tiled all the way through.


Margaret Burgess read the treasurers’ report.


Bob Chumley gave the welfare officers report he is undertaking a special task for a members shortly.


I must not forget to mention our special guest “The Ganges Round The World Gnome” he sat at the head table and everyone present signed his passport, in the next few days he will be sent to the Queensland Division.


There was a general concern amongst all members that we seem to have lost contact with member Bob Lipscomb, Bob is considered a valued  member by all, in spite of being very ill Bob has contributed much towards our branch particularly designing tables for members with a Ganges/ nautical design. Quite a number of members have tried to contact Bob with no luck, we all hope he surfaces soon.


Raymond and Mary Brewer recently visited Tasmania where Raymond was a member of the Police Golf Team playing golf against the other police State teams, Raymond won his game and the South Australian team won the competition.


During the meeting we had a chat about the recent newsletters from the Vic and WA branches pointing out the special mention of the article from Victoria about Jean Rees and in the Hoist from WA the wonderful photograph of the Vanguard and the article about the scale model of the Ganges mast.


We had a general discussion about future meetings it was difficult for me to plan a program for the year due to my ongoing treatment so at this stage we decided to plan from meeting to meeting, knowing we are very lucky with the venue where we meet it is almost like our own private clubroom. I will let members know soon when the next meeting will take place.


Raymond Brewer gave a number of naval badges to any member who would like one; Val Freeman readily accepted a WRN”S badge.



Business over we settled down to lunch and socialising, everyone seemed to be having a very good time enjoying each other’s company. Charlie Stanbridge accepted a few comments in good spirit about his newly acquired moustache, which suits him very well.


We closed the meeting at 1330


Yours aye

Derek Ernst




Group Photo 8th March 2018 Special Guest Ganges Gnome

Vale Hilary Richards

 It is with great sadness and regret that I inform you Hilary Richards passed away this morning.
Hilary was the wife of Tony Richards who served as our President for many years. I will keep you informed when funeral arrangements are known.
Any enquiries through me, please.


HMS Ganges Association
WA Division

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


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.

Message from the UK Treasurer


Dated 5 December 2017


To All Overseas Members


Members, We are now halfway through this financial year so I thought I would update you all on the Associations Funds.


Our financial situation as of today: 5 December 2017 is as follows:


Current Account:  £4,136.46     (Association’s Working Account)


Tracker Account:   £60,000.00   (Association’s Savings Account)


2016 Reunion Account:   £100.08  (Association’s UK Reunion Account)


Petty Cash:  £55.77


Fixed Assets:  £273.84


Therefore the Association has assets to the tune of:  £64,566.15


How some of your money has been spent, donations this year so far are:


£1,000.00 to TS Royalist, sponsor of 4 SCC for next years cruise.

£600.00 to Ivan’s SCC Fund (Double amount in memory of Ivan)

£225.00 to RN/RM Childrens Fund

£225.00 to RN/RM Charity

£200.00 to Wells next the Sea SCC set up fund

£100.00 to Royal Marines Poole, Tribute to CPO E.H.Pitcher VC DSM

£100.00 to Chelmondiston Parish Council, Chaplin Lizabeth

£100.00 to Meningitis Charity (Runner from Gunton Hall staff)


Prior to Remembrance Sunday we spent £2,250.00 on the Mylor Memorial, extension of slabbed area, complete clean up, a new pathway and new turfing. The work was completed by the Sunday and good comments were received by those attending the service.


New membership cards are being issued, these cost 0.38p each, some difference to the last lot that were arranged.


We have produced and presented HMS Raleigh with 3,000 Ganges Medals, (3 years worth) to be awarded to the Class Leader/Deputy of the Best Class to pass out each week.


There were again 10 lucky winners of £100.00 in the Membership Christmas Draw, this included Dave Bartlett in Australia and lucky old me!!


I had a hip replacement operation 3 weeks ago, all going fine, walking aided by one stick at present, start the physics programme in a couple of days. Hopefully back to normal in 3 more weeks.


Well that’s about it folks


May I take this opportunity to wish all our Overseas Members, A Merry Christmas,

Prosperous and Healthy 2018.

If anyone has any questions about finances, I’m only too happy to answer them via email,

I thank you for your continued support.


Phil Bridge 5832. Hon.Treasurer, Duncan 1965

HMS GANGES WA Division Newsletter Nov 2017




G’day all,

At this time, I am trying to get some semblance of order back into my life following the recent death of my wife Gail. It was our 50th wedding anniversary on Trafalgar Day. Putting this Hoist together will hopefully help me on the journey to bring some normality back into my life. The messages and condolences I have received are much appreciated.


Well it looks like this may not be the final Hoist as we have nominations for the management team to be presented at the AGM. Please note further nominations will be accepted prior to 1700 on 15th November. If there is more than one nomination for any position an election will be held. The management team for 2018 will be confirmed at the AGM. At present it looks like the Management team will consist of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and four committee members. The WA Division Rules will need to be changed to reflect decisions made at the AGM.


I am reading “Great Naval Blunders” (History’s worst sea battle decisions from ancient times to the present day) by Geoffrey Regan. First published in 1993 but republished in 2017 the book does not contain some of the more recent naval blunders, none the less it is well worth a read. The author roams the seas of two thousand years of naval misdemeanors, providing in-depth analyses of what went wrong in key naval battles and offers many intriguing and bizarre anecdotes. I have included a couple of cases in the Hoist; Chinese Navy and Ships that torpedoed themselves.

Remaining Gathering for 2017

Committee Meetings

3rd Thursday of odd month

Commencing 1200 @ FNC

Division Meetings

4th Thursday of odd month

Commencing 1200 @ FNC

Social Sausage Sizzles

4th Sunday of even month

Commencing 1200 @ RNC

16th November AGM 23rd November
Christmas Lunch

1200 Wednesday 13th December at FNC


Social Coordinator Paul’s Hoist;        

Social Sausage Sizzle Rockingham Navy Club Sunday 8 October 2017.

A lovely Spring day with early rain clearing nicely. Approaching 30 attendees enjoyed Gary’s cooking and the various accompaniments (thanks to all concerned). It was nice to see Hilary and Morag joining in as they recover from their ills. The food went down, the rum flask passed then on to Cathy’s raffle with Ganges marginally ahead on receiving prizes. Unlucky 13 won a bottle of Pusser’s for me. Some Lamp swinging and time for home.


Trafalgar Dinner.

I believe Les Simmons attended the Trafalgar Dinner and may be kind enough to brief us. (That does not mean attend in your underpants Les).


Quiz Night

I also believe Ganges provided a table for the Quiz night. Perhaps an attendee could let us know how we got on. Anything better than last or second last would be an outstanding result.




Christmas Lunch.

When                     1200 Wednesday 13 December.

Where                    Fremantle Navy Club.

Details                    Cost will be around $30 with a similar format to previous years.


Names soonest to me by email further details regarding payment etc. will be provided later.


We should all be aware of the recent growth of the Chinese Navy as evidenced by China’s first operational aircraft carrier PLAN Chinese Ship Liaoning, commissioned in 2012.

However, in the last years of the 19th Century under the influence of Admiral Ting Ju-chang (Ding Ruchang), the Chinese Navy appeared to be making enormous strides towards modernization. Unfortunately, appearances were deceptive, the war with Japan which broke out in 1894 exposed severe limitations in the efficiency of the Chinese fleet.


            PLAN Chinese ship Liaoning

Discipline aboard Chinese warships maybe judged by the curious form of gambling at pitch and toss which took place, usually involving the sentries. The ships themselves were in a filthy state; the watertight doors were never closed, and the gun barrels were used by the crew as dumps for pickles, rice and chopsticks. One Chinese battleship went into action at the battle of the Yalu River minus one of its heavy guns because Admiral Ting had pawned it. The shells used by the Chinese were sometimes found to be stuffed with charcoal and the gunpowder sold and replaced by cocoa powder. Chinese officers were so terrified of torpedoes that they fired them at twice the proper range with the result that the torpedoes always sank before they had covered half the distance to the target.

Ships that Torpedoed Themselves:

Weapons systems are generally designed to operate within a range of climatic conditions and if they are exposed to conditions far beyond the norm there is always a danger they will malfunction. If the weapon is offensive in character, then the worst which can usually happen is a failure to strike the enemy. However, there have been two recorded occasions of weapons turning on their masters, and, in one case, inflicting decisive damage. The weapon was the torpedo and the victim the British cruiser HMS Trinidad. On 29 March 1942, Trinidad was escorting convoy PQ13 in Arctic waters when it was attacked by three German destroyers. It was so cold that day that spray froze instantly as it landed on the decks. After an exchange of gunfire Trinidad fired three torpedoes at the Z26, but two of them were so iced up that they failed to leave the tubes. The third torpedo malfunctioned when the oil in its motor and gyroscope froze, causing it to change direction, swing around and return the way it had come. The torpedo hit the cruiser amidships, damaging her severely. It was only with extreme difficulty that Trinidad limped into Murmansk for repairs.

Luckier than Trinidad was the Peruvian ironclad Huascar, when it tried to torpedo the Chilean corvette Abtao in 1879. The Huascar’s commander, Admiral Grau, closed to within 200 yards of the unsuspecting Abtao and fired a torpedo. It travelled straight for about 100yards before suddenly turning to port, making a wide semi-circle and returning straight back towards the Huascar. Lieutenant Diaz Canseco, alive to the danger, leapt overboard, swam towards the torpedo and forced it to change direction with his hands. Admiral Grau was so disgusted with the new weapon; for it was the first time he had ever fired a torpedo; that he took his remaining supply and buried them in a cemetery.

Lloyds Register of Shipping

Towards the latter part of the 17th Century, the commercial community interested in shipping, met at a small coffee house kept by a man named Edward Lloyd, first of all in Tower street and later at the corner of Abchurch Lane and Lombard Street in the City of London. The coffee house became the primary gathering place for merchants, seafaring men and marine insurers.


Edward Lloyd was a man of wisdom and enterprise and founded a system of commercial and maritime intelligence and a newspaper which he called Lloyd’s News. However, Lloyd fell foul of the House of Lords over an article he had written; he was censured and his newspaper suppressed and it was not until 1726 that it was re-established under the name of Lloyd’s List. Lloyd’s List now claims to be the oldest continuously published newspaper in the world.


In 1770, the frequenters of the coffee house, whose particular business was underwriting marine insurance formed themselves into an alliance, ultimately established as the Corporation of Lloyd’s. The underwriters of Lloyd’s found that they needed complete information on the construction and condition of ships in order to ensure them and so was established, Lloyd’s Register of Shipping.

Were they Decoys?

Seventy-five years ago, in November 1942, Britain and America launched Operation TORCH, the ambitious invasion of French North African colonies of Morocco and Algeria. To convey 70,000 troops and their equipment required 350 merchant ships crossing the U-boat infested North Atlantic from the USA and 250 more sailing south from British ports.

The need for a high level of protection for these meant withdrawing large numbers of escorts from the routine trade convoys. Amongst those left without adequate defence were RB 1 and SC 107, both eastbound from America, and SL 125, northbound from Freetown. All three were at sea at the same time as the TORCH convoys. Predictably, Admiral Donitz threw the full weight of his 140 Atlantic U-boat fleet against the now vulnerable trade convoys, which between them lost thirty-one ships and 792 men.

While this unprecedented massacre was in progress, the troop-carrying convoys slipped miraculously through entirely without incident. There is nothing on record to say that the trade convoys RB 1, SC 107 and SL 125 were sacrificed to ensure the safe passage of the TORCH convoys but one can’t help but think this would have been the case.


Australia’s Future Frigates:


The Commonwealth Government recently released Australia’s first Naval Shipbuilding Plan (NSP), outlining the nation’s largest programme of naval shipbuilding and sustainment. Below are the 3 options being considered for the nine future frigates. The chosen option will be promulgated this year, with building to commence in 2020 and delivery of the first frigate from about 2027.

      Option 1: The Italian frigate Carabiniere

Option 2: Spain’s ESPS Cristobal Colon

   Option 3: The UK’s Type 26 Frigate







RN Snippits:


Flagship Going:

HMS Ocean, the Royal Navy’s flagship will be decommissioned in 2018, her role will be taken by the two new Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers.


Type 31 Frigates:

According to The Times, BAE Systems and Babcock International are expected to bid against each other for a £2bn contract for six Type 31 Frigates. The £2bn contact suggests a cost per ship of around £330m. The new class of frigates will be more affordable than the Type 26. The Type 31 plan is expected to follow a similar pattern to that of the Queen Elizabeth carriers and early Type 45 Destroyers with blocks to be built in yards around the UK and assembled on the Clyde. An independent report into the National Shipbuilding Strategy by Sir John Parker has recommended that the new Type 31 Frigates be built across the UK, with blocks being constructed in yards in both Scotland and England.


Type 26 Frigates:

In July the UK Government gave the green light to BAE Systems to build three of the new Type 26 anti-submarine warfare frigates in a £3.7 billion deal. The contract is for the first batch of a promised fleet of eight such ships to replace the current Type 23 frigates as escorts for the new Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers and to protect units of the nuclear submarine fleet as they arrive and depart from their base in Scotland. The first Type 26 is now scheduled to be accepted by the RN around the late 2020’s some years after the first Type 23 frigate, HMS Argyll, is planned to be paid off.


Point to ponder!

Be respectful of all opinions, unless they’re wrong, obviously



That’s all folks;


Cheers aye – Ian 









HMS GANGES Queensland Division – Newsletter Sep-Oct 2017



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.



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.





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..



Autonomous Navy ships

By Roger Bower


I thought that you might be interested in this article.   Moving on from driverless cars, it seems that we may be getting autonomous navy ships!

Rolls-Royce has designed a completely autonomous naval ship

Not content with its tech-filled Phantom, Rolls-Royce has announced it has plans to make a 60-metre-long truly autonomous navy ship.

Packed with sophisticated sensors, artificial intelligence and “advanced propulsion” technology, Rolls-Royce aims to sell to the world’s military forces. It’s set to have a range of 3,500 nautical miles (which is over 4,000 regular miles) and operate without human help for over 100 days.

The ship, revealed by Rolls-Royce on Tuesday, is designed to tackle navy jobs around patrolling routes and to undertake surveillance tasks. Rolls-Royce also says it could take on fleet watch or sea mine detection duties, with supplementary drones able to assist in more complex missions.

There was no mention of using the ship for naval combat, and that’s probably okay – I don’t know if I fancy the idea of giving an AI-controlled ship a gun. Thankfully, Rolls-Royce agrees with me, explaining that it’s already conducting “significant analysis of potential cyber risks” to “ensure end-to-end security” so its AI doesn’t get hacked and go rogue.

“Rolls-Royce is seeing interest from major navies in autonomous, rather than remote controlled, ships,” said Benjamin Thorp, Rolls-Royce general manager of naval electronics, automation and control. “Such ships offer a way to deliver increased operational capability, reduce the risk to crew and cut both operating and build costs.”

Interestingly, for an autonomous vehicle, Rolls-Royce’s naval ship will be powered by a gas or diesel engine. There are solar panels on the ship, but they’re simply there to harness energy for standby power usage.

Currently, there’s no concrete release set for the naval ship, but Rolls-Royce did say it “expects to see the introduction of medium-sized unmanned platforms, particularly in leading navies” within the next ten years.

Only last month we heard that a private military technology development company had created a drone that could wield a gun. Combine that with the Rolls-Royce ship and we could be well on the way to having a truly autonomous military force over the next decade.

It’s debatable if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but we’ve all seen – unless your name is Alan Martin – how The Terminator starts.

Southtrade International