HMS GANGES WA Division Hoist May 2019


Division Patron: Commander Philip Orchard AM AFNI RAN Ret. Retired




G’day all,

Sunday Social Sausage Sizzle 25/04/19:

Another great turn out for the SSSS with Rockingham RNA, with some 30+ in attendance. As has now become the norm provisioner Secretary James provided the sausages and rolls etc. on our behalf and regular chef Vice President Gary did the honours where cooking was concerned. Again, salads and duff were well catered for. Knocker White ran the raffles with plenty of prizes available, its amazing how some people are regular winners, it may be due to the amount of tickets they buy. The rum raffle was won by Gary Foley.


The opportunity was taken to discuss the upcoming Shep Woolley concert on Saturday 25th May with navy club management. Tickets will be $20/head and bring a plate for nibbles. The concert is scheduled as 1900 for 1930. Our job is to sell tickets but get in early as seating for 150 is the maximum licence allowance. Tickets may be booked or purchased through the Navy Club.


20th Anniversary Dinner;

The anniversary week end is only weeks away and Tony and his team have things well in order. Treasurer Peter confirmed that all who have booked for the dinner (38) have paid up.


To freshen memories;

The Friday meet and greet is in the Season’s Hotel commencing around 1800. Dress is Division shirts for those who have one and we reckon there will be 15 to 20 in attendance. The hotel has food on offer at reasonable prices and is 30 seconds away from the hotel (around the corner).

The dinner is set as 1830 for 1900. For the early birds the restaurant bar opens at 1730. Dress will be smart casual without medals (I will be wearing my blazer), what the ladies wear is entirely up to them.

Although it has been decided not to have ‘Up Spirits’ there will be wine and soft drink on the table and restaurant manager Claus has graciously allowed us to provide our own rum for the toasts. A few of the committee will be setting tables etc from around 1530. Cathy Sharkey with the help of Mary Anthony has arranged the table settings with her usual flair.


Division Gatherings for 2019


Committee Meetings

3rd Thursday of odd month

Commencing 1200 at FNC

Division Meetings

4th Thursday of odd month

Commencing 1200 at FNC

Social Sausage Sizzles

4th Sunday of even month

Commencing 1200 at RNC

16th May 23rd May  
    23rd June (Ganges)
18th July 25th July  
    24th August (RRNA)
19th September 26th September  
    27th October (Ganges)
21st November 28th November (AGM)  
20th Anniversary Celebration Dinner 1st June

Miss Maud Hotel & Restaurant Perth

Annual Black Tot Day Lunch

1200 Wednesday 31st July at FNC

Christmas Lunch

1200 Wednesday 11th December at FNC





Boom Boom!

Two RP’s walked into a building………you’d think one of them would have seen it.


Book Review:

Tony Richards lent me the book ‘Erubus – the story of a ship’ by Michael Palin of Monty Python fame. It is a great read and one that prompted a couple of inclusions in this Hoist. HMS Erebus, named after the dark region of Hades in Greek mythology, was laid down as a Hecla class bomb vessel.

Erebus and her accompanying ship HMS Terror (she was also laid down as a Vesuvius class bomb vessel) are famous for their voyages to Antarctica (Ross expedition) and the Arctic (Franklin expedition), both ships were lost in the late 1840’s whilst searching for the North West Passage.

A couple of things from the book I will share with you; soaking your feet in rum is no cure for frostbite and that Ross requested a young gunnery officer named FitzJames from HMS Ganges to join his crew, but the request was denied. I was intrigued as to how Palin sourced this information until I read later that Commander FitzJames was a key member of the Franklin expedition. Reading the book led me to research further hence ‘The Story of a Class’ and ‘The Falklands’ articles in this hoist.


The story of a Class:

The Canopus-class ships of the line were a class of nine 84-gun two-deck second rates of the Royal Navy. Their design was based on an enlarged version of the lines of the captured French ship Franklin (see below), she was commissioned into the Royal Navy as HMS Canapus, although this ship herself was not included as a member of the class. The earlier ships were initially ordered as 80-gun third rates, but this classification was altered by changes in the rating system in February 1817. This class of ships is sometimes referred to as the Formidable class.

A drawing of the French ship Franklin – Built in Toulon and named after the American Benjamin Franklin, she was completed in March 1798 and captured by the British Fleet under Rear Admiral Horatio Nelson at the Battle of the Nile in August 1798.


Having served the French Navy for less than 6 months she was renamed HMS Canapus and served the British for 89 years.


The ships:

HMS Formidable

Builder: Chatham Dockyard

Ordered: 8th May 1815

Launched: 19 May 1825

Fate: Sold 1906

HMS Ganges

Builder: Bombay Dockyard

Ordered: 4 June 1816

Launched: 10 November 1821

Fate: Sold 1929

HMS Asia

Builder: Bombay Dockyard

Ordered: 22 April 1819

Launched: 19 January 1824

Fate: Sold, 1908

HMS Vengeance

Builder: Pembroke Dockyard

Ordered: 23 January 1817

Launched: 27 July 1824

Fate: Sold, 1897

HMS Powerful

Builder: Chatham Dockyard

Ordered: 23 January 1817

Launched: 21 June 1826

Fate: Broken up, 1864

HMS Clarence

Builder: Pembroke Dockyard

Ordered: 27 May 1819

Launched: 25 July 1827

Fate: Burnt, 1884

HMS Bombay

Builder: Bombay Dockyard

Ordered: 26 January 1825

Launched: 17 February 1828

Fate: Burnt 1864

HMS Thunderer

Builder: Woolwich Dockyard

Ordered: 23 January 1817

Launched: 22 September 1831

Fate: Sold 1901

HMS Monarch

Builder: Chatham Dockyard

Ordered: 26 July 1817

Launched: 18 December 1832

Fate: Broken up 1866


Their Fate:

  • In 1869 Formidablebecame a training ship, at the National Nautical School in Portishead and she was sold out of the navy in 1906.
  • HMS Ganges was finally taken out of service in 1923, and transferred to the dockyard; in 1929, she was sold for breaking up. The following year, after over a century in service, she was finally broken up at Plymouth. Upon breaking, some of the timber was used to make souvenirs, usually having a small brass plaque with some of the ship’s history attached. The panelling in the captain’s cabin was purchased by Thomas Nelson, 4th Earl nelson, who installed it in the principal top-floor room at Trafalgar Park in Wiltshire. The captain’s cabin in the stern was used in the construction of the Burgh Island Hotel in Devon, where it remains to this day. In 1933, timbers from the ship were also used to construct the cross that stands outside the eastern end of Guildford Cathedral in Surrey. You will note Ganges was the longest serving ship of the class.
  • In 1858 HMS Asia was converted to serve as a guardship, and during several years she was flagship of the Admiral-Superintendent of Portsmouth Dockyard. In 1908 she was sold out of the navy.
  • HMS Vengeance became a receiving ship in 1861 (usually an obsolete or unseaworthy shipmoored at a navy yard and used for new recruits or men in transit between stations) and was eventually sold out of the navy in 1897.
  • HMS Powerful was hulked (A shipthat is afloat, but incapable of going to sea, the term most often refers to an old ship that has had its rigging or internal equipment removed, retaining only its buoyant qualities. Hulks have a variety of uses such as housing, prisons, as salvage pontoons, gambling sites, or for cargo storage.) and used as a target in 1860 and was broken up in 1864.
  • HMS Clarence was lent to the Liverpool Catholic Reformatory Association for use as a boy’s reformatory ship, in 1884 she was destroyed by a fire set by 6 of the boys whilst at her mooring on the Mersey.
  • HMS Bombay was fitted with screw propulsion in 1861 (i.e. the only one of its class with stokers aboard) She was destroyed in a fire on the River Plate, in a freak target practice accident. Her efficient ventilation system spread the fire of unknown origin during target practice off Uruguay near Montevideo on 14th December 1864, destroying her and costing the lives of 93 of her crew of 619.
  • HMS Thunderer was hulked in 1863 as a target ship at Portsmouth. Thundererwas renamed twice in quick succession: first in 1869 to Comet, and again in 1870 to Nettle. HMS Nettle was sold in December 1901 to Messrs. King & co, of Garston, to be broken up.
  • HMS Monarch was used as a target ship from 1862 and broken up in 1866.


The Falklands:

Argentina’s claims that the Falklands group of Islands, as Islas Malvinas, is part of their territory, I believe this claim is tentative at best. Although Fuegians from Patagonia may have visited the Falkland Islands in the distant past they were uninhabited when Europeans first discovered them. The first recorded landings on the islands is attributed to English captain John Strong, who, enroute to Peru and Chile in 1690, discovered a body of water between the two largest islands and named it Falkland Sound.


The islands remained uninhabited until the 1764 establishment of Port Louis on East Falkland by French captain Louis Antoine de Bougainville, he christened the islands Iles Malouines (after Saint-Malo the city of his shipbuilders and sailors). 1766 saw the foundation of Port Egmont on Saunders Island by British captain John McBride. Whether or not these settlements were aware of each other’s existence is debated by historians. The name Falklands was not applied to the islands until 1765, when British captain John Byron of the Royal navy, claimed them for King George III as “The Falkland Islands”. The term “Falklands” is a standard abbreviation used to refer to the islands.


But France and Britain were not the only countries to stake a claim, the Spanish claimed ownership of the whole lot through the terms of the Treaty of Tordesillas, which in 1494 had divided up the New World between Spain and Portugal. For the next 50 years the Falklands were claimed at various times by the French, the British, the Spanish and, with the growth of the south Atlantic whaling industry by the Americans as well. Then in 1820 a new country, Argentina, born from the wreckage of the Spanish Empire, announced a formal claim. That is why I believe the claim is tentative at best.



It could only happen to a stoker!

I was sitting in a bar one day and two very large women came in, talking in an interesting accent.
I said, “Cool accent, are you two ladies from Ireland?” One of them snarled at me, “It’s Wales, dumbo!”
So I corrected myself, “Oh, right, so are you two whales from Ireland?”

That’s about as much as I remember.


Master Shipbuilder

HMS Trincomalee, Britain’s oldest warship afloat, is moored alongside in Hartlepool UK. Launched in 1817 she is a Leda class frigate and was built of Malabar teak at the Waida Shipyards in Bombay under the watchful eye of master shipbuilder Jamsetjee Bomanjee Waida. She will be 202 years old in October.


Those in the know (or see “Story of a Class’) will realise HMS Ganges, built of Malabar teak at the Wadia shipyards and launched in 1821, was also built under the watchful eye of Jamsetjee Bomanjee Waida.


Whereas Ganges’s figurehead was that of and Indian prince, Trincomalee’s was that of old Jamsetjee himself. So now you know what the builder of HMS Ganges looked like. For some reason I had always thought of him as a short, dumpy fellow, how wrong can you be?


Trincomalee had a long service life and was involved in the search for the Franklin Expeditions Erebus and Terror and spent many years as a training ship.


Royal Navy Snippits:


New UK Hydrographic Office Opened:
In April the Princess Royal officially opened the new home of UK Hydrographic. Construction of the new headquarters for the 850 data analysers, hydrographers, cartographers, environmental experts and scientists took 18 months to complete and was ready for operations in January. The building was formally dedicated by Princess Anne, hosted by Earl Howe, Minister of State for Defence, and Rear Admiral Tim Lowe, Acting Chief Executive and National Hydrographer.

Seafarers around the world – including every Royal Navy warship and submarine, as well as the support vessels of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary – rely on the accurate charts produced by the team from Taunton to guide them safely around the seven seas. It uses data and information gathered by Royal Navy survey ships – HMS Protector in the Antarctic, HMS Scott largely in the Atlantic, HMS Echo and HMS Enterprise all over the globe and new HMS Magpie in coastal waters – to ensure the charts are as accurate as possible.
For nearly 80 years it’s been based in Taunton, but the site and buildings it originally occupied were deemed unfit for 21st-Century hydrographic and geospatial information service, especially as it switches
from traditional paper charts to providing a digital service instead. “I hope this new building will encourage people to understand what you do here and thank you for it,” Princess Royal said. “We are looking to you in the future to be at the forefront of hydrographic and geospatial information.” (I served on the previous HMS Scott in 1960, but all we surveyed was the River Severn and North Sea)


New Off Shore Patrol Vessels (OPVs):

HMS Tamar, part of an order for five ships, was formally named in Glasgow in March. The 90-metre vessel, which is equipped with a 30mm cannon and flight deck capable of accommodating a Merlin helicopter, is part of a five-strong OPV contract with BAE Systems, worth a combined £635m.
These vessels are designed for patrolling the British coastlines and protecting UK waters, as well as anti-smuggling and counter terrorism operations, and will be a key part of the Royal Navy fleet. HMS Tamar will be undergoing sea trials before being accepted into operational service in 2020.
All five vessels will be initially constructed in BAE System’s Govan yard, before being moved to their Scotstoun site to be fitted out with their systems ahead of rigorous sea trials.
Alongside the Type 26 anti-submarine frigate programme, the Royal Navy work has filled the Glasgow
shipyards’ order books until the early 2030s, with the next batch of frigates to be ordered soon. All the
Batch 2 OPVs, named HMS Forth, HMS Medway, HMS Trent, HMS Tamar and HMS Spey, are set to be delivered to the Royal Navy by the end of 2020. Below HMS Tamar is launched.



Is ’She’ to become ‘It’ or ‘Him’???

It was The Queen who said: “May God bless her and all who sail in her,” as she commissioned Britain’s
latest warship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, in 2014. But now the tradition of referring to boats as “she” or “her” is under threat after centuries of naval history. On Tuesday it emerged that a British maritime museum has begun referring to ships it exhibits as “it” in a bid to appear more gender neutral. The Queen, in line with Royal Navy tradition, referred to the HMS Queen Elizabeth as “she”.

The decision taken by the Scottish Maritime Museum near Troon was sparked by vandals. Twice in four
months, references to boats as “she” has been scratched out of information signs, forcing the charity’s
director to scrap the gender-specific term altogether. A 19th century steam yacht called ‘Rifle’, which once carried Queen Victoria across Loch Arkaig while she was visiting Inverlochy castle in 1873, had its display signs defaced last week in the latest attack. A passage which read: “Although she is in a very fragile condition, her propeller is a well-preserved example of an early design and she continues to fascinate viewers,” had all the gendered terms scratched out. The museum’s director David Mann has now vowed to update all signage around the building with gender neutral terms, using “it’ instead. “We are moving in line with other maritime institutions,” said Mr Mann.



Lloyd’s List, a weekly shipping publication which ran in print for more than 250 years, has already abandoned centuries of seafaring tradition by calling all vessels “it”. Julian Bray, the former editor, wrote: “The shipping industry does need to move forward if it is not to risk becoming a backwater of international business. “They are maritime real estate. The world moves on. I can see why ‘she’ would suit a magnificent cruise liner but to a rusting old hulk it could be rather offensive. “However, I don’t think there is anything wrong with calling ships ‘she’ in conversation. It’s a respectable maritime tradition.”

A spokesperson for the trade body, the British Marine Industries Federation, said their organisation would stand firm. “Our owners have always referred to them as ‘she’ and will continue to do so because, to many, they are part of the family,” they said. The exact reason why ships are referred to as “she” has been debated for many years.
A Royal Navy spokesman said: “The Royal Navy has a long tradition of referring to its ships as ‘she’ and will continue to do so.” Good on the RN for standing fast but one wonders if the ever-increasing number of lady sailors will later influence opinion.

Taking things literally!

Two guys are out hunting in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn’t appear to be breathing, his eyes are glazed over.

The other man pulls out his phone with trembling fingers and calls 000. He gasps, “My friend is dead! What can I do?” The operator says “Please stay calm. I will help you. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.”

There’s a silence, then a gun shot. The guy gets back on the phone and says “OK, now what?”


Point to Ponder:

Help a man when he is in trouble, and he will remember you when he is in trouble again.

That’s all folks;

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