1953
 

 

 

 

 

 


1 9 5 3

 

 

Administration

 

Increase of finding by Treasury for Married Quarters.

 

Manpower strength 151,000.

 

4,000 National Servicemen joined.

 

Manning redundancies enforced except in Far East.

 

Greenwich Observatory moved to Herstmonceaux, Sussex.

 

Russian naval strength reported to Parliament.

 

1,000 officers and 16,000 rating retained because of Korean War. RFA recalls were 600 and 8,000

 

Local Overseas Allowance and Married Unaccompanied payments introduced for man serving overseas.

 

Officers

 

Officers on Pre 1946 Pensions still receiving 1919 Scale payments.

 

Despite Montague Report recommendation that Dartmouth entry should return to age 13 entry to Dartmouth. Admiralty decided all Cadets to Join at 18 with first entry in May 1955.

 

Ratings

 

Payment of Re-engagement Bounty to continue.

 

Increase in number of 12 year Engagements noted but manpower diminishing.

 

Additional funds for building married quarters at Portsmouth voted by Parliament. Work to be started at Portsmouth, Chatham and Plymouth.

 

Ships

 

Sabotage incidents in HMS WARRIOR, HMS TRIUMPH and HMS INDEFATIGABLE.

(For some of the possible background to these incidents - see "Some Aspects of Officer/Rating Relationships in the Royal Navy 1941-1972")

HM Cruiser SWIFTSURE escorted HM Trinity House Vessel to Helsinki.

 

Trials of new design gun mountings for TIGER Class cruisers carried out in HM Cruiser CUMBERLAND (right - old County-class heavy cruiser employed as Trials Cruiser, NavyPhotos).

 

HMS INDOMITABLE paid-off because of fire damage and to provide crews for HMS ARK ROYAL and HMS CENTAUR.

 

HMS TRIUMPH replaced HM Cruiser DEVONSHIRE as Cadet Training Ship.

 

Completion of HMS VICTORIOUS forecast for 1957.

 

HM Aircraft Carrier EAGLE commissioned.

 

Submarines

 

Marker Buoy trials carried out by HM Submarine ANDREW.

 

HMS ANDREW made submerged crossing of Atlantic Ocean.

 

Test launches of torpedo using HTP fuel carried cut (Exercise FANCY).

 

Naval Aviation

 

Name changed back to Fleet Air Arm.

 

First fit of British Angled Flight Deck in US Navy aircraft carrier.

 

USS ANTIETAM gave demonstration off Spithead using new facilities including operation of SEA HAWK aircraft.

 

Trials of two sets of Mirror Landing Sight carried out.

 

HMS VENGEANCE loaned to RAN pending completion of HMAS MELBOURNE.

 

Helicopter trials carried out in RFA FORT DUSQUESNE.

 

Home Station

 

HMS DILIGENCE commissioned at Hythe, Hampshire specifically for acceptance of Inshore and Coastal  Minesweepers.

 

Coronation Review by HM Queen Elizabeth II at Spithead. HM Despatch Vessel SURPRISE used as Royal Yacht.

 

50th Anniversary of use of HMS VICTORY as name for RN Barracks at Portsmouth

 

WRNS Depot at Burghfield commissioned as HMS DAUNTLESS.

 

Dartmouth RN College became BRITANNIA RNC instead of HMS BRITANNIA following use for the name for the Royal Yacht.

 

Boiler Room explosion in HM Destroyer DUCHESS with 1 fatality and 3 injured.

 

Naval parties gave assistance after flooding of east coast areas in UK.

 

HM Submarine SIRDAR and HM Frigate BERKELEY CASTLE damaged in HM Dockyard, Sheerness during adverse weather conditions.

 

HM Cruiser SWIFTSURE and HM Destroyer DIAMOND involved in collision off Iceland. Both ships sustained serious damaged.

 

Fire on board RN Fast Patrol Boats at Aarhus, Denmark during visit.

 

Foreign Stations

 

Several casualties caused by serious fire on board HMS INDOMITABLE.  Two George Medals awarded.

 

HM Depot Ship TYNE deployed at Sasebo, Japan in place of HMS LADYBIRD for support of RN ships serving  with UN in Korea. HM Depot ship RANPURA replaced HMS TYNE in Malta.

 

Anglo-Egyptian tension reduced and only Guardship deployed at Port Said.

 

RN warships took part in major international SEATO exercises (JET) in Indian Ocean

 

CinC Mediterranean visited Massawa, Eritrea.

 

Malayan Emergency naval support still required and helicopters used for first time.

 

HM Cruiser SHEFFIELD attended Brazilian Navy Review.

 

Forty cases of interference during passage of British flagged ships reported in Far East.

 

HMS ST BRIDES BAY prevented seizure of mercantile ss NIGELOCK in Straits of Formosa.  HM ML1323 fired on by Chinese in Pearl River with 3 fatalities.

 

Korean War armistice signed and RN ships resumed to Fleet duties.

 

RN assistance provided after earthquake in Greek Islands and Cyprus.

 

Local political unrest in British Guiana.  Troops embarked in HMS SUPERB and HMS BIGBURY BAY in Jamaica and in HMS SHEFFIELD at Plymouth to prove aid to civil power.

 

Mercantile ss GOTHIC embarked Royal Party in Jamaica for Commonwealth tour.

 

No Guardship deployed at Trieste after Italian/Yugoslav crisis.

 

During visit to Taranto crews of HM Destroyers ROEBUCK and WRANGLER attacked by hostile crowds

 

HM Sloop FLAMINGO recovered Arab Dhow stolen by pirates in Indian Ocean.

 

[THEN, IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER]

 

  1. I JOINED THE ROYAL NAVY 2 YEARS AND 3 MONTHS AFTER THE END OF THE WAR WITH GERMANY HAD BEEN DECLARED BY BRITAIN AND OUR ALLIES. OFFICIALLY, THE WAR STARTED ON THE 3rd SEPTEMBER 1939 AND FINISHED AT 4PM ON THE 10th JULY 1951 i.e., IT LASTED FOR OVER 11 YEARS – NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT!

 

  1. EVEREST WAS CLIMBED FOR THE FIRST TIME BY THE BRITISH

 

  1. THE QUEEN WAS CROWNED AT HER CORONATION IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY

 

  1. TOSCANINI  WAS ILL AND UNABLE TO MAKE HIS FIRST APPOINTMENT AS THE CONDUCTOR OF NEW YORKS NATIONAL BROADCASTING COMPANY

 

  1. GATWICK  AIRPORT MIGHT BE EXTENDED TO BE  AN ALTERNATIVE LANDING GROUND TO LONDON AIRPORT.

 

  1. THE U.S.  TO TEST THE HYDROGEN BOMB AT BIKINI IN THE PACIFIC

 

  1. THE NEW ROYAL YACHT WAS NAMED BRITANNIA BY THE QUEEN – CAME INTO SERVICE IN 1954.

 

  1. SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL MADE A KNIGHT OF THE GARTER BY THE QUEEN

 

  1. J.R.H. CHRISTIE SENTENCED TO DEATH BY HANGING FOR MURDER.

 

  1. SCHOOL MEALS TO INCREASE BY 2d FROM 7d to 9d [ 2d = 0.83p] – COST PER SCHOOL DAY = 3.75p OR APPROXIMATELY 19p PER SCHOOL WEEK.

 

  1. DERECK BENTLEY WAS HANGED IN LONDON FOR THE MURDER OF A POLICEMAN.

 

  1. CHARLES CHAPLIN BANNED FROM WORKING IN THE USA.

 

  1. HOUSE OF LORDS TRIES TO GET MOTOR CYCLISTS TO WEAR CRASH HELMETS BUT FAILS.

 

  1. WAR ENDS IN KOREA.

 

  1. COMMERCIAL TV ARRIVES – ADVERTISERS’ ALLOWED 6 MINUTES IN EVERY HOUR.

 

  1. LONDON AIRPORT DEVELOPMENT TO BE COMPLETED BY 1960 TO MAKE IT THE FINEST AIRPORT IN THE WORLD.

 

  1. WHITE BREAD WILL BE SOLD IN THE SHOPS AGAIN AFTER A 13 YEAR ABSENCE. A 14 OUNCE WHITE LOAF WILL BE 5½d IN LONDON AND 6d EVERYWHERE ELSE

 

  1. HUNDREDS DIE IN THE UK IN EAST COAST FLOODS. THOUSANDS DIE IN EUROPE AT LARGE.

 

  1. MAU MAU TERRORIST LEADER JOMO KENYATTA AND HIS LIEUTENANTS GIVEN MAXIMUM GAOL SENTENCES OF 8 YEARS.

 

  1. WORLD AIR SPEED RECORD SET UP BY BRITISH OVER LIBYA – 737.6 MPH – BY LIEUTENANT COMMANDER MICHAEL LITHGOW ROYAL NAVY IN A NAVY FIGHTER AIRCRAFT.

 

  1. STALIN DIES IN MOSCOW.

 

  1. LATER IN YEAR, STALIN’S HENCH MEN ARE SHOT BY FIRING SQUAD FOR TREASON TO THE STATE [8 OF THEM].

 

  1. ALBERT SCHWEITZER AWARDED NOBEL PEACE PRIZE.

 

  1. WINSTON CHURCHILL AWARDED NOBEL LITERARY PRIZE.

 

  1. MAJOR GREEK EARTHQUAKE – 1000 DEAD.

 

  1. POLITICALLY, BRITAIN AND ICELAND FIGHT OVER FISHING RIGHTS.

 

  1. SWEETS COME OFF RATION.  ALL FOOD PRODUCTS TO STAY ON RATION UNTIL NEXT YEAR [1954].

 

  1. 3-D CINEMA HITS THE BIG SCREEN.

 

  1. SENATOR McCARTHY GAINS POWER IN THE STATES ON HIS WITCH HUNTS.

 

  1. KATHLEEN FERRIER DIES AT 41.

 

  1. ICE SKATING STAR DROPS DOWN DEAD IN FRONT OF AUDIENCE IN MUNICH. SHE WAS AGED 26. HER HUSBAND WITNESSED HER DEATH.

 

  1. QUEEN MARY DIES.

 

  1. TOM SHARKEY ONE OF THE WORLD GREATEST BOXERS FROM THE LATE 19TH CENTURY DIES AGED 79.

 

  1. DYLAN THOMAS DIES AT 39.

 

  1. HILAIRE BELLOC DIES AT 83.

 

  1. MABEL  LOVE, WORLD FAMOUS BEAUTY, DIES AGED 78.

 

  1. SERGEI PROKOFIEV DIES IN RUSSIA.

 

  1. AT LE MANS, BRITISH JAGUARS TAKE 1ST, 2nd, 4th and 9th IN THE TWENTY FOUR HOUR RACE.

 

  1. AT FOOTBALL ENGLAND 3 HUNGARY 6.

 

  1. ARSENAL WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP FOR THE SEVENTH TIME AFTER WHICH JOE MERCER TOLD THE CROWD THAT HE WAS QUITTING  FROM FOOTBALL.

 

  1. ENGLAND BEAT THE AUSSIES AT CRICKET AFTER A TWENTY YEAR PERIOD IN THE DOLDRUMS.

 

  1. BERYL, MY WIFE TO BE [AND NOW WIFE OF 43 YEARS {this year’s anniversary} WAS A GIRL OF 13¼.

 

  1. MY PARENTS WERE BOTH DAYS AWAY FROM THEIR 46th BIRTHDAY. MY FATHER DIED IN 1980 AGED 72 AND MY MOTHER DIED IN 1988 AGED 80.

 

  1. MY OLDEST BROTHER WAS 18 YEARS AND 8 MONTHS AND MY YOUNGEST SISTER WAS 8 YEARS AND 8 MONTHS. I WAS THE FIRST TO LEAVE HOME [7 CHILDREN] AGED 15 YEARS AND 3 MONTHS.

 

  1. AMEN