Hello and Greetings. This is another of my personal pages which aims to salute our naval forebears for they endured so much in their Service years and by and large, got so little in return.

SUSAN DEWEY

 AND HER MATERNAL GRANDFATHER

ALLEN ABRAHAM CORNELL 1903 1933

TELEGRAPHIST ROYAL NAVY J 96792, WHICH AFTER THE DICKENSIAN NAVAL PAY CUT OF 1931 {which led to the Invergordon Mutiny},  BECAME JX 96792.

Susan Dewey is a lady who lives in Gosport, Hampshire, England, a town profoundly immersed in the history of the Royal Navy, playing host to many aspects of that Service which are as diverse as The main RN Hospital [Haslar]; The main submarine base [Dolphin]; a major Motor Torpedo Boat base [Hornet]; The RN Medicine Centre; a major historical Naval cemetery; a major research and experimental establishment; a famous historical signal station [Gilkicker]; enormous Victualling/Fuelling Yards and Ammunition Supply Yards; The Navys massive Engineering School [Sultan] and the Headquarter Building of all Naval Personnel Administration [Centurion]. And all this in addition to Forts from the Victorian times and two historical military barracks [also Victorian], one Army and one Royal Marines, the latter becoming a naval barrack [St Vincent]. Gosport individually, was as important as Portsmouth individually, and together, they formed the home environment for the largest part of the Royal Navy.

Fitting therefore, that Susan is the grand daughter of a navy man.

Susan and her family are fortunate to have several photographs showing aspects of naval life for Allen CORNELL taken in 1920s and 1930s, and we are also fortunate in that Susan is willing to open her Family Album to allow us to see some of them. Some are unique, and some are of importance in that they show ships, submarines and shore establishments now long forgotten, which, although possibly available in a museum or records office, are rarely, if ever, published for all to see on the internet.

So thank you Susan for your kind gesture in allowing us to see a few glimpses of our navy of getting on for 90 years ago.

We hope that you enjoy seeing them.

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Playing to the camera ? This early picture of Allen Cornell shows him at HMS Ganges at Shotley, near Ipswich Suffolk during his initial boy's training. It must have been taken in 1918/1919 immediately after WW1 when Allen was 15-16. Within the confines of Ganges proper, his hat would have been flat, and the letter "G" of Ganges would have been over his nose. The cap would have sat squarely upon his head and not cocked to the right as he is wearing it. The rationale {his} ? - you can't attract pretty girls unless you look like a sailor.....instead of a new recruit !

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Allen Cornell, a London boy, taken in the early 1920's. His cap tally reads HMS SPORTIVE which was a destroyer.

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3 pals from the destroyer HMS SPORTIVE with Allen Cornell on the right of the picture. Note Allen's heavily bent cap, a sure sign of a 'jack mi lad' who, but against the rules, liked to look "tiddly"

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An 'S' Class destroyer built by Swan Hunter - Launched 19.9.18 and completed 3.12.18 so didn't see action in WW1.
1075 tons. Dimensions 277' x 26' x 9 feet draught.
Guns: 3-4 inch (Mk. IV with 30 elevation), 1-2 pdr. pom-pom. Tubes, 4-21 inch in pairs.
Machinery : Turbines (all-geared type). Parsons (A.G.). Designed S.H.P. 27,000 = 36 kts. 2 screws. Oil burner with Yarrow boilers. Oil: about 300/250 tons.
Complement, 90 men

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Possibly a Christmas card from the crew of HMS SPORTIVE. The writing on the photograph shows where Allen is standing.

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Crew of HM Submarine L56 taken in Malta in the 1924-26 period when the Base Submarine Depot Ships was firstly the LUCIA and then the MAIDSTONE. Allen's position is marked on the photograph. This picture would have been taken on one of the deck spaces of the Depot ship and immediately after ceremonial divisions. They are dressed in full tropical rig which for ratings was called No 6 Dress.

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A lovely picture of HM Submarine L56 serving in the Mediterranean based on Malta in the period 1924-26. Allen Cornell is the middle man [dressed in his submarine white sweater]. Notice the colour of the submarine - white. Note also three periscopes, then the wireless mast and then the kite wireless aerial wound in and out by hand ratchet.

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HM Submarine L56 Malta Flotilla 1924-26 period. Part of the lads who crewed this boat with Allen in his blue overalls in the front and the rest in the tropical best No 6 suits. Note the leading seaman front right hand side with his WW1 medals.

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This photograph is dated 1925 and in that year, Allen was serving in HM Submarine L56 on the Mediterranean Station. Allen is marked with the cross on the seat of his pants. I can't comment further or speculate on what or whose the vault  was, but the ceremony wasn't purely a Submarine Crew effort. Note the Royal Marine Bugler in the rear of the naval platoon. He would have sounded the last post etc. Submarines didn't carry Royal Marines ! Also submarines did not [and do not] carry enough small arms [rifles] for each sailor in this group to have his own. Whatever it is, it is a joint naval affair at some British event somewhere in the Mediterranean.

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There is no date on this picture, but I think Allen had been in the navy for a few years although, in the absence of a Good Conduct Badge [GCB] - a stripe - on his left arm, it is before the 1.7.1924 i.e. before he achieved the age of 21. Note. In those days GCB were awarded from aged 18 at the 3, then 5, then 4 year stages. Note that Allen, right hand side front,  has what appears to be a cigarette in his hand,  and that the man opposite has two medals, one of which is his Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. This type of parlour [or room] was found wherever the navy travelled the world [you can see the the ornate table in the rear to the left] and sailors walked off the streets to have their photographs taken by Gibraltarians, Maltese, Indians, Chinese, Japanese etc etc studio cameramen.

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The lower deck crew of HM Submarine L22 1927-29 period. Note the large number of medals earned in WW1. The men are dress in their best blue suits, their No 1 uniform and the picture is taken in the summer months because they are wearing white hats and white fronts underneath their pull-on uniform tops. It was a personal fight to get into it and one needed help to get out of it !

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This is a splendid informal picture of the Commanding Officer [the skipper] and some of the crew of HM Submarine L22 in the 1927-29 period. Ignore the bottom line of writing. L22 belonged to the HMS Dolphin Flotilla based on Gosport. It tells of the necessary bonding between submariners, especially of those days, of all ranks and ratings. Professionalism was the key in ones approach to duty: toleration and acceptance of human faults and failings was a prerequisite to surviving socially.

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Use your scroll-bars to read this newspaper cutting concerning HM Submarine L22 and its VIP passenger the King of Afghanistan. Allen was in L22 in the 1927-1929 period but these reports and pictures are not dated.

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A cutting from the Daily Sketch newspaper.  The text is explicit.

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....and yet another newspaper cutting, also from the Daily Sketch.

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Diving from the stern of HM Submarine L56 in the Mediterranean Sea in 1925, using the after plane-guards as a diving platform. They must have had fun ! Tarragona is a beautiful and historic large coastal town in Catalan and is the Capital of this Spanish Province. It is only 51 miles SW of Barcelona.

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Allen in contemplative mood either awaiting his turn to enter the water, or resting from an energetic swim ?

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A charming family photograph of Allen with his wife Sarah.  Susan's mother, Maisie is in the middle of the children in front. Notice the very obvious love affair between the two, and Sarah wanting to get a piece of the action by dressing up in Allen's tropical uniform jumper.

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This is an altogether lovely picture, and requires few words.  The pride flows from their faces, and isn't Allen dapper ? An attractive couple I would say, although Sarah needs to put on a bit more weight before that suit will fit.  Again, the single stripe tells one that Allen is in his early twenties.

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This is part of a Royal Navy Wireless Telegraphy Station on the very southern tip of Ceylon,  Sri Lanka since 1948. Its name, and that of the local town was MATARA. Her radio callsign was GZP, which was later used by Ceylon West [HMS Highflyer]. The next few pictures are of that Establishment.  It was administered by the East Indies C-in-C through his Flagship, the heavy cruiser HMS EFFINGHAM. Allen was associated with that Flagship and the W/T station for over two and a half years from 1930 to 1932.

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Matara Christmas Day 1930 with Allen marked by a cross. Never good being away from home, but away at Christmas was especially difficult emotionally.  To keep ones mind off home [if that were possible] sailors create a substitute and bond to make Christmas more tolerable.

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Matara in 1931 - reminds me of other RN W/T stations but also of a Japanese prisoner of war camp ! Nice and warm [too warm] but otherwise sparse and soulless.

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Matara.  Allen was an enthusiastic insect collector and preserved his own work.  He brought many of his samples back to the UK.

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Matara. Christmas 1931. What you see is what we in the Navy call a SOD's OPERA.  SOD's means SHIPS OPERATIC DEPARTMENT.  For fun and with no members of the fair sex within a million miles, sailors act the fool and dress up to stage such things as pantomimes etc. It still goes on I think, but with WRENS now at sea, there is probably no point in having such a department.

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From Matara and the picture says with Love Allen.  He is holding a pet monkey.  In those days even submarines had pets aboard !

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DIYATALAWA is a large Garrison town in the central highlands of Ceylon about 70 miles NNE of Matara. It is where the Ceylonese army trained and was used as a rest camp to get away from the roasting hot coastal areas, like Matara for example. This photograph shows a group of men four of whom are considered 'combatants' {in sailors uniform}, two are Ceylonese messboys {stewards} and the rest are from non-combatant branches like clerks, cooks, stewards, sickbay attendants, coders educational, supply.  They wore a peak cap [fore and aft rig] - a sailors uniform is called square rig] but black buttons on their jackets instead of gilt buttons as worn by petty officers upwards. These men would have come from Matara and from ships visiting in the East Indies Fleet visiting Ceylon for R&R [Rest and Recreation].  Allen is the right hand man on the middle row.