Just a few on my favourite navy pictures

Hello.

Here, I show just some of my data-base of  navy pictures for your enjoyment and who knows, for your education too. They come from various sources and many {NA, BL, NMM, IWM, SRO, NM, private collections/sources}, hundreds of pieces, and boxes of them, collected or sourced over the near fifteen years I have been writing websites and used in many projects: website analysts will tell you that my website is ten years old, but for the first five years or thereabout, my website was godfreydykes.com.  I also have four other websites, so you can probably image the pile of data collected over the years.  I own several films, some civilian made with Admiralty's permission and involvement for example "A sailor is born", and some RN Instructional Films, showing naval training establishments amongst other subjects, some converted to VHS, some to DVD whilst others are still on their original large spools, one 35mm the others 16mm. Many Admiralty made films were made of ratings training facilities which were shown at Dartmouth during midshipmen training. Every now and then I have a clear out and with bonfire night 2012 just around the corner it is apt that I prepare the next off-load now.  You can see other clear-outs of recent times in these numbered articles on my NAVY SMALLER FEATURES page - No's 164 and 258.

Below, I have published 546 pictures covering the subjects of TRAINING, the WRENS; SKIMMER PICS; UNDERWATER NAVY, and ADMIRALS. This number represents just under a quarter of my photograph database on these listed subjects, so just  a sample to whet your appetite for possibly more.

I have often wondered about two specific things, both relating to HMS Ganges, so I will voice them now. Although I have been several times to the NMA and viewed the Ganges Memorial [I was also there on the 1st September 2012 at the Private Dedication for the Dead of 2011] I wonder why there is a Thistle, a Shamrock, a Rose and a Daffodil only when the words of Remembrance read 'for all those who trained at the Establishment'.  I got to wondering about the many tens of Maltese boys who trained there and Manx boys well before and long after HMS St George was commissioned/de-commissioned, so why no Maltese Cross and no three-legged man. Then we have the Channel Island boy's, seemingly from all but Sark and Herm, and a handful of boy's from Gibraltar, again all with national cyphers or symbols. Of some great and lasting importance [I am sure you will agree] was the Battle of the River Plate in which the cruiser HMS Achilles took a major part.  In brief [although I do know the full story] she was officered by the RN but had a Kiwi crew having served in the New Zealand Squadron since March 1937. In October 1941, when the RNZN was formed she became HMNZ Achilles which was sold to the Indians after the war.  The Battle of the River Plate, the first real naval punch-up of WW2 was in December 1939, and the Achilles, under either navy [RN or later RNZN] required training for its men pre and post start of the war. The job of training the men, as HO's fell to HMS Ganges in 1941, and hundreds of New Zealanders joined Ganges to hone their skills as ratings, and yet, there is no mention of them on the Memorial.  Moreover, there is no mention of them period in the annuals of the Ganges Association, which is a great pity! My point here is really the symbols used on the Memorial, suggesting that national flowers are a poor way to represent those who trained at the Establishment. Poor, because not all of these mentioned countries, islands, whatever, have national flowers, indeed, just Malta with its Maltese Centaury, Isle of Man with its Cushag or Fuchsia, Guernsey with its Famous Lily and New Zealand's Kowhai which is really a flowering tree.  So, is a change desired to meet and match the words of all who passed through the gates of HMS Ganges written on the Memorial?  Whatever your view, as it stands, it is not representative, suggesting that Ganges was a UK affair only!  As to why our many NZ friends are forgotten or not interested in a corporate association with the Ganges Association, is a sadness in itself.  A couple of pictures of the NZ'ers are shown on the TRAINING PICTURES below.

Shotley, throughout the years and despite what we in the navy called it, whether HMTE Shotley or RNTE Shotley or HMS Ganges, was "home" to others as well as naval personnel and civilians employed full time there.  In WW2, the RNSQ, for example, attracted several VAD's [Voluntary Aid Detachment - women from all social backgrounds from all parts of the UK] who helped to care for the wounded and the sick during convalescence as well as administering to those directly affected by war [bereavement for example] on a national basis.  Some of these women were local, but others who were itinerant, were accommodated in the Establishment. The service patients in the RNSQ/RNH were not all sailors by any means, and beds were sometimes occupied by civilians from local areas.  At least two children were born there! 

In the River Stour, there were two areas of great strategic importance to the successful prosecution of the war, one being Harwich and the Fleet it served and the other, Landguard Point Fort across the harbour at Felixstowe. The Fleet really speaks for itself in defending its assets against all attacks but particularly against air attack, and Harwich, the home of the Flag Officer, had its own defences in place. Felixstowe was a different case. On its door step was Landguard Fort and it was one of the protagonists in the Normandy D-Day landing in 1944. Preparation for the invasion of Europe had pre-occupied those in the Fort for up to a year, a year of building a superstructure from which to launch the amphibious attack, and the last thing they wanted was aerial intrusion either bombing or photography. The barrage balloon was widely employed around "priority targets" and it was designed to make the German aircraft fly higher, thus giving the ack-ack guns a better sighting and also denying accurate bomb aiming/photography. Felixstowe was protected on its north and west side by using three barrage balloon sites, one at Landguard, one at Shotley Point and the other in the entrance of the River Orwell: the latter used ships moored in the mouth of the river with tethered barrage balloons. These three stations added to, and complimented those at Harwich and on the other side of Felixstowe. They were each manned by one of the many branches of the Army or Air Force having men and women in their numbers, and those manning the Shotley Point and the Orwell stations were victualled and accommodated with the HO's in HMS Ganges. The following picture {c.1905} shows you where Shotley Point was relative to the famous Martello Tower, Tower 'M' sited on the north eastern edge of the Establishment. The Point, is across the foreshore boundary and across the 'saltings' [land regularly flooded by tides] sitting on the W.M.O.T [Water Mark Ordinary Tide] line.

Funny really, that during WW2, Shotley had a barrage balloon station, and in WW1 [where the annexe was built] it had a balloon station. In WW1, balloons were used as either 'bombers' [dropping bombs on the enemy by hand] or as 'spotters', rising skyward near to battlefields to draw maps and observe fortifications and enemy formations. The difference of course was that in WW1 balloons were manned whereas not so in WW2.

ALL PICTURES cab be acquired from this page.

Here is one I kept separate from the SKIMMERS. One million sea miles - must be a record, certainly in the RN anyway. Just in case you are looking at the  odometer in your car, that is 1,000,000 x 2000 yards [as opposed to land miles which equal 1760 yards] = 1,136,363.6 road miles. If your car had recorded those miles {approximately 45.5 times around the world}  it would be very much an 'old banger', but, the Yacht wasn't and its withdrawal from service [in the name of economy] was a false-economy, politically motivated. From the time this photograph was taken until her final day in Service, she steamed a further 88,000 nautical miles.

PART ALFA

SUBMARINE GALLERY PAGE 1
SUBMARINE GALLERY PAGE 2
SUBMARINE GALLERY PAGE 3
SUBMARINE GALLERY PAGE 4
SUBMARINE GALLEY 5

PART BRAVO

WRENS GALLERY PAGE 1
WRENS GALLERY PAGE 2
WRENS GALLERY PAGE 3
WRENS GALLERY PAGE 4

PART CHARLIE

TRAINING GALLERY PAGE 1
TRAINING GALLERY PAGE 2

PART DELTA

SKIMMERS GALLERY PAGE 1
SKIMMERS GALLERY PAGE 2
SKIMMERS GALLERY PAGE 3
SKIMMER GALLERY PAGE 4
SKIMMERS GALLERY PAGE 5
SKIMMERS GALLERY PAGE 6
SKIMMERS GALLERY PAGE 7
SKIMMERS GALLERY PAGE 8
SKIMMERS GALLERY PAGE 9
SKIMMERS GALLERY PAGE 10
SKIMMERS GALLERY PAGE 11
SKIMMER GALLERY PAGE 12

at this point Parts A-D contain 366 photographs

PART ECHO

For this clever piece of software you will need to have JAVA Enabled. However, try opening any of the Admirals Galleries below first and if you can't then resort to my advice/instruction.

Have no fears about doing this for the digital world runs on JAVA - quite literally every electronic device [and you will have many tens of such pieces in your home] will depend on Java functioning correctly. Once loaded it stays on your HDD for ever and when a website needs to use it, it is already available and active. You won't see any change of performance on your computer, except that it will perform better when the webmaster employs a Java module. To download it, simply type the word JAVA into your browser and then follow the screen instructions.

The Admirals section.

It has always been the policy of the Admiralty {MOD[N]} that all its senior naval officers have their picture painted, sketched, drawn {in charcoal} or photographed for PR purposes, whether intended for media release or for wholly naval purposes.  For more local reasons, this has extended to Commanding Officers of ships and establishments so the ship's company are in no doubt as to who their ultimate boss is/was!

In HMS Ganges, a civilian called Mr Fisk, was officially appointed as the establishment's photographer, taking over in the late 1940's from an equally competent local photographer who by that time had become infirmed. There is no doubt that many of you belonging to other operational or training establishments will remember the 'camp picture taker' .

However, I'll wager that few know of Francis Dodd Esq [RA] during the WW1 years!  Have a look here

The policy of the Admiralty was that all senior officers should have their pictures recorded for day-to-day purposes [remember that the war was never intended to last for over four years] and for that reason it appointed an artist, and not some ordinary artist, for this portrait painter was a  member of the Royal Academy whose extremely famous headquarters occupy resplendent buildings in the very heart of London on Piccadilly.  Those initials behind Francis' name tell us of his undoubted and highly recognisable skills with a brush or pencil, shared with such legends as Turner, Gainsborough, Constable and so many others.  During WW1, Francis painted or sketched every senior officer's face and at least upper body, leaving for all posterity, the men who led the defeat on the German High Sea Fleet with its chief sea-battle, not being Jutland, as so many would believe with its horrific losses on both sides, but the Battle of the Falklands in which the German losses were large, total and major, leading to a decisive [unlike at Jutland} British victory with relatively few losses.   The German navy never recovered!  In that battle, Admiral Graf Spee and his two sons perished under British gunfire.    

In some of the following files, you will see these pictures of our senior officers of WW1 vintage and service.   In WW2 of course, the task was not necessary  because the 'camera - both still and movie - was king', and there were as many war correspondents in all theatres of war as there were senior officers.

One interesting snippet I will offer, is that I am a devotee of WW1 and its many published documents.  It is always nice to be able to put a face to the many stories of WW1 and this is why I have this library of pictures of our senior naval officers. These are some of them from that library.

Here are nine pages showing 180 photographs.  Each page involves a built-in magnifier whose use is explained at the top of each opened page. To supplement the magnification factor, you can either open up your magnifier [start-all programmes-accessories-ease of access-magnifier] or select the zoom function from your browser 'tools', and with either, select 200% [no more  or otherwise your image would be almost off screen].

ADMIRALS GALLERY PAGE 1
ADMIRALS GALLERY PAGE 2
ADMIRALS GALLERY PAGE 3
ADMIRALS GALLERY PAGE 4
ADMIRALS GALLERY PAGE 5
ADMIRALS GALLERY PAGE 6
ADMIRALS GALLERY PAGE 7
ADMIRALS GALLERY PAGE 8
ADMIRALS GALLERY PAGE 9