a continuation of type from



Marilyn Monroe married her second husband Joe Dimaggio on the 14th January 1954, and twenty one days later [8th February 1954] she was issued with this, what we would call an MOD [Ministry of Defence] Civilian Pass ID Card. She was 27.
I always liked her and I was saddened when she died at a tragically young age of 39 on the 5th August 1962,  the day before I got married.

Laminated with a black and white photograph of the star in the upper left-side corner, a date of “8 Feb. 1954,” and a typed name of “DiMaggio, Norma Jeane;” Monroe’s signature using this name is penned in blue fountain pen ink on the lower right-side corner; back of card shows her two finger prints as well as her personal statistics: “Height [5’5 1/2”], Weight [118], Color of Hair [Blonde], Color of Eyes [Blue], Religion [None], Blood Type [Unk], Date of Birth [1 June 26].” Though this ID card has been reproduced as a souvenir item and sold in stores and has also been seen in many books, this piece appears to be the actual one that Monroe used when she performed for the troops in Korea while she and Joe DiMaggio were on their honeymoon. Qualification for being on this page - simple - she sang to sailors and marines. That's good enough for me!


Looks  terribly simple to me, but then again, only a simpleton would have endorsed such an idiotic thing like Watergate. Just one more politician  and as is often the case, hoisted by his own petard! Why is he here on this page which is supposed to be about British maritime things? Well, being the President of the richest country on earth with almost limitless involvement in maintaining the peace of the world with its bottomless pit of materiel that none other could possibly match or fund, he was automatically the mainstay of NATO and the driver/controller of the Cold War. As such, explicitly, he was the C-in-C of the US armed forces and also implicitly the C-in-C of NATO's armed forces - that's where the R.N., comes in! History tells us that in that Capacity which was passed down from General Dwight. D. Eisenhower to subsequent Presidents, the job not only involved watching the declared enemy the WARSAW PACT, but also an enemy brought on by a 'fit of pique', namely the French under De Gaulle. At the formation of NATO in 1949, the American President and the British Prime Minister, respectively Harry Truman and  Clement Atlee were NATURALLY good and very close friends given the terrible war years which had almost wrecked the civilised world, as the chief protagonists and outright victors of WW2. France was shut out. Here I will reminisce about my time of living and working in Canada supplying  the RCN with a submarine service in the period 1963-64, accompanied by my dear wife and our first born in Halifax Infirmary. I remember well the gerrymandering in the Province of Quebec seeking an ever closer relationship with France which resulted in De Gaulle visiting the province to help stir up discontent. One of the Halifax newspapers [if I remember correctly although it could have been one of several Nova Scotia' papers] wrote an article on the following lines, note not a quote! The French were a three parts to one part disgusting nation throughout WW2. First off their capitulation without one shot being fired or one bomb being dropped on Paris, actually led to the execution of millions of Russians for by so doing, the German high command were able to release its armies to prosecute the war against Russia leaving the Germans to fraternise with the French who were pleased not to have fought. As you will read in a moment [Dean Rusk's comment to De Gaulle] the French  were quite willing for others to die for their country but they  themselves preferred not to do so by and large. 
Next of the the three to one issues which stained the French irreversibly, was the creation of the Vichy French in the south of the country, hardened politicians  and armies kowtowing to and acting as Nazi organisations to subjugate millions of decent but hapless French civilians: Frenchmen again doing the dirty deeds releasing born evil Germans  to do other sub-human and murderous acts of unspeakable atrocities.
Finally, to the last of the three was the unbelievable arrogance of De Gualle, pampered and well hidden under the skirts of the British in London throughout the war. Whilst undoubtedly he marshaled, directed and organised the Free French Forces with one hundred percent British support, he himself was not in harms way, and yet, on returning to Paris on the declaration of peace he wanted [and got] centre stage in the victory march down the Avenue des Champs-Elysees as though he were a hero: indeed the French thought he was.  Moreover, his long harboured envy/hatred of the British nation grossly soured all that followed until his death in November 1970.   Apart from what follows, there were very few French heroes!
Now to the meritorious French, the one decent and credible French opposition to the German butchers, and here they abound in their many thousands. They take the platform flying the banner of the Free French Armed Forces, navy army and air force, the proverbial and much adulated French Resistance supported by the mega bravery of the British SOE, all of whom fought and sacrificed themselves in the Allied cause, without them being overtly  known to us, sadly, and as such kept and maintained a low profile whilst other Frenchmen used the war to "swan" around the boulevards during the day, and the theatres and brothels during the nights, whilst other Europeans died and suffered at the hands of their chosen friends, the jack-boot krauts.

Come the mid 1950's [1958]  when the US/British bond was at its strongest over the NATO alliance, with Eisenhower and McMillian in command, De Gaulle who couldn't lick the boots of either of these leaders, wanted a piece of the action for France on a parity basis - now that is arrogance personified. Both the US and the Brits didn't think so, based on the French WW2 record, and sent him packing. He threw his toy's out of his pram rather like France had for the most part ducked their WW2 duties [that's the first three parts listed above] but CERTAINLY NOT this last part, which led to him taking France out of the NATO Alliance.

President Nixon's input into this page is now complete. He left office by evil intent which is unforgiveable, but his successor inherited the problem of which of the two enemies pre-occupy his/their time, the French or the Russians.  Given the Russian performance in WW2,  I know who I would want as a neighbour/bed-fellow! 

Fortunately De Gaulle died  in 1970, a European declared persona non grata by many,  but left France outside the military wing of NATO.  It wasn't until many years later  that the French realised their ridicule, yes ridicule needed a rescue and way-out , when the nation suddenly found a President of France who could salvage the utter contempt for that nation, in terms of corporate defence as opposed to self defence. His name was Sarkozy, and he pulled out all the stops to right the wrongs of De Gaulle, in effect, in 2009, bringing France for the first time since 1959 [some 50 years outside the NATO military family] back into the NATO family: they are also keeping their own nuclear arm set up in the intrim. Sarkozy brought much controversy upon himself mainly based around his choice of wife and his love-life exploits, but that aside, he did drag France back into the NATO pact, so he wasn't all bad.

My mind now wanders to a new French President Hollande [living in the shadow of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel]  who has more or less no option but to continue what President Sarkozy left off, that is to commit totally to a France with full integration into the NATO Military Wing. He appears to have addressed this national commitment with a new and long overdue French guilt, namely that "we non-Frenchmen" died for the sake of the French, and now he has taken to dishing out honours [Légion d'Honneur] to reward British, American and our main allies for their sacrifices: nice and thanks, but a little overdue. Added to this is the almost unbelievable union between the defence organisation of the UK and the French, specifically the joint operation of the warships of both nations, which do not and cannot auger well for the defence of either or both nations. As such it is a political ploy to strengthen NATO, which, compared to the days of my navy, will of course work, but having half the crew of our new carriers Brits and other French, will it work as well as a Brit ship with a totally Brit crew? I have my doubts!  Indeed we are the weaker and more vulnerable because of this union, but note, Cameron is already suggesting  that by leaving the EU, the UK would be weaker militarily, claiming that  without the French connection, our chances of self protection and security outside the European Union would be bleak.  Surely this is not only a gross travesty,  but a slight upon our ability as a fighting nation, currently protecting ourselves as well as over seventy percent of the EU, a group of wishy-washy countries without a credible defence policy or the wherewithal [or desire] to support it. Come on Dave, we are not idiots, and had your government and others before you spent an adequate amount on defence, we would have enough sailors to man these ships without asking other nations to help out - how bloody embarrassing? Moreover, wasn't one of the advantages of these new ships [of all types - 45's included etc] that the required crews wouldn't be that much greater than what was required to man the now defunct through-deck cruisers, Ark Royal, Illustrious and Invincible?

When TOLD in the 50's  by De Gaulle to rid his country of all NATO military [personnel and materiel],  Dean Rusk, the US Secretary of State, asked whether that included all the graves of US Servicemen, ergo, those many more of the British and Commonwealth dead?  De Gaulle, that most egotistical of all WW2 leaders except for that comic and ineffectual clown Mussolini, was said to be speechless but maintained his aloof, non-combatant pose of I know all and yet he knew NOTHING, and moreover did absolutely NOTHING.   That reminds me of a silly joke/revelation  about the French. An old man arrives in France on holiday recently bereaved wanting only to escape his loss and to hide behind his memories of WW2. He is unsure, bewildered, anxious, and somewhat confused, when he is confronted by an arrogant Frenchman wanting to see his paper-work and travel documents. The old man dithers and fails to answer routine and perfectly clear questions as to the reasons for his visit, close to tears of bereavement at all times. "Have you been to France before, and are you aware of the rules and restrictions?" "Yes"  he says, "then why are you hesitant and confused about our entry requirements?". "Well" he states, "the last time I came here there were no French people,  and all the shouting and balling was done by others, with English speaking men giving orders, and German's begging mercy crying out, Bitte helfen Ich habe geschossen worden".

6. WW2 - HMS BELFAST - on Arctic duties. These included the protection of Russian bound convoys, and the harassment of German ships [war and merchantmen] there in support of the battleship Tirpitz hemmed in at the end of a long Norwegian fjord, which was famous in the prosecution and subsequent destruction of the German battlecruiser Scharnhorst, sister ship to the Gneisenau .

The total destruction of the Scharnhorst, with only a few survivors on Boxing Day 1943, was conducted during the Battle of North Cape off the northern tip of Norway,  by Admiral Fraser, putting a block on the British squadrons Christmas festivities, such as they were, given the circumstances. 

Admiral Fraser wanted all to know that the fight, put up by the Scharnhorst was of the highest possible level and that he was proud of the German captain.  For such a massive death of personnel at Christmas time was humbling and disturbing which all regretted.  War was war and to hell with it!

Gneisenau' fate was less bloody than that of the Scharnhorst  although jut as total, she being bombed to near total destruction in harbour by the splendid RAF [Royal  Air Force] with the loss of approximately 115 lives, resulting in her main armament of 14" guns being  stripped and taken ashore for use as a shore-battery. She never again went to sea as a heavy destruction weapon which resulted in a very furious Adolf Hitler. His air force had let him down destroyed by the RAF; his surface fleet was no more, utterly destroyed by the British;  his armies would fail in North Africa and on the Eastern front destroyed by the British and the Russians, and only his UBoat fleet was still a potent enemy. They too would be destroyed eventually, and the Kriegsmarine would be no more, as was his foul warlike country, the cause of incalculable grief and suffering throughout the first half of the 20th century.

One of my heroes was Ludovic Kennedy and his brave father Captain Edward Kennedy RN Rtd, of whom Ludovic spoke volumes with such pride and loving over tones. Everything Ludovic produced before his death in 2009 I have read over and over, the best being his book "Sink the Bismarck". He also wrote good tales of the destruction of her sister ship the Tirpitz but more of that in a moment. Edward Kennedy was 60 at the beginning of WW2 and was back  at sea this time driving an ex passenger liner converted to an armed cruiser called HMS Rawalpindi. Whilst on duty up in the Iceland-Faroe Gap escorting/defending a convoy, he saw smoke on the horizon and closed to investigate. To his surprise and consternation he met up with, face to face, two enormous German battlecruisers  conducting a search of the Gap, namely the Gneisenau and the Scharnhorst. He immediately reported their position to the Admiralty, and was told to heave to and be prepared to accept a boarding party. Aware of the odds and his intractable position and the inevitable  fate of being captured as a man-of-war masquerading as a civilian mercantile vessel, he refused and opened fire. He kept on firing inflicting small and insignificant splinter damage to the Scharnhorst' superstructure, and it wasn't long before his ship was sunk claiming the lives of many including that of his own. He was mentioned in dispatches for his bravery.

Ludovic Kennedy called the Tirpitz the ship that lived an invalids life and suffered the death of a cripple.

Of all German ships to serve in, being in the Tirpitz could be a bad, nay a terrible choice, and I say could, because her crew did rotate to replace those killed in action in several attacks, and towards her end, the crew was much reduced as she became more and more disabled. Imagine being stationed for long long  periods of inactivity high up in the Arctic Circle only to die a horrible death without ever seeing home, and home, Germany, wasn't that far away, 1200 miles Alta to Berlin - doesn't bear thinking about!  She withstood so much damage and lost so many men at various attacks against her, which were all British attacks, that losses of personnel and materiel damage on both sides were such that virtually every other ship fighting in WW2 would have long ago lowered her battle ensign and capitulated. She was attacked regularly by the fleet air arm flying fighters and bombers from carriers [light and fleet]  off the Norwegian coast on several separate occasions; two-men human torpedoes; midget submarines, and finally the RAF using six ton Tallboy armour piercing shells. Engineering-wise, people were astounded on seeing how such a badly damaged ship could be repaired in-situ when normally it would require a dry-dock and a massive work force in a long time period. When serviceable [or nearly so] she regularly experienced fuel starvation and often had to wait a month or so before she could acquire enough fuel before venturing out to sea again for another sortie. After being attacked and severely damaged on a couple of occasions being repaired enough for her to use her own engines to get around and to defend herself against surface attacks, Hitler decided that she was no longer a super- fortress battleship which could protect herself against air attack and so ordered a reduction in her role, necessitating a rearrangement of her main armament to enable her to be a floating bombardment platform, which led to a large reduction of crew down to approximately to 1300 officers and men in total from a war complement of 2500. It also meant a move from her self-chosen  'prison' at the end of a fjord where all her attackers had aimed for, to a position where she could bombard shipping running up and down the Norwegian Sea coast-line, hoping for support from the Luftwaffe which never materialised  in any meaningful way. In her new position she was severely limited to a fuel ration, just enough to run her turbines to provide power for ships service and armaments. She was repaired just enough to enable her to get to Tromsø further south, specifically to her new war station off  Håkøya and that she made under her own power. It was to be her very last journey. Just like her sister the Bismarck, the Tirpitz had seen very little of the shooting-match from beginning to end, and despite the dreadful loss of the Hood, both could be considered as 'white elephants'. Bismarck's demise came suddenly and until that point she had seen only successes during her maiden voyage with none of the hell suffered for long periods by Tirpitz. Her 'execution' was horrific and gruesome but swift, with her death total not vastly greater that the dead of Tirpitz overall.

Now just a few maps to orientate you to the geographical area being talked about.

First, to ALTA and its fjord leading to the Norwegian Sea. Alta was an established area purged and taken over by the Nazis. The inlet shows where the fortified base of the Tirpitz was. The town of Hammerfest is almost the most northerly town of habitation in Norway. Just a little further north is another famous R.N., location, North Cape,  where the battleship Scharnhorst was destroyed.

This [see picture below]  became her new home after being relegated from battleship status to floating bombardment ship. It was further south than Altafjord, near to Tromso which is on the island of Tromsoya, the northern most city in the world, 220 miles inside the Arctic Circle. She was beached, almost, close to and behind  the associated mountainous  island of  Hakoya. Apart from having no fuel for her engines, she also had no sea-room, no ability to manoeuvre, in short, a 'sitting duck'! Her anti-capsize man-made support of a sand and gravel corset also served as a stability support to counter the recoil if and when she fired her main armament, and to allow her to do that she was beam-on to the west, where, like all heavy gun bombardments, the recoil travels across the ship [thwartships] instead of through the ship [fore and aft line]. 

A short animation [no audio] of the relative distance between Alta and Tromso using my mouse pointer. Today [Nov 2015] you can drive from Alta direct  into Tromso at a steady 80kmh/50mph  in just 4 hours along the E6/E8, the road distance being  305km. The Tirpitz followed a very similar sea route to that of the land route covering a distance of 370km. To do that meant taking the island-hopping route away from the danger of the open sea route,  which would have had a bearing on her speed through passable channels but with a speed restriction.


This image shows the road route explained above, with the islands Tirpitz would have navigated through, and beyond them to the West, top as you view the picture, the open dangerous sea.

An excellent charting of the Tirpitz' position vis-a-vis the city of Tromso, with copyright shown.

This is an excellent website and very helpful in understanding the movements and disposition of the Tirpitz 

The RAF made more than one attempt to destroy this threat to our Arctic Convoys in support of Russia, which of course part lead to Russia defeating the German's on the Eastern Front, so convoy's always in our favour ultimately.

Eventually, our bombers,  a massive group of Lancasters with the dam busters [617 Squadron] taking a leading part but with other Squadrons too, lest we forget, which had to fly high to avoid the mountainous terrain and the flack being put up by the German ship which made their bomb aiming extremely difficult and unpredictable, got to their target and there dropped no fewer than  twenty nine Tallboy bombs on the Tirpitz scoring two direct hits and a very near miss.  That was enough to blow a whole dockyard to smithereens let alone one ship however big and powerful.  The result was sheer carnage. Bit by bit various chain reaction explosions occurred killing everybody in the vicinity including those swimming for their lives towards shore who were struck and killed outright or drowned, rendered unconscious,  by parts of the ship which had been blow sky-high raining back down onto the sea. Over a thousand sailors were killed in those brief moments and the armour-piercing shells had done their business.  Additionally, the near miss Tallboy had exploded below sea level and had undermined the sand and gravel corset placed around the ship to stop it from capsizing. When the corset  collapsed and was washed away, the ship turned turtle and rolled over. Less than 230 were saved, some being cut free from the lower hull of the ship, but it is not known how many of the 250 survived the severe burns suffered by everything that got in the way of a Tallboy blast followed by the ships magazine blowing skyward. Overall, from all the attacks made on the Tirpitz over the years [and this final one was made towards the end of the war in November 1944] a number approaching the death rate suffered by the Bismarck was assessed as being realistic, namely those of 1500 men.

Ludovic Kennedy's words were never truer.  She was kept as an invalid by the persistent bravery of the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force who injured her and her crew time after time, until she was crippled by their actions forcing her move to the Tromso area. There she died by the sword as she had attempted to live by the sword, but hers was a hapless case almost from the day she was launched. We can all imagine the sheer pride the Germans felt and shared back in the late 30's when these two super battleships were considered to be impregnable and as such all that was necessary [just the two of them] to win the oncoming war. How naive and pompous, because in their rejoicing and self-praise, they over-looked the will, skill, fortitude and rampant bravery of the British, where, along with Eric Coates' creation of the 'Dambusters March' and James Thomas-words/Thomas Arne music 'Rule Britannia',  we fulfilled our aspiration of winning, no matter what the sacrifice. At the German wash-up [oh, how I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall!] into the Tirpitz' destruction, the officer responsible for not giving Luftwaffe support to the much attacked vessel, was arrested, jailed, threatened with the death penalty, but subsequently released back to flying duties,  simply, as it is thought, because Goering himself was under direct threat of his life by Hitler, unless he could prove that his air force were as brave and as competent as he had always and often boasted.  I wonder what he was thinking when he swallowed that pill?

Just before 1960 dawned, some of the salvage workers were still on site nearly sixteen years after the event,  tidying up the remaining mess left by years of cutting, burning and demolishment work on  the once mighty Tirpitz.

7. A roundel of the 19th century with small overlaps into  the 18th and 20th centuries for British naval conflicts and wars with the peace periods in between.


*First Boer War was a 3 months standoff-skirmish in 1880 followed ten years on [or so] by the Second Boer War 1899-1902.

I have left out the one day war [Battle of Navarino] fought on the 20th October 1827 [during the War of Greek Independence] whilst at anchor,  against the Ottoman/Egyptian naval forces with Admiral Sir Edward Codrington as the Allied C-in-C, the last British war using sailing ships,  and also wars like the Indian Mutiny, the Boxer Uprising/Opium Wars and other small wars. Many of  these 'small wars' are commemorated by a host of Memorials dotted around Southsea's promenade and in Portsmouth's Victoria Park sited behind the city's famous Guildhall. 

8. October 1937

In this case the Far East meant Hong Kong

9. September 1966 - HMS SIMBANG

10. November 1965

11. October 1966

How wrong and misinformed can one be?

On 18 July 1967, the British announced its plans to withdraw its troops from Singapore by the mid-1970s. Six months later, the deadline was brought forward to 1971 due to economic problems arising from the devaluation of the pound sterling. The news came as a shock to Singapore because Britain had earlier given their assurance that the pullout would be carried out in stages. As a compromise, the British agreed to extend its deadline for its withdrawal from March to December 1971. The sudden pullout of British forces presented serious problems to Singapore's defence and economic security. At the time, the Singapore Armed Forces was in its infancy, and Singapore's relationship with Malaysia remained tenuous after its separation in 1965. On the economic front, the military bases were contributing over 20 percent of Singapore's gross national product; additionally, it was projected that at least 20,000 people in Singapore would be rendered jobless by 1971 as a result of the British withdrawal. To counter these problems, Singapore embarked on a rapid industralisation programme, tightened labour laws to attract foreign investments, and beefed up its defence through military cooperation with other countries and tripled its military spending. By the deadline, Singapore had achieved strong economic growth and nearly full employment. By October 1971, most of the British troops had moved out of Singapore, leaving a token number behind. It would be another five years before the last of the British troops leave Singapore.


The following picture shows how the 'deck tube' which protruded well above the line of the casing, passing through it, to sit resting on the top watertight cap, acted as a gateway to the special pressure hull gland.

The Type 10 wireless telegraphy spark transmitter and associated receiver was the very first British attempt at giving a boat the ability to communicate to shore and to other fleet units at sea. It was fitted into one 'B' class; eleven 'C' class; eight 'D' class; seven 'E' class two of which were built for the Australian navy namely the  AE1 and AE2, and one 'X' class, with HMS Vernon having a full set for test and experimental purposes.

The aerial array you see above was standard for that equipment fit in all types of boats mentioned.

It involved the use of a pole-mast clamped the leading edge of the conning tower which in the 'B', 'C' and 'X' classes was thirty feet high, and in other classes thirty  five feet high. Forward and aft there was a stump-mast, taller aft than forward, and each could be lowered forward towards the bow with ease and rapidity, into crutches attached the casing. The gland through which the wire passed was watertight [see above]. The pole and stub masts were lowered by hand before diving and the wires were left hauled taut and left roved on the casing upon diving. On surfacing the tautness was relaxed and each of the three masts placed in the vertical position re-hauling to take up the slack for efficient and safe use whilst on the surface.  However, it was the Admiralty's declared intention to allow commanding officers latitude in the way they used their aerial,  for it was a mechanical decision and not an electrical/wireless telegraphy decision as long as the deck-tube was not damaged, and as such, it became more and more the norm to dive and surface with the array rigged as shown. The records do not show the relationship between the tip of the pole mast [either 30 or 35 feet above the casing] and the tip of a periscope when fully raised, so which would have broken surface first when at normal periscope depth is not known. Circumspection would have been the order of the day if having dived with the mast in its upright position, so as not to give the boats position, its calculated speed and course steered away,  for surely the wash on it would have been greater than on a raised periscope especially an attack as opposed to a search periscope where the former is a lot thinner than the latter!

Many trials were conducted between 1912 and 1914 with the technical assistance of a civilian company.  They were tasked to research a system using their core expertise which was in hydraulics and pneumatics, such that masts could be raised and lowered telescopically  from within the submarine. Eventually two such masts were trialed and subsequently accepted for the duration of the war, one forward of the bridge and one some way aft which were raised simultaneously pulling a suitable horizontal wire aerial array laying in a pre determined pattern on the casing to the upright position, having as its main feature a "slack" deck-tube feed point, circumventing the possible weak-point of the system which would have been a rupture of the watertight glad.


What follows is not the easiest print to read  taken directly from newsprint. However, it is readable and worth the effort.
Some of the story is well known, but some is not. That is why I am publishing the page here.
Above all else it is a story taken from the Memoirs of a Russian Diplomat and published in 1967, which being so long after the event, may have been missed by those who have long ago read the British account of the Arctic Convoys.

Its true impact, is the shocking way in which a high ranking British bureaucrat slags off Admiral of the Fleet Sir Dudley Pound to a Russian Admiral calling him absolutely shocking names which of course didn't make the press at the time, and had they done so, they would have caused irreversible great damage to the British Establishment, and who knows, a fall out with Roosevelt leading to a stop, albeit a temporary stop, of Russian Convoys.

The bureaucrat is shown as being "VANSITTART" [first mentioned in column three of the article below] and the admiral as "KHARLAMOV".  Vansittart [Robert Gilbert Vansittart, 1st Baron Vansittart GCB, GCMG, PC, MVO of Dutch decent] tells Kharlamov [Nikolay Mikhaylovich Kharlamov (Russian: Никола́й Миха́йлович Харла́мов; 6 (19) December 1905 - 9 April 1983) was a Soviet military leader and admiral], that as far as the Establishment [in this case meaning the whole of Whitehall and Westminster] was concerned, Pound was a "POLTROON" and a "SLUGGARD". Poltroon means an utter coward and sluggard means lazy and sluggish. He also mentions that the lower deck on the R.N., had a nickname for the 1st Sea Lord which was "don't do it Dudley" in which I sense an endearment for our admiral: and, knowing sailors, I have no doubt that they would have called Vansittart "FANCY FART" which I think very fitting given his limp-wristed thespian pursuits, with appropriate irony and sarcasm. Admiral of the Fleet Sir Dudley Pound had his shortcoming, but Churchill trusted him implicitly keeping him on as the 1st Sea Lord from day one of the war until four years later when the exhausted admiral took ill, retired, and shortly afterwards died almost still in office at the relatively young age of 66. Had he shown any signs of incompetence, Churchill would have sacked him but he didn't. He had given 53 mostly successful years to the Navy and was given a celebratory naval funeral in Westminster Abbey followed by a sea burial. Have a look at this file

On the other hand Vansittart had never spent one minute in the uniform of his country and had never been put in harms way. All his life he was an administrator, a politician, a civil servant,  a diplomat, never getting his hands or boots dirty, shifting forests in paper-terms across his various desks and never really achieving anything tangible or of merit in the eyes of the public: that's not to say that his efforts were fruitless, just that they were surreptitious, whereas military men achieve more tangible results which we either applaud or bemoan!

How then did he have the gall, and the sheer bloody arrogance of his effrontery to accuse a man who but for his first thirteen years on earth, had given the whole of his life in uniform, serving the Navy in WW1  with merit at Jutland, and in WW2 until his death in 1943. Calling anyone a coward is bad enough, but to suggest that they are utter cowards without proof or just cause is truly indefensible especially when it is directed to  a serving officer by a whole-life civilian totally devoid of any military skills, understanding or implementation. That he spoke openly about his thoughts to a foreign admiral beggars belief, and suggests that despite the foreigner being an Ally, he was selling his country short [and possibly secrets] whilst revealing a shocking lack of understanding of how gentlemen behaved and the necessary decorum attached to that behaviour.  Clearly, if the admiral was lacking in his understanding of running convoys, then old FANCY FART needed a complete re-schooling in the THREE D's, namely DUTY, DECORUM and DEAMEANOUR for manifestly, he was as foreign to British customs including loyalty as was his Russian friend!  

The_Times AUGUST 1967  ARCTIC CONVOYS.jpg - Click on this to show and again to open !


Interesting to note the Training of Communicators in 1912 and the numbers and venue's involved.

[a].  The venue's were HMS Vernon [Portsmouth], HMS Defiance [Devonport] and HMS Actaeon [Chatham].

[b].  The numbers alongside course participants reflect totals and not length of course.

[c].  Marines and Lieutenant [T]/Gunners [T] which were warrant officers = Torpedoes, figured large at the various signal schools. Torpedo Branch personnel were the electrical officers/ratings of the day and therefore the 'professional' maintainers. Even in the 1960's in submarines [and possibly elsewhere although I cannot vouch for that] petty officer electricians were called POLTO's.  This was the norm but most unusual,  for a LTO was the rate title for a Leading Torpedo Operator [ergo also an electrician] and when promoted to the senior rates mess, the addition of PO was added to his existing title. However, on the maintenance side, operators were taught how to do routine maintenance on certain equipments and as such became departmental 'assigned maintainers', with the Chief and Petty Officer Telegraphists quite adept at keeping the show on the road without recourse to calling in the 'professionals'. Many years later in 1947, many senior telegraphists left the communications branch to help form the new electrical branch based on HMS Collingwood.

  [d].  Marine Officers were commonly appointed as the ship's communications officer [SCO] meaning W/T,  though marines other ranks were rarely if at all, trained or employed as telegraphists.

This picture shows a division of R.N., wireless telegraphy operators and their R.M., boss during the period 1912 to 1916. Note the badges and the white tropical rig [Number 6's] are almost identical to what we wore 50 [and more] years later except that is for the CPO Telegraphist [3rd from left middle] who wears a black badge on his right cuff instead of a blue badge. Note also the two dogs and the odd-man-out?, the PO on the right front seated wearing black socks - shocking!

This photograph has a significance with the Battle of Jutland and in particular for those in charge of the Communications of the Flag Ship HMS Iron Duke.
Note in 1914 RN officers who qualified as Signals Officers gaining the symbol [S] alongside their names in the Navy List, did not quialify in wireless telegraphy. That was the remit of RM officers only at that time. The 'dagger' symbol was used for many branches/specialities but not signals officers.
Iron Duke commissioned as a new build on the 10th March 1914 in Portsmouth as the Home Fleet Flag Ship with the Flag of Admiral Sir George Callagham.

Her radio callsign was GSDK, phonetically George Sugar Charlie King.
His Flag Lieutenant was Herbert Fitzherbert  by the time of commissioning an old and bold lieutenant RN [seniority 1907],  qualified as an [S] officer.
With him were the ships communicators Lt Cdr  Everard J Hardman-Jones RN [S] - Lt William D Phipps RN [S] - Captain Bernard C Gardiner RM [Instructor in W/T].
Signal Boatswain Frederick Well - Warrant Officer
Signal Boatswain Herbert J Harvey - Warrant Officer
Warrant Telegraphist Harry Simpson.

Reading between the lines, there is a tale to be told, that being,  all but one of the RN senior communicators WERE NOT QUALIFIED IN W/T and the only commissioned officer onboard so qualified, was a junior Royal Marine officer. By 1914 W/T had advanced tremendously and all ships were fitted, with many local shore W/T stations and long distance W/T stations functioning and taking traffic: certainly, the Iron Duke herself was well equipped with W/T equipment. It begs a question here.  It almost looks as though the Admiralty had appointed communicators of yore, to fight the ship and the fleet in the Pasco fashion as at Trafalgar!

By this time August 1914, Callaghan had been the C-in-C since 1911 and was now an old man aged 62. After flying his Flag in Iron Duke for just a few months and with the ever darkening  storms clouds gathering, Churchill wanted a younger C-in-C and to Callaghan's heart-break,  chose Acting Admiral John Rushworth  Jellicoe KCB KCVO. Just before war did break out in August, Jellicoe had travelled to Scapa Flow there to meet the Iron Duke on her arrival back  in her base. The two admirals shook hands and said their goodbye's and Jellicoe was grateful to Callaghan for turning over an efficient Fleet, engineered that way by Callaghan's efforts. Eventually, as we know, both men were promoted to the rank of Admiral of the Fleet.

With Admiral Jellicoe came a whole new organisation on the communications front, a team who could and did address both the V/S and the W/T side of the department. It is as though the Admiralty had taken heed of the saying:

 Of what avail the loaded tube?; the cannon and the shell?; if Flags and W/T default, the Fleet will go to hell:

and even with both sub departments firing on all systems. we very nearly did!

Jellicoe brought with him two commanders, one Richard L Nicholson RN [for W/T duties] and Alexander Riall Wadham Woods RN [ a specialist German interpreter - for V/S duties]
Captain RM Francis W Home to replace Capt RM Gardiner [both for W/T duties]
All other communicators listed above remained.

Jellicoe showed his appreciation to the communicators in his dispatches recommending honours and awards. He tasked his subordinate admirals, commodores and senior captains to do the same.

Quite surprisingly the old and bold Flag Lt, Herbert Fitzherbert,  stayed on board the Iron Duke albeit with a sideways move from Flag Lt to Flag Lt for the 'war services' department and was promoted in-situ to Lt Cdr [S], but unlike so many of his peers, finished Jutland with a “Commendation for his Services”. Others, as you will read, were given high honours and awards.

The new communications crew resulted in a major shift having two Commanders in charge, one for V/S and one for W/T. Their names respectively were Commander Alexander Riall Wadham Woods RN and Commander Richard Lindsay Nicholson RN.  Admiral Jellicoe rewarded each with a DSO saying that each had with great coolness and most marked efficiency reaped the rewards that the organisations they were in charge of richly  deserved.

This of course can only mean that the staff/flag and ship did fully use the W/T systems on board, almost contrary to what history tells us!

There were many very senior officers embarked in Iron Duke, but equally many umpteen more in the British Fleet.  Jellicoe was most generous in thanking all, tasking each subordinate flag officer to put forward recommendations  for honours and awards, and the following list shows how the communicators were rewarded after the 1st June 1916.

In no specific order they were:-

Lt Cdr Henry Ruthven Moore [S]  Flag Lt  DSO via Commodore James R P Hawkesley

Lt Cdr James Buller Kitson [S] DSO Flag Lt Admiral Sir Cecil Burney

Lt Cdr Ralph Frederick Seymour [S]  DSO Flag Lt to Admiral Beatty

Lt Arthur Malcolm Peters [S] DSC on Admiral Beatty’s recommendation

Lt Cdr David Norman Walter Joel [S] Flag Lt  - Commendation for his services

Lt Cdr Alfred Englefield Evans [S]  Flag Lt – Commendation for his services

Lt Cdr Martin Edward Scobell Boissier [S] Flag Lt  - Commendation for his services

Lt Cdr Philip Acheson Warre [S] Flag Lt – Commendation for his services

Lt Thefton Humphrey Legge [S] Flag Lt – Commendation for his services

Lt Stewart Dykes Spicer [S] Flag Lt – Commendation  for his services

Officers recommended for early promotion

Ralph Frederick Seymour

Many of the fleets, chief warrant officers and warrant officers were rewarded for their services in the Battle, largely being given promotions to lieutenant or early promotion when available to the next rank/rating.  This was extended to the lower deck down to as far as petty officers, some of who were granted rapid promotion to either WO or even direct to the Mate rank, a sub lieutenant , thereby fast tracked to what we later called the general list.

There were no MID’s at that time although the commendation was recorded and considered the same type of reward for war service.

Additionally were:

Captain Richmond Campbell Shakespear Waller, R.M.L.I. upon whom  Vice-Admiral Sir Doveton Sturdee reports:

" This officer has served continuously in the Home and Grand Fleet from April, 1913, and has been in charge of the wireless organisation of a Battle Squadron since the commencement of hostilities. This squadron was composed of new ships of various types which had been hurriedly completed and the work entailed in bringing the wireless installations of ships designed for foreign powers' into effective working order was carried out entirely satisfactorily. His  unceasing endeavours to improve the wireless of the squadron, has been of valuable assistance since I have been in command; an excellent Marine Officer."

 Lieutenant Harold Marsland Franks, R.M.A.upon whom  Vice-Admiral Sir David Beatty reports:

" W/T Officer on my Staff. Showed great skill and resource in maintaining the vitally important wireless communications throughout the action, despite the fact that aerials were shot away and required constant repair. An officer of high technical skill."


Signal Boatswains. Ernest Albert Dunk Collins upon whom  Admiral Sir Cecil Burney reports: —

Rendered excellent service during the action in charge of the signal staff, and also, after the transfer of my flag,  reorganised the signal staff very quickly into one suitable for a flagship.

Warrant Telegraphist. Samuel Lewington. Was in charge of the auxiliary W./T. cabinet during the whole, operations, and carried out his work with conspicuous coolness and ability.

Lieutenant RNVR William F Cleveland Stevens. For good organisation of W./T. department.

Signal Boatswain Harry Albert Pitt.

Signal Boatswain Ernest Albert Dunk Collins.

Signal Boatswain John Joseph Gowen.

Warrant Telegraphist Samuel Lewington

all received high recommends.


Promotions to be made on the strength of Jutland service -  Signal Boatswain Harry Albert Pitt - Signal Boatswain Ernest Albert Dunk Collins -  Signal Boatswain John Joseph Gowen - Warrant Telegraphist Samuel Lewington


The President of the French Republic has bestowed the " Medaille Militaire," with the approval of His Majesty the King, on the undermentioned Commissioned Warrant Officers, Warrant Officers, Petty Officers and Men in recognition of their services during the war: —

Signal Boatswain George Hollister, R.N.
Warrant Telegraphist (Act.) 'Wilfred Small
r. R.N.
Warrant Telegraphist (tempy.) George Ackroyd, R.N.R.
Chief Yeoman of Signals Frank Rogerson, O.N. 204082.
Chief Yeoman of Signals Samuel Alfred Brooks, O.N. 202192.
Chief Yeoman of Signals Robert W. Garon, R.F.R., O.N. 140347.
Chief Petty Officer Telegraphist John Cox,. O.N. 196852.
Chief Petty Officer Telegraphist Patrick McEvoy, O.N. 173198.
Petty Officer Telegraphist Robert Taylor, O.N, 239893.
Leading Signalman Charles H. King, O.N. J.4428.
Leading Signalman Albert Edward Martin (R.F.R.), O.N. 205596, R.F.R. (B) 1773 Portsmouth.
Yeoman of Signals William Henry White,  O.N. 224985.

 Returning to the picture above 1912-1916 W/T staff - as for the black arm band, a sign of national mourning, I cannot find a Royal high profile death in this period. With sarcasm as my lead, he might have been lamenting that he wasn't in on the major Marconi scandal of 1912 at a time when he could have become rich:

The Marconi scandal was a British political scandal that broke in the summer of 1912. It centred on allegations that highly placed members of the Liberal government, under H. H. Asquith as Prime Minister, had profited by improper use of information about the Government's intentions with respect to the Marconi Company: knowing that the government was about to issue a lucrative contract to the British Marconi company for the Imperial Wireless Chain, they had bought shares in an American subsidiary.

The political consequences were in fact slight, but the group around the New Witness drew conclusions about corruption in British politics, which were to resonate for 25 years.

This picture dates from 1918-1919 and it too has an oddity? Note all the lower deck personnel wearing their WW1 medals but not the two commissioned officers - strange! However, they are both leaning on sticks [walking sticks] instead of on swords so they were clearly not in their ceremonial rig. Note the badge of the PO seated right middle row. He wears crossed torpedoes which was the badge at that time of what became our "greenies", our equipment maintainers. Again, a Marines officer in charge.

 Where that was the case, a small letter 'S' would shown alongside his name. Were the officer to become a deep specialist in communications he would be shown in the seniority columns of the Navy List with a larger bold letter S within a circle. It was usual that a Lieutenant R.N., [S] was a specialist in [at that time] signalling of yore, and not in wireless telegraphy. He was therefore an expert in fleet dispositions, manoeuvres, flag-signalling, semaphore, flashing light, heliographs and was the captains right hand man in the preparation for a shooting match. His fame was to come four years later at the Battle of Jutland and the famous signal "Equal Speed Charlie London". Come the end of WW1, and in the light of the conduct of the war, the officers system changed.  A couple of years after the system below was adopted, RM officers were no longer appointed to ships although the practice continued to appoint to shore wireless stations. However, that too was to peter out in the years that followed, when the SWS [Shore Wireless Service] and the SSS [Shore Signal Service] were inaugurated in late 1925.

The SWS whose badge was this and the SSS whose badge is this   had an equivalent RN rating and officer structure. This table shows only the SWS system, but it applied to the SSS also. Their titles were as per the left hand column. When with the navy they were saluted and called 'sir' as though they were naval officers proper. From 1949 until 1956 officers stripes were, from top to bottom right hand column 1 x ¼" stripe; 1 x ½" stripe and 2 x ½" stripes.

The SWS manned and controlled major W/T communication centres relieving regular W/T operators for sea duty. In the same vein, regular signalmen, who hitherto had manned shore MSO's [Main Signals Offices] usually found in the main dockyards where ships alongside sent the ship's duty signalman ashore to get the hand messages at times throughout the day, and V/S port services [voice, semaphore, flags and flashing light] were relieved by signal men from the SSS.  Both the SWS and the SSS had ex WRENS [and other females] and a high profile on-line, manifest with this lovely page and this . In 1943, the first of naval/SWS telegraphists operators arrived at the GPO station Burnham W/T from the RN station at Flowerdown to help cope with the huge influx of W/T traffic from ships at sea. Their numbers increased and were the back-bone of naval traffic being passed to the Admiralty through this civilian station. For most of my career [1953-1983]  I worked Portishead radio from many foreign stations, from submarines and ships, an organisation which included the Commonwealth ship-shore organisation including all the worlds major W/T receiving stations including Malta, Simons Town, Halifax, Vancouver, Welisara, Canberra, Darwin, Sydney, Irrirangi, Awarua, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vishakhapatnam, Chittagong,  Mauritius, Karachi and Bombay.

When the SWS/SSS system was withdrawn, all appointments to shore W/T stations were given to the RN radio electrical branch officers, and for shore communication centres, to the RN communications branch officers virtually always a Branch/Special Duties List officer.

[d] [i] in came the dagger which symbolised a high achiever in course results, and S in brackets with two daggers meant an officer qualified in both V/S and W/T on the highest pay;
[d] [ii] an S in brackets with one dagger meant qualified in both V/S and W/T;
[d] [iii] in a ship - an S in brackets means an officer qualified in V/S and W/T performing those duties in that ship;
[d] [iv] an S not in brackets means a Mate [a sub lieutenant] qualified in V/S;
[d] [v] a W/T not in brackets means a Mate [a sub lieutenant] qualified in W/T; 

In the 1930's some of that changed again and we entered WW2 with the following ranks. These remained extant until 1949.

[d] [vi] Lieutenant Telegraphist
[d] [vii] Signal Lieutenant

WW2 continued a practice used in WW1 of each Fleet having embarked in its flagship a FWO and FSO [Fleet Wireless Officer] and [Fleet Signals Officer] both commanders, when the C-in-C was an admiral, and lieutenant commanders when not,  and they were in the thick of it at battles like North Cape, Bismarck, Prince of Wales/Repulse, Atlantic, Admiral Cunningham in the Mediterranean, Denmark Strait, Normandy and others. Then yet another major change when the duties of the FWO and FSO were combined in the rank of commander and he became shore-bound with the overall C-in-C of that theatre/command, known as the FCO [Fleet Communications Officer] - in later days Far East Fleet where the C-in-C was called COMFEF [Commander Far East Fleet] and the Home or Western Fleet with a full-blown C-in-C WF [1967] and before that C-in-C HF [Home Fleet] . Seagoing admirals, now usually a rear admiral and exceptionally a vice admiral, still had a signals officer appointed to his staff as the flag lieutenant and much later on  became known as SWO[C] -  Staff Warfare Officer [Communications] and always a lieutenant commander. The ship in which the Flag was embarked had its own communication officers and rarely did the flag lieutenant interfere with his opposite number running the flagships communication .

By the time of our last two battles involving thousands of men in many vessels which included requisitioned vessels, were fought [Suez in 1956 and Falklands in 1982] the Flag of the admiral in sea command, a vice admiral and a rear admiral respectively, things were changing with the C-in-C ashore much more aware of what was happening at sea and in regular touch with the admiral at sea. I can speak with authority about HMS Tyne at Suez which was the unique flagship for three three-star officers all embarked in the ship for the duration, the direct equivalents of three Flags. However, since we are navy talking on a naval subject, I will mention the naval Flag, that of Vice Admiral Sir Robin Durnford-Slater who was second in command of the overall operation and the naval C-in-C afloat. In full command of the operation in the Canal Zone was a lieutenant general and in command of the air forces was an air marshal. Ashore in London was a general, the full C-in-C of the war/crisis whatever one wants to call it, although to me, if just one man dies it is a war, but here there were many. Incidentally, in Paris sat the French supremo and in the canal zone area were other French commanders/senior officers, oh, and not to mention a big and only battleship, the Jean Bart! I assume that Admiral Durnford-Slater had a Flag Lt and that in the normal manner he was a communicator? I don't remember his name and we in the massive communications branches onboard [RN, RM, RAF, ROYAL SIGNALS, WAR CORRESPONDENTS, FRENCH NAVY AND FRENCH ARMY signallers never met or even saw him doing walk-abouts. I, and therefore I must assume many others too, saw the admirals Flag Captain, a smashing officer called Captain Charles Mills RN.  Before I finish this paragraph I need to tell you that the two wars I have mentioned, Suez and Falklands, were so vastly different that there can be few comparisons. Having said that, the Falklands was a proper war, brilliantly executed despite the tragic losses of at least six important vessels and over 250 men, and as much as anything it was an outstanding logistic exercise which if only for the distance it covered, will probably always remain unique. It is a war we are fiercely proud of for every reason possibly. On the other hand Suez was a failure, not a military failure but a political failure engineered by the Americans, chiefly Dean Rusk Secretary of State to President  Eisenhower, and supported in that endeavour by our enemies including 75% of the UK population. We came back with our tails between our legs as the Falkland boys, rightly came home as heroes. The number of ships, of all kinds was roughly three times  as many as those involved in the Falklands, and again brilliantly supported but over a shorter distance by our bases in Gibraltar, Malta and Cyprus. The manpower was mind boggling. Not only did we have a large and strong navy in the mid-50's, but we stopped all personnel from leaving the navy [including time expired national servicemen]  routinely returning to civilian life; we called up all the reservists;  we even had the support in-situ of a New Zealand cruiser to add to our many cruisers present plus French cruisers- HMNZS Royalist]; it was the last time that the skies over enemy territory was blackened by British paratroops - they haven't dropped since 1956; we imprisoned several high ranking Egyptian officers in Tyne's cells used normally for our own erring sailors; we acted as a major clearing station/hospital for our troops on the ground ashore who were killed or injured; and to wander around our communications compartments and offices was like being in star wars such were their sizes and complexities; and, just as at the Falklands, one of our cruisers, the Newfoundland which was patrolling the Red Sea end of the Bitter Lakes, sank an Egyptian frigate with gunfire.  It is almost unbelievable therefore, when we remember that all the communications commitment the Tyne had [think of 12 war correspondents wanting their newspaper front page sent immediately and by Morse code before that of their competitor correspondents and that's before we even send one of the thousands of naval signals]  was on the shoulders of one general list lieutenant [Lt Hugh Dickens RN] and 4 branch officers commissioned from the lower deck] 3 x CCO's [Commissioned Communication Officers each with 1 x ¼" stripe] and 1 x SCCO [Senior Commissioned Communications Officer with 1 x ½" stripe]. At the end of the day, Hugh Dickens did not even get an MBE although he did get a skeletal frame [weight loss] such was the sheer stress the man lived under: in today's hand-outs he would have certainly got an OBE. Many years later when he was a commander [training commander] and I was a warrant officer [1976] we were together in the Signal School at HMS MERCURY, and we used to relive those days occasionally.  I admired this man tremendously and hated the navy for not rewarding him. Mind you, because we all came out of it under a cloud , needlessly and involuntarily bowing our heads, there were no rewards for the privations suffered, the countless hours on watch, the stresses and strains and the dangers we tolerated. I end by telling you that the two men who could have met the flagship HMS Tyne on her arrival home alongside SRJ [South Railway Jetty] Portsmouth 7th January 1957 to tells us that we personally should be proud of our involvement and that we should suffer no shame, didn't bother. It was too much trouble for their comfortable lives. They of course were the First Lord of the Admiralty The Lord Hailsham and the First Sea Lord, Admiral Mountbatten.

[e].  Note the "re-qualifying" courses. Everybody in the navy, after a specified period of absence from a school [in this case a signal school], had to return to prove his skills were still relevant. It was possible to be reverted if one failed a refresher!

[f].  Short courses are self evident and were mainly acquaints to add to the overall navy/ship knowledge of officers who would not be called upon to carry out communication tasks.

[g].  Likewise courses for senior officers where a detailed acquaint and a thorough operational understanding of 1912 fleet communications was an imperative especially for commanding officers.

[h].  Scout courses were for very small ships when it would be the case that there would be only one of his specialisation on board.

[i].  Note the pairing of the Qualifying Gunner [T] and the Qualifying Warrant Telegraphists. They, in their own ways were both protagonists in the skills of wireless telegraphy, although the Gunner was a hands-on Warrant Officer with so many in the fleet, and the WO Telegraphist [with a great deal fewer in the fleet]  was a manager leaving the hands-on bit to the CPO Telegraphist. He would have been appointed to large ships only, or to shore staffs.

[j].  The "other warrant officers" would have applied to the executive branches [blue jackets] = seamen, and not to engineers or the civil branches, which were much later on  called the S&S Branches.

[k].  The signal schools were also responsible for teaching pure electrical skills [heavy electrics] to those deemed to be wholly electrical or pure gunnery [that is when their rate did not carry either the suffix [T] or [G].

[l].  It is probable that the two RAN course places were given to crew members of the Australian submarines AE1 and AE2 being built in the UK.

[m].  Note under training in 'Defiance' the Gunner [T] and the Gunner [G]. Yes another strange rank the [G] meaning gunnery. The word Gunner simply means a warrant officer. The rationale was that guns were used much more often than torpedoes, and the electrics of gunnery were that much more complicated, huge in scale and involved than for a torpedo and its launcher, so the Gunner [T] took the extra work load of other parts of the ship in addition to torpedoes, leaving Gunner [G] to his own devices.

 [n].  ST or S/T meant Sound Telegraphy [as opposed to wireless telegraphy] and was used by W/T operators to send Morse code under the sea to dived submarines or passing ships suitably fitted with transducers. Later on it was called SST.   Instead of their Morse key being connected to a radio transmitter and thus to a wireless aerial array with an associated radio receiver being utilised for an incoming answer, the key was connected to the hull transducer and its aerial the diaphragm,  which also acts as the receiver for the audio  S/T sounds waves.   Today we fully accept the concept of sound waves being used for navigation [echo sounders] for Sonar to find a dived submarine whether it be a fixed array in a prosecuting  ship/submarine target, a buoy or a listening device dangling from a helicopter in the hover into the sea below, or for UWT [underwater telephony] over which normal voice communications takes place. This little diagram show the principle of using a diaphragm attached to a vessels side.

The two sets of blocks [centre of picture]  each with black strapping represent the ships side into which a hole has been cut in between them. Into that hole, offered from inside the ship on the left,  the diaphragm is placed [the red device], which [with the pink coloured bolts] is then offered into the hole in the ships side and bolted taut together to form a watertight joint.

Any man-made or natural noises [whales, dolphins etc] hits the diaphragm now perfectly flush with the rest of the ships side, which the transducer amplifies and filters out [as far as possible] other unwanted noises, passing the wanted signal  to the wireless telegraphy office [silent cabinet in a pre WW1 warship] for demodulating and recording. 

[o].  Mention is made of the coastguard services. As the name suggests several old ships [but still in commission] were employed to protect UK's coast line. One of them was the famous HMS Warrior now a part of Portsmouth's naval heritage collection. The crews were active-list RN'ers, with an added responsibility for recruiting. For those of you who know Portsmouth Dockyard, at the main entrance close to where Warrior is now berthed, there is a little building on the hard side, left hand side of the gates proper. That was erected specifically for the Portsmouth coastguard recruiters - today it proudly wears a shinny brass plate on which are the engraved words "VICTORY GATE LODGE".  After her coastguard days, she joined the Vernon group anchored out in Porchester Creek not far off Whale Island and was renamed to HMS Vernon III, becoming a signal school in 1904.

This little section is devoted to the coastguard. The red slodge tells you that there is a snippet to be read which could easily be missed!

The coastguard were active royal navy men and indeed were responsible for royal navy recruiting {see sign} Click to enlarge .   Click to enlargeAnother piece on the coastguard men.   Click to enlarge  The following picture shows a group of coastguards, survivors of a much larger group many of whom lost their lives in WW1. The junior rates stand in the rear whilst seated in the front row there is a mixture of first and second class petty officers - one, first class,  with crossed hooks [anchors] second from left front, and two, second class,  with single hooks [known as a killicks - a type of anchor] - on each end of the front row. The badges [not stripes, as only naval officers have stripes around the cuffs of their jacket/tunic] denote time served in years, and unlike other armed forces personnel are not symbols of a substantive rate: again, only officers have a rank!

Note the warrant officer's dress long coat uniform and sword, and the slotted cuffs terminating with a button at the top of each slot.


[p].  Note the excellent news for Warrant Telegrahists and a brake through in their employment, in giving them appointments to be OIC of certain wireless shore stations.

1912 communication training and procedures.pdf



Some snippets from Singapore newspapers chiefly the New Staits Times.

August 1918

One man had been torpedoes 17 times whilst many other were in excess of ten times.

August 1901

Open your magnifier which is usually a desktop app, and set it for a 200 zoom

June 1915

March 1935

June 1947

July 1931

July 1932

June 1931

March 1952

September 1952

April 1965

May 1848

October 1965

May 1947

November 1967 [ Use your magnifier app]

February 1940

April 1982

October 1966

July 1940

April 1965

June 1937

 April 1966

July 1928

January 1934

October 1967

January 1940

January 1936

 Good bye until my next snippet in this series

Yours aye