HDML Boats 1001 to 1050

HDML 1001

Lady Bee, Southwick, Sussex 2/6/41

London Gazette 13/3/45 – For services at Arromanches during the Normandy Landings

  • MID TLt Richard Thurston Bailey RNVR

Known Crew

  • TLt Donald Campbell Waylen RNVR Born 1893 in Kensington, London and died 1/11/67. Served in the Royal Navy Air Service 1915 – 18 as a SLt and Lt. Awarded an MBE in the 1919 Kings Birthday Honours List. TLt 11/11/40 HMS Dolphin 11/1/41. Commanding Officer HDML 1001 11/1/41 – 12/43 French Ship Courbet 16/5/44 (Expended as part of the breakwater at Mulberry B – Arromanches) T/A/Lt Cdr 10/44
  • TLt Richard Thurston Bailey RNVR TSLt 15/11/40 HMS Arpha (AMC) 6/41 TLt 15/11/41 HMS Endeavour (Survey vessel) Commanding Officer HDML 1001 44- 5/45. Born 28/3/12 in Amersham and died in Chichester 9/97 For services at Arromanches during the Normandy Landings MID TALtCdr
  • Lt Cdr C S E Lansdown RN HDML 1001 For survey duties 1944
  • Lt R K Husband RN Commanding Officer HDML 1001 5/7/45. Was an Assistant Surveyor 3rd Class

Wartime Activities

  • 1/7/41 105th ML Flotilla – Based at Sheerness on completion – ML 1001, ML 1010, ML 1020, ML 1021, ML 1024, ML 1036 and ML 1070. ML 1008 joined by end of 1941
  • 1/42 ML 1001 on the Thames refitting, to complete 12th January – ML 1008, ML 1010, ML 1020 and ML 1021 repairing, to complete 10th January – ML 1024, ML 1036 and ML 1070 at Sheerness repairing, to complete 8th January –
  • 1944 Fitted with echo sounders and allocated to Hydrographic Survey duties. Crew replaced by a specialist surveying party.
  • 6/44 Operation Neptune – Invasion of Normandy – Surveying the site for the British Mulberry Harbour at Arromanches
  • 9/44 Entered Cherbourg, which was still mined, for a four week survey of the port – Surveyed the River Seine up to Tancarville.

Post War History

  • 1945 Survey Motor Launch = SML1
  • 1949 For Disposal
  • 2000 = Floatstreet, Based in Trinidad
  • 2002 Sank in the Carribean

Lt Cdr C S E Lansdown RN – a specialist survey officer

  • 1926-28 HMS Endeavour in the Red Sea and off Malta
  • 1928 HMS Flinders off the south and west coasts of England
  • 1929 HMS Rosemary in home waters
  • 1930 HMS Fitzroy off the east coast of England
  • 1931 HMS Flinders off the west coast of Scotland
  • 1931-33 HMS Herald off Malaya, Borneo, Hong Kong and in the South China Sea
  • 1934 HMS Kellett off the south and east coasts of England
  • 1935 A course in controlled minelaying
  • 1936-38 HMS Stork off Thailand and Ceylon
  • 1939 HMS Gleaner off the south coast of England and the west coast of Scotland. Involved in the attempted rescue operations for HMS/M Thetis.
  • 1939-43 HMS Astreas, a Blue Funnel liner taken up for controlled minelaying. Was awarded an OBE in 1943 for service in her.
  • 1944 ML 1001 for survey work in support of Operation Neptune before commanding HMS Astral, for which he was awarded a DSC. (This was a former Belgian pilot vessel employed in surveying recaptured ports.)
  • 1945 Joined the Hydrographic Department
  • 1949 Placed on the retired list as a commander
  • 1952-68 Superintendant of Notices to Mariners

HDML 1002

Lady Bee, Southwick Sussex 1/8/41

Known Crew

  • Skipper P Coull RNR Skipper 1/6/40 Commanding Officer HDML 1002 31/8/43
  • Skipper D Falconer RNR Skipper 1/8/42 Commanding Officer HDML1002 25/5/45

Wartime Activities

  • 1/7/41 107th ML Flotilla – Based at Scapa Flow on completion – ML 1002, ML 1022, ML 1040, ML 1058, ML 1059, ML 1064, ML 1068 and ML 1071
  • 1/42 107th ML Flotilla – Based at Scapa Flow – ML 1002, ML 1022, ML 1040, ML 1058, ML 1059, ML 1064, ML 1068 and ML 1071

Post War History 1946

  • Air Safety Launch = ASL17
  • Sold Yacht = Le Cheval Noir

HDML 1003

Watercraft, West Molesey 3/1/41

Wartime Activities

  • 20/4/41 ML 1003 and ML 1037 lost when being transported to Malta as deck cargo aboard SS Empire Endurance
  • Torpedoed by U73 southwest of Rockall in position 53-05N 23-14W at 0332
  • Twenty crew and four passengers rescued, five by British tanker British Pride (7106grt)
  • Fifty nine crew and one passenger lost

HDML 1004

Watercraft, West Molesey 1/2/41

Known Crew

  • TLt John Luke Norwell 15/12/36 joined Royal Navy Volunteer Supplementary Reserve (RNVR Clyde Division). 10/39 – 4/40 in HMS Prosperine (Scapa Flow). Lt 13/10/40 Commanding Officer HDML 1004 1941 HMS Stag (Port Said) for MLs 4/7/42 ML 385 in Command 12/1/43 – 10/43. HMS Slinger (Escort Carrier) as Torpedo Officer 20/05/44 – 7/45
  • TSLt M Stevens RNVR HMS St Christopher for MLs 26/10/42 TSLt 31/10/42 ML 357 16/12/43 HMS Mosquito (Alexandria) Commanding Officer HDML 1004 18/7/44

Wartime Activities

  • 1941 Tender to HMS Pembroke IV at Chatham – Mediterranean
  • 1/1/42 101st ML Flotilla – Based at Alexandria, Egypt – ML 1004, ML 1005, ML 1007, ML 1032 delivered. ML 1046 and ML 1069 being freighted. ML 1079 and ML 1083 awaiting freighting.
  • 23/11/43 ML 456 and ML 1004 arrived at Casteloriso from Budrum

Post War History

  • 26/3/46 Italy

HDML 1005

Hillyard, Littlehampton, West Sussex 17/2/41

London Gazette 13/3/45 – Wind up of the war in Europe

  • MBE TLt Hugh Douglas Thornton RNVR

Known Crew

  • TLt Kenneth J R Peacock RNVR Lt 27/12/40 Commanding Officer HDML 1005 1941 101st ML Flotilla based at Alexandria HMS Stag (Port Said) for MLs 4/7/42 HMS Bellwort (Corvette) 1944
  • TLt B C Coleman RNVR TSLt HMS Stag for MLs 27/5/42 LS 8 Operation Stanley, 5 raiding voyages in the Mediterranean MID TLt 5/3/43 HMS Mosquito Commanding Officer HDML 1005 30/4/43- 12/44 Commanding Officer ML 842 For seven operations to Crete (Gazette Date – 5/9/44) MID Birthday Honours 1945 DSC Commanding Officer MTB 221 15/3/45 – 7/45. Born 1918 in Steyning, Sussex
  • TLt Hugh Douglas Thornton RNVR TLt 28/10/41 HMS Edinburgh Castle (Freetown, Sierra Leone) HMS Fabius (Taranto) 1944 Commanding Officer HDML 1005 5/45 working behind enemy lines Wind up of the war in Europe MBE. Previously served with 8th Army and in an HDML at Freetown and in the Greek Islands. He was trained as a Hydrographer. Died 1995

Wartime Activities

  • 3/41 In company with MLs 1007, 1015 and 1051, on passage Hamble – Appledore – Holyhead – Clyde (Holy Loch) for transport to Middle East.
  • 5/41 Vessel loaded in Norwegian vessel SS Belpareil for transport to Suez. – SS Belpareil departed as part of Convoy OB-329
  • 1/6/41 Officers and crews of the boats embarked in SS Orbita, on the Clyde.
  • 5/6/41 Convoy dispersed and S.S. BelPareil steamed independently to Suez (via Freetown, Capetown, Mombasa, Aden, Massawa, and Port Sudan, as well as other ports.)
  • 27/7/41 SS Orbita arrived Durban, crew transferred to the Dutch ship Nieuw Amsterdam
  • 8/41 Vessel arrived, in transport, at Suez and unloaded.
  • 27/8/41 Northbound transit of Suez Canal
  • 22/9/41 In company with ML 1007 escorted SS Goolistan and SS Afghanistan from Port Said to Alexandria
  • 30/9/41 HDML 1005 and HDML 1007 transferred to Haifa
  • 19/12/41 HDML 1005 and HDML 1007, transferred to Alexandria to carry out anti submarine patrols in the wake of the Italian human torpedo attacks on the Mediterranean Fleet.
  • 1/1/42 101st ML Flotilla – Based Alexandria, Egypt – ML 1004, ML 1005, ML 1007, ML 1032 delivered. ML 1046 and ML 1069 being freighted. ML 1079 and ML 1083 awaiting freighting.
  • 17/3/42 At 23.03, U-83 fired a spread of three torpedoes at a steamer in convoy AT-34 near Tobruk and missed. At 23.17, one torpedo was fired that hit Crista and set her on fire. Two officers and five ratings were lost. The survivors abandoned ship and were picked up by the South African M/S whaler HMSAS Bokburg.
  • The abandoned Crista was located by the British motor torpedo boat HMS MTB-266, which anchored her off Bardia where the fires were extinguished. She was taken in tow by HMS St. Monance (W 63) to Alexandria for repairs, escorted by the British armed trawler HMS Southern Isle and HDML-1005 and HDML1069, arriving on 28 March

Post War History

  • 10/46 Sold at Malta

HDML 1006

Hillyard, Littlehampton, West Sussex 4/4/41

Known Crew

  • TSLt S V May RNVR TSLt Commanding Officer HDML 1006 15/8/43 TLt 25/9/43 149th ML Flotilla HDML 1409 HMS Wildfire
  • TSLt M A Roy RNVR TASLt 3/12/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1006 24/7/44 ML 285 1/45
  • TSLt G D Elliott SANF(V) TSLt 19/5/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1006 1/45
  • TSLt P K Nicoll RNVR TSLt 11/8/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1006 27/2/45

Wartime Activities

  • 1/7/41 104th ML Flotilla – Based at Greenock to be freighted to Freetown, Sierra Leone – ML 1006, ML 1014, ML 1016, ML 1018, ML 1019, ML 1041, ML 1042 and ML 1052
  • 1/42 104th ML Flotilla – Based at Freetown, Sierra Leone – ML 1006, ML 1016 and ML 1052 are at Freetown, ML 1014, ML 1018, ML 1019 and ML 1042 at Lagos, ML 1041 at Takoradi
  • 7/11/42 HDML 1006, HDML 1019, ML 285, ML 278, ML 244, ML 263, ML 272 and HMS Bengali arrived in Takoradi
  • 3/12/42 HDML 1006 and HDML 1041 arrived in Lagos from Takoradi

Post War History

  • 1/46 For disposal at Freetown, Sierra Leone

HDML 1007

Sussex Shipbuilding Company, Shoreham, Sussex 14/2/41

London Gazette 19/12/44 – For firefighting following an explosion in ML 387 at Beirut 15/3/44

  • MID A PO James Henry Harrison LT/JX242192

London Gazette 11/12/45 – Wind up of the war in Europe

  • BEM PO Fred Marshall C/JX129717

Known Crew

  • Lt D E P D Scott Commanding Officer ML 353? 1/45 Commanding Officer HDML 1007 1/45 Assistant Surveyor 3rd Class
  • TLt Geoffrey William Searle RNVR He joined London Division RNVR as a rating (LDX4564) 2/39. Served in HMS Forfar (AMC) 9/39 – 4/40 and HMS Letitia (AMC) and HMS Osprey 11/40 – 1/41. 101st ML Flotilla Based at Alexandria Commanding Officer HDML 1007 1/41 – 4/42 and 6/42 – 3/7/42 HMS Stag for MLs 4/7/42 ML 353 in command 4-42 – 6/42 ML 355 in command 4/7/42 – 10/43 ML 349 in command and Senior Officer 42nd ML Flotilla 10/43 – 27/12/43 For operations in the Aegean 9 – 11/43 DSC. ML 351 in command and Senior Officer 11th ML Flotilla 27/12/43 – 4/44. ML 490 in command and Senior Officer 14th ML Flotilla 10 /4/44 – 7/45. Post war he was Chairman of the Executive Committee and Director of Finance and Planning, British Petroleum Trading Ltd and was awarded a CBE for services to export in 1972. Died 3/7/2006 in Surrey. Wrote of his experiences in “AT SEA LEVEL” ISBN 1 85776 912 0
  • TLt Michael Vivian Foster Poore RNVR TLt 5/3/43 101st ML Flotilla Based at Alexandria, Egypt Commanding Officer HDML 1007 3/5/43 Commanding Officer ML 354 22/1/44 HMS Mosquito (Alexandria) For services in the clearance of the Aegean and the relief of Greece 1945 MID 194
  • TSLt M L Adams RNVR TSLt 9/4/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1007 14/6/44 Lt 9/10/44 HMS Papua (Frigate)
  • TSLt Eric Wakeling RNVR TSLt First Lieutenant HDML 1007 from build
  • TLt 15/11/41 101st ML Flotilla Based at Alexandria HMS Stag (Port Said) for MLs 22/2/42 HMS Vernon
  • PO Fred Marshall C/JX129717 HDML 1007 Wind up of the war in Europe BEM
  • APO James Henry Harrison LT/JX242192 101st ML Flotilla Based at Alexandria, Egypt HDML 1007 For firefighting following an explosion in ML 387 at Beirut 15/3/44 MID
  • L Sea G D Filmore (Original Coxswain and later PO) Regular RN
  • AB F Bates HDML 1007 (From Hull)
  • AB A Hawkins HDML 1007
  • AB T V Hughes HDML 1007 (From Rosshire)
  • AB Kent HDML 1007 (From Lancashire)
  • AB J L Penfold HDML 1007
  • AB M J Ward HDML 1007
  • AB W D Wood HDML 1007
  • MtrMch W J Woodland HDML 1007
  • Sto C F Ludlow HDML 1007 (From Essex)
  • Tel J Noone HDML 1007 (From Liverpool)

Wartime Activities

  • Whilst TSLt Geoffrey Searle was standing by the building boat, his wife, living in Hove contracted a form of blood poisoning and required a major blood transfusion. Blood was in short supply so the crew donated a pint each. His wife, Constance, recovered and launched the boat. The commanding officer bought a barrel of beer for the crew and yard workers.
  • 2/41 Hamble for Work Up
  • 3/41 In company with MLs 1005, 1015 and 1051, on passage Hamble – Appledore – Holyhead – Clyde (Holy Loch) for transport to Middle East.
    At Appledore, the tide was misjudged and ML 1007 sat on the mud at low tide. ASDIC dome not yet fitted, so no damage done. The boats were secured to buoys and locked and the crews departed for leave before joining a troopship to Egypt.
  • 5/41 Vessel loaded in Norwegian vessel SS Belpareil for transport to Suez.
    SS Belpareil departed as part of Convoy OB-329
  • 1/6/41 Officers and crews of the boats embarked in SS Orbita, on the Clyde.
  • 5/6/41 Convoy dispersed and S.S. BelPareil steamed independently to Suez (via Freetown, Capetown, Mombasa, Aden, Massawa, and Port Sudan, as well as other ports.)
  • 27/7/41 SS Orbita arrived Durban, crew transferred to the Dutch ship Nieuw Amsterdam
  • 8/41 Vessel arrived, in transport, at Suez and unloaded.
  • 27/8/41 Northbound transit of Suez Canal
  • 22/9/41 HDML 1005 and HDML 1007 escorted SS Goolistan and SS Afghanistan from Port Said to Alexandria
  • 30/9/41 HDML 1005 and HDML 1007 transferred to Haifa
    One night, they were sent to rescue survivors from a torpedoed tanker and hunt the submarine responsible. No boats, or survivors in the water, were found and the hunt was unsuccessful. The tanker crew had remained aboard, extinguished the fires and beached the vessel in Beirut.
  • 19/12/41 HDML 1005 and HDML 1007 transferred to Alexandria to carry out anti submarine patrols in the wake of the Italian human torpedo attacks on the Mediterranean Fleet.
  • 1/1/42 101st ML Flotilla
  • Based at Alexandria, Egypt
  • ML 1004, ML 1005, ML 1007, ML 1032 are delivered. ML 1046 and ML 1069 are being freighted. ML 1079 and ML 1083 are awaiting freighting.
    21/6/42 Alexandria – Mersah Matruh to cover evacuation of Tobruk. Arriving at Mersah Matruh, two vessels sighted and identified as MTBs
    Told that the town was being abandoned, ML 1007 departed eastwards but the sound of machine gun fire, shortly after leaving, provoked a return. The gunfire was caused by the base staff attempting to sink buoys and the instructions were then reinforced and followed.
  • 15/3/44 ML 1007, ML1143 (Free French), ML1158 and ML1164 (Free French) engaged in fire fighting after an explosion in ML 387 at Beirut. Four men mentioned in despatches. ML 387 lost and her Commanding Officer awarded an Albert Medal for fire fighting, until the boat blew up

Post War History

  • 9/46 For disposal Yacht = Naar
  • 1947 Loaned to Greece
  • Greek Navy = Karya

HDML 1008

Sussex Shipbuilding Company, Shoreham, Sussex 12/6/41

Known Crew

  • Skipper B T N Reynolds RNR Skipper 1/6/40 Commanding Officer HDML 1008 31/8/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1045 5/45

Wartime Activities

  • 105th ML Flotilla – Based at Sheerness on completion – ML 1001, ML 1008, ML 1010, ML 1020, ML 1021, ML 1024, ML 1036 and ML 1070
  • 1/42 105th ML Flotilla – Based at Sheerness
  • ML 1001 is on the Thames refitting, to complete 12th January
  • ML 1008, ML 1010, ML 1020 and ML 1021 repairing, to complete 10th January
  • ML 1024, ML 1036 and ML 1070 at Sheerness repairing, to complete 8th January

Post War History

  • Air Safety Launch = ASL1
  • 8/46 For disposal

HDML 1009

Anderson Rigden & Perkins, Whitstable 29/3/41

Known Crew

  • Skipper J Parkinson RNR DSM 103rd ML Flotilla HDML 1009 13/6/44 Operation Neptune – Invasion of Normandy
  • TSkipper W Leiper RNR 103rd ML Flotilla HMS Forte (Falmouth) Commanding Officer HDML 1009 23/6/42
  • TSkipper J E Bywater RNR Skipper 1/12/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1009 11/44
  • Skipper E Rogers RNR Skipper 1/1/43 103rd ML Flotilla HMS Forte (Falmouth) HDML 1009
  • LSea William Charles Arthur LT/JX222341 103rd ML Flotilla Based at Falmouth HDML 1009. Died 23/10/1942, aged 33, aboard HMS Paris of an illness. Son of John James Nicholas Arthur and Eleanor Arthur; husband of Lottie Arthur, of Newquay. Buried in Newquay (St. Columb Minor) Cemetery Uncons. Grave 184
  • Sea Henry Francis Riley LT/JX241701 103rd ML Flotilla Based at Falmouth HDML 1009. Died 15/04/1942. Cause Unknown. Son of Julia Riley, of Brighton. Buried in Brighton and Preston Cemetery Sec. C. Grave 515
  • Ord Donald Hitchen LT/JX 300662 died by drowning on Wednesday 15/04/1942, aged 19. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hitchen, of Hall Green. Buried in Crigglestone Cemetery, Nr Wakefield Yorkshire Grave 37

Wartime Activities

  • 1/7/41 103rd ML Flotilla – Based at Falmouth on completion – ML 1009, ML 1013, ML 1025, ML 1027, ML 1033, ML 1034, ML 1035 and ML 1053. Mostly at Plymouth
  • 1/1/42 103rd ML Flotilla – ML 1013, ML 1027, ML 1033, ML 1053, all at Falmouth, ML 1009, ML 1025, ML 1034 and ML 1035 are based in Plymouth
  • 6/44 Operation Neptune – Invasion of Normandy, 103rd ML Flotilla – Plymouth during Assault Phase – ML 1009, ML 1013, ML 1021, ML 1025, ML 1027, ML 1033, ML 1034, ML 1035

Post War History

  • 9/45 War Department = TC1009
  • Sold = Cynthia Dawn

HDML 1010

Anderson Rigden & Perkins, Whitstable 18/5/41

London Gazette 21/11/44 – For a series of actions in the Channel over a period of two years

  • MID Sea William Frank Sharp LT/JX384493

Known Crew

  • Lt E Bowden RNVR Commanding Officer HDML 1010 10/7/42
  • TLt E H V Creasy RNVR ML 237 18/7/43 TLt 7/8/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1010 23/2/44 HMS Philoctetes II 1944 (Freetown, Sierra Leone) Commanding Officer ML 290 27/11/44
  • TSkipper W A Langdon RNR TSkipper 1/1/41 Commanding Officer HDML 1010 20/9/44
  • TSkipper N W F Mountain RNR TSkipper 1/4/44 First Lieutenant HDML 1010 20/9/44 MFV 1511
  • TSkipper A E Bidle RNR TSkipper 1/8/42 Trawler HMS Incholm 1944 HDML 1010 26/3/45
  • TSLt Donald McLean RNVR TSLt HMS Wildfire (Sheerness) for MLs 10/11/41 105th ML Flotilla Based at Sheerness HDML 1010 1/10/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1243 12/5/43 TLt 1/12/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1246 20/1/44 28th ML Flotilla Commanding Officer ML 307 12/10/44 Wind up of the war in Europe DSC
  • Sea William Frank Sharp LT/JX384493 HDML 1010 For a series of actions in the Channel over a period of two years MID

Wartime Activities

  • 1/7/41 105th ML Flotilla – Based at Sheerness on completion – ML 1001, ML 1010, ML 1020, ML 1021, ML 1024, ML 1036 and ML 1070. ML 1008 joins by end of 1941
  • 1/42 105th ML Flotilla – Based at Sheerness
  • ML 1001 on the Thames refitting, to complete 12th January
  • ML 1008, ML 1010, ML 1020 and ML 1021 repairing, to complete 10th January
  • ML 1024, ML 1036 and ML 1070 at Sheerness repairing, to complete 8th January
  • 10/42 Based at HMS Orlando, Greenock
  • A series of actions in the Channel over two years (21/11/44)
  • Protection of Weymouth Anchorage during the build up to Operation Neptune

Post War History

  • Fast Despatch Boat = FDB59
  • 14/6/48 Sold

HDML 1011

R A Newman, Hamworthy, Dorset 16/11/40

London Gazette 8/1/42 – For services during the withdrawal from Crete

  • DSM ALSea Archibald Macmillan D/JX139041
  • MID TLt Alan Holland Blake RNR

Known Crew

  • TLt Alan Holland Blake RNR TLt 19/11/40 Commanding Officer HDML 1011 HMS Osborne 1944
  • Lt L S Hellyer RNVR Lt 26/11/39 HDML 1011 HMS Boscawen (Portland) 1944
  • Act/Warrant Telegraphist Charles A Windebank, MPK (CWGC)
  • ALSea Archibald Macmillan D/JX139041 HDML 1011 For services during the withdrawal from Crete DSM
  • Ord Arthur Malcolm D/JX 191788 HDML 1011. Died 01/06/1941, aged 21. Son of Edward and Martha Malcolm, of Coppenhall, Crewe, Cheshire. His brother, George E. Malcolm, also died on active service in HMS Vestal 7/12/44

Wartime Activities

  • 1/1/41 Fitting out at Dartmouth
  • ML 1011, ML 1030 and ML 1032 conduct patrols of the entrance to Alexandria Harbour with the nightly patrol vessel towing a barrage balloon. ML 1011, ML 1030 and ML 1032 transferred to Suda Bay, Crete
  • Withdrawal from Crete
  • 10/5/41 Bombed and sunk during Battle of Crete, on passage from Suda Bay to Sphakia

HDML 1012

R A Newman, Hamworthy, Dorset 10/2/41

Known Crew

  • TLt F G Fuller RNVR TSLt 23/4/42 HMS Victory III HMS St Christopher 4/1/43 TLt 23/4/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1012 27/7/43 Commanding Officer ML 864 18/4/44 For services in the clearance of the Aegean and the relief of Greece DSC
  • TSLt R M Hitchcock RNVR TSLt 23/4/42 24th ML Flotilla 8/7/42 ML 337 29/9/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1012 29/3/44 TLt 3/6/44
  • TSLt J Reid RNVR First Lieutenant HDML 1012 15/5/44 TSLt 21/7/44 ML 557 1/3/45

Wartime Activities

  • 1/1/42 102nd ML Flotilla
  • Based at Alexandria, Egypt
  • ML 1012, ML 1015, ML 1017, ML 1023, ML 1038, ML 1039 and ML 1051
  • 5/2/43 U-617 shadowed the convoy AW-22, consisting of four steamers and four escorts from grid CO92 to CO67. At 08.02 hours, the U-boat torpedoed and sank the Henrik and Corona.
  • The Corona (Master Einar Endresen) was hit by one torpedo and 15 minutes later by another on the starboard side. The foc´sle deck line split to keel and from keel to about 15 feet from deckline port side. The collision bulkhead was fractured and foc´sle deck dropped 12 inches from aft side windlass to stem. All seven Norwegian officers, 40 Chinese crewmen, the Egyptian messboy, six British gunners and 49 army personnel as passengers abandoned ship. The master, 10 crewmen and 11 passengers were picked up by the British motor launch HDML-1012. The master, the 2nd mate and three crewmen returned to the lifeboat with the intention of returning to the ship, but on the way back he came across the British motor launch ML-356 and being uncertain of the condition of the ship they decided to board the motor launch. HMS Erica (K 50) (Lt A.C.C. Seligman, RNR) put a boarding party on the Corona, including one Indian stoker from Henrik and later took the survivors on board and brought them to Tobruk.
  • The next day, the Corona was taken in tow to Tobruk and beached. In the afternoon on 24 February, she sank during a storm.

Post War History

  • 26/3/46 Italy

HDML 1013

Berthon Boat, Lymington 5/4/41

Known Crew

  • Skipper E J L Davies RNVR 103rd ML Flotilla Commanding Officer HDML 1013 22/1/43
  • Skipper A F Haigh RNR Skipper 1/7/40 103rd ML Flotilla Commanding Officer HDML 1013 21/11/43

Wartime Activities

  • 1/7/41 103rd ML Flotilla.
    Based at Falmouth on completion.
    ML 1009, ML 1013, ML 1025, ML 1027, ML 1033, ML 1034, ML 1035 and ML 1053. Mostly at Plymouth
  • 1/1/42 103rd ML Flotilla
    ML 1013, ML 1027, ML 1033, ML 1053, all at Falmouth
    ML 1009, ML 1025, ML 1034 and ML 1035 are based in Plymouth 6/44 Operation Neptune Invasion of Normandy
    103rd ML Flotilla Plymouth during Assault Phase
    ML 1009, ML 1013, ML 1021, ML 1025, ML 1027, ML 1033, ML 1034, ML 1035

Post War History

  • 9/45 War Department = TC1013
  • 11/46 For disposal

HDML 1014

Berthon Boat, Lymington 22/5/41

Known Crew

  • TLt J Veale RNVR TLt 25/9/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1014 6/10/43 Commanding Officer ML 207 28/12/44
  • TSLt Dennis Patrick Cullen RNVR TSLt 27/2/44 ML 272 Commanding Officer HDML 1014 26/10/44 – 7/45 Served in HMS Gannet (RN Air Station, Eglinton, Co. Londonderry and HMS Acute (Minesweeper) 1946 TLt 27/2/46. Centennial Mayor of Eastbourne, Sussex 1983-4. Born 28/7/23 at Eastbourne and died there 1/95.
  • TSLt G E Miller RNZNVR TSLt 20/2/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1014 11/8/44
  • TSLt T G Molloy RNZNVR SLt 14/10/44 104th ML Flotilla Based Freetown, Sierra Leone HDML 1014 21/10/44

Wartime Activities

  • 1/7/41 104th ML Flotilla
    Based at Greenock to be freighted to Freetown, Sierra Leone
    ML 1006, ML 1014, ML 1016, ML 1018, ML 1019, ML 1041, ML 1042 and ML 1052
  • 1/42 104th ML Flotilla
    Based at Freetown, Sierra Leone
    ML 1006, ML 1016 and ML 1052 at Freetown
    ML 1014, ML 1018, ML 1019 and ML 1042 at Lagos
    ML 1041at Takoradi
  • 7/12/42 ML 1014 and ML 1018 sailed from Lagos for Takoradi
  • 9/12/42 HMS Rumba, HMS Copinsay, ML 1018 and ML 1014 arrived at Takoradi
  • 13/1/43 ML 1018 and ML 1014 sailed from Takoradi to investigate RAF report of an oil patch and sharks in approximate position 4-33N, 1-24W
  • 14/1/43 ML 1018 and ML 1014 returned to Takoradi with a negative result
  • 15/1/43 At Takoradi, ML 1014 acted as a target vessel for the C.D. searchlight exercises
  • 17/1/43 ML 1014 and ML 1018 from Trinidad carried out A/S search to the west of 3-30W and in the area of the oil patch, which was reported by the RAF on the 12th January
  • 18/1/43 ML 1018 and ML 1014 returned to Takoradi from an A/S search
  • 1/3/43 ML 1016 and ML 1042 sailed from Lagos for Takoradi to relieve ML 1014 and ML 1018
  • 3/3/43 ML 1016 and ML 1043 arrived in Takoradi from Lagos to relieve ML 1014 and ML 1018

Post War History

  • 1/46 For disposal at Freetown, Sierra Leone

HDML 1015

Blackmore, Bideford, Devon 24/2/41

Wartime Activities

  • 3/41 In company with HMLs 1005, 1007 and 1051, on passage Hamble – Appledore – Holyhead – Clyde (Holy Loch) for transport to Middle East. Collided with a bouy leaving Appledore without serious damage.
  • 5/41 Vessel loaded in Norwegian vessel SS Belpareil for transport to Suez.
    SS Belpareil departed as part of Convoy OB-329
  • 1/6/41 Officers and crews of the boats embarked in SS Orbita, on the Clyde.
  • 5/6/41 Convoy dispersed and S.S. BelPareil steamed independently to Suez (via Freetown, Capetown, Mombasa, Aden, Massawa, and Port Sudan, as well as other ports.)
  • 27/7/41 SS Orbita arrived Durban, crew transferred to the Dutch ship Nieuw Amsterdam
  • 8/41 Vessel arrived, in transport, at Suez and unloaded.
  • 1/1/42 102nd ML Flotilla
    Based at Alexandria, Egypt
    ML 1012, ML 1015, ML 1017, ML 1023, ML 1038, ML 1039 and ML 1051
  • 10/43 Lost in a gale near Alexandria, Eastern Mediterranean

HDML 1016

Blackmore, Bideford, Devon 4/4/41

Known Crew

  • TSLt D G B Wood RNVR TSLt 30/10/42 HMS Astraea (Lagos, Nigeria) Commanding Officer HDML 1016 10/4/44 HMS Orlando (Greenock) TLt 24/2/45
  • TSLt A W Plenderbeith RNVR TSLt 10/3/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1016 27/9/44 ML 110

Wartime Activities

  • 1/7/41 104th ML Flotilla
    Based at Greenock to be freighted to Freetown, Sierra Leone
    ML 1006, ML 1014, ML 1016, ML 1018, ML 1019, ML 1041, ML 1042 and ML 1052
  • 1/42 104th ML Flotilla
    Based at Freetown, Sierra Leone
    ML 1006, ML 1016 and ML 1052 are at Freetown
    ML 1014, ML 1018, ML 1019 and ML 1042 are at Lagos
    ML 1041 is at Takoradi
  • 14/12/42 ML 1016 arrived at Pointe Noire
  • 20/12/42 ML 1016 sailed from Lagos for Port Harcourt
  • 23/12/42 ML 1016 arrived in Lagos from Port Harcourt
  • 1/3/43 ML 1016 and ML 1042 sailed from Lagos for Takoradi to relieve ML 1014 and ML 1018
  • 3/3/43 ML 1016 and ML 1043 arrived in Takoradi from Lagos to relieve M.L 1014 and ML 1018
  • 7/4/43 ML 1016 sailed from Takoradi for Half Assini to relieve ML 1042
  • 12/4/43 ML 1016 arrived in Takoradi from Half Assini escorting SS Kasang

Post War History

  • 1/46 For disposal at Freetown, Sierra Leone

HDML 1017

Harland & Wolff, Belfast, Northern Ireland 6/2/41

Known Crew

  • TLt H F How RNVR TLt 31/10/41 HMS Stag (Port Said) for MLs 15/4/42 102nd ML Flotilla Based at Alexandria Commanding Officer HDML 1017 15/12/42 23rd ML Flotilla Based on Portsmouth Commanding Officer ML 292 2/8/44
  • TSLt R Cooke RNVR TSLt 13/11/42 HMS Skirmisher II (Milford Haven) 102nd ML Flotilla Based at Alexandria Commanding Officer HDML 1017 28/7/44
  • AB Henry Robinson D/SSX 31908 102nd ML Flotilla Based at Alexandria HDML 1017 died 12/04/1942, aged 20. Cause unknown. Son of William and Ellen Robinson, of Burscough Bridge, Lancashire Buried in Alexandria Alexandria (Hadra) War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt
    Broadhurst. Cook.

Wartime Activities

  • 1/1/42 102nd ML Flotilla
    Based at Alexandria, Egypt
    ML 1012, ML 1015, ML 1017, ML 1023, ML 1038, ML 1039 and ML 1051

Post War History

  • 26/3/46 Italy

HDML 1018

Harland & Wolff, Belfast, Northern Ireland 6/3/41

Known Crew

  • Lt R G Wallis RNVR TSLt 20/11/42 4th ML Flotilla First Lieutenant ML 122 15/3/43 Lt 1/12/44 104th ML Flotilla Based at Freetown, Sierra Leone HDML 1018

Wartime Activities

  • 1/7/41 104th ML Flotilla
    Based at Greenock to be freighted to Freetown, Sierra Leone
    ML 1006, ML 1014, ML 1016, ML 1018, ML 1019, ML 1041, ML 1042 and ML 1052
  • 1/42 104th ML Flotilla
    Based at Freetown, Sierra Leone
    ML 1006, ML 1016 and ML 1052 are at Freetown
    ML 1014, ML 1018, ML 1019 and ML 1042 are at Lagos
    ML 1041 is at Takoradi
  • 7/12/42 ML 1014 and ML 1018 sailed from Lagos for Takoradi
  • 9/12/42 HMS Rumba, HMS Copinsay, ML 1018 and ML 1014 arrived at Takoradi
  • 13/1/43 ML 1018 and ML 1014 sailed from Takoradi to investigate RAF report of an oil patch and sharks in approximate position 4-33N, 1-24W
  • 14/1/43 ML 1018 and ML 1014 returned to Takoradi with a negative result
  • 15/1/43 ML 1018 sailed from Takoradi for further investigation of oil patch reported by the RAF on 12th January
  • 16/1/43 ML 1018 returned to Takoradi after further investigation of the oil patch and reported that a submarine was observed stationary on the surface in position 04-44N, 1-54W and that she had also sighted the oil patch, samples of which were brought back.
  • 17/1/43 ML 1014 and ML 1018 from Trinidad carried out A/S search to the west of 3-30W and in the area of the oil patch, which was reported by the RAF on the 12th January
  • 18/1/43 ML 1018 and ML 1014 returned to Takoradi from an A/S search
  • 17/2/43 ML 272, ML 265 and ML 1018 arrived in Takoradi from Lagos
  • 23/2/43 FFS Commandant Bory with ML 1018 sailed from Takoradi for Freetown
  • 1/3/43 ML 1016 and ML 1042 sailed from Lagos for Takoradi to relieve ML 1014 and ML 1018
  • 2/3/43 FS Commandant Bory with ML 1018 arrived in Freetown from Takoradi
  • 3/3/43 ML 1016 and ML 1043 arrived in Takoradi from Lagos to relieve M.L 1014 and ML 1018
  • 18/4/43 FS La Malouine, ML 1076, ML 287, ML 1137, ML 1018, ML 296 and ML 279 sailed from Freetown for a submarine hunt
  • 20/4/43 ML 296, ML 279, ML 1018 and ML 1076 returned to Freetown from submarine hunt

Post War History

  • 1/46 For disposal at Freetown, Sierra Leone

HDML 1019

Burn, Wroxham, Norfolk 30/3/41

Known Crew

  • TLt Reginald Norman Harris SANF Served in HMS Cornwall (Cruiser) before commissioning. Commanding Officer HDML 1019 1/9/41 – 5/3/43 based at Lagos. Commanding Officer of HDML 1198 based at Durban South Africa 4/43 – 8/43 and ML 854 based at Simonstown, South Africa 8/43 – 2/44 and then in Ceylon until 5/45. HMAS Whang Pu (Repair Ship in New Guinea) and HMS Adamant (Submarine Depot Ship at Freemantle, Australia) in 7/45. DSC in ML 854 for operations off the Arakan coast 11/44 – 3/45. Born 18/5/19 in Port Elizabeth, died 20/03/73 in Capetown
  • TSLt G R Goodwin SANF(V) TSLt 11/3/43 104th ML Flotilla Based at Freetown, Sierra Leone Commanding Officer HDML 1019 24/3/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1457 10/9/44 HDML 1400 30/11/44 TLt 11/3/45 Commanding Officer ML 863 6/5/45
  • TSLt J R Moore RNVR 104th ML Flotilla Based at Freetown, Sierra Leone Commanding Officer HDML 1019 2/5/44 TSLt 10/7/44

Wartime Activities

  • 1/7/41 104th ML Flotilla
    Based at Greenock to be freighted to Freetown, Sierra Leone
    ML 1006, ML 1014, ML 1016, ML 1018, ML 1019, ML 1041, ML 1042 and ML 1052
  • 1/42 104th ML Flotilla
    Based at Freetown, Sierra Leone
    ML 1006, ML 1016 and ML 1052 are at Freetown
    ML 1014, ML 1018, ML 1019 and ML 1042 are at Lagos
    ML 1041 is at Takoradi
  • 5/11/42 ML 285, ML 1019, ML 244, ML 1041, ML 1209, HMS Bengali sailed to search for submarine reported by Catalina aircraft in position 17 miles 140 degrees from Takoradi, whilst on passage Lagos to Bathurst. Negative result
  • 7/11/42 ML 1006, ML 1019, ML 285, ML 278, ML 244, ML 263, ML 272 and H.M.S. Bengali arrived in Takoradi
  • 10/11/42 Anti submarine trawler HMS Copinsay, ML 1052, ML 1019 sailed from Takoradi for Lagos escorting
  • 11/11/42 Anti submarine trawler HMS Copinsay and ML 1019 and ML 1052 arrived in Lagos from Takoradi
  • 7/44 Damaged by fire off Freetown, Sierra Leone
  • 6/45 For disposal

HDML 1020

Burn, Wroxham, Norfolk 19/6/41

Known Crew

  • Skipper G Bruce RNR Skipper 1/6/40 HDML 1020
  • Skipper W Godfrey RNR Skipper 29/3/40 HMS Wildfire (Sheerness) for MLs 18/6/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1020 18/6/42, Commanding Officer HDML 1026 2/44 HMS Baldur (Reykjavik) for HDMLs and MLs

Wartime Activities

  • 1/7/41 105th ML Flotilla
    Based at Sheerness on completion
    ML 1001, ML 1010, ML 1020, ML 1021, ML 1024, ML 1036 and ML 1070. ML 1008 joined by end of 1941
  • 1/42 105th ML Flotilla
    Based at Sheerness
    ML 1001 on the Thames refitting, to complete 12th January
    ML 1008, ML 1010, ML 1020 and ML 1021 repairing, to complete 10th January
    ML 1024, ML 1036 and ML 1070 at Sheerness repairing to complete 8th January

Post War History

  • 6/46 Air Safety Launch = ASL2
  • 8/46 For disposal

HDML 1021

Robinson, Lowestoft, Norfolk 9/5/41

Known Crew

  • Skipper W A Hodson RNR Skipper 9/3/39 Commanding Officer HDML 1021 12/5/42
  • Skipper W E Bilton RNR Skipper 1/3/41 HMS Baldur (Reykjavik) for HDMLs and MLs 106th ML Flotilla Commanding Officer HDML 1067 12/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1021 1/44 – End 103rd ML Flotilla Operation Neptune Invasion of Normandy

Wartime Activities

  • 1/7/41 105th ML Flotilla
    Based at Sheerness on completion
    ML 1001, ML 1010, ML 1020, ML 1021, ML 1024, ML 1036 and ML 1070. ML 1008 joined by end of 1941
  • 1/42 105th ML Flotilla
    Based at Sheerness
    ML 1001 on the Thames refitting, to complete 12th January
    ML 1008, ML 1010, ML 1020 and ML 1021 repairing, to complete 10th January
    ML 1024, ML 1036 and ML 1070 at Sheerness repairing, to complete 8th January
  • 6/44 Operation Neptune Invasion of Normandy
    103rd ML Flotilla
    Plymouth during Assault Phase
    ML 1009, ML 1013, ML 1021, ML 1025, ML 1027, ML 1033, ML 1034, ML 1035

Post War History

  • Fast Despatch Boat = FDB57
  • 12/7/46 Sold to France = VP25

HDML 1022

Robinson, Lowestoft, Norfolk 3/9/41

Known Crew

  • Skipper G Reeve RNR Skipper 11/4/39 107th ML Flotilla Based at Scapa Flow Commanding Officer HDML 1022 25/5/42 ChSkipper 20/12/44
  • Skipper A Sutherland (acting) Skipper 1/2/44 HDML 1022 10/5/44
  • Skipper W J Jones RNR Skipper 1/12/40 Commanding Officer HDML 1022 15/10/44

Wartime Activities

  • 1/7/41 107th ML Flotilla
    Based Scapa Flow on completion
    ML 1002, ML 1022, ML 1040, ML 1058, ML 1059, ML 1064, ML 1068 and ML 1071
  • 1/42 107th ML Flotilla
    Based Scapa Flow
    ML 1002, ML 1022, ML 1040, ML 1058, ML 1059, ML 1064, ML 1068 and ML 1071
    Passage to Gibraltar under sail
    Anti Submarine patrols off Oran and Algiers

Post War History

  • Fast Despatch Boat = FDB60
  • Sold to France – VP26

HDML 1023

Sittingbourne Shipbuilding Company, Kent 1/2/41

Known Crew

  • Lt C S Roberts TSLt HMS Mosquito (Alexandria) for MTBs 28/9/42 102nd ML Flotilla Based at Alexandria Commanding Officer HDML 1023 28/9/42 TLt 24/5/43 ML 595 8/5/44
  • Lt Sidney Gerald Blunt RNVR TLt 15/2/41 HMS Stag (Port Said) HDML 1023 died of illness on Friday 2 June 1944. Buried in Johannesburg (West Park) Cemetery
  • TLt T F A Winter RNVR 102nd ML Flotilla Based at Alexandria Commanding Officer HDML 1023 19/6/43
  • TLt K P Phipps RANVR TSLt 11/12/43 29th ML Flotilla ML 463 18/9/43 TLt 11/12/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1023 4/6/45
  • TSLt Douglas John Snelgar RNVR TSLt 15/7/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1051 15/12/43 HDML 1023 HMS Mosquito (Alexandria) New Year Honours List 1945 MID For services in the clearance of the Aegean and the relief of Greece 1945 DSC HMS Lanka (Colombo) 1946 Vicar of Steep (1957-92); Priest-in-Charge of Froxfield with Privett (1988-92); Hon. Canon of Portsmouth Cathedral (1985-92). Born 1917 in Paddington, London. Died 18/6/2008 in Petersfield, Hampshire
  • TSLt J A Stephenson RNVR GM TSLt 21/2/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1023 14/6/44 TLt 21/2/45
  • Sto1 John Thompson C/KX116398 102nd ML Flotilla Based at Alexandria, Egypt HDML 1023. Died by drowning 15/11/1942. Buried in Nicosia war Cemetery 1. A. 11

Wartime Activities

  • 19/10/41 Anti-submarine whaler KOS 19, escorting British tanker Toneline (811grt) to Tobruk in serial 4 A of the CULTIVATE operation, reported a submarine contact off Alexandria. ML 1023 departed Alexandria with the two ships, but had to return with defects
  • 1/1/42 102nd ML Flotilla
    Based at Alexandria, Egypt
    ML 1012, ML 1015, ML 1017, ML 1023, ML 1038, ML 1039 and ML 1051
  • 16/4/42 At 19.54, U-81 spotted a tanker and one escort vessel off the coast of Lebanon and fired at 20.38 and 20.39 hours two torpedoes each at both ships. FFL Vikings (P 41) exploded and sank 23 miles 240° from Beirut after being hit by a torpedo. At 21.48, the U-boat fired two torpedoes at the Caspia and hit her with one torpedo in the bow. The tanker sank in flames 10 miles south of Beirut after being hit by a coup de grâce at 22.10.
    The master, 24 crew members and two gunners from the Caspia (Master Cecil Henry Humphries) were lost. Ten crew members and one gunner were picked up by HDML-1023 (Lt C.S. Roberts) and HDML-1032 (Lt C.D. Searle) and landed at Beirut

Post War History

  • 26/3/46 Italy

HDML 1024

Sittingbourne Shipbuilding Company, Kent 22/3/41

Known Crew

  • TLt H A Payne RNVR TSLt HMS Edinburgh Castle (Freetown, Sierra Leone) for MLs 10/41 Commanding Officer HDML 1024 18/6/43 TLt 28/6/43 7th ML Flotilla Based on Portsmouth Commanding Officer ML 150 7/2/44 Operation Neptune – Invasion of Normandy
  • TSLt J C Dunn RNVR TSLt 13/11/41 Commanding Officer HDML 1391 8/11/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1024 18/1/44 TLt 13/5/44 ML 492
  • TSLt H M Albone RNVR TSLt 17/4/41 HMS Wildfire (Sheerness) for MLs 7/7/41 105th ML Flotilla HDML 1024 7/7/41 Commanding Officer ML 116 7/8/43 HMS Aggressive (Newhaven) TLt 17/10/43
  • ChSkipper A Duthie RNR act ChSkipper 5/8/43 ChSkipper 5/8/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1024 1/12/44

Wartime Activities

  • 1/1/41 At Chatham for training duties
    1/7/41 105th ML Flotilla
    Based Sheerness on completion
    ML 1001, ML 1010, ML 1020, ML 1021, ML 1024, ML 1036 and ML 1070. ML 1008 joins by end of 1941
  • 1/42 105th ML Flotilla
    Based Sheerness
    ML 1001 on the Thames refitting, to complete 12th January
    ML 1008, ML 1010, ML 1020 and ML 1021 repairing, to complete 10th January
    ML 1024, ML 1036 and ML 1070 at Sheerness repairing, to complete 8th January
    Passage to Gibraltar under sail
    Mediterranean
    Anti Submarine patrols off Oran and Algiers
    Air Safety Launch = ASL3

Post War History

  • 1946 Sold Yacht = Miarka
  • 1995 = Mavala IV, Based in Cannes

HDML 1025

Berthon Boat, Lymington 18/6/41

Known Crew

  • TLt L S A Jones RNVR TSLt 103rd ML Flotilla Commanding Officer HDML 1025 1/10/42 TLt 11/12/42 Commanding Officer ML 263 26/11/44 HMS Philoctetes II (Freetown, Sierra Leone)
  • TSLt H C C Mossop RNVR 103rd ML Flotilla 3/43 TSLt 19/4/43 HDML 1025 HDML 1394 26/6/44
  • TSLt R R G Gallichan RNVR OS HMS Hood HMS King Alfred 103rd ML Flotilla Based at Falmouth First Lieutenant HDML 1025 HMS Hornet for small craft 9/8/41 TLt 1/11/42 Commanding Officer MASB 25 1/4/43 For minefield clearance in the Dover Command area DSC 7th ML Flotilla Based on Portsmouth Commanding Officer ML 303 4/44 Operation Neptune Invasion of Normandy
  • Skipper J Cookson RNR Skipper 20/8/40 Commanding Officer HDML 1025 20/9/44 – End
  • TSkipper D M McArthur RNR TSkipper 1/2/43 HDML 1025 3/6/45
  • Skipper A L Whittleton RNR Skipper 29/8/40 HDML 1025 7/2/45

Wartime Activities

  • 1/7/41 103rd ML Flotilla
    Based at Falmouth on completion
    ML 1009, ML 1013, ML 1025, ML 1027, ML 1033, ML 1034, ML 1035 and ML 1053. Mostly at Plymouth
  • 1/1/42 103rd ML Flotilla
    ML 1013, ML 1027, ML 1033, ML 1053 at Falmouth
    ML 1009, ML 1025, ML 1034 and ML 1035 based in Plymouth
  • 6/44 Operation Neptune Invasion of Normandy
    103rd ML Flotilla Plymouth during Assault Phase
    ML 1009, ML 1013, ML 1021, ML 1025, ML 1027, ML 1033, ML 1034, ML 1035

Post War History

  • Fast Despatch Boat = FDB69
  • 1947 Sold

HDML 1026

Berthon Boat, Lymington 16/6/41

Known Crew

  • Lt Richard Eddleston-Pope RANVR TLt 28/1/41 106th ML Flotilla Operating in Iceland HMS St Christopher for MLs 10/5/41 106th ML Flotilla Operating in Iceland Commanding Officer HDML 1026 HMS St Christopher for MLs 19/10/42 31st ML Flotilla Mediterranean Commanding Officer ML 560 19/10/42 Operation Husky – Invasion of Sicily Operation Avalanche – Salerno Landings For Operation Dragoon – Landings in Southern France 8/44 DSC a native of Melbourne
  • Skipper W R Durrard RNR 106th ML Flotilla Operating in Iceland Commanding Officer HDML 1026 9/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1060 3/11/43 Based at HMS Claverhouse, Leith and Granton Ch Skipper 25/10/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1300 8/11/44
  • Skipper J E Carsey RNR Skipper 1/7/42 106th ML Flotilla Operating in Iceland HDML 1026 9/42 Based at HMS Baldur, Reykjavik, Iceland HMS Regal
  • Skipper H Wilkins RNR Skipper 2/3/39 Commanding Officer HDML 1026 10/43 ChSkipper 6/1/44
  • Skipper W Godfrey RNR Skipper 29/3/40 HMS Wildfire (Sheerness) for MLs 18/6/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1020 18/6/42, Commanding Officer HDML 1026 2/44) HMS Baldur (Reykjavik) for HDMLs and MLs
  • Skipper J A Jennings RNR Skipper 1/3/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1026 29/9/43
  • Skipper J A Dawson RNR Skipper 1/4/41 Commanding Officer HDML 1026 12/11/44) – End
  • TBoomEngineer D M Geddes RNR 106th ML Flotilla Based at HMS Baldur, Reykjavik, Iceland HDML 1026 16/1/43

Wartime Activities

  • 1/7/41 106th ML Flotilla
    For duty in Iceland on completion
    ML 1026, ML 1043, ML 1045 and ML 1067
  • 1/1/42 106th ML Flotilla
    Operating in Iceland
    ML 1026, ML 1043, ML 1045 and ML 1067
  • 2/43 Based HMS Baldur, Reykjavik, Iceland

Post War History

  • Fast Despatch Boat = FDB33
  • 1947 Sold
  • Yacht = Wings of Man

HDML 1027

Bute Slip, Clyde, Scotland 9/5/41

Known Crew

  • TLt R W Crowe RNVR TLt 5/9/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1027 7/12/42 103rd ML Flotilla Based at HMS Forte 11th ML Flotilla Commanding Officer ML 907 22/3/44 Operation Neptune Invasion of Normandy Based at Portsmouth Navigation Leader at Omaha Beach 34th ML Flotilla Arakan. Transferred ashore in Trombay after hospitalization for back problems
  • Skipper E E Whitcombe RNR Skipper 1/7/40 Commanding Officer HDML 1027 19/4/44 Operation Neptune Invasion of Normandy 103rd ML Flotilla Plymouth during Assault Phase

Wartime Activities

  • 1/7/41 103rd ML Flotilla
    Based Falmouth on completion
    ML 1009, ML 1013, ML 1025, ML 1027, ML 1033, ML 1034, ML 1035 and ML 1053. Mostly at Plymouth
  • 1/1/42 103rd ML Flotilla
    ML 1013, ML 1027, ML 1033, ML 1053 at Falmouth
    ML 1009, ML 1025, ML 1034 and ML 1035 based in Plymouth
  • 6/44 Operation Neptune Invasion of Normandy
    103rd ML Flotilla Plymouth during Assault Phase
    ML 1009, ML 1013, ML 1021, ML 1025, ML 1027, ML 1033, ML 1034, ML 1035

Post War History

  • Fast Despatch Boat = FDB46
  • 1/46 For disposal

HDML 1028

Bute Slip, Clyde, Scotland 5/8/41

Known Crew

  • TLt A A Friswell RNVR TLt 21/9/41 HMS Stag (Port Said) for MLs 30/8/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1028 30/9/42 MTB 789
  • TLt L M Taylor RNVR TSLt HMS St Christopher for MLs 3/9/42 TLt 9/4/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1283 9/6/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1028 17/1/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1146 5/12/44 HMS Mosquito Commanding Officer ML 175 11/5/45
  • TLt W Whyte RNVR TSLt 22/7/42 HDML 1028 19/12/44 TLt 19/12/44 Commanding Officer ML 357 7/4/45
  • Lt Frank Norris Coulter SANF(V) SLt 23/10/41 Lt 23/10/43 HDML 1028 Commanding Officer HDML 1283 13/1/44 For services in the clearance of the Aegean and the relief of Greece DSC HMS Mosquito (Alexandria)
  • TSLt E P Danby RNVR TSLt 2/5/44 ML 836 25/4/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1028 7/4/45

Wartime Activities

  • 1/1/42 108th ML Flotilla
    Based Freetown, Sierra Leone
    ML 1044, ML 1050, ML 1065 and ML 1066 have been delivered.
    ML 1028, ML 1076, ML 1077 and ML 1078 on the Clyde awaiting freighting

Post War History

  • 26/3/46 Italy

HDML 1029

McGruer, Clynder, Scotland 9/40

Known Crew

  • TLt Cecil John Vivian Evitt RNVR served in Coastal Forces and landing craft before being commissioned 7/43. HMS Tormentor (Hamble)1941. HMS King Alfred TLt 31/7/43 Commanding Officer ML 1029 8/43. Commanding Officer ML 472 8/3/44 HMS Mosquito (Alexandria) 40th ML Flotilla Commanding Officer ML 879 14/2/45. Became a farmer and then an entrepreneur. Born in Medway District, Kent 21/5/14 and died in Hitchin District 4/70.
  • TLt G C Organ RNVR TLt 7/8/43 ML 223 28/8/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1029 1/5/44 HMS Brontosaurus (Dunoon)
  • TLt N A W Herbolt RNVR TSLt 24/7/42 HMS Iron Duke (Scapa Flow) for MLs 26/10/42 15th ML Flotilla ML 231 28/12/42 TLt 24/1/45 Commanding Officer HDML 1029 1/4/45
  • TSLt P H Whitehill RNVR TMid HDML 1029 21/6/43 TASLt 1/9/43 TSLt 1/3/44 66th MTB Flotilla Based at Portland, Plymouth and Ramsgate MTB 760

Wartime Activities

  • 23/9/40 Commissioned
  • 12/40-2/41 At Portland for training duties
  • 1/7/41 At Greenock for training duties
  • 1/1/42 At Ardrisaig for training duties temporarily attached from 110th Motor Launch Flotilla

Post War History

  • 7/46 For disposal

HDML 1030

McGruer, Clynder, Scotland 11/11/40

Known Crew

  • T Lt Cooksey RNVR Commanding Officer HDML 1030
  • POMtrMch Thomas Andrews HDML 1030
  • LSea (Coxswain)
  • AB Newman HDML 1030
  • AB Thomas Shiels HDML 1030
  • Ord Sydney Pownall HDML 1030
  • Sto1 Harold J Siddall D/KX91819 HDML 1030 (Prisoner of War)
  • Tel William Sams HDML 1030

Wartime Activities

  • Whilst standing by during construction, the ship’s company initially live in a loft in the boatyard, before moving to a hospital ship in the Gareloch and then to civilian billets.
  • 1/1/41 On passage to Cardiff for embarkation, ML 1030 took shelter from a gale in Peel, Isle of Man.
    ML 1030 prepared for transportation at Cardiff, crew departed for leave. Then assembled in HMS Drake and travelled to Liverpool, to embark in MV Glenearn.
    Glenearn travelled in convo,y via Freetown and Capetown, to southern end of Suez Canal where ML 1030’s crew landed at Port Tewfik and entrained for Suez.
  • 3/41 ML 1030 arrived in Suez and was reactivated
    ML 1011, ML 1030 and ML 1032 conducted patrols of the entrance to Alexandria Harbour with the nightly patrol vessel towing a barrage balloon.
    ML 1011, ML 1030 and ML 1032 were transferred to Suda Bay, Crete
    ML 1030 rescued survivors from the merchant vessel Dallsman which was sitting on the bottom having been bombed and sunk in Suda Bay.
    ML 1030 engaged German aircraft and parachutists.
  • 27/5/41 ML 1030 ordered to depart Suda Bay for Alexandria
  • 28/5/41 c0500, 15 miles west of Gavolopula, ML 1030 was attacked by two German bombers dropping single bombs in repeated runs in turn. AB Thomas Shiels, lying on his back, directed the Commanding Officer in attempting to avoid the bombs. The first aircraft missds with all bombs. On the last run by the second aircraft, one bomb blew off the bow of ML 1030 all the way back to the forward engine room bulkhead. ML 1030 stopped engines to assess damage. Both aircraft then began strafing runs. The telegraphist was wounded and the dinghy damaged.. The aircraft departed. POMtrMch Thomas Andrews went over the side to inspect the running gear which has been damaged by near misses, but repairs were not possible.
    ML 1030 was abandoned with six men taking to the damaged dinghy, one on the Carley raft and three swimming and taking turns in the boat. The survivors landed on Crete after approximately twenty hours, where they joined up with a group of New Zealand soldiers. The crew split up with the First Lieutenant, coxswain and five men joining a group heading overland for Sphakia, whilst the Commanding Officer POMtrMch and the remaining three men took the dinghy.
    The overland party reached Sphakia and awaited evacuation. The First Lieutenant was evacuated that night.
    The surrender took place that day and the crew became prisoners of war and marched to Suda Bay.

“Transport, in the form of a lorry, finally arrived to take a group of us to the Naval Barracks, arriving at about dawn, sometime in June 1940. The usual joining barracks routine followed – medical and dental check-ups. Ratings joining barracks were eagerly pounced upon by the “Poultice Wallopers” to examine Pay and Identity Books in a hope that the recipient was due for a vaccination or top-up innoculation against the many infections one could collect when away from their tender care. The number of brawny, sun-bronzed, tattooed matelots who would collapse like a ton of bricks when facing an injecting needle was amazing. I have seen hairy Chiefs sitting on chairs before injections; it was a case of sit down or fall down. ………..

We were told to report to the Drafting Office, which meant that our orders for onward despatch to Coastal Forces had preceeded us.

What follows takes some beating. Doug Scantlebury lived somewhere in Newcastle; I lived in Devonport. My draft orders were for a boat being built on the Gareloch in Scotland, at a small boatbuilding yard called Clynder, opposite Helensburgh. Doug’s draft order was for Mashford’s boatyard at Cremyll on the Tamar, a ferry-ride across the river from Stonehouse. Scants couldn’t hope to get a long weekend from Cremyll to travel to Newcastle. I couldn’t hope to get one from Helensburgh to travel to Plymouth. So there was only one logical course of action: see the Drafting Commander to swop drafts. We were equal in proficiency, being First Class Stokers possessing Auxiliary Watchkeeping Certificates, so there was no way we could upset the apple cart if we swopped drafts. We knew it would be all right; the Drafting Chief Stoker could see no objections and gave his blessing, so we reported to the Drafting Commander with high hopes. BUT we had forgotten one of the Engine Room pearls of wisdom, put together by sages over years of blood, tears and sweat: “Blessed are they who expecteth nothing, for they are never disappointed.” The Drafting Commander listened to our requests, showed a lot of interest and then turned down the requests. “Not Granted” and proceded to prove to us how Britain could lose the war if our requests were granted. We had been chosen to make up crews with specialists from other branches, carefully vetted and that was that. “Blessed are they.”

I joined H.M.S. Centurion, a very old battleship, as holed as a collander. For years she had acted as a target for the big ships’ shoots; normal bulkheads and passage-ways did not exist. Finding one’s way about that hulk was strange to say the least; the massive holes in the decks and through the bulkheads gave me a vivid image of what the victor in a battle at sea could look like. On the Centurion I did some training courses ready for service in Coastal Forces. Doug Scantlebury and I parted and we have never met since then. I wonder how he fared.

Upon completion of the courses I rejoined Barracks, ready for the journey to Clynder. Draft routine once again: medical and dental inspections, then kit inspection, where I met the remainder of the ratings who were to make up the crew. In the course of standing by the boat whilst under construction, several changes in the crew took place before we finally took to the water, so I will name those who finally went to the Mediterranean. Bill Sams, the telegraphist – more about Bill later. Syd Pownall, an Ordinary Seaman who, because he was the youngest, was automatically called “Wings”. Being an O.D., he was to a certain extent still under instruction from the Coxswain’s “Winger”. In the Barracks, ratings came and went on a special train which left from the Barrack’s railway platform. Thus, on our day of departure, we mustered in the Drill Shed, together with a large number of others travelling to various destinations. Our kits were taken to be loaded in the goods wagon. Each was issued with the proverbial Pusser’s Bag Meal and, carrying our oilskin coats, respirators slung over left shoulders, we marched to the Barracks Station and entrained. The Coxswain of our crew, a Leading Seaman, held our draft note. ……….

Crewe Station was the intersection point for anywhere. Our crowd had managed to bag a compartment; bag meals, oilskin coats and respirators were stowed on the luggage racks and nine of us fitted happily into seats for eight. The corridors were empty, so there weren’t any members of the women’s forces against which one could squeeze en route to the lavatory, just the Naval Patrol whose job it was to quietly meander along the corridor, keeping “Good Order and Naval Discipline” and seeing that no gambling was taking place.
……….
On arrival at Crewe we detrained, claimed our kit and the Coxswain set off to find further information about onward travel. In war-time all major stations sported an R.T.O. I suppose those initials stood for Royal or Railway Transport Office, or something, but all forces travellers knew it as R.T.O. From here one was supposed to gain information about onward movements. Thankfully at Crewe Station there was a large room containing camp beds, so if the next train left in the distant hours a bed could be booked, a timely awakening arranged, together with a cuppa from the W.V.S. or the Salvation Army. We were able to bed down together; the Coxswain had the responsibility of arranging the shakes; that is what he was paid for. Sometimes the hook on the arm can become very heavy! So, being wakened in the early hours, we manhandled the kits onto the relevant train and journeyed onward, ever onward to Helensburgh, crossing the Gareloch to arrive at Clynder.

Apparently we were not expected just then; there was a problem about accommodation and victualling. The best that could be offered was the upper floor of a loft – a not too clean floor at that. We begged brushes from the boat builder, had a good sweep out and sort of settled in, making the best of it for the time. There were no fittings for slinging hammocks so we bedded down on the floor; hammocks are not very comfortable as beds in such a cramped situation. Here I met my immediate boss. He was a P.O. Motor Mechanic called Tommy Andrews and we hit it off well right from the start. He was a Scot and I believe he lived in or near Glasgow.

We were at Clynder to stand by the construction of a seventy two feet Motor Launch. It would be equipped with Asdic gear, depth charges and a gun and be powered by two Glennifer diesel engines, which became the responsibility of Tommy Andrews and myself. There were now eight of us living and sleeping in the loft and conditions became bad. We had to use the toilets in the boat builder’s yard and these were nothing to shout about; domestic and laundry arrangements were primitive. Our Commanding Officer arrived, a Lieutenant Cooksey R.N.V.R.; he was able to arrange accomodation for us in a hospital ship in Gareloch. Here we were able to revert to normal Naval life. Unfortunately those enjoyable conditions did not last very long and with the ship due to sail the question of accomodation arose again. Because we were the first crew to arrive at Clynder the question had not arisen, but the need for billeting was evident. Eventually four of us were billeted with a Mr. and Mrs. Carson in comfortable if cramped conditions. There was already a young shipwright apprentice from the boatyard living with the Carsons and he was overjoyed to have us as brothers, people with whom he could converse in the evenings – and in the evenings there was not much else to do.

His Majesty’s Motor Launch 1030 was nearing completion, so the P.O. and I began familiarising ourselves with the engine room layout and prevailing upon the workmen for extra storage space for the spare gear which kept arriving daily. The launch was to be self-contained and there was ample provision for fuel and water. Six of us ratings would live in the bows, the P.O. and the coxswain shared a cabin; the skipper and the sub-lieutenant shared another. Space would be at a premium, but then we weren’t on the Queen Mary. The skipper prevailed upon a well-known actress of the day to launch the 1030, and so began the acceptance trials which went on for many days. One of the two Asdic ratings had done a cookery course of sorts and there was a coal-fired bogey in our fo’c’sle mess-deck on which a large black kettle steamed endlessly, always ready for making ‘char’. Besides the two diesel engines for main propulsion, there was a smaller ‘donkey’ diesel engine, a maid of all work which drove a generator to supply power; it also could supply sea water under pressure for fire-fighting and flushing the toilets and, most important of all to Tommy and me, compressed air, essential for starting the main engines. In the engine room there was manually operated pump to compress air into the high-pressure air bottles, in case the ‘donkey’ engine became defective. Pumping manually became my job if ever this happened. I tried it once, just for the experience and then studied the maintenance manual of the ‘donkey’ engine until I knew it inside out. When hand pumping, the hand on the bottle pressure gauge hardly ever seemed to move and, thank goodness, that ‘donkey’ engine never gave a moment’s trouble.

Familiarisation drills took place so that in an emergency departments could take over other jobs; the sub-lieutenant, second-in-command, called ‘Jimmy The One’ or ‘Number One’ decided that I should become the emergency gunner, so I had to learn to fire the three-pounder gun. At least my rounds hit the water! Then he suggested that he could be useful in the engine room while I was on the gun. Tommy Andrews pondered what to give Jimmy The One to do to keep him busy and out of harm’s way. There was only one answer, seeing he was so enthusiastic – to pump up the air bottles by hand. He soon lost his enthusiasm, and I can understand why! Trials continued day and night, sometimes working with submarines giving the Asdic ratings plenty of experience; we had to be able to provide immediate top speed when depth charges were dropped, otherwise the explosion could take away the stern of the launch. Those explosions underwater sent hair-raising sounds to us in the engine room and often resulted in a good supply of dead fish!

Christmas 1940 was drawing near and, although hoped for, there was no chance of leave. We were told that 1030 was designated to join a flotilla for service in the Mediterranean, leaving early in the New Year of 1941. Lieutenant Cooksey, the skipper, arranged with the local hotel at Clynder to supply us with our Christmas dinner and Christmas Day turned out to be cold, dry and clear. Towards tot time, when the issue of rum appeared, the skipper said he would give a bottle of whisky to any member of the crew who would swim around the launch, fully expecting to find no takers. Like an idiot I stripped off to my underpants, dived off the stern, swam around the ship and climbed back onboard. That water was cold and my tot of rum went down a treat. The Christmas dinners were delivered; there was a small bird for each person together with the usual vegetables, and a grand meal it was. That evening the skipper sent for me to give me the bottle of whisky, which the eight of us shared. Up to then I had never drunk whisky and I wished I had never started. At about midnight I felt ill and my only relief was to go and sit on the bollard on the fo’c’sle, gulping in all the cold air I could find. I was ‘proper poorly’, my inside seemed to be filled with burnt toast and I stayed most of the night at the bows. Whisky I cannot drink, no matter what is used to mix with it. I fell asleep on the deck and awoke feeling freezing cold, with a horrible taste in my throat. I went below, boiled up the black kettle and made some tea, taking some to everybody. I couldn’t sleep so why should they?

After the Christmas break we continued with exercises and Bill Sams, the telegraphist, received a signal from Admiralty for the skipper. Orders had arrived for 1030 to be in Cardiff at a certain date in January 1941. HM ML 1030 returned to the boatyard in Clynder for some last minute modifications, good-byes and good wishes were said to the friends we had made – after all we were something special, being the first crew to arrive there – and on a late December day we set off for Cardiff. Mistakenly thinking we were on a cruise down the west coast, we were buzzed by aircraft and challenged by other ships; Bill Sams was fully occupied signalling out the correct codes for the day. To cap it all, the elements decided to join in and a real storm arose. 1030 proved her sea-worthiness then. She pitched and rolled all over the ‘oggin’ and the storm became so bad that the skipper ordered slow ahead on the engine room telegraphs and we just held way against the south-westerly gale. Bill Sams was ordered to send a signal that we could not make the E.T.A. at Cardiff and the skipper was ordered to make for Peel in the Isle of Man. So we arrived at Peel early on New Year’s Day 1941. Once secured in harbour 1030 was made shipshape again. The bogey was lit and a brew-up organised. The cook – I nearly wrote the ‘chef’ – prepared breakfast and we waited for the worst of the storm to blow itself out.

Many weeks had passed since I had had a haircut, my customary short back and sides had worn off, so I requested to be allowed to go ashore for a haircut. The skipper granted the request and off I went into Peel to find a barber’s shop. January 1st in Peel in 1941 saw every business closed and I wandered through some lonely streets. Everybody must have been sleeping off the effects of seeing the New Year in. At last I saw the familiar sight of a red and white candy-striped barber’s pole sticking out at an angle from what appeared to be a private house with a large bay window. The front door was open so up the four or five steps I went, into the entrance passage and turned right into the large front room, which was obviously the barber’s shop. I took my cap off, put it on a hook and sat on the box seat in the bay window. I passed the time leafing through some back editions of the old magazines usually found in any barber’s shop. There was no sign of life, so I called rather loudly: “Is anyone at home?” No answer, so I went to the foot of the stairs and called loudly once more. I went back into the shop and soon there was the noise of somebody on the stairs, then into the shop came the barber. He must have been annoyed at being disturbed, but when he saw me in uniform he seemed rather flabbergasted and asked me what I wanted. Being in a barber’s shop with hair rather longer than was expected from a service man, the reason seemed rather obvious, but I answered: “I’d like a haircut, please.” And this is where the pantomime began. When he heard my request he became agitated, accompanied by: “No, no, no.” For a moment I couldn’t understand what all this was in aid of, so I sat in the chair ready for him to begin work. Again there was a “No, no, no,” and he rushed out of the room; I heard him calling to somebody upstairs. This was his wife and together they came into the room. Seeing me sitting in the chair they both began saying: “No, no, no.” They told me that barbers never cut hair on New Year’s Day, as terrible bad luck would follow for the person who had the haircut. They were adamant: cutting the hair would cut off the customer’s good luck. Fool that I was, and not believing in their superstitions, I prevailed upon him to cut my hair. The wife declared she wouldn’t stay to witness such an act; the barber warned me once again but at last consented, saying that he would accept no money and that, being a service man, I should know better. When he had cut my hair and brushed my shoulders, together with his wife he came to the door of the house and shook hands, the wife hugged me and wished me well with good luck for the New Year. I should have listened to them and foregone the haircut on New Year’s Day 1941 – as May 26th 1941 would show.

When the gale abated we got under way, arrived at the entrance to Cardiff Docks and proceeded to our berth. The launch met up with the other two launches to form a flotilla for coastal defence in the Mediterranean. Just as we had unpacked spare gear and carefully stowed it when we took over 1030, so the spares had to be repacked carefully for the long voyage via Capetown, South Africa. The launches were to be transported on a merchant ship, which meant that the engines had to be put in a state of preservation, the high pressure air bottles emptied and all loose gear in the engine room secured. The fuel and water tanks were emptied, bilges pumped empty and the donkey engine put into preservation. The remainder of the crew were putting their respective parts of the ship into preservation, the coxswain was responsible for the de-storing routine and came a day when members of the Port Admiral’s shore staff carried out a rigid examination of the launch to ensure she was ready for transportation. Then it was a case of up bags, hammocks and suitcases again and make for the railway station to H.M.S. Drake, i.e. Devonport Barracks once more.

Because we were going on Foreign Service the ‘joining barracks’ routine had to be carried out. First to the Medical Officer for a good medical examination and a couple of injections because we were going to “them ther’ foreign places”. Be sure that the notifications of these were stamped in the Pay and Identity Book, otherwise some zealous Poultice Walloper would want to show his skill. A visit to the Dental Office and a “sit in that chair”. Memories, memories. Another good examination, probing with that awful pointed piece of steel, but all was well and the Pay Book was duly stamped. Then to the Stokers’ Regulating Office, where they didn’t want to know me; I was on foreign draft; stow your kit in the special store allocated to ratings going on foreign service, collect a leave pass and a fortnight’s pay, purchase the regulation tin of tickler’s tobacco for going on leave and proceed on fourteen days leave. Those ratings living far from the port area were given railway travel warrants: me, I just hopped on a bus.
………..
And so leave ended, as all leaves did, and I returned to Barracks. One day I met a member of the Stokers’ Regulating Office staff; he was from the Repulse. Apparently those in the office were nosing through my service certificates prior to forwarding them to my next depot and discovered I had enough seniority to be put on the next Leading Stoker’s course and that I should apply. I don’t know, reader, whether you have ever had a hunch to decline something, but at the moment of speaking with this office wallah something stopped me from going to the office. Had I gone I could possibly have been taken off the foreign service draft, spent many months at Engineering School and from there gone on to an Advanced Engineering course, to finish up as my cousin, Charlie Stephens. But that something, that hunch, held me back. Had I taken that step, would I have been here today? I could have eventually gone back to sea and finished up fifty fathoms deep. Que sera!

With the rest of the crew I waited in the Barracks until a train was assembled and we were once more mustered in the Drill Shed with kit, oilskin and respirator. Working parties took the baggage to the train, while we collected our Pusser’s bag meals and marched to the Depot Station. No sooner were we entrained, carriage doors slammed shut, the old green flag waved, the guard’s whistle blown and we were off under the same conditions as before, this time to Liverpool. From the windows of the backs of the houses adjacent to the railway line towels and handkerchiefs were waved; here and there we saw a pair of knickers fluttering and we wondered how many of the wavers were weeping, or … ! No stopping at Crewe this time; we were due to embark on a troopship waiting to join a fast convoy. Late at night the train arrived at Liverpool and in the darkness of the black-out we waited in the train until a cold dawn saw it being unloaded. We claimed our kit and walked up the gangplank of the Motor Ship Glenearn. She had been built as a motor-car transport ship but was now fitted out with mess tables and stools, hammock hooks and wash places. I expected that we would stay together as a crew and share a mess, but it was not to be. The mess-deck C.P.O. called my name and I was put in charge of a mess of twenty or so very junior ratings from all branches. They had never been to sea, just a minimum of boat training, so I had to more or less teach them the art of living around a mess table.

Seemingly they had lived in a Butlin’s Holiday Camp when called up for service in the Navy; they had land-drilled at their respective branch work, had never dished up or scrubbed out, but had been waited on hand and foot. When these lambs were detailed to join the mess they just dropped their kitbags and hammocks on the deck. Wearing oilskins and with respirators slung, they huddled close together and looked so forlorn and frightened that if their mothers could have seen them they would have stopped the war promptly. When the mess-deck Chief gave me the mess list of names he sort of lifted his head in exasperation and said: “The best of luck, Lofty. I won’t interfere for a couple of days; they’re all yours.”

The first job was to call their names and check that the bodies belonged to me. Off respirators, oilskins and caps, place them neatly on the table, stand up the kitbags, open them, roll up oilskins neatly, fish overalls from bags, place oilskins and respirators in bags and stow neatly in our mess kitbag rack. With me around them like a sheepdog they slowly began to come alive. I had them stow their hammocks in the rack and I noticed they had begun to come together in groups and pairs, which was a good sign; they even began to talk to one another. Then I told them to take off their uniforms down to their underwear, put on overalls and stow their uniforms neatly in the kitbag. Came the call over the loud-hailer: “Cooks to the galley.” It was time to collect breakfast. Memories of Butlin’s were still with them and I believe they were waiting to go along and collect a meal. I told them what was to happen and took them to the galley to show the way. This brought back memories of our Training Division days. I made one of them call out our mess number loudly and had a couple of them collect our metal dishes, containing fried bacon, beans and fried tomatoes, automatically called ‘red lead’. Back to the mess, out eating irons and plates, sit them at the table and show them how to serve the food as evenly and fairly as possible. I had one of them cutting the bread into fairly thick rounds and let them tuck in. At least they seemed to be alive because all the plates were clean. I sent one lad back to the galley with the urn to come back with hot tea, and by this time I was ready for my cuppa. Yes, life had come back into them, they began to chatter away. I took time to look around and mentally weigh them up. Oh Butlin’s! I believe they would have sat there forever if I had let them. I took them to the Central Stores to draw soap, a scrubbing brush and cloths, then back to the mess to send a lad with a large mess kettle for hot water. I told them to pair off and together we washed the dishes and dried them; I told two of them to take the dish water, find the upper deck and empty it down the gash shute into the river.

Reader, please pardon me if this episode appears to be boring, but I must emphasise the need for these ratings to be as efficient as possible in living arrangements so that they would immediately fit in when joining a warship. The next detail was to learn to scrub clean the mess table and stools; even handling a scrubbing brush was a work of art. I told the first pair that after supper they would be cooks of the mess for the next twenty four hours. Their first day passed in my care and I shepherded them round the spaces in the ship so that they would become reasonably familiar when any alarm rattlers sounded off. After tea and supper, when I had all of them mucking in, letter writing time came for all of us and I observed one or two having a quiet weep now that the novelty of joining a ship had worn off. Slinging hammocks became the next trial; some of them would have finished up sleeping in the shape of a letter U, so they copied my method of slinging the hammock as near horizontal as possible and then we practised getting in and out of hammocks. “Pipe down” followed, and so the first day ended.

Early next morning the Glenearn moved out into Liverpool Bay. I took my charges with me to the various messes where the established ratings were living to give the youngsters ideas of what was to be expected of them. Then came the magic day when we were at sea. This was to be a fast convoy with not many ships, but there was the usual bodyguard of small warships around us. By now the youngsters had been taken to form working parties to keep the ship clean and I was at a loose end. My responsibility was to keep the mess clean and the youngsters in order. In a couple of days the convoy entered the Bay of Biscay, and on this January day of 1941 the old Bay was kicking up a bit. In a hammock, bad weather is not so noticeable; the vessel tends to roll around the hammock. Bad weather is usually noticed when one stands on the deck. Some fortunate people are immune to sea-sickness, others are not so lucky. I had my share of sea-sickness, as future narratives will reveal. On the particular morning, when entering the Bay of Biscay there was a discernable roll on the Glenearn. Whereas my youngsters had rapidly become old sailors in the past couple of days, that morning saw several of them become ‘proper poorly’. Reader, if you have ever suffered from ‘mal de mer’ you will know all you want to do is to go somewhere and die. Thus it was with some of these lads. I made the spritely bodies lash up and stow their hammocks and help those who only wanted to lie down anywhere. The mess bucket came in really useful. I apologise for appearing disgusting, but life is life and this is one of the facts. These youngsters, so affected, just didn’t want to do anything and had to be harried into life. Toilet, shave and wash, then breakfast to be brought from the galley. “Who said breakfast?” Those who thought they were dying I sent to the upper deck and warned them about standing on the lee side of the weather deck. Amongst the remainder we had an ‘all hands in’ session and those hungry bods tucked in to all the spare breakfast, which happened to be grilled kidneys on fried bread. Together with a round of bread and margarine and a cuppa, I always relished this dish. By the time we had washed, dried and stowed the breakfast things, scrubbed the tables and stools, I noticed one or two of the die-hards beginning to turn a shade of green, so they had to be dispatched to the upper deck rapidly. Came the call over the loud-hailer: “Working parties to muster at your work places.” The Buffer, the senior seaman Chief P.O. who was in charge of the work parties, came to the mess deck, wanting to know where all his bodies were. When told that they could be found on the upper deck he exclaimed: “That’s why the ship has a list on, they must all be on the lee-side!” How he managed to start them working and what they did is beyond me. Not many of my mess-mates turned up for dinner or tea.
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There was a breathless hush on the mess-deck that evening; hammocks were slung very early and it was soon a case of all quiet on the western front! By the next morning the convoy had broken the back of the Bay, the sea was much calmer and the air noticeably warmer, which made a difference to the youngsters’ attitude to life. They had had their spell of rough weather, had not died, and now where was breakfast? With the air temperature rising the customary sailor’s blue jersey was put away and the rig of the day, when in uniform and not overalls, was a white shirt, ratings for the use of. The mess deck Chief gathered together all of us in charge of messes and we had a discussion about the dhobeying now that the warmer weather was upon us and white uniform would be worn more. So we worked out times in afternoons and evenings to take our youngsters into the bathrooms and instigate dhobeying sessions with economical use of fresh water. As the convoy’s first stop was to be Freetown the ship’s water-making capacity was crucial and one learned not to use it with gay abandon. Being on draft for foreign service meant that everyone was issued with a large white-covered cork helmet, called a ‘topi’, together with white tropical shirts, two in number and white shorts, tropical, two pairs. To support the shorts one was issued with a white belt and, just as in the Training Division, the wooden name stamp was used on every piece of the new uniform. Together with this extra kit were two pairs of navy blue stockings. So when dressed to kill, a rating was in white from his head to his knees and in blue stockings and black boots.

Now, the topis were the bane of our lives, kept in white linen bags and too large to stow into any kit bag or locker, kept clean by the application of Blanco, a block of white powder. A moistened sponge was rubbed on the block of Blanco and the resultant paste was applied to the topi. You can get an idea of what a topi was when you see a Royal Marine Bandsman in his dress uniform. To be on the upper deck between sunrise and sunset without a topi was an offence contrary to Good Order and Naval Discipline and one would be charged with laying oneself open to a self-inflicted injury, namely sunstroke. “And he calling no-one on his behalf!” One day on Daily Orders came a notice that the wearing of topis was no longer to be part of the rig of the day and it was no longer a part of a rating’s kit. There were yells of delight throughout the ship and several idiots – I was one of them – kicked our topis over the side. At least the linen bag came in handy for stowing parts of our white uniform. The next morning on the Daily Orders was another notice. Topis, no longer part of uniform, would be handed in to the Naval Store Officer during the dog watches; failure to do so would result in a fine of thirty-five shillings. To me that was a fortnight’s pay. What the Admiralty was going to do with those thousands and thousands of topis makes the mind boggle. Somebody must have been made an Admiral for coming up with that bright idea.

I can’t remember whether that amount was stopped from my pay. Sometimes it transpired that through some negligence one would not be entitled to any pay and the Chief Writer would call out: “Not entitled, sir!” So the hopeful would walk away with nothing in his cap. On the mess deck this was known as the North Easter – as you can see the initials of the phrase are N.E. This aroused a lot of sympathy from the mess members and there was always the offer of a couple of bob until next pay-day. To my knowledge this sympathetic offer was never abused.

Eventually the convoy arrived at Freetown in Sierra Leone on the West Coast of Africa and the Glenearn anchored outside the harbour. Immediately, or so it seemed, the sea around the ship was covered with dugout canoes, propelled by natives. Dressed in the minimum coverage, each of them was an excellent swimmer and from the dugouts came the cries for a ‘Glasgow tanner’, a small silver threepence piece Throw a silver threepence piece, also known as a threepenny bit, over the ship’s side and the natives would dive out of the dug-outs and swim down until one would come up with the coin in his mouth. Then, once more, would come the call for a ‘Glasgow tanner’. Then came the dodge to wrap a farthing in silver paper, show it to the waiting hopefuls and throw it over the side. When retrieved and examined there would be howls of insults in the local language, usually ending up with: “You are not a very good man, sir.” They soon realised that all the silver coins had been expended – seemingly they had no use for farthings – and left us. There were a number of ships in the convoy still to be visited.

The next attraction was a large number of dug-outs loaded with large stalks of bananas. The requirement this time was clothing or material for making clothing. Under no circumstances were the natives permitted to come aboard, so a barter system was organised where something was lowered at the end of a rope to a dug-out, the something examined, accepted, and a satisfactorily-sized stalk of bananas tied to the rope to be hauled up in exchange. Pretty soon exchanges were rapid and stalks of bananas coming up almost made the side of the ship look yellow. One of my lads came to me with a striped pyjama coat and when we showed this to one of the Johnnys (they were all answering to the name of John), he literally jumped up and down in his eagerness to accept. So the coat was tied and lowered into a dug-out almost overflowing with clothing. A large stalk of bananas was tied on in exchange and the lad eagerly hauled it up. The lad had to manhandle the large stalk over the waist-high gunwhale of the ship; as he was doing this, a large, black spider came out of the bananas and landed on the back of his hand. What did he do? Well, he let out a frightful yell and let go the stalk of bananas, which promptly dropped back like a bomb. Down it went, falling into the loaded dug-out and through the bottom of the craft. We saw the clothing floating away from the sinking boat and the two crew swimming, trying to rescue their goods. No clothing, no bananas.

By then the mess-decks were overflowing with stalks of bananas. Whereas a few days ago there was not a banana to be seen, now we didn’t know what to do with them. There were fried bananas from the galley, bananas in custard from the galley, banana sandwiches when one felt peckish and a: “Help yourself to one of my bananas,” when passing another mess. Our bodies must have been overflowing with potassium for many days. And at one of the ship’s concerts, (the Naval handle was a ‘sod’s opera’), an old song entitled “I’ve Never Seen a Straight Banana” was revived.

The convoy crossed the Equator and this was a disappointment to me. On Naval warships especially, crossing the Equator was always celebrated with a “Crossing The Line” ceremony, when the ship was stopped on the line and King Neptune, together with his court, came aboard to search out all those crossing for the first time. Those unfortunates were roughly shaved and roughly handled, but at the end of the proceedings each of the victims was presented with a certificate to vouch that he had been ‘done’. This was a valuable piece of property, freeing the owner from any participation in future ceremonies and something to show when talking to old ‘salts’. I crossed the line twice in that convoy, but wartime restrictions cancelled the ceremonies; one couldn’t expect the convoy to stop – the Jerry submarine commanders would have had a field-day! Such was Naval routine that, with hundreds of Crossing The Line certificates being lost in sinking ships, when a warship crossed the line afetr the war and the ceremony was carried out, those one-time holders who could not produce a certificate, despite all protests, were rounded up by King Neptune’s courtiers and religiously done again. King Neptune spared nobody: captains of ships and officers were included if they could not show the necessary certificate. I have a “Blue Nose Certificate” to show that I have served north of the Arctic Circle when I was in the H.M.S. Eagle, but have never possessed one of the coveted Neptune’s certificates. It was worth possessing, a highly decorated affair, filled with “heretofores” and “wheretofores” in coloured inks, ship’s stamps all over it and dated and signed by King Neptune. From various yarns about crossing the line it appears that excited courtiers have caused some awkward moments when rounding up victims with the aid of Neptune’s trident. Officers beware! and Jaunties!

When south of the Equator we were often convoyed in turn by porpoises and flying fish. The porpoises could easily keep up with the Glenearn and seemed to play a game of chance by swimming across the bows of the ships; the flying fish would leap out of the water and, by spreading their wide fins, glide in the air for several yards. The next stop for the convoy was Cape Town, and from a long way off Table Mountain was visible. The Glenearn berthed alongside one of the jetties, so shore leave meant we could just walk down the gangway to be on land, instead of waiting for a liberty boat. What a welcome we received there! As each person stepped off the gangway he was given a large brown paper bag filled with various kinds of fruit and sticking out from the top of each bag was a pineapple. Families were waiting with their cars to pick up one or two service men, to whisk them off to see Cape Town and take them home for home comforts. Together with two other ratings I went in a car with the family of the manager of a car tyre factory; I think it could have been Dunlop, but that doesn’t matter. We were taken through Cape Town and visited the top of Table Mountain. Back with the family to their house to enjoy a lovely evening; nothing was too much trouble, then back to the ship, the bag of fruit not forgotten.

Just like the episode with the bananas, there were now bags of fruit everywhere. I gathered my mess-mates and rolled down the oil-cloth table covering. Together we sorted out the collection of apples, plums, peaches, grapes and pineapples. A problem arose as to how to peel a pineapple until somebody remembered tins of pineapple rings, so the problem then was what to use for slicing them. All we had were table knives and a seaman’s jack-knife was not much use. Now among my collection of lads were some bright bodies, waiting to go to university, until their call-ups came. I threw the problem to all of them and whilst pondering and “pr squaring” amongst themselves, one of them returned with a butcher’s saw which he had ‘borrowed’ from the galley. Have you ever tried sawing through a pineapple? What a ham-fisted shower we were – me just as awkward as the others! Obviously doing this on an oil-cloth wasn’t the answer, so we rolled it back and rested the fruit on the table to perform the operation. Upon sawing there was juice everywhere, but finally rings were obtained and skinned so that everyone had his share. Then a good scrub-out took place and the clean saw craftily returned to the galley. Believe it or not, on the next day’s Daily Orders there were instructions on how to cut open pineapples, but no mention of what sort of blade to use. We stuck to the butcher’s saw! What a sticky mess those operations made.

Before the war, service in the Southern Atlantic was considered not too bad and visits to Simonstown, the Naval Dockyard, were often talked about by the old ‘salts’ who had seen service there. So one afternoon I travelled to Simonstown, or ‘Snookie’ as it was known in the Navy, just to be able to say I had been there. To me there was not very much in evidence to stir the blood. I did see something which was distressing: that was the way the members of the Police Force seemed to think that they were so superior to everyone else. I had gone into a pub for a cooling beer and, when talking with the landlord, discovered that he had come from Chesterfield and – surprise, surprise, he had grown up knowing a family of Siddalls. We had a long chat and several beers; he so wanted to know what he had missed in ‘the old country’, as he called it. I then steered the conversation around to the subject of the police. He told me not to make trouble of any sort, not to fraternise with the coloured people when they were around and, above all, not to appear under the influence of liquor on the streets, as it let down the white people in front of the coloureds, which was a serious crime. I still have a picture in my mind of those big policemen, well tanned, in khaki drill uniforms, wearing what seemed to be very short shorts, with the odd one carrying a sjambock. From the way they eyed us up and down, I don’t think they liked us service men very much.”

HDML 1031

Berthon Boat, Lymington 9/40

London Gazette 19/12/44 – For carrying despatches, escorting, for defensive patrols and for rescue work in the Channel

  • MID SecHd Joseph Campbell LT/JX225084
  • MID Sea Robert Basil Mitchell LT/JX300987
  • MID Sea William Baillie Thompson LT/JX377920

Known Crew

  • TSLt J H Lomax RNVR HMS St Christopher for MLs 9/5/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1031 9/5/42 TLt 18/9/42 Commanding Officer ML 175 16/1/44
  • TSLt M A Boff RNVR TSLt 26/2/42 First Lieutenant HDML 1031 4/5/42 HMS St Christopher ML 174 11/6/43 First Lieutenant HDML 1134 29/2/44 TLt 26/8/44
  • TSLt F B Stitt RNVR TMid First Lieutenant MGB 66 31/5/43 (Training at Fort William) MTB 703 6/9/43 59th MTB Flotilla Based at Great Yarmouth, Dover, Newhaven TSLt 22/12/43 HDML 1031 17/7/44 ML 246 2/4/45 14th ML Flotilla Arakan
  • SecHd Joseph Campbell LT/JX225084 HDML 1031 For carrying despatches, escorting, for defensive patrols and for rescue work in the Channel MID
  • Sea Robert Basil Mitchell LT/JX300987 HDML 1031 For carrying despatches, escorting, for defensive patrols and for rescue work in the Channel MID
  • Sea William Baillie Thompson LT/JX377920 HDML 1031 For carrying despatches, escorting, for defensive patrols and for rescue work in the Channel MID

Wartime Activities

  • 1/1/41 At Portsmouth for training duties
  • 1/7/41 At Inverness for training duties
  • 1/42 ML 1031 at Fort William, reallocated to HMS Europa
    Carrying despatches, escorting, defensive patrols and rescue work (Gazette Date – 19/12/44)

Post War History

  • Air Safety Launch = ASL4
  • 8/46 For disposal

HDML 1032

Berthon Boat, Lymington 11/40

London Gazette 8/1/42 – For services during the withdrawal from Crete

  • MID TLt Eric Norman Rose RNVR
  • MID LSea Lloyd Victor Edward Stone P/JX140797

Known Crew

  • TLt C Hamer RNVR Commanding Officer HDML 1200 12/4/43 TLt 13/7/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1032 15/12/43 Commanding Officer ML 250 and Senior Officer 20th ML Flotilla 5/2/45
  • Lt C D Searle RNVR TSLt HMS Stag (Port Said) for MLs 2/8/42 TLt 23/10/42 101st ML Flotilla Based at Alexandria HDML 1032 HMS Valluru (Madras) 1944
  • TLt Eric Norman Rose RNVR TLt 28/11/39 HDML 1032 For services during the withdrawal from Crete MID
  • TSLt John Corden Hewett RNVR TASLt HMS St Christopher for MLs 9/11/42 TSLt 7/2/43 ML 341 16/8/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1032 15/4/45 28th ML Flotilla ML 443 1945 For mine clearance off the west coast of Italy MIDTLt Ker Ramsey Wilson RNVR ML 385 8/1/43 TLt 30/4/43 HDML 1032 Commanding Officer ML 350 12/6/44 Wind up of the war in Europe MID
  • TLt F H Dare RNVR TSLt 26/2/42 HMS St Christopher for MLs 4/5/42 ML 386 2/5/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1155 4/6/44 TLt 26/8/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1032 27/8/44 ML 500 61st RML Flotilla Based at HMS Aggressive, Newhaven
  • LSea Lloyd Victor Edward Stone P/JX140797 HDML 1032 For services during the withdrawal from Crete MID

Wartime Activities

  • 1/1/41 Fitting out at Dartmouth – ML 1011, ML 1030 and ML 1032 conduct patrols of the entrance to Alexandria Harbour with the nightly patrol vessel towing a barrage balloon. ML 1011, ML 1030 and ML 1032 are transferred to Suda Bay, Crete
  • 1941 Battle of Crete
  • 2/7/41 ML 1032 departed Alexandria for Famagusta
  • 15/7/41 Anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Carlisle, carrying a base party, minesweepers HMS Harrow, HMS Moy, and HMS Lydiard from Haifa, and corvette HMS Salvia and ML1032 from Famagusta arrived at Beirut.
  • 1/1/42 101st ML Flotilla
    Based at Alexandria, Egypt
    ML 1004, ML 1005, ML 1007, ML 1032 are delivered. ML 1046 and ML 1069 are being freighted. ML 1079 and ML 1083 are awaiting freighting.
  • 16/4/42 At 19.54, U-81 spotted a tanker and one escort vessel off the coast of Lebanon and fired at 20.38 and 20.39 hours two torpedoes each at both ships. FFL Vikings (P 41) exploded and sank 23 miles 240° from Beirut after being hit by a torpedo. At 21.48, the U-boat fired two torpedoes at the Caspia and hit her with one torpedo in the bow. The tanker sank in flames 10 miles south of Beirut after being hit by a coup de grâce at 22.10.
    The master, 24 crew members and two gunners from the Caspia (Master Cecil Henry Humphries) were lost. Ten crew members and one gunner were picked up by the British motor launches HDML-1023 (Lt C.S. Roberts) and HDML-1032 (Lt C.D. Searle) and landed at Beirut
  • 2/9/42 Destroyers HMS Croome and Hursley carried out a patrol for a suspected enemy submarine to seaward near Alexandria. HDML 1032 and HDML 1083 patrolled close inshore.

Post War History

  • 1947-62 Greece on loan
  • Greek Navy = Davlia
  • 1962 Sold

HDML 1033

Bolson, Poole Dorset 9/4/41

Known Crew

  • TLt J B Leigh RNVR TSLt HMS St Christopher for MLs 22/9/41 Commanding Officer HDML 1033 & Senior Officer 103rd ML Flotilla Based at Falmouth 17/10/42 TLt 10/1/44 HMS Philoctetes II (Freetown) Commanding Officer ML 209 1/12/44
  • TSkipper A Blanchard RNR TSkipper 1/3/41 Commanding Officer HDML 1033 20/9/44 – End

Wartime Activities

  • 1/7/41 103rd ML Flotilla
    Based at Falmouth on completion
    ML 1009, ML 1013, ML 1025, ML 1027, ML 1033, ML 1034, ML 1035 and ML 1053. Mostly at Plymouth
  • 1/1/42 103rd ML Flotilla
    ML 1013, ML 1027, ML 1033, ML 1053, all at Falmouth
    ML 1009, ML 1025, ML 1034 and ML 1035 based in Plymouth
  • 6/44 Operation Neptune – Invasion of Normandy
    103rd ML Flotilla Plymouth during Assault Phase
    ML 1009, ML 1013, ML 1021, ML 1025, ML 1027, ML 1033, ML 1034, ML 1035

Post War History

  • Fast Despatch Boat = FDB47
  • 1947 Transferred to China

HDML 1034

Harland & Wolff, Belfast, Northern Ireland 29/3/41

Known Crew

  • TLt Arthur Bowen-Gotham RNVR TSLt HMS St Christopher for MLs 1/6/42 TLt 25/12/42 103rd ML Flotilla Based at Falmouth HDML 1034 25/12/42 Commanding Officer ML 283 14/12/43 Wind up of the war in Europe MID
  • TSkipper L Webster RNR Skipper 30/8/40 Commanding Officer HDML 1034 4/2/44 Operation Neptune – Invasion of Normandy 103rd ML Flotilla Plymouth during Assault Phase

Wartime Activities

  • 1/7/41 103rd ML Flotilla
    Based at Falmouth on completion
    ML 1009, ML 1013, ML 1025, ML 1027, ML 1033, ML 1034, ML 1035 and ML 1053. Mostly at Plymouth
  • 1/1/42 103rd ML Flotilla
    ML 1013, ML 1027, ML 1033, ML 1053, at Falmouth
    ML 1009, ML 1025, ML 1034 and ML 1035 based in Plymouth
  • 6/44 Operation Neptune – Invasion of Normandy
    103rd ML Flotilla Plymouth during Assault Phase
    ML 1009, ML 1013, ML 1021, ML 1025, ML 1027, ML 1033, ML 1034, ML 1035

Post War History

  • Fast Despatch Boat = FDB 48
  • 7/47 Sold
  • Chinese Navy

HDML 1035

Harland & Wolff, Belfast, Northern Ireland 4/41

Known Crew

  • Lt Baldwin RCNVR Commanding Officer HDML 1035
  • Skipper C Pennington RNR Skipper 103rd ML Flotilla Commanding Officer HDML 1035 22/1/43 Ch Skipper 15/11/44
  • TSLt Thomas David Andrews RNVR 103rd ML Flotilla Based at Falmouth First Lieutenant and later Commanding Officer HDML 1035 –5/43 Lt 17/7/42 Briefly in Command ML 562 during commissioning 24th ML Flotilla 17/4/43 HMS Beaver II Commanding Officer ML 547 & SO 69th ML Flotilla 2/6/43 – 69th ML Flotilla Based at Immingham Birthday Honours List 1945 MID
  • ChSkipper A G G Jenner RNR Skipper 24/1/39 Commanding Officer HDML 1053 18/9/43 AChSkipper 3/7/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1035 18/11/44
  • Skipper C J T Rose RNR Skipper 6/12/40 Commanding Officer HDML 1035 17/1/45

Wartime Activities

  • 1/7/41 103rd ML Flotilla
    Based at Falmouth on completion
    ML 1009, ML 1013, ML 1025, ML 1027, ML 1033, ML 1034, ML 1035 and ML 1053. Mostly at Plymouth
  • 1/1/42 103rd ML Flotilla
    ML 1013, ML 1027, ML 1033, ML 1053, at Falmouth
    ML 1009, ML 1025, ML 1034 and ML 1035 based in Plymouth
    Based at Devonport conducting anti submarine sweeps to seaward of Plymouth Sound. Also acted as safety vessel for Sunderland Flying Boats operating from Plymouth Sound.
    TSLt Thomas David Andrews promoted to TLt and replaced Lt Baldwin as Commanding Officer.
  • 5/43 TSLt Thomas David Andrews departed to take up appointment in RML 547 in command
  • 6/44 Operation Neptune Invasion of Normandy
    103rd ML Flotilla Plymouth during Assault Phase
    ML 1009, ML 1013, ML 1021, ML 1025, ML 1027, ML 1033, ML 1034, ML 1035

Post War History

  • Fast Despatch Boat = FDB 49
  • 7/47 Sold

HDML 1036 Burn

Wroxham, Norfolk 20/8/41

Known Crew

  • Skipper G W Brown RNR Skipper 29/3/40 Commanding Officer HDML 1036 12/5/42 HMS Southern Flower (Trawler – lost 6/4/45) 1944
  • Skipper D G Spindler RNR Skipper 1/11/40 Commanding Officer HDML 1036 8/4/44 (CGM)

Wartime Activities

  • 1/7/41 105th ML Flotilla
    Based at Sheerness on completion
    ML 1001, ML 1010, ML 1020, ML 1021, ML 1024, ML 1036 and ML 1070. ML 1008 joins by end of 1941
  • 1/42 105th ML Flotilla
    Based at Sheerness
    ML 1001 on the Thames refitting, to complete 12th January
    ML 1008, ML 1010, ML 1020 and ML 1021 repairing, to complete 10th January
    ML 1024, ML 1036 and ML 1070 at Sheerness repairing, to complete 8th January

Post War History

  • Fast Despatch Boat = FDB 50
  • 1/48 For disposal

HDML 1037

Berthon Boat, Lymington 3/1/41

Wartime Activities

  • 1/1/41 Fitting out at Swansea
  • 20/4/41 ML 1003 and ML 1037 lost when being transported to Malta as deck cargo aboard SS Empire Endurance, torpedoed by U 73 southwest of Rockall in position 53-05N 23-14W at 0332. Twenty crew and four passengers rescued, five by British tanker British Pride (7106grt). Fifty-nine crew and one passenger lost.

HDML 1038

Berthon Boat, Lymington 24/1/41

Known Crew

  • TLt John Henry Francis Read RNVR HMS King Alfred 1941 TSLt 30/1-/42 TLt 30/10/42 102nd ML Flotilla Based at Alexandria Commanding Officer HDML 1038 11/5/43 Commanding Officer ML 348 and Senior Officer 43rd ML Flotilla 2/1/44, HMS Mosquito 10/44, Commanding Officer ML 114 9/11/44
  • SLt James Guest Sissons RANVR HDML 1038 died 11/07/1943 Age 24. Cause unknown. Son of Percy Merrit Sissons and Mary Sissons; husband of Zelma Hannah Sissons, of North Carlton, Victoria, Australia
  • TSLt P M Barker RNVR TSLt HMS St Christopher for MLs 8/6/41 TLt 20/3/42 HMS St Christopher for MLs 8/6/42 TLt 20/3/42 Commanding Officer 102nd ML Flotilla Based at Alexandria HDML 1038 13/11/43 Commanding Officer ML 172 4/11/44 For minesweeping in the Northern Adriatic 4 -5/45 MID
  • TLt A E Bickford RNVR TSLt 10/7/42 HMS Forte IV for MLs 13/10/42 24th ML Flotilla ML 299 3/43 TLt 10/7/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1126 13/1/44 HMS Mosquito 102nd ML Flotilla Based at Alexandria Commanding Officer HDML 1038 6/3/45

Wartime Activities

  • Mediterranean
  • 1/1/42 102nd ML Flotilla
    Based at Alexandria, Egypt
    ML 1012, ML 1015, ML 1017, ML 1023, ML 1038, ML 1039 and ML 1051
  • 22/4/42 Convoy LW 26 (five ships) sailed from Tripoli (Syria) and Beirut escorted by Free French sloop La Moqueuse, naval trawler HMS Romeo, HMS Cumbrae, anti-submarine whaler HMS Southern Maid and HDML 1038.
  • 5/42 Anti-submarine whaler HMS Southern Maid and HDML 1038 allocated to escorting merchant ships between Port Said and Alexandria

Post War History

  • 2/7/46 War Department

HDML 1039

Morgan Giles, Teignmouth, Devon 26/11/40

Known Crew

  • TLt Lionel Peirce Douglas

    TLt Lionel Peirce Douglas RCNVR HMS Nile (Alexandria, Egypt) 27/11/41 102nd ML Flotilla at Alexandria, Egypt Killed in action 20/6/42 at Tobruk in HDML 1039 Son of Capt. Lionel Dale Douglas and Christine Peirce Douglas, of Vancouver, British Columbia

  • Lt Robert Morton RNVR enrolled RN Volunteer Supplementary Reserve (Sussex Division RNVR) 21/1/37 102nd ML Flotilla at Alexandria, Egypt Commanding Officer HDML 1039. Died Tobruk 20/06/1942, aged 36. Son of the Revd. Robert H. A. Morton and of Ethel Morton (nee Tilley); husband of Phyllis Dorothea Morton (nee Kemp), of Truro, Cornwall. A.M.I. Gas E 21/1/37
  • Lt Bryan William Rylands Thomas RNVR 102nd ML Flotilla at Alexandria, Egypt First Lieutenant HDML 1039, born 1902 in Cardiff and died on 20/06/1942, when HDML 1039 was captured at Tobruk. Enrolled in the Royal Naval Volunteer Supplementary Reserve 12/1/37
  • PO Ronnie Westgate D/J 109165 HDML 1039. Died 20/06/1942, aged, 36, when HDML 1039 was captured at Tobruk. Son of John William and Isabella Westgate, of Scarborough, Yorkshire
  • LSea Charles F Hewlett C/JX126974
  • MtrMch Robert Laurence Wall D/MX 67254 102nd ML Flotilla Based at Alexandria HDML 1039. Died 20/06/1942, aged 21, when HDML 1039 was captured at Tobruk. Son of Robert Eastham Wall, and of Elizabeth Wall, of Blackpool, Lancashire
  • AB Edward Bates C/SSX 29639 102nd ML Flotilla Based at Alexandria. Died 20/06/1942, aged 20, when HDML 1039 was captured at Tobruk. Son of Thomas William and Cecilia Bates, of Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham
  • AB Harry Hobson C/SSX25740 102nd ML Flotilla Based at Alexandria HDML 1039. Died 20/06/1942, aged 21, when HDML 1039 was captured at Tobruk. Son of Harry and Clara Hobson, of New Tupton, Derbyshire
  • AB Harold Launder D/JX 176943 102nd ML Flotilla Based at Alexandria HDML 1039. Died 20/06/1942, aged 25, when HDML 1039 was captured at Tobruk. Son of Robert Henry and Martha Launder, of Long Eaton, Derbyshire
  • AB Stanley Ritchie Thompson C/JX 195514 102nd ML Flotilla
    Based at Alexandria, Egypt HDML 1039. Died 20/06/1942, aged 27, when HDML 1039 was captured at Tobruk. Son of Stanley and Alice Thompson; husband of Clarice May Thompson, of Workington, Cumberland
  • Sto1 Dennis Bowen D/KX97243 102nd ML Flotilla Based at Alexandria. Died 20/06/1942, aged 24, when HDML 1039 was captured at Tobruk. Son of John and Annie Bowen, of Moseley, Birmingham

Wartime Activities

  • 1/1/41 At Plymouth for training duties
  • Mediterranean
  • 1/1/42 102nd ML Flotilla
    Based at Alexandria, Egypt
    ML 1012, ML 1015, ML 1017, ML 1023, ML 1038, ML 1039 and ML 1051
  • 20/6/42 Captured by Axis forces at Tobruk

HDML 1040

R A Newman, Hamworthy, Dorset 10/6/41

Known Crew

  • Skipper A H Buck RNR Skipper 1/6/40 Commanding Officer HDML 1040 9/11/43 – End

Wartime Activities

  • 1/7/41 107th ML Flotilla
    Based at Scapa Flow on completion
    ML 1002, ML 1022, ML 1040, ML 1058, ML 1059, ML 1064, ML 1068 and ML 1071
  • 1/42 107th ML Flotilla
    Based at Scapa Flow
    ML 1002, ML 1022, ML 1040, ML 1058, ML 1059, ML 1064, ML 1068 and ML 1071

Post War History

  • Air Safety Launch = ASL 18
  • 8/46 For disposal

HDML 1041

R A Newman, Hamworthy, Dorset 29/5/41

Known Crew

  • TLt I Virgo RNVR HMS Edinburgh Castle (Freetown,Sierra Leone) for MLs 9/41 TLt 9/12/41 104th ML Flotilla Commanding Officer HDML 1041 9/12/41 HMS Skyrack
  • TLt B McL Wallace RNZNVR TSLt 25/9/42 104th ML Flotilla Freetown,Sierra Leone Commanding Officer HDML 1041 5/4/43. TLt 29/5/43 HMNZS Cook
  • TSLt E A Anderson RNVR TSLt 21/11/43 104th ML Flotilla Freetown,Sierra Leone Commanding Officer HDML 1041 3/9/44 HDML 1402 27/5/45
  • TSLt A J Linwood RNVR TSLt 10/3/44 First Lieutenant ML 263 11/3/44 – 17/10/44 104th ML Flotilla Freetown, Sierra Leone Commanding Officer HDML 1041 20/10/44
  • TSLt R J Phillips RNVR First Lieutenant MTB 66 24/1/44 TSLt 1/3/44 104th ML Flotilla Freetown,Sierra Leone HDML 1041 HMS Philoctetes II (Freetown,Sierra Leone)

Wartime Activities

  • 1/7/41 104th ML Flotilla
    At Greenock to be freighted to Freetown, Sierra Leone
    ML 1006, ML 1014, ML 1016, ML 1018, ML 1019, ML 1041, ML 1042 and ML 1052
  • 1/42 104th ML Flotilla
    Based Freetown, Sierra Leone
    ML 1006, ML 1016 and ML 1052 are at Freetown
    ML 1014, ML 1018, ML 1019 and ML 1042 are at Lagos
    ML 1041 at Takoradi
  • 5/11/42 ML 285, ML 1019, ML 244, ML 1041, ML 1209, HMS Bengali sailed to search for submarine reported by Catalina aircraft in position 17 miles 140 degrees from Takoradi, whilst on passage Lagos to Bathurst. Negative result
  • 6/11/42 ML 1209, ML 1041, ML 1052, ML 285, HMS St Wistan arrived at Takoradi
  • 3/12/42 ML 1006 and ML 1041 arrived in Lagos from Takoradi

Post War History

  • 1/46 For disposal at Freetown, Sierra Leone

HDML 1042

R A Newman, Hamworthy, Dorset 7/5/41

Known Crew

  • TSLt P D Olsen RNVR TASLt 21st ML Flotilla ML 467 26/11/43 TSLt 11/12/43 104th ML Flotilla Based at Freetown, Sierra Leone Commanding Officer HDML 1042 11/12/44 HMS Philoctetes II (Freetown, Sierra Leone)

Wartime Activities

  • 1/7/41 104th ML Flotilla
    At Greenock to be freighted to Freetown, Sierra Leone
    ML 1006, ML 1014, ML 1016, ML 1018, ML 1019, ML 1041, ML 1042 and ML 1052
  • 1/42 104th ML Flotilla
    Based at Freetown, Sierra Leone
    ML 1006, ML 1016 and ML 1052 are at Freetown
    ML 1014, ML 1018, ML 1019 and ML 1042 are at Lagos
    ML 1041 is at Takoradi
  • 6/11/42 HMS Runswick Bay sailed from Lagos with HMS Ships Fandango, Kelt, ML 263 and ML 1042 to search for further survivors of SS New Toronto
  • 7/11/42 HMS Fandango, HMS Kelt, HMS Runswick Bay and ML 1042 returned to Lagos
  • 23/2/43 HM Tug Charon and ML 1042 sailed from Lagos with SS Sangara
  • 1/3/43 ML 1016 and ML 1042 sailed from Lagos for Takoradi to relieve ML 1014 and ML 1018
  • 1/4/43 ML 1042 sailed from Takoradi for Half Assini escorting SS Kajang
  • 7/4/43 ML 1016 sailed from Takoradi for Half Assini to relieve ML 1042
  • 8/4/43 ML 1042 arrived in Takoradi from Half Assini

Post War History

  • 1/46 For disposal at Freetown, Sierra Leone

HDML 1043

R A Newman, Hamworthy, Dorset 8/6/41

Known Crew

  • TSkipper J Clark RNR TSkipper 20/8/40 Commanding Officer HDML 1043 7/12/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1070 15/1/44
  • Skipper H Holden RNR Skipper 29/3/40 Commanding Officer HDML 1043 12/43 (DSC) ChSkipper 22/11/44 Craig Roy
  • TSkipper R Duthie RNR Skipper 1/10/42 HDML 1043 12/42 HMS Guava (Trawler) 1944
  • TSkipper L C Evison RNR TSkipper 7/8/43 HDML 1043 12/43 HDML 1274 8/11/44 HDML 1300 5/1/45
  • Skipper J Wood RNR Skipper 1/6/42 HDML 1043 18/10/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1067 13/12/44 [FS Mouique Camifle]

Wartime Activities

  • 1/7/41 106th ML Flotilla
    For duty in Iceland on completion
    ML 1026, ML 1043, ML 1045 and ML 1067
  • 18/8/41 Anti-submarine whaler HMS Wastwater departed Scapa Flow for Iceland, escorting ML 1043 and ML 1045, via the Faroes
  • 1/1/42 106th ML Flotilla
    Operating in Iceland
    ML 1026, ML 1043, ML 1045 and ML 1067
  • 3/3/43 ML 1016 and ML 1043 arrived in Takoradi from Lagos to relieve M.L 1014 and ML 1018

Post War History

  • 9/45 War Department – TC1043
  • 5/47 For disposal

HDML 1044

R A Newman, Hamworthy, Dorset 19/8/41

Known Crew

  • TSLt G A Negus RANVR TSLt 18/12/41 HMS St Christopher for MLs 23/2/42 108th ML Flotilla Based at Freetown, Sierra Leone Commanding Officer HDML 1044 4/42 TLt 18/6/44 151st ML Flotilla Based on Portsmouth Commanding Officer HDML 1403 1/8/44 HMS Hornet
  • TSLt F B Rumsey RANVR 108th ML Flotilla Based at Freetown, Sierra Leone HDML 1044 7/4/44
  • TSLt T F Shirley RNVR TASLt 24/7/44 108th ML Flotilla Based at Freetown, Sierra Leone TSLt 24/1/45 HDML 1044 24/1/45

Wartime Activities

  • 1/1/42 108th ML Flotilla
    Based at Freetown, Sierra Leone
    ML 1044, ML 1050, ML 1065 and ML 1066 have been delivered.
    ML 1028, ML 1076, ML 1077and ML 1078 are on the Clyde awaiting freighting
  • 1/8/42 Wellington aircraft made a forced landing alongside ML 1044 at Bathurst; the crew was rescued
  • 17/12/42 Anti-submarine Trawler HMS HMS Portsdown with ML 1044 and ML 1066 sailed from Freetown for Bathurst escorting one merchant vessel
  • 21/12/42 Anti-submarine Trawler HMS HMS Portsdown with ML 1044 and ML 1066 arrived in Bathurst from escort duties
  • 8/4/43 HMS Bridgewater with ML 1044 and ML 1141 arrived in Dakar from Bathurst
  • 9/4/43 F.S. La Gracieuse arrived in Dakar from a submarine hunt with ML 1044 and ML 1141.
  • 24/4/43 ML 1044 with FS Victoria arrived in Port Etienne.

Post War History

  • 11/45 For disposal in West Africa

HDML 1045

Bolson, Poole Dorset 6/6/41

London Gazette 1/1/44 – New Year Honours List 1944

  • MID Sto1 Andrew Blackery LT/KX149145

Known Crew

  • TSkipper R J Spalding RNR Skipper 1/8/40 106th ML Flotilla Operating in Iceland HDML 1045 16/9/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1075 3/11/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1047 19/1/45
  • TSkipper H Hickson RNR 106th ML Flotilla Operating in Iceland HDML 1045 9/42
  • Skipper W H Pollock RNR Skipper 29/3/40 106th ML Flotilla Operating in Iceland Commanding Officer HDML 1045 29/9/43 ChSkipper 23/12/44 HMS Lindisfarne (Trawler)
  • Skipper B T N Reynolds RNR Skipper 1/6/40 Commanding Officer HDML 1008 31/8/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1045 5/45
  • TSkipper J S Clark RNR TSkipper 22/7/43 HDML 1045 14/1/44 Orizaba
  • Sto1 Andrew Blackery LT/KX149145 HDML 1045 New Year Honours List 1944 MID 149th ML Flotilla HDML 1409 For good service distributing instructions in the assault anchorage after the first landings in Normandy DSM

Wartime Activities

  • 1/7/41 106th ML Flotilla
    For duty in Iceland on completion
    ML 1026, ML 1043, ML 1045 and ML 1067
  • 18/8/41 Anti-submarine whaler HMS Wastwater departed Scapa Flow for Iceland, escorting ML 1043 and ML 1045, via the Faroes
  • 1/1/42 106th ML Flotilla
    Operating in Iceland
    ML 1026, ML 1043, ML 1045 and ML 1067
  • 2/43 Based at HMS Baldur, Reykjavik, Iceland

Post War History

  • 9/45 War Department – TC 1045
  • 1946 For disposal

HDML 1046

Berthon Boat, Lymington 9/7/41

London Gazette 10/11/42 – For services during the withdrawal from Tobruk Summer of 1942

  • DSC TASLt Kenneth Lewis Hugh Lloyd RNVR
  • MID TLt Robert Mackenzie Young RCNVR

Known Crew

  • TLt Robert Mackenzie Young RCNVR Robert Mackenzie Young RCNVR TLt 28/7/40 HMS Stag (Port Said) for MLs 6/5/42 101st ML Flotilla Based at Alexandria HDML 1046 For services during the withdrawal from Tobruk Summer of 1942 MID Commanding Officer ML 361 17/11/42 For Operation Emolument – operations in the eastern Mediterranean and for resisting a heavy air attack 8/43 DSC HMS Gregale (Malta) 8/7/44 HMCS Collingwood (corvette) 26/2/45 HMCS Chicoutimi (corvette) 15/4/45 transferred to the RCN 1946 HMS Ajax (cruiser) 10/46 LtCdr 28/1/48 Naval Service HQ, Ottawa 1949-50 Manning Commander, RCN Depot, Esquimalt 13/2/50 HMCS Ontario 30/8/51 HMCS Star (Hamilton Naval Division) (for Naval Divisions) 13/4/53 Commanding Officer, HMCS Ungava (minesweeper 5/5/55 – 14/4/57 HMCS Scotian (Halifax Naval Division
  • TSLt V A Harfield RNVR TSLt 30/10/41 HMS Stag (Port Said) for MLs 14/6/42 101st ML Flotilla Based at Alexandria Commanding Officer HDML 1046 26/3/43 Commanding Officer ML 837 25/3/44 TLt 30/4/44 Wind up of the war in Europe MID Commanding Officer ML 582 14/6/45 HMS Duncansby Head (Maintenance and Repair Ship)
  • TASLt Kenneth Lewis Hugh Lloyd RNVR TSLt 12/5/42 HMS Stag (Port Said) for MLs 27/5/42 101st ML Flotilla Based at Alexandria HDML 1046 1942 For services during the withdrawal from Tobruk Summer of 1942 DSC Commanding Officer ML 356 7/5/43 For operations in the Aegean 9 – 11/43 MID TLt Commanding Officer ML 282 3/1/45TLt R E Barrett RNVR TLt 1/6/45 Commanding Officer HDML 1046 8/5/45
  • TLt R S Mortimer RNVR TSLt 12/6/42 ML 278 4/9/42 Based at Freetown, Sierra Leone TLt 23/4/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1046 21/8/44 59th MTB Flotilla Commanding Officer MTB 700 29/3/45
  • TASLt G H Woodward SANF(V) TASLt 19/11/43 HMS Mosquito (Alexandria) HDML 1046 7/4/44 TSLt 19/5/44 ML 568 8/10/44

Wartime Activities

  • Mediterranean
  • 1/1/42 101st ML Flotilla
    Based at Alexandria, Egypt
    ML 1004, ML 1005, ML 1007, ML 1032 are delivered. ML 1046 and ML 1069 are being freighted. ML 1079 and ML 1083 are awaiting freighting.
  • Withdrawal from Tobruk Summer of 1942
  • 28-9/5/42 HDML 1046 on patrol off Mersa Matruh
  • 20/6/42 HDML 1046 escaped from Tobruk
  • 3/43 HDML 1046 in patrols based on Benghazi
    Aegean

Post War History

  • 4/46 For disposal

HDML 1047

Berthon Boat, Lymington 22/8/41

Known Crew

  • Skipper R J Spalding RNR Skipper 1/8/40 106th ML Flotilla Operating in Iceland HDML 1045 16/9/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1075 3/11/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1047 19/1/45
  • Skipper P Reid RNR Commanding Officer HDML 1047 4/2/44 Act ChSkipper 29/8/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1075 19/1/45
  • Skipper G H Douse RNR Skipper 1/9/44 HDML 1047 7/2/45 (DSM) BYMS 2038
  • L.Sea Denis George Dodds C/JX233315 First coxswain HDML 1047 17/08/41. HMS King Alfred 4/42; Cardiff University Naval Division 8/42-2/46 as officer instructor.

Wartime Activities

  • 22/08/41 Commissioned at Gosport
  • 1/10/41 Based HMS Claverhouse, Granton & Leith
    Harbour defence in Firth of Forth.
  • 1/1/42 109th ML Flotilla
    Based at Scapa Flow
    ML 1047, ML 1054, ML 1055, ML 1056, ML 1060, ML 1075, ML 1081 and ML 1085
  • 1/42 At Scapa Flow
  • 8/42 At HMS Hornet, Gosport

Post War History

  • Fast Despatch Boat = FDB 51
  • 1947 Chinese Navy

Photograph courtesy Michael Dodds, son of Denis Dodds

Record of service L.Sea Dodds
Photograph courtesy Michael Dodds, son of Denis Dodds

Photograph courtesy Michael Dodds, son of Denis Dodds

HDML 1048

McGruer, Clynder, Scotland 10/2/41

Photograph courtesy Andy Jackson, son of AB Alfred James Jackson

London Gazette 10/11/42 – For services during the withdrawal from Tobruk Summer of 1942

  • DSC Lt John Langlands Neilson RNVR
  • DSM AB Alfred James Jackson D/JX194006
  • MID TLt Alexander Wallace RNVR
  • MID Sto1 Edward James Horner P/KX93473

Known Crew

  • Lt John Langlands Neilson RNVR Lt 7/5/41 HMS Stag (Port Said) for MLs 15/4/42 HDML 1048 For services during the withdrawal from Tobruk Summer of 1942 DSC HMS Mosquito (Alexandria) 1944
  • TSLt C F Bradbeer RNVR TSLt 26/3/42 HMS Mosquito (Alexandria) for MTBs 7/42 Commanding Officer HDML 1048 1/8/43 ML 862 18/2/44 TLt 26/9/44
  • TLt Alexander Wallace (pictured) RNVR TLt 11/10/39 HMS Aquamarine (Armed Boarding Vessel) 14/10/39 – 1/41. HMS Spartiate (HM Base at Glasgow) 16/1/41. Commanding Officer HDML 1048 1942 – wounded at Tobruk 20/6/42. For services during the withdrawal from Tobruk Summer of 1942 MID HMS Nile (Alexandria) Commanding Officer ML 118 6/12/43 7th ML Flotilla Based at Dartmouth.

  • TLt A Livesey RNVR TSLt 5/2/42 HMS St Christopher for MLs 13/4/42 HMS Mosquito (Alexandria) for MTBs 8/42 First Lieutenant ML 349 17/5/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1048 14/3/44 TLt 5/8/44 Commanding Officer ML 384 31/1/45
  • TLt A E Wagner RNZNVR TSLt 15/6/42 HMS Gregale (Malta) 1944 TLt 15/12/44 Commanding Officer HDML 1048 30/1/45
  • Mid I C Paviedis RINVR Mid 15/4/42 HDML 1048
  • AB Alfred James Jackson D/JX194006 HDML 1048 For services during the withdrawal from Tobruk Summer of 1942 DSM
  • Sto1 Edward James Horner P/KX93473 For services during the withdrawal from Tobruk Summer of 1942 MID

Wartime Activities

  • 20/11/41 Whaler KLO and ML 1048 damaged by shellfire at Tobruk
    Withdrawal from Tobruk Summer 1942
  • 20/6/42 Escaped from Tobruk. ML 1048 one of the last vessels to leave Tobruk with German tanks in the harbour area. CO wounded by gunfire.
  • Refitted in Alexandria
  • 9/43 TLt G W Searle attached for first post-refit patrol. Caught in a violent storm, unable to turn around, almost all the crew incapacitated by seasickness. Carried over a rocky reef by huge wave, breaking the ASDIC dome off in the process. Eventually returned safely to Alexandria.

Post War History

  • 2/7/46 War Department

Crew of HDML 1048
Photograph courtesy Andy Jackson, son of AB Alfred James Jackson

AB Alfred James Jackson. Photograph courtesy Andy Jackson, his son.

AB Alfred James Jackson with other crew members
Photograph courtesy Andy Jackson

AB Alfred James Jackson
Photograph courtesy Andy Jackson, his son

HDML 1049

McGruer, Clynder, Scotland 11/4/41

London Gazette 19/12/44 – Carrying despatches, for escorting, for defensive patrols and for rescue work

  • MID SeaGnr Albert Gibson LT/JX226608
  • MID Engmn Arthur Robert Higgins LT/KX148645
  • MID Sea Ronald Tomkinson LT/JX240787

Known Crew

  • TLt T H Barker RNVR TSLt 13/11/42 HMS St Christopher TLt 13/8/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1049 27/9/43 Commanding Officer HDML 1483 30/12/44 HMS Mayina (Colombo)
  • TSLt W A Dewdney RNVR TSLt 5/6/42 ML 539 4/10/42 Rescue Motor Launch 65th ML Flotilla HMS Mentor II (Stornoway) HDML 1140 First Lieutenant HDML 1049 22/5/44 27th ML Flotilla Based at Freetown, Sierra Leone Commanding Officer ML 285 11/12/44 HMS Philoctetes II Freetown, Sierra Leone HMS Braganza (Bombay)
  • TASLt J B H Lewis RNVR TASLt 8/10/43 HDML 1049 HDML 1274 17/4/44 ML 524 6/44
  • SeaGnr Albert Gibson LT/JX226608 HDML 1049 Carrying despatches, for escorting, for defensive patrols and for rescue work MID
  • Engmn Arthur Robert Higgins LT/KX148645 HDML 1049 Carrying despatches, for escorting, for defensive patrols and for rescue work MID
  • Sea Ronald Tomkinson LT/JX240787 HDML 1049 Carrying despatches, for escorting, for defensive patrols and for rescue work MID

Wartime Activities

  • 1/7/41 At Fort William for training duties
  • 1/42 At Fort William for training duties
  • Carrying despatches, escorting, defensive patrols and rescue work (Gazette Date – 19/12/44)

Post War History

  • Air Safety Launch = ASL5
  • 8/46 For disposal

HDML 1050

McGruer, Clynder, Scotland 21/7/41

Known Crew

  • TLt H E S Scarlett RNVR TSLt Commanding Officer HDML 1245 7/6/43 Transfer to Turkey TSLt 12/8/43 TLt 1/6/45 HDML 1050 1/6/45
  • TSLt A G C M Nightingale RNVR Commanding Officer HDML 1050 27/6/43 TLt 6/4/44 HMS Hannibal (Algiers) HMS Byrsa (Castelamere/Naples)
  • TSLt David James Bunker (pictured) RNVR HMS Ganges (training establishment, Shotley) 23/4/42 TASLt 19/11/43 HMS Wasp 6/3/44 First Lieutenant ML 142 25/4/44 (5th ML Flotilla Based Dover ).TSLt 19/5/44 Operation Neptune Invasion of Normandy, Based on Portsmouth Attached 4th Minesweeping Flotilla for assault HDML 1050 1946. Chartered accountant, from 1951 with Qualified Society Incorporated Accountants, later with British Road Services Born 13/7/1923 in Plymouth, Devon Died 5/6/1960 in Salterley Grange Hospital, Leckhampton, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
  • TSLt Martin Barry Randell Preece RNVR TSLt 2/8/45 Commanding Officer HDML 1384 Commanding Officer HDML 1050 15/6/46

Wartime Activities

  • 1/1/42 108th ML Flotilla
  • Based at Freetown, Sierra Leone
    ML 1044, ML 1050, ML 1065 and ML 1066 have been delivered.
    ML 1028, ML 1076, ML 1077and ML 1078 are on the Clyde awaiting freighting

Post War History

  • 6/46 For disposal
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