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Reply to Sharon.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 9:14 pm
by Dugald
No Sharon, I'm sorry to say, I no longer have the gold-threaded officers' cap badge. I left it in Glasgow a hundred years ago along with my steel helmet. I wonder where they are now and if the owner(s) know where they came form. A little point of interest: this wee "Sussex" story here became part of the eulogy at the funeral last year of "Big Angie", the lad with whom "Wee Dugald" scaled the fence to get in to see the "Sussex".

Cheers, Dugald.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 9:19 pm
by Josef
Literate, informative and moving. Who could ask for anything more? Thank you, Dugald.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 9:34 pm
by Peekay
Nice read Dugald. I'd never heard of that one before. Here's a nice wee piccy of what she looked like afloat. Big ship! Must've been a helluva salvage job.


General info;

A sailors story;


PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 10:30 pm
by Dugald
Thanks for the picture Peekay. She was a lovely looking ship in her day. Yes, it was quite a salvage job getting the 'Sussex' ship-shape again. I believe it was Stephen's yard in Linthouse who got the job, as it was this yard which was dong the work on her at Yorkihill Quay when she got hit. (One of the earlier posts mentioned Fairfield's as the yard doing the work at Yorkhill, but I don't think it was).

Cheers, dugald.

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 12:30 am
by Socceroo
Superb posting Dugald. A real piece of Glasgow History brought to life from someone who was there. Thank you.

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 11:36 am
by escotregen
Dugald, can I add my appreciation and thanks for your posting.

My interest in the Sussex was ignited by an old guy seemingly havering about the sinking of 'a battleship' in the Clyde blitz. I had never heard of this incident and that's why I raised it here - the whole subsequent development of the topic with the help of folks like yourself is a great example of the people power and authenticity that Hidden Glasgow facilitates.

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 11:39 am
by DickyHart
aye indeed enjoyed reading about it.

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 4:47 pm
by Peekay
escotregen wrote:My interest in the Sussex was ignited by an old guy seemingly havering about the sinking of 'a battleship' in the Clyde blitz. .

Not during the Blitz but this was Britains biggest naval loss after the Royal Oak( Torped in Scapa Flow) which also rests in the Clyde. An converted aircraft carrier called HMS Dasher

The story;

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 8:04 pm
by escotregen
Interesting to be reminded of yet another 'official' WW2 cover-up; the other similar one to the Dasher that I read about, was converted aircraft carrier HMS Glorious. She was sunk along with her two screening destroyers by German cruisers in the Norway 1940 campaign debacle. The captain of the Glorious was, by many accounts, an inexperienced jarhead who recklessly threw aside all standard protection procedures because he was desperate to get home so that he could have an officer he detested court-martialled.

To this day the Royal Navy and MOD assert that the captain did not maintain his air cover or gunnery and that he ‘made a dash’ across the North Sea without sufficient escort ships all because of ‘a shortage of fuel’ – an explanation that no credible evidence supports. Channel 4 did a worthy documentary on this a year or so back.

Back on WW2 Clyde; I picked this up in a background briefing paper by Scottish Executive for a speech given by then-Minister Wendy Alexander on 30/04/2002 to mark “an agreement between Clydeport and BAE SYSTEMS Marine that [could] see the Inchgreen dry dock in Port Glasgow used for assembling future aircraft carriers”:

Scotland's involvement in Aircraft Carriers:
 World's first aircraft carrier was Clyde-built;
 Clyde was home base for all Royal Navy WW2 carrier preparation, training and operations;
 Last complete Clyde aircraft carrier was in 1945;
 Last carrier build activity on Clyde was HMS Ocean (amphibious helicopter carrier) in 1995;
 Current Rosyth refits are first major repair activity in Scotland since World War Two.

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 8:08 pm
by escotregen
Just thinking re Cumbo's postings about recent launches at BAE govan yard - that second last bullet point on the Scottish Executive statement I posted above must be well out of date by now?

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 8:40 pm
by Dugald
Yes Escotregen, you're right, the old guy was havering. I don't recall any warship being sunk in the River Clyde during WWII, except the 'Sussex'. Oh, there was one other, the French destroyer at Greenock, which accidently torpedoed itself and killed four French sailors.

I remember the sinking of the 'Glorious' mentioned in your interesting story about the Norwegian debacle. I might add that the captain of that carrier wasn't the only 'jarhead' involved in the campaign...

Peekay, I had heard about the sinking of this aircraft carrier 'Dasher', but I hadn't known about the cover-up. Interesting story, and what a terrible tragedy. The rumour I heard at the time was that aircraft fuel had ignited and the ship immediately blew up; but this was pure rumour.

I'd be a bit hesitant about calling it "Britains biggest naval loss after the Royal Oak". I'd think the loss of the 'Hood', and the combined loss of the 'Prince of Wales' & Repulse', would have been rated as greater than either the 'Royal Oak' or the 'Thrasher'.

Cheers, dugald.

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 10:10 pm
by escotregen
Dugald think I would agree with you on the Hood and Prince of Wales.

The status and mythology of the Hood was summed up in the popular nickname of ‘Mighty Hood’. Clydebuilt, she spent the inter-war years representing British prestige around the world. By 1941 she was outdated and under armoured. One direct salvo from the Bismark blew her up and she capsized with all but 3 of her some 1,400 hands lost. This salvo blew apart the hubris of Empire.

The shattered hubris was then well and truly buried when the Prince of Wales went on as part of Force X with Repulse to become the first major warships in history to be sunk in action by aircraft alone. She was sunk by Japanese aircraft – our people were of course told at the time that Japanese pilots were useless because they could not see very well due to their diet of rice!!!

Ludovik Kennedy wrote a brilliant book covering much of the Hood' history - his dad was an officer lost with Hood I believe. A touching postscript is on the website of the Shotts local history Group:

P/JX 170173 Boy 1st Class William M. CONCHIE Royal Navy

William was killed in action on Saturday 24th of May 1941, age 16.
Perhaps the saddest of all the names on Shotts Memorial, because of his youth.
William was serving on HMS. Hood in action against the German Battleship Bismarck.
HMS Hood was hit by a salvo of shells from the Bismarck; the cause of the massive
explosion which occurred has never been solved. HMS Hood was located in North Atlantic,
Denmark Strait when sunk, total casualties lost, 1,418, survivors 3.
William was the son of Lizzie S. Conchie, Eastriggs, Dumfriesshire.

About the 'Hood'

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 1:06 am
by Dugald
Interesting stuff about the 'Hood' Escotregen. Sad tale too about the 16-year old boy. I'm surprised to learn boy-sailors were still used in warships in WWII; I thought we had progressed beyond that after the shame associated with the boy-seaman, whose name I forget, who was posthumously awarded the V.C. at Jutland (or was it Dogger Bank?).

( An aside: I was at the Dykehead/Shotts library back in the mid 80's and there was a war memorial situated right in front of the library. An attempt had been made to chisel names off this memorial. This is the only time I have ever seen anything like this on a memorial. Must have been part of a family feud or some such thing).

Cheers, Dugald.

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 5:08 pm
by junkcatcher
It was a body wash ashore from Dasher at Farlie that was used for "The Man Who Never Was" intelligence D Day decoy operation to devert attention from the normandy beaches.

Apparently the body an AB from Wales and not a Scot as in the film.

OT Cover-ups of WW2 Mustard Gas Casualties Bari Harbour

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 5:33 pm
by junkcatcher
My late uncle was a PO mechanic on MTBs all through the seige of Malta and invasion of Itally he was on a depot ship tied up in Bari Harbour when the last major German bomber attack in that theatre of war was mounted just before Christmas 43.

There was virtually no air defence as the RAF and USAAF thought the germans were finished, problem was they weren't and Bari Harbour and at least one of the ships were piled high with mustard gas bombs and shells for possible use at what would later become known as Monte Cassino.

The 100 bomber raid was led by the nephew of the WW1 Red Baron, Bari harbour and warf area took a plastering. Many liberty ships were sunk and on warf in the centre of the quayside the whole flotilla of MTBs were smashed like matchwood. The MTB depot ship broke its mooring and drifted out in to the centre of the harbour where the crew picked survivors who were heavily contaminated with mustard gas. It was so secret that nobody in authority knew they were dealing with Mustard gas.

The next day my uncle was order to burn all the uniforms of the survivors and ended up being blinded for 3 days. Poor sod had all ready been through some rough MTB ops in the med and been bombed and starved durring the seige of Malta.

Churchill ordered an immediate 100% cover up of the raid for fear of giving the Nazis propaganda and- all documents relating to ithe incident were destroyed.
The depot ship was badly damaged but repairable but ordered scuttled to avoid any question that might arise if she was taken to a shipyard for repairs to this day it is difficult to find any record that HMS VIENNA even existed.

A Google on Bari Mustard MTB turns up all kind of interesting stuff.