I was given a whole stack of prints that were photographed of warships that called in Cape Town and Simonstown roughly between 1994 and 2002. The photographer was Patrick Gavin Worman, and unfortunately like so many of us he was tied down to weather, photography position, camera and skill, and I am grateful to him for capturing images of these vessels. He passed away in 2018
This gallery features ships from Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.
DRW © 2019 -2019. Created 23/12/2019.
I visited Malvern Priory on 13 September 2019 and took the following images of the War Memorial inside.
The memorial may be described as :“Large wall-mounted stone tablet is flanked by stone figures of Mary with Child and crown (left) and St George (Right) Inscription and names are in the centre of the tablet.”
There are 43 names from the First World War (1914-1918) and 15 from the Second World War (1939-1945) commemorated on the Memorial. (Names may be seen at the IWM listing for the Memorial).
The Memorial was made by Messrs Caroe And Passmore and unveiled on 11 November 1920.
Outside the Priory is a wall mounted plaque with the the bases of the crosses as mentioned.
Unfortunately the legibility of the bases is poor with two exceptions:
DRW © 2019 – 2020. Created 23/09/2019
on 13 September 2019 I visited Great Malvern, and on my list of things to see was the War Memorial. The War Memorial in the Priory is dealt with in a separate post.
The War Memorial is directly in front of the library and has no names inscribed on it. It is described as:
“WINGED SEMI-NUDE MALE FIGURE, REPRESENTING YOUTH, WITH ARMS STRETCHED UPWARDS HOLDING A FLAMING TORCH. THE FIGURE LOOKS UPWARDS TOWARDS THE TORCH. TREE ROOTS ARE WRAPPED AROUND THE FEET OF THE FIGURE, WHICH STANDS ON A STONE PLINTH AND FIVE STEPPED BASE. THE INSCRIPTION IS CARVED PROUD ON THE PLINTH.”
The inscriptions read:
12 O’Clock: “TO THOSE WHO/ NOBLY SERVED/ 1914-1919/ 1939-1945
6 O’Clock: “THEIR LIFE THEY/ GAVE THE LIGHT/ OF LIFE TO SAVE“
The memorial may be found at Google Earth co-ordinates 52.112887°, -2.326983°.
The memorial is a Grade II listed structure and it was unveiled in 1923 and was made by Captain Richard Reginald Goulden. (Information from Imperial War Museum War Memorials Register).
DRW © 2019. Created 23/09/2019
On 24 August 2019 I visited the village of Bladon to view Sir Winston Churchill’s grave and as I was leaving the grounds of St Martin’s Parish Church I spotted the Bladon War Memorial which is close by.
Google Earth co-ordinates are 51.830480°, -1.350584°. The memorial is described as:
“Obelisk set on a square plinth and two steps. Incised Latin cross surrounded by green wreath is placed at the top of the obelisk with two plaques on front face of plinth and a small plaque on front face of first step. The whole stands on a gravel surround and is enclosed by a low wall.”
The inscription reads:
IN MEMORY OF THE FALLEN
1914-1918/ “Faithful unto Death”/(Names)
There are 28 names on the memorial; 23 from the First World War and 5 from the second.
The only War Memorial I found in St Martin’s Parish Church was a simple framed Roll of Honour, however it could be that I did not see a larger or more elaborate memorial.
DRW © 2019. Created 18/09/2019.
The main War Memorial in Stratford-upon-Avon may be found in The Remembrance Gardens bounded by College Street and Old Town (Google Earth co-ordinates: 52.187884°, -1.708347°).
There are a number of memorials in the gardens and it is a peaceful place.
The Memorial Cross commemorates is of a similar design to that of the Cross of Sacrifice only without the sword on the front face. It commemorates casualties that lost their lives in the First World War. The bronze plaques to the remaining seven sides of the pedestal list the names of the 235 men who died in the conflict. There is an additional bronze plaque to the second stage of the pedestal which is titled FIRST WORLD WAR 1914-1920 and gives the names of 12 men and the date of their death. It was unveiled on 12 February 1922. Name plaques may be viewed at https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/85900
The Memorial was originally erected in Bridge Street but was moved to a site overlooking Bancroft Gardens before the Second World War. In 1954 it was relocated to the newly created Garden of Remembrance.
The Second World War casualties are commemorated on plaques mounted on a screen wall.
This memorial is a concave 3 panelled wall with commemorative plaques attached to it. There are 100 names on the memorial. Plaques may be viewed at https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/85897
King Edward VI School Memorial.
King Edward VI School Boat Club
DRW © 2019. Created 17/09/2019
The War Memorial in Oxford may be found 130 metres south of St. Giles’ Churchyard, on the intersection of Banbury and Woodstock Roads (Google Earth co-ordinates: 51.758313°, -1.260130°). It was unveiled and dedicated on 13 July 1921 and may be described as: “Seven-stepped octagonal base surmounted by an elaborate octagonal sectioned plinth, square-footed, octagonal sectioned tapering shaft, moulded octagonal boss and decorative cross.” (https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/31813)
There no names mentioned on the memorial.
The two trees on the site are plaqued as follows:
DRW © 2019. Created 01/07/2019
This post has been written many years after the fact and to be honest prior to today I have never really had much to add to a SAS Somerset post. However, I have recently found the handout I received when I visited the ship in 1993.
The one thing I do remember is how clean and well maintained she looked when I was on board, and the men in charge were rightly proud of her. Sadly as at 2019 her future is bleak and it is likely that she will end up being broken up.
Potted history of the SAS Somerset.
The ship was built by Blyth Shipbuilding Company and is listed as yard number 280, her machinery was built by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richards Ltd, Tyneside. Her keel was laid on 15 April 1941 and she entered service with the Royal Navy on 08 April 1942 as HMS Barcross.
HMS Barcross and her sister ship HMS Barbrake arrived at Simonstown, in 1942 and was transferred to Saldanha Bay for boom defence operations directly thereafter. In 1943 she was re-designated as HMSAS Barcross and transferred to the South African Naval Forces for the remainder of the war. In 1946 she was was purchased by the South African Government and was used for the dumping of ammunition off Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. On completion of these services, she was transferred to Salisbury Island in Durban and was subsequently laid up at Salisbury Island. In 1951 her name was changed to SAS Somerset.
During 1955 Somerset was brought back into service and during this period she was tasked in salvaging the remains of two Harvard training aircraft following a mid air collision over Table Bay. Six weeks later she recovered a third Harvard which had crashed into the sea off Bok Point. In 1959 during a refit, Somerset had her coal fired boilers converted to oil.
In 1961 Somerset salvaged the South African Railways tug F. Schermbrucker which had sunk in East London harbour. In 1967 she was fitted out with new boilers and a reconditioned main engine. In 1968 her services were called on again to assist the cable ship John W. Mackay to raise and repair the newly inaugurated overseas telephone cable in the shallow waters off Melkbosstrand. During 1969 Somerset raised the old whale catcher Wagter 11 in Saldanha Bay and subsequently towed her back to Simonstown. During the same year, she salvaged a floating crane which had capsized and sunk at Port Elizabeth. In the early hours of 24 July 1974 Somerset was dispatched to Cape Agulhas to assist with the salvage of the Oriental Pioneer, poor weather conditions and bad luck rendered this effort unsuccessful.
In 1981 the fishing trawler Aldebaran was successfully raised in Port Elizabeth having laid on the bottom for over two and a half years. Somerset also acted as a standby vessel during submarine shallow water diving operations. In 1983 she assisted in the salvaging of a barge and two whale catchers at Saldanha Bay. In March 1986, Somerset was finally paid off. In 1988 she was donated as a museum ship, moored at the waterfront at Cape Town. She is the only boom defence vessel remaining in the world. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAS_Somerset)
The following images were taken by Dylan Knott on 17 February and April 2019. Sadly it appears as if the Somerset is to be broken up. Images are used with permission and are copyright to the photographer.
DRW © 2019 -2020. Created 01/03/2019. Images of Somerset on the synchro by Patrick Gavin Worman, images of Somerset in 2019 courtesy of Dylan Knott © 2019