Category: Personal

S.A.S. Somerset

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.

SAS Somerset

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. 

From the original handout that I received on the ship

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 (1943) South African Military Museum. This photo was published in 1944 – 66 years ago – In South Africa, copyright prescribes after 50 years!

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.  (

SAS Somerset on the synchro-lift 04/06/1988

SAS Somerset on the synchro-lift 04/06/1988

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. Created 01/03/2019. Images of Somerset on the synchro courtesy of Brian Potgieter, images of Somerset in 2019 courtesy of Dylan Knott © 2019

Updated: 16/04/2019 — 18:17

Roll of Honour. St John’s College, Houghton

St John’s College in Houghton has a very strong connection to the military, and there are two chapels on the premises. The larger chapel houses the Roll of Honour, whereas the Crypt Chapel has the Delville Wood Cross in it. I have dealt with that chapel in a previous post and this post really deals with the Roll of Honour. Unfortunately my images are less than satisfactory, but I was pushed for time and was not able to concentrate on what I was photographing, which is probably why it has taken so long for these images to appear in the first place.

I really started working on the Roll of Honour as a result of my involvement with “Lives of the First World War”, and really looked at the 1914-1918 portion of the Roll of Honour and created a community for it (Community will be unavailable until July 2020). I had hoped to be able to tie a name into a specific record but I was not always successful. The problem really is that some names tie into a number of possibles, or don’t tie into anybody and without more details I am just unable to do anything except guess, and even then I cannot. The results here may not be correct and I do welcome any help with them.  

The inscriptions are on wooden panels and it was not easy to read them which is why I took an image with the flash and an image without one.  Images link to either CWGC or South African War Graves Project. There are 4 sections to this page: World War 1, World War 2, Post World War, Private Memorials

World War 1

V.L. Adams

CA Bailey (1)
R O Bettington
S. Dunstan (2)
A.Eastwood (3)
A Fraser (4)
W. Hirst (5)
R. Johnstone (6)
C.D. King (7)
H. Mallett DCM
S Marsh (8)
R. Martin (9)
J Peters (10)
B. Stokes (11)
W. Ware-Austin (12)

(1) CA Bailey. No possible candidate found

(2). S Dunstan. There are two possibles at CWGC but no way to tie either of them to the ROH.

(3) A Eastwood. No possible candidate found

(4) A Fraser. Possible candidate

(5) W Hirst. No possible candidate found

(6) R Johnstone. Two possibles but no way to positively tie them to the ROH

(7) CD King. Many possibles but nothing to tie them into the ROH

(8) S Marsh. Two possibles but no way to positively tie them to the ROH

(9) R Martin. Many possibles but no way to positively tie them to the ROH

(10) J Peters. Many possibles but no way to positively tie them to the ROH

(11) B Stokes. No possible candidate found

(12) W. Ware-Austin. No possible candidate found. 

World War 2

L. Adams (2)
P.H. Andrews (3)
H.C. Campbell (4)
G. Cherrington (5)
B.D. Havnl (1)
J.A. Hill (7)
R. MacDonald (8)
D.F. Murray (9)
B.P. Purves (10)
F.M. Reim (11.)

(1) Surname appears to be Havnl but this may be missing characters. 

(2) May be

(3) May be

(4) Two possibles but not able to confirm which it is

(5) No data on a G Cherrington

(6) Aka known as Baratt, Thomas Oxenham Gordon

(7) Two possibles but no way of checking which it is

(8) May be

(9) Two possibles but not enough information

(10) May be,-brian-percival/

(11) Initials are given as M.F on grave

Post World War 2

M.D. Reitz  (1952)

C.H.C.R. Stewart (12)

R.H. Mentis (1963)

P.N. Gettliffe (12)

D.A. Carshalton (1976)

D.R. Mitchell (12)

A Gordon-Bennett (1978)

A. De Kiewiet (12)

(12) No record found

Private Memorials.

I saw two private memorials amongst the panels.


Cyprian Ryland Jenkin
Tom Michael Glanvill Jenkin

DRW © 2018-2019. Created 15/11/2018, World War 2 names added 16/04/2019, added in links 18/04/2019

Updated: 18/04/2019 — 18:07

Tugboat Canning in Swansea

The preserved tug Canning, is permanently berthed in Swansea at the Swansea Maritime and Industrial Museum. She was built in 1954 and built by Cochrane & Sons of Selby for the Alexandra Towing Company and was based at Liverpool until being transferred to Swansea in 1966.  She became the last steam tug to operate in the Bristol Channel, serving until 1974. She was retired to the Museum in 1975. (

She is a oil burner with a triple expansion engine by C D Holmes & Co. Ltd., Hull. Unusually  there is even a builders plate for her engine makers on board.

She was not in a perfect condition and really needed some paint and derusting. I was unable to get onto the pontoon to see what she is like on the other side, and photographic positions were limited by the fence. Berthed ahead of her was the preserved light vessel “Lightship 91”, known as ‘Helwick’, and she too was very difficult to photograph. 

To the best of my knowledge neither ships are open to the public.

DRW © 2018-2019, Created 11/10/2018

Updated: 24/07/2019 — 05:31

Liverpool Exchange War Memorials

There are two war memorials in the open square behind the Liverpool City Hall that is bounded by a large building that seems to have been called “Exchange Flags” but is now called Horton House and Walker House.

The first memorial was dedicated to “the Men of the Liverpool Exchange Newsroom”

Funded by donations raised from members of the Liverpool Exchange Company in 1916 and originally intended to be dedicated to those members who had joined the forces, the emphasis of the memorial changed at the end of WW1 to commemorate members and sons who had sacrificed their lives. Made of bronze and marble by artist Joseph Phillips, the sculpture features Britannia sheltering a young girl with two soldiers and a sailor looking outwards while  a Queen Mary Auxiliary Services nurse tends a wounded soldier.

Unveiled in 1924, the sculpture was moved to its current location in 1953. (

The names are listed on the stonework next to the central dedication panel.

Above the memorial on two columns on either side of it are 4 figures: a female adult with a young boy and a male adult with a young girl. I do not know whether these are part of the original memorial or not.

The Exchange Flags square may be found at Google Earth  53.407654°,  -2.992094° 

The second memorial is in visual range and is The Unknown Soldier, Liverpool Cotton Association Memorial.

Unusually the bronze soldier stands at ground level  having been relocated in 2013 to be closer the ICA’s new office in Walker House.

Commissioned in 1922 by the International Cotton Association (ICA), known then as the Liverpool Cotton Association, the bronze statue of the Unknown Soldier was originally situated in Liverpool’s Cotton Exchange Building on Old Hall Street. (

There is one further memorial in the square which is neither a First or Second World War Memorial. It is known as the Nelson Monument  and it  is really a monument to Admiral Horatio Nelson.

It is somewhat of a wedding cake of a monument, with  four statues depicting prisoners sitting in poses of sadness and representing Nelson’s major victories, the battles of Cape St Vincent, the Nile, Copenhagen, and Trafalgar.

The first stone was laid on 15 July 1812, and the monument was unveiled on 21 October 1813, the eighth anniversary of Nelson’s death. In 1866 the monument was moved to its present site in Exchange Flags to allow for an extension to the Exchange Buildings.

DRW © 2018. Created 10/06/2018

Updated: 17/07/2018 — 06:11

Merchant Navy Memorials, Liverpool

The Merchant Navy Memorials in Liverpool are situated on the waterfront facing the Mersey and the Birkenhead side of the river bank.  The city played an important role in the Battle of the Atlantic as Western Approaches Command was based in the city, and many of the men and ships that sailed in the convoys came from this port.

A few metres further is a raised block with a number of relevant dedications. The two memorials are between Google Earth co-ordinates: 53.403829°  -2.996822°

Of particular relevance was this plaque that does not really make up for the lack of recognition of men and women from so many other countries that lost their lives in the Merchant Navy during both wars.

There was also an Arandora Star Plaque which served as a reminder that all ships were in danger of being sunk, whether combatant or non-combatant.

Norwegians, Poles and Belgians are also commemorated on this block.

Unfortunately these plaques are mounted on what appears to be some sort of housing for some unidentified machinery/access chamber and really do not connect too well with the Merchant Navy Memorial close by. I would have thought that a unified MN memorial would have meant much more instead of having these two distinct groupings that appear as an afterthought. 

The Maritime Museum also had a very good Merchant Navy exhibition on while I was visiting. 

A few steps away is the Liverpool Naval War Memorial which I will cover separately.

DRW © 2018. Created 05/06/2018

Updated: 17/07/2018 — 06:11

Arthur Herbert Lindsay Richardson VC.

Arthur Herbert Lindsay Richardson (23/09/1872 –  15/12/1932) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at Wolvespruit, about 15 miles north of Standerton, Transvaal, South Africa, on 5 July 1990.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 27229 Page: 5688, reads:

“Lord Strathcona’s Corps

Sergeant Arthur Herbert Lindsey Richardson

On the 5th July, 1900, at Wolve Spruit, about 15 miles north of Standerton, a party of Lord Strathcona’s Corps, only 38 in number, came into contact, and was engaged at close quarters, with a force of 80 of the enemy. 
When the order to retire had been given, Sergeant Richardson rode back under a very heavy cross-fire and picked up a trooper whose horse had been shot and who was wounded in two places and rode with him out of fire. 
At the time when this act of gallantry was performed, Sergeant Richardson was within 300 yards of the enemy, and was himself riding a wounded horse.”

He is buried in St James Cemetery, Liverpool, and the headstone is erected  on the patch of lawn between the cemetery entrance and Liverpool Anglican Cathedral

DRW © 2018. Created 05/06/2018.  Taddy &Co cigarette card by Card Promotions, ©1997, first issued 1902.

Updated: 17/07/2018 — 06:11

Waterline Ships Master List

Master list of ships in my collection.  Unfortunately it fell behind because it is difficult to add to it, but I am updating it as at 22/06/2019

Ship Maker Ship Maker
Cunard Line      
Queen Elizabeth Triang Minic HMS Turmoil x 2 Triang Minic
Queen Mary Triang Minic HMS Vanguard Triang Minic
Carinthia Triang Minic KD Bismarck Triang Minic
Ivernia Triang Minic KD Scharnhorst Triang Minic
Aquitania Triang Minic HMS Gloucester (D96) Triang Minic
Caronia Triang Minic USS Bunker Hill Triang Minic
1st Mauretania Albatros USS Spruance Triang Minic
Lusitania Atlas Editions USS Guardian Triang Minic
2nd Mauretania Resin Steam tugs 8 Triang Minic
QE2 Revell HMS Vigilant (M787) Triang Minic
    HMS Bulwark Triang Minic
United States Triang Minic HMS Ark Royal (R07) Triang Minic
NS Savannah Triang Minic IJN Yamato Triang Minic
Varicella Triang Minic USS Missouri Triang Minic
Britannia Triang Minic HMS Swiftsure Triang Minic
Canberra Triang Minic HMS Repton Triang Minic
Vikingen Triang Minic HMS Sutherland Triang Minic
Isle of Sark Triang Minic Pilot boat Triang Minic
City of Durban Triang Minic Ferry Triang Minic
China bulker Triang Minic HMS Bangor (M1099) Triang Minic
C2 Cargo x 4 Triang Minic HMS Brockleberry Triang Minic
Aragon Triang Minic HMS Whitby (M791) Triang Minic
Nieuw Amsterdam Triang Minic HMS Daring (M77) Triang Minic
Flandre Triang Minic HMS Daring (D32) Triang Minic
The Victoria Mercury HMS York (D98) Triang Minic
 Oriana Mercator HMS Chatham (F87) Triang Minic
 France Triang Minic HMS Whitby (M798) Triang Minic
Union-Castle Line   HMS Alamein (M799) Triang Minic
CT Castle rebuild Hein Muck Resin  HMS Dainty (M773) Triang Minic
Carnarvon Castle Albatros  Diesel tugs 2 Triang Minic
Capetown Castle Hein Muck Resin Floating crane Triang Minic
Athlone Castle Len Jordan Resin Floating crane CM
Stirling Castle  Len Jordan Resin HM Castle Class trawler MB Models
Pendennis Castle CM HMCS Snowberry Navis Neptune
Pretoria Castle Albatros HMS Begonia x 2 Navis Neptune
Dunottar Castle Hein Muck Resin HMS Bangor Neptune
Llandaff Castle Len Jordan Resin HMS Tulip  Ensign
Reina Del Mar Len Jordan Resin HMS Achilles (F12) Mountford
Rochester Castle Resin HM Submarine K26 MB Models
Durban Castle Hein Muck Resin HM Submarine K5 MB Models
Windsor Castle  Albatros HM Submarine X-1 MB Models
Transvaal Castle CM HM Submarine M-2 MB Models
Dunnottar Castle Albatros Submarine tender Saar Mercator
Bloemfontein Castle CM 5 x unbranded corvettes Oceanic
Rhodesia Castle CM HMS Tiger Mountford
SY Iolaire Albatros River Class Frigate Neptun
Balmoral Castle Rhenania HMS Renown Atlas Editions
Capetown Castle CM HMS Nelson Atlas Editions
Gloucester Castle  Navis HMS Warspite Atlas Editions
Walmer Castle Solent USS Essex Atlas Editions
    HMS Hood Atlas Editions
Victoria Len Jordan Resin HMS Prince of Wales  Atlas Editions
Arcadia Len Jordan Resin SS TItanic  Atlas Editions
Reina Del Pacifico Hein Muck Resin City of Durban Len Jordan
Andes Hein Muck Resin  SA John Ross  3D print
Marco Polo Resin  SA Wolraad Woltemade  3D print
Ocean Terminal  Triang Minic SS Ohio Len Jordan 
Floating dock  Triang Minic Liberty ship Len Jordan 
 Empire Day  Len Jordan Resin Rapana Len Jordan 
 Leda   CM City of Durham Len Jordan 
Astor Albatros  RMS St Helena x 2  Oceanic
Australis Resin  RMS St Helena (1)  3D print
Achille Lauro CMKR Olympic CM
    Shieldhall Rhenania
German 4 Funnelers      
Deutschland  CM    
Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse  Mercator    
Kaiser Wilhelm II  Mercator    

DRW © 2018-2019. Created 04/02/2018, updated 14/02/2019

Updated: 21/07/2019 — 08:31

Conversations with Emily

Often when I get an idea I play it out in my mind, especially when it comes to writing a skit. Sometimes I use the idea, sometimes I don’t, and occasionally end up with pics that I do not use. I intend capturing some of these moments.


Spring is sprung.

Miss Emily has been in hibernation for quite some time but paid a brief visit to the world in her new dress.

“Finally! Spring is here!”

“I like your new dress Miss Emily.”

“Isn’t it snazzy? and it matches my sandals too”

“You are a regular Pink Panther now. And of course Courage matches your dress too.”

“Oh yes, Pink is the new black. Spring is also the season for ice cream,” she said hopefully.

“I will definitely get me some of those.” I teased.

“And will you buy some for me?”

“Nope, you take them to school and they leak all over your books and stationary.”

“But, but, but…”

“In fact there is a new rule. You are only allowed ice cream in a small tub, and by small I do not mean 5 litres either!”

“SMALL? noooooooooooooooooooooo! I may as well go back into hibernation.”

“You hibernated way too long, you even missed the snow. I tried to wake you but you snoozed away. I even knocked on your head to see whether anybody was home; but Miss Emily sawed wood while wearing a blank expression.”

“Blank expression? I was doing my famous pouty face. All you had to do was wave an ice cream cone in my immediate vicinity and I would have rebooted.”

“I will remember for next time.”

“I think we deserve a huge pud for lunch today because I have been such a good girl.”

“To quote Pink Floyd: “How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?” “

“Meat? there will be meat?”

“Probably not, it is expensive stuff. The bank won’t even give me a loan to buy a steak.”

“A steak or two you mean?”

“No steak for you Miss Emily, broccoli and carrots are on your menu.”

“Oh pooh.”

“However, because you have been a good girl this past year I will allow you a small trifle.”

“A trifle? if I put some in my ears will I be a trifle deaf?”

“No more than than normal. Come along lets us go inside, I need some tea. “

“Okey dokey, may we negotiate on the pudding question?”

“Hmm…  I will see how it goes. It really depends on the weather.”

“Weather has nothing to do with pudding.”

“No it doesn’t, but in this case it is more to do with whether, as in “Whether we have enough or whether I have space in the freezer for more. “.”


On finding an abandoned shopping trolley near the Carrant Brook…

“May I push this trolley into the river?”

“Certainly not! You are not a mindless vandal.”

“But everybody else does it.”

“If everybody else jumped off a bridge would you jump off a bridge?

“It depended on whether there was a soft landing or not.”

“Well, if you do decide to dump that trolley into the river be rest assured that you will spend the next week upside down in your box in the cupboard!”

“That’s kind of harsh.”

“What did you expect?”

“Ice cream… “

How does one deal with that kind of logic? 

On going to school…

“Ok, so I get to wear this cool uniform and sit in a classroom with other kids and get taught stuff by an adult in front of a chalkboard/”

“Something like that.”

“It does not sound like fun. I will much rather spend that time surfing the net and looking at crazy cat videos.”

“I am inclined to agree with you. School does stifle creativity.”

“I can be creative, look, I found 17 sites with dolls in them, and 16 of them have profiles on facebook and linkedin! I want a profile on facebook and linkedin!”

“You can’t because you are too young!”

“Too young? but but but…”

“Besides, I am letting you have a portion of my blog to use. I should be charging you a hosting fee!”

“Fee? I am a penniless dolly who doesn’t have 2 pence to rub together.”

“That’s because you spend your pocket money on ice cream and giant hair bows.”

Miss Emily was busted for eating ice cream in class.

“So Miss Emily, can you please explain why you were eating ice cream in class?”

“I had to eat it or it would have melted.”

“Why did you take it to school and not leave it at home in the freezer for when you came home from school?”

“Um… well I kind of bought it on my way to school.”

“Ah, and then you snuck it in and scoffed it during class?”

“Yep, that is it, I tried to eat it during maths class.”

“And the end result was a “Please Explain”?”

“Yep, one of those. Geez, it’s not as if I was doing something bad.”

“I would consider eating ice cream during maths to be a major bad thing, especially if you are not supposed to even have an ice cream in any class. Have you done this before?”

“Nope, never in maths class.”

“Ah, so you have eaten ice cream in a different class?”

“Oops, that was not supposed to come out.”

“Miss Emily, no ice cream for you for a month!”

“Oh pooh, does that mean I will have to throw away the Eskimo Pie in my bag?”

“You have an Eskimo Pie in your bag?”

“Oh yes, I was saving it for geography class.”

“Miss Emily, I think you need to go spend some time in the corner and ponder on your misdeeds after you have thrown away the Eskimo Pie and any other ice cream products that may be lurking in your bag.”

“Can’t I eat them instead?”

“Certainly not. In fact you can give them to me. I will eat them.”

“Mutter mutter…. “

“Don’t mutter to me in that tone of voice. Give me your ill gotten stash before I decide to make things much worse.”

I really enjoyed the ice cream, although how she ended up with three of them I will never know. Hopefully this will be the last we hear of ice cream in school.


Speeches and ice cream (again)

“Miss Emily, how was your day at school?”
“It was OK, we learnt about “ex””
“Don’t you mean “x”?”
“Nope, it was definitely “ex””.
“I will take your word for it then; but what did you learn about this mysterious “ex”?”
“Um, I learnt that it stands for EXAMS!!”
“Aaah now I see where you are going.”
“I am going somewhere?”
“It is figure of speech. Anyway, I think you are too young to write exams.”
“I am, I am. But these are spoken exams as in “The boy stood on the burning deck….””
“In other word you have to make a speech?”
“That’s it! I have to talk for at least 10 minutes about something. I could not think of enough to say about Ice cream that would last for 10 minutes. An ice cream isn’t alive for that long.”
“Especially when you have it in your grubby hands.”
“Grubby? my hands grubby?”
“Yes, they are full of ice cream stains”
“Whoops… um, well you know…”
“Were you busted for scoffing ice cream in class again?”
Miss Emily looked crestfallen.
“And your punishment is to give a speech?”
She nodded.
“You are lucky, when I was in school we had to learn a poem all about a drought.”
“A drought?”
“Yep, it rambled on and on about thirst and dry and sand and relentless heat.”
“I get thirsty just hearing about it.”
“And, to make matters worse, it was the day before the schools broke up, so instead of rubbing our hands together in anticipation of the 3 weeks holiday ahead, we had to learn that dumb poem.”
“You should have had some ice cream, that would have made everything right.”
“Not everything can be set right by the judicious scoffing of chocolate flavoured dairy products.”
“It should be…”
“I do agree to a point, but I am afraid life is not always that straight forward.”
“Oh pooh, then I better think about what I am going to say.”
“Well, you are an expert dolly translator, why not use that in your speech?”
“Oooo, thats an idea, maybe I can do my speech in thick German.”
“Better stick to English or you may just end up having to learn a long winded poem about a drought. I will leave it to you. Do not disappoint!”
I left Miss Emily to her mutterings about Eskimo Pies, Cornettos and the benefits of a Flake and chocolate sprinkles on your favourite Neopolitan ice cream sandwich.

The next day..

“So Miss Emily, how did it go?”
“I said to them… “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.”
“That sounds familiar, did you translate it yourself?”
“Not exactly, it is one of those funny thingamajigs that you find when you mess around with your blog and preview the settings”
“I knew it sounded familiar. But what did the teacher say?”
“Glacies crepito ut ultra vos autem videtis me post schola”
“No more ice cream for you, see me after school”

Updated: 22/04/2018 — 07:44

William Barnsley Allen VC. DSO. MC*.

 William Barnsley Allen (08/06/1892 – 27/08/1933) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions with the Royal Field Artillery, near Mesnil, France.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 29802 Page: 10394, reads

“Captain William Barnsley Allen, M.C., M.B., Royal Army Medical Corps.

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty.  
When gun detachments were unloading H.E. ammunition from wagons which had just come up, the enemy suddenly began to shell the battery position. The first shell fell on one of the limbers, exploded the ammunition and caused several casualties. 

Captain Allen saw the occurrence and at once, with utter disregard of danger, ran straight across the open, under heavy shell fire, commenced dressing the wounded, and Undoubtedly by his promptness saved many of them from bleeding to death.

He was himself hit four times during the first hour by pieces of shells, one of which – fractured two of his ribs, but he never even mentioned this at the time, and coolly went on with his work till the last man was dressed and safely removed. 

He then went over to another battery and tended a wounded officer. It was only when this was done that he returned to his dug-out and reported his own injury”

Lt. William Barnsley Allen. VC. DSO, MC*

He was also awarded the DSO and Military Cross, and later, a bar to his Military Cross.

He died of an accidental drug overdose in 1933 and is buried in Earnley Churchyard, Brackleham, Sussex and is commemorated on a plaque at the National Memorial Arboretum.

DRW © 2017-2018. Created 12/07/2017. 

Updated: 12/01/2018 — 07:16

Miss Emily and the new dress

On my early morning rounds about town I always pop into a local charity shop that has a really amazing collection of retro stuff. Occasionally a rare gem pops up too, and on this particular day I spotted a really awesome sailor dress that appeared to be around about the size that Miss Emily takes. Although one thing I have learnt is that what it says on the label does not always match what you think you are getting. Anyway, Miss Emily was suitably chuffed with her new gear, although I must really find her an appropriate hat, even though she does tend to loose those.

Dressed in her Sunday finest we ventured out into the sunlight, something that has been decidedly absent these past few weeks. The brook was very low too, so we could get to an area that ordinarily isn’t easy to access. My big concern was that Miss Emily would decide to do a nose dive into the sand, but fortunately she behaved a bit today.

If anything she was being demure, but then given how easy it was to get really filthy in these surroundings demure is a good thing to be. 

“Miss Emily, you are really looking very beautiful today. The dress is perfect, although it may have to taken up a tad.”

“Taken up? nobody is takeing up my dress, forget it, it isn’t going to happen. This is my formal dress, for when I go the opera or the dolly church!”

“The dolly church? I have never heard of it.”

“Oh yes, it is a very important place. At the dolly church we pray that a 6 year old will not attack us with scissors and give us a bad haircut or that we won’t end up in the dreaded “Box under the bed” .

“I have heard of the box under the bed. If it is any consolation I will not put you in the box under the bed, although the only reason for that is my very low bed!”

“Although there is a large box in the box room with your name on it.”

“Nooooooo… not the dreaded box in the boxroom!”

“I am afraid so, occasionally I need to store you and that box is perfect. I do know that when dolls get put in boxes they normally fall asleep and dream dolly dreams.”

“A likely story! I don’t have sleep eyes so cannot sleep!”

“Let’s deal with that eventuality when it happens, rather just enjoy the outing.”

“Okey dokey, but you owe me an ice cream!”

“I will give you a rain cheque Miss Emily, because I owe myself an ice cream and there is none in the freezer!”

Miss Emily sat down on the bank of the Carrant Brook and looked at the burbling water..

“This is nice, the water is so clear too.”

“That’s true, although you can now see the pollution and the rubbish that ends up in the water.”

“Sadly humans are very quick to dump their rubbish in places like this. We need to educate kids from young ages to preserve the environment, and use the litter bins provided.”

Miss Emily thought for a moment, “don’t they teach that in school? I have never been to school so have no idea what they teach there.”

“Miss Emily I don’t know what they teach in school nowadays, but you can bet even if they did teach it there will always be the one person that will litter and do their worst.”

Miss Emily sighed and rummaged in her pocket and took out a cheerful looking hat and stuck it on her head. “Look what I found..”

“Wow Miss Emily, I am impressed, usually you loose a hat as soon as you wear it.”

“I know, it is amazing, although this is not the correct hat for this dress.”

“I must try to find you a boater, or one of those sennet hats like they use in the Royal Navy.”

“That’s a great idea, I have the dress already!”

“A nautical theme, I like that.” 

We walked a bit further, and I took a missed step and almost fell, fortunately neither of us were damaged but it was a close call.

“Please be careful..” Miss Emily admonished. “If something happens to you I am going to be in big trouble.”

“I know Miss Emily, I have been thinking a lot about that, at some point I may need to sell you to another collector, although if I leave here I would love to take you with me.”

“I understand, but let us enjoy ourselves before that happens.”

“Well said Miss Emily. Come, its almost lunch time, I am sure your tummy is rumbling.”

“Oh yes. Can we have pizza?”

“Sundays are traditionally roast, 2 veg, spuds and gravy with pud for after.”

 “Pud? what is this pud I hear you talk about?”

“You know, pudding, desert, afters…”

“Aaaah Pudding!! why did’t you say so? although will it be Yorkshire pudding or black pudding? those are imitations, they do not belong to the after dinner menu.”

“Very well spotted Miss Emily, personally I am a fan of Yorkshire Pudding, but will give black pudding a miss.”

“Black pudding is yucky stuff! gimme custard and ice cream with a side order of choc and I am a happy camper.” 

“I agree, come, lets go eat.

“Oh, before we go, where is your new hat?”

“It’s er.. um… I dunno? but, I still have my giant bow!”

“I am surprised. Keep it up Miss Emily, one day you will be able to keep a hat.”

And I know she will try, but there are some things that Miss Emily just cannot do, and keep a hat is one. And now, it is time for lunch.”

© DRW 2017-2018. Created 02/06/2017

Updated: 12/01/2018 — 07:17
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