Category: South Africa
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.
My handy ship visit book records that we visited on board this classic beauty on 18 May 1996. Rudi and I went down specifically to see her, and I was carrying a large video camera but no stills camera. Rudi was to take some extra images of the ship for me for my collection but he never did and those images and the video are gone forever as Rudi passed away in December 2018 and his collection was lost. All I recall of the ship was that she really was a ship from a different age and really stunning.
My notes read:
MV Anastasis (IMHO 5379729). Ex Victoria of Lloyd Triestino. Built Cr Adriatico, yard # 1765. 11695 GRT, 158,4 x 20,7. Sold 1978 to “Youth With A Mission” (YWAM) Co, Limassol. Used as a mobile hospital, housing 3 operating rooms, a 40 bed hospital ward, dental clinic, laboratory, x-ray unit and 3 cargo holds. In service for 29 years, she was broken up in 2007.
We were fortunate to have a guided tour of the ship by the lady who signed my book. Alas her surname is unrecognisable.
DRW © 1996- 2019. Created 23/08/2019
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
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.
CA Bailey (1)
R O Bettington
S. Dunstan (2)
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.
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.
(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
(9) Two possibles but not enough information
(11) Initials are given as M.F on grave
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
I saw two private memorials amongst the panels.
DRW © 2018-2020. Created 15/11/2018, World War 2 names added 16/04/2019, added in links 18/04/2019, URL changed 29/12/2019
72nd (Griqualand West) Siege Battery: Clyde ‘n Terry Museum Kimberley
These photographs of the South African Heavy Artillery Memorial 72nd (Griqualand West) Siege Battery: Clyde ‘n Terry Hall of Militaria n Kimberley were taken in January 2018 by Diane Van Tonder and are used with permission.
The inscription is followed by the names and ranks of the 167 men who died in the Great War.
This 6-inch 26-cwt howitzers is one of 6 brought back from France and Flanders to be part of the memorials to the South African Heavy Artillery that were established in major centres in South Africa.
The 6 Memorials to the Heavy Artillery can be found in: (Open in new page)
- 71st (Transvaal) Siege Battery: Johannesburg Zoo (Restored 2007)
- 72nd (Griqualand West) Siege Battery: Clyde N Terry Museum Kimberley
- 73rd (Cape) Siege Battery: Company Gardens Cape Town
- 74th (Eastern Province) Siege Battery: Port Elizabeth. Gun removed to the National Museum Bloemfontein to be restored
- 75th (Natal) Siege Battery: Warriors Gate Durban
- 125th (Transvaal) Siege Battery: Near the Union Buildings, Pretoria
DRW © 2018. Created 14/09/2018. Images courtesy of Diane Van Tonder.
The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 27212, Page: 4509, reads:
“The Gordon Highlanders, Captain Matthew Fontaine Maury Meiklejohn:
At the Battle of Elandslaagte on the 21st October, 1899, after the main Boer position had been captured, some men of the Gordon Highlanders, when about to assault a kopje in advance, were exposed to a heavy cross-fire and, having lost their leaders, commenced to waver. Seeing this, Captain Meiklejohn rushed to the front and called on the Gordons to follow him. By his conspicuous bravery and fearless example, he rallied the men and led them against the enemy’s position, where he fell, desperately wounded in four places.”
He died in hospital following an incident in Hyde Park, and is buried in Brookwood Cemetery.
DRW © 2018. Created 11/08/2018. Image courtesy of Mark Green. Taddy cigarette card by Card Promotions © 1997, first issued 1902
The Gloucestershire Regiment South African War Memorial may be found at Google Earth co-ordinates: 51.457683° -2.608860°, on an island in Queens Road, Bristol.
The Memorial was unveiled on 4 Mar 1905, and attended by: Field Marshal Earl Roberts VC KG KP GCB OM GCSI GCIE.
There are 248 names on the memorial and it is a Grade II listed building. (War Memorials Register Entry)
DRW © 2018. Created 24/07/2018