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  #26  
Old 14-05-2014, 11:38
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Jan Steer Jan Steer is offline
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Default Re: RN Naval Base: HMS Afrikander, Simon's Town South Africa

My father was sent to Simonstown during the war then on to Walvis Bay wireless station in German West Africa, now Namibia. He did indeed go out on the troopships convoy which stopped at Freetown, Sierra leone. He didn't talk to much about it but he did say (whether going out or coming home I don't remember which) a ship carrying army nurses was torpedoed and the women were in the water screaming for help. The ship couldn't stop for fear of being hit and they were left helpless in the water. Dad could only watch. He said very little but I know that the pictures remained with him until he passed away. He also mentioned about an ammunition ship going up at night and the sky over the horizon being illuminated. Then sometime later the noise hit him. Another yarn was of a U boat on the surface going between the columns of ships. A terrible time for them as well as our people I shouldn't wonder. After all of the 40,000 men in U boats only 10,000 survived. As a sparker (telegraphist) at Walvis Bay he picked up a signal from a U boat on the surface which he D/F'd ( direction finding) and in due course it was sunk by the South African Air Force. I once asked him if he had any qualms about it. "No," he told me. "It was war and it was either them or us." What a dreadful time!
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  #27  
Old 15-05-2014, 07:21
bobtt55 bobtt55 is offline
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Default Re: RN Naval Base: HMS Afrikander, Simon's Town South Africa

Many Thanks Rob, another small lead into finding out about my Grandfather. As a former ganges boy myself, served 9 years, I probably, out of all my family have the strongest link with him. Ironically, he was killed by a V1 whilst on leave after a 2.5 year stretch in South Africa, He died along with my Grandmother & their Daughter, a serving Wren who had gained special leave to be at home when he arrived. Fortunately, my Father & his brother, who were also in the explosion, survived. I was born 7 years after they died.

I appreciate the help you have provided.

Bob
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  #28  
Old 19-07-2014, 11:05
bobtt55 bobtt55 is offline
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Default Re: RN Naval Base: HMS Afrikander, Simon's Town South Africa

Can I call on your excellent knowledge base once again. I'm looking for details of the RN Accounting base, HMS Tana, Kilindini, Mombasa. Specifically, exactly where in Kilindini the camp was sited & what was its physical structure, ie under canvas, huts, on the quayside, inland etc. My Grandfather was drafted there twice between ships, HMS Sennen & HMS Genista, both of which were part of the Indian Ocean escort force based out of Kilindini.

Many thanks in advance for any information

Bob
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  #29  
Old 19-07-2014, 11:59
Dave Hutson Dave Hutson is offline
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Default Re: RN Naval Base: HMS Afrikander, Simon's Town South Africa

Hi Bob ,

I was in Mombasa 1969 thru 1972 Training the then New Kenya Navy. Our base was on the mainland on your port side as you enter Kilindini Harbour. The base had formerly been the Headquarters for the old East African Navy which was wound up when Kenya obtained Independence.

The Headquarters had a Signal Station with clear view up and down the harbout so without being able to confirm my assumption I would hazard a pretty good guess as that being where HMS Tana was during the War.

There was a Royal Navy Air Station - HMS Tanga - some distance from Kilindini that was admined by Tana. [That distance was considerable as HMS Tanga was in fact on the Tanganyika/Kenya border (now Tanzania)]

If you Google "HMS TANA MOMBASA" it will flag up a wealth of websites referring to Tana but I have yet to find the actual location.

Hope this helps ---- but I will keep looking.

Dave H

p.s Ganges Boys always help each other out . Me 1953 Comms

Last edited by Dave Hutson : 19-07-2014 at 12:28. Reason: Clarification Tanga
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  #30  
Old 19-07-2014, 12:01
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Default Re: RN Naval Base: HMS Afrikander, Simon's Town South Africa

From Ben Warlow's excellent 'Shore Establishments of the Royal Navy':

Quote:
TANA Kilindini, Kenya, Base
Commissioned 1 May 1942 - Paid off 31 December 1946. Base replaced by MVITA [Kilindini, Mombasa] 1 July 1950.
Accounts of all personnel ashore (not Fleet Air Arm) in East Africa. Included RN Air Station at Mackinnon Road, Port Reitz, Voi and Tanga. (see KIPANGA II and KILELE). Also, SIMBA (qv) was a tender from 1 November 1945.
Nominal Depot Ship: NAB MIREMBEMBE 1 May 1942 to 14 March 1943, NAB BALEIKA (also spelt BALARA) 14 March 1943 to 15 November 1943. MFV 13 from 16 November 1943 to March 1946.

TANA II English Point, Kilindini, Kenya. Transit camp for Far Eastern Drafting Pool [naval personnel]. Commissioned 1 October 1942 as independent command - in Paying Off circular 2 June 1943.
Also see these among others although you will have to contact the IWM to see the photos and obtain further details:
http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205159089

http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205159092
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  #31  
Old 19-07-2014, 12:34
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Default Re: RN Naval Base: HMS Afrikander, Simon's Town South Africa

Offering from my traveling sketchbook, Simonstown 2002. Passing by, was pleased to hear Sunset being carried out properly.

Mike
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File Type: jpg Simonstown.jpg (391.8 KB, 54 views)
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  #32  
Old 19-07-2014, 15:03
bobtt55 bobtt55 is offline
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Default Re: RN Naval Base: HMS Afrikander, Simon's Town South Africa

Hi Dave, thanks, yes, I'm familiar with all you stated. As for the net, I've googled until my fingers were numb without finding out any more detail than what you did. My thoughts initially, that Tana may have been close to Navy house, telegraph point, starboardside as you enter Kilindini. But that was a long shot. The other site was as you said, but again, nothing flags up on the net. I appreciate your help though.
Bob
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  #33  
Old 19-07-2014, 15:14
bobtt55 bobtt55 is offline
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Default Re: RN Naval Base: HMS Afrikander, Simon's Town South Africa

Hi Rob, thanks, but similar reply as I did for Dave, I have been to most of your suggested sites. I did find some loosely base evidence Tana may have been a hutted accommodation based on a few paragraghs from M.H.Flectchers, WRNS book where she described wrens working on local farm land nearby, there was a couple of pics but that is about all. The other bases you mention were tempory RNAS stations along the Mckinnon road I believe. As for the IWM, I am a registered member but as you know digging stuff out of there is hard work. Again, I appreciate your help.
Bob
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  #34  
Old 19-07-2014, 17:28
Scatari Scatari is offline
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Default Re: RN Naval Base: HMS Afrikander, Simon's Town South Africa

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gannet driver View Post
Offering from my traveling sketchbook, Simonstown 2002. Passing by, was pleased to hear Sunset being carried out properly.

Mike
A lovely sketch Mike - do I sense that we have another very capable artist in our midst (competition for our resident painter Jim/Vegaskip???)
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  #35  
Old 19-07-2014, 18:23
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Gannet driver Gannet driver is offline
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Default Re: RN Naval Base: HMS Afrikander, Simon's Town South Africa

Tim, thank you for kind comment, but I fear I will NEVER be up to Jim's standard. Jim is truly an artist.

I'm at my most comfortable with black pens, tried to go back to water-colour and gave up in frustration. Also, sketch book, pencil and a few pens can be carried anywhere - have done my better work (to my mind far better than Simonstown) in all sorts of odd places in the space of a few minutes.

But, thank you!

Mike
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  #36  
Old 20-07-2014, 23:06
Scatari Scatari is offline
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Default Re: RN Naval Base: HMS Afrikander, Simon's Town South Africa

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Originally Posted by Gannet driver View Post
Tim, thank you for kind comment, but I fear I will NEVER be up to Jim's standard. Jim is truly an artist.

I'm at my most comfortable with black pens, tried to go back to water-colour and gave up in frustration. Also, sketch book, pencil and a few pens can be carried anywhere - have done my better work (to my mind far better than Simonstown) in all sorts of odd places in the space of a few minutes.

But, thank you!

Mike
Mike:

Agree completely with your assessment of Jim's talents - we are indeed fortunate to have him as our "artist in residence" on these Forums!

Having said that, please don't hide your own talents under the proverbial bushel ... I am sure there are many who would love to see more of your work if there are appropriate places on WNSF where you would feel comfortable posting it.

Entirely your call of course!
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  #37  
Old 21-07-2014, 18:18
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Vegaskip Vegaskip is online now
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Default Re: RN Naval Base: HMS Afrikander, Simon's Town South Africa

Mike and Tim, thanks for the flattery!, there's not much wrong with the Simomstown sketch, reminds me of the 'sketches' in Midshipmen's Journals, and some of the coastal sketches from the day's of sail. I'm sure drawing and painting was taught at Dartmouth at one time.

Jim
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  #38  
Old 20-08-2014, 09:06
jpoyner jpoyner is offline
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Default Re: Simons Town, South Africa

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Originally Posted by Forester View Post
Here's a few photos, all taken sometime between May 1946 and December 1949 while my father served as a Leading Signalman in the Signals Unit at Simonstown Naval Base. The Signals Unit was outside the main site, along St Georges Street, on the hillside opposite St Francis Church.

The first photo shows HMS Glasgow entering Simonstown Naval Base. The next two show a parade on the parade ground. The third shows the same parade proceeding along St Georges Street, with the photographer standing in front of the church of St Francis, where I was christened. My Dad wrote on the back that it was taken outside his office (The Signals Unit), which was on the opposite side of the road. I guess at this event was laying up the ship's ensign when Glasgow left the 5th Cruiser Squadron and returned to UK to go into reserve. The next two pictures show the Signals Office and some of the staff. Then there is a "Paint Ship" with my Dad on the left. Then there's a couple of the Signals Unit Canteen. Finally, an invitation to a function that includes myself (family 1): I don't know what the function was but it would have been in late 1948 or early 1949. The name of the C in C's wife - Lady Moody _ might be a clue.
Hello, my wife just found this site. Two of those photos show my Dad CPO Basil Poyner who was based in Simons Town. I was born in cape Town in 1946 before he brought us back to UK in 1948/9. I have two original telegrams from the War Office which I guess he kept, which were for re transmission to the Pacific Fleet declaring a state of war.

Very moving to see these pictures.
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  #39  
Old 10-09-2015, 13:35
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Default Re: RN Naval Base: HMS Afrikander, Simon's Town South Africa

Hi jp, I'm rather moved to hear from a someone who was an infant in Simonstown at the same time I was there. I'm also very pleased to hear that my Dad captured your Dad on his old 'Box Brownie' - he usually managed to get his finger in the picture! For my Mam and Dad, Simons town was in effect their honeymoon as they had only been married a year when he was drafted south.
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  #40  
Old 10-09-2015, 20:11
Crash Crash is offline
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Default Re: RN Naval Base: HMS Afrikander, Simon's Town South Africa

Simon`s Town 63 65 on the Lynx
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  #41  
Old 11-09-2015, 13:31
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Default Re: RN Naval Base: HMS Afrikander, Simon's Town South Africa

That looks to be off the naval base which would be away to the right of the picture. If so, it's at the bottom of our street - Seaforth road - by the rock strewn beach. Boulder Beach, that today is home to imported penguins, is ahead, just past the point. Those fuel tanks are next to the sports field, where they appear in family photos of me playing at the "wives club" meeting held at the sports field pavillion. Looking on Google Streetview the pavillion is still there, exactly the way it was nearly 70 years ago.
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  #42  
Old 11-09-2015, 15:26
Crash Crash is offline
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Default Re: RN Naval Base: HMS Afrikander, Simon's Town South Africa

Quote:
Originally Posted by Forester View Post
That looks to be off the naval base which would be away to the right of the picture. If so, it's at the bottom of our street - Seaforth road - by the rock strewn beach. Boulder Beach, that today is home to imported penguins, is ahead, just past the point. Those fuel tanks are next to the sports field, where they appear in family photos of me playing at the "wives club" meeting held at the sports field pavillion. Looking on Google Streetview the pavillion is still there, exactly the way it was nearly 70 years ago.
Spot on what a great place
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  #43  
Old 16-05-2016, 13:47
BrianofChester BrianofChester is offline
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Default Re: RN Naval Base: HMS Afrikander, Simon's Town South Africa

Hi. I am researching my uncle, Clarence George (Dido) Dawson ,JX207804. He was a DEMS gunner in WW2. He was over 6 ft tall, age34 in 1939, and quickly rose to the max rank of acting PO. After 4 yrs travelling the world on several shapes and sizes of merchant ships,, He was posted to HMS Afrikander arriving on 22 Aug 1944 on SS Niew Amsterdam, leaving 14 Aug 1945. I assume he was probably an Instructor in a DEMS Gunnery School, training visiting DEMS gunners in the latest techniques. He could of course have been used as a temporary gunner on visiting ships, to give visitors the opportunity for Leave. I do not know. My request is, can I found out anything about his visit, what he did, etc., and is there a book anywhere that I can read,about HMS Afrikander. Thankyou
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  #44  
Old 17-05-2016, 19:17
BrianofChester BrianofChester is offline
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Default Re: RN Naval Base: HMS Afrikander, Simon's Town South Africa

I hope this is not too late. My uncle, a DEMS gunner acting PO, was posted from Southampton to HMS Afrikander. He left from the Clyde on SS Nieuw Amsterdam,a 20 knot Cunard Liner, dep Clyde 4 Aug 44,arr 22 Aug 44, via Freetown.
His return was on SS Clan Macauley, 16 Knots, Dep Table Bay 19 Aug 45, arr Clyde 16 Sept.
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  #45  
Old 03-12-2017, 19:20
jpoyner jpoyner is offline
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Default Re: Simons Town, South Africa

Quote:
Originally Posted by Forester View Post
Here's a few photos, all taken sometime between May 1946 and December 1949 while my father served as a Leading Signalman in the Signals Unit at Simonstown Naval Base. The Signals Unit was outside the main site, along St Georges Street, on the hillside opposite St Francis Church.

The first photo shows HMS Glasgow entering Simonstown Naval Base. The next two show a parade on the parade ground. The third shows the same parade proceeding along St Georges Street, with the photographer standing in front of the church of St Francis, where I was christened. My Dad wrote on the back that it was taken outside his office (The Signals Unit), which was on the opposite side of the road. I guess at this event was laying up the ship's ensign when Glasgow left the 5th Cruiser Squadron and returned to UK to go into reserve. The next two pictures show the Signals Office and some of the staff. Then there is a "Paint Ship" with my Dad on the left. Then there's a couple of the Signals Unit Canteen. Finally, an invitation to a function that includes myself (family 1): I don't know what the function was but it would have been in late 1948 or early 1949. The name of the C in C's wife - Lady Moody _ might be a clue.
Gosh that’s my Dad in two of the photos. CPO Basil Poyner. Anyone know him.

He passed away in 1969 when living on Twickenham with my Mum who he brought back fromCape Town. I was born there and they came back to UK in 1948
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