Gallery - HMS Walrus and the Far East
Feel free to browse through my photos below. You can click on any image thumbnail to expand it.
HMS Walrus at Blyth - Alloa
On the 26th of September 1945 Rod was promoted to Lieutenant RNVR. He received an appointment from the Admiralty on 10th November as First Lieutenant in HMS Walrus. She was in the process of being built at Blyth/Alloa. On commissioning of Walrus they were to proceed to Colombo in what was then Ceylon attached to C-in-C Far East Indies Fleet.
Passage to Ceylon
On the 10th December 1945 HMS Walrus was commissioned into the Royal Navy. Monday 4th of February HMS Walrus slipped from Blyth at 1830 for her first shakedown voyage. On Thursday the 7th Feb and on Sat 9th Feb Rod met a perviously known colleague from his Fort William days (David Thomas) who was "looking after" Hitlers Yacht "GRILLE" Rod was given a complete tour of the Yacht As Rod sat in Hitlers armchair his mind ran riot and he begun to formulate a plan to swop the armchair for a couple of crates of gin! In his log he called it "Operation Pickford"! (See entry in HMS Walrus' Visitor's Book) On Monday 18th April HMS Walrus started her long voyage to Ceylon.
With Malta behind them Egypt, the Suez Canal and the Red Sea were next.
While on passage through the Med Rod received the news on the 7th April that he was now the father of twins. His log for the 7th reads:-
A beautiful day - got a shake at 0630 - first glimpse of George Cross Isle - truly battered about. Entered harbour and secured alongside wreck of tanker Ohio. Went ashore and phoned up Nigel (now Sir Nigel Vernon Bt) and arranged to pick him up at Custom House Steps. He came on board for a drink to celebrate.
Aden was reached on the 22nd April 1946
Ceylon and Colombo Harbour. Rod was based at Colombo and Trincomalee.
Aircraft were transported to India, Singapore and other places around Ceylon (now called Sri Lanka). Rod visited his sister Marjorie at Singapore. Marjorie was Governess to Lord and Lady Killearn's children. On one occasion a car was sent from Government House to collect Rod (from Singapore Docks). HMS Walrus was moored next to a Cruiser, the Cruiser had a band on duty in case of official visits, when the official car approached (wearing the Government House Flag) the band struck up expecting a visit from the "Governor" only to stop abruptly when the car stopped next door and the driver talked to the sailor at the bottom of Walrus' gangway. A mere RNVR Lieutenant in a small aircraft transport ship being allocated such an important vehicle caused much speculation!
Rod assumed Command of HMS Walrus on 22nd May 1946. He remained the CO of Walrus until February 1947 when he went home to England in the Hospital Ship S.S. Oxfordshire.
Leave and Recreation
Much time was spent at Diyatalawa and around Colombo.
HMS Walrus' Visitors Book
Photos 34 to 41 show pictures of people Rod met and socialised with during his stay in Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Some of the names in his Visitors Book relate to those depicted in the photos, but I don't know exactly who is who.
Home and the end of War service
Rod arrived back in England on Tuesday 10th March 1947. He went to RN Aux Hospital Sherbourne after a brief stop at RN Hospital Haslar.His log for that day recalls:- "..... stopped at 1630 off the Needles. First sight of England - very foggy and raining - how typical! Saw the Queen Mary in the distance. Only a few people to see us in - quite a disappointing home coming. turned in, still only one blanket. On the 26th March Rod went home for one months leave and saw his twins for the first time, a week before their first birthday! Rod travelled home on leave again during June. He recommenced employment as a Draughtsman with the Folkestone Electricty Supply Co on the 30th June. It wasn't untill the 30th October that he was finally released from the Royal Navy ending 6 years in the Service. In subsequent years Rod joined the RNVSR, the RNVR and the RNR. He joined the NCS List 14 and travelled to Singapore, Hong Kong, Portugal, Denmark and France with the RNR. Rod was promoted to Lieutenant Commander in 1967. Rod was awarded the Reserve Decoration in 1972 and a Clasp to the RD in 1983. He retired in 1983 after receiving two yearly extensions from the Admiral, it was usual to retire at 60. Rod continued to attend reunion dinners a functions right up to a few months before his death in 2003. The Navy was of the utmost importance to Rod, he was extremely proud of serving his country during and after the war.