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lest we forget

GlescaPals tribute to 'oor forces'


 The Royal & Merchant Navy     



GlescaPal jeanC, Teeside ......
my hubby Jim Franklin on the left wi' some mates on HMS Adamant in May 1955 during a Nato exercise called Fish Play. 
A month after we got married. !


      HMS Adamant


. ..



GlescaPal, Jim Jeffrey (Lobeydosser), Canada, Nov2006, extract from MB ...." Here’s a photo of my dad , Frank Jeffrey, as a 16-year-old sailor from Sydney Street in the Calton. He was 16 years 4 months when he joined The Royal Navy as a Boy Seaman on 29 July 1915.

During his service he had many “interesting” experiences, but like so many WW1 survivors, rarely spoke of them.

He served at the Battle of Jutland, escorted Atlantic convoys and served on ” Q Ships”/””Mystery Ships” When we kids would ask him, “Whit did ye dae in the War, Da?” he would reply, “I got torpedoed.” End of conversation.

Well, I have been looking into our family history and have found some information about the torpedoing of HMS DRAKE ,oor Da’s ship.......

HMS Drake 1902 -1917                                      Frank Jeffrey 

On the morning of October 2nd 1917, HMS DRAKE was several miles off the north-west tip of Rathlin Island off the north coast of Ireland carrying out routine escort duties with convoy HH24 inbound from America when a German Submarine U79 hit HMS Drake with a torpedo killing 19 seamen though she remained afloat.
The crippled ship made it into Church Bay where she was abandoned to capsize in 18 metres of water a few hundred metres from shore. There were no casualties as a result of the capsizing , so almost 900 sailors lived to fight another day.  Frank left the Navy in 1921 after serving 6 years and returned to live in the Calton, Glasgow


GlesgaPal, Jim Jeffrey (Lobeydosser), Canada, Nov2006 his Dad, Frank Jeffrey, oor Jim  also served in the Royal Navy.

On 5th November, 1946, he left his home in Glasgow's Garngad to report to HMS ROYAL ARTHUR, Corsham, Wiltshire to do his National Service. 
During the two weeks there he was kitted out and converted from a peace-loving civvy to a serviceman just thirsting for action.  Next, the whole group of 18-year olds were transported to HMS RALEIGH, near Plymouth, to do three months basic seaman training

     In the photo of the four trainee Ordinary Seamen at RALEIGH,  Jim Jeffrey is the one bottom left, kneeling.

 When they all had successfully completed the training period,
The  Admiralty designated them as "Trained Men" and their  pay went up from four bob a day to five bob a day.
( Well, a shillin' was o lot of money in thae days says Jim !!)

   In April, 1947, he was posted to HMS CHEQUERS out in the Med. 
   The photo below shows the ship entering the harbour in Malta.
HMS CHEQUERS was  built by Scott's of Greenock in 1944.  Since she was Clyde-built Jim knew she would be a splendidly seaworthy vessel which was very important to him as he had never been able to swim a stroke---not even dog paddle!  Jim was proud of the fact that CHEQUERS was Leader of the 1st Destroyer Flotilla in the Mediterranean.

Jim was a Bosun's Mate and assisted his Quartermaster in keeping watch at the gangway and also in the wheelhouse at sea.  He enjoyed being at sea but didn't like barrack life at all. 
All good things must come to an end, and Jim was demobbed in the spring of 1948. Although he enjoyed doing his National Service, he was glad to get back home and get on with the rest of his life. Incidentally, a couple of years after Jim left the ship, Prince Phillip was appointed First Lieutenant of HMS Chequers  


   Frequently, the ship was engaged in patrols off the coast of Palestine to intercept and prevent the so-called
"Illegal Jewish Immigrant Ships" from landing in Palestine.  It was a task that none of the ships crew liked doing.

  The photo below shows  HMS CHEQUERS taking part in the action that took over the most famous of these ships,
 the Israeli ship EXODUS 1947, and brought her into Haifa, Israel's northern seaport.

After World War II, as tensions mounted in Palestine between the Jewish settlers and Arabs, the British Government attempted to appease the Arab citizens by limiting the immigration of Jews to Palestine. British authorities would detain ships and send them back to their ports of origin within Europe in an attempt to stop the illegal immigration. Since remaining in Europe meant certain death for many of these immigrants, illegal immigration to Palestine increased.
Exodus 1947
was a ship carrying Jewish emigrants, that left France on July 11, 1947 with the intent of taking its passengers to Palestine, then controlled by the British. Most of the 4,515 emigrants, including 655 children, were Holocaust survivor refugees, who had no legal immigration certificates to Palestine. Following wide media coverage, the British Royal Navy seized the ship, and towed it to Haifa in July 18th, where the immigrants were all deported back to France. At the French port they refused to disembark and after 24 days the British decided to return the would be immigrants to British occupied Germany.
World public opinion was one of outrage and the British policy was changed illegal immigrants were not sent back to Europe but instead transported to detention camps in Cyprus. 
footnote: The majority of passengers on the Exodus 1947 eventually settled in Israel.





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