1. Alfred Lord Tennyson, The Sailor Boy
. To read the entire poem go to: http://home.att.net/~TennysonPoetry/
2. The names of Sergeant L. Knithopper and Marines, E. Buton and K.
Finlayson, were added to the Pay and Victualing Ledgers at Gibraltar.
3. Information on Convoy KMS.3G
, and the other convoys Venomou
escorted, can be found on www.convoyweb.org.uk but the greatly expanded
2015 version of Convoyweb is not available on the Internet and can only
be viewed at Guildhall Library, Aldermanbury, London EC2V 7HH. For
details see: https://guildhalllibrarynewsletter.wordpress.com/2015/06/12/convoy-web-an-invaluable-resource-at-guildhall-library/
This honours the memory of one of Britain’s noted experts on the
history of the Royal Navy during WW2 – Arnold Hague.
Arnold Hague (1930 - 2006) served in the RN and RNR from 1949 until he
retired in 1979 with the rank of Lieutenant Commander but is best known
as one of the foremost Naval Historians of the WW2 period.
4. Jimmie Button's widow remarried and moved to Australia. She gave his
medal group, service record and other personal papers to a friend with
an interest in naval history. The members of the HMS Hecla, HMS Venomous and HMS Marne Association
remembered his sacrifice on the 50th anniversary of the sinking of Hecla
in 1992 but were unable to trace his family. His story has been
uncovered by Bill Forster of Holywell House Publishing and told on the
publisher’s website: http://www.holywellhousepublishing.co.uk/hjmb.html
5. See http://www.mikekemble.com/ww2/walker.html
for an account of Walker’s contribution to the defeat of the U-boats in the Atlantic.
6. See http://www.holywellhousepublishing.co.uk/commandingofficers.html#Falcon-Steward
7. David Maitland-Makgill-Crichton (1910-87)
spoke twelve languages
fluently and could translate forty. He translated during the visit of
the Soviet leaders Bulganin and Krushchev, and was an expert witness at
the Portland spy case. After resigning from Naval Intelligence in 1964
he made a living as a translator. His obituary in the Daily Telegraph
was included in The Daily Telegraph Book of Naval Obituaries
edited by David Twiston-Davies (2006).
8. For an insight into the spy capital of Europe see “spies, lies and double agents: Portugal in WW2” http://www.emmashouseinportugal.com/living-in-portugal/spies-lies-and-double-agents-portugal-in-ww2/
9. HMS Argonaut
Association Website: www.hmsargonaut.co.uk
had been part of a cruiser destroyer group that attempted to
intercept an Axis convoy. The group missed the convoy and the Italian
whilst the group was returning to Bone, Algeria. Two torpedoes struck
the ship; one blew off part of the ship’s bow, whilst the second blew
off the stern. The ship made it to Gibraltar on two of its four
10. To find out more about the officers who served as CW Candidates in HMS Venomous
11. Refer to Convoy Web at www.convoyweb.org.uk for more information about Convoy TMF.2
12. Admiralty signal 7/1934/2/43 sent to Venomous
. Further analysis by the Admiralty reversed the assessment.
13. “Pusser” is a is a corruption of "Purser" (the Supply and
Secretariat Branch) and can be applied to more or less anything
belonging to the RN, not just consumables such as “Pusser’s rum” (the
daily “tot” to which all seamen were entitled) which is blended in
exact accordance with Admiralty specification. "The Pusser" is an
overarching personification of the Navy's management.
14. Henry Dumaresq Durell (1912-44) joined the Royal Navy in 1937 and served on the battleship HMS Rodney
and the destroyer HMS Tartar
before being appointed as CO of HMS Venomous
. His next appointment was as CO of HMS Isis.
He and most of the crew were killed when Isis
“dropped its pick
[anchor]” (Midshipman Stephen Barney
) on a mine off the Normandy beaches on 20
July 1944. There were only twenty survivors out of the ship’s company
of 175. There is a memorial to those who died on HMS Isis
cathedral. See Unithistories http://www.holywellhousepublishing.co.uk/commandingofficers.html#Durell
15. Refer to Convoy Web at http://www.convoyweb.org.uk/kmf/index.html
for more information about Convoy KMF.13
and the entire KMF series of
convoys. These convoys were primarily troop convoys and many of the
ships were large passenger liners bound for Algiers with American and
16. Correlli Barnett, Engage the Enemy More Closely: The Royal Navy in the Second World War
(New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1991), p. 626.
17. Stephen Roskill, War at Sea
, Vol. 2, p. 442.
18. Not to be confused with the far more famous HMS Troutbridge
, the setting for the “Navy Lark”, a popular BBC comedy radio series broadcast on the “Light Programme” from 1959-76. See http://navylark.0catch.com/index.html
19. Lt Cdr C.R.V. Holt RNVR (1915-97)
was the eldest son of
Vice-Admiral Reginald Vesey Holt, and entered the Navy in 1939. He left
the Navy as Lt Cdr and returned to his pre-war profession of
stockbroker. He was also a talented amateur artist. His diary is in the
RN Museum, Portsmouth (Ref. 1991.57/4).
20. According to a long established “custom of the sea” cannibalism was
justified to save life but killing the weakest to save life by
cannibalism is murder in English Common Law. See the shipwreck of the
(1884), the case Regina v Dudley (1885) and The Custom of the Sea
by Neil Hanson (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1999). You can read
Jack Bolton’s story of his time in HMS Venomous
on the publisher’s website: http://www.holywellhousepublishing.co.uk/Mediterranean_escort.html#Bolton
21. For further details of the “Rome Escape Line” and the manner in which Sub Lt. Roy Elliott RNR
met his death see this archived article: http://archive.org/stream/romeescapeline007235mbp/romeescapeline007235mbp_djvu.txt
22. LST and the much smaller Landing Craft, Tank (LCT) and LCI (Landing
Craft, Infantry) made possible the huge amphibious beach landings which
began with Operation Torch and ended with the D-Day landing in
Normandy. See http://www.strijdbewijs.nl/landing/landeng1.htm
23. The description of events is based on the ROP of Cdr Scott in HMS
Wishart (ADM 199/1035)
, photographed by the naval researcher Tony Cooper at the National Archives and the first-hand accounts of the officers and
men in Venomous
24. Taken from an undated letter to Bob Moore from Quebec, Canada.
25. For a day by day account of the invasion of Sicily see the account by Peter Chen on his World War II Database: http://ww2db.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=53
26. See http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA-MTO-Sicily/USA-MTO-Sicily-9.html
27. Published as a Special Supplement to the London Gazette, 28 April 1950. See http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/UN/UK/LondonGazette/38895.pdf
29. From a letter to Bob Moore dated 21 July 1986. For more about HMS
see U-Boat Net and for Frank Hunter’s service record see http://www.unithistories.com/officers/RN_officersH7.html#Hunter_TH
30. For an insight into Portugal’s role as an escape route for refugees from France see “safe haven: Portugal in WW2” http://www.emmashouseinportugal.com/living-in-portugal/safe-haven-portugal-in-ww2/
31. C.S. Gibraltar’s signal 15/1422/8/43 sent to C in C Mediterranean
Fleet. The Commodore Superintendent, Gibraltar (C.S. Gibraltar) was in
charge of the dockyard. Larger yards would have an Admiral
32. C.S. Gibraltar’s signal 10/1225/9/43 sent to C in C Mediterranean Fleet.
33. C.S. Gibraltar’s signal 13/1114/9/43 sent to Admiralty.
34. C.S. Gibraltar’s signal 14/1623/9/43 sent to C in C Mediterranean.
35. C.S. Gibraltar’s signal 01/1134/10/43 sent to F.O.C. Gibraltar.
36. Signal from C in C Mediterranean Fleet to Admiralty sent 11/10/43.
37. The service record of “Digger”, Lt Clarence Askew Byrne DSC, RAN, can be seen here: http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Gallery151/dist/JGalleryViewer.aspx?B=5399917&S=1&N=4#/SearchNRetrieve/NAAMedia/ShowImage.aspx?B=5399917&T=P&S=3
38. Admiralty signal 220341/10/43 sent to F.O.C. Falmouth is further proof Venomous
was not converted to a Long Range Escort at Falmouth. Her weapons and
sensors had been upgraded at Troon in 1942 but she would soon lose them.