Jump to content

HMS BERWICK - 1939 - 1941 - PICTURES


BearAndRaggedStaff
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi. 

I mentioned to @robgizlu that I had around 20 or so additional pictures but didn't want to swamp his thread with Berwick related stuff so he suggested a new topic in this area. 

 

While not an regular modeller, I was looking for modelling information for HMS Kent and I came upon the forum by @robgizlu for the Trumpeter 1/ 350th and discovered that he too was looking to use it and the HMS Cornwall as a basis for building HMS Berwick. This was of great interest to me as my father had served in her from 1938 - 1941 and I thought the Airfix 1:600 version of HMS Suffolk was not good enough to go with a framed picture and an original ship's badge that I want to display. After his death in 1990 I inherited his stuff including an album and envelopes of photographs from his time in the navy which I have only cursorily glanced at over the years.  By way of contributing to a fantastic web site I thought I would dig out and publish some Berwick photos from the album as he had annotated and so I was confident with the information I could pass on. I was thanked most heartily by @robgizlu and other members and so this encouraged me to dig into the envelopes to see if there were more of Berwick.  And indeed there were! There are some of a convey being bombed, potential one of the ship's captain and and others that might not be useful as modelling reference pictures but I've included them for historical reference. I am also mindful that they belong on historical sites such as the IWM but that's for another day.

 

It is note worthy that some of the pictures have been marked on the back with Berwick's official photographic department stamp and as I mentioned in robgizlu's thread, I do remember Dad telling me that since he had had an interest in cameras he was officially given a camera to "snap around " with. So I would like to think that these were his "snaps". If you look at the URL address it will contain the file name and if it has a _S suffix then that indicates it has a stamp - likewise _NS is no stamp. 

 

So here is what I discovered today; of course all comments welcome.

 

spacer.png

This is the best version I could image - blue ink does not show up in a scanner so I just used my phone camera.

 

spacer.png

Location unknown but guessing it's Norway.

 

spacer.png

spacer.png

spacer.png

spacer.png

 

spacer.png 

Also annotated with BOMBS FALLING ON & AROUND THE CONVOY"

spacer.png

Possibly that is Ark Royal.

 

spacer.png

spacer.png

This also appears on https://world-war.co.uk/Kent/berwick.php3  as the steamer Wolfsburg - 2nd March 1940, Denmark Straits. Elsewhere is says that the crew had set it on fire and was sunk by Berwick's guns.

 

spacer.png

Likewise this was the steamer Uruguay - 6th March 1940, Denmark Straits.

 

spacer.png

I'm pretty sure that is Ark Royal.

 

spacer.png

And this is Norway.

 

spacer.png

And no doubt this is too.

 

spacer.png

Dad is first on the left.

 

spacer.png

Almost thought this was the captain but I think it's a German uniform!

 

spacer.png

spacer.png

Persons unknown.

 

spacer.png

A rescue of some sorts.

 

spacer.png

spacer.png

spacer.png

spacer.png

Boats away!

 

Cheers for now.

Edited by BearAndRaggedStaff
Annotation associated with wrong picture.
  • Like 11
  • Thanks 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks again for posting photos.  Some identifications:

  • The two photos of a cruiser in a Norwegian fjord show HMS Devonshire at Kirkenes, where she picked up a Norwegian troop convoy to escort to Tromsø on 15 April 1940, in company with HMS Inglefield and Berwick.
  • Both of the aircraft carriers you identify as possibly Ark Royal are indeed her.
  • The battleship emerging from the bomb splashes appears to be HMS Barham.
Edited by Our Ned
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And a thanks from me again Paul

Fascinating stuff.

It's such a shame to think of all the photographs that undoubtably have been thoughtlesly discarded since the the War years.

Rob

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/23/2020 at 7:28 PM, Our Ned said:

Thanks again for posting photos.  Some identifications:

  • The two photos of a cruiser in a Norwegian fjord show HMS Devonshire at Kirkenes, where she picked up a Norwegian troop convoy to escort to Tromsø on 15 April 1940, in company with HMS Inglefield and Berwick.
  • Both of the aircraft carriers you identify as possibly Ark Royal are indeed her.
  • The battleship emerging from the bomb splashes appears to be HMS Barham.

I haven’t checked to see whether Berwick was on the same convoy, but the bomb attack shots involving Ark look very similar to some oft-published IWM shots (from a different angle) taken in the Med, also involving Hood.  If so they are Italian bombs!

 

Great photos.  I am 100% sure that the Museum of the Royal Navy and/or IWM would love copies; they’re always appealing for photos found in private collections.

 

Thank you so much for sharing!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Ex-FAAWAFU.

 

I have had a look at the https://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chrono-06CA-Berwick.htm site and Hood appears not be be included in her history but certainly with Ark Royal. It lists Norway operations with Ark Royal from 23rd Apr to 4th May '40 including air attacks and again on 27th Nov in the Med when she sustained two 8" hits to an aft turret. In the latter, Barham is mentioned and since this was a surface action then those would be shells and not bombs so I would propose that it is not Barham emerging but Valiant as she's listed (along with Glorious ) in that Norwegian action.

 

I've realised that I've put the annotation next to the wrong picture (the emerging one) and should be the next one down. I will edit the post to correct it.

 

The Museum of the Royal Navy is a good shout.

 

Cheers

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The photo of the battleship appearing through the smoke does not show Valiant.  The ship has a heavy tripod foremast with a large foretop, as opposed to the tower bridge fitted to Valiant (and Queen Elizabeth and Warspite) before the war.  The relative spacing of the foremast platforms looks different to those of any of the Royal Sovereign class or Repulse and the foc's'le is to short for Hood.  She also has some sort of weapon on "B" turret - Barham had a UP mounting there for part of her wartime career, so I think she is Barham rather than Malaya.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Our Ned.

 

I've had a deeper dig at https://www.naval-history.net and I can see that Berwick and Barham were both part of Force F on passage to Malta and the Berwick notes record an air attack on the 9th May '40. After that there's no other air attacks listed for either for the rest of that year so maybe that and the picture below are from the 9th but hopefully the book Battle for the Mediterranean by Donald Macintyre that I've just ordered will reveal more.

 

Cheers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/25/2020 at 9:28 PM, BearAndRaggedStaff said:

Thanks Our Ned.

 

I've had a deeper dig at https://www.naval-history.net and I can see that Berwick and Barham were both part of Force F on passage to Malta and the Berwick notes record an air attack on the 9th May '40. After that there's no other air attacks listed for either for the rest of that year so maybe that and the picture below are from the 9th but hopefully the book Battle for the Mediterranean by Donald Macintyre that I've just ordered will reveal more.

 

Cheers.

Italy entered the war on July 10, 1940. A bombing attack 2 months earlier is unlikely.

Cheers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...