Naval History Net Link HMS Londonderry Badge

HMS Londonderry
1st Commission
1960 - 1962



Ship's Notice Board

Ships Company are cordially invited to submit
items for the website via this link

HMS Londonderry


2018 Derry Reunion.
The Country Hotel,
Basingstoke, Hampshire.

Following received from Brian Coward.
Date of reunion is from checking in at 1500 on Friday 1 June until morning on Monday 4 June 2018.
We will be at a Four Star hotel, 'The Country Hotel (and Spa)' at BASINGSTOKE, Hampshire.
The hotel is about 30 miles north from Southampton airport for those arriving there, so not too far.
Having 'googled' the hotel, it looks good. I personally have never had a bad venue with IOW Tours and am sure they will do us proud with the whole programme.
The total cost for the three night stay is £209, per person, (wonderful value for a 4 Star in my view). This covers all trips taken, admission prices at trip venues, plus at the hotel Half Board, all accommodation en-suite, On the Gala night (Saturday) Mount Gay rum will be provided by yours truly (cos I luvs you all!!). For those non rum slurpers, wine will be available.
The weekend will comprise of the following trips:
cheers.jpg On the Saturday to either: West Quay Shopping Centre, at Southampton, or to Beaulieu where the National Motor Museum is. (Those who opt for the shopping will receive a £5 discount pp off the overall cost).
On the Sunday: a trip to the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton.
The next action is upon 'young' David to provide the names and addresses (which is in hand) and then you should get your Booking Forms for completion.
The only silly is that we are asking you all to state at time of booking, whether you wish to venture - on the Saturday - to either West Quay Shopping or to Beaulieu. You will appreciate that transport requires to be planned in advance and the same coach will cover these two venues, so numbers to each are required IN ADVANCE.

Further to Brian's email, IOW Tours have now posted the reunion programme, hotel details and booking form to all Derrys of the 1st commission whom David had postal addresses for. This information is also available on the 2018 reunion page.

H.M.S. Londonderry Name Board Presentation

Photograph by BJC

David Wickham and Brian Coward received from Wendy Doherty,
daughter of the late Chief Mechanician R F (Wyatt) Earp BEM
the ship's landrover name board at the RBL Club Fratton.

HMS Ganges mast 2017

HMS Ganges Mast September 2017.jpg
HMS Ganges mast and famous Suffolk landmark September 2017.
A shameful memorial to the thousands of boys, H.O.s, ships company
and instructors who served their country in two world wars
and the many conflicts between and afterwards.

Help us bring Viola home


Visit to find out more.




thewagerdisaster.jpg In 1741, Britain and Spain were at war. Commodore Anson and his small squadron battled round Cape Horn into the Pacific to take the war to the Spanish possessions in the South Seas. It was a notable moment in British naval history, when far-sighted men were beginning to realise the great benefits to British trade from a strong Navy with a worldwide reach. There were no accurate charts of the west coast of South America. The marine chronometer had not been invented, so longitude was largely a matter of guesswork. And before the value of lime juice had been recognised, the dreaded scurvy took a grim toll on the health of ships companies. One of the squadron, HMS Wager, a 6th rate of 28 guns, was driven onto a lee shore in vicious hurricane-force winds and wrecked on an uninhabited island off the coast of what is now Chilean Patagonia. About 140 Wager men reached the land, most of them then to be lost through starvation, exhaustion, hypothermia, drowning, and sometimes violence. Gunner Bulkeley led a party who mutinied against an unpopular captain, and set off in an open boat with no chart. No one approves of mutiny, but his 2500 nautical-mile journey from Chilean Patagonia to Brazil, through the world s worst seas, was an epic feat of navigation, and one of the greatest castaway survival voyages in the annals of the sea. Only 36 men (including Midshipman Byron, grandfather of the poet) eventually made it back to Britain, where their tales of fearful ordeals in a far country caught the imagination of the public. This book uses their accounts to piece together the story of a dramatic fight for survival under extreme conditions. The wrecking of the Wager had surprisingly lasting effects on both the history of Chile and the administration of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, as this book tells. Anson, justly called the Father of the Navy, saw to it that the lessons of the Wager disaster were learned and some important reforms implemented. In 2006 the wreck was discovered by a British expedition, and it is now being studied by Chilean marine archaeologists. Here in the Wager s extraordinary story, is a record of human endurance and perseverance in the face of almost superhuman adversity.
Kit Layman CB, DSO, LVO joined the Royal Navy in 1956, and served for 35 years in many parts of the world, including the waters around Patagonia where the Wager was wrecked. He commanded five ships of different sizes, from a minehunter based in Hong Kong to the aircraft carrier HMS Invincible. In 1982 he was commanding HMS Argonaut and the Seventh Frigate Squadron in the Falklands war, when his ship suffered damage and casualties but came home safely. As a Rear Admiral he spent a happy time as Commander British Forces Falkland Islands when he was able to study the old settlement founded by Commodore Byron in 1765. His last appointment was at NATO Headquarters for three interesting years, during which time the Soviet Union and its empire collapsed. On retirement he worked for various companies and charities and his local Community Council, was appointed Gentleman Usher of the Green Rod (an Officer of the Order of the Thistle), and has published two other books, The Falklands And The Dwarf: The Cruise Of HMS Dwarf In The Falkland Islands 1881-1882 and Man of Letters: Early Life and Love Letters of Robert Chambers.


Royal Naval Amateur Radio Society

for Radio Amateurs with an interest in maritime affairs
The Royal Naval Amateur Radio Society website has digitised several copies of "The Communicator", the RN magazine of the late much belated Communications Branch. Although specifically published with communicators in mind the magazines should I hope be of interest to all who served in the RN from 1952 to 1974 (Present range of copies). The ship articles and commissioning lists plus events of the period I found most interesting and the advertising and technical items show just how much things have changed over the past 50 - 60 years. To access the RNARS website please click either on the RNARS Badge or here.   HMS Londonderry's submission can be found in the 1962 Summer Edition.

Following is an interesting YouTube video from Ric Broniman

This video is historically interesting to all ex - RN personnel.
Britain, under Harold (The pipe and duffel coat) Wilson, as Prime Minister refused to join the Vietnam War. However, in this video the British RFA TIDEPOOL is seen fuelling and storing HMAS SYDNEY as she transports troops and stores to Vietnam

Royal Navy Boy Seamen Memorial Book

Following is a link to the R.A.N. Navy Daily website commemorating the placing of the book of remembrance of over 500 boy seamen killed in the Second World War.
Extract from speech given by Mr Owen Dingle at the memorial service
"For 70 years, before the entrance of boys to the Royal Navy ended, over 150,000 had been trained at HMS Ganges. The intake of boys in their 15th and 16th year, gave the Royal Navy a vital source of highly trained personnel, however to my knowledge no such press reports or written memorials have ever appeared mentioning or honouring the deeds or names of the boy seamen killed in action in World War II, no headstones mark their graves their tombs lie deep at the bottom of the oceans".

Starbuck's hat

Sent: Tuesday, 1 July 2014, 5:22
Subject: HMS Londonderry Crew Member? I am not sure if you can assist me in my quest but here goes. My cousin a few years ago purchased an old sailors hat with the name HMS Londonderry on the band and a name Starbuck printed inside.
Do you know anyone who could find out anything about this for me - if anyone was interested my cousin would be only too happy for give it to them. I live in New Zealand so not sure if this makes things difficult. We would both be interested in its history and have always wondered why it ended up here in NZ. Look forward to your reply Ms Bev Bowden

HMS Londonderry Deck Logs for 23rd and 24th October 1961

The National Archives has kindly given permission for copies of the HMS Londonderry
deck logs covering the Bianca C incident to be displayed on the website and can be seen at:
They are not for reproduction or commercial use without their permission.

Derry Tie

A first class quality HMS Londonderry badged tie can be purchased for the incredible bargain price of £7 from Robbie Robson. Please email Robbie for further details. HMS Londonderry badged tie


Your Military History Filmed for the Next Generation

Dear Sirs The Legasee war veterans project is looking for volunteers who want to tell their stories.
As part of an exciting social history project, the film company Legasee is looking for war veterans who would like to have their stories filmed for posterity.
This footage will be used to launch a unique online archive of interviews for use by schools, colleges and members of the public.
To kick-start the project, we're looking for war veterans of any age who wish to recall their experiences in front of the camera for the benefit of future generations.
It doesn't matter what campaign or country they served in, or what role they played. The Legasee war veterans project is completely free of charge, with any travel expenses paid - all we need is their knowledge, enthusiasm and a small amount of their time to take part in the filming.
If you know anyone that's interested, please ask them to email me giving their name, age, daytime phone number and brief details of their wartime service so we can contact them to discuss this further.
We hope to hear from you, and please feel free to forward this email to any war veterans that you think might be interested.
Please visit our web site for more information about Legasee - Kind regards
Dave Player
Ex-Royal Engineer
Email:- Legasee - 'become a part of history'

HMS Londonderry on Facebook

The following link takes you to what I think is a Chinese Facebook page at
with a further link from there to the Wikipedia source page of the photograph taken by the US Coast Guard at
Any further information of the incident would be very much appreciated.

Derry Commissioning Tankard

HMS Londonderry Tankard
The tankard has the engraved ships crest and beneath - Presented by J Samuel White & Co Ltd. on the occasion of commissioning HMS Londonderry on the 20th July 1960.
On the other side it has the names engraved of her six captains:
Cdr I.S. Primrose 1960 - 1962
Cdr D.E.P. George 1962 - 1964
Cdr W.J. Soames 1964 - 1966
Cdr N.A.B. Anson 1966 - 1967
Cdr M.T. Prest 1969 - 1971
Cdr T.D.A. Thomas 1971 - 1972


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