View Full Version : Can you help with this very worthwhile project?

Brian Probetts (Site Admin)
30th November 2018, 03:07 PM
"An appeal on behalf of an author who has contacted me in connection with a book he writing which is to feature merchant ships during WW2"

Historian Hugh Sebag-Montefiore would like to make contact with the families of men, or the men themselves, who served on merchant ships
while participating in the Arctic Convoys to Murmansk and Archangel during World War 2.

This is in connection with a book which he has been commissioned to write about the convoys to Russia by Harper Collins.

Hugh is particularly keen to find vivid personal accounts of men who witnessed such ships being sunk or damaged, or photographs of these incidents.

Families who would like to know the kind of books Hugh writes could google ‘Hugh Sebag-Montefiore Official Author Website’.

To contact Hugh, either email him at sebags@hsmontefiore.com or telephone 020-7-435-1035 or mobile 07726-131941.

Captain Kong
30th November 2018, 03:24 PM
I have a DVD from Bob Fairley, he died a few years ago,
Bob was sunk in the Arctic Ocean on one of the Russian Convoys,
The Russians invited him and several others to go to Leningrad and then onto Murmansk and Archangel
They were treated as Heroes, all the way..
The Russians then took the Veterans out to the site of each ship that they were sunk on and had a Service and cast the wreaths into the ocean above the wrecks, then they had a parade through Murmansk,
A wonderful trip for those Veterans.
Ron B Manderson has the same DVD.
I do not know how to post a DVD film.

below some photos of Bob from the DVD and one of Bob taken a year before he died, between me and Ernie, a small man BUT A GIANT OF A HERO.

Des Taff Jenkins
1st December 2018, 12:00 AM
Hi Brian.
I hope he gets many replies, my brother was at sea then but not on the Arctic convoys. The book will help to remember all those Heroes whose lives should never ever be forgotten.
Cheers Des

Lest we forget


Brian Probetts (Site Admin)
1st December 2018, 12:52 AM
I don't suppose it would be possible to copy that DVD and send one to me, I am sure that Hugh would be absolutely thrilled to see it.

Brian P.

Captain Kong
1st December 2018, 10:59 AM
Hi Brian

I do not know how to copy a DVD and do not have the means to do so,
BUT, .................................
Ron Manderson maybe able to help, he also had a copy from Bob. and he recently copied a DVD of me on the Esther Rantzen Show on BBC TV,

Hi Ron,
if you read this , can you help please?

#PS, How can I play it on the site?

Keith Tindell
1st December 2018, 12:18 PM
It would be great to see it on here if possible Brian, also the one of yourself on the Ester Ranzen show, someone may be able to help, kt

Captain Kong
1st December 2018, 12:35 PM
The interview on the Esther TV Show was about my mate Ken Hignett who drowned on Bonza Bay, East London, I tried to save him but very nearly drowned, I was saved by a South African school boy , 1953,
I never saw him as I was a gonner and then in hospital, so I spent many years searching for him. All I ever knew was his name , but he had moved around Africa The Salvation Army found him in Scotland, and 48 years later we meet up for the first time on the ESTHER SHOW. the man who saved my life.
I would post it if I could.

Captain Kong
1st December 2018, 05:46 PM
I am just watching the DVD of Bob`s ,

The first half is the Battles around convoy PQ17
Listing the names of the ships sunk.
Filmed from German planes and ships , British ships etc. Incredibnle film, this is before the Hertoes were invited to Murmansk.
I wish I could post it.

Doc Vernon
1st December 2018, 07:19 PM
If you have a Desktop Computer then just Copy that DVD to your Computer first then get a Blank DVD and insert it in the DVD Drive, Now locate the Copy of that DVD and then Copy and Paste it to the Blank one.
This works for me and is very simple to do.


or go here and follow the links for software

Free Windows 10 DVD Burning Software

BurnAware | Download Burning Software (http://www.burnaware.com/download.html)

Captain Kong
1st December 2018, 10:45 PM
Thanks Vernon,
Just off to bed, I will look in the morning.
Cheers Brian

Captain Kong
2nd December 2018, 12:47 PM
I have been struggling with this all morning, nearly 4 hours,
Nothing happens, I can play the DVD but it is not saving it, tried into a Memory stick , nothing happens.
Tried it on my lap top as well , nothing happens.
I have a few problems with both computers.

Maybe Ron Manderson could help, he used to have a copy of the DVD off Bob.

Doc Vernon
3rd December 2018, 05:53 AM
Here is an easier way
You have Windows 10 Go to Windows Accesorries Select in Dropdown List Windows Media Player
Now click on the Burn and follow steps,
Don't forget to have the Original DVD in the drive and a spare Blank DVD Handy for later,
Its really easy


Captain Kong
3rd December 2018, 11:15 AM
Hi Vernon
I have been trying again , No Dice.

I have been having a lot of problems with this computer recently and my step son who is a """" ????computer expert????""""
Had it for a few days and it is now totally confusing, a lot of things I had on it have disappeared and a lot of new stuff has appeared,
I play the DVD and there is no where to Save it, That program you sent to me does not exist on my computer,
He has gone to London on business today but when he returns in a couple of days I will nail him.

So at the moment the only way is to send the DVD to someone who can do it and return the disc to me again or Ron Manderson has or had a copy off Bob and he is an expert on such things, He recently copied my interview on BBC TV from Video tape to DVD, for me.,
The DVD is great, it was made by Russians, it has English subtitles, but it shows film of the war on the Arctic Convoys, from the german side, British films and Russion . Ships under constant attack by submarine, surface ships and Junkers Dive bombers, on Convoy PQ17 that was ordered to disperse by Admiral; Dudley Pound. Total chaos for the Seamen. Then the Russians find after the war the location of the ships that were sunk, using under water cameras and other technology,n and then the Veterans, from Britain, Canada and the USA, are feted as Heroes in Murmansk , taken out to the Berents Sea to where their old ships rest and able to cast wreaths over them. with a large tot of Visky. A very unusual film, not your usual TV film,
Well worth watching and keeping. The Russians really loved these men.


Brenda Shackleton
3rd December 2018, 04:57 PM
Re;request from Hugh Sebag- Montefiore

I am trying to imagine how H.S.M. would make contact with, ‘The men themselves’ The War finished in 1945; 73 years ago and an 18 year old then would be at least 91 years old now.

As for, ’Vivid accounts of ships being damaged….or photographs of these incidents.’ I used to ask my Dad why he had not taken any photographs during the War.; several reasons. 1. It wasn’t allowed. 2. He didn’t have a camera and 3. Men were too busy working the ship to be taking photographs. You will notice that all the published photos have been taken from RN Ships – not Merchant Vessels. MoD approved War photographers.

Richard Woodman has written an excellent account of the Arctic Convoys, published in 1994. Richard had a long Naval (RN) Career of 37 years, having joined as a 16 year old Midshipman and rising to the rank of Captain where he was 11 years in command. He sailed with survivors of PQ17 and through their stories became fascinated with the Arctic campaign. ‘Arctic Convoys 1941-1945’ is a splendid read. He covers all aspects of that theatre of War. I really recommend it.

I am sure that Hugh Sebag- Montefiore is a good writer. His C.V. is as a Barrister and Journalist. In 2015 I contacted the Producer of the Jeremy Clarkson programme (via this site) to give assistance to the Arctic Convoy story of PQ17. He very deliberately omitted to say that although 153 men perished, 533 were rescued. When challenged he said, ‘I was trying to tell a linear story.’ Whatever THAT meant ! Then last year, there was a request from a Researcher – again via this site- concerning the making of a film about the War and the Arctic Convoys. When I questioned her about the film she was very vague. Eventually, she admitted that her Boss had asked her to do some research for the final chapter of his book…..

I have a mountain of notes about the Arctic Convoys and a ‘ blow-by-blow account of the 5-day battle PQ18 in September 1942, written by Dad’s Chief Radio Officer, Horace Bell, as he collected all the radio messages that the ship (Copeland) received. So, an accurate and unique account of the battle. Currently, I am photocopying and scanning this material for a photobook for our three daughters. Then, on Richard Woodman’s advice, my Dad’s stuff will go to the Imperial War Museum for the benefit of future historians.

I hope that this doesn’t sound too mean-spirited. I now feel once bitten, twice shy and I’m not at all happy with journalistic pick and mix.

Sorry to sound so negative. I wish HSM success in his venture.


Captain Kong
3rd December 2018, 05:12 PM
Hi Brenda,
If I ever get copies of this DVD from Russia I will let you have one if you want one. there are many genuine films of the battles and the names of the ships in the action and those that were sunk.
and also the men who survived the sinkings, possibly men who were saved by your father.

Bob my friend, who gave me the DVD died about ten years ago.so do not know how he was rescued.

I have been trying all day to no avail.,

there is no way I can copy a DVD on This computer. I am going demented,
SHE is giving me a hard time for doing nothing around the house she had plans for,


PS. is this Historian Hugh Sebag-Montefiore Kosher? or is he in it to make a few Bob for himself . Just curious. as I am having a hard time at the moment.

Brenda Shackleton
3rd December 2018, 06:36 PM
Thank you, Brian. That's very kind of you.

I'm sure that HSM is ok and that HarperCollins has asked him to write the Arctic story. If you look him up he has written several books - ' Dunkirk' being one of them. My point about Richard Woodman is he knows what it is like to be on a ship, feel sick, taste the salt etc. He is a RN man but I must say that he is very even-handed and his accounts of the Arctic Convoys and the Merchant Navy are very well-researched. He wrote his book in 1994 so was still in contact with some who were actively engaged in warfare. I mentioned that he sailed with men who had been with PQ17 . You can get his book on Amazon - really good read.



Captain Kong
3rd December 2018, 07:31 PM
Good News,

The lad who lives next door to me said he would copy the DVD of the Russian Convoys
So I will send one to Brian P. and one to Brenda,
I still do not know how to put it on the site. maybe Brian can do it.

He said he would be able to do it after next week , so I am going off in the morning to Sunny Fleetwood for a few days until next weekend so that is OK.


James Fleming
23rd March 2019, 10:44 PM
There is a DVD from Home - Snowbow Productions Maritime Film Archive (http://www.Snowbow.co.uk) called "The Worst Journey in the World" with footage from the Arctic Convoys and the cruise we did to Murmansk with the veterans, it costs 17.95.
There are 44 DVD's of Merchant ships etc in the hey day of the Merchant Navy all at 17.95 and a 3 for 2 offer.

James Fleming