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Thread: Singapore

  1. #31
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    Default Re: Singapore

    #30 just seen this post. If your AJ Mann was an ex RN commissioned officer he could have left naval service with a certificate of service as master of a F.G. Vessel. This was not a cert. of competency , but allowed him to forego the seatime required if he decided to go for the real thing.Regards JS.
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 31st March 2020 at 01:55 PM.

  2. #32
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    Default Re: Singapore

    Quote Originally Posted by j.sabourn View Post
    #30 just seen this post. If your AJ Mann was an ex RN commissioned officer he could have left naval service with a certificate of service as master of a F.G. Vessel. This was not a cert. of competency , but allowed him to forego the seatime required if he decided to go for the real thing.Regards JS.
    Thanks, JS. That's useful to know. AJ Mann was petty officer RN until 1933 when he joined Chinese Customs. There is a gap in my knowledge 1934 -1941. At the fall of Singapore he is 2nd mate of Vyner Brooke (as temporary Lt RNVR when she is requisitioned by the Navy) though he writes as though he has been a while on Vyner Brooke when she was owned by Vyner Brooke the "White Rajah of Sarawak" and saw business as cargo and passenger shuttle service Singapore to Kuching (Sarawak). I don't find that he held a commission with the RN - he appears in the Navy list as temp Lt. at the start of war with Japan.

    Here is how he begins his memoir:One Jump Ahead
    Yet another escape from Singapore.
    Set down ten years after (in 1952) by Lieutenant A J Mann, RNVR.

    February the 12th 1942.
    ****In the Singapore Strait, His Majesty’s Auxiliary vessel Vyner Brooke was steaming to the east’ard on her patrol of the waters between Johore Strait and Horsborough Light at the eastern end of Singapore Strait. Away to port, near the island of Singapore was His Majesty’s Yangtze River Gunboat Dragonfly engaged in the same duty. Poor Vyner Brooke, so brave in being there and yet so futile.
    ** She was a merchant vessel of some 1,000 tons, usually engaged in a regular service between Singapore and Kuching the capital of Sarawak in Borneo. Sarawak, the state ruled over by Sir Charles Vyner Brooke, the White Rajah whose name she bears. In those happy times she wore a yellow flag emblazoned with a black and red cross, the flag of Sarawak. She made the passage so often that it is possible she might have done so without human assistance, other than the engine room crew to give her energy to move.
    ** The war in Europe brought a change in her appearance, but her routine of plodding to and fro from Kuching and Singapore continued, passengers and cargo each way. Today she wore grey paint and flew a different flag. The white ensign of the Royal Navy now fluttered from her gaff, and on the foc’sle a 4-inch Q.F. (quick-firing) gun pointed the way. On the poop, depth charges in throwers and on the rails had been fitted. With the single Lewis gun sticking up aft the funnel, by exercising a lot of imagination, she could be said to have taken on a warlike appearance. Even in this guise, her journey on her old beaten track continued, passengers and cargo, passengers and cargo, two days at sea, three alongside, two days at sea, and three days at anchor in the inner harbour at Singapore, then across to Kuching again.
    ** As a job for a ship's officer liking a quiet life, with no long periods at sea, it was ideal. The people of Kuching regarded her as Their Ship and always on arrival at port and departure from the wharf there were throngs of native people. Malay girls in gorgeous coloured sarongs and saris looked like flocks of butterflies, all so lovely of feature. When they noticed themselves being looked at they shyly drew their saris across their faces but left their eyes looking over the top with the most charming twinkle in them imaginable. Presumably they were seeing friends off, for seldom were they discovered on board after the ship sailed. The people ashore were friendly Malay, Chinese and European, and the town itself most pleasant. The officers looked upon Kuching as their 'home port' and even I, who was in a sense an interloper, felt more at home ashore there, than ever I have elsewhere. It was too good to last.
    Harry Nicholson
    Harry Nicholson

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  4. #33
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    Default Re: Singapore

    Have you ever read the Camp on Blood Island ?
    I read it a lot of years ago , but canít remember too much about it.
    The reason I think I read it was because Someone told me that the minister that married the wife and me was a Presperb. Minister, forgotten how to spell it. He was a young army padre at the fall of Singapore and his name was mentioned in this book , a Reverend Webb.
    He was the most outspoken man of God I have ever met , he would No way try and make you one of his flock, a straight talker and shot from the hip. He must be a long time dead , but life to him must have made him a different man after being a POW from the fall of Singapore to its release from the Japanese. Literally he shied away from no question , he was liked by all his parishioners they even bought him a car at one time so he could get out and about more. Before getting married he had to draw me a plan of his Church as I had never been in, and was only in twice more when the kids got christened. If more ministers had been like him maybe more Churches would of had bigger congregations. The Reverend Webb not a name to be forgotten in a hurry. Regards JS
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 31st March 2020 at 10:47 PM.

  5. #34
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    Default Re: Singapore

    Harry the years you are talking about and the gross tonnage of the vessel, he may not have even needed a certificate , the Manning was probably a Master and Mate, the 2nd. Mate was extra to requirements , the same as. 3rd. Mate on Ocean going vessels. And if under a foreign flag was probably superfluous in any case.Most people on this site refer to the British manning as they knew it. The home trade certificates in the UK only consisted of Master and mate, no 2nd mates cert. existed. Regards JS.

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  7. #35
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    Default Re: Singapore

    John, that book I can still remember the opening lines.

    A guy is digging his own grave with a Jap standing by to shoot him when it is dug.
    The guy says no more digging you ba***D.

    The Jap says dig faster, dig faster then shoots him.

    I honestly believe there was a lot of truth in that novel, possibly written by someone with some knowledge of events in Singapore.
    They shot all the nurses on the beach there.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

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  9. #36
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    Default Re: Singapore

    Kromeskis as la Russe, have not heard that one since about 65.

    But we had a Soux chef on the Pretoria and on arrival in Cape Town going to Durban he would pull all manner of left overs from the cool rooms.

    He would mince them up and use them in his 'Cornish Pasties' for lunch in the tourist gallop.
    Funnny thing is he would be able to use them all.

    But the wingers serving them were a little wiser and would not touch them.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

  10. #37
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    Default Re: Singapore

    Quote Originally Posted by j.sabourn View Post
    Harry the years you are talking about and the gross tonnage of the vessel, he may not have even needed a certificate , the Manning was probably a Master and Mate, the 2nd. Mate was extra to requirements , the same as. 3rd. Mate on Ocean going vessels. And if under a foreign flag was probably superfluous in any case.Most people on this site refer to the British manning as they knew it. The home trade certificates in the UK only consisted of Master and mate, no 2nd mates cert. existed. Regards JS.
    Thank you, JS. Your insight into this has the puzzle solved. I need look no further into the matter and can get on with the rest of the story. Good of you to help out. Stay well.
    regards
    Harry Nicholson
    Harry Nicholson

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