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Thread: (orcades).

  1. #1
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    Default (orcades).

    Was anyone on the Orcades,Taking part in the 1953 Spit head Review,Remember the occasion. I remember our Bosun,Jack kite, organising the deck flags & Buntings. a stunning show. Our 3 Deckmen.Ronnie May (C) Deck. Lennie ? B Deck, and Thomo ?. A Deck all putting in their 2 pennyworth. It was very interesting what with all the big wigs aboard. Captain Wingfield was ferried across to the Royal Yacht to meet the Royals I believe. Perhaps some body else out there was on board at the time and can add to this thread,Heres hoping.

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    Default Re: (orcades).

    http://www.pandosnco.co.uk/orcades.html

    May be of some interest to you!
    Cheers
    Senior Site Moderator-Member and Friend of this Website

    R697530

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    Default Re: (orcades).

    Hi There,
    Many thanks for your reply,re the Spithead review,& Orcades). It is very good reading.brings back good memories.

    All the Best. Dave.

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    Default Re: (orcades).

    Though not at Spithead, I was bosun's mate with Jack Kite on the Oriana.{one of the last seadogs} The shore bosun Day? was awarded the BEM or some such and a lunch was laid on for him on the Oriana. As the guests ,including the boss of P&O came aboard we were lined up at the top of the gangway ,to welcome them. The boss said to Jack Kite, "We'll have to see if we can get you the BEM at the next awards". "Excuse me sir ", said Jack "But I got mine during the war for active service" The party moved on leaving Jack with a sly grin on his face. Sorry to say Jack is no longer with us.

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    Default Re: (orcades).

    Typical of Jack, a great guy and Bosun, respected by all us lads.

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    Default Re: (orcades).

    Picture taken at Suva, Fiji November, 1955 with my very dear sister who came around from Lautoka to pick me up. Was a passenger on the Orcades from San Francisco to Suva. She is 88 next month and now lives in Australia quite a distance from me but this Friday week we are going to spend the day together at Terrigal, NSW.
    Richard
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Our Ship was our Home
    Our Shipmates our Family

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    Default Re: (orcades).

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Quartermaine View Post
    Picture taken at Suva, Fiji November, 1955 with my very dear sister who came around from Lautoka to pick me up. Was a passenger on the Orcades from San Francisco to Suva. She is 88 next month and now lives in Australia quite a distance from me but this Friday week we are going to spend the day together at Terrigal, NSW.
    Richard
    and a very handsome couple if i may say so in one of my much liked places on this earth ....regards cappy

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    Default Re: (orcades).

    My father, Arthur Knight, was a Baker and Pastry Cook who sailed with Orient Line from 1919 until 1945. He started on the "Orvieto" and transferred to the "Otranto" (2). During the 1930's, "Otranto" took part in the rescue of the crew and passengers of the blazing French liner "Georges Phillipar".

    "Otranto" was cruising in New Guinea when the Second World War began. "Otranto" returned to Sydney, and took part in Convoy U.S. 1, which carried the New Zealand and Australian Expeditionary Force to the Middle East.

    When "Otranto" reached the U.K. she (together with her sister-ship "Orford") was chartered by HMG and lent to the French government to carry French colonial troops and farm labourers from Madagascar to France. After Madagascar, the ships went to Mombasa to load cotton in the cargo hold. The cotton was to have a significant effect on subsequent developments. When they arrived in Marseilles, the troops debarked. "Otranto" went alongside to land garbage, and load stores. My father went ashore for a walk, and late in the afternoon he stopped for a beer. The barman walked over to him and asked him if he was from "the British ship?" My father said "Yes". The barman said "Allez vite, quelque chose de mal se depasse" (Go quickly, something bad has happened"). My father ran back to "Otranto" and reached the ship as the gangway was being hove inboard. He threw himself on the gangway and was pulled inboard as the moorings were let go. There had been a German air-raid, and "Orford", which was in the anchorage, had been hit by bombs and set ablaze. The Engine Room was smashed, and no fire pumps were available, and the cotton cargo was ablaze. The order to "Abandon ship" was given. "Orford" burnt out. The survivors headed for "Otranto", which had been ordered back to the U.K. at full speed. Some crew members from both ships were left ashore, and with the help of the British Consul, who gave them Travel Warrants drawn on HMG, travelled overland by train and bus to the Channel, despite the chaos of the French collapse. They slept in railway stations, barns, and, (rumour has it), in a whore-house, though I find it difficult to believe that Merchant Navy men would do such a thing! The late John Townsend, who was a Steward on "Otranto",and who knew my father, was one of those "left behind", and he told me that when he and the other "left behinds" re-joined the "Otranto" at Liverpool, they walked up the gangway, bedraggled, unshaven, but feeling rather heroic, having escaped the Panzers, only to be greeted by the Chief Steward, who said "Where the bloody hell have you lot been?".
    "Otranto" was then ordered to the West Coast of France to take part in Operation Aerial. "Otranto" sailed to Brest, where the ship picked up British soldiers. John Townsend told me that some of the crew were sent onto the jetty to puncture the the tyres of the Army trucks, and smash their radiators, so that the Germans could not make use of them.
    "Otranto" was subsequently converted for trooping, and took part in the invasions of North Africa, Sicily, and Italy. My father came ashore at the end of the war, but remained a baker for the rest of his life. John Townsend sailed on convoys to Murmansk, and wrote the book "Seeing the world through a porthole", which is a good read.

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