Lt Cdr A.R. Trew SANF(V)
CO of HMS Walker, 29 September 1944 - May 1945
and his officers on Arctic Convoys in 1944-5
After a few months as First Lt in HMS Versatile
Lt Cdr Anthony R Trew SANF(V) - below right - succeeded
Lt.Cdr. Arthur Nichol Rowell, RN (on left, below) as CO of HMS Walker on the 29 September 1944. Trew was in command until the end of the
war when Lt T W Lancaster DSC RN was appointed CO in June 1945.
Tony Trew was born in Pretoria in 1906 and left school at 16
go to sea as an officer cadet with the Union Castle Line before bring
commissioned in the South African Naval Service from 1926 to 1929. In
1933 he joined the Automobile
Service of South Africa but remained in the Reserve of the SANF. He
married Nora Houthakker in 1931 and they
had three sons.
Called up at the outbreak of war in 1939 he commanded various mine-sweeping and patrol vessels until December 1940 when he served for a year as Lieutenant-Commander in the 22nd A/S Group, the first South African armed forces unit to enter the Mediterranean theatre. After two years in a staff job back in South Africa overseeing the repair of naval vessels at Cape Town he asked to be seconded to the Royal Navy. After another spell in the Mediterranean he attended the Senior Officers' Staff Course at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, before being appointed to HMS Versatile and HMS Walker, his first command of a destroyer.
Departed Kola Inlet on 2 March and arrived Loch Ewe on 10 March 1944
Departed Liverpool 27 March and arrived Kola Inlet on 4 April 1944.
Departed Kola Inlet on 7 April and arrived Loch Ewe on 14 April 1944
Departed Kola Inlet on 28 April and arrived Loch Ewe on 6 May 1944
Departed Liverpool 20 October 1944 and arrived Kola Inlet on 28th October 1944
Departed Kola Inlet on 2 November and arrived Loch Ewe on 9 November 1944
Departed Liverpool 20 December and arrived Kola Inlet on 8 January 1945
Departed Kola Inlet on 11 January and arrived Loch Ewe on 21 January 1945
Officers: Navy Lists, October 1944 - April 1945
with links to entries on unithistories.com
Tp Gnr (T) J E Baker RN
(5 March - May 1945)
Lt R W D Bray RN (14 Jan 1941 - Feb 1945)
Sub Lt (E) R.R. Brooks RCNVR (14 Oct 1943 - March 1945)
Mid A.W. Dodd RNVR (31 Jan 1944 - 27 May 1945)
Lt James J. Glossop RN (20 May 1943 - 22 Nov 1944)
Mid (E) B D Griffith RN (5 March - July 1945)
Lt (E) E.C.Y. Hughes SANF(V) (18 March 1944 - Jan 1945)
Tp Lt (E) S W Keck RNR (27 March - July 1945)
Tp Sub Lt Eric Randolph Lawson RNVR (May 1943 - May 1945)
Tp Sub Lt R B Mann RNR (17 April 1941 - Feb 1945)
Tp Sub Lt A H B McClatchley RNVR (25 June 1942 - Feb 1945)
Surg Lt Graves Merries RNVR (15 March - May 1945)
Lt Derek W. Napper RN (30 Aug 1944 - May 1945)
Mid (E} C E R Newman RN (5 March - July 1945)
Tp Gnr (T) A W Norish RN (15 February 1943 - March 1945)
Tp Sub Lt D Payne RNVR (21 June 1943 - March 1944)
Lt A.D. "Sandy" Powell RNVR (20 March 1944 - April 1945)
Sub Lt R R Rossiter RN (10 Oct 1944 - May 1945)
Arctic Convoys 2: the view from the Wardroom
From left to right: Sub Lt Arthur Dodd RNVR, Lt Derek W. Napper RN and Sub Lt Dacre "Sandy" Powell RNVR
Are the three young officers posing as Napoleon Bonaparte or as Britain's naval hero Horatio Nelson?
Taken at the Tail of the Bank, Gourock, at the mouth of the Clyde in 1944
Courtesy of Philip Dodd
officers served under both Lt Cdr A.N. Rowell and Lt Cdr A.R.
Trew but at present we have no first hand account from any member of
the Wardroom but as is often the case their sons and grandsons have
provided a few brief details and a 16 year old deck hand on a Norwegian
tanker provides an interesting first hand account of Arctic Convoys
JW.61 which was escorted by HMS Walker and return Convoy RA.62.
Derek Napper was born in 1922 at Abu Road, a railway town in Western India where his father was a civil engineer working for the Bombay, Baroda & Central India Railway (1920-1938). He was 14 when he was sent to Dartmouth and by the time he joined HMS Walker on the 3 October 1944 he had been Mentioned in Despatches while serving in HMS Havock as a Midshipman at the Battle of Matapan and served in the battleship HMS Valiant and the destroyers HMS Ilex and HMS Calpe. He was promoted to 1st Lt, Ececutive Officer, by Lt Cdr Trew before leaving to join HMS Cygnet in May 1945. The two junior officers, Sub Lt Arthur Dodd and Sandy Powell, were both RNVR called up for service for the duration of the war but Napper stayed on and in 1971 was Commodore D.W. Napper RN, Chief of Staff of the Far East Fleet.
Sub Lt Arthur William Dodd RNVR
This short account of Arthur Dodd's life was contributed by his son, Philip Dodd:
William Dodd was born at Droylesden in Lancashire on the 4 April 1925
but his parents moved to Nottingham and he attended Nottingham High
School where he was keen on sport and joined the school cadet
corps. After basic training Arthur Dodd joined HMS Walker as
a Midshipman on 31 January 1944 aged 18. He was promoted to Acting Sub
Lt on 4 October 1944 and to Sub Lt on 4 April 1945. He left the ship on
27 May 1945 about the same time as Lt Cdr Tony Trew with whom he
maintained contact along with some other shipmates. Arthur often talked
of Tony Trew and the Arctic convoys they were on together and the
conditions they had to endure. Trew's last report on this young Sub Lt
included: “A good and sound officer, mature for his age, who shows
initiative, is willing to assume responsibility and possesses marked
qualities of leadership and self-assurance“. After a short interlude on
shore at Devonport Arthur served on the destroyer, HMS St Brides Bay, with the Mediterranean Fleet until 3 August 1946 and was released from service on 15 October 1946.
after leaving the Navy Arthur married Patricia Ludlow and moved to
London for a few years to continue his education. Arthur obtained a BSc
degree in Estate Management at the University of Londo and qualified as
a Chartered Surveyor. After a short spell in the civil service, he went
into private practice and started his own firm. In the early 1950’s
Arthur had two sons, Philip and Peter, and he died in his 70th year on
19th November 1994.
Lt James J Glossop RN had joined HMS Walker
as a Sub on 20 May 1943 when
Lt.Cdr. Arthur Nichol Rowell, RN was the CO and was promoted to Lieutenant on 16 May 1944.
He was the son of an Australian naval hero of the Great War, Capt John C.T. Glossop RAN (1871-1934), who commanded the light cruiser HMAS Sydney when she sank the Emden, a commerce raider which had created havoc in the Indian Ocean until outgunned by Sydney, set on fire and driven ashore she was forced to surrender in November 1914. Sub Lt James Glossop took part on Arctic Convoys JW.57 and JW.58 and the return convoys described by ABs Albert Foulser and Bill Perks. HMS Walker
did not take part in the D-Day landings but two days later on 8 June escorted
Military Convoy E2B2Z which reinforced American forces on Utah and
may be the only officer who served in HMS Walker alive today and we hope to give a full account of his wartime service including his memories of these convoys. He left HMS Walker on 23 November 1944 to join the destroyer HMS Penn
with the 10DF at Trincomalee for deployment with the East Indies Fleet
and stayed on in the Navy after the war and retired with the rank of Lt
Cdr in 1969. He is in his mid nineties and lives at a retirement home
Life between Convoys
Tony Trew and the officers in his Wardroom endured several Arctic Convoys to Northern Russia in HMS Walker and a charming little book written by Roxane Houston based on the diaries she kept during her time as an officer in the WRNS vividly depicts the brief period in their lives together before HMS Walker escorted Arctic Convoy JW.61 to the Kola Inlet. Roxanna was based at the HQ of the Senior Officer Assault Ships and Craft (SOASC) Greenock on the Clyde and was friendly with Jane Price who worked in the Convoy Routing Office dealing with the merchant ships at nearby Gourock. Derek Napper was the brother of a friend of Jane's which resulted in an invitation from Lt Cdr Tony Trew to bring some friends aboard Walker for a party. Derek Napper met his future wife, Isobel Cowie, at this party.
was a great evening, full of laughter. Tony Trew was a charming host,
Derek Napper, the brother of Jane's friend, showed us all over the
ship, and Dacre Powell (usually called Sandy Powell after a current
popular comedian) a shy but attentive companion. We all got on very
well, and Jane promptly arranged a reciprocal evening in the guest room
at Belleaire [the WRNS quarters in Greenock]."
Changing Course - The Wartime Experiences of a Member of The Women's Royal Naval Service 1939-1945; by Roxane Houston (Grubb Street, 2005).
Roxane and her friends were shocked to see the state of the ship when HMS Walker returned and even more so by the exhausted look of the young officers they had invited to an early Christmas dinner before they left for the Kola Inlet. Derek Napper would tell his son of 60ft waves and having to clear ice from the superstructure to avoid the ship becoming top heavy.
Northbound Convoys JW61 and JW 63 and Return Convoys RW61 and RW63
At present we have no first hand account of Arctic Convoys JW.61 and return Convoy RA.61 by an officer in HMS Walker but Laurence Downey, a 16 year old seaman on the Norwegian tanker Marathon described JW.61 in his unpublished autobiography.On the 30 December HMS Walker joined joining Keppel, Westcott, and the sloops of the 8th Escort Group on 30 December 1944 as the close escort of Convoy JW.63 which arrived at the Kola Inlet on 8 January 1945 after an uneventful passage. From 11 to 23 January, Walker, Keppel, and Westcott escorted Convoy RA 63 during its voyage from the Kola Inlet to the Clyde, a passage made in very bad weather that allowed only slow progress. Walker returned to Atlantic convoy duty in February 1945. In March, she was assigned to antisubmarine warfare operations and convoy defence in the waters around the British Isles, continuing in this role until the German surrender in early May.
|Lt Cdr Anthony R Trew DSC SANF(V) Ret
Anthony Trew signed copies of his books to
Athur Dodd, his former ASCO
and to Lt Eric R Lawson RNVR