Crest of the V&W Destroyer AssociationCrest of the V&W Destroyer AssociationHMS WALPOLE

Two Captains, 1941-3

On 28 August 1940  Walpole was bombed off Dover and repaired at Chatham but on 28 October she detonated a magnetic mine near the Sunk Light Vessel off Harwich and had to be towed to Sheerness by HMS Windsor and was under repair at Green & Silley Weirs' Blackwall Yard on the Thames until April 1941. Lt.Cdr. John Henry Eaden, DSC, RN succeeded Bowerman as CO while she was under repair.

Lt Cdr John H. Eaden was born in Dominica in the British West Indies in 1910 and his sucessor as Commanding Officer Lt Arthur S. Pomeroy was born in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1911. They were born
within a year of each other thousands of miles apart in the British Empire and although Eaden started as a submariner and Pomeroy intended to serve as an officer in the Merchant Navy their background and training made them fairly typical of the professional Royal Navy officer. The portraits of King George VI the "Emperor King" and Queen Elizabeth were taken in 1941 and hung in the wardroom of HMS Walpole until she was decommissioned.

George Rex Imperator and Elizabeth Regina

King George VI, portrait in the wardroom of HMS WalpoleQueen Elizabeth, portrait in the Wardroom of HMS Walpole
Captain George C Crowley allowed CPO Ambrose Smith to keep these portraits when HMS Walpole was decommissioned in 1945
Courtesy of Mark and David Smith, the grandsons of CPO Ambrose Smith

Lt.Cdr. John Henry Eaden, DSC, RN
14 March 1941 -  August 1942

Lt Cdr John H Eaden DSC, CO of HMS Walpole, 1941-2John Henry Eaden was born on 23 February 23 1910 in Dominica, British West Indies, where his father was a lime planter and his mother the daughter of a doctor.  At eight John was sent to prep school in England, and from there to the Royal Naval College Dartmouth. He served in the battleship Royal Oak and the destroyer Canterbury before "joining the trade" in 1931.  He opted to serve in submarines and by 1937 was first lieutenant of the submarine Clyde. He found himself back on land when he served ashore during the rebellion in Palestine. In 1938 he passed the "perisher", the demanding course for submarine commanders.

Eaden took command of HMS Spearfish on 17 December 1938 and on 3 September 1939, the day the war began, Spearfish was southwest of Stavanger, Norway,  when two tracks were seen approaching from the port bow. Eaden and his crew were not to know that the war had broken out – it was mere moments old. The officers on the bridge thought they had spotted two dolphins, but the tracks continued, passing by close to the bow and leaving a distinctive trail of bubbles. Spearfish dived and attempted to locate the German U-boat. Minutes later the signal arrived: ‘Total Germany’ - the war had begun. The message was sent 11.17am and the tracks were spotted at 11.21am. The struggle ended in stalemate as after Spearfish was set on a ramming course, her unknown adversary slipped away; “I was annoyed at the time, it did appear to me the Germans had got the information through before we had. I felt we had been slow off the mark.”

"On 24 September, in the shallow water of the Heligoland Bight, Spearfish was repeatedly depth-charged.  Eaden took his boat to the seabed, stopped all machinery and ordered everyone to be still.  The hydrophones of the searching enemy could be heard in the water above, and the scraping of grappling lines being drawn over the hull. Two hours later the attacks began again; up to 60 depth charges proceeded to explode around Spearfish, and a final explosion caused huge damage. All that could be heard in the darkness of the boat was the hissing of high-pressure air escaping, and the spurting of jets of water; the air grew fouler all the time.  Eaden kept calm during the attack and did what he could to reassure his crew: he encouraged an able seaman to pad around the boat taking 6d sweepstakes on when the next depth charge would go off. At nightfall he ordered his crew to go quietly to their diving stations, using torches to investigate the damage.  The submarine's periscope had been blown away, the wireless was smashed, the engines disabled and seawater threatened to reach the batteries and start a release of chlorine gas.  Knowing that if he surfaced he would be unable to dive again, Eaden nevertheless decided to do so, hoping that darkness would cloak the boat's movements. Leaks from the high-pressure air bottles meant that as soon as Eaden unclipped the hatch to the conning tower the air would rush out of the boat as if from a punctured tyre.  So it was with a 14-stone signalman grasping his legs that Eaden stood on the ladder to the conning tower hatch and knocked off the clips.  As the hatch flew open he was pulled off his step and his binoculars flew off through the hatch into the night sky. Hugging Danish territorial waters, Eaden crept north on the submarine's one remaining electrical motor, unable to signal his plight until temporary repairs could be made.  At dawn on the second day he was met by units of the Home Fleet who escorted him to Rosyth. Eaden's escape was reported in The Daily Telegraph on October 6, and he was awarded a DSC for his courage, seamanship and resolution in bringing his submarine safe home."
This is an extract from his Obituary in The Telegraph on 7 May 2007 but a more detailed account No Surrender: The Rescue of HMS Spearfish by John Ash was published in Britain at War
based on an interview in the IWM Sound Archive which can be heard online

It took until 11 March 1940 to repair the damage and on 31 July 1940 Spearfish was torpedoed by U-34 and sunk with the loss of forty lives. John Eaden had left her on 20 November 1939 while she was under repair and joined the V & W Class destroyer HMS Venetia. He was given command of the submarine Utmost before joining HMS Walpole on 14 March 1941.

Dornier 217 shot down in Thames Estuary, 17 January 1942

In January 1942 HMS Walpole was part of the 16th Destroyer Flotilla based at Harwich escorting East Coast Convoys to Rosyth on the Firth of Forth. This anonymous article by a Telegraphist in Walpole was published in Hard Lying, the magazine of the V & W Destroyer Association:

"Without wishing to appear too dramatic, we have managed to survive up to now, and as you will see 1942 was quite an eventful year for HMS Walpole. From the 1st of January to the 11th we saw continuous convoy escort duties and further E-boat patrols, if the weather was too rough the patrols would be canceled, E-boats did not sail if the sea was at all turbulent. Walpole left Sheerness on the 11th to escort convoy FN88, all the way to Rosyth, then on the 14th escorted the county class cruiser HMS Suffolk to Aberdeen.

The next day we joined convoy FS 100 to act as close escort with the Hunt class destroyer HMS Whaddon.  On the 17th January FS 100 and escorts approached the Thames Estuary in the late afternoon and the merchant ships prepared to anchor. At this time, convoys were not allowed to trade up the estuary during the hours of darkness on account of enemy mine laying. As Walpole slowed down at the rear of the convoy to protect stragglers and advise on anchoring, a Dornier 217 bomber attempted to strafe and bomb Walpole - possibly a dummy run?  

Each convoy is given a code name as well as a number. In the event of imminent danger to a convoy, as assessed by shore radar, a plain language message is flashed by ship-shore radio to the convoy escorts. For air attacks the word 'Blue' followed by the convoy code name is given. At this time I was on ship-shore frequency watch and knowing the FS 100 code word I was able to pass the 'Blue' warning to the bridge within minutes of receiving it. This gave the Captain and the crew a few vital moments to be fully prepared, as they would normally be at stand by, not action stations, and our Captain, Lt Cmdr J.H. Eaden, exercised great skill and coolness in these moments.

The Dornier made another run, machine gunning Walpole and making several holes in the funnel, as well as shooting away one of our W/T aerials.   Walpole had by now almost stopped at the rear of the convoy and the enemy must have mistaken us for a merchantman. The Dornier made a low-level run from astern, and when the bomb doors opened, our Captain ordered, 'Full ahead both', to the engine room. As we picked up speed quite quickly the bombs exploded in our wake. After releasing her bombs the enemy aircraft turned away and presented us with a perfect target. Excellent shooting from our gunners made sure that the enemy did not escape. The plane crashed in flames, there were no survivors.

Lt Cdr Eaden was mentioned in dispatches and one of our gunners received the DSM - a wonderful start to 1942!"

The Attack on the "Channel Dash" of the German Battle Fleet from Brest to Wilhelmshaven

At the end of 1941 the pocket battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau together with the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen had gathered at Brest where they could put to sea and wreak carnage upon the Atlantic convoys. The Admiralty correctly predicted that Hitler would decide to move these ships back to Germany for refitting and send them to Norway and saw this as a golden opportunity to remove the threat posed by the German Battle fleet. Orders were issued which should see the German ships were detected, torpedoed by MTBs, attacked by torpedo carrying aircraft, bombed, shelled by the big guns at Dover, mined at intervals on their passage and, if anything was left, torpedoed by destroyers east of Dover.

The big ships prepared to move at dusk on 12 February 1942 but were delayed by an air raid and finally set off at 22.00 accompanied by six destroyers, five more to join them off Le Havre, a further five from Dunkirk, five more from Flushing and three flotillas of E-Boats along the way forming a considerable armada guarded by night fighters which leap-frogged along the coast.  The RAF had no knowledge of the imminent breakout of the German forces and they went undetected until the Radar Station at Swingate, Dover, picked up three big blips at about 10 am but attempts to telephone this information to Dover Castle, the headquarters of Vice Admiral Dover (VAD)  came to nothing as the telephone line was defective.

By noon the armada was off Cap Gris Nez and about to enter the narrowest part of the Straits and the heavy guns fired a few shots at them but to no effect.  The next attack came from five MTB’s which left Dover and sighted the German ships at a distance of about 5 miles; they risked everything to close the range, fired their torpedoes and managed to retire but no hits were scored.

The  Swordfish biplanes of
Fleet Air Arm’s 825 Squadron had not expected to make their attack by day. Daylight, a slow aircraft and a massive array of fighters waiting to shoot them down, it could only be described as a suicide mission. Lt. Cdr. Esmonde was promised five squadrons to cover his single squadron but only one squadron of fighters accompanied him and all the Swordfish were shot down without scoring a hit. The "Channel Dash" carried on unscathed.

The V & Ws were the last resort. The 16th Destroyer Flotilla at Harwich (Mackay, Worcester, Whitshed and Walpole) and the 21DF (Campbell and Vivacious) at Sheerness were merged to make a temporary flotilla with Capt Charles Thomas "Mark" Pizey RN as Captain D in HMS Campbell (D60).  The combined Flotilla at Harwich had been coming to instant readiness every night and stood down to 4 hours notice at dawn but Cpt. Mark Pizey felt that the 12 February was likely to be the day and had taken the V & W class destroyers out for a practice shoot that morning with the Hunt Class destroyers in the two Flotillas providing anti-aircraft cover with their 4-inch HA guns.  At 11.56 am he received a signal informing him that the enemy battle cruisers were passing Boulogne at about 20 knots.

A  further signal gave the enemy’s speed as having increased which meant the only chance of catching them was by crossing our own minefield which they did without damage.  It was at this point that they formed up into two Divisions with the 1st Division (Campbell, Vivacious and Worcester) attacking the battleships Gneisenau (Scharnhorst had struck a mine and was some miles behind) and the 2nd Division 2 (Mackay and Whitshed) attacking the Battle Cruiser Prinz Eugen.
Walpole’s engines broke down, her main bearing burned out and she had to return to Harwich leaving the remaining five to steam on at 28 knots, though being bombed by Luftwaffe and RAF alike.

Walpole took no further part in the action and Lt Cdr Eaden did not file a report but she nearly fell victim to "friendly fire"
while steaming slowly alongside the minefield while her engineers were making a temporary repair to her main bearing. She was bombed by RAF Wellingtons, which, were then driven off by two Me 110s. Capt J.P. Wright in Mackay in his own report of the action explained how easily this could occur:

"The mixture of aircraft in the vicinity of the heavy German units was extraordinary. Low there were large numbers of ME. 109's and occasional Beauforts: a bit higher up Hampdens, Dorniers and Me 110's were mixed up: while higher up still a few Halifax's etc were to be seen. In the course of the afternoon the following types were sighted: Me 109, Me 110, Junkers 88, He 111, Dornier 215, Spitfire, Whirlwind, Hampden, Beaufort, Wellington, Halifax, Manchester. Many of the enemy aircraft obviously thought we were friendly while a few of our own aircraft made it evident that they considered us hostile. We on our part opened fire on several occasions on aircraft later recognised as friendly. The aircraft on both sides must have found the situation very confusing. We were fortunate in being attacked by Dorniers and Heinkels only and not by Junkers dive bombers."

Lt Cdr Eaden did not even mention his time as CO of HMS Walpole in his three reel recorded interview in the Sound Archive of the Imperial War Museum. A strange omission which might be explained by his unwillingness to describe the circumstances which led to his ship being bombed by an RAF Wellington which was driven off by German fighters. It was, however, mentioned in The Telegraph's obituary for Lt John Alexander Marrack, his "Number One" during the Channel Dash.

Click on the links for a more details and the outcome of  Operation Fuller to intercept and sink the German ships in their Channel Dash from Brest to Wilhelmshaven and the part played by HMS Worcester.

HMS Walpole and Windsor attack the Commerce Raider Michel in the Channel

On 13 March 1942 the Walpole, Windsor and the escort destroyers Blencathra, Calpe, and Fernie deployed in the English Channel to intercept the German merchant raider Michel sailing from Flushing in the Netherlands to German occupied France under escort by five torpedo boats and nine minesweepers. Windsor exchanged gunfire with the German ships on 14 March and made a torpedo attack, sustaining superficial damage from German gunfire. Lt Cdr Eaden was MID for his part in this action. The 14 March was also the first day of Warships Week in Ely which led to the adoption of HMS Walpole by the town and the start of a relationship which continued long after the war and is not completely forgotten even today.

0552    Altered course in succession to 135, and received 'Enemy in sight to Starboard'.
0553    Received "Stand by to turn to Starboard to fire torpedoes" Tubes were brought to the ready Port
0554    Received "Enemy in sight to Port" While altering back in succession to 100 degrees, tubes were trained for and aft, as it was not clear at this stage on which side the torpedo target lay.
            Fire was opened on a destroyer bearing 130. 'B' gun illuminated with star shell. Short range weapons opened fire on destroyer and E-boats.  
0555   Walpole was observed to turn away to Port. At the same moment a merchant ship was sighted bearing approximately 100, range 4000, approximate course 230.
            Tubes were brought to the ready Starboard. Enemy sped was estimated at 15 knots. Speed was increased to 25 knots.
0557    Windsor turned to Port and fired torpedoes at an estimated range of 2,500 yards and enemy inclination m090 right.  
0559    Ship was steadied up on a retiring course 315, with Walpole on the Starboard beam, distance 2 cables.  
0600    A large explosion was seen amidships in the merchant ship. Fire was ceased after torpedoes had been fired
            Calpe and Fernie were by this time somewhere between Windsor and the enemy, and a large amount of smoke made it impossible to select targets.  
0605    Windsor took station astern of Walpole.  
            Windsor was under erratic fire from 0554 to 0559, a number of shells fell close, at 0556 she received a direct hit, a shell estimated as 3 or 4inch caliber demolished the motor boat and caused superficial damage. 

The German auxiliary cruiser Michel (HSK 2), known to the Kriegsmarine as Schiff 28 and to the Royal Navy as Raider-H, was a converted German auxiliary cruiser or commerce raider.Post war details indicate that no serious damage was done.  During the war the Commerce Raider Michel spent 358 days at sea, during which she sank or captured 18 ships totaling 126,632 ton and by the time she berthed at Kobe for repairs on 2 March 1943 she was the last operational raider. Her CO, Korvettenkapitän Helmuth von Ruckteschell, requested and was granted relief of command on medical grounds. Michel was sunk by US submarine Tarpon east of Yokohama on 17 October 1943.


Lt Cdr John H. Eaden DSC left HMS Walpole in August 1942 and handed over command to a South African, Lt Arthur Shubrook Pomeroy RN - see below. After a few months training officers at HMS King Alfred, Hove, Lt Cdr Eaden  was given command of a new I Class destroyer HMS Inconstant in the Mediterranean  in May 1943, On 12 May he sank U-409 off Algiers
on 12 May as described in Reels 2 - 3 of his interview in the IWM Sound Archive. He rescued more than thirty of her crew and was awarded a bar to his DSC. Eaden was briefly based at the midget submarine training base, HMS Varbel on Bute and was in temporary command of the V & W Class Leader HMS Mackay in October 1943.

He returned to HMS Inconstant in November and escorted Arctic Convoys to Murmansk in weather which he described as the worst he had ever seen. Convoy JW56A left Loch Ewe on 12 January 1944, scattered and three merchant ships were sunk, while five others had to turn back. Eaden picked up 68 survivors from the Andrew G. Curtin, collected the remnants of the convoy, and after refueling in Iceland escorted JW56B which was following close behind. Eaden was awarded a second bar to his DSC.

After retirement from the Navy as Commander in 1955 he worked as personnel officer and then as safety officer for ICI, Cheshire for 15 years. He married twice, in 1943 to Mammie Rhodes (dissolved 1954) and to Ann Rogers, a  children's chaperon at Pinewood Studios when his younger daughter took part in A Town Like Alice (1956).  He was 97 when he died on 19 April 2007.

HMS Walpole photograhed on 11-12 October 1942 When Lt A.S. Pomeroy was CO
HMS Walpole (I41) photographed on 11-12 October 1942 when Lt Arthur S. Pomeroy RN was in command
Admiralty Official Collection IWM Ref. A 12238

Lt. Arthur Shubrook Pomeroy, RN
August 1942 - September 1943

Arthur Shubrook Pomeroy was born at Sea Point, an affluent suburb of Cape Town, on 13 September 1911. He was named after his Grandfather who was was a station master and accountant with Great Western Railways (GWR) in Taunton, Devon. His Grandfather was 38 when he died and his two sons emmigated to South Africa in the 1890s. Arthur worked in the Accounts Department of Cape Government Railways and his son joined the South African Training Ship (SATS) General Botha, on 27 June 1927. The "Botha"  trained young men for a career in the Merchant Navy and was the South African equivalent of HMS Conway and HMS Worcester. In 1929 Arthur Pomeroy started his career as a cadet with the P & O Company and after a voyage to London on the SS Berrima was transferred to the twin screw steam turbine Mongolia and "learned the seaman's way of life" on her regular run to Australia. He joined the RNR for six months training which would later lead to his wartime service in the Royal Navy. Seven years after he went to SATS General Botha he finally got his first job as a certified officer, Fourth Mate on the mailship, SS Chitral.

Arthur Shubrook PomeroyArthur Shubruck PomeroyThe Depression ruined the prospects of many young officers in the Merchant Marine but the Abyssinian Crisis led to Arthur Pomeroy being called up for service in the RNR on a minesweeper based at Malta. He returned to the  PO Company but was recalled to England for nine month courses at Chatham and Portsmouth and given a permanent commission in the Royal Navy in 1937. The photograph on the right of him as a Midshipman may have been taken in 1929 when he first joined the RNR and  on the left as a Sub Lt in the Royal Navy standing in front of the new cruiser HMS Newcastle which he joined on 5 April 1938.

The first two years of the war were pretty hectic for Lt Pomeroy and are described by him vividly in an article for Both Watches, the "Old Boys" magazine of SATS General Botha, published in 1962. HMS Newcastle took part in the chase of Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and on 23 November 1939 saw the armed merchant cruiser HMS Rawalpindi, a former
P & O liner, blow up after being set on fire by the German warships.

From February to April 1940 HMS Newcastle was under repair in a shipyard on the Tyne and returned to the Home Fleet to carry out an abortive search for the
Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in the gap between Iceland and Faroes before being sent to her home port of Plymouth on "anti-invasion duties" where Pomeroy as Air Defence Officer had to defend the ship against German bombers during the blitz of the city. After the surrender of France Newcastle had the unpleasant task of "capturing" French warships in Plymouth Sound.

On 12 November 1940 Pomeroy was posted to HMS Boadicea while she was under repair after being bombed at Dunkirk. Boadicea was transferred from the Home Fleet to Western Approaches Command as Leader of the Fourth Escort Group based on the Clyde. He described coming within pistol range of a u-boat in thick fog while leading the centre column in a convoy and sliding past without a shot being fired.

On 12 January 1942 he was given command of HMS Volunteer and on 25 March while escorting Convoy WS17 sunk a German u-boat "in such a distinguished manner that my report of the operation was received at Western Approaches Headquarters with much scepicism" but was confirmed after the war by a "mention in the enemy's dispatches".
Wireless transmission from U-587 had been detected by HMS Keppel (Cdr J.E. Broome) and Volunteer shared the credit for her sinking with the destroyer escorts HMS Grove, HMS Leamngton (Lt Cdr H.G. Bowerman, a former CO of Walpole) and HMS Aldenham.

In May 1942 Volunteer was escorting Arctic Convoy PQ.16 to Murmansk and narrowly escaped being sunk while rescuing the South African pilot of a Hurrican fighter plane launched from the Catapult Aircraft Merchant ship (CAM Ship) Empire Lawrence,
by combing the tracks of torpedoes from a German u-boat. The torpedoes which would have struck Volunteer hit and sunk the Empire Lawrence. The pilot he rescued, Alastair Hay DFC, was a former cadet of SATS General Botha. Eight of the ship's company received awards, including a DSC for her captain Lt Arthur S Pomeroy RN. He received it from the King at an investiture held at Buckingham Palace when he was CO of HMS Walpole.


In August 1942 Lt Arthur S Pomeroy took command of HMS Walpole when
she was detached for duties with the Home Fleet at Scapa Flow and anti-submarine operations off Iceland. She returned south to Tilbury in September  for repair to the underwater dome of her Asdic and resumed East Coast Convoy duties with the 16DF at Harwich.

In mid December she returned to the Home Fleet at Scapa as a local escort and on 13 January suffered weather damage taking passengers and mail to Iceland and returned to Scapa for repairs and afterwards served as the Emergency Destroyer until she rejoined the 21 DF at Harwich in February 1943. From March - April she was under refit at Chatham and then resumed convoy escort duties in the North Sea.

Pomeroy had very little to say about his year commanding this elderly escort in the article he wrote twenty years later for Both Watches:

"Based at Harwich, our forces' main object was to provide first warning of a German invasion. We patrolled the Channel and North Sea by night and anchored under shore defences by day. Mines and enemy torpedo boats (called E-boats) were our main preoccupation in those shallow waters in my time. After a year, to the day, of a war of occasional quick and fleeting skirmishes with the young German captains of the E-boats, I left Walpole and reported to Admiral Talbot for duty with Force S, then forming up for the Normandy Invasion. But before this C-in-C Nore had kindly arranged to have Walpole in port for a period while the King was holding an investiture at Buckingham Palace to enable me to attend."

But I am hoping that further accounts of this period will be found in naval archives or contributed by the families of the men who served in HMS Walpole.


Pomeroy left HMS Walpole in September 1943 nine months before the Normandy landings, was promoted to Lt Cdr and joined the staff of Rear Admiral Arthur G. Talbot who was responsible for landing the assault forces on Sword Beach in the east but Pomeroy's precise role during that period is not altogether clear. He was based offshore during the landings
in LCH 285 (Landing Ship Headquarters) and described two narrow escapes in his article for Both Watches:

"The task of Force S was to land the Third British Division on the left flank of the for the initial assault. Originally appointed Beachmaster of Sword Beach, I was later made Staff Officer (Operations) of the Support Squadron of Force S. I am thankful for this. My relief had his head blown off within half an hour of landing. Our headquarters was the little ship LCH [Landing Ship Headquarters] 285 which was fitted with a PPI [Plan Position Indicator, radar display], very novel then and the first I had seen. We were the  leading ship of the assault on Sword Beach. We landed our 3rd Division before Ouistreham and had the River Orne close to the east of us.

"This was the left flank of the Allied Assault Area ad the Germans massed artillery and mortars on the other bank and let us have it, both in the anchorage and on the beach. We held our own for about three weeks but eventually, on the first of July, we abandoned the position as it had become too hot for us. Just before this, however, one day [25 June] at about 12.30 pm, our LCH 285 struck a mine, laid by aircraft the previous night, when the ship's company were down below having the mid-day meal. She immediately turned over to port on her beam ends, and all were trapped. The officers on the bridge, were dreadfully injured, Commander Currie [Cdr Edmund N.V. Currey] and myself, were the only survivors."

After leave Pomeroy "took delivery and carried out sea trials of the destroyer flotilla leader Caesar and handed her over to Captain Brewster who was to be Captain D of the first C Class flotilla". He was then given command of the almost new fleet destroyer HMS Tumult and ordered to join the British Pacific Fleet at Manus in the Admiralty Isles where through no fault of his he was maneuvered onto a coral shoal by Admiral Vian's aircraft carriers and by the time his ship had been repaired the dropping of the atom bombs had brought the war to an end. He witnessed the surrender in Tokyo Bay of the Japanese C-in-C to the two allied commanders and released and took home POWs from Formosa, Korea and Shanghai.

Lt Cdr Pomeroy served in the Korean War and remained in Royal Navy until 1956 when he returned to the Merchant Navy for a few years and after retirement served as Hon. Secretary / Treasurer of the SATS General Botha Old Boys Association, Cape Town Branch. Next year the South African Training Ship General Botha will celebrate its centenary and I would like to acknowledge the invaluable assistance of Tony Nicholas, the Chairman of the Old Boys Association in Cape Town (click his name to contact him by e-mail) who is organising the Centenary Celebration and Ted Fisher the UK Hon Secretary who is organising a three day gathering in Falmouth on 14 - 16 June 2022 of former Cadets who trained in HMS Worcester, HMS Conway, Pangbourne Nautical College and the South African Training Ship General Botha. The Ship, no longer serviceable, was sunk honourably in False Bay by South African Coast Artillery gunfire on 13 May 1947 and the South African Merchant Navy Academy (SAMNA) General Botha which replaced it closed in 1990.

Arthur Shubrook Pomeroy never married and died in Cape Town aged 79 on 3 May 1990. His closest living relative is thought to be Martin Pomeroy, a second cousin, who provided the photographs which illustrate this account.

Lt George Clement Crowley was appointed CO of HMS Walpole in September 1943.
He was born in Surrey and edcated at the Nautical College, Pangbourne, and joined the Navy as a 17 year old cadet in 1933. HMS Walpole was his first command and he was her last wartime Commanding Officer and was very proud of her. In the 1970s, after his retirement as Rear Admiral George C Crowley DSC and bar, he wrote an unpublished account of his life at sea and this plus photographs from his family album forms the basis of -
The last chapter in the story of HMS Walpole

If you have stories or photographs of HMS Walpole you would like to contribute to the web site please contact Bill Forster

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