SOUTH AFRICAN NAVAL PERSONNEL SECONDED TO THE ROYAL NAVY DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR 1939-1945

  • W. M. Bisset SA Naval Museums
Keywords: Cdr H. R. Gordon-Cumming, RNVR (SA) officers, HMS Exter, Battle of the Java Sea, South African prisoner of war, Port Elizabeth Naval Volunteer Brigade, Second World War, HMS Carnarvon Castle

Abstract

Cdr H. R. Gordon-Cumming has written that in the early days of the Second World War large drafts of RNVR (SA) officers and ratings were taken by the few British Warships which called at Simonstown and Durban to make up their war complements and that later on 'Union nationals took part in nearly every major naval operation and also performed all manner of obscure duties, from minesweeping in the Faroe Islands to nautical surveying up the West River in China. Even the explosion of one of the atomic bombs in Japan was witnessed by a South African prisoner of war - a young RNVR seaman who had served in HMS Exter, sunk after the Battle of the Java Sea." This fascinating statement leaves the reader wanting to know the full story of our seconded naval personnel since it is clear that it is a particularly interesting and proud record of service.
Published
2012-02-28
Section
Articles