The 1952 to 1954 Commission

The 1952 to 1954 was an adventurous one for HMS Gambia. On June 15, 1953 she was present at the Coronation Fleet Review to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II at Spithead. In August 1953, she and her sister ship HMS Bermuda brought aid to the Greek island of Zakynthos when it was struck by a severe earthquake. In August 1954, HMS Gambia evacuated 40th Brigade of the Royal Marine Commando from the Canal Zone.

HMS Gambia evacuating 40 Commando

Evacuation of 40 Commando from Port Fouad
Image from Keith Butler

From the 1952 - 1954 Commission Book:

Friday, August 13, 1954, an ominous date, found us on our way to Port Said to evacuate The 40th Brigade of the R.M. Commando from the Canal Zone. We arrived on August 16 in company with H.M.S. Glasgow and secured in the Canal whilst she went alongside Navy House and embarked her passengers. On Tuesday, we took her place and before long the upper deck resembled a cross-channel car ferry as a long succession of lorries, jeeps, water trucks, and utilicons were hoisted inboard and secured in unbelievable places. At 1600 we embarked the brigade and at 1700 we sailed once more for Malta. We arrived safely in Malta on August 20 and disembarked our strange cargo, before securing to our billet once more.


Bill had a lot of images on his website, unfortunately all that could be retrieved from the Web Archive were the thumbnails. Until the original photographs can be found they are simply presented here.

40 Commando Lorry Stowed on the Boat Deck40 Commando Lorry Stowed on the Boat Deck