ive HMS Gambia - C48. Robert James Bretherton

Robert James Bretherton

Robert served on HMS Gambia between 1946 and 1948.

I think that most of the following images were sent to the original HMS Gamabia Association website by Robert James Bretherton.

HMS Gambia, Yokohama, 1946
HMS Gambia, Yokohama, 1946

HMS Gambia, The Bund, Shanghai, 1946
HMS Gambia, The Bund, Shanghai, 1946

China Daily Tribune May 1947

This clipping from the China Daily Tribune of either the 4th or 6th of May, 1947 reads:

Adm. Woodhouse Arrives Here On HMS Gambia

Rear-Admiral C. H. L. Woodhouse CB, Flag Officer Commanding the 5th Cruiser Squadron, British Pacific Fleet arrived in Shanghai yesterday afternoon on board HMS Gambia (Captain A. J. Baker-Cresswell, DSO, RN)

Rear-Admiral Woodhouse is on his first visit to Shanghai, coming from Japan via Chinwangtao

HMS Gambia was accompanied here by H. M. Indian Ship Godavari (Commander O. G. Karmaker, MBE, Royal Indian Navy.)

Picture shows the two naval ships now moored of he Bund. (China Daily Tribune Photo.)

HMS Gambia on Empire Day, 1947

HMS Gambia on Empire Day (May 24), 1947

Robert Bretherton Robert Bretherton Robert Bretherton Robert Bretherton Robert Bretherton

Robert James Bretherton. Unfortunately I do not know where or when these photos were taken

In April 2019, Mark, Robert's son, emailed me and gave a lot of information about his father.

The family in the picture is not related to him, I believe they are related to the other sailor in the picture. I seem to recall Dad saying he was a friend of his and he spent some leave with his family. No names I'm afraid.

I'm not sure if the Gambia called in Hong Kong on the trip that took it to Shanghai but the Far East left a great impression on my father. A short time after being demobbed he signed up for the Hong Kong Police and the life of a colonial police officer. Europeans were only recruited for officer positions (starting as Inspector after a period at the Police Training School in Hong Kong). So while of no specific rank in the Navy his school results were enough to get him into the HK Police

He served 30 years in HK rising to the rank of Deputy Commissioner. He received the Queen's Colonial Police Medal for service during the riots and civil disturbances in 1967 and was involved in a major border incident with China when one of his police stations was attacked by Chinese Militia and the British Army was called out.

He then served as Chief of Police in the British Virgin Islands from 1981-86 before finally retiring. He always attributes his love for travel to his time in the Navy.

Robert passed away in 2000.