Jeken Allen Elwin DSC

Jeken was a Lieutenant Commander navigating officer on HMNZS Gambia, and served on her from 1943 to 1946.

Jeken was born on July 12, 1908 and reached the rank on Lieutenant on January 15, 1922. In the Navy List he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander on May 1, 1939 and "lent" to the Royal New Zealand Navy for the duration of the war.

Sir Franklin Charles Gimson was appointed as Governor of Singapore on April 1, 1946. His daughters, Margaret and Judith remained in England. Margaret was a student at the Royal School of Dramatic Art and Judith was still at school in Harrowgate. Jeken became Naval Liaison Officer at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and had been promoted to Commander. He met Margaret and they were married in 1950. Judith married the same year to Captain Douglas Challoner Snowdon of the Queen's Royal Regiment.

On February 11, 2014, Jamie Elwin wrote on the RNZN Communicators Association forum that:

My father (Jeken Allen Elwin) was on HMNZS Gambia in the Pacific and thoroughly enjoyed his time on her. I believe he was the navigating officer. He took some 8mm Cine Film of her during his period which I have. He also had a Napkin Ring which was in inscribed with his initials; J.A.E. HMNZS Gambia, Tokyo Bay, Sept 2nd 1945.

He was awarded a DSC as a result of his service on Gambia and I still have the citation signed by George VI.

My father died in 1980.

I emailed Jamie and asked for any more information and any photos they may have. Jamie very kindly sent the following:

Whilst in Tokyo for the surrender he apparently boarded a Japanese destroyer and "liberated" some navigation instrument - Parallel Ruler and a Rolling Ruler - he was a navigator.

Jeken's driving license dated July 1, 1944. Photo kindly supplied by Jamie Elwin A napkin ring momento of being in Tokyo Bay for the surrender of the Japanese on September 2, 1945. Photo kindly supplied by Jamie Elwin A letter from the admiralty dated June 12, 1946 informing Jeken that he had been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. Photo kindly supplied by Jamie Elwin A letter from letter from Buckingham Palace to Jeken regarding his Distinguished Service Cross. Photo kindly supplied by Jamie Elwin

Some of the lettering may be difficult to read. The inscription on the napkin ring reads "J.A.E. HMNZS Gambia, Tokyo Bay, Sept 2nd 1945"

The letter from the admiralty is dated June 19, 1946 and reads:

Sir, I am commanded by My Lord Commissioners of the Admiralty to inform you that they have learned with great pleasure that, on the advice of the First Lord, the King has been graciously pleased to award you the Distinguished Service Cross for valuable services during the war in the Far East. This Award was published in the London Gazette Supplement of 11th June 1946. I am, Sir, your obedient Servant

The letter from Buckingham Palace is signed George R. I. and reads:

I greatly regret that I am unable to give you personally the award you have so well earned. I now send it to you with my congratulations and my best wishes for your future happiness.

Jeken had a 8mm cine camera with him and took the following video which Jamie very kindly sent to me:

HMNZS Gambia in the Pacific

The film shows naval cutter races. RN officers in summer dress on deck, with female guests. Transfer from HMS Capetown to destroyer by breeches buoy. Striped cat (ship's cat?). Aircraft carrier. Chinese women and children ashore. Sydney Harbour Bridge (Australia).

I am hoping to be able to restore the video a little.