Crew Notes: D - K

This page is about the crew members I do not yet have enough information to create their own page.

Charles Edmund Donegan

Charles Donegan was an Able Seaman on HMS Gambia and who died on April 11, 1953. He is buried at Kalkara Naval Cemetery on Malta.

Peter Barry Fell

Barry was Leading Cook on HMS Gambia's 1958 to 1960 commission which he describes as "two of the happiest years of my life." Barry emailed me in July 2017:

I was a leading cook (S) actually running the bakery on HMS Gambia C48 on her commission in 1958 to 1960. I first met Gambia at Rosyth where she was in dry dock having a bit of a refit before setting off on her last commission under our Captain Mr W. J. Munn DSO OBE. And Commander F. W. Watson who being of great bulk was nicknamed Slim.

Some of the countries we visited during this time were Vigo, Gibraltar, Copenhagen, all round Scotland and her Islands, off to Malta, Ajaccio, Leghorn, Trieste, Cyprus, though the Suez Canal, Mombasa, Dar-Es-Salaam, Seychelles, Karachi, Colombo, Trincomalee, The Maldives, Mauritius, (cyclone relief work), Singapore, Hong Kong, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, Bathhurst in the Gambia, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Liverpool, then Portsmouth into reserve prior to being made into razor blades.

We steamed 71,000 miles, burned 36,000 tons of fuel oil, had a clean sweep winning every event of a Naval Regatta anchored off Palermo, sailing off the following day with a large broom atop our main mast.

James A. Forsyth

James Forsyth was a Leading Seaman on HMS Gambia and who died April 27, 1953. He is buried at Kalkara Naval Cemetery on Malta.

D. W. B. French

D. W. B. served on HMNZS Gambia from 1943 to 1946. His service number was 1978 and he passed away on March 3, 1998.

Alan Garner

Alan Garner served on HMS Gambia during the 1958 to 1960 commission. He previously served on HMS Ganges from May 1954 to June 1955, and HMS Urania from 1955 to 1957.

J. Goodman

J. Goodman was recorded as being a Paymaster Sub Lieutenant on HMS Gambia in the March 1943 edition of the Devonport High School Magazine.

Kenneth Charles Gordon

I think Ken served on HMS Gambia from 1943 to 1946. At any rate, he was in the Royal New Zealand Navy and his action station was No 2 on the oerlicons. His service number was 9117.

Hubert Cecil George Griffin

Hubert Griffin was a Commander (E) on HMS Gambia in 1943. The Admiralty Fleet Orders for June 10, 1943 lists him as being Mentioned in Despatches.

John Hair

John was born in 1938 and served on HMS Gambia's 1958/60 commission as Leading Radio Electrical Mechanic. In June 2017, he recalled a "big crew fight at a social in Bahrain where the Band played God save the Queen whereupon the participants all stopped and stood to attention then restarted the scrap before all were carted off in a truck."

Tom Hall

Tom passed away in April 2013. In the original HMS Gambia Association guestbook, his friend John Birch wrote:

It was with deep sorrow that I read of the passing of A.B. Tom Hall. We first met during 1949 in Devonport Gunnery school, when we were both enrolled in class 26 R.C. 3s (Radar Control) Tom was a gentle and pleasant Irishman with whom I was to spend the next 4 years. We completed the gunnery coures and found ourselves in the barracks working party, which generally spent its time in the dockyard, working on a forlorn looking cruiser which had recently been towed from reserve and lay alongside the mole, to be refitted ready for a commission.

She was to be our home for the next 2 1/2 years. On our return to Devonport in '52, we once more found ourselves in the Gunnery School joining class 12 of R.C.2s. The course was completed mid year 1953. During our time in Gambia, Tom and I worked together in the Gunners Party for the last 18 months of the commission.

We were drafted to different ships and didn't meet again until returning to H.M.S Drake for demob.

Farewell Shipmate and friend.

D. J. Hansen

HMS Gambia ensign, 1945This ensign turned up in an action in 2009 and, along with a couple of other items, was valued at NZ$4,000 - NZ$8,000.

The ensign is signed by numerous crew members and inscribed "HMNZS Gambia Tokyo Bay, September 2nd 1945."

The ensign was originally owned by D. J. Hansen, a crew member who was present at Tokyo Bay in September 1945.

Fred Harling

Fred Harling came from Banbury, Oxfordshire, and served on the 1950 - 1952 commission. Ken Booth remembers that he was sent home early suffering from tuberculosis (TB). Fred was friends with Alan "Striker" Goodwin and features in several photos with Alan.

Christmas 1950. Alan 'Striker' Goodwin is pictured on the far left of the middle row. Ken Booth very kindly sent a list of the others in the picture. They are: Top left to right: Tony 'Al' Murray, Tony 'Boxer' Scammell, not known, LEM Jock Collins, and two not knowns. Middle left to right: Alan 'Striker' Goodwin, not known, Alan Speakman, Scouse Edwards, Gordon Ross. Front left to right: Fred Harling, Albert Howard, not known, John Stevenson. Tony Scammell was known as 'Boxer' because he was so good at it! One of Alan Goodwin's photos, submitted by his grandson, Steve McAllister. Alan Goodwin is on the left in this picture which was taken in the Upper Barracca Gardens in Malta in 1951. The man on the right is Fred Harling from Banbury. Ken Booth remembers he was sent home from the commission early with T.B. One of Alan Goodwin's photos, submitted by his grandson, Steve McAllister. Christmas 1951. Ken Booth identified the people in the picture. Top left to right: Alan Goodwin, two not knowns, Tony Murray, Geoff. Walkden, not known, Gordon Ross (with the staring eyes). Front Left to right: John Stevenson, Albert Howard, three not knowns, Fred Harling. One of Alan Goodwin's photos, submitted by his grandson, Steve McAllister. Union Jack Club - Karachi - Feb 1952. Steve wrote his grandad is the one center left with the dodgy beard. Ken Booth, that mine of information, says that the man to Alan's right is Danny McAlinden and the one next to him is L.E.M. Gordon Ross. One of Alan Goodwin's photos, submitted by his grandson, Steve McAllister.

Jack Raymond Haysom

Jack Haysom was a Paymaster Lieutenant Commmander (Acting Paymaster Commander) on HMS Gambia in 1943. The Admiralty Fleet Orders for June 10, 1943 lists him as being Mentioned in Despatches.

Victor Frank Heather

Victor Heather was a Supply Chief Petty Officer on HMS Gambia in 1943. The Admiralty Fleet Orders for June 10, 1943 lists him as being Mentioned in Despatches.

Alastair "Jock" Hughes

Al served on HMS Gambia for her 1955/56 commission as Leading Seaman. He wrote in July 2017:

Even though I was National Service, I attained the rank of Leading Seaman because I had joined the RNVR when I was 18. When I was 21 and reported for my National Service I had 3 years in the RNVR, this gave me a credit of 18 months sea time. After serving aboard HMS Gambia for six months in Trincomalee, I had enough sea time (2 years) to sit and pass the Leading Seaman exams. It was probably fairly rare for a National Serviceman to attain the exalted rank of Leading Seaman, mainly because of the sea time requirements. I have a map showing the 1955/56 cruise of HMS Gambia hanging in my office. My wife (married 60 years this year) and I live in Toronto, Canada

Mervyn Frederick William Jones

Mervyn was born in June 1930 and was the ship's writer on HMS Gambia between 1949 and 1951. He was originally from Bristol but has lived in Liverpool for about 60 years now.

A ship's writer is a clerk responsible for paperwork connected with keeping the ship's accounts, and carrying out administrative tasks.

Tom Keefe

Tom Keefe, Leading Electrical Mechanician on the 1958 to 1960 commission, was an extra in the 1960 film "Sink the Bismarck" and was seen as a German sailor.

Dennis King (C/KX725495) Stoker 1st Class

Dennis joined Gambia in 1945, after travelling to Perth, he then made his way to Sydney by rail, only to find out that the ship had sailed without him. Dennis finally caught up with the ship in Guam, from where they went to sea and was present at the surrender of the Japanese Forces.