Crew Notes: H - K
This page is about the crew members I do not yet have enough information to create their own page.
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 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
This 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 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.
Albert E. Hassell
Albert served on HMS Gambia as Petty Officer Telegraphist from May 1957 to November 1958.
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 lived in Liverpool for around 60 years.
In September 2017, I received an email from Dave, Mervyn's son saying that Mervyn passed away peacefully on the morning of Saturday, September 16, 2017. He had been suffereing from cancer. Dave wrote that his dad "served the Royal Navy for a total of 12 years, mainly on HMS Urania and HMS Gambia. There can be no doubt that it was his time on HMS Gambia that he recalled most often for the 3 years he served as Ships Writer in the years 1948 - 1951."
A ship's writer is a clerk responsible for paperwork connected with keeping the ship's accounts, and carrying out administrative tasks.
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.