Crew Notes: A - B

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

John D. Abberley

John was an ordinary seaman on HMS Gambia for the 1955/56 commission. John joined the Police force on demob and spent going on to 33 years in the service before retiring in 1987 reaching the rank of Superintendent.

George Frederick Adams C/MX896385

George served on HMS Gambia as Sick Berth Attendant during the 1957/58 commission. He passed away on February 10, 1959.

Lewis Allen NZ4686

Lewis, after prior service in the Royal Navy, joined the Royal New Zealand Navy on April 7, 1942 having settled in New Zealand. He was enlisted directly as an Able Seaman, and after basic shore training, was posted to the armed merchant cruiser HMNZS Monowai. He was part of the ship's company during her transit to the United Kingdom in 1943, where he joined the cruiser HMNZS Gambia, serving on her till he left the navy after the end of the war. He was discharged on January 3, 1946.

For his service he was awarded the Naval General Service Medal 1915-1962, 1939-1945 Star, Pacific Star, War Medal, and the New Zealand War Service Medal.

Harry Anderson

Harry Anderson, service number C015645Y, served on HMS Gambia as Lieutenant Commander for the 1957/58 commission. Altogether he served from 1953 to 1987 and the other ships/establishments he served on were HMS Fisgard (1953 - 1954), HMS Caledonia (1954 - 1956), HMS Gambia (1957 - 1958), HMS Bermuda (1959 - 1961), HMS Maidstone (1962 - 1963), RNEC Manadon (1964 - 1965), HMS Maidstone (1965 - 1967), FEC Rosyth (1967 - 1969), HMS Resolution (1970 - 1974), HM Naval Base Clyde (1974 - 1976), HMS Resolution (1976 - 1980), HM Naval Base Clyde (1980 - 1983), and Fleet Maintenance East - Garden Island Dockyard (1983 - 1987). After his retirement, Harry moved to Sydney, Australia.

Norm Anderson

Men from Takara, Golden Bay, New Zealand

Men from Takaka, Golden Bay, New Zealand
Photo from Nelson Photo News, No 14 : December 9, 1961

The photo was given to the Nelson Photo News by Ed Peacock who served on HMNZS Gambia and Leander. Pictured from the left are Bob Papps, Charlie Stade (Motueka), Ian Feary, Ed Peacock, Norm Anderson, Watty Bird, and Dixon. Another crew member, Bruce King, was on duty when this photo was taken. Norm would have served on HMNZS Gambia from 1944 to 1946.

Alexander Binnie Andrew NZ4514

Alexander was the son of James and Mary Andrew, of Dundee, Scotland. He was a Joiner 3rd Class on Gambia. He died on June 21, 1945 of some unspecified disease aged just 30 and is buried at Waikumete Cemetery, Glen Eden, Auckland, New Zealand.

John Andrews

John served as a Leading Stoker in Gambia from November 1958 until he left her in the reserve fleet in March 1961. He is (July 2017) the acting President and Social Secretary of the HMS Gambia Association.

Cyril David Barnett 9111

Cyril was born on April 6, 1928, the son of Roy Nelson Barnett and Clara Eyles. He served on HMNZS Gambia and the frigate HMNZS Hawera. He was the husband of Margaret, and father of David and Lynn. Cyril passed away on May 12, 2007 aged 79.

Eric W. Bearman

Eric served in Supply during the 1957/58 commission. I am not sure how Bill Hartland came by these photos. His son Phil emailed to say that Eric passed away peacefully at the Northern General hospital in Sheffield on 14th September 2016.

Mess 35, Christmas 1957. Eric Bearman in on the far right. This photo was taken in Abadan in 1958. Unfortunately that is all I know about this photo, but I think the guy in whites in the front of the group is Eric Bearman who served in Supply. Eric Bearman is in a hat with glasses on the right of this photo. Eric Bearman on the left in what looks like a gun crew. From the left, Eric, Ted Slater, Roy Finlow, Bob Roberts, Bill Bevan, Whacker Payne The picure was taken in 1958 and originally named 'Fibs Marshall Eric Shorty Jet.' Eric Bearman is sitting, second from the right

Graeme Maunsell Douglas Beere

Commander and Radar Specialist Graeme Beere NZ11795 passed away peacefully on Friday, June 2, 2017, aged 95 years. He first saw service in the army in 1940. Then from 1942 to 1975 was in the navy, He served through WW2, Korea, and Malaya; on the ships HMNZS Gambia, Bellona, Royalist, HMS Lanka, Kenya, Jamaica, Maori, and Wakefield. Sadly, his wife Winifred Margaret Beere (née Ward) passed away the following day on Saturday, June 3, 2017

George Bell

George served on HMS Gambia as Electrical Petty Officer for her 1950/52 Commission.

George was born in Bootle, Cumberland on December 22, 1923. When he was four, the family moved to Broughton in Furness in Lancashire. George's parents were farmers, raising sheep and cattle on their hill farm.

George joined the Marine Society and joined the training ship Warspite at Grays, GB, 1938-1939. George then joined the Royal Navy as a boy seaman and trained at HMS Ganges, Shotley, GB, 1939-1940. As a boy seaman and seaman he served aboard HMS Dorsetshire as Captain's Messenger in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean, 1940-1942 and was aboard her when she was bombed and sunk on April 5, 1942, three hundred miles west of Colombo, Ceylon. George was thrown into the sea and spent 30 hours clinging to a raft before being rescued.

George then served aboard HMS Valiant in the Indian Ocean, 1943; until serving as seaman and petty officer aboard HMS Teaser in Mediterranean, 1943-1944. George then served as instructor at the Torpedo School, HMS Defiance in GB, 1945-1946 before serving aboard HMS St James in GB coastal waters, 1946-1949. He then served aboard HMS Gambia in Mediterranean and Persian Gulf, 1950-1952 and then served as chief electrician with the Electrical School, Chatham, in GB, 1953-1954.

On October 16, 2003, George recorded an oral history for the Imperial War Museums (IWM 25545). In parts 6 and 7 of the interview George describes his time on HMS Gambia and I have extracted the relevant sections. In this extract George descibes how he joined HMS Gambia, the places she visited during the commission, converting the aircraft hanger to a Petty Officer's Mess, sight of the Camel Corps in North Africa, and his part in the 1952 fleet regatta.

George was a keen sportsman and qualified as a hockey umpire. He became president of the HMS Dorsetshire Association. George passed away on April 4, 2012, aged 88.

Alfred Robert Bevege (Bob)

Bob's son, also called Bob, believes that his dad was only 16 when he joined the navy. He appears to have spent the entire WWII on HMS Gambia. Bob, the elder, was born on September 28, 1927 and passed away on June 22, 2006, aged 78. He is buried at Kaiapoi Public Cemetery, North Canterbury, New Zealand.

Bob Bevege's memorial, Kaiapoi Public Cemetery, New Zealand

Men from Takaka, Golden Bay, New Zealand
Photo very kindly supplied by Beverley Evans who writes Transcriptions, NZ

William Vereker Bindon RNZN 1905

Bill was born on March 15, 1922. He joined the RNZN in May 1940 and served on HMNZS Leander, HMNZS Achilles, and HMNZS Gambia. He was the husband of Vera, and the father of Karen and Trevor. Bill passed away on May 5, 2008, aged 86.

Thomas Alexander "Alec" Blakemore

Alec was a stoker who served on HMNZS Gambia from 1943 to 1946. He was originally from Stoke on Trent, England and passed away in 1969.

William Thomas Bowden

Bill's son Kevin posted in the RNZN Communicators Association website that Bill was born in Liverpool on March 20, 1925. He joined the Royal Navy around 1939, aged 15. He served on HMNZS Gambia from around 1943 to 1945 as radar operator.

J. Branegan

Branegan was an Electrician Sub Lieutenant on the 1957/8 commission. He was also a keen ornithologist or twitcher, at least he was interested enough to send reports to Royal Naval Birdwatching Society. In the December 1959 issue of The Sea Swallow he reported seeing various species of Cormorants, Frigates, Gulls, Noddies, Petrels, Shearwaters, and Terns on the commission around the Indiana Ocean including the Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf, and Chagos, Mauritius, Reunion, and Sand islands.

James Anthony Brooks

James served on HMS Gambia for her 1957/58 Commission as Engineroom Artificer 2nd Class. Lancashire OnLine Parish Clerks lists his marriage to Pamela Ann Entwisle on November 8, 1958 at St Mark, Worsley, Lancashire. Both are listed as aged 22, with Pamela being a Wren (Women's Royal Naval Service - WRNS).

Anthony Buhagiar

Anthony joined HMS Sandhurst as a NAAFI Boy in 1934, and finally retired from the RN on September 1, 1957. He spent just six weeks, from February to April 1950 on HMS Gambia, but had an interesting career. He was on HMS Bulldog when Commander A. J. Baker-Cresswell captured U-110 and the Enigma coding machine it carried. His varied career is online in a Times of Malta, November 13, 2016 article, "Anthony Buhagiar – A Lifetime's Service with the Royal Navy"

Jack Edward Bundock

Jack's service number was JX 316187 and he served on HMS Gambia from February 1942 until November 1943. He then served on HMS Pembroke and HMS Cubitt from November 1943 until January 1946. HMS Pembroke was a shore establishment at Chatham. HMS Cubitt was a frigate. Jack was also at HMS Cochrane, another shore establishment at Rosyth, Scotland.

Thomas Burns

Thomas served on HMS Gambia as Chief Petty Officer Stoker Mechanic on the 1952 to 1954 commission. His service number was D/KX.80366. The London Gazette of 16 February, 1954 reported that "The Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the British Empire Medal (Military Division) for distinguished service in the Greek earthquake relief operations in August, 1953" to him.