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HMS Mersey

HMS Mersey


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HMS Mersey

HMS Mersey was a Humber class monitor that served off the coast of Belgium and the east coast of Africa during the First World War. She was purchased by Britain at the start of the war, having been built for Brazil. She saw service off the Belgian coast during October-November 1914, taking part in the race to the sea and the battle of the Yser.

By the end of those operations her original 6in guns were worn out. The turret was replaced by one 6in BL Mk VII gun at each end of the ship, with the howitzers moved from the quarterdeck to the boat deck. All three were sent to Malta in March 1915. Originally she was to be sent to the Dardanelles, but soon after she reached Malta it was decided to send HMS Mersey and HMS Severn to the east coast of Africa, to take part in operations against the German cruiser Königsberg. She was hiding in the shallow Rufiji delta, beyond the reach of British cruisers. The two monitors left Malta on 28 April, reached Aden on 15 May and Mafia Island on 3 June, after a very difficult journey. On occasions the entire squadron had to act as tugs for the monitors.

The next month was spent repairing damage sustained during the journey, and fitting extra side and deck armour to the monitors. They were finally ready on 5 July, and at 5.20am on 6 July entered the Kikunka mouth of the Rufiji. The first day's bombardment was not a great success. The two ships took position 11,000 yards from the Königsberg, and came under immediate accurate fire. After an hour the Severn was hit and forced to retreat, although returned to the fight later in the day. When the bombardment ended at 3.30, the two monitors had fired 635 shells, but had only scored 6 recorded hits.

The next attempt was made on 11 July. This time HMS Mersey docked at the first day’s firing position, while the Severn moved a mile further up the river before opening fire at 12.30pm. Her eighth shell hit the Königsberg. A large explosion was noted at 12.52 and the battle was over by 2.30. HMS Mersey suffered two casualties, both wounded, during the battle.

The two ships remained in East Africa after sinking the Königsberg, as part of the East Africa Group. HMS Mersey was towed back to the Mediterranean between March and May 1918. In October 1918 all three Humber class monitors were reunited at Mudros, sailing through the Dardanelles after the Turkish surrender. The Mersey spent a few months operating in the Black Sea and on the Danube, before returning to Britain in May 1919.

Next time, 11 July (after repairs), Mersey anchored at first days firing point, Severn sailed on to 12.30, makes another mile, then opend fire, hit with 8th salvo, 12.52 large explosion on K, fight over by 2.30

Displacement (loaded)

1,520

Top Speed

9.5kts

Range

Armour – belt

3in-1.5in

- bulkheads

1.5in

- barbette

3.5in

- turret face

4in

Length

266ft 9in

Armaments as built

Two 6in guns
Two 4.7in howitzers
Four 3pdr guns
Six 7mm Hotchkiss machine guns

Crew complement

140

Launched

30 September 1913

Completed

February 1914

Sold for break up

1921

Captains

Lt. Commander R. A. Wilson
Lt. Commander Garbett

Books on the First World War |Subject Index: First World War


HMS Mersey - History

The Akbar and The Clarence were both reformatory ships for boys who had been in trouble with the law. HMS Conway trained boys from better off backgrounds to be officers in the Merchant Navy whilst the Training Ship Indefatigable was for poor and orphaned boys whose fathers were seamen. These ships made a valuable contribution to the life of the port of Liverpool. They helped boys from difficult social backgrounds to gain the skills necessary for a life at sea. The schools closed as demand for merchant seamen declined after the Second World War.

Two schools were established in Liverpool, HMS Conway, to prepare boys to go to sea as apprentice officers, and TS Indefatigable to prepare boys for life at sea as a member of the deck crew.

In 1863 captain John Clint, a Liverpool shipowner, proposed the idea that a sea training school should be established for the orphans and sons of Liverpool seamen. Clint had helped found the Liverpool Shipowners’ Association in 1839, the Pilots’ Commission, the Dock and Harbour Company, the Liverpool Sailors’ Home, the Northern Hospital, but most importantly Clint had been the prime mover in establishing HMS Conway and the Akbar, a reformatory school for boys.

In 1864 the Admiralty agreed to loan HMS Indefatigable, a fifty–gun sailing ship frigate, launched in 1848, and retired from active service in 1857 to the Indefatigable committee. Mr. James Bibby contributed £5,000 to convert HMS Indefatigable into a training ship, and this became the beginning of a long relationship between the Bibby family and TS Indefatigable, which continues today with Sir Michael Bibby as President of the Indefatigable Old Boys Association. The Indefatigable was moored off Rock Ferry on the River Mersey alongside HMS Conway, Akbar and Clarence, both reformatory ships. The first boys to join the Indefatigable did so on the 28th August 1865.

The original Indefatigable remained off Rock Ferry until 1912 when it was deemed unfit for use. In 1913, the Admiralty agreed to sell HMS Phaeton to the Indefatigable committee for £15,000. Mr. Frank Bibby gave the Indefatigable committee the money to buy the Phaeton and re-fit her as a training ship. The Phaeton was renamed the Indefatigable and moored off Rock Ferry on January 15, 1914, at which time the figurehead of William IV was transferred from the old Indefatigable to the new Indefatigable.
From quarantine to borstal, ships in the Mersey hide stories of misery, sickness and brutality

In the 1830s the Akbar (right) was moored off Rock Ferry as a quarantine ship for cases of bubonic plague, cholera, typhus and smallpox.

In 1856 it became a floating borstal for Protestant boys aged 11-15 (the Clarence became a Catholic borstal a few years later). The Recorder of Liverpool reported in 1866, “The two Reformatory ships have succeeded to a very large extent in clearing the town of juvenile crime”.
Conditions on these ships were extreme. In winter the boys suffered from chilblains, tuberculosis, pneumonia and asthma.

Horrendous accidents have been described in the old Minute Books of the Akbar: One boy “while employed in blacking a portion of the rigging was accidentally jerked off and thrown down from a height of 16 feet on to the deck, dying three hours later…” Another “fell from the main top deck and received concussion and partial jaw fracture, was recovering ..” Yet another “while manning the working boat, slipped and was crushed between the boat and the ship side. His body was washed up on shore …”

Physical punishment included birching and caning. In August 1872, one lad was so worried about this that one night he clambered down to the bottom of the accommodation ladder to wash out his blanket before official inspection. He overbalanced and fell into the Mersey. His body was never found.

The Akbar moved to land and became Heswall Reformatory School on 2 December 1907. But the ill treatment continued. John Bull magazine exposed this in 1910 with the headline: “Reformatory School Horrors – How Boys at the “Akbar” School are Tortured – Several Deaths”. Winston Churchill assured Parliament that there was “no proof whatever” they were being mistreated. Nevertheless he set up an investigation into the incidents.

Boys had been gagged before birching, sick boys caned for malingering. No less than 27 had permanent scars from beatings. Others had been made to stand all night as a collective punishment. There had been four deaths in 1909: a boy called Brooks, who was going to be caned on the day he died, even though he was ill. Brown was drenched with water and died twenty minutes later. Mills just collapsed and died. Yeadon was, “a weakly boy – probably a boy of degenerate type, utterly unfit for sea-life or ordinary industrial training.”

Despite all the criticisms the inquiry did not recommend any changes, although the Chief Officer resigned. John Bull reported reprisals against boys who had given evidence.
1.Between 1824 and 1863 there were at least ten quarantine hulks moored off Rock Ferry – at one stage six were there simultaneously.
2.There were actually four ships off Rock Ferry. The other two were The Conway (1859) used for the training of officers in the Merchant Navy, and The Indefatigable (1865), a school for destitute and orphan boys from Liverpool.


Sefton to celebrate the spirit of Johnnie Walker by offering HMS Mersey freedom of the borough

Sefton Council is set to offer the Freedom of the Borough to the Royal Navy’s HMS Mersey.

The ship’s crew will march through the streets of Bootle with a marching band and fixed bayonets if the council resolution is approved. Sefton will then also organise a civic reception at Bootle town hall for the ship’s officers and crew.

The gesture reflects Bootle’s proud maritime history. Captain Frederick ‘Johnnie’ Walker’s Atlantic escort groups were based at Bootle’s Gladstone dock during World War II.

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A council document said: “This Council wishes to place on record its high appreciation of, and the debt of gratitude of the Borough to HMS Mersey and in the light of the long and honourable association between Sefton, the Royal Navy and HMS Mersey, the Council resolves that the Honorary Freedom of the Borough be conferred on HMS Mersey and that it be granted the right, privilege, honour and distinction of marching through the streets of the Borough on all ceremonial occasions with colours flying, bands playing, drums beating and bayonets fixed at an Extra-ordinary Council meeting to be held on a date to be determined at Bootle Town Hall.”

Previous recipients of Sefton’s freedom of the borough include celebrated horse trainer Donald ‘Ginger’ McCain and former Liverpool player Jamie Carragher.

HMS Mersey was affiliated to the borough of Sefton by the Royal Navy in 2004 due to the area’s rich history. Memorabilia celebrating Captain Walker takes pride of place at Bootle town hall. Walker’s escort group, based in Bootle, targeted U-boats throughout the war. On one occasion Walker’s ship rammed a German U-boat before sinking it. Walker went on to play a decisive role in both the Battle of the Atlantic and D-Day, and was credited with helping to sink 25 U-boats.

The captain and officers of HMS Mersey already make regular courtesy visits to the Mayor of Sefton when the ship docks in Liverpool. The Mayor is often invited to attend a formal dinner on the ship on its courtesy visit.

HMS Mersey patrols the fishery zones and takes part in search and rescue up to 200 miles off the coast of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.


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I happened to stumble across this website during a search I conducted looking for information on my Great Grandfather's naval career during World War 2. In the group photo of Royal Arthur Class 101, sixth from the left standing in front of the concrete pillar, is my Great Grandfather Geoffrey Swinnerton. We have an old copy of this photograph at home! From Royal Arthur he was sent to HMS Eaglet in Liverpool where he appears to have been based when on dry land.

He worked on merchant ships during the war, sailing to the USA, however he spent much of his career sailing back and forth from Britain to Murmansk and Archangel in Russia as a member of the Arctic Convoys. He spent a great deal of time there and as a result developed respiratory problems, a consequence I imagine of the brutal weather conditions and the fact he spent time in the water at some point, which contributed to his death in 1967. Other than this information I am yet to fill in the gaps.


HMS MERSEY

The current position of HMS MERSEY is in English Channel with coordinates 50.29201° / -4.18023° as reported on 2021-06-02 14:21 by AIS to our vessel tracker app. The vessel's current speed is 15.9 Knots

The vessel HMS MERSEY (MMSI: 234637000) is a Military ops It's sailing under the flag of [GB] United Kingdom.

In this page you can find informations about the vessels current position, last detected port calls, and current voyage information. If the vessels is not in coverage by AIS you will find the latest position.

The current position of HMS MERSEY is detected by our AIS receivers and we are not responsible for the reliability of the data. The last position was recorded while the vessel was in Coverage by the Ais receivers of our vessel tracking app.

The current draught of HMS MERSEY as reported by AIS is 10 meters


The Hostels and HMS Mersey

The original 1942 plan for the site, using both sides of Liverpool Road.

The original plan for the site that eventually became the Ringway development was hatched in 1942, and was intended to provide ‘temporary hostels’ for those made homeless by enemy bombing in Merseyside.

In April ’42 the Ministry of Works and Buildings, under Emergency Powers, took immediate possession of 22 acres of land north of Liverpool Road, ‘in the national interest’, whilst regretting, of course, any inconvenience this may have caused the farmer, William Croxton, based on Leighton Road he would receive compensation anyway.

Building work by Government contractors commenced and Neston Council attempted to organise an extension to the water-main from the Chester/West Kirby road seven months later and the Ministry of Works finally agreed to the council’s offer to lay the main if the Ministry paid 50% of the cost. There was of course, a War on, and authorisation for steel supplies was a complex matter involving rationing periods covering only essential needs of the contract within the rationing period, and requirements for tinplate , ternplate (?) and blackplate(?) all had to be made separately.

Work on the water-main finally started on March 1 st 1943, pipes having been delivered, though valves and fittings were not ready, but the supply to the hostels was finally turned on by April 14 th . Because of the delay (of one year) in getting a water supply, the problem of the blitzed and bombed-out families had lessened, and the section on the south-east section of Liverpool Road was put on hold, and was never built. In fact the hostels were never used for their original purpose of housing Merseyside/Wirral bombed-out families.

Councillors and officials were invited to visit and inspect the finished site on July 11 th 1943.

The homeless Merseyside families never materialised but refugees from Gibralter did, and they were the first people to use the camp. Subsequently evacuee families from London and the South were there in August 1944, and it sounded somewhat like a holiday camp, with organised entertainment for the children including a sports day on that August Bank Holiday, and baby competitions and concerts. They lived in 4-bed rooms in blocks with bathrooms and toilets, and ate in the communal canteen. The complex was now being run by the National Service Hostel Corporation.

Some time later the Navy took over the site and it became HMS Mersey, with some connection with the Merchant Navy and then a ‘naval demobilisation centre’.

The camp was in the news in December 1945 when a woman was murdered in Wood Lane by one of the sailors. She was lodging in Moorfield Drive and had spent the evening in the Brewers Arms with a sailor and another girl, but that’s another story.

Five naval ratings from the camp who damaged street-lights in the town were named by their Captain in April 1946, two were assistant bakers, one a scullion, an assistant steward and an assistant cook. This was presumably some leaving/demobilisation high-spirits as within a couple of days three of them had been released under Class ‘A’ (ie subject to any emergency recall) and returned to their home towns, one drafted to another vessel and only one was still serving in HMS Mersey.

On August 31 st ’46 the site was transferred from the Admiralty to the Ministry of Health. Neston Council had already signified an interest in the site because of the serious housing situation in the district, and they were aware of the possibility of adapting what was already on the camp to make the huts fit for habitation for the many returning servicemen.

By around August 19 th the first of the Squatters had in fact moved in, amidst rumours of Poles possibly being housed there. The Council had a meeting with Squatters on 22 nd August Chairman of the Council, F. Lewis made it clear that whilst they were in the difficult position of supporting the Squatters, (indeed Cllr Tilley had been invited to advise them on fuel provision), the Squatters were acting illegally and had in fact committed an act of piracy on one of H.M Ships.

A Q&A session followed, with discussion on cooking facilities, Yale locks, and rent charges (10/- a week) and formation of a small representative committee. Within a week there were problems with extensive damage being done to the unoccupied buildings and fuel was being stolen, mainly by outsiders. Around 200 people were living there by the end of the first week in September, and the seventy years of life on the Clayhill site for local people was just beginning, and indeed still continues.

As a post-script, Neston Council’s Clerk discovered in August 1953 that they had never received the 50% of the cost of laying the water-main ten years previously from the Ministry of Works. Correspondence ensued and the Ministry pointed out that all relevant records had been destroyed, but they finally contributed their £365 in June 1954!

And another post-script… whenever I look at these few years in our town’s history I am always impressed by the contribution the Neston Councillors and officers made to providing housing and sorting a serious problem of homelessness and social distress.


HMS Mersey

Five ships and a shore establishment of the Royal Navy have been named HMS Mersey after the River Mersey:

    was a Conway-class 26-gun sixth rate launched in 1814, used for harbour service from 1832, and broken up in 1852. was a wooden screw frigate launched in 1858 and sold in 1875. was a Mersey-classprotected cruiser launched in 1885 and sold in 1905. was a Humber-classmonitor launched in 1913 for Brazil, but purchased by the Royal Navy in 1914 and sold in 1921. is a River-classoffshore patrol vessel launched in 2003 and currently in service.
    was the Navy's Liverpool depot, established as a branch of HMS Eaglet and commissioned in 1940, and paid off in 1946.
  • HMS Mersey was the name borne by a number of tenders to the Mersey Division Royal Naval Reserve
    • HM Motor minesweeper 1075 was HMS Mersey between 1949 and 1956.

    Two Ton-class minesweepers bearing the name HMS Mersey served as tenders to the Mersey Division RNR.


    HMS Mersey - History


    Arklow View
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    Nuno Espirito Santo close to becoming Everton manager

    Everton are set to announce former Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo as their new manager.

    Nuno, 47, will be formally offered the job this weekend and could be unveiled by Everton early next week, according to the Daily Mail’s northern football correspondent, Dominic King.

    Everton have been without a manager since Carlo Ancelotti’s shock return to Real Madrid on June 1.

    The Mail reports that Everton owner Farhad Moshiri had considered numerous other managers, including ex-Blues chief David Moyes, former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez, Manuel Pellegrini, Tottenham-bound Paulo Fonseca and Christophe Galtier.

    But Moshiri and co. have seemingly settled on Nuno, who left Wolves at the end of the season and who looked set to become Crystal Palace boss this week, only for the move to break down.

    The Guardian report that Palace ended talks with Nuno partly due to the size of the coaching staff he demanded, while the influence of his agent, Jorge Mendes, is another factor to consider for Everton, in particular for director of football Marcel Brands.

    Nuno spent four years as Wolves manager, during which time he led them back to the Premier League, and delivered two successive seventh-placed finishes, an FA Cup semi-final and a Europa League quarter-final.

    He was contracted to Wolves until the summer of 2023, but agreed to part ways following the conclusion of this season, which saw them finish 13th.

    Nuno, a goalkeeper in his playing days, previously managed Rio Ave between May 2012 and May 2014, Valencia from July 2014 until November 2015, and Porto during the 2016-17 season.

    His four years at Wolves, where he was manager for 199 games, was by some distance his longest spell in charge of the same club.

    Against Everton with Wolves, Nuno managed two wins (one at Molineux and at Goodison Park), three defeats and one draw.


    An American Senator Begins the Probe

    American Senator William A. Smith (1859-1932) of Michigan walking to the US Senate inquiry into the RMS Titanic sinking, 1912. The hearings, which took place in New York and Washington between April 19 and May 25, were the first to investigate the disaster.

    Stock Montage/Getty Images

    Sen. William Alden Smith (R-Mich.), a lawyer by training, led the U.S. Senate inquiry. He wasted no time in rounding up key witnesses, in part out of concern that they would leave the U.S. and return to England before they could be questioned. Smith and his entourage met the Carpathia at its New York dock to serve subpoenas on the surviving members of the Titanic’s crew, the Carpathia’s captain and J. Bruce Ismay, chairman of the White Star Line and a survivor of the wreck.

    The inquiry began the next morning at a New York hotel before moving to Washington, D.C. a few days later.

    Smith would call 82 witnesses in all, including four Titanic officers, 34 crew members and 21 passengers. Their eyewitness accounts testified to the ship’s reckless speed, the captain’s apparent indifference to iceberg warnings sent by other ships, the crew’s ill-preparedness in handling lifeboats and, most damningly, a mysterious nearby ship that refused to come to the Titanic’s aid despite seeing its distress rockets. Smith pointed the blame at the freighter SS Californian and its captain, Stanley Lord, whom he also subpoenaed and treated to a vigorous grilling.

    The report Smith’s subcommittee issued on May 28 was praised for its detail and remains an essential document for Titanic historians to this day. His behavior, however, was another matter. A London paper accused him of 𠇋rowbeating, bullying and baiting” witnesses—particularly Ismay, who, in saving himself, had become a villain in the American press. Newspapers around the world called out Smith’s lack of nautical knowledge and ridiculed many of his questions to the Titanic’s crew, most famously: 𠇍o you know what an iceberg is composed of?” (To which Titanic Fifth Officer Harold G. Lowe replied, “Ice, I suppose, sir.”).

    But The New York Times, which did its share of mocking Smith, acknowledged that, for all his faults, “he has brought out what we all wanted to know and had a right to know about the loss of the big ship” and 𠇎nabled us all to form a clear idea as to where the responsibility, direct and indirect, for that loss lies.”


    Watch the video: HMS Mersey - Guide 250 (June 2022).


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