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Guest Book

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I have added a new and hopefully, better guest book to the site.  The entries from the old Guest Book are listed below.  Follow the links to view and sign the new book.

 

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Date: 27 Dec 2001

Time: 08:03:36

Comments

My time on the Fort Nakasley was spent tramping around the globe.we had some grand times and some scary times,but the old ship took it all in her stride.one incident comes to mind in the port of Basra, Iraq,when the ship which was fully battened down, caught fire. Eventually when the fire was extinguished it left some buckling of the foredeck,and some popping of rivets, but with some repairs done, we put to sea and carried on tramping, which says a lot about the magnificent strength of these vessels, as the saying goes, they don't make 'em like that any more. Frank Baker

Date: 28 Dec 2001

Time: 07:20:19

Comments

Keep up the good work Angela. I will be passing your website onto other Merchant Navy sites. Rgds Billy M.N 1980/1992 Website: http://www.british-merchant-navy.co.uk

Date: 30 Dec 2001

Time: 10:48:01

Comments

Hello Angela Sorry you lost the original communication. Here I am resubmitting it. I trained on the Vindicatrix April to June 1944. After my first voyage on a Dutch ship the "SS Stad Vlardingen", I joined the Fort Cumberland in Manchester 7/2/45. Sailing to the Mediterranean, arriving back in Middlesborough on the 20/4/45. After some leave I rejoined her in Middlesborough on the 6/5/45. We sailed up the coast the coast to the Tyne and moored at Hebburn for repairs to the torpedo nets on the 7/5/45. It would be about 15.00 hours that day when Winston Churchill broadcast to the nation that the war in Europe would end at midnight that day. We should have sailed from the Tyne later that day. It turned out that the coastal convoy we were to join was delayed so we joined it on the 10th. May 45. We joined the last west bound Atlantic convoy, which left on the 14th. May '45. The next part of this trip is something that has remained in my memory and I shall never forget. All U boats at sea were ordered to surface and report their position. I cannot remember the date, but it was just breaking day-light (0600 hours), there were a lot of signals being exchanged between one of the escorts on the starboard side and something on the horizon. As it got nearer we could make out that it was a submarine. We could see that there were two of them, both turned out to be U boats surrendering to the escorts. The Fort Cumberland was in ballast and ordered to Bay Bulls, Newfoundland, to discharge it over the side. Now the two U boats with one escort also came into Bay Bulls and anchored. The next morning the three (two U boats and escort), started to leave the bay line astern, the escort leading. The submarines were flying the White Ensign from the conning tower, with the German Imperial flag underneath. We were the only other ship in the bay and as they passed abeam of us each one in turn dipped their flags. All our crew were standing on the side watching this. The old man, who was standing on the wing of the bridge shouted to one of the cadets to run aft and dip the duster. We all felt very proud, they were saluting the British Merchant Navy. I have since tried to establish the numbers of these boats, but without success. I only know that two boats surrendered sailing into St.Johns, but that was where they went after leaving Bay Bulls. After loading iron ore we sailed back to the U.K. unescorted, arriving on the 21st June 1945. Regards Ron Singleton (ron.liz@virgin.net)

Date: 31 Dec 2001

Time: 20:08:57

Comments

In 1948 I was 16 years old and while trying to become a seaman I was given the job of galley boy on the Fort Remy at Cardiff docks, and worked at this job for a few weeks while she was in port.  This was known as working by, however I did not get to sail on her, the following year I went to the Vindicatrix training school as a deck boy, scrubbing the dirty pots on the Fort Remy was the thing that made me decide to become a deck hand.{ good luck with your website}I also have a website,page three Vindi UK website see my entry click on "THE BARD" and have a laugh.
Regards Edward Hassan. 24/12/01

Date: 31 Dec 2001

Time: 20:08:57

Comments

Dennis.M.Crosby. dgcrosby3@shaw.ca I trained at T.S.Vindicatrix May 1944-July 1944. I sailed in Rosedale Park (South American Saint Line ) Feb 1947 -Aug 1947 and Cargill 1949. Enjoyed your site Angela ,look forward to returning again soon.Best of Luck.  

Date: 04 Jan 2002

Time: 13:24:41

Comments

Enjoyed your page I thought we had all been forgotten. I served on two Park Ships during World War II. First I was on the Hillcrest Park out of Montreal and had the North Atlantic run brrrrrr! Second I served on the Frontenac Park and we were the first Canadian ship to pull into Antwerp with supplies for the Battle of the Bulge I think!! I believe that was in the best part of 1944 or early 1945. I served as a gunner with the RCNVR. heiseusa@netscape.net

Date: 11 Jan 2002

Time: 17:07:38

Comments

I have searched for information on the SS  Fort Bellingham. My uncle was killed aboard her serving as an R.N. Signaler. The information on your site has helped me greatly putting together a picture of what became of him and the ship. Thank You johndumigan@utvinternet.com

Date: 12 Jan 2002

Time: 14:06:18

Comments

Truly a great site Angela. Thank you once again for keeping the flame burning. The history of these ships and the men who sailed them, and yes, of course the brave men who gave their lives in them, must never be allowed to be forgotten. I know that grateful thanks come from all us guys that sailed them. A great website that will be visited constantly by all people interesed in ships and seafaring. Peter Nicholson. Old Fort boat sailor.

Date: 13 Jan 2002

Time: 03:49:43

Comments

GOOD PAGE MY DAD SERVED ON THE FORT TURTLE THANKS FOR THE INFO DAVE IN NOLA

Date: 15 Jan 2002

Time: 10:23:23

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Angela: An excellent site. Am sure I will revisit often. Regards Roger W Jordan (author, 'The World's Merchant Fleets 1939', and former archivist, Lloyd's of London)

Date: 21 Jan 2002

Time: 16:58:07

Comments

Frank Delahunty, frankdelahunty@hotmail.com Very intresting and enjoyable site My father sailed on the Fort Sennerville and the Fort Biloxi during WW2. Best regards

Date: 24 Jan 2002

Time: 07:36:25

Comments

Congratulations Angela - I was a Vindicatrix boy and went to sea in November 1942. As VJ was commemorated we were 2 days out from Norfolk Virginia on the "Empire Severn" originally the Elder Dempster's "Egba" I had to hospitalise at the Marine Hospital Virginia,and after 2 months on the New York Merchant Navy Reserve Pool, was sent home as a DBS (Distressed British Seaman" signed on as crew aboard "Fort Rupert"2nd November 1945 .We did the easterly crossing and up the River Seine to Rouen, Normandy. Things were pretty desperate at that time in Europe. We then sailed to Newport and were paid off there 10th December 1945.

Date: 25 Jan 2002

Time: 07:24:24

Comments

Good old Forts, thanks Angela. Was on Fort Bedford March '43 til July '44. Would be pleased to hear from old pals. George Caldicott;.apprentices P.Marshall & K.Salmon, & others inc.any of the DEMS mob.Then Ft.Niagara til Oct.'44. Known then as Maurice Wilson. (M.Colthorpe.)morris.colthorpe@btinternet.com

Date: 26 Jan 2002

Time: 07:47:59

Comments

Ken Roberts (ROBBY) was on vindy aug-dec 1943 joined ss ARGOVIC (ex fort st croix) 1947 when I was on the beach in Freetown west africa she was short handed so able to sign on good voyage round the world twice tramping. would like to meet some of the crew again good site will return kenneth.roberts2@ntlworld.com 26-01-02

 

Date: 28 Jan 2002

Time: 00:41:05

Comments

I am amazed at the detail in your site. I sailed on the Ocean Volunteer (Benrinnes) from 1952 to 1954 these being the best years of my life. Could you tell me where I might get drawings or photos of this class Colin Masterton engr2nd@earthlink.net

Date: 03 Feb 2002

Time: 12:25:10

Comments

Dennis.M.Crosby. dgcrosby@shaw.com I just checked through your site on Fort boats and was delighted to come across my old ship Rosedale Park.I joined her in Manchester (Salford) in Feb 1947,we loaded in Antwerp and sailed to Montevideo,Buenos Aires,Rosario,Santa Fe and finally returned to London,paid off in July 1947. I was an AB and after working my watch on deck of 4 hrs,called "Farmer"I became to badly sunburned that upon our arrival in Montevidea I was admitted into hospital and spent the entire time of 5 days as a patient,they thought that I had developed shingles ! I must congratulate you upon your site,it is a worthy addition to the other MN sites.

Date: 07 Feb 2002

Time: 10:24:59

Comments

Hi Angela, Great site, after reading your guest book. It made me wonder if anyone out there was on the SS Fort Stikine, and if they remembered my father. John (Jack) Sherriff he was 2nd officer on her when she blew up April 1944 in Bombay. Lidgard@ntlworld.com

Date: 07 Feb 2002

Time: 15:37:39

Comments

Hi Ang, great site. I was a vindi boy march till june 1947 then joined the Fort Vercheres in Swansea for a three and a half month trip in the Med. Had a great time in the MN till 1956. I've just got a photograph of her. tony.whitty@ntlworld.com

Date: 12 Feb 2002

Time: 05:22:36

Comments

Hi I was trying to find out the launch dates and yard numbers of the Liscomb Park and Rockwood Park built in Canada in 1943, but they are not on your list? Tony Atkinson.

Date: 12 Feb 2002

Time: 09:46:04

Comments

For Tony Atkinson - The Liscomb Park and Rockwood Park are not listed on the site as both these boats were 4,700gt and I have only listed the 10,000grt boats. If you want the information on these boats, email me direct as you haven't included your email address. Angela DeRoy-Jones

Date: 13 Feb 2002

Time: 18:17:06

Comments

My first voyage as an apprentice was aboard the Fort Ville Marie, by then renamed 'Makalla', from Hull to Birkenhead, via Rotterdam,Tilbury, Aden, Calcutta, Colombo & Barcelona. We coaled ship in Aden and spent the next week trying to get clean. She was a comfortable ship and I have fond memories of her (and of SS Malabar, a liberty ship, but she was an oil-burner) Great Site, I'm glad that someone has recorded to story of these honest ships. Tony Butler tony-butler@lineone.net

Date: 16 Feb 2002

Time: 10:14:10

Comments

A Great site! My Father George Frederick (Nick) Tuck served on the Fort Chipewyan, I have a photo of him with some of his crew mates. I also have his Shore Leave pass for the Port of Haifa (Palestine) 1946, I believe he spent some time in hospital there, a problem with his eyes? I would be very pleased to hear from anyone who served with him, or can give me any information at all, once again thank you for all the information on the Fort's. Stephen Tuck stephen.tuck@btinternet.com

Date: 23 Feb 2002

Time: 11:56:35

Comments

Vindi Boy Deckie Feb.- June '49. My first trip was on the the Fort La Prairie, which I joined on a 'pierhead jump' as it locked out of the West India Dock on the 9th June 1949; signed on in the Consulate Ofices in Rotterdam, our first port of call for loading coal for La Spezia. Across the Med. to N. Africa for loading iron ore, then back to Birkenhead to discharge. Signed on for a second trip, this time to Houston for grain, cleaning holds from the previous cargos as we chugged across the Herring Pond. Back to N. Germany to discharge, then to Swansea for dry dock and signed off 3rd Oct '49. At this time, she was managed by the Dalhousie Steam and Motor Ship Co. I have a copy of the book, 'A Great Fleet of Ships - The Canadian Forts and Parks ' by J.C Heal ISBN 1-55125-023-3 Robin Hurst, SussexVindi@aol.com This site is a great tribute to these 'maids of all work' during the war and post war years

Date: 28 Feb 2002

Time: 21:50:43

Comments

What a wonderful thing to find this web site. My father served aboard 3 park ships during WW2, and he only began to speak of these experiences after more than 50 years. We started to write them down, but he died of cancer before we could complete it. If anyone knew of Len "Shorty" Hill who served aboard the Montmerency Park, Port Royal Park and the Prince Albert Park, please let me know. It is great to see a website dedicated to telling the story of the men and their ships. don hill hhill@neptune.on.ca

 

 

Date: 05 Mar 2002

Time: 01:50:17

Comments

I sailed as an Engineer on the SS Warkworth, formerly Fort Dauphin, in 1956/57, including the Ice Race to Churchill and a trip to the Black Sea port of Poti. We were the first British ship to visit Poti following WW II. I remember the ship with great affection - uncomplicated, good crew, good company and a good ship all round. Tom Currie, Australia

Date: 09 Mar 2002

Time: 21:15:34

Comments

Dear Angela, as requested,I'm logging in my comments.I served on the Hartland Point a Vancouver built depot ship for the Royal Navy based on Singapore in 62/63.She had the same main engine and steering-gear as all of the "Victory" types.She carried 3 cranes a machine shop a foundry a shipwrights shop a large galley and huge stores of spare parts for destroyers. The ships company numbered 218 officers and men.As a junior stoker [barely 17]I did my share of pot scrubbing,bilge-diving,and boiler-cleaning. She was a clean and happy ship,and the grub was really good.Whilst I was on her,we visited Hongkong 3 times,Penang,and Trincomalee,plus assorted exercises off the Malayan coast,being so slow we started out 3 days before anyone else and still got to the exercise area the last,then we just anchored and let everyone else play "silly-buggers" till it was time to go home to Singapore.Twas a grand life and I look back on her with fond memories.Congratulations on a grand site it's about time the Merchant Navies of all the Allied nations were given the accolades they so richly deserve.Their contribution to the defeat of the axis cannot be overstated.I have the deepest admiration for them. R.P.Knight Ex C.P.O.[Engineroom Mechanician] rKnight@nyc.rr.com

Date: 11 Mar 2002

Time: 10:06:42

Comments

I sailed on the Temple Bar (Fort St. James) 1946-48 as a J.O.S., and the Southwick (Fort Enterprise) 1954 as a AB. In 1949 I saw the US Marad reserve fleet of over 600 ships in the Sabine River, Texas which included the Fort boats handed back under the Lend-Lease Act. by the United States Maritime Commission. Quite a sight. Where was the camera? From Cy Hudson. cy_ena@yahoo.ca

Date: 13 Mar 2002

Time: 02:25:00

Comments

Great site was pleased to see a picture of the Fort Michipicoten on which I served as Deck Boy on my second trip to sea in 1952 Geoff Nicks E mail Nassarius1 PS She was the Oak Hill when Iwas on her on charter to The Indian Steam Ship CO.

Date: 13 Mar 2002

Time: 17:41:23

Comments

baby jabbie ndoehphe@msn.com

Date: 13 Mar 2002

Time: 22:34:14

Comments

Amendment to previous entry regarding Fort Michipicoten on which I served as Deck Boy when she was the 'Oak hill'. The E-mail address should read Nassarius1 @aol.com. Geoff Nicks

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Last modified: May 27, 2004

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