7 thoughts on “HMS Kellington c2008/9

  1. My late father Robert (Bob) Casey was picked up by a flower class corvette during the convoy battle of O.N.S 5. UK to St Johns Nova Scotia 1943, his merchant ship was torpedoed and the captain of the merchant ship thought its back was broken so ordered abandoned ship, the merchant ship did manage to get life boats launched but not before my dad and others jumped into the cold Atlantic. Corvette’s were not big ships, not the best sea going ships but by god they did a great job on convoy duty, my dad was picked up by H.M.S Loosestriffe along with 3 other merchant ships survivors, must have been very cramped, dad always maintained the Loosestriffe rammed a U-boat and sank it, but my own researched showed the corvette depth charged the U-boat to destruction, I would imagine the concussion from depth charge and U-boat breaking up jay have appeared to dad and others that the corvette rammed.
    Always wondered why no recognition was erected along Middlesbrough for the men young and old who sailed from this port to form up and join convoys.
    All the best.
    Derek

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    • Derek, it was worse than you thought, Merchant Seamen sunk at sea were taken straight off the payroll, I cannot be sure but it was late in the war before that was put right and the men paid.
      Kellington was a Minesweeper although she was launched in the 1950’s and not a wartime vessel. Corvettes were Mini Destroyers, the Greyhounds of the Navy, Convoy Escorts with teeth. I knew a lad who served on them he said you were never dry, Hot Bunked due to shortage of room and ate cold rations for days in Stormy Weather. Not the best berth in the Navy and well overcrowded when picking up survivors, the larger ships were forbidden to stop for anything hence the stories of Convoys sailing on leaving survivors in open boats and hoping the small naval ships would find them.
      Merchant Seamen sailing on unarmed ships risked their lives for poor payment and to us who remember them saved this country from starvation in the early years of the war when the U-Boats had the upper hand.
      It has taken years to erect a monument to the Bomber Crews who carried out orders at a time this country was being flattened by the enemy. The Merchant Seamen should have their Monuments in every Port they Sailed from, they knew the odds yet still did it, brave men indeed.
      I never understood why Kellington was brought to Stockton then left to rot, had she been tied off to a Buoy mid river the vandalism would not have happened. I am sure it would have cost a mere fraction of the money pit costing us even more millions on the High Street, it would have been a living monument to the hundreds of Local men and Women who served in a Naval capacity from this area many who lost their lives doing so.
      Frank.

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      • Hi Frank, yes I did know about seaman’s pay being stopped! the minute the ship sank, perhaps this explains why men in their thousands walked away from the sea with nothing to show they had taken part in the longest! Campaign of WW11, we have to remember the war at sea started the minute war was declared. When I started to look into dads time at sea it never occurred to me merchant navy lads were entitled to medals, I was hoping for just a little ribbon, it took a long time to get all medals dads was entitled to, strange thing though, when I submitted dads seaman’s certificate showing all merchants sailed on and time’s on them, it was to be years later when I had to find proof that dad was off D-day beaches that I was sent France & Germany 1944-45 clasp to be sewn on his Atlantic Star.
        Frank I could not agree more, recognition for the brave merchant navy lads young and old deserves some thing erected on where merchant lads left Middlesbough
        to join convoys.
        All the best.
        Derek

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        • Derek Dunkirk is famous for the evacuation in which many Merchant Navy ships took part, Hospital ships ferries and small Coasters what is little known was the evacuation of nearly as many people from other parts off the coast of France.
          St Nazair and many other ports were part of that rescue where the Merchant Navy took a large part,. Lancastria was sunk with the loss of many lives crewed by Merchant Seamen and it is documented several smaller ships were Bombed and sunk.
          We will never know the full story of those smaller merchant men although I do know of instances where men were picked up from those coasts weeks after it was supposedly all over in France, that must have needed larger boats and not all were Royal navy.
          The Convoys from Gibraltar to Malta must have seemed like suicide missions yet they did it losing many ships and men each time.
          There were many unsung hero’s in the war years, Armed Forces, Civilian and those Merchant Seamen who made “D” Day possible, they all deserve medals few got them.
          Frank.

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          • Bang on Frank, used and forgotten comes to mind, I hope folks who had fathers, grandfathers and great grandfather who served in merchant navy check to see if they got their campaign medals, I’m sure they can still be claimed.
            All the best.
            Derek
            ps both our sons served almost 24 years each in R. A. F & Army, thank god they didn’t have to serve in another world war.
            My grandad Robert Casey served with K. O. S. B during the great war, tried to prove he went to Spain during Spanish civil war, my dad said grandad went and dads words are good enough for me, did find one of my Casey family who went to Spain, he was listed on the M. I. 5 blackist, strange when a short time later we were fighting the same fascists.

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  2. Looks like a Corvette?. If it is, is there another on Teesside?. Designed by Smith’s Dock and made Canada the third biggest navy in the world since they had mostly these sub hunters. My brother Harry served his apprenticeship there as did my brother in-law. My aunty was head of the payroll department, Magda Tinning. I sailed on one of the ships built there, the Ribelhead a Bolton Steam Shipping Company iron ore carrier, as an Engineer. History must be preserved.

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