HMS Ashanti

Fairfield
20th August 2004, 13:45
Tribal Class frigate built by Yarrow at Scotstoun in 1961 taken in 1975 arriving in Glasgow on a weekend courtesy visit.
ASHANTI was sunk as a target in 1988.Some of her contemporaries were sold to Indonesia.

Jim S
9th February 2006, 22:25
While an Apprentice with G & J Weir of Cathcart I worked on Ashanti during her fitting out up until she was ready for sea trials. - The Tribal Class were an odd design in being single screw frigates designed for service in the Persian Gulf. One all impulse steam turbine of 12,500shp and one gas turbine of 7,500 were geared to a single shaft giving a speed of 27 knots.
The machinery layout consisted of separate boiler room, engine room, and gearing room. The class were really the first step into the Navy's ultimate conversion to gas turbine propulsiion for surface ships of frigate size and above. The ship could get underway quickly under gas turbine power while steam was being raised. The steam turbine could then be clutched in to give maximum power. In 1974 two men were killed when a freak wave hit her 80 miles east of Bermuda. In 1977 three men were killed and the ship extensively damaged by a boiler room fire in the Bristol Channel - knowing the layout of the boiler room there would not have been much hope of escape.

Jim S

Slim Whitman
15th January 2007, 18:23
In 1964 / 65 I was the Navigators Yeoman on the Ashanti. I joined her after a three month refit in Guz.
The first time we put to sea for trials, the skipper tried to climb the jetty steps with her on arrival back in port. Strangely, we had to spend more time in dry dock. (EEK)
After work up we sailed for the Persian Gulf, on the way through Suez, one of the seaman was drinking on the Helo pad, throwing stuff overboard. We went from having two unopened cans of beer a day to two opened cans. What an idiot. (MAD)

On the way out and before we had got to the Med, the Nav Officer had told me he only wanted the charts we were likely to use, kept up to date and not to bother with the whole worlds charts. On the way home about a year later, he discovered we were having Admirals Inspection in Gib. For two weeks with another chap who had previously been a Nav Yeo, we worked 0600 to 0200 every day to write the correction numbers that were needed at the bottom of the charts in pencil. We finished about two hours before the inspection started. [=P] The Nav did not see us for three days after.

Then when we left Gib to sail home, in front of all the Admirals staff and quite a crowd on the jetty, the skipper tried to reverse into a basin so that he could turn round. Big mistake. We hit a crane on the jetty somehow. I was writing down his orders and had trouble keeping up with them. Full ahead, stop, hard a starboard, etc etc, almost without taking a breath.
Admiral was not best pleased.

We had a good time in the Gulf though. Happy memories.

Slim

Jim S
27th January 2007, 20:34
I wrote in an earlier posting of a fire that took place in the boiler room of Tribal Class frigate HMS ASHANTI in the Bristol Channel in 1977 resulting in the death of 3 crewmembers. Does anyone know the cause of this disaster?
In the mid 1960's the Navy had began the conversion in of steam ships to burn DIESO (gas oil) instead of FFO (furnace fuel oil). There were two main reasons for this conversion, one was that the high rated Babcock boilers then in service were suffering from heavy fireside fouling, a second reason was to simplify logistics by having one fuel for steam and gas turbine ships.
One of the adverse effects of this change was the higher volatile nature of Dieso leading to some boiler explosions on lighting up etc.
Was this a factor in the Ashanti incident?

jack dusty
25th August 2007, 18:53
not sure what caused the fire but ashanti came to chatham for repair. i understand the crew were dispersed. i was in the supply support group at the time and some of us were sent to re stock her. we did this and took her through her sea trials. on completion we took her to pompey and handed her over to the entire ships company from tartar, at least i think it was tartar.

Po stoker
21st August 2008, 07:06
The fire in 77 was the result of an error by a junior engine room rating who, having broken a glass thermometer in its pocket leaving the bulb end still in the pocket decided that the best course of action was to unscrew the said thermometer pocket and tip the bulb out!

80psi at 120 deg C relay oil on a turbo alternator suddenly found freedom..... the oil flashed off and the rest is history. I believe the junior rating was not one of those killed.

Also to reply to the other post about losing people over the side due to a freak wave out of Bermuda, it was 3 not 2 an AB Rodgers, PO Taws and i don't remember the other name, as i was down below in the stokers mess i didn't see the wave but it was said to be approx 60ft high and a couple of hundred feet wide, we very nearly went over, measured to 43 deg i believe.

Dave

Jim S
21st August 2008, 15:00
Dave,
Thanks for the explanation of the cause of boiler room fire on Ashanti.
Very sad.
As I recall there was a turbo-alternator on a platform on starboard side of boiler room with the boiler room access ladder alongside it which in the circumstances you described made escape extremely difficult.
It was not as I had imagined a boiler flash back that was a problem in the early days of burning Dieso.

markwarner
26th August 2008, 10:41
I was on HMS Dundas at the time of the fire and we were the first ship to get to her. By then the fire was out and most of the ship company were exhausted.

chadburn
26th August 2008, 15:17
Was it not on the Ashanti that a homesick Stoker/Mech put sand in one of the shaft bearing oil boxes and she had to be towed back in from her trip to America?, she was going across to show the Americans her propulsion system.

blakey
26th August 2008, 21:42
hi , i have just joined the site and noticed the ashanti incident. May 77 if my memory serves me right. we lost three MEM,s on that trip, it was a visit to wales and we were apr 1 hour away. Jmem little 16 and a half yrs old, LMEM Woods 21 yrs old, i cannot remember the name of the third MEM. It took apr 7 hours to sort the mess out. I can remember Dundas coming to help us out, a belated thanks mateys . I have been trying to find seamen etc from ashanti during that period for apr 8 yrs but no success so far.
this is the best ex RN site i have found to date, well done .
blakey

Peter4447
26th August 2008, 21:48
Welcome aboard Blakey from Glorious Devon - as you will see we have quite a number of Grey Funnel members in the crew.
Regards
Peter4447(Thumb)

markwarner
27th August 2008, 08:50
hi , i have just joined the site and noticed the ashanti incident. May 77 if my memory serves me right. we lost three MEM,s on that trip, it was a visit to wales and we were apr 1 hour away. Jmem little 16 and a half yrs old, LMEM Woods 21 yrs old, i cannot remember the name of the third MEM. It took apr 7 hours to sort the mess out. I can remember Dundas coming to help us out, a belated thanks mateys . I have been trying to find seamen etc from ashanti during that period for apr 8 yrs but no success so far.
this is the best ex RN site i have found to date, well done .
blakey


No problem, glad to help. I know how good it is to see another pussers war canoe in those circumstances. I was on the receiving end in '82 when Arrow and Yarmouth helped us.

waldziu
2nd September 2008, 21:11
I believe that the other stoker was Tim Burton.

blakey
20th September 2008, 19:43
sorry for the late reply waldziu, thanks mate i have been trying to remember his name for years. going to ganges this saturday to take some photos beforethe council flatten most of it to build some flats/houses.
many thanks, blakey.

Sanemancured
23rd September 2008, 09:46
Hiya

1st post as I caught this while browsing 'Ashanti'.

I do wonder who everyone is :) I'm Peter Burridge and was the Killock of the stokers mess at the time of the fire. Jimmy Wardle was the third casualty along with 'Burt' Burton and 'Tiny' Little. Jimmy wasn't in the boiler room at the time the fire started but when everyone was getting out he went back in with a foam extinguisher! Burt was a killock stoker and the only married man. He was trapped under the stewards mess escape hatch with Tiny.

It was a very sad day and I can remember it as if it were yesterday whereas so much of those days are lost in the mists of time. I met the lad that 'caused' the fire a couple of years later and he was still devastated and was leaving the RN after the final board on enquiry. Ironically it would never of happened if he hadn't of been so keen. I was a pall bearer at Jimmy's funeral in Carlisle. I now live in Kendal and keep meaning to find the grave and pay my respects.

I was on Ashanti from May 1974 when I joined in workup at Portland until she went into Chatham and left in May 1977 to start Mechanician's course.

Some fool saw fit to promote me and I ended up running the back end of a submarine as a 2 1/2. Looking back Ashanti was probably my happiest time in the 'mob'.

If I know anyone here Hi and hope all's well with you.

Peter

waldziu
23rd September 2008, 14:56
I served with Tim on the Rothesay prior to him joining the Ashanti. He had only just got married. We had three "tons" on the Rothesay, Burton, Murton and Turton.

Sanemancured
23rd September 2008, 16:09
Was that Chris Turton, LMEM? We had a Chris Turton, wannabee rock star who joined around the same time as Tim I think. Don't quote me but I have a feeling that he 'tied up' with Tim's missus some way down the line from all this.

Tim's wife used to call the gangway and ask to speak to someone when she was low. Sad times.

waldziu
24th September 2008, 16:07
No, Sanemancured. Steve Turton. He hales from Kirk Hallam near Derby.

His partner has a pub just up the road in west Hallam.

On a nautical note, Steve nearly sank the Rothesay when he was triming the ship as duty tanky, having just come off shore leave still pissed.

blakey
30th September 2008, 23:16
hi peter, my name is steve blakemore / blakey, i was an ab uc2 seaman sonar op. i was bunked in the messdeck with the red escape hatch in the deck for some reason !. I remember that day as though it was yesterday, do you remember peter watson cpo signals i think .my memory is not so good now so the names are beginning to fade, i still have some photo`s of mates from hardy , keppel, jaguar , ashanti.
best regards, blakey.

Sanemancured
10th October 2008, 21:51
Hiya Blakey

Yes that was what was known as the Stewards Mess wasn't it. I was the Killock Tanky and was chatting to the Chief Stoker 'Taff' Edwards with MEM 'Budgy' Budgen in the Chief stokers Office when it all went off. The Burma roads were filled with black smoke almost instantly and I went straight down the Engine room and shut off fuel for'd. I then went around to the stbd Burma road and demanded to be let for'd to get to the stabiliser space to shut off fuel aft. The passageway was thick with black smoke and I crawled all the way for'd on my hands and knees thinking 'if I can't get out the other end I'm a gonner'. Needless to say I did. At some point I went into the stewards mess and hammered on the hatch. Evidently Burt was hanging off the handle below.

Talking of cocking up with fuel transfers, I had a Gordie MEM 'Flash' Gordon who was my Tankey's mate and sadly was an Alcoholic and not very reliable.

Taff Edwards was a fierce bloke to cross and in the middle of a middle watch Flash shook me and there was a hellava list on the ship and the bridge were muttering. Flash had 'crashed', pissed while transferring fuel to 3C the G6 gas Turbine tank (how do I remember this stuff) and we managed to sort it before Taff woke up.

I think I remember Eddie. Was the wheelhouse almost opposite the tech office? It wasn't a place I had much to do with.

It was a sad end for a good ship.

Peter

blakey
13th October 2008, 21:54
hi pete nice to hear from someone from ashanti, i thought we were gonners too that day. i think the wheelhouse was near the tech office, i can remember the skipper or no 2 ordering " all hands stand by to abandon ship", i was stationed quaterdeck and as we unhooked the liferafts the funnel roared red hot sparks and black smoke and a loud bloody bang. we must have passed one another in the burma way, i had to feel my way back aft, tripped on one of the hatches and gave my shin a bloody good crack. i can also remember going over the side on a bosuns chair! to spray the hull down, first time i had seen the oggin bubble, we just hoped we got calm seas when the dundas lads came to tow us back to chatam, we thought the hull may split due to the damage, i still do not know why we went to chatam! i know my arms were agony after steering from the tiller flat, no hydraulics or pas all soddin night. Do you remember the keppel, i was on that when it ran up the back end of one of the rovers after a ras, would do it all again if i had the chance though, best years of my life.
all the best, pete, steve.

Jim Bullough
23rd October 2008, 14:20
The way i heard it,it was'nt the fire that killed them.It was the lp sat steam drench that did.2 of them at the ladders to one of the accesses and the 3rd was at the escape route ladder behind the boiler.

blakey
24th October 2008, 21:06
yes thats correct Jim, we used that as a last resort.
regards, blakey.

johnlee
30th December 2008, 14:42
In response to the question about what started the boiler room on HMS ASHANTI. I was the Chief Electrical Artificer responsible for all ships generation at the time of the fire. The cause of the fire was as follows:
A young stoker was checking H Generator running temperature via a thermometer in a blind pocket on the generator top casing. He accidently stood on the thermometer causing it to break.Not realising that the blind temperature pocket was above 165 psi of red hot lubricating oil he unscrewed the pocket in order to fit a new thermometer thus allowing hot lubricating oil under pressure to jet upwards striking a very hot boiler room light. The vaporised oil fell back on to the generator casing and instantly ignited.
H generator then fed the fire which became totally out of control.
twenty minutes after the fire started a decision was made to steam drench the boiler room as the ship was now in real danger.
With the fire extingushed the bodies of three young stokers were discovered.
The lad who caused the fire was safely removed by our chief Engine Room Artificer.

Cooky Boy
4th January 2009, 16:44
I was om Ashanti in 64/65 (2nd commission), at the same time as Slim Whitman. I was an REM looking after the 293 & 965 radars, IFF and suchlike. Remember him and the Navvy, can't remember his name but can still picture him and if I remember correctly, he was married to some titled lady. The skipper was Commander Thackwell and the Jimmy for the first half of that commision was a Timothy Richard Wingfield Mundy (believe I have that right).

I enjoyed my time (my only surface ship, spent the rest of my 23yrs in boats) on her and have some very good lasting memories but she was a bit of a pig at times. The finish on her was not as good as those that followed. ie, doors were grey painted aluminium covered, without architraves, the rest had wooden doors and architraves. The aircon was out of action more often than working, not good up the Gulf and with no scuttles, the stabilisers were not very good and even made conditions worse at times. The evaporators rarely worked so we found ourselves often under rationing (good training for my career in boats) and having to use the salty brackish water from Bahrain.

We had one spell when we were supposed to be transitting directly from Mombasa to Bahrain, so we were only stored for this but on route we were told to stay at sea for another couple of weeks patrolling the Gulf. What then followed was that we ran out of water completely, went on food rationing (two potatoes per man per day and little else to go with it), they Naafi ran short of beer and cigarettes were strictly rationed. To make matters worse, the evaporators and aircon fell over completely, quickly followed by the G6 turbine which attempted to throw bits off, then the shaft luboil was found to be contaminated and we had no more to replace it. We then effectively floated around for a few days whilst waiting for an RFA to replenish us.

I believe it was during that episode that several of us in the electrical branch were seconded to do rounds in the Engine Room, Boiler Room etc, to check temperatures. Being without aircon the temps were up in the 130/140 mark, we didn't stay in there very long, just long enough to check the temps and back out. Needed gloves to prevented burning on the ladder handrails. Very character building.

As mentioned previously in this thread, she lost a few crew members. We lost one, Knocker White an AB I believe (I bought his case at the auction), one of the ships divers, whilst carrying out a bottom search one night at Portland during work-up, July 64. Someone forgot to turn off the cooling pumps and he was sucked onto the inlet grill which pulled his mask off. A Very sad night.

Pat Thompson
4th January 2009, 20:21
Greetings,

Ashanti was the first warship I ever went on board. I was an apprentice in West Hartlepool Steam Navigation's Kepwickall and we met up with Ashanti in Bahrein (Mina Suleman Jetty) in June (ish) 1963. I was given a tour around my the duty Middy. Compared to Kepwickhall she was "Star Wars".

Jim S
4th January 2009, 21:00
I was om Ashanti in 64/65 (2nd commission), at the same time as Slim Whitman. I was an REM looking after the 293 & 965 radars, IFF and suchlike. Remember him and the Navvy, can't remember his name but can still picture him and if I remember correctly, he was married to some titled lady. The skipper was Commander Thackwell and the Jimmy for the first half of that commision was a Timothy Richard Wingfield Mundy (believe I have that right).

I enjoyed my time (my only surface ship, spent the rest of my 23yrs in boats) on her and have some very good lasting memories but she was a bit of a pig at times. The finish on her was not as good as those that followed. ie, doors were grey painted aluminium covered, without architraves, the rest had wooden doors and architraves. The aircon was out of action more often than working, not good up the Gulf and with no scuttles, the stabilisers were not very good and even made conditions worse at times. The evaporators rarely worked so we found ourselves often under rationing (good training for my career in boats) and having to use the salty brackish water from Bahrain.

We had one spell when we were supposed to be transitting directly from Mombasa to Bahrain, so we were only stored for this but on route we were told to stay at sea for another couple of weeks patrolling the Gulf. What then followed was that we ran out of water completely, went on food rationing (two potatoes per man per day and little else to go with it), they Naafi ran short of beer and cigarettes were strictly rationed. To make matters worse, the evaporators and aircon fell over completely, quickly followed by the G6 turbine which attempted to throw bits off, then the shaft luboil was found to be contaminated and we had no more to replace it. We then effectively floated around for a few days whilst waiting for an RFA to replenish us.

I believe it was during that episode that several of us in the electrical branch were seconded to do rounds in the Engine Room, Boiler Room etc, to check temperatures. Being without aircon the temps were up in the 130/140 mark, we didn't stay in there very long, just long enough to check the temps and back out. Needed gloves to prevented burning on the ladder handrails. Very character building.

As mentioned previously in this thread, she lost a few crew members. We lost one, Knocker White an AB I believe (I bought his case at the auction), one of the ships divers, whilst carrying out a bottom search one night at Portland during work-up, July 64. Someone forgot to turn off the cooling pumps and he was sucked onto the inlet grill which pulled his mask off. A Very sad night.

Sorry to hear of your water problems - However the evaporators worked perfectly well when we installed them (says I ex G & J Weir apprentice). There was one set in the gearing room together with an auxiliary boiler. The other set was in engine room.
While in latter stages of fitting out and basin trials at Queen's Dock, Glasgow it was one of my duties to flash up and run the gearing room set of evaporators to make boiler feed water, Of course we did not attempt to distill from the dock water but from the city's fresh water supply which believe it or not is often a more difficult medium to make boiler feed quality distilled water from than it is from sea water.

Cooky Boy
5th January 2009, 14:47
Sorry to hear of your water problems - However the evaporators worked perfectly well when we installed them (says I ex G & J Weir apprentice). There was one set in the gearing room together with an auxiliary boiler. The other set was in engine room.
While in latter stages of fitting out and basin trials at Queen's Dock, Glasgow it was one of my duties to flash up and run the gearing room set of evaporators to make boiler feed water, Of course we did not attempt to distill from the dock water but from the city's fresh water supply which believe it or not is often a more difficult medium to make boiler feed quality distilled water from than it is from sea water.

I don't doubt they were Jim. I believe it was more to do with her having returned from a commission in the Persian Gulf, which gives any ship a bit of a hammering and having only a 3 month refit, things were a bit rushed and we were back to sea, then off to the Gulf again before we were really ready. I remember some of the engineering guys complaining that the maintenance and repairs had been rushed and not fully complete.

Things never change, do they?

Jim S
5th January 2009, 19:57
I don't doubt they were Jim. I believe it was more to do with her having returned from a commission in the Persian Gulf, which gives any ship a bit of a hammering and having only a 3 month refit, things were a bit rushed and we were back to sea, then off to the Gulf again before we were really ready. I remember some of the engineering guys complaining that the maintenance and repairs had been rushed and not fully complete.

Things never change, do they?

You are spot on with your last line - Long spells of refits/overhauls often created many headaches for the ship when she went back to sea again.
I can only speak from MN experience but RN seems to have similar outcome although in the case of the RN the dockyard has a much longer time to mess things up.

khib70
11th March 2009, 11:24
The fire in 77 was the result of an error by a junior engine room rating who, having broken a glass thermometer in its pocket leaving the bulb end still in the pocket decided that the best course of action was to unscrew the said thermometer pocket and tip the bulb out!

80psi at 120 deg C relay oil on a turbo alternator suddenly found freedom..... the oil flashed off and the rest is history. I believe the junior rating was not one of those killed.

Also to reply to the other post about losing people over the side due to a freak wave out of Bermuda, it was 3 not 2 an AB Rodgers, PO Taws and i don't remember the other name, as i was down below in the stokers mess i didn't see the wave but it was said to be approx 60ft high and a couple of hundred feet wide, we very nearly went over, measured to 43 deg i believe.

Dave
Hi. Was an LRO(W) in Ashanti at the time of the freak wave. Definitely was two killed, not three. PO John Taws was a Geordie and a three badge veteran who was taking OS Nigel Rodgers for part of his AB exam on the upper deck. There was a big swell, but the wave was right out of the blue. I was reading in my bunk at the time and ended up hanging on for dear life to avoid ending up on the deck.

PO Taws was a great character, well liked throughout the ships' company. I was one of the ship's SRE operators during the West Indies deployment. On one occasion I played a record for him as a request from his wife on their (I think) silver wedding. Five minutes later, he appeared at the door of the SRE office and handed in a pint of beer.

It had been a great deployment in the Caribbean, including several memorable banyans, and the normal excitement at coming home was muted a bit by the loss of two shipmates in such a sudden and dramatic manner.

Taws B
11th May 2009, 09:31
Hi. Was an LRO(W) in Ashanti at the time of the freak wave. Definitely was two killed, not three. PO John Taws was a Geordie and a three badge veteran who was taking OS Nigel Rodgers for part of his AB exam on the upper deck. There was a big swell, but the wave was right out of the blue. I was reading in my bunk at the time and ended up hanging on for dear life to avoid ending up on the deck.

PO Taws was a great character, well liked throughout the ships' company. I was one of the ship's SRE operators during the West Indies deployment. On one occasion I played a record for him as a request from his wife on their (I think) silver wedding. Five minutes later, he appeared at the door of the SRE office and handed in a pint of beer.

It had been a great deployment in the Caribbean, including several memorable banyans, and the normal excitement at coming home was muted a bit by the loss of two shipmates in such a sudden and dramatic manner.

Hello my name is Brian Taws and PO Taws was my uncle, A friend of mine pointed me towards this forum.
I remember my uncle (Jack) as he was known coming to visit us at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk, he always used to turn up in his Naval uniform, a proud man indeed and proud of being in the Navy.
It warms me to read the kind words posted about him here, he was a very kind and generous man, when he visited he always had a big bag of coins with him and we, my sisters and I, were allowed to put a hand in the bag and everything we could grab was ours.
For some reason or other, I have always thought that he died on the Ark Royal while trying to save the life of another seaman, I recall being told that he died in heroic circumstances.
Can anybody shed more light on the exact circumstances of his death.

Thank you

Brian A J Taws

Taws B
11th May 2009, 10:05
I dug up an old photo of PO Taws taken at his home in Portsmouth.

http://radarspotters.eu/images/jack.jpg

khib70
28th May 2009, 11:18
Hello my name is Brian Taws and PO Taws was my uncle, A friend of mine pointed me towards this forum.
I remember my uncle (Jack) as he was known coming to visit us at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk, he always used to turn up in his Naval uniform, a proud man indeed and proud of being in the Navy.
It warms me to read the kind words posted about him here, he was a very kind and generous man, when he visited he always had a big bag of coins with him and we, my sisters and I, were allowed to put a hand in the bag and everything we could grab was ours.
For some reason or other, I have always thought that he died on the Ark Royal while trying to save the life of another seaman, I recall being told that he died in heroic circumstances.
Can anybody shed more light on the exact circumstances of his death.

Thank you



Brian A J Taws
Brian, it's great to hear from a relative of John Taws. You are absolutely right to be proud of him. I remember him as a real gentleman with a fine, dry sense of humour. He was a real father figure to the younger members of the seaman branch, and his experience and great seamanship skills were passed on to many, not, I'm sure, just on Ashanti. Sadly, it was that aspect of him that indirectly led to his death.

John was taking a young Ordinary Seaman, Nigel Rogers, through his AB exam on the ship's upper deck, when she was struck out of the blue by a huge wave. The ship listed alarmingly, before her Clyde-built quality came to the fore and she righted herself. As far as I am aware John was killed instantly, and OS Rodgers was washed overboard, his body never being recovered,

Maybe not everyone's idea of an heroic death, but he certainly died doing what he loved most, and on the deck of one of HM ships.

It was a desperate shock to the whole company to lose two shipmates at such a time and in such a way. Tragically ironic that one of the oldest and the youngest hands on the ship should have died together.

Thanks for posting the photo, which shows him exactly as I remember him. As I say, you can be very proud of your uncle

Keith Leadbetter
Ex LRO(W)

Taws B
28th May 2009, 14:14
Thank you for your answer Keith and for your kind words.

Cha d'dhin dorus nach d'fhosgail dorus

stoker
4th June 2009, 22:00
I was interested to read the posts on HMS Ashanti's deployment to the gulf. In 1967 I was 2nd Eng. on MV Irish Ash when we spent 6 weeks up the gulf. Ashanti was on the other side of the jetty to us in Bahrain so we did a bit of ship visiting. I had not been on a warship before, not counting the Irish Naval Service's three Flower class corvettes which I had worked on as a dockyard apprentice in the early sixties, so the size of the accommodation and machinery rooms was an eye opener for both merchant men and RN personnel. Ashanti's Engineering officer couldn't believe the enormous Doxford engine developed only 5500 hp or that we only consumed 14 tons of fuel per day.
On the first morning as we had "smoko" ( stand easy in naval terms) leaning over the rail, watching the comings and goings on Ashanti, a couple of sailors carried empty 5 gal. oil drums down the gangway and left them on the quay under the watchful eye of a Royal Marine officer who roared out "square that lot up there" (meaning the drums), this greatly amused our lot who began taking off the plummy accent. One of our Donkeymen who had been in the British army, told them to shut up because "them Royal Marine officers are a crowd of b----rds and he will only take it out on the men".
We had sold our empty oil drums in Massawa, I wonder how much they would have fetched in Bahrain?.
Good to know some of the crew are well and posting on SM.
By the way the AC was working when I visited, I was envious,we didn't have AC and I still remember the sweat box of a cabin I tried to sleep in.Did some one say happy days?

JeffM10
27th September 2009, 07:33
Served on HMS Ashanti 2006 - 2007 as a CEM. Left in Chatham after she was berthed there for repairs after the tragic fire as did most of the ships company.

I was in the SCR at the time of the fire working alongside the Chief of Section (Can't remeber his name) on the 170 Sonar when the lights went out. As I had my hands in one of the sonar draws taking voltage measurements my very first thought was, did I do that! the timing of the lights going out and me putting the prods on the terminals was simultaneous. Stupid however that was my very first thought. Then everything became automatic after that, it pays to have good training.

I seem to remember Tiny Little having just finished his stint as part of the dining hall party and becoming a fully fledged stoker and was working in the boiler room at the time.

I still think from time to time about the guys who lost there lives and also how much worse the incident might have been. It just goes to show how teams who are well trained and committed in very trying situations gell together to prevent what could have been a worse situation. Hats off to all the stokers as they generally are front line experts in these situations.

It was a long and somber day but everyone just got on with the job in hand. 2 deck was awash due to the boundary cooling. I was in 3G WE messdeck which was another of the adjacent compartments to the boiler room. I was one of the lucky guys who had a top locker as the mess also had a fair bit of water spayed on the bulkhead.

After the fire was brought under control the clear up began, remember being on watch in 'H' Switchboard during the 1st watch and looking across at the MCR with all of the deck plates up as the guys were clearing up the water underneath.

It was such a shame leaving the Ashanti as we had not long come out of refit and most of the guys were just really starting to get to know each other well having returned to fully operational and prepping for Portland. The Barry Island trip we were heading for at the time I believe was a jolly.

If there are any former shipmates out there I wih you well.

Cooky Boy
27th September 2009, 23:35
Served on HMS Ashanti 2006 - 2007 as a CEM.

Hope you had good diving kit Jeff, she was sunk in 1988.

Wheelspanner666
17th October 2009, 21:34
Hi there fellow shipmates Pete and Dave

What flashbacks these incidents bring to me, LMEM Tim Burton was to be my relief on Ashanti as I had an appointment with the Submarine School as a volunteer for boats.
The ship seemed jinxed as there had been a fire on the starboard air compressor in the engine room which caused considerable damage then the incident with the goffer hitting the ship out in the Windies and after the refit the run to Wales which was the sad and final fire in the boiler room.God bless those who passed away, my thoughts are with them quite often.
Was a good ship and crew though, probably my fondest memories of the Andrew are from the time I spent onboard, I was a 2 star stoker when I joined and left as a killick for the submarine service. Served on Polaris S and T boats finally leaving the service by going back to ships and serving on HMS Active prior to sale to Packistan.I eventually left the service as a Chief Stoker and had my buttons for over 10 years.
Does any body remember the salvage job we undertook out in the med and ended up hauling half a tanker back to Gibralter, it took us an extra 2 weeks to get back to blighty.I got a princely sum of about 15 in salvage money for that.It came through some years later. The tow kept parting if I remember.

Budgy Budgen

blakey
5th November 2009, 00:15
budgy budgen , now that name rings a bell. can`t put a face to it though. can anyone remember the names of other crew members and the officers onboard during 1977.
thanks in advance , steve.

Wheelspanner666
5th November 2009, 21:32
Hi steve,

Just a few stokers mess names I remember well, George Denning, Sticky Ricketts, Graham Tonge, Dave Parry,Benny Benson, Terry Thomas, Nobby Clarke, Pete Burridge,Jock Davidson, Ben Lyons to name a few.
The after dabbers mess should remember me for flooding their mess deck accidently when taking on fresh water at 3 0'clock in the morning.Foot valve left open inadvertantly, never did it again!!!
I think I remember you.

Budgy Budgen

blakey
10th November 2009, 21:14
Hi steve,

Just a few stokers mess names I remember well, George Denning, Sticky Ricketts, Graham Tonge, Dave Parry,Benny Benson, Terry Thomas, Nobby Clarke, Pete Burridge,Jock Davidson, Ben Lyons to name a few.
The after dabbers mess should remember me for flooding their mess deck accidently when taking on fresh water at 3 0'clock in the morning.Foot valve left open inadvertantly, never did it again!!!
I think I remember you.

Budgy Budgen
Nobby clark and ben lyons i seem to remember . I cant remember the flood :D, i was bunked in the stewards mess with the killicks (Thumb) .
I intend to create a crew list for ashanti 1977 when i get the time. Have you still got the tankard we were given budgy , date we joined the RN and the date of the fire !.
best regards mate , steve.

JeffM10
17th November 2009, 08:42
Yep good spot Cooky Boy -No idea why I put those dates must be an age thing. It should have said served between 1976 (Portsmouth Refit) and 1977

Wheelspanner666
20th November 2009, 14:43
Dont know if I have it or not, all my momentos are packed away in the loft somewhere, there comes a time when you have to let go and move on.

Budgy Budgen

Latitude
21st November 2009, 21:56
I never served on a Tribal but Zulu was in the Far East during 1973 when I was on Antrim.

Indonesia bought a couple of them during the 80s. They also did a deal which included wasp helicopters in the sale. At the time I was an instructor at the Helicopter Control School at Osprey and took several Indonesian officers on the one week transit control course. We were told that they "couldn't fail" the course. After a couple of days they asked for new exercise books and investigating why they had filled up the book so quickly I found that they had written down verbatim everything I had said; dits and sea stories in all! After the course completed the consensus was if you came across an Indonesian ship operating helicopters then hi-tail it in the opposite direction!!

Ed Harrison
2nd December 2009, 20:53
The fire in 77 was the result of an error by a junior engine room rating who, having broken a glass thermometer in its pocket leaving the bulb end still in the pocket decided that the best course of action was to unscrew the said thermometer pocket and tip the bulb out!

80psi at 120 deg C relay oil on a turbo alternator suddenly found freedom..... the oil flashed off and the rest is history. I believe the junior rating was not one of those killed.

Also to reply to the other post about losing people over the side due to a freak wave out of Bermuda, it was 3 not 2 an AB Rodgers, PO Taws and i don't remember the other name, as i was down below in the stokers mess i didn't see the wave but it was said to be approx 60ft high and a couple of hundred feet wide, we very nearly went over, measured to 43 deg i believe.

Dave

It was two, Jan Taws, the buffer and I think O/S Rodgers. I don't think he was an AB I believe they were the oldest and youngest members of ships company. I was CREL on there at the time. Jan was washed over the side from the boat deck by the whaler as he was instructing a group of new entrants flown over to Bermuda for sea experience on our way back to UK and O/S Rodgers was also washed overboard. Jan was washed back on board on the quarterdeck but was too badly injured. O/S Rodgers was spotted in the water but it was too rough to launch the helicopter or whaler and could not be recovered. We returned to Bermuda to land our casualties, there were some other injuries to the visiting sailors and left Bermuda the following morning for a sombre trip to UK. Their names are inscribed on the National Arboretum Memorial Wall in Alrewas, nr Lichfield, Staffs.
Ed

Swampy Marsh
30th January 2010, 15:38
Hi, My name is Swampy Marsh and I have just joined your site, and it makes great reading, especially to the one of HMS Ashanti on return to the UK after her west Indian Deployment, when she was hit by what one can only call a "Freak Tidal Wave".
I was a Leading Steward at the time and was in the Wardroom Pantry at the time, (which as we all know had a scuttle), and we were in there having a chat when we glanced out of the scuttle to see this wall of water heading towards us, then before you knew it we began to heel over, abd you could hear everything crashing about you, the galley's below, dining room, wardroom, you could say if it was'nt fastened down it went, next thing we heard was the ship's alarm going, and first aid partys to the Starboard Boat deck, and I was one of those in the first aid Party, and it was a mess, I won't go into detail but even the first aid party was throwing up.
The new recruits or whatever they were was in shock, crying, throwing up and holding on to anything for dear life.
I remember this day well, as it was the First RN Ship I served on, and that was a black day in My Life but not the last in HMS Ashanti's.

SIMON SMITH
9th March 2010, 13:29
I remember that day back in Febuary 1974, and think about them each and every year on the date. Just to add some information, I believe that O/S Rodgers body was recovered by a fishing boat some 2 weeks after the tragedy. Also onboard at the time were a party of sea cadets hoping to enjoy the trip home, sadly I doubt like us they will never forget that day.
I remember going back to Bermuda to leave PO Taws there along with the sea cadets. I wasnt onboard Ashanti in 1977 but I do think from time to time of the men we lost.
I didnt know O/S Rodgers as such, but as mentioned in an earlier posting PO Taws was indeed a really nice person.

( just like to say high to Keith (LRO(W) who I remember well)

hectorheathcote
27th April 2010, 21:40
Just found this site and was interested to see the comments about the two guys lost off Burmuda. O/S Rogers was our mess mate we knew him as Roy or Trigger for obvious reasons, George was at the time our q/deck PO even though he was a gunner not a TAS man. Great bloke he was and young rogers was a really good lad. Some time after this tragic event Ashanti visited Barrow (ship builders) so we in the TAS mess, me, darby allen, cosmo smallpiece, oggy ogier, bill button and fred dawling hired cars and took a brass memorial plaque over to o/s rogers family for them to put in the local church. I didn't think about the actual plaque again untill i saw it again but not in there local church. I was wandering aroung the Portsmouth dockyard church at the last festival of the sea a few years ago and there on the wall amongst some Captains and Admirals plaques was our plaque to Roy rogers i was amazed and pleased to see it. I have no idea how or when it got there but very fitting, i took photos and sent them to the reat of the lads.
The gang i mentioned above still keep in touch and we had have a few great weekends together over the last 20 years or so. Also some one mentioned the oil tanker in the med, it was the "July Star" and we the q/deck gang looked after the rope that broke a couple of times and i also got salvage money about 4 years later to the grand some of about 4.50 after tax, thanks alot. Got photos of that if anyone is interested.

Adrian (Hector) heathcote

steviecarr59
1st June 2010, 13:41
hi , i have just joined the site and noticed the ashanti incident. May 77 if my memory serves me right. we lost three MEM,s on that trip, it was a visit to wales and we were apr 1 hour away. Jmem little 16 and a half yrs old, LMEM Woods 21 yrs old, i cannot remember the name of the third MEM. It took apr 7 hours to sort the mess out. I can remember Dundas coming to help us out, a belated thanks mateys . I have been trying to find seamen etc from ashanti during that period for apr 8 yrs but no success so far.
this is the best ex RN site i have found to date, well done .
blakey

Hi Blakey,

I was a JREM at the time of the fire incident,I can remember a few names from the Stokers mess, starting with budgie burrige and scouse griffiths.
The fire was on the 3rd march 1977, just before stand easy at 10.00am.

The ships company had transferred over to HMS TARTAR or 'RATRAT' as we called her by JUNE 1977, as we took part in the Fleet review round about this time.

The names of the stokers were LMEM Tim Burton from Copnor Portsmouth, MEM Dave Little from Sunderland and LMEM Jim Wardle from Carlisle.

If you can come up with any more names, that would be great.


regards

Steve

kingstonvalve
13th June 2010, 18:51
Hello and thanks for all the posts. Great to read the history of HMS Ashanti.

To almost finish her naval career, I was a JMEM (16 years old) at HMS Sultan in late 1985 and Ashanti was HTS at a jetty in Gosport, she was outboard to another ship possibly a Type 12? I spent my first night in a proper messdeck on her. I remember being told ghost stories by the few ships company onboard. We all went and looked down the boiler room hatch, but I can't remember any of us going down just in case.
I remember a large square box type compartment on the upper deck down aft and a open turrent gun!! And sadly lots of peeling paint. I still have a soft spot for her.

Cheers Mark

kingstonvalve
13th June 2010, 19:00
By the way, when I was trying to think of a board name, I came up with Kingston valve and if my memory is correct it was a valve below the boiler room plates between the two boilers?? Can't remember what it was supposed to do?? I was on HMS Minerva 1986-1989 and spent a year as a boiler front stoker, strange seeing as I was a MEM(L). HMS Minerva also had a reputation as being unlucky, but thats for another thread!

Cheers Mark

granddaughter
15th June 2010, 13:32
Hi, I was just reading your posts.

PO John Taws was my granddad. I am the eldest of his grandchildren and the only one he ever knew. My name is Donna.
He died in feb 1974 in the freak wave when I was 18months old. Despite him being killed we have all grown up knowing him as if he was here and feel very close to him.

Brian I have all the details of his death including the Navy records from the tribuneral, I can send copies to you if you like? It's not pretty reading as stated by other people in their posts, but your welcome to see it. Your sisiter(L) has my details as we were in contact with each other last year as i have been completing a family tree.

The song that someone mentioned being sent to my nan was unchained melody by the righteous brothers, she remembers that day well and we all still cry and think of him whenever we hear it.

Thank you everyone for remembering him and that unfortunate day that took him from us as it means a lot to know people still care.

waldziu
16th June 2010, 10:59
High Kingston Vv, welcome. The kingston Vv, is not the valve between the two Blrs but between the blr blow down Vv and the sea. The Kingston Vv was opened first and then the blow down Vv was opened for a set time to maintain the Blr water salinity/alkalinity if compounding was insurfficient to do the job.

I'm open to comment as it was many moons ago when I did my Blr ticket onboard HMS FIFE, having sat my POMEM(M)s fleetboard onboard HMS MINERVA on our return from the Falklands.

Jub
21st November 2010, 21:39
Hi all !General Booth L/Std ( Well for a while anyway ) here, I hope some of you remember me! I had good mates on the Ashanti, George Denning, Mick Thickett, George Plumpton and a few others. Hello Swampy ! I remember George Taws and young Rogers well too. Sad time. Quite a few bob raised for their kit to be sent to their families if I remember. Does anyone remember the Ashanti Warriors out in Bermuda ? Anyone have any photoes ?

Jub
21st November 2010, 21:42
Sorry ! Its Photos !

peteoaten
31st December 2010, 10:37
Hello and thanks for all the posts. Great to read the history of HMS Ashanti.

To almost finish her naval career, I was a JMEM (16 years old) at HMS Sultan in late 1985 and Ashanti was HTS at a jetty in Gosport, she was outboard to another ship possibly a Type 12? I spent my first night in a proper messdeck on her. I remember being told ghost stories by the few ships company onboard. We all went and looked down the boiler room hatch, but I can't remember any of us going down just in case.
I remember a large square box type compartment on the upper deck down aft and a open turrent gun!! And sadly lots of peeling paint. I still have a soft spot for her.

Hello all, interesting read. I spent a few days on Ashanti when she was a HTS in 1983, i also as above was a JMEM(L). The ship berthed along her was HMS Hardy. Unfortunately by this time ghost stories were rife, and as a 16 year old i found the boiler room a very uncomfortable place to be.

Its interesting to here the true facts about the fire from people who were acually serving at the time.

Stevo
1st January 2011, 20:22
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/168562/title/the-sultan-training-sh/cat/all
chaps! Find a link to a pic of Ashanti as Sultan training ship alongside Falmouth and Londonderry in 1985/6. Prior to the Type 12s joining Ashanti in the Summer of 85, Russell was moored outboard in the static training role.

Can you tell me, did the training ships have a commanding officer? What was the average day like onboard these ships, were they busy and what condition were the ships in?

Stevo
2nd January 2011, 09:52
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/67624/title/hms-russell/cat/511
Another good view of the harbour training ships.

ashanti
10th February 2011, 13:26
feb2011. just joined and read all the posts. never a week has gone by when i haven't thought about john and young rogers. i was a signalman, walking round the ship most days, so saw him a lot, and i'll never forget that soft geordie 'hallo smudge'. rogers was on my shift on the bridge, i shud have been up there that afternoon, but had volunteered for paintship during the nites home, so was in my pit. i wud like to see any official docs u have about the incident, as a few years later, i could find nothing in the national press, pompey news or navy news, and i thought there was a big coverup, as i don't believe that people shud have been allowed up top that afternoon. cheers..ro2(t) smith i.l./oldseadog at hotmail dot com

khib70
1st March 2011, 20:57
feb2011. just joined and read all the posts. never a week has gone by when i haven't thought about john and young rogers. i was a signalman, walking round the ship most days, so saw him a lot, and i'll never forget that soft geordie 'hallo smudge'. rogers was on my shift on the bridge, i shud have been up there that afternoon, but had volunteered for paintship during the nites home, so was in my pit. i wud like to see any official docs u have about the incident, as a few years later, i could find nothing in the national press, pompey news or navy news, and i thought there was a big coverup, as i don't believe that people shud have been allowed up top that afternoon. cheers..ro2(t) smith i.l./oldseadog at hotmail dot com
Nice to hear from you Smudge. Still listening to that soul music? And great to hear from General Booth, chieftain of the Ashanti Warriors. One of the great lost cabaret acts!

I don't know if there was a cover up, but I've always had my suspicions. Like you, I was shocked that anyone was up top in these conditions. I'd like to see any documents that are going about too. My email is keith.leadbetter@ed.ac.uk.

Jub
5th March 2011, 23:05
Could have gone on the X factor eh Keith? The Ashanti was definately the best ship I served on. I still chunter on about the runs ashore on her when ive had a couple of bevvies.

david freeman
6th March 2011, 11:03
Any of you on the AShanti when on station in the Arabian Gulf and went to the aid of a BP Tanker ss Br, Queen off the quoins in 1966? What was your take on the support you gave. From My perspective it was great.

topsy turner
10th March 2011, 20:54
I'm Topsy Turner was on board Ashanti during the fire as a JMEM. I joined the ship in Gib after she had towed the remains of the July Star across the Med. Ironically I joined on my 17th birthday and was startled to find out that she was launched on that very same day 17 years earlier.


I was on the upper deck with Martin Gibson when there was a bang and billowing black smoke coming out of the Boiler Room vents. We started the emergency diesals and then went to our emergency stations.

The following few hours seemed to pass by in minutes but the events have been etched in to my memory ever since. I seem to remember that the official report on this accident stated that all 3 lads were probably unconcious after 2-3 breaths due to the dense toxic fumes. They didn't stand a chance. I was also one of the pall bearers for Jim Wardle and I visit his grave several times a year - just to say Hi!

I try to go to the cemetry on the anniversary of that fateful day - 3rd March, and it's hard to believe that it's the 35th Anniversary next year
I still wonder about the 3 lads (James Wardle, Tim Burton and Dave Little) and everone else on board that day and the impact it has had on us all.



Good luck to you all and may your God be with you.

Hiya

1st post as I caught this while browsing 'Ashanti'.

I do wonder who everyone is :) I'm Peter Burridge and was the Killock of the stokers mess at the time of the fire. Jimmy Wardle was the third casualty along with 'Burt' Burton and 'Tiny' Little. Jimmy wasn't in the boiler room at the time the fire started but when everyone was getting out he went back in with a foam extinguisher! Burt was a killock stoker and the only married man. He was trapped under the stewards mess escape hatch with Tiny.

It was a very sad day and I can remember it as if it were yesterday whereas so much of those days are lost in the mists of time. I met the lad that 'caused' the fire a couple of years later and he was still devastated and was leaving the RN after the final board on enquiry. Ironically it would never of happened if he hadn't of been so keen. I was a pall bearer at Jimmy's funeral in Carlisle. I now live in Kendal and keep meaning to find the grave and pay my respects.

I was on Ashanti from May 1974 when I joined in workup at Portland until she went into Chatham and left in May 1977 to start Mechanician's course.

Some fool saw fit to promote me and I ended up running the back end of a submarine as a 2 1/2. Looking back Ashanti was probably my happiest time in the 'mob'.

If I know anyone here Hi and hope all's well with you.

Peter

blakey
11th March 2011, 23:01
Hi Topsy , 35 years , and it seems like it was only a short while ago . enjoy every day as though it was your last , we were very lucky on that day . I was an Ab Sonar control / Dabtoe and was billited in the stewards mess . I was in the wheelhouse untill the skipper called . stand by to abandon ship . Best regards , steve , B
I'm Topsy Turner was on board Ashanti during the fire as a JMEM. I joined the ship in Gib after she had towed the remains of the July Star across the Med. Ironically I joined on my 17th birthday and was startled to find out that she was launched on that very same day 17 years earlier.


I was on the upper deck with Martin Gibson when there was a bang and billowing black smoke coming out of the Boiler Room vents. We started the emergency diesals and then went to our emergency stations.

The following few hours seemed to pass by in minutes but the events have been etched in to my memory ever since. I seem to remember that the official report on this accident stated that all 3 lads were probably unconcious after 2-3 breaths due to the dense toxic fumes. They didn't stand a chance. I was also one of the pall bearers for Jim Wardle and I visit his grave several times a year - just to say Hi!

I try to go to the cemetry on the anniversary of that fateful day - 3rd March, and it's hard to believe that it's the 35th Anniversary next year
I still wonder about the 3 lads (James Wardle, Tim Burton and Dave Little) and everone else on board that day and the impact it has had on us all.



Good luck to you all and may your God be with you.

willhastie
17th March 2011, 08:46
gday stoker you wondered how much the 200 ltr drums fetched in bahrain,well i have first hand knowledge, was there with the 9th mcm on hms wiston 1969, well we had this arab known to us as ali prawn who hung around like a bad mother in law and he asked if he could have the MT drums sure we said what will you pay? you men will dine on the finest seafood tonight so off he went with the drums and later that day true to his word he returned with a handful of sun baked stinking prawns unfit for consumption by any living thing.ali would have been about 80 and regaled us of stories when as a young man he was a peardiver.

khib70
22nd April 2011, 16:03
Could have gone on the X factor eh Keith? The Ashanti was definately the best ship I served on. I still chunter on about the runs ashore on her when ive had a couple of bevvies.
General, a bunch of hefty matelots in grass skirts chanting Maori hakas on a Caribbean beach is not something any of us who were there will forget.

Glad you're still out there and enjoying a wet or two!

Swampy Marsh
4th August 2011, 21:35
General Booth, a blast from the past, still going strong then General, got loads of photo's of our team, sod's opera's the warriors, I'll get round to putting them on my facebook page:http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=597618884#!/pages/HMS-Ashanti-Association/112611585484370 in touch General. Swamps.

Union Jack
4th August 2011, 23:00
Kingston Valve

Mere punctuation amongst all these touching and bitter-sweet memories oF ASHANTI but the "large square box type compartment on the upper deck down aft" that you remember was the hangar for the Wasp helicopter that Tribal class frigates carried - complete with the world's smallest aircraft lift!

Jack

Jub
8th August 2011, 17:30
Hello Swampy, blooming eck ! Would be nice to see those photo's Yea still chugging along mate, the Ashanti just seems like yesterday, we'll need to have a chunter over the e mail some time. see you bud.

khib70
9th September 2011, 10:18
Just a heads up to let anyone interested know that there is an HMS Ashanti page on Facebook. Quite a crowd of old shipmates from various years in her life post on there, and there's a few quality dits to read as well. Just search for HMS Ashanti. Hope this finds you all well

Keith Leadbetter
LRO(W) 1971-1974

lesbryan
9th September 2011, 11:04
As mentioned previously in this thread, she lost a few crew members. We lost one, Knocker White an AB I believe (I bought his case at the auction), one of the ships divers, whilst carrying out a bottom search one night at Portland during work-up, July 64. Someone forgot to turn off the cooling pumps and he was sucked onto the inlet grill which pulled his mask off. A Very sad night.

I wasnt on the ashanti but we were doing our workup at the time it was a sorry affair to say the least

brian carral
12th September 2011, 15:36
I was standing a few yards from PO Tawes and O/S Rodgers in the port side boat well at the time the freak wave hit Ashanti. they were the only fatalities although a few more were injured.
On return to the UK I had my leave delayed to appear at the inquest but was not called and never actually saw or heard what the official outcome was, but the skipper never returned.
If anyone would like to hear what actually occured on that day with regards to the guys who died I would be happy to give you my account of the incident.

Brian Carral (JOEM)

brian carral
12th September 2011, 15:40
I was standing a few yards from PO Tawes and O/S Rodgers in the port side boat well at the time the freak wave hit Ashanti. they were the only fatalities although a few more were injured.
On return to the UK I had my leave delayed to appear at the inquest but was not called and never actually saw or heard what the official outcome was, but the skipper never returned.
If anyone would like to hear what actually occured on that day with regards to the guys who died I would be happy to give you my account of the incident.

Brian Carral (JOEM)

Please excuse my mistake it was the Stbd boat well.

Brian

ashanti
23rd September 2011, 17:12
23SEP11...Get yourselves on the HMS ASHANTI facebook page, the one with the nice pic of the ship alongside, first day in Bermadu, especially if you're from 72-74 comish. Any pix wud be great too..Cheers Smudge

tony park
7th November 2011, 21:05
hi all remember a few names on here.brian carral were you in the armourers mess with me ?doc holiday/bowie hales/mitch/scotty/bupsingh long time ago now.no photos general put what i have on hms ashantis facebook all the best.tony park

brian carral
8th November 2011, 10:01
How are you doing Tony.

Yes that was me, I joined you just before we sailed for the West Indies deployment 73-74
When I joined there was your self Pop Scott, Bowie Hales, George Straughn, later to be joined by Bupsingh while in the WI.
I was only on the Ashanti for 1 year "which was fairly eventfull as we always seemed to be on the go and managed to see a wee bit of the world.

Good to hear from you.

Cheers

Brian

tony park
8th November 2011, 21:58
i remember you well only man ashore christmas day in barbados(all pubs closed) did you ever get your red cross parcell.by the way left navy in 1991 as cwem(o)

Goldy
15th February 2012, 22:54
Hello Swampy, blooming eck ! Would be nice to see those photo's Yea still chugging along mate, the Ashanti just seems like yesterday, we'll need to have a chunter over the e mail some time. see you bud.

EE,BY,GUM! You'r still alive then Mon General ,Still dragging that Field Gun around? All the best mate. Just found the site,and would like to say hello to anyone, who may or may not remember me .1973-1975 . I still see Ginge Trowsdale ,but remember Al Selvey,Smokin Jo Welch , Bagsy Baker ,PJ Kemp ,Pricky Price and a few others, and was sad when i left what always seemed a happy ship, was Advance leave party in Bermuda ,so missed the Wave, but remember PO Tawes, he was a realy nice bloke and O/S Rogers too.

Cheers All . Goldy

topsy turner
16th March 2012, 22:08
I've just been to Carlisle Cemerty to say Hi to Jim Wardle. I'ts hard to beleive that it is 35 years since the fire. I still remember the 3 lads and will always re-livethat day and I still wonder what happened to everyone since then.

Hope all are OK.

Sanemancured
22nd October 2012, 09:30
I'm a bit late returning to this thread. I was at work last night and got to thinking about my days on Ashanti, rediscovered this thread and was pleased to see some names from way back that I recognise.

Budgie I remember you well as well as you Goldy of course. Topsy too and I remember you were a mate of Pete Conelly's. I joined in Portland workup and I remember well being taken to the pub just outside the dockyard gates (it's name escapes me) to be welcomed onboard.

General Booth, what a character :) I remember Pricky Price from when I first joined, with Brum Haigh (?), George Denning, Sticky Ricketts, Martin Gibson, Jock Wynn, Terry Thomas, Graham Tongue, Dave Parry, Jan Butt, Benny Benson, Jock Davidson, Ben Lyons, Tiny Littlewood, Flash Gordon. Also the two Irish stokers who were always fighting :) Scouse Griffiths was the young lad who accidentally started the fire and I felt for the lad. To think they billeted him in another mess for fear of retribution - a numpty decision imo. So many more faces that I can't put names to.

Does any body remember the salvage job we undertook out in the med and ended up hauling half a tanker back to Gibralter, it took us an extra 2 weeks to get back to blighty.I got a princely sum of about 15 in salvage money for that.It came through some years later. The tow kept parting if I remember.

Yes Budgie, the July Star and the tow did keep parting. 15 was worth a few beers back then though :)

Where did those years go?

Peter Burridge

Goldy
22nd October 2012, 23:45
Hello Peter.

Good to see your note, there were a few names that had slipped under the Radar , and it certainly brings the old memories flooding back , when i read them.
I had the Good fortune to meet up with General, During the Summer and he hasn`t changed a bit , Still as daft as me , and we had a great time.
George Denning has been in touch, and says that he is looking into a reunion, so you never know, they may be wheeling all us old fossils out to meet up sometime,
All the best Peter, and Cheers to anyone else. who remembers me.

Goldy.

Sanemancured
24th October 2012, 19:36
Hello Peter.

Good to see your note, there were a few names that had slipped under the Radar , and it certainly brings the old memories flooding back , when i read them.
I had the Good fortune to meet up with General, During the Summer and he hasn`t changed a bit , Still as daft as me , and we had a great time.
George Denning has been in touch, and says that he is looking into a reunion, so you never know, they may be wheeling all us old fossils out to meet up sometime,
All the best Peter, and Cheers to anyone else. who remembers me.

Goldy.

A reunion? I'd be up for that.

Peter

Jaqueline Wynne
4th November 2012, 10:16
Thank you but this is the later one. I am looking for any survivors of the original Ashanti that took place in world war 11 in the russian convoys

Jaqueline Wynne
4th November 2012, 10:45
Hi Goldy .. and all I can't belive I'm reading all these posts. MT friend Danny/Danno/ Dan Lynch will be thrilled to hear a nd read all these posts. he doesn't use the computer but he did give me permission to give his telephone number . Do any of you remember him?

Jaqueline Wynne
4th November 2012, 10:47
A reunion? I'd be up for that.

Peter


So would my friend Dan. I'm sooooooooo excited can't wait to knock on his door and tell hmn I've found you all.(Applause)

Jaqueline Wynne
4th November 2012, 11:02
Hi Peter did you know my friend Danny Lynch .. He is originally from Scotland

Sanemancured
12th November 2012, 08:47
Hi Peter did you know my friend Danny Lynch .. He is originally from Scotland

Hiya

Danny Lynch? The name really does seem familiar. Small, dark haired guy?

Edited to add, it's coming back. Wicked sense of humour too :)

Peter

Roger Paul Snelling
18th December 2012, 20:01
Brian can you please state where you where at this time? you say you were standing a few yards from PO Tawes and O/S Rodgers in the port side boat well at the time the freak wave hit Ashanti. they were the only fatalities although a few more were injured.
On return to the UK I had my leave delayed to appear at the inquest but was not called and never actually saw or heard what the official outcome was, but the skipper never returned.
If anyone would like to hear what actually occured on that day with regards to the guys who died I would be happy to give you my account of the incident.

Brian Carral (JOEM)[/QUOTE]

Sanemancured
6th February 2013, 11:45
A shout for Topsey Turner. If you're up for meeting to visit Jimmy Wardle's grave this year please pm me or email on:

peburridge[AT]btinternet[DOT]com

Peter

bluestreak
2nd April 2013, 17:04
There but for the grace of God go I!

I have links to both the incidents mentioned. I was detailed as John Taw's relief and should have joined Ashanti in the Windies around November/December of 73, but there was a moritorium on flights, so I did an NBCD(Q) course instead and joined the ship on a grey February day in '74. In fact in the after PO's mess I took over John's bunk and locker, weird to say the least!

As the ships NBCDI Portland workup was full on. One of the discussions that was had between myself, the Engineer Officer and the "Staff" concerned a major boiler room fire and steam drenching. Obviously various points of view were put forward but in the end, from a ships perspective, steam drenching would have to be a "Command" decision. I was actually doing my GI's course at HMS Cambridge when news of the fire came over the radio. My concern was not only for the ship and the lads but also my relief, PO Mickey Beeton. My run ashore oppo, POME Mike Smith, was also still onboard. Thankfully his wife phoned mine and said he was OK. Having met both of them later on it was plain to see that both were affected by the incident.

As to the July Star saga! I think we had just sailed from Malta on some exercise when we came across her. The Ops room had reported a contact and had done a three minute run on it to assertain it's course and speed. When it was reported that she was not moving we were told to go and investigate. I think we approached from the stern so there didn't seem much amiss, but as we opened out to the beam there she was, the back half of a tanker named "July Star". The ship tried to make contact but there was no sign of life, so the Jimmy and a couple of others were taken over to her by our parafin pidgeon. They confirmed that there was no one onboard and it was decided that we would take her in tow, which we did. We then got detailed to tow her to Gib, about a thousand miles away. As a PO Seaman I used to do 2nd OOW on the bridge and it was soul dest to find out that at the end of a four hour watch we had onlt travelled a few miles. After what seem ages Rollicker came and took over the tow and we were allowed to proceed to Gib with all haste and then finally steam home.

I remember a few names that have been mentioned, like "Cosmo", Fred Dowling and Hector Heathcote. I was known as "Shorty" Leeks.

bluestreak
2nd April 2013, 20:20
I might have got it **** about face as to what end we towed! I thought it was the **** end but the more I think about it I think it might have been the front! I know the last time I saw it it was tied up on the detached mole. Never did find out what caused the ship to split in two and also don't know what happened to both ends.

Sanemancured
21st May 2013, 12:31
I might have got it **** about face as to what end we towed! I thought it was the **** end but the more I think about it I think it might have been the front! I know the last time I saw it it was tied up on the detached mole. Never did find out what caused the ship to split in two and also don't know what happened to both ends.

She was cleaning her oil tanks when static electricity caused an explosion that blew her in two. Not an unknown scenario evidently.

Pretty sure it was the front end. I've a photo somewhere.

rogerBry
9th July 2013, 19:07
Hi. I was an REM1 - 2 aboard in 1965/7. Joined at Devonport during a refit and went off to Beira Patrol. First time at sea what a world? I remember my first horse steak at Gib whilst listening to See Emily Play by the Pink Floyd. Malta, Gozo then Port Said, the Suez for a bit of horse trading where I got my first and last Seiko.

We did our gas turbine in and had to sit at Aden for a month when the crew were seconded to the army. We did road blocks and random shooting in the hills at night, weird. The ships company received a General Service medal, South Arabia. Off via Kuria Muria and Abu Dabi to Bahrein.

Come to think of it we popped in to Karachi on the way ??

Somewhere in here we had the film of the world cup flown out, so we all sat around in the galley and watched the Germans thrashed for once. Must have done Xmas at sea too.

Oh! I remember Mombasa, and HMS Bulwark being there and a trip to Mauritius

On the way home the Israelis were at it with the Arabs again. At one point we were to escort some minesweepers up the red sea to clear mines from the Straights of Tiran at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba but new orders were to leave them get on with it, so we legged it around the African cape stopping off at Simon's Town.

They certainly were the days. All at sea, sunny days, too much drinking. I used to work in the radar room a lot and the PO's kept their beer barrels in the bilges there. A mate and I used to unscrew a glass lamp shade and use a screwdriver to pop the pressure on the barrels and drink up. Yep! the best of days.

topsy turner
28th July 2013, 13:23
A reunion? I'd be up for that.

Peter

Hello all. I'd definately be up for a reunuion, Was talking to Pete Connelly the other day - so would he.

melanie.rebane
27th August 2013, 12:22
The way i heard it,it was'nt the fire that killed them.It was the lp sat steam drench that did.2 of them at the ladders to one of the accesses and the 3rd was at the escape route ladder behind the boiler.

Can one of you fine shipping folk explain to a firefighter studying to be a Station Commander what the term 'steam drenching' means? I might come upon a ship fire one day just as I stumbled upon the intriguing history of the Ashanti. Thanks.

topsy turner
28th August 2013, 17:24
Can one of you fine shipping folk explain to a firefighter studying to be a Station Commander what the term 'steam drenching' means? I might come upon a ship fire one day just as I stumbled upon the intriguing history of the Ashanti. Thanks.

Most older ships were powered by steam so a series of high level pipes and outlets were positioned in the Main machinery spaces - Boiler Rooms, Engine and gearing rooms for the purpose of fighting fires. These were operated from outside the compartment and filled the space rapidly with superheated steam direct from the boiler. Most modern ships only have small boilers for their hotel services so the steam drench systems have now been superceeded by high level Co2 fire suppression systems supplemented with low level AFFF foam tubes. There are other types of suppression systems but it is unlikely that you will see any steam drench systems in todays ships.

Canman.
16th October 2013, 13:38
I was the canteen assistant at the time of the fire,and still have the Skippers report from the Portsmouth Evening News,if anyone needs one.If any former shipmates holiday in the Gt Yarmouth area,I work at Pleasure Beach.

cash_13
17th November 2013, 12:36
Hi all, I wonder if you would be interested in this item my son gave me yesterday from a skip on the house they were doing a house removal from.

He knew I was interested in military history so rescued it. Needs a good clean and it has some damage and parts missing but still a nice piece of history from HMS Ashanti...

It has Flight Commander written on it so it is probably from the F117, or perhaps was carried over from the F51 perhaps someone could shed some light on it.

Union Jack
19th November 2013, 11:39
An interesting find indeed - this is a very good example of the board which was frequently found attached or close by the quartermaster's desk by the gangway of a warship in harbour, indicating which officers were either on board or ashore.

If for any reason you decide not to keep it, I suspect that there might be many people interested in giving it a good home!

Jack

guardlogger
19th November 2013, 13:14
Definitely from F117 as PWO(a)'s and PWO(u)'s (previously GO & TASO) didn't come into being until the 70's or the MEO and WEO (previously EO & LO)

cash_13
19th November 2013, 16:29
I would be willing to swap for HMS Warspite memorabilia or if a museum was interested I would donate it... been bitten by people claiming they want things for a relative who served then to find it on a military web site for sale before...leaves a nasty taste in ones mouth when all we want out of it is to remember the people who served our country..

Kind regards Lee F

Union Jack
19th November 2013, 17:06
MEO and WEO (previously EO & LO)

In which case the MEO and WEO of ZULU were years ahead of their time!(Jester)

Jack

guardlogger
20th November 2013, 09:32
MEO and WEO (previously EO & LO)In which case the MEO and WEO of ZULU were years ahead of their time!(Jester)JackThose of us who served in Zulu were all years ahead of the times!!(Thumb)

smokeyjoe
31st December 2013, 13:20
Very interesting to read the many posts relating to Ashanti, which certainly brings back memories, My association with the ship was in the immediate aftermath of the fire in 1977, when I was summoned to the office and told that we were taking on the Ashanti repair, which was likely to be extensive, and then accompanied by a shipwright inspector went to see the damage for ourselves.

Ashanti was moored in No 2 basin at Chatham, and outwardly bore no physical scars, but when we reached the boiler room, we were initially quite shocked by what we found, the entire port side of the boiler room was black and charred, with an acrid smell, the upper access ladder from the dining hall had been seriously distorted by the heat, and all the permanent lighting had been destroyed, the only illumination provided by shore supply who had rigged a series of lead lamps, which all added to the feeling of gloom that pervaded the boat at that time.

The following months proved a hard slog, but the following year with the boiler room now fully restored, and the crew returning, the transformation was quite remarkable, and having worked on the Eskimo and Zulu many of us felt that Ashanti was the best of all the Tribals, so it came as further shock just a few years later, to hear that she had been expended in weapons trials,

CTWay
25th February 2014, 10:39
I served on the Ashanti 1972 - 1974, which included the deployment to the Caribbean/West Indies 73-74. We had a fantastic deployment, but reading about the 3 Stokers in the ships fire of 77, flooded back memories of our sad losses in Feb 74. On sailing from Bermuda to the UK, albeit a fair sea, at approx 2pm the ship was hit by a massive wave that came up from no where, as the ship uprighted and heeled to the opposite side, it was hit by a 2nd wave of similar size. Sadly we lost PO John Taws, and OS Nigel Rogers. John was nearing the end of his very long career, and was due for release that year, he was the oldest member of the ships company. John was recoveed from over the side as he was caught by a Royal Marine who held on until all calmed down. Sadly Nigel was lost over board, and the seas became to rough to launch the seaboat or even launch the helo. Nigel was never recovered. We returned to Bermuda to committ John Taws ashore for repatriation to the UK. A sad day that lives in our memories, and in fact this was 40 years ago, on the 5th February. May PO John Taws, OS Nigel Rogers and the 3 Stokers RIP.

topsy turner
26th February 2014, 14:30
Just been to see James Wardles grave today in remeberence of that tragic day. RIP James, Dave Little and Tim Burton and all others who lost their lives in the service. TT.

CTWay
26th February 2014, 16:49
Another sad day in the life of HMS Ashanti. I was not serving onboard in 77 but do remember how shocked I was to hear the news of another tragedy onboard. It is hard to believe that it is 40 yrs ago that we lost two ships company in the big wave tragedy in 74. There is not a day goes by without thinking of that day and the sad loss of two great crew mates. I am hoping to organise a trip to the National Memorial Arboretum to see the names of the two crew mates engraved on the stone walls of the RN Memorial. Do you know if James, Dave and Tim are also engraved on the walls. It is for all who have lost their lives whilst serving in the RN.

George Adamson
26th February 2014, 19:32
Hi guys I have just joined this forum, I joined Ashanti in June 1975 as JREM and left in July 1977 going to FMG in Rosyth. I remember the fire and the afterwards.

CTWay
27th February 2014, 13:48
Hi Topsy Turner, Can you remember the ranks of the 3 who lost their lives in the fire of 77. I am writing up a memorial on my forum. The actual date would be good as well, I beleive was the 3rd March. Cheers.

Chris

CTWay
27th February 2014, 14:27
Hi all, I wonder if you would be interested in this item my son gave me yesterday from a skip on the house they were doing a house removal from.

He knew I was interested in military history so rescued it. Needs a good clean and it has some damage and parts missing but still a nice piece of history from HMS Ashanti...

It has Flight Commander written on it so it is probably from the F117, or perhaps was carried over from the F51 perhaps someone could shed some light on it.

Hi, do you still have the board. I would be interested in taking it from you as I am the administrator for the HMS ASHANTI FORUM, a new forum established for all those who served on HMS ASHANTI. Please let me know at your convenience.

Regards, Chris Way
HMS ASHANTI 72-74

Canman.
28th February 2014, 15:49
Hi Chris.
In an earlier post I stated that I've still got the skippers press report, Though fragile I can copy it for your records ifrequired.unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a date at the top of the paper for reference.
If it was 3rd March that later became my wedding anniversary unfortunately another day not to celebrate

CTWay
28th February 2014, 16:10
Hi Canman,

Yes please, I can add it to my forum for those serving at that time can see it. Cheers.

Chris

blakey
1st March 2014, 20:40
FURTHER INFO ADDEDHi Topsy Turner, Can you remember the ranks of the 3 who lost their lives in the fire of 77. I am writing up a memorial on my forum. The actual date would be good as well, I beleive was the 3rd March. Cheers.

Chris

Hi Chris , the shipmates were , MEM2 David Little 17yrs , LMEM Timothy John Burton 22yrs , MEM1 James Wardle , 21yrs . James was off duty at the time , he went into the boiler room with a hand held foam extinguisher and CTB . 03 , 03 , 1977 .

As an addition Chris , if you need more info re the incident etc , the log is kept in the National Archives Kew , ADM/53/182091 . I intend to visit the archives some time this year , I am informed the full events are contained in the former ADM , the captains/ships log .

CTWay
1st March 2014, 21:41
Cheers Blakey, I have updated the forum accordingly. I have sent you a PM regarding the same.

Cheers, Chris

Robbie Short
28th March 2014, 23:41
I served on Ashanti when the ship visited Helensburgh in Scotland
then home of Polaris subs.I remember getting a bollocking of security
at the main gate,for taking a homemade sandwich out! I had to get rid of before I was allowed to leave,sure they were just hungry for a matelots door stop.Visiting a girl for the weekend,as one does,by the time I got there,had to get back.Ashanti also visited Grimsby and a couple of other's that slip my mind,it was a U.K. meet the Navy tour.
I was onboard when we came across the July Star in the Med,it was the aft accom stack,seemed to take ages to get to Gib with her in tow,two years later I got salvage pay,0.50p!!!someone must have made it rich?.
I can't recall much of the fire onboard,I remember the escape hatch in the Steward mess pillar box red,no-one ever stood still on it,no tables or chairs,I was so gutted to hear that two guys were so close to it.
Tiny Little I knew,met him ashore on many occasions with his girlfriend
Nurse Gill May,I met her many months later and she still talked about
Tiny.Good times and sad times.

blakey
1st April 2014, 21:44
I served on Ashanti when the ship visited Helensburgh in Scotland
then home of Polaris subs.I remember getting a bollocking of security
at the main gate,for taking a homemade sandwich out! I had to get rid of before I was allowed to leave,sure they were just hungry for a matelots door stop.Visiting a girl for the weekend,as one does,by the time I got there,had to get back.Ashanti also visited Grimsby and a couple of other's that slip my mind,it was a U.K. meet the Navy tour.
I was onboard when we came across the July Star in the Med,it was the aft accom stack,seemed to take ages to get to Gib with her in tow,two years later I got salvage pay,0.50p!!!someone must have made it rich?.
I can't recall much of the fire onboard,I remember the escape hatch in the Steward mess pillar box red,no-one ever stood still on it,no tables or chairs,I was so gutted to hear that two guys were so close to it.
Tiny Little I knew,met him ashore on many occasions with his girlfriend
Nurse Gill May,I met her many months later and she still talked about
Tiny.Good times and sad times.
I remember the escape hatch as well Robbie , I was billeted in the stewards mess , i was a tas rate . After the the fire was put out I went into the mess to get my life jacket etc , and was advised to " get out of there " .

Canman.
2nd April 2014, 11:17
blakey.
That was my mess(?) though I only remember the names of "Jumper"Collins because he tallied us off on the upper deck,and Paddy Ramsey the C/A who was close by to a bomb that went off at my location in Belfast where I served in the Pongos.
So any more names would be a bonus,(if you can remember them,Iwrite on my old Army site and all our memories are fading)so hopefully you remember a couple more?

blakey
3rd April 2014, 23:35
Hi can man , the name Jumper Colins rings a bell . Does the name Eddie Edwards ring any bells ? . Other names i remember , Sticky Rickets , Greyham Tongue , Dave Parry , Taf Edwards , Benny Benson , Terry Thomas , Nobby Clark , Pete Burridge , Jock Davidson , Ben Lyons , Budgy Budgeon , John Lee he was a sparky . Some of the above names are not from memory . and another just appeared from nowhere , Denning , cant remember his first name . Like most of us , i have forgotten a lot of names , Buggered if i can remember any other Seamen and Tas rates names but i can remember faces . I spotted one last weekeng in Skegness in a cafe , i could not remember his name but i knew his face and remembered his personality straight away . Ian Fairley , Keppel 1975/76 . Older but still the young man i remembered .

Just found a photo with my service docs etc , it looks like the quarter deck of Ashanti , two Seaman , Jock ? and another old shipmate . I will scan and post it , you may remember their names .

Canman.
4th April 2014, 15:06
blakey
Thanks for all those names,it is unfortunate that I spent so little time at sea,I was unable to remember them.The two names that iI remember are "Flash Gordon" and a Marine Cliff Morgan.Also more of the marines,as "Sharky Ward had a bucket of water kicked over him when he was on side party when I joined ship
I only ever remember running into a Pongo mate once,& that was in OZ.
Anyone else reading this I do have copies of the skippers pressreport plus a picture of the gangway party
Please send an A5, S A E TO Gary Helyer
The Colonel H
130 Nelson Road Central
Great Yarmouth
Norfolk NR30 2JY

The quality is poor because the newspaper has faded but still readable.Cheers

Robbie Short
7th April 2014, 20:46
I remember the escape hatch as well Robbie , I was billeted in the stewards mess , i was a tas rate . After the the fire was put out I went into the mess to get my life jacket etc , and was advised to " get out of there " .

George Denning was the guy you couldn't recall,stoker,l met up with him later when we were billeted in Victory / Nelson barracks.
I remember the boot necks (sorry guys!),brawling Sunday mornings without fail,and a young 'jock' doing his kung-fu on the aft deck,he was a RM cook.Was you onboard for operations when the SBS came and Interrogated some unlucky crew!?
Sorry l don't recall you 'blakey',Bill Booth,swampy Marsh,Jock Heron a few others,been so bloody long ago.

blakey
8th April 2014, 22:11
George Denning was the guy you couldn't recall,stoker,l met up with him later when we were billeted in Victory / Nelson barracks.
I remember the boot necks (sorry guys!),brawling Sunday mornings without fail,and a young 'jock' doing his kung-fu on the aft deck,he was a RM cook.Was you onboard for operations when the SBS came and Interrogated some unlucky crew!?
Sorry l don't recall you 'blakey',Bill Booth,swampy Marsh,Jock Heron a few others,been so bloody long ago.

" George Denning" , yes that's the chap , I can remember the booties and the brawls (Frogger) , I don't remember the SAS interrogations on Ashanti , although I do remember a attempt to take over the ship by a group of special forces in wet suites and inflatables . We managed to collar one climbing up a mooring rope , that poor bloke ended up on a freezing cold deck in his birthday suit , and I can remember him telling us we " were fatherless individuals ", or words to that effect , (EEK) . Glad I was not the poor sod with the sack on his head , :sweat: , B\) . I was known as Steve or blakey .

blakey
15th April 2014, 21:12
" George Denning" , yes that's the chap , I can remember the booties and the brawls (Frogger) , I don't remember the SBS interrogations on Ashanti , although I do remember a attempt to take over the ship by a group of special forces in wet suites and inflatables . We managed to collar one climbing up a mooring rope , that poor bloke ended up on a freezing cold deck in his birthday suit , and I can remember him telling us we " were fatherless individuals ", or words to that effect , (EEK) . Glad I was not the poor sod with the sack on his head , :sweat: , B\) .

I have recieved copies of 4 pages from the ships log , 3rd and 4th March 1977 , most of which corresponds with my memory of events . Does anyone know what G6 is ,
"G6 engaged " , " G6 , unclutched ? .

Union Jack
15th April 2014, 23:27
Does anyone know what G6 is .....

G6 refers to the Metropolitan Vickers gas turbine with which Type 81s were fitted, vide http://z11.invisionfree.com/shipbucket/ar/t2649.htm and the G6 would almost certainly have been fired up to provide additional power and manoeuverability in the emergency situation concerned.

Jack

blakey
15th April 2014, 23:39
Many thanks for the reply Jack , it all makes sense now , Tas rates and turbines , its mostly chinese to me oppo , (Thumb) .

Slim Whitman
17th April 2014, 17:55
I went to the Naval cemetery a couple of weeks ago at Portland. Initially to pay my respects to my uncle who was KIA on HMS Foylebank 4th July 1940.
I wanted at the same time to pay respects to AB James Knocker WHITE who we buried there in July 1964. Sadly I could not find his grave and left my flowers next to the grave of a Tartar crew member who died in 63. Just hope Knocker knows who they were for. R.I.P shipmate.

Slim Whitman
17th April 2014, 18:02
Also, for any one on the 64/65 commission, I had the good fortune to meet up with AB Barry Taff Jones last year, who was also a diver on the Ashanti and sadly found Knockers body that night. Taff had recently celebrated his 70th birthdays and was not in the best of health due mainly to a very nasty accident at his work place many years ago after he left the RN. Sadly he died last 15th October 2013. R.I.P to my best Oppo on board.

Union Jack
19th April 2014, 17:26
Two very thought-provoking posts, Slim, and bless you for your consideration for three fellow Tribals:

WHITE, James P, Able Seaman, D/J 938003 DD 27 July 1964

HEELEY, John, Petty Officer, P/LX 854199 DD 23 June 1963

Jack

Cooky Boy
2nd May 2014, 19:22
I went to the Naval cemetery a couple of weeks ago at Portland. Initially to pay my respects to my uncle who was KIA on HMS Foylebank 4th July 1940.
I wanted at the same time to pay respects to AB James Knocker WHITE who we buried there in July 1964. Sadly I could not find his grave and left my flowers next to the grave of a Tartar crew member who died in 63. Just hope Knocker knows who they were for. R.I.P shipmate.

Very sad night that Slim. I bought his suitcase at the auction. Still often think of him.

Canman.
15th May 2014, 11:52
Before I joined the ship in 1977,I had been told of the Wave incident,by an old school and Scout friend Tim Charman.P/O Diver(?)
As he was also living close by I knew his whereabouts,his brother was a fisherman and Tim dived to recover lost outboards etc.He tried to get back in for the Falklands,but was in debt(?).
His brother and parents went to Cyprus but Tim had settled locally (Bognor Regis) till he drifted away.
So is he in contact with any other of his Ashanti shipmates,and is there anyone from H M S Zulu 1977/78 deployment reading this?
I'm hoping to contact my manager Ron Fletcher who was on the Coventry in the Falklands

steve harpur
2nd June 2014, 23:09
Hi. I was an REM1 - 2 aboard in 1965/7. Joined at Devonport during a refit and went off to Beira Patrol. First time at sea what a world? I remember my first horse steak at Gib whilst listening to See Emily Play by the Pink Floyd. Malta, Gozo then Port Said, the Suez for a bit of horse trading where I got my first and last Seiko.

We did our gas turbine in and had to sit at Aden for a month when the crew were seconded to the army. We did road blocks and random shooting in the hills at night, weird. The ships company received a General Service medal, South Arabia. Off via Kuria Muria and Abu Dabi to Bahrein.

Come to think of it we popped in to Karachi on the way ??

Somewhere in here we had the film of the world cup flown out, so we all sat around in the galley and watched the Germans thrashed for once. Must have done Xmas at sea too.

Oh! I remember Mombasa, and HMS Bulwark being there and a trip to Mauritius

On the way home the Israelis were at it with the Arabs again. At one point we were to escort some minesweepers up the red sea to clear mines from the Straights of Tiran at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba but new orders were to leave them get on with it, so we legged it around the African cape stopping off at Simon's Town.

They certainly were the days. All at sea, sunny days, too much drinking. I used to work in the radar room a lot and the PO's kept their beer barrels in the bilges there. A mate and I used to unscrew a glass lamp shade and use a screwdriver to pop the pressure on the barrels and drink up. Yep! the best of days.

New message/reply - from steve
Hello, You were onboard the same time as me 1965/67. I joined in Guz in dry dock and lived in barracks. I remember all the good run ashores (and the consequent No. 9's). I was in the comms mess as an RO2(G). I'm still in touch with the LRO(T) Mervyn (Taff) Evans, who in turn regularly visits the MAA, out in Oz. I remember the engine problems resulting in playing at soldiers in Aden, and good run ashores in Mombasa. I still have the ships commissioning book for 65.67. My crossing the line certificate is in front of me as I type. Some hard times, but lots of good times...........Cheers Steve Harpur

Pincher Martin
5th June 2014, 03:56
Its a shame that everyone seems to remember Ashanti for only having a boiler room fire . I flew out from Brize Norton to Bermuda in 72 as a relief gyro technician and sadly missed the far flung tour but had a ball in Bermuda,,, this next bit is sad history.. We sailed from Bermuda and about 4-5 hours into a plain sail we were hit by a massive freak wave. The first I knew was the sea coming into the mess deck with a force beyond belief. The freak wave or now regarded as a massive trough hit us and the whole ship was sideways and flooding badly. By some fate the ship and crew survived but some fool in Bermuda picked up our distress signals and sent a message to the UK and was transmitted on the BBC News that HMS Ashanti had sunk in a storm.
The wave passed as soon as it came but the true and eerie thing is that we lost the youngest ships member overboard , the wasp helicopter was unable to take off in the mayhem, and the oldest ships member was struck by a danboy that broke lose and crushed his chest and died in the sick bay.
I was then , JCEM Martin, my killick of the mess was LCEM Frank Purcell and AB Tony Clayton-Lee and AB Terry Percell , known as Percy !
We made it back to Portsmouth and were slowly and surely drafted onwards,, it seems a shame that a Tribal even though not up to Zulu or others was given its farewell as a target after saving over 200 lives . If you were on Ashanti then I would be happy to say hello .

Canman.
3rd July 2014, 13:51
Anyone coming to Great Yarmouth over the holiday "Season" or school holidays I live above "The Colonel H" Pub,which is central.

Close to the St Georges Park and the Market.

Hugh Ferguson
3rd July 2014, 17:25
In 1964 / 65 I was the Navigators Yeoman on the Ashanti. I joined her after a three month refit in Guz.
The first time we put to sea for trials, the skipper tried to climb the jetty steps with her on arrival back in port. Strangely, we had to spend more time in dry dock. (EEK)
After work up we sailed for the Persian Gulf, on the way through Suez, one of the seaman was drinking on the Helo pad, throwing stuff overboard. We went from having two unopened cans of beer a day to two opened cans. What an idiot. (MAD)

On the way out and before we had got to the Med, the Nav Officer had told me he only wanted the charts we were likely to use, kept up to date and not to bother with the whole worlds charts. On the way home about a year later, he discovered we were having Admirals Inspection in Gib. For two weeks with another chap who had previously been a Nav Yeo, we worked 0600 to 0200 every day to write the correction numbers that were needed at the bottom of the charts in pencil. We finished about two hours before the inspection started. [=P] The Nav did not see us for three days after.

Then when we left Gib to sail home, in front of all the Admirals staff and quite a crowd on the jetty, the skipper tried to reverse into a basin so that he could turn round. Big mistake. We hit a crane on the jetty somehow. I was writing down his orders and had trouble keeping up with them. Full ahead, stop, hard a starboard, etc etc, almost without taking a breath.
Admiral was not best pleased.

We had a good time in the Gulf though. Happy memories.

Slim

Sounds like yet another of those R.N. guys who should have taken a pilot!

guardlogger
3rd July 2014, 17:37
Sounds like yet another of those R.N. guys who should have taken a pilot!He may well have been a pilot [Fixed wing or Helo]

Hugh Ferguson
3rd July 2014, 20:25
"Skipper" a pilot?? How come?

guardlogger
3rd July 2014, 21:24
"Skipper" a pilot?? How come?Hugh, many RN ship captains were ex-aircrew (Pilots & Observers) and most of them made very good "Skippers". I served with Admiral Sir Ray Lygo who was an ex-Pilot and he commanded the frigates Lowestoft and Juno and the carrier Ark Royal also Admiral Sir John Treacher who commanded Lowestoft and the carrier Eagle. Not very many nowadays as we don't have many ships and the FAA is very much smaller. The current 1st Sea Lord (Head of the Navy) Admiral Sir George Zambellas is an ex-Helo pilot and commanded HM Ships Cattistock, Argyll and Chatham. We also get ex-submariners command surface ships usually if they are destined for Flag rank.

rogerBry
9th July 2014, 00:01
New message/reply - from steve
Hello, You were onboard the same time as me 1965/67. I joined in Guz in dry dock and lived in barracks. I remember all the good run ashores (and the consequent No. 9's). I was in the comms mess as an RO2(G). I'm still in touch with the LRO(T) Mervyn (Taff) Evans, who in turn regularly visits the MAA, out in Oz. I remember the engine problems resulting in playing at soldiers in Aden, and good run ashores in Mombasa. I still have the ships commissioning book for 65.67. My crossing the line certificate is in front of me as I type. Some hard times, but lots of good times...........Cheers Steve Harpur

What a difference. I'd only done Raleigh and Collingwood so although Ashanti was exciting, even in dry dock undergoing repairs I have little fond memories of the barracks. I joined up with long hair, like Ray Davies in the Kinks so my nickname became Mary. I had to toughen up a bit as I didn't drink so one night, as usual not going ashore to get legless, I went down the Naffi for 7 pints.

Mombasa - I only had one night ashore as I came back in my pants and one sock so that was 30 days no.9s. I bought a great Akai Stereo at Aden and used to play the Beatles on the starboard deck and do some Radio stuff.

I have a picture of a few of the lads was with so I'll try and post it here.

I must have met you as I was in the RO room fussing with the radios often.

Yeap! still have my crossing the line cert

Oh aye! That's me on the right