Anybody here seen Kelly

8th January 2009, 15:06
The DEMS Gunners of WW2 ( DEMS stand for Defensively Equiped Merhant Ships) often had some retired Royal Navy Petty Officer in charge of the gunners , most of whom were "Hostlities only" men.
These Petty Officers were often " hard cases" having spent all their lives in the RN and some were great raconteurs. One story I heard one of them tell was of shortly after WW1 where he was a seaman in a battle cruiser arriving off Malta.
On board was Admiral John Kelly who was to take over as C in C Mediterranean from his brother Admiral Howard Kelly based at Malta.
With due ceremony Howard Kelly steamed out of Grand Harbour in a battleship and met his brother in the battlecruiser. On the foredeck was the marine band and as the ships passed close-to, the band played merrily -
"Anyone here seen Kelly "
Typical RN humour.

18th January 2009, 09:11
A shipmate, who had been with Bertram Mills Circus before the war, told me that before one performance it was discovered that the very popular Kelly The Clown was missing. Despite a frantic search he could not be found. The audience were getting a bit restless about the delay so eventually the show started with the band blaring out "Has Anybody Here Seen Kelly". The war clouds were darkening and Kelly, an American, was suspected of packing his clown's rig and heading home.