Asturias - Ships Nostalgia
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  #1  
Old 30th March 2008, 12:05
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Asturias

Trying to piece together the ships my dad served on as RNR 39-45. He talked most of the Asturias and was on her when she was torpedoed in 43. Did the Asturias do the Russian Convoys as he said he was on them. Any information on the ship between 40-43 would be of help. Anne
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  #2  
Old 30th March 2008, 12:32
ian d.cameron ian d.cameron is offline  
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Hi Anne
could only find two convoys in Hagues for the Asturias

Convoy MKF.6
Depart Philipeville on 5 January 1943.
Arrive Clyde on 14 January 1943.

Convoy WS 30
From: CLYDE Wednesday, 19 May 1943.
To: FREETOWN Saturday, 29 May 1943.

http://www.convoyweb.org.uk/hague/index.html

and see this thread by Ruud
https://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showth...light=Asturias
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  #3  
Old 30th March 2008, 16:05
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Asurias

Thanks Ian. Little by litttle the bits are falling into place. From your info I know he went from Phillipeville, Freetown back to Clyde in Jan 43. Came back to Freetown 29th May. I have the book 'The Atlantic Star' by David A Thomas and according to Harry Poyser, a radio opperator, they had sailed from Bahia to join the convoy they were hit on 25 July and after a few days were towed to freetown. I have a tray of butterfly wings bought in Brazil which survived the trip. I will keep digging. Anne
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  #4  
Old 30th March 2008, 19:25
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Roger Griffiths Roger Griffiths is offline  
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Hello,
ASTURIAS was an Armed Merchant Cruiser from 1/11/1939 to May 1944.
All of her logbooks from that period are in the British national archives. These logbooks should tell you her detailed day to day movements. You would have to go to Kew to view them and if would take a few days to look at them all.
Unless you are near Kew I suggest you try and get hold of her general movements which should be here
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/c...accessmethod=5
If they are available you could use TNA Digital Express service to obtain a copy.
I know ASTURIAS spent her early war years on the North Atlantic patrol before relieving her sister ship ALCANTARA in the South Atlantic.
ASTURIAS was torpedoed by the Italian Submarine CAGNI whilst escorting a slow moving floating drydock. She was towed to Freetown by the Dutch Tug ZWART ZEE.

Roger
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  #5  
Old 30th March 2008, 21:17
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Asurias

Thanks Roger. I thought dad had been on the Asturias from his call up in September 39. Think he was on the Exeter but was transfered a few weeks before she went to the River Plate. So looks like it was the Asturias he transfered to as he spent a long time in the North Atlantic. So cold, if you spit it froze before it reached the deck. His words. Thanks again I will have a go at the archives tomorrow. Anne
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  #6  
Old 9th August 2011, 20:49
ronnieblair ronnieblair is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddies girl View Post
Trying to piece together the ships my dad served on as RNR 39-45. He talked most of the Asturias and was on her when she was torpedoed in 43. Did the Asturias do the Russian Convoys as he said he was on them. Any information on the ship between 40-43 would be of help. Anne
Hi Anne, I have a couple of menus from HMS Asturias - Christmas Day Dinner 1940 - one of the menus is signed on the back by what looks like all of the crew. It would be interesting to know if your Dad's signature is there too. Martin.
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  #7  
Old 7th May 2012, 14:21
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Hi Martin. I lost this site for a while and had been posting on another naval site. Since I was last on here, I have found some of Dad's records and according to them, he was on the Asturius from 17/9/39 - 20/4/43. I was born Feb 1940 and he managed a 48hr pass from Scotland to Fishguard, night ferry to Wexford. Day in the town then night ferry back so he could catch train to base before pass ran out. It would be great if his name is on there, He was Eddie Harper AB. He was RNR and I am busy trying to get details from leaving the Asturius in 43. Anne
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  #8  
Old 7th May 2012, 16:37
ronnieblair ronnieblair is offline  
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Menu signatures

Hi Anne. Nice to meet you.

Your Dad really did manage to make the most of every minute of that 48 hour pass back in 1940 didn't he?

I have just checked the menu for your Dad's name and sadly I can not readily see it, there is just one signature that might belong to your Dad but it is not clear. If it is the signature of Eddie Harper then it is a little flowery in its construction. Do you have a sample signature?

I could try and scan the signature for you but it will be difficult to do as I have the menu(s) in a frame along with a picture of the ship (on the kitchen wall). It has become a tradition in our house to raise a glass of something nice to toast the names of the brave Asturias crew every christmas. Don't ask why, it just seems a nice thing to do. It would have really been nice and would have helped bring the menu to life if your Dad's signature had featured.

The other surnames on the menu are as follows (those that I can readily make out anyway):- Do any of these mean anything to you? Ardill I understand was the captain of the ship, either at the time of the Christmas day 1940 dinner or a little later.

Forbes, Black, Woother, Leyland, Wilson, McGinity, Ardill and Chossiton?

Good luck in your continuing search for details of your Dad post 1943.

Martin.

Last edited by ronnieblair; 7th May 2012 at 16:43.. Reason: Spellling mistakes
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  #9  
Old 10th May 2012, 20:10
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Menu

Hello Martin. I have sent a medical card with my Dad's signature on it to my son as I keep getting message that my scan is too large to download. I also have a letter signed by Captain Haines. Maybe he had Christmas leave before they set off on their travels. Letter gives Dad's permission to Mum, to bring us back from Ireland to Liverpool. Good move as we arrived September 1st, just in time for the bombing. Anne

Last edited by eddies girl; 11th May 2012 at 09:51..
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  #10  
Old 10th May 2012, 20:54
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menu

I hope this arrives safely Anne
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  #11  
Old 10th May 2012, 20:58
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Think I have cracked it.. This is the letter i mentioned with Captain Haines stamp on it. Anne
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  #12  
Old 12th May 2012, 09:37
ronnieblair ronnieblair is offline  
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Asturias

Anne, hi. Thanks for sharing those documents with me, small insights into a RN sailors life at the time of the war.

I have attempted to take a picture or two (of the picture) and I just about think you can make out some of the names on the back of the menu.

Now that you have mentioned Captain Haines I think I can see a Hain(es) signature, underlined at about 9 o'clock, it appears to be spelt Hain. What do you think?

Just to the right of the Hain signature, and below that of Mr Black, running at an angle of 45 degree is the signature that I thought might be your Dad's? But now having seen your documents I don't think it is. I saw a 'per' at the end of the signature and maybe a 'h' of sorts after the surname letter at the beginning of the signature... suggestive of harper, but maybe not.

Do any of the other names mean anything to you?

Fascinating to talk with you about this matter all these years after that Christmas day dinner back in 1940.

All the best wishes.

Martin.
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  #13  
Old 12th May 2012, 13:30
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Menu

Hello again. Thank you for posting the menu. I think Dad would have been on her at that time as the joke we had, was that he came home to see me just after I was born (48 hr pass ) and was so impressed with me that he didn't come back for 3 years. I have added a link about the Asturius it is list of Commanders. Do you have a connection with the ship. Dad bought a hairdressers set on one of his trips to New York ( Lancastria ) and he used to cut fellow sailors hair and save money to send home. Anne


[Capt. (retired) Cland Finlinson Allsup, DSO, RN 4 Sep 1939 25 Nov 1939
2 Capt. John Robert Sutherland Haines, RN 25 Nov 1939 24 Oct 1940
3 Capt. (retired) Hubert Ardill, RN 24 Oct 1940 Feb 1943
4 Capt. Richard Meuric Southern, RN Feb 1943 28 Apr 1943
5 Capt. (retired) Sir John Meynell Alleyne, DSO, DSC, RN 28 Apr 1943

Last edited by eddies girl; 12th May 2012 at 13:36..
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  #14  
Old 15th May 2012, 17:34
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Managed to find Dad'd ID card form 45. hope the sig is easier to read.
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  #15  
Old 15th May 2012, 21:35
ronnieblair ronnieblair is offline  
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Astrurias

Anne,

I wasn't sure before I saw the signature on your Dad's ID card form 45 - and I have to admit that I'm still not entirely convinced - but I think there is more than a passing resemblance to the signature on the back of the menu. What do you think?

As for my connection with Asturias, I have to admit that I don't really have one. When my wife and I were shopping in a small antique market in Holmfirth one Sunday afternoon - about 15 years ago - I came across the menu. I bought it because I thought it was interesting. I didn't know that there was a second menu in the package that had the crew signatures on the back until I got my purchase home; suddenly the menus attained 'history' status in my eyes.

As you know I reunited the menus with a photograph of the ship, put them all in a frame and this picture has hung proudly on my kitchen wall for a number of years now. Over the years I have shown the picture to friends and colleagues and - after I did a bit of research on the internet - they have all been fascinated by the story of the ship.

The men who signed the back of the menu have always remained a mystery to me - until now.

Thanks for sharing stories of your Dad with me, the picture will always have a little extra meaning for me from now on.

All the very best.

Martin.
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  #16  
Old 3rd September 2013, 19:56
BrianJFinch BrianJFinch is offline  
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I know this is an old thread but hope someone is still reading new posts. I have started researching my father's war service and find he spent some time aboard Asturias as RNR officer. I understand that he was involved with the Russian convoys but am having difficulty finding information bout these convoys. Can anyone help?

Brian Finch
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  #17  
Old 10th February 2014, 22:22
James C James C is offline  
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This is exciting - just started looking into my late Grandfather's history. I know he served on Asturias during the war. My sister has a fantastic letter to My Gran from his captain, dated 1945 (sent from the captain's new ship, HMS Witch) saying lovely things about him with an apology for being so late writing! He was Arthur Cartwright, and there appears to be an underlined "Arthur" on the menu. We don't have much paperwork pertaining to him, but we'll look through what we have for a signature!
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  #18  
Old 11th February 2014, 00:20
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Roger Griffiths Roger Griffiths is offline  
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Hello,
Could you give us some more details about your Grandfather?
Date and place of birth and his full name.

regards
Roger
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  #19  
Old 11th February 2014, 21:15
James C James C is offline  
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Hello, Roger.
Arthur Cartwright (no middle-name), born 6th March 1909 at Holt, nr Wrexham. From his obituary: 'during the second world war he served on HMS Asturias having previously had 12yrs service in the Royal Navy and the Naval Reserve'...
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  #20  
Old 14th April 2014, 21:38
ronnieblair ronnieblair is offline  
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Originally Posted by James C View Post
This is exciting - just started looking into my late Grandfather's history. I know he served on Asturias during the war. My sister has a fantastic letter to My Gran from his captain, dated 1945 (sent from the captain's new ship, HMS Witch) saying lovely things about him with an apology for being so late writing! He was Arthur Cartwright, and there appears to be an underlined "Arthur" on the menu. We don't have much paperwork pertaining to him, but we'll look through what we have for a signature!
James, hi. I've just checked the menu again and there might well be a very simple underlined signature Arthur. Did you ever find out how he signed his name? Martin.
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  #21  
Old 14th June 2014, 07:56
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Asturias Menu

Hi James. I moved house last year and have just started to get back to my research again. Glad to know the Asturias is still getting a mention. Perhaps my dad cut your grandfather's hair while they were mid Atlantic. Dad was also RNR but had been a merchant sailor on Lancastria for 9 years before the war. Anne.
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  #22  
Old 5th November 2014, 23:44
Swantee Swantee is offline
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Was evacuated from Egypt on this ship as a young boy during the Suez crisis. Had fond memories of the journey home. Believe she was used in one of the original films of the Titanic.
http://www.ssasturias.net/index_p2.html
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