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Dennis James Rickards

 

Alan 'Clubs' Jones
Bob McIntyre
Brian Johnson
Colin Topley
Danny Beer
Dennis Rickards
Frank Twiss
George Proud
Ian Howieson
Jack Frost
Jacko Jackson
Jamie Miller
Jim O' Hara
Pete Southard
Ray Lester
Ronnie Gloster

   

The earliest known website member to have served served onboard a HMS Danae

HMS Danae "D" Class

A Tribute by Chris the son of Dennis Rickards

This is a limited story of my father Dennis James Rickards career in the Royal Navy, and in particular the Danae, completed in June 1918, transferred to the Polish Navy as the Conrad in 1944, and broken up in 1948. She was a light cruiser with six 6 inch guns, cruised at 29 knots, and with a crew of 450 Officers and men. The limitations are that imposed by my father’s reticence in not telling his tale. My father was born at Weston Super Mare in 1908, the fourth child of five. His maternal grandfather, Alderman and Mayor of Bath, was James Colmer. Dad’s primary school was a private paid one, his later one a boarding public school.

At the age of around 15 he joined the Royal Navy at a training school, we think in Portsmouth, as a Boy Cadet. After the required learning period his first ship was to be H.M.S. Hood, and he enjoyed many a cruise on the mighty ship, including Malta, Gibraltar, and the Empire cruise to New Zealand, where I live. He always maintained that the Wellington N.Z. harbour was one of the finest to see from the sea. In 1929 the Hood returned to Portsmouth for an extensive refit, and the Hood is here shown entering Portsmouth, with my father on board. After some well earned shore leave his next ship was to be the Danae as shown in the second ship picture. The formal picture of my father was taken around this time.

H.M.S. Danae was the turning point in his life as it was to take him to Uruguay, the harbour of Montevideo and to meet his wife to be, my mother Evelyn Hannah White. The informal relaxed picture was taken when they announced their engagement.

We know little of the cruises that my father was on, except that he loved the ship board life, and commented on entering Rio de Janeiro with the magnificent statue at the entrance.

Around 1935 my father developed an eye problem that required specialist surgery in England. He was taken by the Danae to Bermuda, then transferred to a passenger liner for the trip to England, and the Royal Ophthalmic Hospital in London. The surgery was successful but his days with the Royal Navy were finished. He retired from that erstwhile establishment to take up catering and becoming a top line chef with places such as Eton College.

In 1949 our whole family of six immigrated to New Zealand to begin a new life down under. The last two pictures of my father are here shown when he was seventy two and eighty eight, just six months before he died. My father never forgot the sea, he would regularly return to the U.K. and Portsmouth dockside in particular, on the “open days” to remember his enjoyment of cruising with the finest navy in the world.

Chris Rickards

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Click on photo to enlarge

'D' CLASS.

HMS Despatch Fairfield but completed at Chatham Dockyard 1922  - HMS Diomede  Vickers 1922 - HMS Danae 1918, HMS Delhi 1919,and HMS Dunedin 1919  all at Armstrong - HMS Dauntless Palmer 1918 - HMS Durban 1921 and HMS Dragon 1918  Scotts.

'Timeant Daneios'

'Let them fear those belonging to Danae'

 

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