Freetown Sierra Leone 1939-42


My Dad was sent to Freetown September 1939. He was a telegraphist. His service record shows him attached firstly to Afrikander V and then Edinburgh Castle. Why Afrikander V. Was this a shore establishment mainly fro South African guys or what? Anybody able to shed some light on this?
Cheers Clad


War Hero
Super Moderator
Afrikander was a shore establishment but it would have had all nationalities there, although primarily SA. Edinburgh Castle was a hospital ship permanently moored there.

Google is your friend but put "Just Nuisance" in the search bar for a nice anecdote about Afrikander.


That's brilliant. Thank you very much. My father was RNVR called up from the Air Ministry in 1939. He was a telegraphist and a MF/DF specialist. I always thought that he was based on the Edinburgh Castle latterly.



War Hero
I think that this must be the Merlin mentioned.


RNAS Donibristle, Fife. First used as a Naval Air Station in 1917 until 1 April 1918 (on formation of RAF).
Commissioned 24 May 1939 as HMS MERLIN. Used by many units - see below. Towards the end of the war it housed the Office of the Flag Officer Carrier Training. It had a capacity of 220 aircraft. Paid off 23 October 1959.

Included RNAS Campbeltown was borne on the books of HMS MERLIN from its requisition 1 June 1940 until it was commissioned as HMS LANDRAIL 1 April 1941.

Included RNAS Evanton (lodger facilities from RAF 25 Group) from 15 January 1940, which became a RN Aircraft Repair Yard in June 1943 and commissioned as HMS FIELDFARE 9 October 1944.

Included RNAS Fearn 15 July 1942 until it was commissioned as HMS OWL 1 August 1942.

Included RNAS Drem (lodger facilities RAF 13 Group) 21 April 1945 until commissioned as HMS NIGHTHAWK 1 June 1945.


RN Aircraft Repair and Storage Yard Donibristle
RN Ancilliary Repair Depot, Dunfermaline
RN Component Recovery Depot, Forthbank, Alloa
RN Aircraft propeller Works, Dundee
Engine Storage Depot, Alloa