HMS Wildfire HM Dockyard Sheerness

#21
Redkite
Rene Cutforth was a presenter on a program called "This Week" which was ITV's answer to BBC's Panorama. I believe it ran in the late fifties.
In addition to another post about servicemen being banned from pubs. We were banned from the Railway Hotel in Sheerness.
 

pingbosun

Lantern Swinger
#22
G'DAY MATE.

SORRY that I didn't get back top you, however ,I 've been crook for a while so I never managed tp rake through my old photos.

The film was indeed "Dunkirk", it was a three part series that the ABC that's in OZ ran just a few weeks ago [for the 50th time] so you should be able to get it in a BBC shop in the UK. It was a well produced film/documentary type of thing, but very good.

Hope that you have managed to get some info to help you with your search.

regards pingbosun

 
#23
Yes your right the film was Dunkirk....I remember seeing that shot of Wildfire .......was there 1953 my ship 'Cockatrice ' an Algerine was there for a while for some refit . We moved into Wild fire played a lot of Snooker there , was the Quatermaster for several watches , only me on board doing my rounds ,entered the wardroom and found the spirits cupboard open !!!!!!! hit the panic button and called the Officer of the Watch before I was tempted to drink it .........
 

penrecon

Lantern Swinger
#24
REDKITE said:
Just when you thought it was all over. There is an old B&W film about the ''little boats'' going over to Dunkirk. I'm sorry I can't remember the title but one of the scenes in it was taken in Wildfire. It's a scene when the boat owners are trying to register their boats & getting tangled up with naval formality. Perhaps some film buff might recall the title & advise us.
I think that the film was called "Dunkirk" accoring to Wikipedia it was made in 1958 and starred John Mills (who along with Kenneth Moore won the Second World War for the allies!).
 
#25
HMS WILDFIRE - CHATHAM
I had the honour of carrying the RN Colour at both HMS WILDFIRE's adoption Ceremony by Gillingham Borough Council and the sad honour of carrying the Colour at the closing down ceremony in 1994.

It was an emotional day and and one of the many harsh blows Chatham took under the Conservative Yoke of that time.

I am currently working on a project with a construction company who are landscaping over the old unit on Medway Road (The Tunnel). We will hopefully be unveiling a display unit with photos and some history of the old Nore Command where HMS Wildfire was based before its move to Khyber Road, Collingwood block.

I believe I am the last still serving person from the Tunnel.
Would be delighted to make contact with any old "Wildfirers"

St Marys Church (museum) holds the Wildfire figurehead and ensign
 
#27
Historical details from Ben Warlow's Shore Establishments of the Royal Navy, Second Edition, (Maritime Books 2000, ISBN 0907771734):

WILDFIRE Sheerness/Brightlingsea, Base.
01.04.1889 - 03.1933. Re-opened 16.02.1937 - acs [accounts] to PEMBROKE II 01.10.47 - PO [Paid Off] 01.04.1950.
Amalgamated with VECTOR (qv) 04.11.1947 and became Radar Plotter Trng Sch - cease as TE [Training Establishment] 30.09.49 - trng to DRYAD & HARRIER and became tender to PEMBROKE.
Nom DS [Nominated Depot Ship]:

1) WILDFIRE ex HIAWATHA, Yt, purch 1888, became Base ship Sheerness 01.04.1889 v DUNCAN (qv), renamed UNDINE (qv) 01.1907, sold 07.1912.
NYMPH (1888), renamed WILDFIRE 12.1906, renamed GANNET (qv) 11.02.1916, renamed PEMBROKE (qv) 07.1917, sold 10.02.1920. Also acted as parent ship A/P Brightlingsea v WALLAROO by 10.1916 - 01.1917 rb CITY OF PERTH.
CORNWALLIS (1813) jetty at Sheerness 1865, renamed WILDFIRE 01.04.1916, BU [Broken Up] 1957.
ML [Motor Launch] 1724 16.02.1937 - 12.41.
Diesel lch [launch] 3949 12.41 -
ML 1724 10.45 - 1948.
36ft FMB [Fast Motor Boat] 3845 04.11.47 - 12.48.

WILDFIRE Khyber Rd, Chat. Communications Trng Centre/Res HQ Unit.
Cd [Commissioned] 10.09.1964 and under name 01.10.1984 - PO 02.09.1994.
Was Chat HQ Unit RNR to 30.09.83, then Communications Trng Centre.

WILDFIRE II Sheerness Accounting Base for Aux M/S [Minesweepers].
Cd 01.10.1939 - abolished 29.02.1940 - absorbed into WILDFIRE (Became ST TUDNO (qv) by some acs).
Also used for Examination Service & Pt and Hbr Defence.

WILDFIRE II CO [Combined Operations] Base.
In a list - poss an error for WILDFIRE III (qv) - no mention in NL [Navy List].

WILDFIRE III Sheerness Accounting Base.
Abolished 29.02.1940 - absorbed into WILDFIRE.

WILDFIRE III Sheerness CO Base.
Cd 07.12.1942 - tender to WILDFIRE - 03.44 (LC [Landing Craft] Base Queensborough). 10.44 CF [Coastal Forces] Base, 06.06.45 tx to Captain M/S Sheerness, 11.06.45 CF ceased, CF Base PO 15.10.46.
Nom DS Hbr Lch [Harbour Launch] 3953 04.43.
To clarify some of this, until long after the Second World War, each RN shore establishment required a 'Nominated Depot Ship' (i.e. a floating vessel of some sort) to constitute a legitimate 'stone frigate'. Even a base far inland like HMS HERON (RNAS Yeovilton) was 'attached' to the Harbour Launch (Diesel) HL(D) 3506 from 1956 until 1962 and HMS SEAHAWK (RNAS Culdrose) had the Motor Fishing Vessel MFV 1004 as its 'Depot Ship' between 1947 and 1962.
 
#28
The figurehead is from "HMS Nymphe" and was presented to Gillingham Council after HMS Wildfire decommisioned in 1994 along with the couour and a watercolour print of NYMPHE.

The following link takes you to a website with some great info and pics including the figurehead.
The website contains a comprehensive history of HMS WILDFIRE (stand fast the one in Watford)

http://www.hmswildfire.org.uk/64-89/shortrn.htm


RO2(G) maggot
 
#31
REDKITE said:
Just when you thought it was all over. There is an old B&W film about the ''little boats'' going over to Dunkirk. I'm sorry I can't remember the title but one of the scenes in it was taken in Wildfire. It's a scene when the boat owners are trying to register their boats & getting tangled up with naval formality. Perhaps some film buff might recall the title & advise us.
The film was DUNKIRK, starring Richard Attenborough and Bernard Lee.
Did the dockyard not suffer flood damage in the 1952/3 gales ? I'm sure I can recall seeing a picture of a frigate on her beam ends in drydock, and a diesel boat suffering damage. Just found the frigate was HMS BERKELEY CASTLE>
 

wysiwyg

Lantern Swinger
#32
MasterChief said:
The website contains a comprehensive history of HMS WILDFIRE (stand fast the one in Watford)

RO2(G) maggot
Is the RNR expanding with 2 Wildfires now MasterChief? Last time I went to the current Wildfire it was in Northwood. Mind you, with the amount of rain yesterday it might have floated down the hill!!!!
 
#33
Of course I am referring to the Original( Except for Sheerness) HMS Wildfire in Chatham.

BTW I do have in my possesion the De-commissioning pennant from when WILDFIRE (Chatham) closed. I am happy to donate to WILDFIRE Northwood if its wanted

three dits four dits two dits dah
nnnn

vzczc
 
#34
I can remember HMS Cornwallis.
I am 63 years young.
My Father was a RFA Salvge Officer on the RFA Salvage vessel Succour.
I got to go to the Sheerness Dockyard in 1957 as a 12 year old during school summer Holidays.
The old girl was built from Burma Teak in the bombay Shipyards, by the Wadia Shipwrights.
If you go to the HMS Corwallis website you will see a picture of my old man Thomas Coulson Douglas handling a piece of chain, during breaking up.
The Chief engineer made model cannons out of the copper rivets and the gun carrige's of the Burma teak.
Sadly I didn't get one but I am sure they must be around on someone's mantlepiece. When in Hong Kong recently I visited the Shore Battery defence Museum and to my delight saw a display and a painting of the Treaty of Nangking being signed on the deck of the old Cornwallis.
Many Thanks Dear old Dad you gave me a memory I couldn't buy with all the tea in China.
Cheers lads.
IXION.
:nemo:
 

Seaweed

War Hero
Book Reviewer
#35
HMS Agincourt (HMS Gin Palace) (precis from 'British Battleships', Randolph Pears 1957): 27,500 tons, 22 knots, 14 12-inch in seven turrets (WOOMFAH! hardly describes what her broadside must have looked like at night with a great sheet of flame) all on the centreline (so the cranes on her in the pic in this thread are perhaps mounted on their barbettes) plus 20 6-inch. Built at Elswick for Brazil, bought by Turkey before completion, grabbed by us 1914 still not completed, fired 144 rounds from her main armament at Jutland where she was in 1st BS. 'sold for breaking up in 1922' says Pears but, from the pic, survived to another life.

Fleeting memory of Sheernasty, calling there in Triumph in late 1955 to drop off some extra people who had been on our trip to Leningrad.
 
#36
Hello Redkite. Yes I'm now 80. I was also on an Algerine starting aound 1952, HMS Mariner. I'm very familiar with HMS Wildifre at Sheerness. Our liberty boat from Gillingham Pier ran to HMS Wildfire at Sheerness. The Liberty boat tied up at the Cornwallis Jetty Sheerness. The old Wildfire hulk could be seen through the decking on the Jetty. I also remember passing a number of old prison hulks on the Medway (around 3-4) on the way which have now all gone. The Arethusa was still at Rochseter at that time opposite the Chatham Dockyard, now also missing. Any idea where she and the prison hulks went?
 

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