Who, What, Where and When??

Hello there. I have posted this on a couple of forums (fora?) to try and get to the bottom of this mystery!! I was pointed in your direction by a gentleman who thought you may be of help. The story goes like this......
A close friend, knowing my interest in family and military history came round with his late grandfathers suitcase, full of family mementoes and photographs. It had not been opened for about 20 years or so. Amongst the photos, were military photos of him and his brother. He joined the army in December 44 and served with GSC and Royal Pioneer Corps until April 48. His brother served with (I believe) RAF 43-48 mainly in India and West Africa, but also in the European theatre. Amongst those photos was the one below, we believe taken by the brother (my friends Great Uncle) It has spawned much discussion (quite vociferous on one particular forum) as to what is going on. One believes it was taken on HMS Apollo on 7th June 44 when Eisenhower, Montgomery and Ramsay were on board. Another vehemently rejects this possibility, saying it is definitely a merchant vessel. All I will say is my own observations. There are 2 benches visible. Not normally a feature on one of His Majesties finest?! But they are a temporary fixture as they seem to be attached by a carabina type fitting to the handrail. There seems to be a davit that has been deployed. There are a lot of GI's very interested onwhat is going on alongside. The RAF officer (possibly a group Captain?) wearing a Mae West seems to have just come on board and the rest seem to be listening to him. There is another RAF officer (possibly Air Commodore?) partly hidden by the davit. There are a UK Army Major and Lt Colonel. The 2 Naval Officers seem to be a Captain (if Apollo then Cpt Grindle?) and a flag officer, who one person has suggested could be Admiral Mansergh and not Ramsay as I speculated! whatever the situation, there are alot of Nationalities and service 'brass'. I am intrigued by this picture and both myself and my friend Mike, would be very grateful for any observations.
Ivan Carpenter and Mike McGlynn


Book Reviewer
None of the RN are wearing white cap covers - does this mean that the photo was taken in "winter", if so that would preclude the 7 June date.
Looking at pics of Ramsay et al on the d-day+1 mission, the RN bods are all wearing black covers and overcoats. (which would say to me that this pic was taken at embarkation prior to leaving port) I personally think this may be on a victory ship?

The RAF officer; On the right hand side of his Mae West there are the initials DR. Does this mean anything?
There also seems to be something near the peak of the Flag Officer.
This might help.

1) Looks like a Headquarters Ship, maybe US; note the sloping davits for lauching boats.

2) Could be any date, white cap covers were not worn by RN in UK waters during WW2.

boristhemini said:
That looks like the leg of a civvy behind the Flag Officers head?
On the enlarged photo it looks to me to be more like two people, the nearer one might be a CPO. Gosh isn't this interesting?
Think not. The RAF chappy is younger and hasn't got such big ears!! Never realised that before! Now we know where HRH Chas gets his ears from!!
I'm thinking along the lines of an HQ ship before an operation... D-Day or South of France. I do not think it is a Naval vessel.
I would suggest definately Merchant ship. no watertight door or status markings, and Jack would certainly not be allowed to goof overtheside (top right) whilst such senior officers were present

Flying officer reporting what he had observed on some mission that could not wait for debrief in ops room

Have you looked on the back of the print for faded writing

Jack McH
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