In 1973 I was on HMS Tiger. We were Flag Ship to a Far East 6 month deployment. The Suez Canal was still closed so we had the joy of going around the Cape. We exercised with the South African Navy and Air Force during which two of their Buccaneer air craft collided and crashed into the sea. […]
I joined HMS Devonshire, a County-class cruiser in the Home Fleet, on 16 September 1944. For
the next nine months we operated out of Scapa Flow, the naval base in the Orkneys north of
Scotland which had been home to Jellicoe’s Grand Fleet during World War I and harboured the
main units of the Home Fleet throughout the second conflict.
Owen Paton lost his life on HMS Hood a few weeks after leaving HMS Devonshire.
After the sinking of his ship, HMS Exeter, Doug Grant was taken prisoner and spent three and a half years as a japanese prisoner of war.
When I was just 17, I joined my first ship H.M.S. Devonshire at Scapa Flow.
Being Devonport Division sailors, “Devonshire’s” crew was familiar with the legend that Drake’s Drum should never be taken away from Devon, except perhaps in time of war.