HMS Hermes R-12
INS Viraat R-22
Message Board

31.
Nov. 25, 2016

What a surprise to find this site, had a lot of fun with the Royal  Marine detachment who ran the four landing craft on HMS Hermes during the 1974 Cyprus evacuation, I was their electrical technician, went with them whenever they were lowered overboard, very fond memories. Snarky Ward was their Sergeant great guy. Always remember when the coxswain forgot to place the bungs in the landing craft before lowering nearly sunk hotel 1. Thanks for this site.

Kind regards,
Stage Simmonds
Ex POEL of HMS Hermes 1974


30.
Oct. 8, 2016

I only spend 10 weeks on board as an officer cadet, part of the Dartmouth Training Squadron (DTS) from early Jan to Mar 79. This was my first time in the Royal Navy aboard an aircraft carrier. I had been a sea cadet previously for 7 years, so experience trips at sea on HMS DIOMEDE AND ZULU plus visited many ships in Pompey dockyard cap tally hunting.

Whilst on HMS HERMES visited Napoli and Piraeus plus the mandatory visit to Gib, as the first and last port of call to get the maximum Local Overseas Allowance (LOA). I made my first ship to shore phone call from deep within the ship to wish my Dad happy birthday. I also had a trick on the ships helm and my claim to fame was winning the Top of the Rock race and my time of 21 mins and one sec was not bad as running in the pussers daps did little to aid the run.

Bob McMann and Phil Beaumount where both on board as Seaking maintainers from CU and both mates of mine whilst members of Barnsley Sea Cadet Corps. I remember living in a RM mess, 6P2 about 6 inches below my oppos bunk and had virtually no locker space to stow any gear. When cleaning the heads and bathrooms, used to play a cassette tape called Don't Walk Boogie, dancing with the mops and buckets to make the not to pleasant job more bearable. All the Officers Under Training (OUTs) where disembarked in landing craft some where near the Lizard (I think) to catch a bus back to BRNC. It was a rough sea but I only have happy memories.

During one of our morning musters, the OUT in charge took the parade orders too literally and shouted Squad Attention!!, and he was quickly corrected. As OUTs about 150 in total, we where split into 10 divisions spending a week in each department/section. Does that add up:  ME, WE, Ops, Seamanship, Air, Air Engineering (my branch, it was good being a WAFU), S&S, Comms, Bridge and last but not least Sick Bay. Some of my memories may have faded slightly.

The ships laundry did a good job as I was introduced to circuit training in the hangar and not sure what was put on the deck, similar to charcoal, as any white PT kit, quickly turned black. Another unusual experience was learning Navy speak, especially names of meals served, one name I never discovered was for the coloured ice cream severed in the junior rates dining room. The green, chocolate flavoured and the brown, mint flavoured ice cream still are vivid memories as they certainly mixed up my taste buds.

Yours,
David Gibson


29.
Feb. 23, 2016

I'm doing research for a friend and was a band member on the Hermes. Back in 1979. His name is Clement Cocker.  I'm putting all his memories in a book. He would very much like to find out anything band members etc.

Many thanks,
Chris Morton


28.
Feb. 1, 2016

Was in Med 1974 during the Cyprus evacuation. USN on board the USS SPIEGEL GROVE LSD-32. I spent one night on board HMS HERMES. Had a great time. Got to stand watch in CIC. This was a NATO operation where ships swapped men for a 24 hour period. I can still remember the warm ale. Was a nice treat as we didn't have any alcohol on board. Sailors traded some uniform parts. I still have mine today. Thanks to the crew for treating us so well.

William Scull
Galloway, New Jersey

 

27.
Nov. 12, 2015

Just saw your website and was reading the message board re HMS Hermes, or the Happy H. I was a young steward Steve (Mo Morris) from Frome, Somerset. Had some great mates and great trips including being part of the fleet review, and norfolk virginia. Would be great to chat with any ex stewards onboard at the time, my Oppo Paul Whyman sadly died in an industrial accident 20 plus years ago. Also read a young sailor from the USS America chatting we all mixed with their crew in Norfolk, Virginia and ironically the chap comes from Hagerstown where my cousins live.

Steve Morris


26.
Oct. 5, 2014

I served on Hermes from late 72 through to late late 75. I had various Junior WE Officer jobs and was also ship's exped officer, film officer, and on the diving team. I was diving officer after Brian Jervis, until Autumn 75. I too remember the Cyprus events and gave up my accommodation to evacuee families. Wonderful memories of New York, Caribbean, Nova Scotia, Montreal, and several AMPs and DEDs in Malta. Lots of climbing, sailing, and diving expends, and a thoroughly enjoyable three years with great people!

Mike Buggy


25.
Aug. 10, 2014

I am yet another person christened on the Hermes as my Dad as a CPO on board at the time. His name as John Wakefield and I was born on boxing day in 1960. He sadly died around my 11th year, but I did hear that I was christened onboard before he died. I often wondered if the ships bell is available to see if my name really is on it. Rumour has it he was also the first man to navigate the hovercraft SRN 1 with Captain Sirad out in Borneo. I do have some of his letters he sent back home.

Kind Regards,
John Wakefield (jnr)


24.
Jan. 2, 2014

Like many others I was also christened on the Hermes and would like to follow whether this was registered at the time. My father Con McGinty served on board late fifties early sixties.

Regards,
Ronald McGinty


23.
Sept. 28, 2013

What a surprise to find this site. I served aboard HMS Hermes during the Cyprus evacuation. I was the HMS Hermes Diving Officer, Sub Lieutenant Brian “Jumbo” Jervis MWCDO. I was a coxswain of one of the landing craft taking part in taking the people of the beach. I remember distinctly the Turkish Tanks following us with their guns and yes a lady did give birth on the first night on-board. We were told that the Turkish planes had sunk one of their own destroyers and I think we were sent to pick up survivors. The funny thing is, that next week my partner Joy and I are of to the UK to pick up my eldest daughter and son-in-law and we will be visiting the island of Cyprus for a vacation. First time back since 74.

Brian "Jumbo" Jervis
Exeter, New Hampshire, USA

Reply 1
Jan. 4, 2015

I would like to kindly thank you Jumbo for not recommending me for a civilian diving job to work in Libya when we were in Malta 1974, you told me that I was good diver but my heart was not in diving and I should stick to engineering. I left the RN shortly after this and went on to become a Chief Engineer in the Merchant Navy, Engineering Superintendent in charge of four ships, Port Engineer and finally a Consultant in Marine & Port Engineering working all over the world. Many thanks Jumbo you probably saved my life.

Very kind regards,
Chris (Opps) Packham


22.
Sept. 25, 2013

I served on the Happy Hermes from 1979 to 1982 and my daughter was christened onboard in 1981. She has been trying to track down the Ship's bell for ages to see if her name is engraved on it. If anyone has any photos, I would love to give them to her.

Bernie Lobb


21.
Sept. 6, 2013

I served on hermes from Nov. 1959 to May 1962. Lived in 4n5 mess. Played on the football team with buster Brown. Anyone remember me? Spud Tate, Mike officer, Jan gates. Loved the rum. Up spirits, hands of messes muster for rum.

David Colquhoun


20.
June 13, 2013

I was on the Hermes from Feb. 1962 until Feb 1965. I joined as a Jnr Sea (Gunner basic) left as an A.B. Sea Gunner star. I had a VERY good friend on there.. I have been searching here there and everywhere to make contact with him again. We worked together on there for the whole time I was on Hermes. His name is "Pincher" Martin  - NOT the Pincher Martin who was a C.P.OP. Stoker - This one was, as I was a Jnr Sea (T.A.S). I believe he came from Yorkshire. He will be 67/8 by now. If indeed he is still alive. Would you be kind enough to go through your list of members to see if you have any information about him please?

Regards,
John Field
ex P.O.G.I.


19.
Nov. 22, 2012

Wondering if it was HMS Hermes or HMS Invincible which , in 1983-84, visited Norfolk Naval Station( USA). Some of the crew , after a night drinking at the enlisted club liberated a fire truck for the trip back to the ship! I witnessed this & to this day enjoy telling this story. Over a dozen drunken British sailors hanging on to the sides of the truck, lights & siren blazing laughing & hollering !!! If anyone remembers , please comment !!

James Croker


18.
Oct. 18, 2012

I served on the happy H from 1973 to 1976 when she was converted to helicopters. A great ship and great lads I served with I was a aircraft handler living in 2l2 mess deck Just aft of the side lift. Great memories. Would do it all again.

Smudge Smith


17.
Aug. 8, 2012

I served on Hermes during the Cyprus evacuation, was an LMEM onboard from 1973/75. I remember the births onboard well, when we left the UK my wife was 4 months pregnant with our first child, didn't see my son until we returned home, he was 4 months old by then. Great ships Company. Still serving in the RNZN, retire next year.

Mick O'Carroll


16.
July 5, 2012

In reference to the posting listed below (#15), I contacted Tiverton Town Hall as three of my Daughters were Christened on HMS Hermes and was advised that there is ‘Red Paint' in the rim of the bell and NO NAMES visible, I am assuming that there was another bell that was used during Christenings.

Tom Stewart


15.
June 24, 2012

I have located the Bell from HMS Hermes as so many people who were christened on Hermes have been asking where it is and I am pleased to say it is in the UK at Tiverton Town Hall in Devon and although I was told it has not been moved for some time it has got the names engraved inside of those who were christened. I have requested a photo to be sent and when it comes I will send it on. The HMS Hermes association has just commemorated the 70th anniversary of the sinking of Hermes 9 also the 30th anniversary of the Falklands with a reunion at Portsmouth Maritime club.The reunion for 2013 will be held on 4-7th April at Bosworth Hall. I would be happy to give details of The Hermes Association and next years reunion or forward a newsletter to anyone who may be interested.

With Regards,
Carol
HMS Hermes Association


14.
Apr. 13, 2012

I served on R12 during period 78  79 as member of the Royal Marine Band under direction of the late Bob Baker. I recall a trip to the West Indies and whilst in Trinidad the band was asked to make up a cricket team as the real ship's sportsmen were double booked with a soccer match. Several West Indians from the then national side at that time turned out. I drew the short straw and opened bat that day first ball four runs leg bye. It was our only moment as we were all out for four. They declared after ten runs. Anyway just wondered if there is anywhere which might hold memorabilia from the ship Eg the score book from that day? So I can prove to my grandchildren. Any leads, long shot I guess but found the sight and enjoyed the recollections.

Thanks Clem Cocker
X RMB  4K2 mess


13.
Apr. 11, 2012

I was aboard USS AMERICA (CV 66) on 24 September 1977 when HMS HERMES pulled along side of Pier 7, Norfolk, Virginia, USA.  I enjoyed several days of getting to know some of her sailors. AMERICA departed for the Mediterranean on 29 September 1977. The night before we sailed, however, I remember closing the enlisted club at the Naval Air Station, Norfolk when the British sailors began singing, "I Am Sailing". We stood shoulder to shoulder with arms around one another singing together with glasses raised. I don't believe I've ever felt such camaraderie with any group of men before or since. I appreciated being with our "older brothers" and the long and proud history and traditions of the British Navy.  We walked back to the pier together. I really admired HERMES's sailors and their good natures.  

Many thanks,
Rick Cooley
Hagerstown, Maryland, USA


12.
Dec. 31, 2011

Much like many people posting on this message board, I would like to find out any information about my christening! I was born on 24th February 1973 and christened on the Hermes, presumably in the same year, as my dad, John Havlin, was serving on her. I have vague memories as a child of a christening candle in a blue cardboard holder that my mum had, but haven't seen in years. Is there any kind of register? Unlike the other people, I was told my name was engraved on the hull, is this the case, or was there a very large bell?! Any information would be gratefully received.

Many thanks,
Julie Havlin

Reply 1
Nov. 25, 2012

I am her godfather, at her christening on board HMS Hermes. He father John Havlin was my oppo, I came to Saltcoats once when the ship was in Scotland, Clyde I think and stayed with you. We had a party, in the masonic hall I think and danced with your grandmother and your mum. Is your mums name Andrea or similar? I last heard from your dad about 20 years ago when he saw an ad of mine in the Navy News. Please get in touch, if the bell is in Tiverton I will see if I can get permission to photograph it.

Mick Holdsworth
CAF(O) retired


11.
Oct. 23, 2011

Was so good to find this site, and hope to find a few old friends from 2N2 messdeck.  Was on The Hermes from ‘74 to ‘76 and loved every minute of it.  Long shot, but hope to hear from anyone.

Best wishes,
Paddy... Dirk Nelson
Steward

Reply 1
Jan. 20, 2012

I was the Killick of 2N2 mess and remember the time with fondness, playing bridge till stupid o'clock in the morning with "Harry Sharp" Mick Clamp" Derrick Degg etc and people like Maggot Goodsell and Brigham Young real characters ,hope life is treating you well Paddy.

Take care,
John Jones


10.
Oct. 2, 2011

My name is Michael Anthony George Fenn and I was christened on HMS Hermes in July 1975. My father was at the time PO Fenn nickname Benn. I would love any information and pictures if any and I believe there is a bell and would love information on that please.

Thank you very much,
Michael Fenn

Reply 1
Jan. 8, 2012

I am a member of HMS Hermes association and will enquire among our members if anyone knows the whereabouts of the bell and will write back with any info asap.
The Hermes association has been running around 25 years meeting for a reunion once a year in April this year it will be commemorating the 70th anniversary of he sinking of Hermes 9 of which my late father was a survivor also the 30th anniversary of the Falklands our reunion this year will be in Portsmouth please contact me if you would like more details.

Carol Marshall
Essex, UK


9.
Sept. 28, 2011

I'm looking for my father who served on HMS Hermes and HMS Victorious between 1954 and 1965 we think. He was a l.r.e.m (A) in the Fleet Air Arms on both these ships. We have his service number which is L/F 941366. I would like for you to either be able to trace him or for you to send me some contact numbers or sites on the net so we can trace him. Thank you.

Yours sincerely,
Miss Beverley Willner


8.
Aug. 19, 2011

Nice to some of the pictures of my old ship. I was also on the old girl in Montreal in 1974, and after our trip to Halifax the following year returned to Canada in 1976 to live. I was sorry to see her laid up and then transferred to the Indian Navy just 10 years after I left her.

I was also on the ship in the Cyprus evacuation, and remember the several births that took place while assisting refugees. I spent most of the trip looking after kids who were on their own, until we off-loaded them to Akrotiri. The horror some of the kids had endured gave me nightmares for many years. However what the ship was able to do that occasion made all the previous training etc., make sense and seem worthwhile.

If you want any more pictures of the ship, I have some around here in some old albums and would be willing to donate and send them to you.

All the best to my former shipmates, and any of the many people who traveled with us on our short trip off Cyprus that year.

Sandy Kent
Windsor, NS, Canada


7.
Aug. 12, 2011

In loving memory of my father CPO Michael Edward Lawrenson, who served on the HMS Hermes during the Falklands War. Until I can be your wee girl again – I'm sorry I never got the chance to say goodbye.

With love your daughter,
Michelle

Chief Petty Officer Michael Edward Lawrenson.


6.
Apr. 13, 2011

We are looking for people that worked at HMS HERMES during the evacuation of British Citizens from Kerynia-Cyprus during the 23 July 1974 to tell us the story. That day, a Cypriot lady was helped on the HMS HERMES and gave birth to a boy that she immidietly named Hermes.

Best Regards,
Christodoulos Chambi


5.
July 12, 2009

I have recently heard that if you were christened on a ship your name is on the ships bell. I was christened on HMS Hermes in probably about 1970 (Suzanne Clare Martin). My father was in the Fleet Air Arm and served on HMS Hermes (David Martin). I don't have much info as he died not long after I was born. Could you let me know if it is the case that my name is on a ships bell, and if so where it might be now?

I only found it out as a friend of mine that I have just met since moving to New Zealand, her husband was also christened on a ship and they discovered that the bell from his ship is in a museum in Auckland and when they went to see it - low and behold his name was indeed on it!

I got very excited and started looking into it on the internet, which is when I came across your message site. I have noticed that the Canadian Naval Museum have a website to research 'christening bells'. I don't hold out too much hope - I see from looking that the HMS Hermes was sold and recommissioned as the INS Viraat, so I don't know what that means for the bell! It is amazing what you can find out on the internet!  Fingers crossed that someone responds to my message. Many thanks for any information you have.

Suzanne Hails


4.
Aug. 27, 2008

I would like to contact AB Geoff Barker, who was on HMS Hermes around 1967 when she paid a visit to
Mombasa, Kenya. Can you help?

Thanks,
Sandi Consadine


3.
Nov. 4, 2007

I was just scanning the web for info on the HMS Hermes, when your site popped up, the shot of the HMS Hermes sailing into Montreal in 1975, bought back some wonderful memories, I was there. I was serving with the Royal Marine Ships Detachment as a crewman on the H1 LCVP, 1975-1976 (4K4 Mess deck).

That deployment was very memorable because of all the ‘great runs ashore’ and the great bunch of guys that were in the detachment at the time. Prince Charles was onboard throughout the 4 month deployment and I had the opportunity to go on a diving banyan with him and others whilst the ship was in Curacao. Wonderful days…I still miss them.

Best regards,
Stephen Leaney
Former RM PO30244X – now working in Angola


2.
Oct. 15, 2007

I would like to know if you have any information on HMS Hermes as I was christened on it.
I have been told that the names appeared on the ships bell. If this is so was the bell kept and put into a museum, before the ship was sold?

Many thanks,
Lee Message


1.
Apr. 12, 2007

I would like to know if you have any more information on HMS Hermes as I was christened on board this ship in Portsmouth in 1982 and I would love to see a log or pictures from then. I am also looking for
people/crew who could have been there. I would be grateful for any info I was christened Kerry Louise Pritchard

Kerry




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