HMS Amethyst U-16 / F-116
Message Board
Messages 150-174

Mar. 1, 2017

It is with great sadness that we report the death of our Shipmate Bryan Loving on 26 February 2017. Bryan was a strong supporter of the AMETHYST Association and a great traveller in his Campervan with his wife Pam. His Funeral is at 1130 on Tuesday 14 March at the Weymouth Crematorium, Quibo Lane, Weymouth, DT4 0RR.

Best wishes,
Gilly O'Reilly

Jan. 18, 2017

I'm sitting in my lounge in France in front of a nice log fire, (the outside temperature is -2C), watching a repeat of the film with Richard Todd as Cdr. Kerans.

The reason for the email is it reminded me that as a very small boy I saw and indeed went on board Amethyst when she was in Millay Docks at Plymouth. Sadly, I also saw her scrapped. However, my uncle - who was in charge of Willabys at the time - did manage to save the wardroom bell and several photographs.

My father-in-law, William J. Shears was also involved with the "incident".  He was at the time a CPO Shipwright. At one time he was the youngest CPO in the RN at just 18. He had just completed two years in the Far East and had returned to his home in Brixham. He had, literally, just got through the front door after a journey home that took nearly five weeks when the local bobby turned up and told him he had to report to Plymouth immediately. Bill thought he was having a laugh until he saw the signal flimsy.

A car took him to Plymouth where he was told Amethyst was stranded in the Yangtze and he was to go out to her at once. Querying why there wasn't someone else nearer at say Singapore or Hong Kong he was bluntly told to obey orders not question them!

Amazingly, he was sent back to Hong Kong in under 40 hours! By that time Amethyst had broken out and he was sent on board to help effect temporary damage repairs en route to Singapore. The Cdr. Shipwright of the RN Dockyard was another Brixham man who told him that he needed a good Chief and would have him transferred.  Bill protested that he'd just done two years and was snatched back before he'd even been home 10 minutes! To no avail. He did two more years away. Needless to say, his wife was not best pleased. I don't think that would happen in today's Navy. What a great pity Amethyst ended up as scrap in Sutton Harbour.

John Murray

Reply 1
Jan. 21, 2017

I have read your message on MaritimeQuest with interest. I was onboard HMS Amethyst whilst she was trapped in the Yangtze, so I was not aware of all the activity going on whilst we were trapped in the River. The fact that your father in law, William Shears was flown back to China so quickly after he returned to UK suggest he had just been serving in AMETHYST and was sent back because he would be fully briefed on all her fittings etc. If so he was probably on board the ship in 1948, when I joined her, and served with me. I am afraid I can no longer remember all those onboard in those days. I imagine he would have remained in HMS TAMAR whilst AMETHYST remained in the Yangtze, and re-joined her after she escaped. If so he would have served with me in Hong Kong and on AMETHYST's passage back to UK.

Best wishes,
Stewart Hett

Dec. 15, 2016

Announcing the 2017 HMS Amethyst Reunion:
The reunion will be held on Friday 22nd - Sunday 24th September 2017, Toorak Hotel Torquay. Single room Dinner bed and breakfast for the weekend  £140 & Double room  Dinner bed and breakfast for the weekend £220. Gala meal Saturday Included in the weekend price. Those wishing to attend meal only £25 each. Rooms need to be reserved so please send a deposit of £25 each person to Trudy made out to Amethyst Association. These rates apply for the weekend only and at present no Saturday only rooms are available but may be free nearer the date.

Gilly O'Reilly

Membership Membership £7.00, widows £4.00 due in January.
Please send to: Trudy Sampson 1 Warton Lane Austrey Atherstone CV9 3EJ 01827 830334

Aug. 17, 2016

I am trying to get information on my father in law who was on the HMS Amethyst in 1949, Mr. James Nolan. His son Greg (my husband) would like to get more details on his father. We have seen him in two pictures on the MaritimeQuest site, but are wondering are there any other pictures of him available and more information on him? Sadly James passed away in 1994 and the family does not know much of his past. I would really appreciate it if you or Mr. K. Stewart Hett could help out in any way.

Thank you,
P. S. Could I become a member of the HMS Amethyst Association.
Yours sincerely,
Greg and Samantha Nolan

Reply 1
Aug. 18, 2016

James Nolan was certainly in HMS AMETHYST whilst we were trapped in the Yangtze and when we made our escape. I only have one other group photograph showing your Father. It is the same as the picture on MaritimeQuest where he is sitting in the front on the left, except everyone has taken their caps off, though your Father has his cap off in both pictures! I presume you can download the pictures on MaritimeQuest. I could email you the other picture if you would like it. I do have several other pictures of activity on the ship, but I have not identified the people so I cannot say if he is in any of these pictures. If you are ever in the London area you are very welcome to come and look through my scrapbooks. I will put you Father's name on the notice board at our next reunion. My experience is, that after close on 70 years, people do not remember individuals unless they were particular friends with them.

You are very welcome to join the AMETHYST Association. Our Secretary is Trudy Sampson, 1 Warton Lane, Austrey, Atherstone, Worcs. CV9 3EJ. If you get in touch with her she will fill you in with details. Our next Reunion is 16 to 18 September in Nottingham. We would be very pleased to see you there. The Reunion involves a buffet supper on Friday, on Saturday the AGM and a visit, I think we are going to the National Memorial Arboretum where we have established the “Yangtze Grove”.  On Saturday we have a Dinner then on Sunday a short Church Service to Remember the men who lost their lives in 1949. Then we disperse.

Best wishes,
Stewart Hett

Apr. 27, 2016

My Grandfather, Leslie John Webber, originally from Bampton, Devon, served on HMS Amethyst. I was just wondering if anyone remembers him. Photos showing below. I believe he worked in the engine room and would have been around 18 years old. He talks a little about his time on the Amethyst or the “Fighting A” as he calls her and often wonders what happened to his ship mates. Any information would be wonderful.

Thank you,
Miriam Nosworthy
Somerset, England

Reply 1
Apr. 28, 2016

According to my records Leslie Webber joined HMS AMETHYST in November 1949 and served in her during the Korean War. I will pass your details to one of our Members who worked in the Engine Room during the Korean War. As the Granddaughter of an AMETHYST man, we would welcome you as a Member of the AMETHYST Association. If you would like to join and receive our newsletter, please let me know and I will put you in touch with our Secretary.

Stewart Hett


Apr. 24, 2016

My father, Albert Williams, served in HMS Amethyst during the Yangtze Incident. Albert had two sons, my older brother Albert born in 1954 who carried his name, and myself Paul born two years later in 1956. As you will learn my father lost his life in a tragic accident after leaving the RN. Firstly, you need to remove the information in Message #101 dated 3 October 2012 from Phil Jelbert that my dad died working on a Newlyn Fishing Boat in Iceland that is incorrect.

My mother, who never remarried, is still alive and although now in failing health has helped to compile the following informative data which I'm sure you will find interesting and helpful.

My dad left the RN believed in 1957 when I was just two months old. In that year, as a family, my dad, mum, two year old older brother Albert and I lived at St. Buryan in a tied cottage my father working for a local farmer. We returned shortly thereafter to Pendeen where my father was born to be close to his relatives and friends. We lived at 31 Moorland Close, Pendeen. At the time my dad was the Captain of Pendeen AFC. He was an all-round sportsman also playing cricket and darts.

My dad worked as a blaster at Geevor Tin Mine in Pendeen where his father had worked along with his brothers. My dad left Geevor Tin Mine and worked for a spell at Newlyn Quarry before returning to sea and it was there that he met his fate whilst working on the Coaster 'Yewhill' whilst docked in Cork, Southern Ireland. He befell a tragic fatal accident on the quay on 28 January 1959 aged 29. My dad's last letter to my mum sent from the Yewhill dated 14 January 1959, two weeks before his death, wrote he longed to be with us sending all his love.

I would greatly appreciate any information you have of my dad whilst he served on the Amethyst, his friends, any stories, and photos you may have. My mum told me that he was known as 'Bertie' on board?

My mum told me that my dad was badly affected by the death of his comrade killed beside him whilst fighting in the conflict suffering nightmares as a consequence. He did see the premiere of the film the 'Yangtze Incident' so much recovered by then.

I hope my information is helpful towards a fantastic historical record that you have put together.

Kind Regards,
Paul Williams

Apr. 24, 2016

Myself and Raymond McCullough are currently negotiating a Yangtze Incident display and possible Memorial. The said display and memorial, hopefully, will be based on board HMS Caroline, now a floating maritime museum in Belfast. My late father and Raymond's late father both served on board HMS Amethyst during the Yangtze Incident in 1949.

We would like to have a permanent reminder for our children and future generations of the bravery of all who served on the four ships during the Yangtze Incident. To aid our quest we would like to hear from anyone who had a family member on board any of these ships, particularly if they came from Belfast or indeed Ireland as a whole. The more support we get the stronger we will be in achieving our goal. We would dearly like to hear from anyone who was related to the late Mr. James Foster Johnston from Bangor, Northern Ireland, who served during the Yangtze Incident. I can be contacted through

Andrew Bannister

Apr. 17, 2016

I sort of stumbled across your site today and thought I would add a comment. Towards the last messages is a note from Tony Walsh ref him buying then selling the bridge voice pipe from Amethyst when he was just in the navy in the mid 1950's. I am the buyer of same and still have it along with a medals trio from a AB that served on her in 1949 and also was aboard for her Korean tour. Tony had loaned the pipe to the Four Ships Assn for one of their re-unions and I have the paperwork from that he sent along with the pipe. It is in good hands even if it is in the US and has pride of place in my small RN collection I would like to add a 1949 NGS Yangtze to from anyone on Consort also so if there is one for sale out there please advise me. I can supply a photo of the Voice Pipe if anyone would like to have that.

All The Best,
Bob Baird
Prescott, AZ, USA


Apr. 3, 2016

It is with sadness that we share with you the passing of my grandfather - Bill "Taf" James - on the 2nd of April, 2016. I'm not precisely sure when gramps served on the Amethyst, only that it was sometime during WWII. I've noted a post on this message board from a Mr Charlie Chivers who references a Taf James possibly being in 6 Mess in 1946, if that provides a clue. Gramps was immensely proud of his time on the Amethyst, and the room in which he passed was adorned with pictures and clippings from those days, along with some from Amethyst reunions. Bill was loved by all who knew him, so we thought you may like to know.

Wishing the best to all,

Laura Robinson

Apr. 7, 2016
Funeral services are at 1100 on Friday 15 April at Margam Crematorium, Longland Lane, Port Talbot, SA13 2NR. Taff was a strong supporter of the HMS Amethyst Association and his wonderful voice will always be remembered, particularly leading the singing at our Reunion Church Services.

Best wishes
Gilly O'Reilly
HMS Amethyst Assoication

Mar. 18, 2016

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Ray Kitto. Ray died at home on Tuesday 15 March 2016. Ray served on the AMETHYST Association Committee, and as the Association Welfare Officer he did a wonderful job keeping in touch with our Members. Ray was not a naval man, but served in the RAF and with the Metropolitan Police nonetheless he was a great admirer of the Royal Navy and of Members of the AMETHYST Ships Company. He will be greatly missed by us all in the Association. His funeral  is at 1100 on Monday 4 April at St Hilda's Church, Stanwell Rd,  Ashford Middlesex, TW15 3QL.

Stewart Hett,
HMS AMETHYST Association

Oct. 21, 2015

With sadness we announce the death of Mrs. Gwen Winfield, widow of Ken, on 11 October 2015. Gwen and her family were staunch supporters of the AMETHYST Association. Ken Winfield was one of a small band of engineers who maintained AMETHYST's engines whilst the ship was trapped in the Yangtze River and ensured they ran at maximum speed during her night escape from the River. Gwen Winfield's funeral will be held at: Milton Chapel, Chiltern Crematorium, Amersham, Bucks. HP7 0ND. at 2:30pm on Monday 26 October, then after at Chesham Town Hall, Chesham Bucks, HP5 1DS.

Stewart Hett

Aug. 25, 2015

The Amethyst reunion will be held on the 18th to 20th September 2015 at the Mercure Swindon Hotel South Marston, South Marston, Swindon SN3 4SH. We have a carvery meal arranged for the Friday and our Gala meal on the Saturday. Dinner, bed and breakfast for a double works out at £244 and single at £191 (Sat nav SN3 4SH). All welcome! Rooms can be booked now, phone 01793 833700 and say you are with the Amethyst Association. Looking forward to seeing some of you there.

Best wishes,
Gilly O'Reilly

Aug. 12, 2015

My father, Vincent Steers Chatfield, served on HMS Amethyst in 1945 and 1946 as an Able Seaman. I believe he was injured in an onboard accident while taking on supplies in Auckland, NZ, however he rejoined the ship and sailed to Sydney, Australia where he was put ashore to recover from his injuries. He was awarded the King's Badge as a result of the above mentioned incident. Do you have any information about his time aboard the Amethyst.

Robert Chatfield

Messages 150-174
Page published Mar. 22, 2014