HMS Berwick F-115
Message Board

Apr. 30, 2023

I joined the Bear in May 1972 as a skin and essence JRO aged just 16. I was flown out to Trinidad to join her during her West Indies trip and although I can remember some places we visited (Trinidad & Tobago, Tortola, St. Kitts, San Juan, Tamps, Bermuda etc) I can't remember the dates. Does anyone have details of the deployment with dates and places please?

Thanks in advance,
JRO (T) Whiskey Walker
Feb. 14, 2023

I served aboard the USS Garcia DE 1040, 72-75. During a Med Cruise in the summer of '73 we were in port with the HMS Berwick. I don't remember what port we were in, but I do remember getting drunk with a fine chap from the Berwick. We swapped hats. Still got his. A. Larner. met a few nice guys off that ship. We got drunk on the fantail of the Berwick. Remember stuff like yesterday. I wonder if Mr. Larner is still with us, and if he still remembers this old fart from Monroe Michigan.

Thank you for your time,
Lenny Franzil
Nov. 21, 2018

I was on the Berwick from July1974 to April 1976 as a "can man " with the Naafi. Looking back it was a wonderful time with all the lads. The chefs and stokers were all mad. The crew used to make fun of my mackem (Sunderland) accent and used to crack up when I said coca cola for some reason! Peter Hames was the captain when we sailed around the world for 9 months. He left the ship when we were halfway round, in Sydney. I thought he was a nice man. Some crew I still remember....Jim Bowie and big Stevie from Manchester (both chefs) "Ginge" and Don (think they were sparkies?) they were up for anything. Happy days.

John Goss

Aug. 18, 2018

Joined HMS Berwick in Chatham around 1971 as a cook. Remember rattler Morgan, lion Al Blair. Sandy Saunders there was also a black chef and a ex field gunner. Good run to the West Indies, also a short trip on the cod war run. Happy memories.

Brian Bungy Williams

Aug. 17, 2018

We are trying to contact a friend of ours who served on the Berwick in 1972. His first name was TOM but we can't remember his surname, may be JENKINS or EDWARDS. We lived on the isle of ST. VINCENT for 2 years as our husbands were lecturers at the college in KINGSTOWN. When the Berwick called in there some of the lads would visit our homes and we would have great times. The families also went aboard ship and we had fantastic times never to be forgotten. Our friend TOM had a friend called STEVE we think. Can anyone please help?

Iris Cooper

July 26, 2018

I was on HMS Berwick in the early 70's. Joined her in Chatham doing a refit. The rating who got paralysed diving off the jetty was Steve Mugford and the club was called the Trap, many hook lost there.

AB Steve Blackmore

Nov. 27, 2017

l served on the Berwick as a cook 1970 to 1972 was aboard going to to the West Indies when our captain declined the offer of tugboat and crashed into HMS Phobe have press cuttings, shortest cruise in naval history. We had lone piper massive crowd marine band, second time next day just a handful of supporters. Really enjoyed your pages and photos.

Ray "Rattler" Morgan

Nov. 2, 2017

I had the pleasure to serve aboard the Berwick prior to it leaving for the West Indies. I still have Newspaper cutting from the Portsmouth Telegraph and Navy News on the collision with Phoebe . Great "banyans" on deserted islands and runs ashore on Bermuda. Hired mopeds and we were lucky to get back in one piece. Had a mini refit, again in Bermuda due to a force 10 gale, with waves that put our 4.5 out of action, when crossing the pond. Can't remember the Naval club where we started our evenings out. I also still have the ship's plaque that the ship's Carpenter cast from plaster of Paris and sold to raise funds for a RO who dived off a pier and broke his back, sorry can't remember the poor guy's name.

Mick "Chopper" Blundell
Corby, Northants, U.K.

Aug. 15, 2017

My father, Lt. Cmdr. James Cleal, joined HMS Berwick whilst it was being completed in Belfast circa 1959 as a Lieutenant, serving 3 yrs. It was his last ship as the rest of his career was shore based, at HMSs Collingwood, Osprey and the Admiralty Engineering Laboratory in West Drayton. He passed away peacefully on the 2nd Aug 2017 aged 92. His funeral is on Aug. 23rd. All enquires to Co-op Funeral services Witney Oxon.

Dave Cleal

Mar. 14, 2016

My father, Jack Fowler, was a stoker aboard from Feb. 1941 to Feb. 43. Starting as Stoker 1st Class he then became Leading Stoker towards the end of his time on board. After the Berwick he served on the King George V in the Pacific.

David Fowler
Banbury, England

Feb. 27, 2016

My late father, SAMUEL COOPER, who was born in Stoke-on-Trent, UK, served on the HMS Berwick in 1943, and all I know is that his ship was on escort duty during the Russian convoys in World War II. He was a Leading Stoker - Service No. D/KX 92324. I would love to hear from anyone who may remember his name, although it's a bit late in the day to be asking.

Many thanks,
Yvonne Westoll (nee Cooper)
Western Australia

Aug. 16, 2015

I joined the Berwick in Chatham while she was still in dry -dock and we in HMS Pembroke. After trials we then went to Pompey for our trip to the West Indies. I was on watch in the Boiler Room when all the commotion was going on up top. I was on the Berwick till we got to Gib and I returned to Pompey for some more courses. It would be great to meet up with any of the crew from those three years. I joined the Lowestoft the following year and was onboard her for 2 1/2 years doing the Far East. I have already been to the Lowestoft reunions, so if there is a Berwick reunion some time, some place please let me know.

Don (Taff) Griffiths

Feb. 17, 2015

I served on the 'old Bear' from 1978 to 1981 and again 1982 to 1985. I was PO of the Foc'sle in the picture entering harbour and was standing in the centre of the three figures forward of the breakwater and capstan. I don't know where it was but I do know that it was a procedure Bravo (No. 8's, whoolly pulleys, berets and foulie gear) so would agree that it was most probably entering Pompey. I was also in the FWD PO's mess (2D) with Charlie Hague (message 4) so a big hello to him. Thanks for the happy memories.

Bob Trim

June 16, 2014

My dad was on HMS Berwick towards end of WWII. His name is Herbert Sonny Loft. Looked after the depth charges. Can anyone remember him or help me find his ship mates?

Peter Loft

Mar. 19, 2013

I served on her in the mid sixties, best ship, for officers and crew.  I would like to know the whereabouts she was sunk, as target practice for the nutty submariners. Have been searching different sites for years, but to no avail.  Good luck to all who sailed on her.

Bruce Pitman RO2(G) (at the time)

Mar. 3, 2013

I was on the Berwick when we sailed for the West Indies and remember the collision with Phoebe. Had great runs ashore in Indies. Anyone remember Jack Lattimer, Leading Seaman?

Mick "Soapy" Watson
Ex AB 5 Mess

Aug. 25, 2012

I was on board Berwick when we sailed to west indies. We had a doc on board. Who was frd on the 4.5 playing his bag pipes we slipped and ginge got it wrong and hit phone and wiped out our flight deck nets we had to go back alongside our capt was invited on board Phobe to explain a nav error that put to ships out of service woe sailed 2 days letter to the windies I was capt of the quarter deck at the time.

Dave Bull

Feb. 2, 2012

Many fond memories of this wonderful ship. I was the leading personnel/administrative person, Personnelman First Class on the USS ZELLARS (DD-777) during the NATO Squadron Matchmaker II deployment with HMS Berwick. Met many great people including Berwick's Ship's Writer "Ray". Had members of the Berwick's Senior Ratings Mess to my home in ZELLARS homeport of Newport, RI in Spring 1967. My attempt at"fish and chips: was my biggest failure. The wonderful Senior Ratings Mess got me so "swacked" on their "tots" of rum, while in port in Norway, I cannot remember over 36 hours of my life.

Retired in March 1979 from U.S. Navy. Still have HMS Berwick ashtray, ship's plaque and other souvenirs. Have a few photos on board BERWICK if any old crew want copies.

Richard D. Barber
Lieutenant, U.S. Navy Retired
Woodbridge, Virginia, USA

Petty Officer's Mess, Plymouth, England.

Petty Officer's Mess, Plymouth, England.

Petty Officer's Mess, Norway March 1967.

Jan. 15, 2011

I was looking up info on HMS BERWICK, which my husband served on late 70's early 80's, I was in awe with photo's of her, reminded me of the wonderful Family Days we had onboard, even a cruise around the Isle of Wight. On reading about her, I learned she was sunk, "SAD", we were in Plymouth and Gosport while my husband served, she was a beautiful frigate, I have happy memories.

Alana Wehrle

Apr. 28, 2010

Unfortunately I disagree with Charlie (Message 4) I was on the Berwick in 1983 as a bunting and the picture was taken entering Portsmouth Harbour (Probably passing Outer Spit Buoy). The flags flying indicate the ships intended Berth of South West Wall (Desig SWW). Charlie was the RS and in the same department as me.

Ian Dugdale

Apr. 8, 2010

I think that the photo HMS Berwick in 1983 is possibly of her about to enter Mobile Al. ( I can't quite remember). However it was certainly in the Windies somewhere. I was the RS at the time.

RH (Charlie)

Apr. 9, 2010

I served on HMS Phoebe and remember in the early 70's a very dramatic collision on route to Bermuda. It was my first ship and trip abroad. We were all ready to leave from Portsmouth. Berwick was to leave first but after slipping her berth got caught with the tide scraping down our port side messing up our paint work and depositing a life raft on our cable deck. Berwick even had a piper on the bridge top. I have never seen out skipper so angry. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when the two skippers came together. I even have a press cutting somewhere.

Dave (Knocker) White
L. Sea (R)

Dec. 21, 2009

During a NATO cruise in 1966-67, one of the Royal Navy Ships we operated with for some time was HMS Berwick. I was onboard U.S.S. Zellars (DD-777) and we had a great time with the crew of the Berwick. I remember one Peter ( Derby ) Allen - we transferred crews and I was introduced to the ceremony of "Splicing the Main Brace"  - quaffing down the tot of rum was a chore!! Great time and great ship.

Lester R. Sinton
Machinist Mate 2
U.S.S Zellars - 1965-68

Reply 1
Apr. 2, 2015

Hi Lester.  I am alive and well and living in the UK and remember you well!  Peter (Darby (not Derby) Allen".

Many thanks,
Peter Allen

Aug. 28, 2008

Was surfing the net to try and find some pic's of my old ship only to find she's not there. Well let's put that straight. Her she is in her pride and glory doing speed trials of plymouth in1970 (see photo on page 1) before going to Bermuda the photo is taken by the ships Wasp helo.

She was one of the fastest in the fleet at the time and her sister ships had a hard time when we were on station. In 72 the crew were transferred to the Falmouth she had a refit in Gibraltar and the Berwick was due to have a refit there also.  I left there and went to HMS Triumph, she was the fist ship I had and served on her for nearly 3 years.  We did all the islands in the Caribbean, sailed the length and breadth of the Mediterranean,
chased fishing boats in the north sea and even went into drydock in Trinidad after we lost a screw at sea
Maybe you always remember the first love best I don't know, but I served on many boats and she was the best, still now you have a photo of the best in her class.  As you can see have moved to Sweden since then, but she was the real thing and there wasn't many that could follow us when we put the steam up.

Best regards,
Kenneth Robinson (OEM)
Tyringe, Sweden

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