HMS Emperor of India
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4.
Aug. 3, 2011

In August of 1919, my father, Romanian Navy commander Virigil Alexandru Dragalina (CVO), was in the Black Sea port of Odessa. Three small river vessels under his command had made the perilous voyage from Lake Liman and the Dniester River in Romania to the shores of the Ukraine. They were trying to ascertain the political situation after the takeover of that city by Bolshevik forces.

The admiral of the "Emperor of India" greeted my father with much courtesy and at their departure the "Emperor of India" played the Romanian National Anthem, while the crew and her admiral saluted the three small Romanian river ships.

An article was published in a navy review (journal?) around 1919-1920, depicting the valiant Romanians as a "nation of sportsmen" (the title of the article contained these or similar words). By any chance, could you help me find this article? I would mean so much to me!

With many thanks,
Opritsa Dragalina-Popa

From left to right: Gheorghe Niculescu (future Commander), Alexandru Constantinescu (future Rear Admiral), Gheorghe Dumitrescu (future Rear Admiral), and Virgil Alexandru Dragalina (future Commander) seen while studying wireless telegraphy in Portsmouth in 1921. My father studied in England (in Portsmouth - Wireless Telegraphy, at the Torpedo School on the HMS Vernon, and at the Gunnery School on Whale Island, 1920-1922). CVO in 1921.

Gheorghe Dumitrescu defected to Great Britain around 1948. The night before he fled the country (the Communists had issued a warrant for his arrest) he stopped by our house to say goodbye and he gave me a chocolate bar. I was six years old. I still remember it vividly.


3.
Apr. 26, 2011

My father's father, Lieutenant Albert Henry Singleton served with The Emperor of India, he served in the Battle of Jutland and received the MBE . My father is now 95 and has all his father's Christmas cards, printed especially for the ship and sent each year to him as his father would be away for years on end and they rarely saw him. Would be pleased to have any other information about the ship, the rosters etc.

Di Clarke


2.
Aug. 8, 2009

My father Francis Henry Battishill joined the navy aged 17 on the 10/6/1918 at the Boys Training Ship HMS Impregnable and was there until 21/3/1919. From his Royal Naval records (Ministry of Defence) he served on HMS Ramillies (Battleship) 22/3/1919 - 1/09 1921 HMS. Emperor of India (Battleship) 21/11/22 - 11/5/1925 HMS. Malaya (Battleship) 13/9/1926 HMS Queen Elizabeth (Battleship) 21/9/1927 - 12/2/1929 HMS Valiant 13/2/1929 - 7/3/1929 HMS Rodney (Battleship) 16/4/1930 - 28/7/1931 and released to shore
28/7/1931.

He was mobilised for war service on 31/7/1939 when he joined HMS Caradoc (Cruiser) until 14/7/1940. HMS Richmond (Destroyer) 26/11/1940 - 17/12/1941. His last ship was the HMS Glen Avon (Anti-Aircraft Ship) 2/5/1942 - 15/9 1945. The HMS Glen Avon foundered in a gale in Seine Bay off the coast of France 2/9/1944. His record shows he was released in Class A on 15/9 1945.

His rank when released from the navy was Leading Seaman and he also had a gold Gun and Star on his right arm, which I believe signifies a Leading Gunner. I have a photo of HMS Ramillies and Emperor of India, also a photo of a Gunnery trophy his crew won when on HMS Emperor of India.


Kind regards,
Michael J. Battishill
Warners Bay, New South Wales, Australia


1.
Feb. 13, 2008

Is there any history of Emperor's time in the Black Sea, 1920-1922, helping with the evacuation of White Russian refugees? Is there any record of the officers on board during this time - is there a ship's muster roll or commissioning book still in existence for example. Many thanks for any pointers.

Kind regards,
Tony Coleman
London, England


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Page published Mar. 10, 2007