HMS Consort R-76 / D-76
Message Board
Messages 25 to 49

Feb. 13, 2022

I have the sad news that Graham Perrett crossed the bar on the 05/01/22. He served on the H.M.S. Consort for his national service around 1954-1956 and continued to be a member of the Royal Navy Reserve for many years after that. He had the privilege of being given the responsibility of steering the Consort and enjoyed visiting Singapore, Kuching (in Borneo), Sarawak (in Malaysia), Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea. In later years he took much joy in being a member and secretary of the H.M.S Consort Association.

Tony Perrett

Graham Perrett.

Dec. 30, 2020

I'm trying to find out about my uncle, Bernard Mahon. He was on many ships but I know only of the Consort. He took part in the Yangtze incident. I'd love to find out more about his naval life. He sadly crossed the Bar on 29.12.2020.

Catherine Nield

Nov. 4, 2020

I am sad to tell everyone of my dad's Passing over the Bar on Thursday 29th October 2020. His name is Thomas James Flanagan, but he was known as Bud by his ship mates. He was severely wounded during the Yangtze incident in 1949. He was 92.
(Bud Flanagan was the first person to post a message on the HMS Consort Message Board. Read it here.)

Many thanks,
David Flanagan

Oct. 3, 2020

It is my sad duty to report that Terry (Taff) Hodgins has crossed the bar; passing away peacefully at home on September 30th 2020 aged 89.

He joined the Royal Navy as a Boy Seamen in the winter of 1947 aged fifteen. He undertook his training at H.M.S. St. Vincent and in 1948 joined H.M.S. Consort, a ship in the 8th Destroyer Flotilla, in Hong Kong. During his time on the ship he was involved in the Malayan Emergency, Korean War and on April 20th 1949 was aboard when Consort was sent into action on the Yangtze River in an attempt to rescue H.M.S Amethyst. He was in the thick of it from the start, as gun loader for ‘Y gun' and was responsible for carrying 4.5-inch shells from the hoist to the gun turret, while exposed to enemy fire. He played rugby for Devonport Services, Royal Navy and Combined Services in the 1950's. On leaving the Senior Service he had risen to the rank of Chief Petty Officer.

In 1991, with the memory of missing the 40th anniversary of the Yangtze Incident simply because he hadn't heard about it, and armed with some telephone directories and old address book he started to track down his Consort shipmates. In 1992 the first mini reunion was held at the Fleet Club with 14 in attendance. Six months later the first full reunion took place with over 100 shipmates swinging the lamp together - the Consort Association was born. As founder he served as on the Committee as Hon. Secretary and Hon. Treasurer plus Reunion Organiser.
Taff Hodgins was the driving force behind many highlights  of the Association, including in 2008 publication of the book ‘Loyal and Steadfast - The Story of H.M.S Consort as told by those who Served in Her'.  Finally telling the true story of Her involvement in the Yangtze Incident and the service given by the ship throughout her Commission.

In 2002, honouring the skill, courage and sacrifice made in April 1949, 52 shipmates attended HMS Collingwood where as part of the Navigational Training Facility one of the two Main Bridge Simulators was named after HMS Consort. Ensuring she will not be forgotten.
We like to think that he has already met up for a tot with departed and sadly missed shipmates, with plans for a reunion well underway. Details of the Service and celebration of his life to follow.

Yours aye,
David Hodgins

Apr. 15, 2020

I have been informed by Peter Lee-Hale, Chairman of the HMS Concord Association, that my
friend and Ex-CONSORT, William "Sonny" Leitch has crossed the bar. Willie was a voracious advocate who spent years trying to get the men of HMS Concord the Yangtze clasp for the NGSM. Willie regaled me with many stories of his life over the many phone conversations we had through the years that I knew him. He also contributed a lot of material to this website. I will miss his wonderful voice and his way of telling a tale. Fair winds to you my friend.

Michael W. Pocock

Here is one of my favourite stories about Willie.
(The Esther Williams Wargames Trophy)

June 21, 2019

My father had always told me that he was on the Concord and Consort during the Yangtze Incident. His name was Anthony Campbell and he was a leading killick cook. I would really like to know more information about his service at this time.

Many thanks,
Susan Dixon née Campbell

June 5, 2019

My father below Richard William White (Blacke, he changed his surname not sure if that's while he served) was on the Consort. He passed sadly in 2001 and I just wondered if there is any record of him or if anyone remembers him. I would be extremely grateful for any info you can give me.

Kind regards,
Tara Hibbert ne Blacke

Richard William White.

Nov. 13, 2018

I am trying to trace my Father's naval experiences. I understand he was conscripted in 47 or 48, but had something to do with the Yangzy incident. His name was Peter Dennis Weldon, born 3/3/27.

Paul et Caroline Weldon
Le Bateau Riana Too, France

July 20, 2018

My maternal grandfather may have been on the Amethyst or indeed could even have been on the Consort or other the ships connected to the Amethyst incident in 1945. Can you tell me if he was a crew member of any of these ships at the time of the incident? Would really love to know. His name was Robert Knight born 1923 died in around 1988, photo below.

Thanking you in advance,
Stuart Kelly

Reply 1
July 20, 2018

There is no one by the name of Knight on my list of the Ship's company of HMS Amethyst in April 1949, nor in the list of those on board during the Korean War. Your message rather suggest your Grandfather may have been serving in HMS Consort. The CONSORT Association has now closed down and I doubt if there is anyone I can contact for names in that ship. The National Archives in London might be able to help your search. I will make some enquiries of my contacts, but I doubt if they will produce any results.

Stewart Hett


May 20, 2018

Does anybody know or remember my late father John West? He was from Belfast and I think was on the Consort.

John West

May 20, 2018

Ray Nielson contacted MaritimeQuest offering to send a small collection of photos for posting on the site. Many are from a reunion of crewmen, but the year and location of the reunion was unknown to him. Some of those photos are showing below.

He also included a photo taken of the ship's company at Hong Kong in 1953 which had a Christmas Menu for the Stokers Mess attached to the back and a photo of Commander Ian Grieg Robertson, R.N. commanding officer of HMS Consort during the Yangtze Incident.

If you can identify any of the photos please email the webmaster.

Michael W. Pocock

Reply 1
June 3, 2018

As you probably realise there are not many CONSORTS left, but there are some. I have brought your plea to the notice of (Chief GI) Jim Finch, Willie Leach (1953 commission) and Graham May (1955). Jim is one of three (right hand side) pictured with soft caps. Reunion was almost certainly at the Trecarne Hotel, Torquay, I was probably there, but sadly cannot identify the year. Also featured is the CONSORTIES choir in full blast. Hoping at least one of the survivors will claim Ray Nielson's question by answering you.

Warm regards,
H. A. (Tug) Wilson
1955 Commission

HMS Consort ship's company at Hong Kong in 1953.

Stokers Mess Christmas 1953 Menu.

(May 7, 2019: I think that's my (late) Dad's signature top left John Barry Moore known according to circumstances as Barry, Jack or sometimes Pony - as in Pit Pony. I have looked a few times on the web for consort related info and have been to this board and the association pages before and never noticed this!! Super - thanks you for keeping memories going! Paul Moore)

Commander Ian Grieg Robertson, R.N. commanding officer of HMS Consort during the Yangtze Incident.

HMS Consort reunion.

HMS Consort reunion.

HMS Consort reunion.

HMS Consort reunion.

July 28, 2017

I am the grandson of Eric Greenway. He sadly passed earlier this month (July 2017). He served on the Consort and often told us many a story of his Navy years. Would just like to pass on this information in case there are possibly any others who may have served with him out there. 

He was laid to rest on the 27th July. Leaving 3 children, 8 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren. He would always say he lead a very full life, and his Navy days were among the best days of his life. I just hope he's out on the sea now with a shot of Rum in hand.

Yours kindly
Stephen Carty

Mar. 29, 2017

My dad was on HMS Consort the Yangtze Incident, my farther never spoke about this past, but as his son I'm intrigued to fined out if colleges and friends remember him. His name was Samuel Frederick Ford.

Kind regards,
Joel Ford

Feb. 14, 2017

To the associates, friends, and Shipmates of Stoker/ Mechanic, Reg Tregunna who served onboard H.M.S. Consort on the Far East Station during the period 1955- 57. I am sorry to inform you that Reg, passed-0ver-The- Bar, on Tuesday 21 st Feb. The funeral will be at the Truro Cemetery on Thursday 2nd March at 1:30pm - a small service at the chapel cemetery grounds.

Carmen Tregunna

Nov. 11, 2016

I am wondering if anyone on the Consort or Comus would remember my father, William Powell. Sadly he passed away aged 81 in 2013 and was fondly remembered by many of his old shipmates at his funeral service. One gentleman, pictured joined Ganges the same day as my Dad joined which was very touching that the bond and comradeship they had formed over 65 years ago still existed.

Best regards,
John Powell

May 29, 2016

Trying to find out some information on my father, Anthony Ireland, who was a stoker on the Consort during the Yangtze Incident and I believe was injured. Do you have any information for me? He would never speak about it and I understand all sailors were subjected to the Official Secrets act. Maybe yo can advise me where to write to get his Navy records.

Gillian Jepson

Sept. 8, 2015

I am trying to find more information about my late father's service on board HMS Consort, especially during the Yangtze Incident, for which he was awarded the DSM. He was a Leading Stoker Mechanic Tony Arthur Oliver Johnson, DSM  (D/KX98914.) He died in 1960 so I was never able to ask him about it. I would love to find out if anyone has any memories, photos or other information about him. I have found your website and see that other people have made similar enquiries, and hope that someone may be able to help me.

Yours in hope,
Maureen Beckett (nee Johnson)

Apr. 8, 2015

I'm an American (a Yank!) and a WWII era naval history buff. I love British naval history and have been fascinated by the "Amethyst Incident" ever since stumbling upon the Richard Todd movie many years ago (before the internet). I was sorely disappointed to learn that the great battle scene early on never really happened. Still, given the special effects of the time, it was a damn good scene.

America has hardly any early post war movies that use the actual ships, aircraft, vehicles, etc., that were actually involved in the war. Britain's movie industry is to be praised for those 1950's B&W movies, they preserve physical history like no other country has. One can feel the cramped confines of a Lancaster's rear  turret or feel the tension of a Black Swan class sloop's twin 4" guns crew as they follow battle drill sending round after round at the enemy using the actual  4" guns that fired in anger, not some Hollywood prop that looks like a 1983 Oto Melara 76mm because that's what they filmed as no one gave a darn about realism.

I have a nagging question about HMS Consort's experience BEFORE the "Amethyst Incident" took place in April 1949. Was HMS Consort "attacked by the Chinese" losing approximately 1/5 of her crew in early 1949 as published in the following memoir in 2010?

"While Albert was in Nanking in 1949, staying in Hank Lieberman's house, the British captain of HMS Consort came to tea and spoke of things "being rather dull" around there. The following day, the Chinese shot-up the HMS Consort, killing 49 of the crew before the ship got away to Shanghai. Also, the British cruiser HMS London and the destroyer HMS Amethyst were shot-up by the Communists."

'West Over the Seas to the Orient: Ravenholt Family, Formative years, Life Adventures' by R. T. Ravenholt  Jan 20, 2010

Was this the reason that Amethyst was sent to relieve Consort? Did Consort leave Nanking and then replenish, repair, and take on replacements? Then return to Nanking before Amethyst sortied to relieve her? Is the "Ravenholt account" true? I can't find any corroboration. Please help.

HMS Consort's sortie to rescue Amethyst was a truly noble and courageous effort in the finest Royal Navy tradition. It should've gotten a lot more recognition and praise then occurred. Every crew member and their families can be proud. I think some VC's were well deserved.

Blessings to the UK, and thanks for your clarification.
Mark L. Brownfield

Reply 1
Apr. 10, 2015

HMS Consort was one of many acting as 'guard ship' at Nanking, prior to her deployment a Canadian Destroyer had been there. A ship would spend around one month on station and then be relieved. Consort was a little overdue in obtaining a relief and Admiral Madden chose to send HMS Amethyst to replace her. When Amethyst was attacked Consort hastened to her help from Nanking, under attack also, she passed by Amethyst and proceeded a way down stream. She then bravely returned to the scene and became under fire once again whilst trying to pass a tow line but there was no one on the deck of Amethyst to receive it. Due to severe damage, she had to withdraw and proceeded to Shanghai.

Best regards,
Derek Hodgson

Reply 2
Apr. 10, 2015

The Ravenholt information was just an error. It describes the Yangtze Incident, but the casualty figures are incorrect.

Michael W. Pocock

Reply 3
Apr. 15, 2015

I have read the message that you posted on the H.M.S. Consort, message board dated April, 8th 2015. Further to that I have received in total of twenty-one emails from various sources, pointing me in the direction of your message, listed within MaritimeQuest. By clicking on the link being provided here: you will find a wealth of material, all of which, in some manner or fashion touches on and is relative to matters concerning the 1949 Yangtze Incident.

Now, for your information and that of others who may be interested. Beginning from January 1949 the 'Listening' ships, or 'Guard' ships as the British Government, would have them termed, that were stationed at Nangking, in China, were in rotation H.M.S. Concord, H.M.C.S. Crescent then H.M.S. Consort, which was due to be relieved by H.M.A.S. Shoal Haven.

However, in early April 1949 the Nationalist Government of China ceased to control both banks of the Yangtze River, and on 9th April 1949 the new regime the Communist authorities on the North bank of the river broadcast that they would interdict the river to 'all shipping' presumably by gunfire from the North bank. To coin a phrase, that was a reasonable military precaution if they intended to cross the Yangtze River before the river reached its summer level. Obviously the Australian authorities took cognisance of the overall circumstances a caused their ship the H.M.A.S. Shoal Haven, to be stood down.

At that time the Commander-in-Chief, Far East Station, Admiral Sir, Patrick Brind, was absent from the station, in that he was in London, attending an Atomic Conference, as such, Flag Officer, Second-in-Command, Vice-Admiral A.C.G. Madden, was the Commanding Officer, on the Far East Station, with that being the situation it was he who ordered the Captain of H.M.S. Black Swan, to have H.M.S. Amethyst, make ready to relieve H.M.S. Consort, at Nanking.

Now, at that time on the Far-East-Station, there was in place, Admiralty Standing Orders that were to the effect that all Royal Navy Warships making passage on the Yangtze River, those ships should remain at the stood to position in order to respond in a defensive action only if fired upon from the North bank of the river.

On 19th April 1949 upon the orders of Vice Admiral, A.C.G. Madden, H.M.S. Amethyst, (The Sitting Duck), began making passageway on the Yangtze River, en route to Nanking, in order to relieve H.M.S. Consort, upon reaching a location on the river known as Kiang Yin, the Amethyst was ordered by a Chinese Nationalist Warship, to drop anchor and darken ship as by that date, the Chinese Nationalists were forbidding the movement of ships on the river after dark. At dawn on the morning of 20th April 1949 Amethyst again got underway making passageway to Nanking, however at approximately half-past eight that morning shots from a gun battery on the North bank of the river passed over and fell around the Amethyst, without causing damage to ship or injury to anyone on-board.

In response to that incident three consecutive orders were given by the ships Captain, Lieutenant Commander Skinner, in sequence the orders were (1) Full head both engines. (2) Unfurl Union Jacks down the ships side. (3) Director get on target. Further, it is known that Lieutenant-Commander Skinner after the Communist fire had stopped wrote out a signal to be sent to Hong Kong, in which he described what happened. He sent it down to the wireless office to be coded before transmission, but because of what happened next the message was never delivered.

At approximately twenty past nine, that morning as the ship was passing an other Chinese Communist gun battery that was stationed on a point of land which was in close proximity to a village named San-chiang-ying a shell fired from that gun battery passed over the Amethyst, again Lieutenant - Commander, Skinner, gave the order, 'Full ahead both engines' again to coin a phrase that's when Amethyst the (Sitting Duck's) fate was sealed. The ship grounded on Rose Island, and it was from that location the Flash Signal; "Under heavy fire and aground in aprox positions about 31 degrees 10 north 119 degrees 60 miles east large number of casualties" was sent out.

That signal was picked up by several ships and establishments, one of the establishments being, the British Consulates Office, in Shanghai, as such it was arranged by that office in the early afternoon of 20th April 1949, to have a Surgeon, named Gren Wedderburn, flown, by a United States Air Force pilot, in a U.S. Air Force B-25, 'known as a Mitchell' from Lung Haw airfield Shanghai to Nangking. Both that pilot and Surgeon, Gren Wedderburn, witnessed H.M.S. Consort's epic dash down the Yangtze River, having been, upon the orders of Vice Admiral, Madden, sent to assist the Amethyst.

Thirty-eight years later in 1987 Gren Wedderburn, had his book titled 'No Lotus Garden' published. Within that publication,at Chapter 7 titled 'AMETHYST AND CONSORT', Gren Wedderburn, is seen to have written that which I now quote for its terms therein; "We went out to the truck where a colonel was standing. He showed me the medical supplies and equipment loaded on it. We were climbing in when a sergeant ran up. The Communists had started to cross the Yangtze some twenty-four hours before the expiration of the armistice. We all went back into the Embassy and stood around conferring in the naval office. It was decided to abandon the attempt to reach Amethyst as night was approaching. The chances were that the attempt would fail and as likely as not both sides would start firing at us. A message had came in from Consort to say she had many wounded and that she was proceeding to Shanghai. All those present thought I should go back by the first night train before the line was cut." Unquote.

Yours sincerely,
William Leitch
H.M.S. Consort
1953/55 Commission

Dec. 28, 2014

I am writing on behalf of my friend Ray who's dad, Kendall Baish served on HMS Consort after the Yangtze incident. He was awarded the Korean medal with an oak leaf, here is part of Ray's letter, 

"I am wondering if I can track down the actual battle events. All I know is that he was a Chief electrician on HMS Consort and he had 20 men ashore to blow up a bridge to thwart the Reds, communist Koreans. He killed up to 20 with a machine gun but lost 2 men'. Why a sailor? why not Royal Marine, army or SBS (like SAS)-special boat service? He could have volunteered I suppose. Five men were nominated for a D.S.O. but the honour was rationed so lots had to be drawn."

He told me that a 'anker won the long straw and he and another 3 received the M.I.D." I think Ray would mainly like to know why Kendall was awarded the oak leaf which he believes means "Mentioned in dispatches"  Any info you can find would be greatly appreciated. 

Phil Doidge
on behalf of Ray Baish

Reply 1
Jan. 9, 2015

RE your email of 3rd January 2015 on behalf of Phil Doidge, who has written to you on behalf of Ray Baish,
the son of Kendall Baish, being posted below is the link they should consider using to obtain information
regarding Chief Electrician, Kendall Baish, D/MX 84449 of H.M.S. Consort.

Further, by clicking on the following link: Kendall Baisch.pdf
that will provide you with a page from the London Gazette and at the bottom of the left-hand column Kendall Baish is identified there as having been Mentioned in Dispatches. However there is no mention of how he came to be Mentioned in Dispatches.

Since the time of receiving your email I have phoned several of the Consort's who served on board H.M.S. Consort prior to and during the 1953 commission one in particular being the Petty Officer electrician and according to his information there was no Chief Petty Officer electrician on-board the ship at that time. For the record one of the roles played by H.M.S. Consort, during the Korean War, was escort to US of A, aircraft carriers, however when the aircraft carrier were not at sea, H.M.S. Consort would the be operating with one of the U.S.of A, destroyers in that which was known, (Operation Whitbread).

Operation Whitbread, flowed from intelligence sources that a railway train would be using a coastal route, and as such the destroyers would be lying off shore to nip the trains on the viaduct type bridges that linked the tunnels built into coastline cliff-faces. At no time during H.M.S. Consort's operational role in the Korean War is there any record of ratings from the ship being killed, and there is certainly no record of a rating out with the executive branch having lead a boarding party, R.N. Protocol would never have allowed it.

Willie Leitch, R.N.

Nov. 10, 2014

I'm wondering if you have any info on my grandfather, Terence "Mac" McSweeney, his service number was 843850 and I believe he served on the HMS Consort.

Claire McSweeney

Mar. 26, 2014

I was wondering if you would kindly check the crew list for HMS Amethyst for the Yangtze Incident in 1949
for a crew member - 127701 A. E. WALL, A.B. R.N. Thank you in advance for any help you might be able to provide.

John Jarratt

Reply 1
Mar. 31, 2014

Regret we have no record of the subject in our records, but it doesn't mean he wasn't aboard. I have also checked been in touch with all our members who were involved in the Yangtze Incident and none have any knowledge of the person mentioned. I was in SMN branch at the time of the Yangtze Incident and I definitely have no knowledge of the person in question.

Terry Hodgins

Jan. 22, 2014

My father, CPO Maurice (Jim) Gurney, was Coxswain of HMS Consort and was killed in the wheelhouse during the Yangtze Incident in April 1949. I'm compiling a history of his life and trying to find out any personal information about him. Since I was only five years old when he died and he had been away for most of my life, I know very little about him. Although I have a very full record of his Naval service I need any personal anecdotes or indeed any personal facts. I'm acutely aware that most of the men with whom he served have now sadly died so chances of finding out anything will be slim but I keep trying.

Mike Gurney
Torquay, Devon

Reply 1
Apr. 6, 2014

I am a member of H M S Consort association. Your Dad is well remembered at our reunions. Go to the above association and talk to Terry Hodgins or Bud Flanagan who was wounded badly with both legs amputated above the ankles. He is still Hale and Hearty as are many of your dad's shipmates. We have also published a book. Loyal and Steadfast. Hope I have been some help to you.

Tony Lynch
Consort 1950-52

Dec. 22, 2013

I have been given this site from someone at My father Basil (Bill) Moore served in HMS Consort from 1955-57 (also at HMS Terror during this time).  He was a signalman. I presume he was part of the trip that went to Nagasaki and then later was involved in the Operation Mosaic.  Had a lovely chat with Terry Hodgin of the Consort Assoc. today and may well go to the reunion in March 2014.  Does anyone here know Bill Moore or know anyone else who does?  Terry H. is already contacting those at the Consort Assoc.

Norrette Moore

Oct. 19, 2013

My dad was on the Consort during the Yangtze and Nankin his name was name was RICHARD " DICK" PRESLAND and he passed away in 1986, he never really spoke about his time on the Consort. He also served on HMS FEARLESS where he became a CPO. He spent his last years of his naval career as a lecturer at HMS RALEIGH until 1972. He was survived by his wife Joan and 4 children, of which i'm the youngest.

Ian Presland,
Plymouth, UK

Sept. 4, 2013

My Dad had two brothers, one whose name was "Harry Green". Toward the middle of 1949 he came to visit us where we lived at the time, in Plumstead Common, possibly expecting to see my dad, who was then posted out in Aden. However, Harry came bandaged up, arm in a sling etc; I am of the belief that he was in
the RN! But, looking back, there were no Naval actions at the time, save that of the Yangtze Incident during April. Harry, wasn't on the Amethyst, as her crew list and casualties are well documented, but may have served on one of the other ships that were fired upon, "London", "Black Swan" or "Consort"?

The reason for writing is this. As recorded elsewhere on this website, my Granddad AB William Thomas Clegg, left all his ships cap tallys from the first Great War, to me in his will, including two from HMS Amethyst?
I have never found out how these came to be in his possession? He may have been given them by one of the crew when he took me down to Devonport in November of that year, I can't say. However, if "Harry" was involved in the Yangtze Incident, this may be the connection!

Could he have given them to my Granddad, but then I ask myself if he was involved why Amethyst's tallys and not those of the ship he was on? None of my dad's family are alive, although his other brother "Peter Green", is said to be in Australia, Iv 'e no way of following this up through family.

Does anyone have knowledge of one, "Harry Green" as a casualty associated with ships, other than the Amethyst, that were involved with in the Incident please? This is very much a long shot as "Green" is a common enough name, any information would be appreciated.

Thanks in anticipation,
Robert William Green

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Page published Jan. 22, 2014