HMS Teazer R-23 / F-23
Message Board

Jan. 14, 2020

I came across the attached press cutting, which may be of interest, whilst having a go at sorting out my late parents' photo albums and scrap books. It details HMS Teazer's world tour in the closing stages of WWII and the ship's involvement in the battle for Japan. The published letter was presumably written by the Commander on 17 September 1945.

My father (Joe Baines) served on HMS Teazer as a young Able Seaman during this operation against Japan. Sadly he passed away at an early age and I never had the opportunity to have an adult chat with him about his service. If I come across any documents or photos of the ship or its crew would they be of interest to you?

Joe Baines


Nov. 4, 2017

I was just looking at message board relating to Teazer. Coincidentally, I served on Teazer around '59-'60. (Capt. F, 2nd Frigate Squadron, Portland.) I well remember the Bulldog Breed and Petticoat Pirates with Norman Wisdom and then Charlie Drake! I was LM(E) 'Alf' Larking and then left for Sultan for advancement course. The killick of our mess was Alan Mulholland who left at same time for Engineer Officer's Course. He married my sister's friend and left the service later as a Lt. Commander (E)!  We were watchkeepers together on the 'donkey boiler' whilst refitting in Chatham. An enjoyable time. I left Sultan for the Striker, Amphibious Warfare Squadron Africa/Gulf where I picked up my second hook and subsequently returned as instructor to Caledonia. I am now nearing 79 and in good health, living on the East Coast and still have a Colvic Watson Motorsailer! Kind regards to anyone who picks up on this and remembers me.

Patrick (Alf) Larking

Sept. 14, 2015

I have been researching my ships binnacle for years and this ship is the closest i've come. I was wondering if anyone could confirm if its from her? The name plate says "Aft Steering, fig 23, Heath and Co., London SE9."

Thank you,
Eric Maki

Oct. 9, 2014

My father, Alfred (Alfie) Victor Wilde, who served aboard the HMS Teazer during WWII passed away a year ago last June 30th. He was an avid supporter of the RNA and a member. Anything that can be told or supplied on my father's war time service would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you and kindest regards,
David Wilde
Sergeant First Class
U.S. Army ret.

June 16, 2014

In the RNVR as an O/D in the university contingent one year, my fortnights annual training was spent on on Teazer on the river Orwell filming The Yangtze Incident taking the parts of several ships. We steamed up the Orwell at high water the cameras and Chinese guns were on the saltings. Nobody thought it through, at speed we dragged a massive wash behind us which flooded the saltings washing most of the sets away.

I was loader on the 4 inch gun. It was the layer and trainers birthday so he had been treated to sippers and gulpers by his mess mates, if you see the film he trained the gun as far aft as possible to blast the bridge.
One side of the ship was cosmetically damaged with painted shell holes and smoke damage. At the end of filming we sailed for Dundee. When we entered port and came alongside with damaged side the quay we created a sensation. Next day the end of my fortnight. In the original film I took various roles, but gradually as it was cut
and cut for TV I became invisible.

Ian Campbell

Mar. 22, 2014

I have been trying to gain information about Able Seaman John Thorburn Bennett JX564694 who passed away a number of years ago.On behalf of his family in Perth Australia I'm looking for anyone who may have known John. Before his death he recounted many events during his service aboard Teazer in 1943. Any info would be much appreciated as i'm about to send his Military records to his family in Perth.

Bob Armstrong

Mar. 25, 2013

It has been interesting reading about Teazer - I was an RO3 'Sparker' in the wireless office along with RO3 John Wellings and LRO 'Taff 'Magor in 1958. We also had a very efficient 'Pots' whose name escapes me at the moment. The 'skipper' at this time was Commander S. R. Sandford RN. The photo below of the ship at around 38 knots off Arran was taken by the 'Jimmy' from a buoy which bobbed about so much as to nearly dislodge him.

As a 'Sparks' when the ship was in port we were responsible to hoist the 'prep' flag for 'colours'. On one hot summers eve I was reading a novel in the wireless office and forgot!  Such disgrace had me up before the duty officer when I was detailed to clean and make shipshape the new  inspection portholes in the bilges at the stern over the props. This was where the 'boffins' strobed  these experimental 5-bladed screws and checked them for quiet running.

Whilst onboard we did 2 trips around Scotland in glorious weather, Lt. Harland navigating  through the islands!!!  A number of the crew were put ashore to carry out an exercise in Loch Goil - I was designated 'sparks' with a ship-to-shore radio which failed to work. We did the exercise with 'Bunts' communicating.

Another 'episode' was when the ship 'parked up' at South Queensferry as we were Capt'D' of the RNVR Minesweepers and had a 'bash' in Edinburgh.  We had to get a ships band together to compete with all the 'Sweepers' in a large hall in the centre of Edinburgh. I could get one or two chords on my guitar, and a small group of us could just about create a noise!  When our turn came to take the stage the lights and amp conveniently failed, so the ships wag told jokes with antics, the long and the short of the contest was that Teazer won!!! We also paid a courtesy visit to Odense and Copenhagen through the Kiel canal. I recall two visits to the Carslberg factory, but not a lor else apart from  the free silver and gold top lager!

When I first joined the ship at Devonport we were to escort the carrier HMS Eagle at Torquay, but en route the ammunition locker flooded and we had to hightail it back to Plymouth and de-ammunition prior to repairs in dry dock.  Wellings and I then went on the RO2s course and were most likely the most rapidly promoted ratings from RO3 to 2 in the RN at the time!

The photo below with the helicopter was when a crew member had to be rushed off to Manchester as his wife was having a difficult birth - all the stantions were removed on the quarter deck yet despite the helicopter lifting fast he got a ducking in the tremendous sea in the Bay of Biscay. We saw the 'France' &' Mary' show most of their keels. During a NATO exercise in this diabolical weather our 'stokers' mess stove in and had to be shored up, resulting in our withdrawal from the purgatory, when we steamed to Portland........

I'll remember more later - courtesy visit to Hull etc.  Don't think I've contravened any official secrets.

Ted Gibbs

June 30, 2012

I was just searching old ships and came across HMS Teazer a ship I served on from June 1960 until October 1961 when she was paid off in Portsmouth. In particular the stories Michael Barclay and Colin Goodwin concerning the Film Bulldog Breed with Norman Wisdom. I was on board at that time also was in another film Petticoat Pirates with Charlie Drake. I have attached a photo of me at Navy Days in Weymouth. someone might just remember me I was a EM1 on board.

Yours Aye,
Dave Howlett


Nov. 18, 2011

My grandfather served on Teazer in World War II, sadly he died in 1963. I just wonder if any one may have known him, he was from Port Denorwic, just outside Bangor, North Wales.

Kind regards,
John Jones

June 9, 2011

I served as an electrical mechanic on HMS Teazer from 1944 to 1946. The photo of HMS Teazer shown on Page 1 of Jack Riley's Memoirs was taken at Madelena on the island of Sardinia in August 1945 at the time of the landings in the south of France. I would be pleased to hear of any other surviving crew members from that time.

I joined the Teazer in Malta on August 4th 1944 after travelling from the U.K. on  the troopship Orontes. I have memories of the Allied landings in the South of France and operations in the Aegean Sea clearing the Islands of German troops including steaming through the Gulf of Athens, which had been heavily mined by the Germans to the Port of Piraeus.

Teazer returned to Plymouth in November 1944 for a refit. Following the refit Teazer sailed for the Far East to join the British Pacific Fleet where she acted as a crash boat for the aircraft carrier Indefatigable ending up in Tokyo Bay in August 1945 at the time of the Japanese Surrender ceremony. A vivid memory of that time was of the fleet being caught in a massive Typhoon resulting in our engine room ventilation fans being drenched with water and stopping. C.P.O. Frank Killbery electrical artificer (ERA 2/c Sydney Frank Killbery D/M 49226) and myself were working out what to do when a big wave engulfed the ship and Frank was washed overboard never to be seen again. With the help of an L.T.O. whose name escapes me, we were able to restart the fans.  

Following the Tokyo ceremony Teazer sailed for Sydney, Australia for repairs in drydock, and shore leave for the crew. It was during this time in Sydney that I met my wife Pauline who was later to become my wife. After several months on the China Station, Teazer returned to Plymouth for decommissioning and my naval service ended on 9th september 1946.

I returned to Australia in 1955, Pauline and I married and enjoyed 55 happy years together. Whilst perusing the magazine This England June 2010 edition, there was a photograph of H M S Teazer which had been used as the model for H M S Amethyst in the film Yangtze incident. Sadly Pauline passed away in July 2010 and so Teazer has a very special place in my memory, bringing Pauline and me together in 1945 and that photo appearing 65 years later in 2010 at the end of our lives together.

Bob Owen,
Trafalgar, Victoria, Australia

July 24, 2011
(Addition to message 12)

My experience covered service in the Mediterranean and the Pacific, two significantly different theatres of war.
In the Mediterranean we were never far from the bases in Gibraltar, Malta or Alexandria, which meant that re-fueling, re-provisioning, shore leave and mail were well catered for. The Pacific was quite different with the fleet operating off the Japanese coast some 2500 miles from the main base at Manus Island north of New Guinea. We stayed at sea for long periods of time, Teazer recorded 62 days.  All of our needs were provided by a convoy of ships known as the 'Fleet Train' which came up from Manus Island and we re-fueled and re-provisioned at sea.  No shore leave here.

When I joined the 'Teazer' in 1944 as an Electrical Mechanic 5th class, equivalent to leading hand rating, I was accommodated in the seamen's mess, there being no electrical section as such in those days.  My boss was the Electrical Artificer who in turn reported to a Warranted Officer with the title of 'Torpedo Gunner's Mate'.  
The mess housed 18 men and consisted of a long table with bench seats on each side with just enough room for the 18 when all seated.  There was some limited locker space under one side of the seating, otherwise our personal belongings were kept in a kit bag.  We slept in hammocks which had to be slung each day and lashed up and stowed when not in use.

When I was reclassified as Electrical Mechanic 4th class I moved into the Petty Officers' Mess located under the 'B' 4.7 inch gun mounting with the shell hoist going through the mess.  The P.O's Mess provided more personal space and the choice of sleeping in a hammock or on a camp bed, depending on weather conditions. Regarding facilities, the toilets were adequate, consisting of open fronted cubicles.  One cubicle had a door and was known as 'Rose Cottage' and was reserved for those who had contracted certain diseases. Showering was in a communal facility using sea water.  Fresh water was always restricted in its use as it was required for the ship's boilers and limited domestic use.

Ventilating fans circulated air to mess decks and other parts of the ship but as they only circulated air at ambient temperature it was not very effective in really hot or cold conditions. Because of the proximity of the ship to naval bases in the Mediterranean food generally was of good quality and I don't recall any real problems.  The situation in the Pacific was very different, the 'Fleet Train' didn't bring fresh food, most of it was dehydrated and not very palatable, however, we survived so the diet must have been adequate.

The highlight of each day was the Bosun's Mate's call of 'Up Spirits' which heralded the daily rum ration which in turn made the midday meal more appetising. The ship had a 'NAAFI' kiosk where we could buy chocolates, writing materials, cigarettes and other such things as long as stocks lasted. For entertainment we played cards, read books and had a 16mm movie projector which was used when operational requirements permitted.  Film libraries were located in the main naval ports and when at sea for long periods we exchanged films with other ships.

Overall life on a World War Two Destroyer was quite spartan, but the crew had a great spirit of comradeship.  I remember my service on the 'Teazer' with pleasure and I value the lessons in life that I learned during that service.

Bob Owen

Apr. 25, 2011

On the matter of the ship's bell from HMS Teazer, the earlier post (Message #6) from April 3 2009 from Ian Storer correctly states that the bell is now situated inside MacClesfield Town Hall. The background is as follows: The people of the market town of MacClesfield in Cheshire in common with people in other towns gave enthusiastic support during the Second World War to a series of National Savings fund raising campaigns such as "Salute a Soldier", "Spitfire Week" "Wings Week" and "Warship Week" to support the war effort. The month of March 1942 saw the inauguration of Warship Week. On reaching their target for fund raising the inhabitants of MacClesfield were qualified to "adopt" a ship - the destroyer HMS Teazer.

There is a photo from my father Jack Riley's Collection showing him and his shipmates from HMS Teazer on a visit to MacClesfield in December 1944. On 17 December 1965 following the scrapping of HMS Teazer the Royal Navy presented the ship's bell to the Borough of MacClesfield in memory of the close association between the ship and the people of the town. On a recent visit to MacClesfield I took a series of pictures of the bell and bell display.

Derek Riley

The ship's bell.

Derek Riley seen next to the HMS Teazer ship's bell display.

Jan. 22, 2011

I made a casual search about HMS Teazer recently and found your site; the reason is because I have the original ship's bell which has been in my possession since the 1960's. The bell carries the name 'Teazer' without 'HMS' which I understand was normal practice for wartime builds. It's history after removal from the ship is as follows; at some point in the early 1950's it became the fire bell at the Depot of the Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces at Maida Barracks in Aldershot. It hung from a tripod outside of the guardroom and in those days it gleamed! My first encounter with it was as a recruit on guard duty.

Later, the Regimental Depot moved from Maida to a modern barracks with an electrical alarm system. The Provost Sergeant at the time was not an advocate of unnecessary 'bull' and the bell was hidden away in the back of a store cupboard. I was posted to the depot Regimental Provost staff in 1967 and succeeded in 'acquiring' the bell, by then long forgotten (I should explain that parachute soldiers in those days were 'taught' to acquire things as a matter of principle - never from their mates, of course). It has decorated successive homes ever since and moved with me to SW Turkey 14 years ago.

Alan Fenn
Okcular, Mugla, Turkey


Dec. 7, 2010

I have just  discovered the pictures of HMS Teazer and the attached messages. I was serving on Teazer as a signalman during 1958. The picture of Teazer at speed was according to my print was taken off Arran on 19 July 1958, not Gareloch. Teazer during her visit to London was moored in the upper pool in 1958, which is downstream of Tower Bridge and opposite the current location of HMS President, London RNVR headquarters. The tender used to ferry libertymen to Tower pier next to the Tower of London. Some of us had a great run ashore as guests of the RMVR at White City during the visit. Teazer also did noise and speed trials in Loch Goil, experimenting with five bladed props during 1958.

John "Bunts" Westerman

Reply 1
Dec. 13, 2010

I hesitate to enter the arena again in the matter of HMS TEAZER and where she was or wasn't (and perhaps more importantly - when ). Some clarification. The Pool of London is that navigable part of the River Thames accessible by cargo carrying ships downstream from London Bridge past Tower Bridge to the riverside at Rotherhithe a few miles downstream from Tower Bridge. The area between London Bridge and Tower Bridge is the Upper Pool on the north side is the Tower of London, the old Billingsgate fishmarket and the Custom House at which inbound vessels were required to report for cargo inspection and dues. 

On the South side were many warehouses and wharves (including the famous Hays Wharf adjacent to where HMS BELFAST is currently moored - and a forest of cranes. The river downstream from Tower Bridge is the Lower Pool. It is not possible to see any bridges downstream from Tower Bridge. 'My' picture of TEAZER broadside on with Hays Wharf clearly visible behind was taken from the riverside walk of the Tower of London and is thus in the Upper Pool. My 'other 'picture of TEAZER was taken on the same occasion but from Tower Bridge looking upstream towards London Bridge.  

With the forest of cranes on the south (ie left hand) side it is evident that confusion is caused by the picture being posted ass about face (photo has now been fixed). Undoubtedly my fault through either having submitted a cockeyed print or sending a negative without defining front from back. The picture on the messages page shows Tower Bridge with the bascules being lowered - as if just after a vessel had passed through proceeding downstream from the Upper Pool. If those that were there say that in 1958 visit TEAZER was moored downstream of Tower Bridge then my pictures were NOT taken on that occasion. Best wishes to all ancient mariners for a rare old time at Christmas and the New Year.

Yours aye,
Robert Edmonds

Jan. 4, 2010

My father Jack Riley served on her as a leading torpedo man during the war. I have a picture of her taken during the war and a group photo including my father and his shipmates taken on 21 December 1944 on a visit by the HMS Teazer party to Brocklehurst Whiston Amalgamated Ltd Hurdsfield Mills Macclesfield. I also have a number of small Kodak Brownie photos of various ships activities taken during the war including the capture of a U Boat captain and U Boat survivors being landed in Palermo Sicily with these photos is a small photo of HMS Tyrian. Another small photo of submarines has a caption on the back which reads " Some of our subs at Malta" another photo with HMS Tyrian in the distance is headed "Line Ahead" Tyrian ahead of us on our way to bombard Vela Luki. If you are interest I may be able to scan the photo and send you copies of them.
(Jack Riley Collection)

All the best,
Derek Riley

Dec. 22, 2009

I served for a short time on HMS TEAZER when the film the Bulldog Breed was made. Remember Norman Wisdom well. I have a photo of him (see page 2 HMS Teazer Photo Gallery) onboard during that time at Portland where the film was made.

Colin Goodwin
(Junior Telegraphist - RO2(G)
1958 - 1969 P/J980514

Apr. 3, 2009

The bell from HMS Teazer now adorns the inside of MacClesfield Town Hall as the ship was adopted by locals during its war service.

Ian Storer

Dec. 28, 2008

I wonder if any of your members could help me? My father served on the Teazer his first ship in the late fifties, he was a stoker. His name was Derrek Alderton, his nick name was Dig or Digger any one have any memories
of him?

Kelvin Alderton

Nov. 2, 2008

As a Sea Cadet in 1950s  (TS Queenborough - Lytham Cadets) A friend and I went on a seamanship course on HMS Teazer. We sailed out into the Bay of Biscay, it was rough. Sick for 2 days, but in the end we had a great time. We ended up in Gibraltar for 3 days FANTASTIC.

Regards EX Cadet,
Dave Appleton

June 24, 2008

I enjoyed the photo's of the Teazer, she was my first "proper" ship. I joined her at the start of 1958 having served on the Ocean for a few months as a junior Seaman. I remember the trip to the pool of London, and certainly the trials with the "props" up in Scotland. Do you remember our Christmas Card drawn by Taff one of our chefs? I still have my photo's of Teazer doing her speed trials and of course the Christmas card I sent home to Mum. (been in 12 months and never had a Christmas at home)!!!!! I found her a very happy ship and have a lot of good memories.

Bob "Harry" Harrison

Feb. 8, 2008

HMS Teazer features well on this site, she was my first draft as a junior stoker in 1958 and I have only been in touch with two other "incumbents" from that time. Both recall the filming of "THE BULLDOG BREED" at around that period, so do I. Their memories for detail of events are much clearer than mine. I am nearing completion of a 1:72 scale radio control model of Teazer in her WWII configuration, and I attach a copy for your attention.

Michael Barclay

Sept. 30, 2007

I have a shot of HMS Teazer doing speed trials on the Gareloch in Scotland - wondered if you would be interested in having it on the site.  I was in the RNR and did a fortnight on Teazer as part of my training in October 1958.  We sailed from Devonport to London, anchoring just below Tower bridge for a few days.  I wonder if your shot of Teazer in the Thames was taken at that time?  We went from London through the channel, up the Irish sea and into Greenock where a number of boffins came aboard to observe and measure the performance of new propellers being tried on Teazer.  I never saw the trials as my training ended in Greenock.  I'm not sure how I came by the photo - must have bought it from shops on Teazer I guess.  Please let me know what you think.

Cyril Latimer

Oct. 4, 2007

Replying to the Prof's message of 30 Sept about Teazer and its visit to London. Whilst I cannot be absolutely sure there is a 90% likelihood that the Edmonds Teazer photo was taken in 1958. It fits in with my movements and records of similar pictures at the time. The Prof says that he was moored below Tower Bridge. In fact the picture shows the warship moored off Hays Wharf which is opposite the Tower of London and almost exactly where Belfast is currently moored, ie: upstream from Tower Bridge. So it depends upon memory. At that time it was customary for warships visiting to moor in the Pool of London but I wouldn't care to hazard money on the matter.

Robert Edmonds

Re: Reply: Thanks Michael and Bob for following up on my query
Oct. 8, 2007

I have now been in touch with an old friend (Ed MacNeill RNR) who was also on Teazer back in 1958. He has visited HMS Belfast and doesn't think that mooring is where Teazer was during our visit - but he is not sure. However, he has sent me a shot of Tower Bridge (below) taken from Teazer's quarterdeck during our stay. He also suspects that the small approaching craft may be the tender that ferried crew back and forth from Teazer. I attach the photo.


Tower Bridge.

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