HMS Amethyst U-16 / F-116
Message Board
Messages 175 to 199

Nov. 28, 2019

I''m trying to find an audio recording/interview with telegraphist Jack French who was on board the Amethyst during the "Yangste" incident.  I came across it on-line a couple of years ago but I've spent hours looking today and cannot find it. Does anyone have it or help me locate it on line?

(Nov. 30, 2019: This afternoon I found the 4 recordings I wanted after muc searching.)

David Perry
United Kingdom

Nov. 6, 2019

My great-Uncle Matt served on the Amethyst and was featured in the Derby paper upon his return. I just wondered if you had any memories of him, knew him or had any personal pictures that aren't on here maybe? I've attached a picture of him and two of his sisters, Agnes and Margaret. Margaret Being my Grandmother and the only sibling left.

Kind Regards,
Ellie Garton

Oct. 10, 2019

Sadly I am writing to let you know my Dad, Stewart Hett, died peacefully at home
yesterday surrounded by family. Dad was amazing; gardening well into this last
summer and coming downstairs every day up to last Sunday. It was a real treat for
him to meet both his great-grandchildren in recent months too. We will all miss him
very much. We don't have any plans for the funeral yet, but will let you know the
detail as soon as we can. 

Best wishes,
Gilly O'Reilly
Daughter of Lt Cdr K Stewart Hett (Ret.), President of the Amethyst Association

Oct. 15, 2019

Thank you for all your lovely messages, we wanted to let you know the arrangements
for Stewart's funeral. The funeral will take place at 10:30am on Wednesday, 23rd
October 2019 at The West Chapel, Breakspear Crematorium, Breakspear Road, Ruislip,
Middlesex, HA4 7SJ. The family request no flowers. Funeral director; James Peddle
01923 772013. All welcome. We will be providing a light lunch immediately after the
service at Moor Park Golf Club, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, WD3 1QN (Use WD3
1QL for SatNav devices) and invite everyone to join us.

Details of the locations Breakspear Crematorium
Moor Park Golf Club

Best wishes,
Gilly O'Reilly

Reply 1
Oct. 16, 2019

We will all miss Stewart and the great contributions that he made to MaritimeQuest. Stewart
answered every question sent to him without hesitation and provided a lot of material from
his own private archive. He was a great friend to this site and to the Amethyst Association.

Michael W. Pocock

Oct. 4, 2019

My father, Raymond C. McCullough, and Andrew Bannister's father, Samuel Bannister served on board HMS Amethyst during the Yangtze incident 1949. We have been campaigning for the last five years for a memorial display in their and their fellow crew members memory. We are delighted to inform you that on Wednesday 2 October we were invited to HMS Caroline in Belfast where we were able to display a number of our late father's memorabilia which included their medals photographs etc also a detailed model of HMS Amethyst. We were welcomed by Captain John Reece, OBE, project director and we are hoping this will further aid our campaign for a permanent memorial display and hopefully a memorial plaque in their name.

Thanking you,
Raymond McCullough
(Son of the late R. C. McCullough)

Sept. 8, 2019

I am currently including in a film about the Sea Vixen (in which I flew) the story of the service provided by Chinese aboard our ships. During the research and in an effort to indicate that it was not just aircraft carriers that had them aboard, I came across your site, and reference to the Chinese that remained aboard the Amethyst.

You have a good collection of pictures of the crew including the Chinese, but I have not been able to find reference to one rating that I was led to believe was aboard.

When I started as an Artificer Apprentice in Jan 1955, we had a commissioned Gunner at HMS Fisgard, called Gunner Heath. He was understood to have been a veteran of the Yangtze incident. Can you confirm this?

Richard Searles

Reply 1
Sept. 9, 2019

The official Chinese serving on board AMETHYST (Note spelling) in 1949 were:
Leading Stewards But Sai Twin, Yin Tai
Steward Young Fat, Leung Yuk, Ng Ching Hing
Leading Cook Lo Yan
Cooks Chan Kam, Chan Kai

I have no details of the Chinese unofficials. Eric Monaghan was the Ship's Gunner in 1949. Petty Officer David G. Heath, a seaman Petty Officer and the Chiefs Bosuns Mate in April 1949.  He was one of the men evacuated to reduced numbers on board after the ship came under fire. After the Incident he qualified as an Officer and finished up as a Lieutenant Commander. He may have qualified in Gunnery and been Gunner at one stage in his career, so he might have been the Commissioned Gunner Heath at FISHGARD.

Stewart Hett

July 31, 2019

Some of the association attended a very well planned commemoration of the escape at the graveside of Cdr. John iuuuuuu, DSO, RN at a ceremony at St. Peter's Church, Tandridge on the on 21 July. (You can see photos of the ceremony here.) Ray Calcott also attended a commemorative service on 28th July, held by the RNA holding area No 8. How lovely to have a veteran there. Just a reminder to book the Hotel and Gala dinner if you haven't already. If you want a refundable reservation there is an option by booking online at

WHEN: Friday 13th - Sunday 15th September 2019.
WHERE: Crowne Plaza Plymouth, Armada Way, Plymouth PL1 2HJ. Telephone 0871 942 9130
RATE: £127 per room per night bed and breakfast (no discount for single occupancy); twin beds £10 extra. £30 per person for the Gala Meal. The Friday night meal will be in the restaurant from the menu. Parking is £7 per day.
Ring direct to book a reservation 01752639988, mention Amethyst Association.

Trudy will need names and payment for the Gala Dinner asap to 1 Warton Lane, Austrey, Atherstone CV9 3EJ. Phone 01827 830334 & email

Best wishes,
Gilly O'Reilly

June 21, 2019

I am pleased to share details of the RNA Reigate and St. Peter's Church Commemoration of the 70th Anniversary Escape of HMS Amethyst, remembrance of Cdr. Kerans who  is buried in St. Peter's Churchyard, and remembrance of the other members of the ship's complement who contributed to this historic event. They would be happy to share this event with anyone who would like to attend.

Where: St. Peter's Church, Tandridge, Oxted RH8 9NJ
Date: Sunday 21 July 2019 (This date is very close to the actual events in 1949)
Church Service starts at 11:00 followed by a parade at 12:00

Gilly O'Reilly

Apr. 5, 2019

HMS Collingwood are hosting an event to commemorate the 70 th Anniversary of the Yangtze Incident on Thursday 2 nd May 2019 . Places are limited and have been prioritised to veterans and their families of the Four Ships, however we have 6 remaining spaces. Please let me know if you would like to attend by FRIDAY 12 th April 2019 . We can't guarantee everyone will get a place but please reply if you are interested to


On behalf of the Commanding Officer HMS COLLINGWOOD / Captain Maritime Warfare School, you are cordially invited to the


The Navigation Training Unit, HMS COLLINGWOOD, are commemorating the 70 th anniversary of the Yangtze Incident on Thursday 2 May 2019.  The programme for the day is as follows:

1030-1130: Lecture by Mark Grove (Britannia Royal Naval College) on the Yangtze Incident

1145-1215: Remembrance Service in the Church of St George with St Gabriel

1230-1345: Lunch in the Wardroom

1400-1430: Tour of the bridge simulator

We would be honoured to welcome you as our guest for the commemoration. I do hope that you will be able to attend.

Warmest regards,
R. C. "Rob" Vitali
Capt RN

Best wishes,
Gilly on behalf of Lt. Cdr. Stewart Hett (Retired)

Mar. 27, 2019

I remember Lt. Wilkinson when I was at HMS Ganges 1958. What a nice man. He was in charge of the 2nd rugby 15, of which I was a member. We would look forward to away matches when we would board the bus. First stop was a pub. He would buy us all a pint of beer before the match. He knew the landlord, who in turn knew we were only 15 years old. I can't remember ever winning an away game. But we didn't care.

Graham Hamley

Mar. 18, 2019

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Gordon Wright, veteran of the Yangtze Incident. Gordon died on the 11th March 2019 peacefully at Consort nursing home in Plymouth with all his loved ones around him. Gordon and May regularly attended the Amethyst Association reunions. His funeral takes place at 13.15pm on Friday 29th March at Weston Mill crematorium Plymouth. Gordon's son writes 'should any members wish to attend they are more than welcome and dad would be honoured'.

Best wishes,
Gilly O'Reilly
on behalf of Lt. Cdr. Stewart Hett (Retired)

Mar. 18, 2019

I understand that my father was on H.M.S. Amethyst. His name is David Malcolm Lingard. He never speaks about his experiences, but would like to hear from anyone who may remember his name or have any photos of him. He is 90 years old now and it would be lovely to get any information so that we could chat to him about it.

Carol Armstrong

Mar. 11, 2019

My grandfather past yesterday. He served on the HMS Amethyst and I would like to try and get in touch with people that may be still alive that served with him. His name was Gordon Wright. I am not sure how the website works ref contacting people. Or getting any information with regards to his service that may have been forgotten. Therefore I would truly appreciate any help you may be able to offer.

Many thanks,
Vincent Freeman
Grandson of Gordon & May Wright

Mar. 8, 2019

Just prior to HMS Amethyst sailing to the Far East I met Charlie Battams ,unfortunately he was killed whilst laying the No 3 gun (x or y gun , not sure of the RN title ) on target at the Chinese gunners on the banks of the Yangtze River. Charlie told me that he was due to sail to the Far East and was really looking forward to going. For as many years that can remember I have always wanted to build a model of HMS Amethyst in memory of Charlie. At the I am in the process of making a model at1/96th scale, when it is complete I will display it at two model boat shows, Doncaster and Warwick. I have been a member of the Surface Warship Association for quite a few years and I sometimes display my 10inch long (1/350th scale of HMS Amethyst ) at these two shows. So if there is anyone in the Amethyst association that remembers Charlie it would be nice to hear from them.

Mick Astle

Reply 1
Mar. 9, 2019

I served with Charlie Battams in HMS AMETHYST, but I never got to know him personally. I will see if anyone remembers Charlie at our next, and final, Association Reunion in September. There are not many Veterans still alive and our memories have all faded, so I think it unlikely that I will find anyone with memories of Charlie. I am interested in your model making, John Edwards, from Bournemouth is a keen model maker and is a Member of the AMETHYST Association. He has shown us some of his models at our Reunions. Patrick Drake, who lives in Australia and is a cousin of the RAF Doctor who was onboard HMS AMETHYST whilst the ship was trapped in the Yangtze, is also a keen model maker and has sent me DVD's of his models steaming in his local pool.  

Stewart Hett

Jan. 13, 2019

***Notice of the final AMETHYST Association Reunion***

We have a venue and date for the 2019 Amethyst Association Reunion. This will be the 70th anniversary of the Yangtze Incident and sadly this will be the last reunion.

The 2019 reunion will be:
Friday 13th - Sunday 15th September 2019

At the Crowne Plaza Plymouth, Armada Way, Plymouth PL1 2HJ
Rate is £127 per room per night bed and breakfast (no discount for single occupancy); twin beds £10 extra. £30 per person for the Gala Meal. The Friday night meal will be in the restaurant from the menu. Parking is £7 per day.

Trudy will need names and payment by the 31st July 2019 to 1 Warton Lane, Austrey, Atherstone CV9 3EJ. Phone 01827 830334 & email

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Best wishes,
Gilly O'Reilly
on behalf of Lt. Cdr. Stewart Hett (Retired)

Jan. 11, 2019

70th Anniversary of the 1949 Yangtze Incident:

The AMETHYST and LONDON Associations are planning a simple Ceremony at the National Memorial Arboretum on Sunday 28 April 2019 to commemorate the 1949 Incident and to Remember the men who lost their lives in this Incident.

The Ceremony will start at 11 : 00, with a Service in the NMA Chapel at 11 : 30; to be followed by an act of Remembrance at the Yangtze Grove. A table will be arranged for all the AMETHYST people to have lunch.  The LONDON people will return to their Hotel for lunch.

The LONDON Association will be holding their annual Reunion at the Lea Marston Hotel from Friday 26 to Sunday 28 April.  Anyone with links to the Four Ships involved in the Incident (HM Ships AMETHYST, CONSORT, LONDON and BLACK SWAN), are cordially invited to join them at their Gala Dinner on the Evening of Saturday 27 April. 

If you wish to attend the NMA Ceremony with lunch, please contact Gillian O'Reilly by 17th March.

Anyone wishing to Join the LONDON Association Dinner at Lea Marston Hotel please notify Donna Overton by 17th March.

Best wishes,
Gilly O'Reilly
(daughter of Lt. Cdr. K. S. Hett)

Jan. 6, 2019

I was curious to see what information you have on the HMS Amethyst that the website does not provide, and a man named Edward Walker who served during the Yangtze Incident and was my grandfather but unfortunately passed away years ago. Apparently they all earned a medal for serving on the boat and you wouldn't have his but if i knew what i was looking for, i could at least make a start. All of this out of a conversation with my dad and uncle. Any information is much appreciated.

Many thanks,
Ryan Walker

Reply 1
Jan. 9, 2019

There was a Able Seaman Jack Walker on board HMS AMETHYST during the Yangtze Incident, he did not have an initial "E" to his name, so he is not on record as Edward Walker. It is possible that your Grandfather changed his name, or used a nick name. If your Grandfather was Jack Walker he would certainly have been awarded the Yangtze Clasp to the Naval General Service medal. This medal is only awarded once. Subsequent awards are marked by adding the various bars to the medal. Many Amethyst men were awarded the NGS Medal for service in Malaya and would wear the medal with a Malaya clasp. Those involved in the Yangtze Incident would then have received the Yangtze Clasp. If you click the link below, you will see a picture of the Naval General Service Medal Medal with Yangtze Clasp.

(Naval General Service Medal with Yangtze Clasp)

Stewart Hett

Dec. 25, 2018

I am trying to find information on a relative that was killed on the H.M.S. Amethyst. His name was Charles Battams, known as Charlie, and was the cousin of my late mother. She often told me the story of The Yangtze Incident and her last meeting with him before he left for the trip. The only information I have found so far is his service number and his name on the memorial. Would anyone on the website remember him and be able to tell me anything about him that I can add to the family records. Even the smallest detail would be of interest to me.

Kind regards,
David Pearce

Reply 1
Dec. 26, 2018

Charles Battams was an Ordinary Seaman on board HMS AMETHYST and was killed when the ship came under fire from the Chinese Communists Batteries, on 20 April 1949. I was in AMETHYST with Charles, though I did not know him very well. I was with him when his body was committed to the River in a traditional Naval Funeral. I will make some enquiries, but I am afraid it is unlikely that I will be able to find anyone who remembers him now after so many years have passed, and I am afraid us veterans no longer have very good memories.

Charles Battams death is honoured in several places. One a Brass Roll of Honour in the Naval Church in the Royal Naval Barracks in Plymouth. In a Book of Remembrance in the Naval Church in the Royal Naval Base, Portsmouth and on a Brass Plaque in Her Majesties Ambassador's residence in Beijing. I was present when all these Rolls were dedicated. None of these places are easy for you to access, but the best place to see Charles Name recorded is in the Armed Forces Memorial in the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. The Armed Forces Memorial records the names of all military people who have lost their lives during Military Service since WWII. As you go into the Memorial his name is on the inside of the outside wall directly on your left.

Stewart Hett

Dec. 25, 2018

I believe my father may have served on the Amethyst during the the Yangtze Incident, his name is John (Jack) Ashford, he would have been 19 at the time, I'm wondering if anyone can confirm this or has recollections of him?

David Holmberg

Reply 1
Dec. 26, 2018

I served with your Father in HMS AMETHYST. He was an Able Seaman and one of the men who were evacuated from the ship in April 1949 to save valuable lives. He rejoined the ship after she escaped from the Yangtze. During the 70s and 80s he travelled to UK from South Africa to attend some of the Yangtze Association Reunions. And on one occasion he stayed with me at my house. I exchange Christmas cards with him, but in recent years he did not send me a card and I assumed he had passed away.  He told me his sons had moved from RSA to Australia, but he was unable to follow them, I expect it was you.  I would appreciate any news you can send me about your Father.

Best wishes for the New Year,
Stewart Hett

Dec. 22, 2018

I'm trying to find out about my Granny's cousin, John Murphy (Co Tyrone) he served on HMS Amethyst in 1949. I only found out about him when sorting my late Granny's belongings and she had a newspapers cutting from their home town "A hero's welcome" sadly I believe he passed away in 2016. 

Kind regards
Shaun Kelly

Reply 1
Dec. 24, 2018

John Murphy was an Ordfinary Seaman on board HMS AMETHYST duringn the Yangtze Incident and was with me when we escaped in July 1949. There was also a Jeremiah Murphy on board but they were not related. I will have photos of him on board and will look them out in the New Year.

Best wishes for Christmas,
Stewart Hett

Dec. 21, 2018

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Douglas Baker, husband of Joyce. Douglas died on the 10th December 2018. Douglas was a veteran of the Korean war and served on Amethyst between 1951-1953 and regularly attended the association reunions.

His funeral will take place in the New year (date tbc), please contact Gilly for details. Stewart, Trudy, Sally, Gilly and Alan attended the funeral of Maureen Calcott on Wednesday in Coventry and Ray asked me to pass on his thanks to the association for attending and to all those who have sent messages, cards and flowers of condolence.

Best wishes,
Gilly O'Reilly
On behalf of Lt Cdr Stewart Hett (Retired)

Dec. 12, 2018

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Maureen Calcott, wife of Ray Calcott. Maureen died on the 3rd December 2018. Maureen regularly attended the association reunions. Her funeral takes place at Canley Garden cemetery and crematorium, Cannon Hill Road, Coventry, CV4 7DF at 12.15 on the 19th December 2018; followed by a wake to celebrate her life, at the The Coombe Social Club, Brinklow Road, Coventry, CV3 2HY.

Best wishes,
Gilly O'Reilly
On behalf of Lt Cdr Stewart Hett (Retired)

Nov. 11, 2018

I found this photo on your site on the Crew Photos page. The first man James Mcclean is my great grandpa and he served on the HMS Amethyst while going to help Consort at Nanking. He tried to save 'Mick' but he was unable too, he managed to get his body to the sandbanks so that he could be buried at home.

Jordan Mccurdie
Northern Ireland


July 20, 2018

Dear HMS Amethyst Friend,
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Arnold Sampson. Arnold died on the 11th July 2018. Arnold was a Veteran on-board HMS AMETHYST during the 1949 Yangtze Incident and was on-board for the Ship's triumphant return to the UK in the Autumn of 1949. He was a member of the AMETHYST Association and regularly attended the Annual Reunions. Arnold's funeral will take place on the 10th August 2018 in Warrington Church, service at 10:00 am followed by  the crematorium. A celebration of his life will be held in the Tetley Walker's club, everyone welcome.

Here are the details of Arnold Sampson's funeral on the 10th August 2018.
Service at: St. Elphins Church, Church Street, Warrington WA1 2TL at 10:00 a.m. (parking available in the Sainsbury's car park opposite the church).
Cremation at: Walton Lea Crematorium, Chester Road, Warrington WA4 6TB at 11:00 a.m. Refreshments will be served at: Tetleys Club, Long Lane, Warrington WA2 8PU.

Best wishes,
Gilly on behalf of Lt. Cdr. Stewart Hett (Retired)

July 15, 2018

Firstly, thank you for your website. My uncle Teddy is/was Edmund Tattersall (Writer, D/SMX 815173 ) aboard the HMS Amethyst. He was born in 1928 and not quite 21 when he died 20th April 1949 I have some family photos (showing below) that I am sure you would appreciate for your website and I would be more than proud to have them on there also. There is no-one in my family surviving to ask questions to regarding these photos, and I am sure you would be able to obtain more information in regards to the people in them than I can. He was buried at sea, though the photos are of his service There is One photo I am yet to send you, of Edmund's photo with a picture of the HMS Amethyst inset into it, I will have to ask around my siblings for it. The photos are provided by the Tattersall & Melville families If you have any  questions I would be happy to try and answer them if I can Again, thank you for your website, it helps to know that what they went through did not go unnoticed

Janine Melville

I have just now noticed that my brother (Doug Melville) posted to the website back in 2014 (Message #165) he has also uploaded a couple of photos also. I'm very pleased about this, and the reply he received from Stewart Hett was amazing.

Thanks again,
Janine Melville

Writer Edmund Tattersall, late of HMS Amethyst.

Memorial at Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland.

May 6, 2018

This is just to inform you of the death of my Papa Robert Gibson who served on the Amethyst.

Yours sincerely,
Michelle Trow
Reply 1
May 7, 2018

I was so sad to learn that your Father has died. It was very kind of you to let us know through MaritimeQuest. Old Age makes it difficult for me to remember people from years past, but I know your Father was in HMS AMETHYST when she came under fire in the Yangtze in 1949. And I am sure he was onboard for our memorable return to the United Kingdom in the Autumn of that year. He was a Member of the AMETHYST Association for many years. I am sure all Members of our Association will join me in sending you our sincere Sympathy in your great loss.

Stewart Hett

Reply 2
May 7, 2018

It is with Great Sadness that we learn that Robert Gibson has died. Robert served on board HMS AMETHYST as a Stoker Mechanic in April 1949 during the Yangtze Incident. He was a member of the AMETHYST Association.

Gilly O'Reilly

To post a message, comment or reply please email the webmaster.
All replies will be forwarded to the original sender.

Messages 175-199
Page published May 7, 2018