HMS Amethyst U-16 / F-116
Message Board
Messages 26 to 50

Apr. 14, 2010

I am the son of Robert John Hutcheon. At the time of the Yangtze Incident he would have been 20 years old. I know when he left the navy he was a petty officer. As far as I am aware he did serve on HMS Amethyst but I am unsure if this was during or if he was part of the crew that took her home. Any information would be appreciated. I have found out the he was a member of HMS Jamaica association.

Many thanks,
Iain Hutcheon

Apr. 18, 2010
Reply 1

I served onboard HMS AMETHYST in 1949. Your father was not onboard in April 1949, but it is possible that he was loaned to the ship for the return to UK in September 1949. The only lists I have are of those onboard in April 1949, and those who were onboard during the Korean War. HMS JAMAICA met AMETHYST when she was on the way back to Hong Kong, after escaping, in Aug 1949. As far as I can remember the only people loaned to AMETHYST to help her steam back to HONG KONG, came from HMS CONCORD. Some men from JAMAICA came onboard to help repair a leak that started up by rough weather, but I do not think any of them remained onboard. We had a Hutchinson onboard, but I don't expect your Father changed his name!!

Best wishes,
Stewart Hett

Apr. 12, 2010

My uncle Dennis Griffiths was an ordinary seaman onboard HMS Amethyst. Did anyone know him? Can you tell me about him? My uncle and my dad have told me about him but just wondered if anyone out there knew him
too. Many thanks for your help!

Wendy Salisbury

Reply 1
Apr. 13, 2010

I served onboard HMS AMETHYST with your Uncle Dennis, and I was there when he was killed. He was a staunch and brave Member of the ship's company. I presume the Uncle you mention is Brian. Brian is a great member of the AMETHYST Association and we meet regularly at the Association Reunions, though he is now in poor health.

I expect that Brian will have told you that Dennis' name is Remembered in the Memorial in St Nicholas Church, Plymouth, in the Ambassadors Residence in Beijing and of course on the Armed Forces Memorial at the Arboretum in Staffordshire. We always Remember the men who lost their lives on the Yangtze in 1949 at the Service at the end of our Annual Reunions.

Stewart Hett

Mar. 25, 2010

I am hoping someone can confirm my Great Uncle Harry Williams was on the HMS Amethyst. I have had a look and some of the "Crew Photos" and there are two group photos that I think he may be in. At least the man resembles him. He never spoke of his experience in the Navy......he would only say that he lost a lot of great friends.

I only met my Uncle a couple of times when I was a little girl, and my memories of him are few, but I do remember him as a nice, affectionate man. I would love to hear from anyone who may have known him, and can share some stories with me.

Ann Francis Garrett
Ontario, Canada

Reply 1
Apr. 1, 2010

I served onboard HMS AMETHYST in 1949. We had three Williams on board, Albert Williams, who was onboard whilst we were trapped in the Yangtze River, a C. Williams, who lost both feet in the Incident, he became a publican in Wales, and a W. T. J. Williams. None of them appear to be a "Harry", but people do use different names to there given names. There were also 2 Williams' who served on board during the Korean War neither have an initial "H". I do not have names of those who served in the ship before 1949. If your uncle was Albert, I will have some pictures of him. Also the other Williams' will appear in some of the pictures, but I would not be able to pick him out.

Stewart Hett

Mar. 3, 2010

My husbands father served on the Amethyst and was injured during the troubles on the Yangtze in 1949 his name was Arthur Baker Crighton originally from Aberdeen if anyone has any information or photos of him I would be very grateful

Many thanks,
Les and Julie Crighton

Reply 1
Mar. 6, 2010

I served with you Father in Law onboard HMS AMETHYST in 1949. As you say he was wounded and landed from the ship in April 49. I am afraid I do not have details of his wounds. He may have been treated in the hospital in Hong Kong and would have rejoined AMETHYST after her escape in August 1949. If his wounds were more serious he may have returned to the UK and perhaps rejoined the ship when she reached Plymouth in Nov 49. I remember his name but I cannot put a face to him. I have lots of photographs of AMETHYST's return to UK and marching through the streets of Gibraltar, Plymouth and London. His picture may be on some of these, but I am afraid I cannot spot him. I do not think he joined the AMETHYST Association, so I do not think I would have seen him since1949.

Best wishes,
Stewart Hett

Feb. 2, 2010

It is with deep regret that we have to announce the death of Alfred (Fred) Broughton, Who Crossed the Bar 1-2-10 Fred was a wartime A/B and served on board Amethyst 1944/45.

Charlie Chivers
HMS Amethyst Association

Jan. 19, 2010

Does anyone remember Mervyn Howells from Llanelly? I think in Wales, he was serving on the HMS AMETHYST in the beginning of 1944 and was probably a teenager when it was stationed in Ardrossan Ayrshire. Could you please check the crew list to see if he was still on board during the Yangtse Incident.

Thank you,
Sharon McLaughlin

Reply 1
Jan. 20, 2010

There was a Brynley Howell onboard HMS AMETHYST during the 1949 Yangtze Incident. He was a Stores Assistant, but he was a First Aider and worked with the doctor whilst the ship was trapped in the River. There was no other Howell onboard in 1949.  If Mervyn Howells was onboard in 1944, he would almost certainly have left the ship before 1949. Some Members of the AMETHYYST Association from 1944 might remember him and I will get back to you if anyone knows him.

Stewart Hett

Jan. 11, 2010

I am writing a picture book about Simon the cat on the Amethyst. The illustrator of the book needs some pictures to use as samples for his drawing. Could you advise me if I would be able to use pictures from your site. Also can you provide additional references and sites for more information on Simon. I am making the book as accurate as possible even though it is intended to be the first of my series of cat serving on ships. If you have an expert who know Simon's story in great length I would appreciate them reading it over to verify events and or to add some tidbits.

Joan Elias

Jan. 12, 2010

Regretfully we have to announce that William (Bill) Crocker Crossed the Bar, 10-1-10. Bill served on Amethyst during the Yangtze Incident. RIP

Charlie Chivers,
Amethyst Association

Jan. 6, 2010

The reason for my letter is that, two years ago I was visiting my cousin at Kinross, Scotland, whom I had not seen in forty years, and during conversation he informed me that my uncle John Stewart Mailer served in the Royal Navy, as a cook, and was a member of the crew, on either  HMS AMETHYST or the HMS CONSORT, when they were attacked during the Yangtze incident.

Would you be able to confirm or deny this for me, and please if you have any other information about him I would be more than grateful, as my father was sent to Australia in 1927 and never saw his family again. His brother John Stewart was en route to Australia in approximately 1950-53, however at the last moment the ship was sent to another destination and they never got to see each other again. My father passed away in 1991, and I am trying to tie up loose ends on family history, thank you very much.

Yours sincerely,
Stewart Mailer

Reply 1
Jan. 11, 2010

I served in HMS AMETHYST in 1948/49 and I have checked my records and it does not appear that your Uncle served in HMS AMETHYST. I have passed your message to the CONSORT Association and maybe they will be able to check if he served in HMS CONSORT.

I believe one of the Museums in Sydney has a small section on the 1949 Yangtze Incident. I have never visited that museum, but I think it is on the North side of the bridge. Some years ago I exchanged letters with them offering any help they needed concerning the Incident.

Sincerely Stewart Hett

Jan. 2, 2010

I have just found your site and was very moved to find details of my father, Derek Arthur Cook, who served on the Amethyst. I have been trying to find out more about his life in the RN and would welcome any details that anyone is able to supply.

With thanks kind regards,
Alison Gomm
Surrey, England

Reply 1
Jan. 4, 2010

I served on board HMS AMETHYST with your Father Derek Cook. I can tell you a lot about the ship, but I do not have any particular stories about your Father. I will see if I can contact a shipmate who worked with your Father.  He does not use the Internet, so I need your address so that he can contact you.

Stewart Hett

Dec. 29, 2009

My late Father WILLIAM MANSELL served on the  HMS AMETHYST he was born in 1926 and was about 17 when he enlisted how do I go about finding my Dads  service number number? Dad died several years ago but I would love to be able to obtain his services medal for his grandchildren. I do have old photos of him with colleagues off the ship and am wondering if anyone out there has any photos that include him.

Thank you so much for any help you can give me,
Jane Cottam

Reply 1
Jan. 14, 2010

My father was born in 1925 and was 17 when he joined the Amethyst, could you please inform Jane Cottam reference the post below and let her have my email as I have a photo of my dad and his mates on the ship, maybe Jane's dad could be on the photo who knows. Also my mum got my dads medals only a few years ago and I may be able to help. My dad also died a few years ago but would love to help if I can.

Kind regards,
John Smith

Dec. 9, 2009

I'm the granddaughter of Jack Day who unfortunately isn't with us anymore, would like to know more information of he's role on the ship. Any information would be greatly appreciated thank you.

Thank you,

Reply 1
Dec. 12, 2009

I served onboard AMETHYST with your Grandfather Jack Day and have met him regularly at our annual Reunions and also at his home. I was at his funeral, and maybe I saw you there. Jack had a wonderful collection of memorabilia in his front parlour, and I am sure you will have read and seen the story of AMETHYST.

Do let me know if there is anything in particular you would like me to tell you about the Incident. If you would like to see my scrapbooks about the Incident, I am sure we can arrange a time if you still live in the area.

Stewart Hett

Nov. 10, 2009

My late Father was Gordon Walter Smith born April 1925 he served on HMS Amethyst during the war approx 1942-1945. It would be nice if anyone out there knew him. My son Michael now serves in the RN on HMS #######, his grandad would of been very proud of him, my other son is in the Parachute regiment. Dad was in the Amethyst Association, he loved the letters and was proud to wear his Amethyst jumper and blazer badge. Let's not forget all serving and veterans Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen who have done so much for our Country past and present.

John Smith,
Leicester, England

Nov. 4, 2009

I have recently come across your website for the Amethyst and spotted a photograph of Ordinary Seaman Reginald J. Wright taken when the ship was aground on Rose Island. The story is that "Jackie" Wright, as he was known to my family, was the son of a friend of my grandmother Brigid Harris. His mother died when he was very young and his father was incapable of looking after him, so my grandmother took him in and brought him up as her own with her children. As soon as he was old enough to work, his father demanded him back, so Jackie returned to his father and joined the Navy as soon as he was able. The family story was this was his first ship and that he was only 21 when he died. The family were very upset when they heard the news. Do you know how he died as that information was never discussed by the family. I see he must have survived the first attack from the photograph? I would appreciate any information you could give me.

Best regards,
Chris Tucker

Nov. 6, 2009
Reply 1

The picture in Maritimequest showing Ord Sea Wright was taken by me, whilst HMS AMETHYST was trapped in the Yangtze. The person named is Gordon Wright, who is a Member of the AMETHYST Association and lives in Plymouth. I saw him at our Reunion last September.

Reginald Wright was killed when AMETHYST came under fire on 20 April 1949. We were at Action Stations and Reginald Wright was part of the Wheelhouse Crew. The first salvoes from the Chinese Guns to hit the ship, hit the bridge, the wheelhouse and the Low Power Room in quick succession. Most of the people on the bridge were killed or wounded, the Coxswain who was on the wheel was severely wounded and Reginald Wright was mortally wounded. 

The Doctor was able to staunch his wounds but they were too severe to save his life. Reginald Wright died a few hours later. He was not in pain and his shipmates were with him, he was able to give his mates some messages for his family. He was Buried at Sea in the Yangtze River the Burial Service was in accordance with the standard Naval Arrangement.

Stewart Hett

Oct. 31, 2009

Today as I read my local daily paper I saw a small photo of my father Sidney Horton on the dock at Devonport in Plymouth when HMS Amethyst came home.. being greeted by his family. It was a lovely Dad died almost 15 years ago so it was so special to see him in such a random way. With all the history of The Yangtze Incident my Father never talked of his experiences to me well only one actually and that was when the ship had been hit and he had to crawl out onto the decks to bring in the casualties ..he said it was very scary...he did mention 'crawling through white dust' which was asbestos.. which many years later killed him....It was a horrible way to lose someone so very special.

My sister and I miss him dreadfully. On looking through your wonderful website I found a couple more photos of my Dad looking incredibly young ...really thank you for that. Your website is brilliant.

Many thanks again,
Marie Carder (Horton)

Oct. 16, 2009

Following my Mum's death this year, I have found papers suggesting that my Dad Bernard Grazier was on board the Yangtze during its famous struggle, my Mum refers to him being deeply affected upon his return, they parted in the early 60's I lost contact at that point, but there is a photo that appears to be him, is there any way I could find out more, i.e. what he did in the navy, my 11 year old son is as curious as me.

Peter Grazier

Reply 1
Oct. 16, 2009

I served onboard HMS AMETHYST during 1949, with your Father. I have some photographs taken onboard, whilst we were trapped in the Yangtze River, which show your Father, but it is not a very clear picture of him. The pictures are of groups of around 30 or 40 people. I have other pictures taken onboard which show various people but I cannot now put names to the people shown.

I have two large scrapbooks of cuttings about the Incident, and I daresay you know that there is film about the Incident and several books. I would be pleased to let you and your son look at some of my photos etc if you live near me in London. I cannot help you about the rest of your father's Naval career, though there are means of obtaining information about his Naval Service. I hope this is some help.
Stewart Hett

Oct. 16, 2009

I am inquiring about a gentleman I met some many years ago who was on the Amethyst and would like to know if he is on the crew list during the incident, having sailed the Yangtze myself in 2000,  I would be most interested to know if I was following in his footsteps. His name was Rodney Beaumont and I believe he was an NCO. I do know he is deceased.

Leah Doyle

Reply 1
Oct. 20, 2009

I served onboard HMS AMETHYST in 1949.  Rodney Beaumont does not appear in the list of names I hold of peole who served in the ship since 1949.  He may have served onboard AMETHYST before 1949.  If I come across anyone who remembers him, I will put them in touch with you.  I am sorry I cannot be of more help.

Stewart Hett

Oct. 7, 2009

Attention all members of the Black Swan Association. If the Black Swan Association has to close down, it's members can if they wish, join the Amethyst Association. Point of contact is Trudy Sampson, The Secretary Amethyst Association. Tel 01827 830334 or E-Mail .

Charlie Chivers,
HMS Amethyst Association

Oct. 7, 2009

My father served on HMS Amethyst and despite never discussing with his daughters the dreadful things he saw during his time in the navy, I do believe he was on board during the Yangtze incident. His name was (he passed away several years ago) Reginald Percy Kingswood, nicknamed Bubbles. Does anyone remember him or indeed have a picture of him? I would be very grateful for any help.

Kind regards,
Tina McNab nee Kingswood

Reply 1
Oct. 16, 2009

I served onboard HMS AMETHYST in 1948/49 I am afraid your Father's name does not appear in the list I have of people onboard in 1949 and during the Korean War. If your father served during World War 2, he may have served in AMETHYST before 1949. The AMETHYST Association has members who might remember your father and I will put your father's details in the Association Newsletter in case anyone can give you some stories about him.

Best wishes,
Stewart Hett

Sept. 30, 2009

I just today learned about Able Seacat (AC) Simon, DM, RN. As a US Navy veteran, conflict survivor and animal lover, I'm not only impressed at SIMON's service, but very humbled as well --  That a cat could rise to such an heroic level while serving in harm's way aboard HMS AMETHYST, somehow made my own naval career seem less significant. A magnificent and historical tribute to all pets and animals who have served, now serve and will serve! 

I read several  accounts of AC SIMON with heavy eyes and a lump-in-throat, especially knowing the respect paid him by shipmates and countrymen upon his death. That a feline was honored by having his casket draped with the Union Jack says volumes! I recently lost my own (stray) cat Cleopatra of 15 years, so the story of Able Cat Simon, DM, RN makes me feel more closely connected. 

Godspeed to all our beloved animal friends, and the mates they serve.

Steven Whipple
PO1  USN (ret)
Orlando, Florida, USA

Sept. 29, 2009

I have been doing a little research into my late father's brothers and have been told that my uncle Myles Somers served on the  HMS AMETHYST, and may have been on board during the Chinese incident. How can I find out if that is true? I never met Myles Somers as I believe he died in the 50s when I was very young. Thank you for a wonderful site.

Eamon Somers

Reply 1
Oct. 2, 2009

Myles Somers, is not on my list of the ship's Company of AMETHYST in 1949, nor does he appear on the list for the Korean War. As your Uncle died in 1950s, he was probably serving during World War 2 and may have served in AMETHYST before 1949. I have no information on the Ship's Company during that period. I belong to the AMETHYST Association, and we do have members who served in AMETHYST during the period 1943 to 1949. If I find anyone who remembers your Uncle, I will put him in touch with you.

Best wishes,
Stewart Hett

Sept. 8, 2009

What a very interesting site you have with so many great stories and pictures. I have been trying to find out which ship J. F. ASKEW was on board to be able to get the Yangtze clasp his medal group shows him as cjx/152035 P.O. Tel. I have been unable to find anything of him on the internet can you please help.

Thanks in advance,
Ian Hodge

Sept. 6, 2009

I believe my father, Ivor Thomas, served on the Amethyst during the Korean war. He was also on board when the Amethyst was brought back to Devonport and taken out of service. Unfortunately when his parents died, his sea chest mysteriously vanished, along with his naval memorabilia. Thankfully he still has his photo albums. For years he has mentioned a log book that the crew received on her last voyage home. Can some one confirm if there was such a log and if so would it be possible to obtain a reproduction copy of the log book.

Yours truly,
Martin Thomas

Sept. 6, 2009

I have in my collection a HMS Amethyst Yangtse 1949 medallion. With it is a small card with a write up of the incident and on the back it reads, these medallions are issued to the crew of HMS Amethyst in honour of their gallantry. Devotion to duty during the incident and leading up to the break out of the Yangtse July 30th/31st 1949. Designed and distributed by former shipmate A/B Geo. Hickbottom (Mess Deck Dodger).

Its about the size of a normal full size medal and is enclosed in a fitted red case. The front has a picture of HMS Amethyst with the words HMS Amethyst around the top and Yangtse 1949 around the bottom. The reverse has a ships crest for Amethyst with Have joined the fleet: God save the King. Any one else seen one of these? Been searching the web to see if its genuine but to no avail. Any information would be greatly received.

James Harvey

Reply 1
Sept. 9, 2009

George Hickingbottom was an Able Seaman serving in HMS AMETHYST. He left the ship in 1948, before the Yangtze Incident. On leaving the Navy he became an expert on antiques, particularly Medals. His great interest was HMS AMETHYST and he wrote a book which he privately published "The Seven Glorious HMS AMETHYSTS, 1793 - 1956", in which he told the story of all the RN Ships named AMETHYST as well as some instructive comments on Naval General Service Medal.

He considered that some HMS AMETHYST Veterans from the Yangtze Incident deserved special commendation, and at his own expense he designed and produced a medal which he presented to his shipmates. This is the medal to which James Harvey refers.
George has been a tremendous supporter of the AMETHYST Association.

Stewart Hett

Sept. 2, 2009

I am the only son of Kieth Martin (Deceased). My Father served on the HMS Amethyst during the Yangtze Incident. My father never talked about his time in the navy and i'm trying to piece together his history. My uncle in Leicester, UK gave me a movie about the incident which gave me some insight to his ordeal. I have looked through the ship crew list but no mention of Kieth, I have also looked through the list of awards but no mention. My father was awarded three medals, the campaign medal, one from the King of England, one from the King of Norway for bravery. My mother has told me all she knows. Mum said Dad was wounded and put ashore. The Chinese captured dad and a officer and was placed in a POW camp. That's all I know can you PLEASE help me find out more.

Bruce C. G. Martin

Reply 1
Sept. 2, 2009

Your Father, Keith, was a Boy Seaman on board HMS AMETHYST in 1949. He was wounded on 20 April, but I am not sure of the nature of his wounds. On the night of 21 April, the wounded were landed and most of them eventually reached Shanghai where medical help was provided. Your Father, with Stoker Mechanic Bannister, somehow became separated from the main party of wounded and were captured by the Chinese who treated their wounds. 

I was one of the people who negotiated with the Chinese for the return of your Father and Bannister to HMS AMETHYST. AMETHYST was then trapped in the Yangtze. I welcomed your Father and Bannister when they were eventually returned to AMETHYST. I am fairly certain that your Father had recovered from his wounds but Bannister was not fully recovered, we had a Doctor on board who carried out any further treatment that was needed.  The Yangtze Incident Film does portray the captivity, treatment and release of your Father and Bannister, but I suspect it was overplayed for dramatic effect.

I do not think your father ever became a member of the AMETHYST Association, though Bannister was a member. Bannister was flown from N. Ireland to Plymouth for our 1989 Reunion, paid for by the Daily Mirror. I do not think I ever asked him what he thought of the Film.

I do not think I have any photos of your Father, though he may appear in some scenes where I have not added names. He may well be seen in some of the pictures of the Ship's Company marching through Plymouth and London, which I have in stills and cine.

Stewart Hett

Reply 2
Sept. 27, 2009

With regards to Bruce Martin, son of the late K. Martin. Whilst serving in the linen room of Royal Naval Hospital Stonehouse Plymouth in or about 1954 or maybe 1959, I remember K Martin was getting ready for divisions. He was a quiet, good-looking figure of a man and very smart in his doe skin suit. I noticed he had an oak leaf on one of his medals and when he left the room to go on parade, I asked the chief petty officer who was on duty with myself, "What was that for?" He replied it was for being held by the Chinese when the Amethyst was in trouble.

It seems (if I am remembering accurately) he had later changed his branch to Sick Berth Attendant, and I can't remember what rank he was then. Sorry, but I am 73 years old now. It was some time later when being on night duties in the hospital I was ashore during the day for look around Plymouth, I wandered into a scrap yard and there was the Amethyst being cut up for scrap. It was sad to see, I can tell you. I shouted to the guy who was on the bridge sawing off a voicepipe, "Any chance of a souvenir?" and "give us half a crown and its yours "he said holding up the brass voicepipe. I treasured that lump of metal for years, and only recently did I decide to sell it on ebay. An American gave me £25 for it. A good return for my money I suppose, but it still makes me feel a bit guilty somehow.

I do remember lending it to an association for a while, somewhere in Devon for their open day or some such thing a few years ago. Well that's my ramblings for what they are worth, but I do remember that Keith wouldn't speak of his adventures, but in a quiet way he commanded respect and just looking at him you could see he was something special.

There is now an association for the medical branch of the Royal Navy and older members of that may know more about Keith Martin. You may know that all the Royal Naval Hospitals, RNH Stonehouse, RNH Chatham, RNH Haslar are all closed now, shame.

Bye Bye,
Tony Walsh ex RN

Reply 3
Aug. 5, 2010

It is very late at night and I only wanted to see if I could find an address for purchasing the video of The Yangtze Incident. When I started reading all these messages I was most interested, but I haven't time to go into the stories in detail now. Keith Martin's son would probably like to know that I met Keith in a lovely ballroom, enjoyed dancing with him and spent quite a lot of time with him. He was thinking about becoming a dental technician but left the Navy and considered becoming a prison officer at Princetown. I have a photo of Keith taken with me in at Brooklands in 1957 (see below). If Brian wants to know any more of the years 1956/7, I will try to help.

Elizabeth Bradbury

Reply 4
Apr. 24, 2011

Could you please forward this email to Bruce Martin the son of the late Keith Martin, Keith was my uncle he was my mothers brother I was looking at HMS Amethyst and seen that my uncle served on this ship. I have some pictures and a few bits of paper work from the ship what my mum had. I still live in Leicester so if Bruce wants to get in touch I don't mind.

Thank you,
Mick Taylor

Keith Martin with Elizabeth (standing).

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Messages 26-50
Page published Sept. 8, 2009