Centurion (1911)
Message Board

Apr. 29, 2010

My father, Lt. Commander Frank Milne (RAN), served on the Centurion during 1923 at which time the ship was part of the forces overseeing the break up of the Ottoman Empire after WW1. He was seconded to the Royal Navy and was a junior officer on the vessel. He was in the Australian Navy having joined as a 13 year old in 1918 to train at the Royal Naval College Jervis Bay - NSW. In those days I understand it was normal practice for Australian Officers to be seconded to serve in Royal Navy ships as part of their training.

I attach a letter which he wrote to his mother, on HMS Centurian letterhead, where he describes the week he spent at Gallipoli in the time post the Turkish Civil War and a visit he and some of his crewmates made to the Battleground which at that time was much as the diggers had left it. I hope you find this of interest.

Sandy Milne
Melbourne, NSW, Australia

I have just been searching the internet for any history on H M S Centurion and came across your web page. I served on H M S Centurion, during World War two. from 15 May 1942  till 27 October 1942. I joined her in Bombay, and sailed with her to the Mediterranean, and on the Malta Convoy " Vigorous", which coincided with  the convoy from Gibraltar "Harpoon" 11 to 16 June 1942, our convoy being bait for the Italian fleet, so the Gibraltar convoy could make it to Malta. We lost a number of ships, and we had a bomb hit, but luckily it went straight through the fos'l deck, and did not disable us and we made it back to Alexandria. Should you need more detail, drop me a line.

With regards,
Rowland Simpson Ex-RN

July 30, 2008

I have just stumbled across your excellent website whilst researching my Grandfather's ship, HMS Centurion. I am working on a new series of paintings of Centurion, and thought you may be interested to see the first one in that series (see The Art of HMS Centurion). My maternal grandfather, Francis Roberts, was a gunner on Centurion from 1913 until 1919. He had joined the Navy in 1910, aged 14, in Liverpool where he had been born in the Walton workhouse (now the city's Jail).

He left the Navy in 1920 and married my Grandmother, Jesse Tait, moving to Bolton where she lived. Their youngest son served in 'Harry Tates' Navy in WW2 and completed three arctic convoys on various merchant ships before 1944- "Buggars for punishment I think!" Grandad died when I was very young (in the '60s), but did recount to his sons tales of the Battle of Jutland, including how he lost 2 fingers during Centurion's brush with the SMS Lutzow near the end of the engagement. If these (or any other of my illustrations) are of use, please let me know. You may like to use them on your website. Thanks for a cracking website

Yours Sincerely,
Duncan Howarth
Francis Roberts, R.N.

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

Message Board
Page published Jan. 22, 2007