From the memories that my family have shared with me about him and the information that I have discovered about his life and experiences, I think that this inscription is very apt. Find out how you can use this. He joined initially to serve a period of 12 years (but as it turned out, due to the outbreak of WW2, he ended up serving for 17 years in total). In 1942, King George VI made a visit to Medway and HMS Pembroke, the Royal Naval Barracks at Chatham. The buildings, designed by Sir Henry Pilkington, now house the Universities at Medway. Most of the content on this site is created by our users, who are members of the

On 13 March she attacked a U-boat contact, and on the night of the 14th, she herself was unsuccessfully attacked with torpedoes by an E-boat off Cromer. 1942 started off as gloomy year, on 12 Feb the Versatile was among the ships especially deployed when the Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen broke out of Brest and escaped up-Channel. But we hear nothing about this.Also, what about ventilation? She says that after a couple of weeks, one evening, she decided that she had had enough, and her and Grandad agreed that she should return home. He was taken by God prematurely and deserved to enjoy a long retirement after giving his best years to serving for his country. 1903 Apr 18 EMBARKED HMS PEMBROKE (No. On 11 Sep she and Jackal and others escorted a mine laying force on a sortie called Operation ‘SN41’ and the Versatile spent the rest of the month engaged on escort duties in Scottish waters. It is no longer possible to leave messages here. The hulks had lain in the newly built basins since 1885 and prior to that in the River. Commonwealth War Graves Commission campus.medway.ac.uk. After a couple of years he went to work for the Orange Coach Company as an Omnibus Driver as it was a bit better paid and easier to get to than cycling to the Brickfields. The following day, Versatile’s steering engine failed, which would have been a most uncomfortable situation, being alongside unwieldy merchant ships in rough channel waters with no room to manoeuvre! Hello just to let you know that Arthur Brimfield was one of the 13 The H.M.S Versatile picked up.

Grandma remembers looking out and seeing the Barrage Balloons that were released on chains to prevent the enemy from flying too low over potential targets (as they would get tangled in the chains), and also hearing the “pom pom” guns. He wasn’t allowed to leave the Docks where his ship had come in during the War, so that is why Grandma used to travel around to see him. The next major upheaval came twenty years on, in June 1981, when Sir John Nott's Defence Review was published. gulabin.com. The convoys and bombings continued throughout the remainder of 1941, with the Versatile visiting Rosyth in July, where she had platforms for Oerlikon cannon fitted.

This created numerous fires and extensive blast damage; the entire area was completely gutted, leaving little more than a few collapsed girders and the remains of fifty useless buses. There is an underground bunker complex within the former HMS Pembroke and Naval base. After this he was transferred back to HMS Pembroke at Chatham. In this first significant event in the closure process Admiral Sir David Cassidi GCB ADC took the Salute at the final Ceremonial Divisions. The officer who showed him around told him it was larger than that.

Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust. There is an underground bunker complex within the former HMS Pembroke and Naval base.There was an entrance from the Dockyard and one in HMS Pembroke which was located in one of the three casement like stores which had WWII air raid shelters built onto the outer, these were on the rear terrace road.The tunnels were very long and well illuminated.They were refurbished in the 1960s and 70s.During my time at RNPHQ Chatham we had to go in and conduct rounds, to a certain point which was in the dockyard.It was also rumoured amongst those that knew, that there was a connecting tunnel to HMS Wildfire (http://www.subbrit.org.uk/sb-sites/sites/w/wildfire/index2.shtml)I cannot confirm this, I do however know from first hand experience that as stated there is a bunker complex as I have mentioned.

When it was over, she got up and realised that she was in a Funeral Parlour!!

Have you any crew details.

My Grandad is under Scotlands Kennedy Brothers. those of the BBC. Within a couple of years of occupying RNB changes were afoot and a house was built for the Commodore and then C in C Nore moved his flag from Sheerness to Chatham. Are you available on social media sites like Facebook or WhatsApp? She caught the train with the children, which had to travel during a blackout, so it was in total darkness, as were the passing towns and countryside. Don't forget to click the ads to keep the site going! Grandma doesn’t remember feeling particularly cold or scared in there, and when the Air Raid siren sounded, the first to enter the shelter was the cat!!! uglyducklinguk@btinternet.com. He claimed that the bunker was so vast that a jeep was needed to get around down there, also that there was halls the size of several football field. Original doors remaining in good condition. Formerly Drill Hall of Royal Navy Barracks Chatham HMS Pembroke. It was an event that made everyone realise it really was the beginning of the end though the pomp and pride was as apparent as ever as the Band of HM Royal Marines C-in-C Fleet (Director Capt E P Whealing LRAM ACRM LTCL RM) struck up. He stayed there until his retirement at 60 years on 11 Jan 1970. My Grandad died on 27 Aug 1971 of a heart attack, aged 61. Just before midnight on Tuesday 27th August 1940, German Bombers scored a direct hit on the Nelson Road bus station. Entrance somewhere inside barracks. On the 30th she and an Anson aircraft searched for a U-board whose periscope had been reported by the merchant ship Fort George. According to my Uncle Roger (Grandad’s Nephew) During the War, Grandma’s father became a local hero, when an unexploded incendiary bomb fell onto one of the Gas Storage Units, and he climbed up and retrieved it!

The buildings, designed by Sir Henry Pilkington, now house the Universities at Medway.

I have my doubts about whether there is a very large and secret complex of underground tunnels underneath the Medway Towns.

On 26 Jan he was promoted again to a Temp Acting Stoker Petty Officer, and remained on the Pembroke until 10 April 1940. Uncle Charlie remembers that he and Aunty June went to School up there. I’m not sure if I agree with all of this.

The logical places for entrances would include Brompton, Kitchener and Chattenden Barracks -- placed there, they are easy to secure, and away from prying eyes. Why do we not see any at all?

For many of them this was the second or third time they had faced the same worries since 1960 but this time there seemed little likelihood of a reprieve.

This was the main purpose of the Versatile during the War, escorting convoys of Merchant ships; along with investigating allegations of U-boat activity in our waters. When Grandad left School, he worked at the Brickfields in Lower Gillingham, carting the bricks around; it was about this time that he met my Grandma, who was about 15 years old and lived in a house backing onto the Gas Works (where her father was the Foreman). The owners of the Guest House were so impressed by how easily the children went to bed, that they used to look after them so that Grandma and Grandad could go out to the NAAFI social activities.

Grandad was shore based again at HMS Pembroke when Britain declared War on Germany on 3rd Sep 1939. Grandma knew the official number of the Versatile and therefore knew that there had been an incident involving her.

Early in September, operating in Scotland, HMS Versatile escorted Convoy BAS3 from the Clyde to Iceland, altering her course en route because of a possible German invasion force approaching Iceland. on Ship's Books -14/749) 1904 Sep 17 AWARDED GOOD CONDUCT BADGE (1st) On 16 and 14 March respectively, HMS Versatile reported that the Mexico and Hereport were mined and she took eleven survivors off the latter ship to Sheerness.