THE PROUD BUT SAD SNIPPET OF THE REWCASTLE'S

Nations rise and fall, empires prosper or crumble and men are stirred to great accomplishments or driven to shameful failure often because of the influence of a wife or mother. The wise poet has properly said, "The hand that rocks the cradle, is the hand that rules the world."

This was never truer of this woman Attracta Genevieve Rewcastle, for not only was she a quintessential wife and mother, she  also influenced many others by her shrewd brain, her patriotism, her general abilities and her want to leave the world a much better place than it was at time of her birth.

For our purposes, the story-line builds upon the well told story that she was the first woman to receive the King's Commission into the wardroom of the Royal Navy, a story I will mention but not repeat, and instead, address the equally important details of her affect upon her family in and outside the home, including her own initiatives which engaged her furtive mind, and fulfilled her life away from motherhood. Nevertheless, she would have been the first woman to see a paradox in the cliché 'a woman's place is in the home' for she obviously implicitly believed it to be the case, especially in 1936, when as a mother of three children aged 9, 8 and 6, she spoke out about her understanding of the importance of parents, men [fathers] being the bread winner and women [mothers] being the home makers. Those quotes are added below. Moreover, remember that when she exercised her patriotic need to serve the country in war, she went to work on a daily basis to inner London from her home in Hampstead to the Admiralty building, leaving behind a very busy barrister husband [too old to be called-up] and three children now aged 13, 12 and 10, so one must assume that they employed a nanny or that some of the children, if not all, were away at boarding school!

Dr Attracta Genevieve REWCASTLE sadly passed away in the prime of her life when aged 54 {GRO Gov UK - England and Wales -  Records registered in Lambeth London, states an age of 50 contrary to media records which suggests her age was 54}. To be 54 at death means she was born in 1897, [not 1901] and a cross-reference with the {GRO Ireland pre 1921} supports a birth date of 1897 viz:

She died of cancer after a painful illness borne with fortitude and grace.

She was born, raised and educated in Ireland qualifying as a medical doctor and employed as such until repairing to live and work in England.

Attracta was a devout Catholic and lived by her deep faith all her life.

Whilst of a brilliant brain and mind and a marked worldy sense of propriety, she once committed her heartfelt thoughts on families and principles to the author of a book called

 

still readily available at Amazon, which contains this paragraph:-

During the 1930’s, the Catholic Womens' League also emphasised the importance of Christian marriage.  Members of the League and its sister organisation, the Union of Catholic Mothers, were urged to instill the ideals of marriage into the minds of their children.  Upholding the teaching of the Catholic Church, the League believed that women were best suited for marriage and family life. In 1936 the League’s President Dr Genevieve Rewcastle reiterated this belief when she suggested that ‘the successful home is where the father is looked up to as the head and breadwinner, and the woman is the home maker.’  Such a view was clearly influenced by Catholic social teaching on the role and status of women in society. At the June 1936  meeting [page 13] of Catholic Mother's in the St Vincent Catholic Church at Altrincham, Salford, Greater Manchester, it is recorded that Dr. Genevieve Rewcastle expressed the view that home life is changing, young people are seeking amusements outside the home. For that reason it is for the influence of the Catholic Mother to follow her children in their recreations, and to be constantly with them outside as well as inside.

Her sad and early death generated many obituaries chief of which were to be found in the Lancet, the Times and Telegraph, the Catholic Herald, the Medical Journal and others. I will show you four here.

1. From a web based source -

Attracta Genevieve Rewcastle (née Candon, 1897 – 18 February 1951) was a doctor, politician, and the first female commissioned officer in the Royal Navy. Born in County Roscommon, Ireland, Rewcastle attended University College Dublin where she studied medicine. After working as an Assistant Schools Medical Officer in Sheffield, she went on to a position at Great Ormond Street Hospital, as well as working in private practice. She joined the WRNS in 1940, and took up a position at the Admiralty as the Medical Superintendent of the WRNS. As a doctor in the WRNS, she was paid less than her male counterparts in the Royal Navy [see below for the medical officers pay rates]; the Medical Women's Federation objected to this, on the grounds that male and female doctors were paid equally elsewhere. As a result, Rewcastle was appointed to the relative rank of surgeon lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve [RNVR] in the summer of 1940, and on 5 December 1941, she was promoted to surgeon lieutenant. Further promotion came in 1943 when she was appointed as a temporary acting surgeon lieutenant commander, and temporary surgeon lieutenant commander in 1945. She was released in 1946.

After the war, Rewcastle served as a Conservative Party councillor on Westminster City Council on the housing committee, and ran as the Conservative candidate for Willesden West constituency in the 1950 general election but failed to unseat the incumbent Labour MP.

2. From the Lancet - To my mind, a lovely and warm obituary lancet obituary.pdf

3. From The Times - The_Times_1951-02-22 dr rewcastle.jpg with a nice P.S., from Surgeon Vice Admiral Dudley. Doctor Rewcastle died on the 18th February, The Times reported it on the 19th and her funeral took place at 0930 on the 20th. Her funeral was a full Requiem Mass which was celebrated in the splendour of the Catholic Westminster Cathedral, Victoria Street, London. Note. I took this from the newsletter of the Catholic church at Altrincham, the church Attracta attended in 1936 - "We think it necessary to call attention to a matter of importance, viz. too often the time elapsing from the death of a person until the burial is altogether too long. Five, even seven days, sometimes pass after the death before the burial takes place. It is not respectful to the dead and is, obviously, unsanitary. Bodies should not be brought to the church later than the third day after death at the very latest." Perhaps this had a bearing upon the extremely short interval between the death and burial of Doctor Rewcastle! 

4. This, I would imagine, would have pleased her the most. Written in 1954, three years after her death and re-published in 2015 in the Catholics Womens League Magazine. This is a large multi-paged colour document and I have reprocessed it to show page 9 only. CWL-Summer-News-15.pdf However be circumspect when reading all after and including the pen ultimate paragraph. It suggests that Attracta was alive was Anthony was lost in the Affray. This was not the case, nor did she die in 1954 but in 1951!

Staying with obituaries for the moment, when her husband Cuthbert died aged 74 on the 8th June 1962, his professional colleague Sir Dingle Foot* PC QC [who served in the armed forces for the whole of WW2 whereas Cuthbert, aged 52 in 1940, was much too old to serve] spoke to The Times about Cuthbert's  life and legal career. Sir Dingle became Solicitor General for England and Wales in the period 1964 to 1967. He was the MP for Ipswich. and this is what he said, but just before that, my subsequent research showed that in his first pre-final examination at Inner Temple Cuthbert Snowball Rewcastle sitting in class 3 in 1909, he passed in Constitutional Law [English and Dominion] with  170 other candidates where 112 passed. Later, in 1912, he sat his final examination also in the Inner Temple coming top in his class with a meritorious pass.

The_Times_1962-06-12 rewcastle the barrister time of death.jpg
* Brother of Michael Foot leader of the Labour Party 1980-83, who, in fairness, volunteered for service in the armed forces in 1939 but was turned down because of asthma.

This [below] is what Doctor Rewcastle looked like in 1940 [wearing the commission/stripes of a surgeon lieutenant RNVR] on taking up her first R.N. Service appointment. Technically women did not become HO's = Hostilities Only in the armed forces, but could and did into the forestry commission, the land army etc, but of course she joined the WRNS as they were re-forming after being stood down at the end of WW1, so technically she was a HO and great credit to her too. All that needs to be said of her WRNS/RNVR naval service has already been said, and come her leaving in 1946 at the end of the war, it must have left a big hole in Service circles in the Admiralty.

On joining, she very soon realised that she was the one woman in a great phalanx of men [accepting that unisex first names like Jocelyn for example, is, in this case, also a man?] but a woman like this would not be in awe of her situation. Just to give you some idea of what part the navy reserve forces played in WW2, here are the files for 1941 of just RNVR surgeon lieutenants and their dates of seniority.  Note that Attracta is the last on the list with a seniority of 5th December:  bear in mind that she had responded to 'the calling of the patriotic' in early 1940. Unless you wish to do a man-count, there is absolutely no need to open the first five files, the last one being the important one. I haven't counted the numbers involved but a rough guess will be around the 300 mark. It's meant to be indicative and it puts her wonderful achievement of the first RN woman officer in perspective, and in itself it is an historical document.

Pay, pre-war, was never published in full and not at all in the Navy List.  From 1950 it was always a feature of the Navy List, and it is to that year and document that I turn for a representative pay scale for Attracta,  realistically [by statistical government data] altered to mid-war likely figures as an example only.

Pay was not an issue during the war and the idea of getting rich was supplanted by duty, enormous amounts of it. For that reason, it is possible that devious politicians played on that and the pay rises were to say the least derisory. For the first few years after the war pay rises almost disappeared!  I have abated the June 1950 amounts by 8%.

daily rates of full pay.jpg LINKED WITH medical officers pay.jpg for 1942 rates.

For this purpose Attracta was a junior officer with virtually no seniority. As such the pay shown of £1-8-0d per day when reduced by 8% would have been £1-5-9d,  approx £469-17-0d pa. Using this website http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-1633409/Historic-inflation-calculator-value-money-changed-1900.html that £470 [approx] amount would be = to £21,750 today.
She would also be entitled to specialist pay and other pay, and one hopes Marriage Allowance and even in WW2 London Allowance etc.  These would have been:-

Naval officers allowances.pdf - remember to  reduced them by 8% for 1942.

In 1950, now well established in civilian life once more. This lovely picture was one of two sittings for a portrait image of 'famous' people, recorded for posterity and available in the public domain on the super National Portrait Gallery website here https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/sitA-Z/sitr

 

Cuthbert Snowball Rewcastle married his first wife Annie Evelyn Goddard in 1918 when they were both in their 30's; she died in 1923 with no issue. He married his second wife Attracta Genevieve Candon on the 3rd August 1926 at the Brompton Oratory London [quite near to the Harrods store], a must have venue for fashionable Catholic marriages; she was 29 and he was 38.

This is he taken in 1952 a year after his wife's death.

They had three children in quick succession Patrick John Candon 1927,  Rosalind Mary in 1928 and Anthony Giles Candon in 1930, Candon being Attracta's maiden name.  Patrick John [always called himself John] went up to Oxford as did sister Rosalind Mary, and Anthony Giles Candon who died in HM S/M Affray, the youngest child, became a naval officer.

Patrick John Candon Rewcastle.

Always known as John. He read Law at Oxford but had no want to practice in it mainly because of his father's high status in that field. In early 1951 he had come down and had joined the Colonial Police Force widely acknowledged as an exciting job with much to offer an adventure-seeking young man [regrettably no young women in those male gender-dominated days] and was excited on learning of his first appointment.

Whilst at Oxford he had met a fellow student,  Betty Pryce Jones from Shrewsbury Shropshire, and a romance had blossomed. Despite the sadness of his mothers death, they married on the 17th July 1951 in Shrewsbury [John shown as a Cadet Colonial Police Force officer], with, I would imagine, having the intention of setting up home in the colony he was to be appointed to. By the end of that month, the grim reaper had visited the family unbelievably three times in a seven month period, and he had buried her. The death was recorded at Henley Oxfordshire. John, like his father, had lost his first wife, and it is nice to think that that would have brought them closer together. The electoral roll of mid 1951 shows him at 46 Westminster Garden SW1 living with his father.

Not too long afterwards, he bade his farewell to his father and sister sibling, and travelled first class by P&O liner from Southampton to his first appointment up to eight weeks away by sea, which was to the crown colony of Sarawak on the island of Indonesia later to be known as East Malaysia **.  There his grief would have been less raw as he preoccupied his mind with his new environment and the demands of his new job.  In the twilight of the world’s biggest empire, he made his way up the ranks.

His first long break from his appointment was in 1955 and on the 21st June he arrived at Southampton. This break took into account courses, leave, and employment at the colonial police headquarters in London. The ship's manifest shows him as being single, intending to live at 67 Park Lane London, a civil servant and no entry for the question 'how long was the UK stay and reason for visit.' He travelled first class in a cargo-freighter called S.S. Oranje, which during the war had been a hospital ship and was named such after the Dutch House of Oranje, or as we say Orange.

During this period he met a state registered nurse called Karis Hutchings and they fell in love.  John returned to Sarawak 1st class on the P&O Liner Carthage on the 9th December 1955, this time documented as a police officer.

Then, as late as the 23rd August 1957 Karis Louise Hutchings travelled 1st class on the P&O liner Corfu to join John in Sarawak.

They married in 1958, and in June 1959, they had a daughter, Clare, their only child. On the first January 1968 in the New Years honours list Patrick was awarded the MBE for services to the Colonial Police Force. At that time he was  Superintendent of Police, Sabah Component, Royal Malaysia Police.

Colonial rule in Sarawak had ended in 1963, when the state merged with Malaya to create the nation of Malaysia, but the Rewcastle's stayed on for six more years. It was a fantastic place for a child to live,  a playground of beaches and virgin jungles, where indigenous tribes lived unscathed by civilization. Her mother Karis would go to these villages to work as a midwife, and her daughter would tag along. Clare Rewcastle left Sarawak in the spring of 1967, when “the classic British colonial childhood thing was still to get kicked back to boarding school in England at the tender age of 8.”

** During the Borneo War of 1963-1965 against General Suharto, my submarine used to patrol the waters off Borneo occasionally landing Royal Marines from the SBS [Special Boat Section] onto sections of its beaches!.

 Clare spent her childhood in fashionable girls’ boarding schools and then studied modern history at King’s College London, taking a particular interest in Soviet studies. She wanted  to get a handle on how the world works. In 1983, when pursuing a master’s degree at the London School of Economics, she took a secretarial job in the BBC World Service’s current-affairs department. When she graduated, the BBC took her on as a researcher, then promoted her to assistant producer.

While working at the BBC, she was introduced by colleagues to Andrew Brown, a fellow producer whose elder brother Gordon was then an ambitious young Member of Parliament. The future Prime Minister would be the best man at their wedding in 1992 and from that point on she was known as Rewcastle Brown - and yes, I know that some of you chaps will be associating that name with Newcastle Brown Ale, after all, we are navy! She has always been fiercely independent, someone who is free of political influence, irrespective of who’s in power and who’s running any country, Gordon Brown, said of her. That’s what makes us proud of her — she’s always been utterly professional.

She then spent 14 years covering the London news — at the BBC, then Sky News and ITV — during which she developed a reputation among colleagues as an aggressive investigator who made no secret of her faith in journalism as a moral enterprise. Her cameramen called her Rocky Rewcastle, after the scrappy boxer from the movies. “She has the ability to deliver killer punches to those in the shadows who are up to no good,” says Glen Campbell, who worked with Rewcastle Brown at ITV and is now the producer of the BBC’s Panorama news program. He recalls one such example, when they camped out in doorways to film corrupt parking wardens who were ticketing innocent motorists. Rewcastle Brown had heard that the wardens got a bonus for every car they ticketed — including hers. “For Clare, injustice, even a whiff of it, immediately grabs her attention.”

Rewcastle Brown retired from television reporting in 2001 to look after her children, but five years later, an acquaintance who knew about her childhood in Sarawak tipped her off on a media conference that was being held in the state by its then chief minister, Taib Mahmud, to “bolster its positive environmental image.” Her curiosity was piqued, and so after four decades on the other side of the world, she returned to her birthplace.

There, she revealed the almost total corruption of Malaysian officials putting herself in great danger, but also winning a massive following of ordinary people who could not right the wrongs themselves. She became a famous international journalist and a broadcaster, intent upon shaming those involved in corruption. Nobody was excused her proven research work into corruption which in the end, was accepted as being a fact and slowly but surely, eradicated from Malaysian life. She said that "after all, I was born here and have a right to address such issues."  The reaction [from the baddies] of her probing's started to threaten her personally, so being the woman she is, she decided that the safest place for her would be back home in London where she could run a web site and broadcast over the short wave radio messages direct into the heart of Malaysia.  When it became the turn of the the country's prime minister to be brought to task, the police got involved and issued an extradition warrant for her arrest. This is a picture of her safely back in London. She rented a flat in Covent Garden to do the short wave broadcast over the world-wide networks.

 

 

She, rather like her paternal grandmother, Doctor Genevieve Rewcastle, was a wonderful asset to whatever society she moved in, and those affected by their talents, dedication, go-getting ways and flare for life, returned that love and warmth in equal measure and they benefitted hugely for the privilege of being near to them.

This is a picture of Clare Rewcastle Brown taken by a New York Times photographer in her London home in 2013.

You'll be pleased to know that she was not given-up to the Malaysian authorities! However, thing don't look good for her as a Malaysian has sued Clare in the London Courts, and as of August 2017, the majority of 'experts' reckon that she will lose the case hands down!

Rosalind Mary qualified at Oxford and Barts in the City of London

This is her obituary published in the British Medical Journal [BMJ]:-

Rosalind Mary Maskell

Senior medical microbiologist Public Health Laboratory Service, St Mary’s Hospital Portsmouth; honorary clinical teacher in renal medicine Southampton University

 Medical School (b 1928; q Oxford/Barts 1953; DM, FRCP, DObst RCOG), died from melanoma on 7 September 2016 when aged 88.

 Rosalind Rewcastle married her fellow student John Maskell on the 23rd October 1954. She devoted the next 14 years to her family and to supporting John’s general practice, complicated by the fact that she developed Addison’s disease. On returning to medicine in 1968, she specialised in urinary tract infection and published more than 50 scientific papers and a textbook.

After retiring in 1993 she maintained an academic interest. In 2014 she was a guest at the first Global Congress on Lower Urinary Tract Dysfunction in Brussels, a source of satisfaction and happiness in her final months. Predeceased by John, she leaves two children and seven grandchildren.

Published in The Times on 20th September 2016 was this article -

MASKELL Dr Rosalind Mary (née Rewcastle) passed away peacefully on 7th September 2016. Requiem Mass to be held at St Michael and All Angels Church, Dunsbury Way, Leigh Park, Portsmouth P09 513D, on Tuesday 27th September 2016, at 11am. Family Flowers Only.

Regrettably though it would have been my wish to publish more about Rosalind and her family, there is precious little information about her to be had in the public domain.

 

Anthony Giles Candon Rewcastle.

He would have joined BRNC Dartmouth as it was just being re-opened after WW2 Luftwaffe bombing badly damaged it  in 1942 which resulted in the whole Dartmouth operation being shifted to Cheshire. He joined as an executive officer cadet.  See here for the rules for naval officers generally in 1947 The_Times_1947-10-14 CADETS AT DARTMOUTH.jpg and cadets in 1948 The_Times_1948-01-29  CADETS.jpg

These are his final CADET marks

His name is shown in Class I, but unlike many other cadets he, plus J.M Lee, G,E, New and G.H. Walker are not shown with an academic qualification or a vocational qualification i.e., Seamanship!

Anthony [Tony] was part of a Dartmouth class of sub lieutenants undergoing general acquaint training to become executive officers when the visit to Dolphin and a ride in a submarine for an acquaint was organised, and no doubt had that tragedy not occurred some would have become submarine officers eventually, much liking what they were seeing and experiencing in those early hours of an intended five days at sea.  There were several memorial services for the loss of the Affray in various areas frequented by the navy and all very soon after the dreadful event.  However, BRNC Dartmouth, the alma mater at that time to these young men wanting the navy as a career, held theirs at the college over a year later on the 18th May 1952. This file is a memorial, very close to the wreck remains of the Affray, enacted and filmed in Alderney. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqEJRW0AgTg   It is Part 1 but Part 2 automatically follows on. It is simple yet profound and touching and many in the audience are themselves getting on and in their late middle years. None of the parents was alive and perhaps few siblings too. The story of the loss of the Affray is ubiquitous and was never resolved, so I won't bother repeating it here. However, I will mention the proverbial NOK book kept for each submarine in the squadron by the SOA = submarine operating authority, which has never been mentioned in any story told. The Next-Of-Kin book had the details of its complement, both ships company and officers, and was regularly updated. Its purpose was the same as the manifest for commercial travel [aircraft and ships] assisting a head-count should the worse happen. It was the job of the coxswain to inform the SOA of any stand-downs of the crew and the full details of any passenger. Once the gangway had been taken off stopping any late joiners or leavers, he would pass the compiled document to the wireless telegraphy office and they would signal the depot ship of leavers and joiners: for many years as the senior W/T rating [the petty officer telegraphist later to be known as the radio supervisor], I was the man who sent these signals from my Amphion-Class submarine. That signal would be placed inside the book until the boat was safely back home whereupon the piece of paper would be filed for posterity well away from the NOK book. I wonder whether that book is an archived document in the submarine museum although I have never seen it displayed.

I and many other submariners who have served in Amphion-Class boats could tell you more about the likelihood of how many men might have died, cognisant that 75 men would not all be in one of the five separate compartments separated by four watertight doors. They would almost certainly have been strung-out throughout the submarine watching, listening and being taught the main function of each compartment. Had the engine room/motor room suffered severe and rapid flooding, there was a chance that the after compartment door could have been shut and clipped tight before the inhabitants of it were overcome. Likewise the door at the forward end of the control room might have been shut and clipped by the personnel forward of the control room.  Were this possible three of the five compartments, collectively of a very large area, could be dry! However, in those days escaping from 300 feet without being told to do so by a surface vessel known as SOSF [senior officer search force] would have been absolutely unheard of. Thus the men in the dry compartments would have died in a different way to those in the flooded compartments, and all were doomed to perish.

Anthony's Will left the sum of £667.8.0d made over to his NOK which was his father.

His pay extant in April 1951, which had been set in June 1950 and next due a rise in June 1951 was as follows, showing that a sub lieutenant earned 13 shillings a day = 65p:-

daily rates of full pay.jpg LINKED WITH executive officers pay.jpg

This text shows the specialist extra pay awarded in the same period showing only those applicable to submarine service and the hardships encountered and endured.


SUBMARINE PAY

Submarine Pay is payable at the rate of £0-4-0d a day to fully qualified submarine officers of the rank of
Lieutenant Commander and below, when appointed for duty in or with submarines.

HARD LYING MONEY
[This would have been paid to all officers aboard Affray for the duration of its task, namely 5 days, but as events turned out, one day only would have been credited]

Payable to officers whilst living and sleeping in ships employed on mainly sea service, at full
rates when the living and sleeping conditions are not superior to those in a trawler and
at half rates when the conditions are superior to those in a trawler but markedly inferior to
those in a destroyer.

The rates were as follows :-

Rank
[a] Lieutenant, R.N., and above, and relative ranks ..
[b] Sub-Lieutenant, Acting Sub-Lieutenant, Midshipman, Cadet, Senior Commissioned Officer and
Commissioned Officer (Branch List) and relative ranks

Daily Rates
[a] Full  4 shillings - Half 2 shillings
[b] Full 3 shillings - Half 1 shilling and six pence

When this dear lady passed away after a painful illness, so death wasn't unexpected, it must nevertheless have brought her husband and three children to a very low ebb, causing them such heartfelt grief and utter bereftness. Their daughter Rosalind  had just started the long-haul to train as a doctor in her mother's footsteps and married in October 1954, and their son Anthony [Giles Candon] would, when opportune, leave the sad home to return to his duties as a broken hearted  pre-specialisation trainee officer. He had joined the navy in 1946 as a cadet aged sixteen, and in 1947, the navy-list shows him with a seniority of 1.9.1946. He is next recorded as a midshipman with seniority of 1.1.1948 serving in the training aircraft carrier HMS Theseus. He was promoted to be an acting sub lieutenant to date 1.5.1949 but with no appointment [ship] shown. It was to be his last entry, for as most of you will know, HM S/M Affray sailed, never to return again, being recorded as lost on 17th April 1951 somewhere in the English Channel; by this time of course his promotion to the rank of sub lieutenant would have been substantiated. He was a very junior officer at that time and un-specialised into one of the several executive branches available to him, one being a submariner [by the way, I was a diesel submariner and one of my submarines was the Auriga in which I served for four years over two commissions, also an Amphion-Class submarine].  The make-up of those who sailed in her on that tea-time on the 16th April, of 50 [inadequate] crew members and 25 passengers/trainees [too many] when there should have been 61 experienced crew members only, troubles my mind.  It must have cast a doubt on the wisdom of such an exercise in the minds of senior submarine officers in HMS Dolphin !   I have my own opinions based on experience with submariner trainees know as Part 3 submariners, and rarely would their numbers be allowed to be higher than 10% of the complement*** which is approximately six people. As for the domestics involved I am gob-smacked, since even with a normal crew there were inadequate sleeping bunks, toilets, bathrooms, galley facilities and even the captain had to rough it when we were operating at deep depths, for his cabin, outside the protection of the pressure hull, had to be vacated when the hatch leading to it was shut and clipped, circumventing a certain weakness in the integrity/strength of the pressure hull which was acceptable when operating at shallow depths. There is no author, no film maker, no raconteur who in any way or form, can begin to describe the way these seventy five men must have died. The euphemism saying they died rapidly, as was used in Parliament [24th January 2012], is to say the very least insulting to mankind, thoroughly insensitive and grossly inappropriate. Better I feel, in every such case, that the least said the better, especially if it said by a non-submariner!  Anthony must have died with the distress and images of his darling mother which were raw to him from her death just a few week before, right up to resuming, as a good officer would, his duties notwithstanding,  but for his father and two siblings, life must have been unimaginably difficult when we who are left question the love of God and His mysterious workings. To lose one's wife [his second, his first wife dying in 1923] and almost immediately afterwards his son, can be considered  a fate administered by Lucifer himself, surely? Anthony had just "got the key to the door" having turned twenty one in March 1951.  A year after his wife's death in 1952 he was appointed as His Honour, Judge Rewcastle at the Surrey Courts in the Divorce Division, so at least he didn't have to sentence anybody or send them down or worse, remembering that the last hangings in the UK were on the 13th August 1964, two of them on the same day in separate prisons!

*** A naval complement is the total number of men/women aboard to fight the vessel efficiently,  comprising of the upper deck [the officers] and the lower deck [the ships company].

This poem, author unknown,  is directly linked to the loss of 75 souls in HM S/M Affray

Perhaps somewhere 'neath us who search

75 souls are now in prayer

With words not heard in any church

Of alternative hope and then despair

Thoughts of sweethearts and of wives

Who cry and know not restful sleep

For thinking of those feared lost lives

In lie in waters enclosed in deep

Give to them my god I pray

Swift rescue and the light of day

Not my will but thine be done

Hear us cry the battle's won

Perhaps such is not your will at all

But on their sins please do not frown

And when your bosun sounds the call

Give your blessing to their last pipe down

These next seven files come from the navy list, the first four concerning Attracta's rise and appointments, the other three files concern Anthony's brief career.

surgeon lieutenant relative rank on being given an RN commission. substantive rank of surgeon lieutenant surgeon lieutenant commander surgeon lieutenant commander
The temporary notation worn by literally thousands of officers denotes a 'hostilities only' status [HO] viz there to fight the war and not for the long haul of a career.
President denote HMS President an administrative building/organisation in London. the nerve centre of the navy.

 

Anthony as a midshipman
newly qualified
Anthony aboard the carrier Theseus Anthony mentioned in an incident obituary

This list was published in The Times

As I write this, John [Patrick] would be ninety today were he still alive, but I cannot find any death notices for him or for  his wife Karis who would be eighty nine.

The snippet [and it was never penned to be anything but]  is miles away from being wholesome, and I would agree with criticism that it is sometimes incoherent, but I thought that it needed to be mentioned and added to a naval archive, perhaps one owned by the WRNS Association or the Naval Medical Records were there to be such a record.

Attracta's good brain was a gift given at birth, but her other many attributes were the result of her inherent goodness, acquired deep faith, and the ability of sharing that with all the people she came into contact with. Everything to date points to the manifest credits as a naval officer willing to make the Admiralty and all that that means her GP surgery, rather than remaining a domestic GP/Consultant serving the good people in a parochial environment. Now I feel that we know a great deal more about what made her really tick as a person. She was just like many of us, first of all a woman capable of giving much love, a mother-hen to her children, an admirer and ardent supporter of her husband, a team player, and as the saying goes, an all-round good egg. As in so many cases regrettably, her premature passing was a cruel blow not just to her family, but to society at large. She came across as a moral-disciplinarian and perhaps not as broad minded as other women of her class and breeding, but I am sure she wasn't a party pooper or a prude, and anyway, I agree with her morals and greatly admire her!

Thanks for spending time to read it.

Much of this information has been 'dug out' from newspapers [births, deaths and marriages etc]; probate office data; journals; immigration and emigration records; census'; electoral registers, Navy Lists, National Portrait Gallery and others. The web page was finalised in the evening of Remembrance Sunday 2017.

P.S. In the year I joined, 1953, officers pay looked like this 1953 pay scale.pdf. I have stated that pay rises in the immediate post war period up to 1949 were very poor if at all, but here, now eight years on, a sub lieutenants pay had risen from 13 shillings a day in Anthony's time [1951] to 17 shillings and 6 pence per day, a rise of 4 shillings and 6 pence in a period of just two years, which was a 34.6% rise = 87.5p, generous to a fault?

P.P.S. Very much worth a mention, that her appointment as a WRNS doctor on the Admiralty Board in WW2, was an appointment first created in WW1 when this lady, Dr Dorothy Christian  Hare MD DPH CBE WRNS who was appointed as the Deputy Medical Assistant in the Admiralty holding a WRNS commission and General Medical Director of the WRNS. Note the chevrons on her right sleeve above his rank stripes, which denote service overseas, in this case in Malta, which dealt with many wounded personnel from the Gallipoli campaign.

The following text is copied, with gratitude, from the Royal College of Physicians page.

Dorothy Christian Hare

b.14 September 1876 d.19 January 1967 when aged 90 years and 4 months
CBE(1919) MB BS Lond(1905) MD(1908) DPH(1912) MRCP(1920) FRCP(1936)

Dorothy Christian Hare was born in Bath, Somerset, the daughter of Edward Hare who had been Deputy Inspector General of Hospitals in the Indian Medical Service from 1836-1865 and had been made a Companion of the Indian Empire. Her mother was Mary Wood, daughter of a grocery merchant. She was educated almost entirely at home and privately, but she was anxious to do medicine and realized that something more formal was required. She therefore secured entrance to the Cheltenham Ladies College at 19, and went to the London School of Medicine for Women at a relatively late age. After qualification she was house physician at the Royal Free Hospital and the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital, and an assistant pathologist at the Royal Free. She took an MD in 1908, taking the DPH in 1912. There are still (1968) people left in Cambridge who remember her in practice there and speak warmly and affectionately of her.

In 1916 she went to Malta with the RAMC and saw much of military medicine and sub-tropical medicine, but in 1918 she became General Medical Director of the WRNS, for which she received the CBE in 1919. Her experience in the WRNS showed her how miserable was the plight of girls who acquired venereal disease, and during the next few years she founded two hostels, with her great friend Berenice d'Avigdor, which catered for pregnant and non-pregnant girls with this disability. In those days the treatment of venereal disease was protracted, unpleasant and not always effective, and no ordinary lodgings or mother and baby home would accept these girls. The hostels therefore fulfilled a real need. For many years Sir Thomas Barlow was the President, Dorothy Hare the Chairman, and Berenice d'Avigdor the Secretary of these hostels until they closed for the 2nd World War, when the advent of penicillin simplified the long course of treatment formerly needed.

After the war, Dorothy Hare decided to specialize and became medical registrar at the Royal Free Hospital in 1920, being awarded the MRCP in that year. She became assistant physician and physician to the Royal Free Hospital and Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital and was the third woman to be elected FRCP, following Helen Mackay and Hazel Chodak-Gregory. She retired in 1937 to go round the world and then settled in Falmouth with her life-long friend, Elizabeth Herdman Lepper, who was also a distinguished physician. Her interests were mainly in colitis, arthritis and diabetes. She published various papers on 'Non specific colitis' (Brit.Med.J., 1934, 2, 162-165, Practitioner, 1934, 133, 705-716 and Lancet, 1935, 2, 767-8), and delivered two presidential addresses to the Section of Therapeutics of the Royal Society of Medicine in October 1935 and 1936, first on 'Therapeutic Observations of Non-Specific Colitis', and later on 'Therapeutic Trial of Raw Vegetable Diet in Chronic Rheumatic Conditions'. She also published 'Simple Instructions for Diabetic Patients' in 1933 and the second edition was published in 1935.

All her life Dorothy took a great interest in the arts and was in her youth a singer. In late middle age she went round the world and sent back a periodical journal with illustrations which rejoiced her friends. She was a skilled and talented artist and worked in various media - oils, water colours, scraper-board and the like. In Falmouth she threw herself into the life of the country and was responsible for organizing many Arts Council exhibitions and other activities. She played a great part in the resuscitation of the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic and did much to encourage young artists. The rather formidable teacher of her young days mellowed into a delightful, small, active woman. Right up to her late eighties she would come up to London to visit the Arts Council and see her friends, and seemed completely ageless and able to make contact with people of all ages. After a distinguished medical career she fulfilled herself completely in her retirement.

 

 

Goodbye