1st Battalion Irish Guards, April 1940

Discussion in 'Scandinavia' started by High Wood, Sep 19, 2018.

  1. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    These photographs were amongst the effects of Eric C Deverell of the Merchant Navy, Eric Deverell served as an officer on the Monarch of Bermuda which took the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards to Norway in April 1940. The first two show Irish Guardsmen and Merchant Marine officers aboard ship.
     

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    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018
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  2. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    The first photograph shows an Irish Guardsman with a Bren gun, the second is of a group, (I do not know the collective noun), of Merchant Marine lookouts atop a smoke stack.
     

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  3. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Extracts from the 1st battalion Irish Guards war diary.
     

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  4. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Forward view from the Monarch of Bermuda.
     

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  5. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Thanks very much for sharing these images

    From War Diary: 1st Battalion IRISH GUARDS, September 1939 - July 1944

    1940 April 11
    Glasgow
    The Battalion embarked at King George V Dock GLASGOW on the “MONARCH OF BERMUDA”.
    It has ceased to be even an open secret now, that we are bound for NORWAY, since an allied force has been promised to that country since her invasion by GERMANY.
    We have had to take over 40 sentry posts on board ship, together with 7 Anti-Aircraft posts, and 6 observation or look-out posts for submarines.
    It is generally considered that we are very likely to be attacked on route, especially since German transports have been sunk by the BRITISH NAVY.
    There was a practice emergency station alarm this afternoon; but there are so many troops on board that there is no room for all in the boats.
    We have been issued with Arctic clothing on board.
    Guardsmen walked round the deck and were handed out every few yards articles ranging from rubber boots, kapok coats and sleeping bags to white fur caps.
    The look of astonishment on their faces as the collected each new surprise was vastly amusing.
    We sailed at 3 p.m.

    1940 April 12
    At Sea
    A moderately calm passage so far though quite a few have succumbed.
    Emergency rations are issued, and the new extra container for Arsine gas is fitted to gas masks.
    And uneventful day.

    1940 April 13
    At Sea
    The sea remains remarkably calm; and it is still fairly warm.
    "Our naval escort has increased, and now numbers 12 destroyers, 1 net-laying ship, H.M.S. CAIRO (for Anti-Aircraft defence), 2 heavy cruisers, “BELFAST” and “GLASGOW”, and a Battleship, the ""VALIANT""."
    Also being escorted are the “EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA”, a German ship re-named after capture in the last war, and two POLISH passenger ships.
    "One is called the BATORY, with the 1st Battalion SCOTS GUARDS and Captain D.H. FITZGERALD on board, and the other is the ""REINO DEL PACIFICO"". "
    These POLISH ships were built in ITALY for POLAND, and were exchanged against shipments of coal.
    A flying boat cruises overhead, to complete the constant watch against submarines.
    There was a boat-drill practice at 0330 hours.
    Natural history observers noticed one peregrine falcon, perched on the mast-head, and 3 teal were seen flying near the ship.

    1940 April 14
    At Sea
    Mass was held at 715 and 800 a.m. in the 1st Class Smoking Room; and the Senior Chaplain held the Church of England Service at 11 o’clock in the same place.
    A sing song was held at 700 p.m.
    Great excitement prevailed during the evening, as a series of dull thuds, was heard from the vicinity of our escorting destroyers.
    These thuds were followed by fountains of green foam, and the destroyers circled round their prey, hoping for the tell-tale splashes of oil upon the water.
    We heard later that this hunt had been successful.

    1940 April 15
    At Sea
    We awoke to the most beautiful scene, the convoy steaming in formation of “line ahead” down the Fjord towards NARVIK.
    Admiral of the Fleet, Lord CORK AND ORRERY led the convoy in the Cruiser “AURORA”.
    The convoy circled round twice while the destroyers took soundings of the Fjord .
    The scenery had all the attractions of the Swiss mountains, with the added beauty of the waters of the Fjord, down which we sailed.
    The tiny fishing hamlets on either side of the waters took little notice at first of the long line of ships, which was regularly flashing messages down the column by signal lamp.
    Gradually, however, the villagers would gather in groups, and finally they became sufficiently courageous to follow us in their well-built fishing smacks.
    At about noon, six depth charges were heard in rapid succession; and this time the victim was successfully claimed, and six prisoners were landed from one of the destroyers.
    At lunch time the Commanding Officer was told that a destroyer was alongside, ready to take off the first landing party of the Battalion.
    The Battalion disembarked [Harstad] in the order No. 2, 1, 3, 4, H.Q. [Companies]
    In addition to the kit, which the men wore, when embarking, they wore their Arctic coats, pull-overs, gloves, glasses and carried their two additional kit-bags.
    Those men for whom room could not be found on the destroyer, landed in the local fishing boats.
     
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  6. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    I was just thinking to myself that Diane will love these images.
     
  7. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    4th April 1940. We awoke to the most beautiful scene, the convoy steaming in formation of "line ahead" down the fjord towards NARVIK. Admiral of the Fleet, Lord Cork and Orrery led the convoy in the cruiser "Aurora". The convoy circled around twice whilst the Destroyers took soundings of the Fjord. The scenery has all the attractions of the Swiss mountains, with the added beauty of the waters of the Fjord, down which we sailed.
     

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  8. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    The tiny fishing hamlets on either side of the waters took little notice at first of the long line of ships, which was regularly flashing messages down the column by signal lamp. Gradually, however, the villagers would gather in groups, and finally they became sufficiently courageous to follow us in their well built fishing smacks.

    The second photograph shows HMS Electra surrounded by fishing smacks.
     

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  9. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    The bow of HMS Electra.
     

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  10. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Nordic scenery with passing battleship.
     

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    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
  11. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    HMS Electra sailing by.
     

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  12. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Anti-Aircraft gun aboard the Monarch of Bermuda?
     

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  13. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    HMS Electra and Norwegian fishing smacks.
     

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  14. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Norwegian fishing smacks.
     

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  15. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    HMS Electra photographed from the Monarch of Bermuda.
     

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  16. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Thanks for sharing the photographs. Pleased to see the nature of the warm outer clothing worn for this Expedition.....shame they weren’t white to blend in with the Arctic conditions as it might’ve helped as camouflage when battles were fought with suitably attired German forces in May.:poppy:

    Steve
     

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