Folkestone Harbour - A railway model Adventure

Discussion in 'Modelling' started by CommanderChuff, Jan 29, 2018.

  1. CommanderChuff

    CommanderChuff Senior Member

    With the benefit of many more hours to occupy my life since my recent retirement I have launched upon a new model railway layout. There has been some good progress on the model and my thoughts are now turning to some shipping for the Dunkirk and Overlord scenarios. I am hoping that Mike Trux is going to be the oracle for the latter.

    Introduction:
    The starting point for the layout was made five years ago when a number of opportunities came to fruition to allow the project to be planned and designed. One of these was the purchase of a house with a large garden, and the other was the discovery of Folkestone Harbour. It is strange how coincidences collide eventually but it seems that the railways of Folkestone have always been within my modelling circle for some years. My early attempts at building locomotives many more years ago included a sample of the SR Z class, and I choose number 955 for no other good reason than because of a connection to a then current motorcycle. It turns out that this same loco was used on the Folkestone Harbour in 1930 during a series of trials to find replacement shunters for the very ancient order of the Stirling R class engines. Another modelling project was to scratch build a mobile railway artillery gun and a similar gun was fired at enemy ships in 1940 from Folkestone, and my latest model of a rake of WW1 Netley ambulance coaches were also used from the harbour for casualty evacuation.

    It is said that the lure of sea brings old mariners back to the coast and it is true that my time served in the Royal Navy had a bearing on the choice of a port as a model. And indeed ports are interesting subjects with a variety of ships, loads and cranes to delight the interest and to challenge the skills. It was this that confirmed the harbour as my personal objective to keep the grey matter and fingers in tip top condition as the years advanced to beyond the coming of a bus pass.

    Folkestone has a long and varied history which has been well documented and photographed. There are maps galore and the memories of local people to tap into. So it was the work of several months of intensive research to mine the data to form a picture of how the railway arrived into the town and developed the harbour for the cross channel ferry service to France.

    The Swingbridge:
    In all of the discoveries of this wonderful modelling gem two features stood out as project breakers. The railway crossed the harbour on a viaduct and spanned a 150 foot gap across the water to the South Quay on a swing bridge. In 1847 this was the largest of its type in the world and was to become the reason for building the layout. The thinking was that if I could design and build this particular structure then everything else in the model would be easy enough.

    There were sufficient photographs to be able to draw the bridge in profile, and by good fortune at the same time, the original drawings were made available online by Rail Network Heritage. These helped to explain the internal construction of the woodwork timbers and steel strengthening rods. After a couple of prototypes in styrene plastic a decision was made to go high tech. There are three identical spans and whilst the scratch built plastic models looked acceptable in isolation the combination of the three spans in the first bridge was very weird as each had a slightly different profile. A very quick learning curve to get to grips with a CAD package turned out a set of drawings for a universally identical span and for the internal beams. These were sent off to be laser cut in wood. The layers were still warm and smelling of charcoal when they were glued together to form the bridge components of the right thickness and the identical shapes. Putting the bridge together and painting it was attended by an immense sense of relief. And of satisfaction. And pointed towards the next challenge. Can my, or indeed any, locos get a train up the Fearsomely Famous Folkestone (FFF) incline?

    The South Quay:
    The home for the layout is in a 20 foot long garden shed with an 8 foot wide base. The intention is to have the London to Dover mainline running around the top of the garden in a 50 by 40 foot oblong and entering the shed (cunningly disguised as a Southern Railway signal box) on the back wall. The junction to the harbour starts at the point that the mainline bursts through the Shakespeare tunnel and the branch line descends down the incline over the viaduct and bridge to the south quay area. The relative heights of the mainline and the dock side were set by best guessimate on what was thought to work for those poor old R class shunters. There had to been enough downwardness to mimic the FFF incline but still allow trains to work up it in a manner which resembled the real thing. As a consequence of intermittent periods of will-it-or-wouldn’t-work the levels of the two track boards changed constantly as several attempts to install the bridge were made. In the end, hands on hips, frown on brow, I said sod it. And ‘nailed’ down the bridge base board in a final and desperate effort to so that track laying could actually start. The incline was build and tracks connected to the bridge. A little LBSCR Terrier was plucked from the loco storage shed and volunteered to push a carriage and a few vans up the FFF hill. At the slightest hint of gravity the Terrier slipped and then stalled and the train was subject to a few more F’s. But after a little gentle talking too, some cleaning and fettling, and oiling, and generally being a proper railwayman, the next few runs produced the longed for result. The train arrived at the junction and all was well with the project. With these double successes in the back pocket the quay and pier were to become a hive of activity as long forgotten skills involving sleepers and rails and chairs were quietly resurrected and refined.

    The dock side area of the south quay has a number of modelling features, including sleeper laid track through the harbour station, in-laid rails in the dock sidings and berth side lines, cranes in three versions and several bits of marine equipment, a lighthouse and a life boat, baggage containers and several types of trolleys, not to mention signals with many posts and huts of all sizes.

    The photos show the beginning of the harbour station area with the branch line coming off the swing bridge, and south quay area. The Folkestone harbour railway has the tightest curves on the whole southern area system according to an enquiry from Mr Harry Wainwright in 1911 at 150 ft, or 41 scale inches but luckily I have managed to maintain 5 ft curves as the norm on the layout so far.

    Model FHBR up train DSC00041 TN.jpg

    First train up the Fearsomely Famous Folkestone Incline (after a bit of cleaning, oiling and fine tuning).


    The South Quay with the track layout becoming clearer in the mind. The picture is taken from the Promenade pier. The boxes in the centre represent building to be constructed although I hope to re-use many of my late father’s wonderful creations.

    Model FHBR HarbourStation Nov2017 P1000886 TN.jpg
    The Ecco shoe box is really the Harbour station, and the long cardboard box will eventually metamorphose into a goods warehouse. The role of masking tape roll is in fact the first wagon turntable and the small grey building next to the goods brake will be a version of the bullion room.

    Model FHBR SouthQuay GoodsShed Station Nov2017 P1000888 TN.jpg
    The south quay dock side where the wagons will be loaded from ships and passengers will trip their merry way off to the exotic call of France on the cross channel ferries. The control levers are a reminder of happy days spent visiting my grandfather in his signal box in Loughborough. In the fullness of time these will pull off servo powered points and signals.

    What Is It?

    There is one bit of equipment which had defied identification. A very tall A-frame on the dock side has been spotted around the railway in this and other images. From the feedback of fellow O gauge modellers it transpires that the frame is a gravity pile driver. The corrugated shed next to the frame houses the engine to pull up the pile weight and to move the frame around the site to its next work location.
    FHBR HarbourStation SouthQuay 1920 AlanTaylor BrianHart tn.jpg
    In the centre of the same image is a single railway wagon. This looks like fish truck to me. Folkestone had only one industry before the railway arrived in 1843. The fishing fleet numbered 300 vessels in the late 1700’s and the harbour was built in 1810 to protect this vital source of income. It was noted by the railway that fish trucks were becoming a problem as the volume of passenger traffic increased. This is the first image of the fish truck that we have seen and we would welcome any comments.

    The Next Stage:

    The plan is to progress the laying of track in the south quay dock area with the aim of completing the railway lines through the harbour station. The idea is to have a long length of track which is connected to the bridge and incline to able to run a longer train, perhaps 6 coaches, up the slope to test the ability of locos to overcome the FFF. Or not, as the case may be.

    The Naval Plan:
    Apart from the military trains which have already been built (the 12in howitzer gun and Netley ambulance coaches) the port model offers a number of maritime options, just to remind me of the water borne adventures. These include: HMS Havant returning from Dunkirk with the Folkestone Belle, the LCI's being loaded with troops for Force L, HDML's on the Operation Glimmer decoy fleet, US coastguard cutters (cos I like them), SECR paddle and turbine steamer ferries, including SS Onward (sunk and salvaged at the pier in 1918 and served with distinction at Dunkirk - first ship on the round trip - and D-Day), fishing boats of the Cornish Lugger type, and any other floating beauty which can be justified to be a part of the model.
     
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  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    David absolutely splendid well done and keep us updated

    regards
    Clive
     
  3. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    Astonishingly good.
     
  4. CommanderChuff

    CommanderChuff Senior Member

    The story of the harbour at Folkestone has mainly been concentrated on the railway and its particularities. The information on the shipping is quiate sparse when the fishing fleet and the cross channel steamers have been accounted for.

    The area of interest for some marine models to liven up the harbour scene on the layout is centres around life boats and WW2 events at Dunkirk, the planned Sealion invasion and D-Day. There are snippets of information in books and on the internet which I have gathered together to form an opinion of which ships played a part.

    I hope that you will be able comment on my findings so far and I would love to hear more of the Dunkirk little ships and any other unusal craft in the harbour.


    1. 1940 - Dunkirk:

    a. Folkestone Belle (now Southsea Belle) motor launch, was built in oak and mahogany at Cowes in 1928, used as a ferry at Hayling Island, was requisitioned in 1940 for Dunkirk via Ramsgate, returning with about 100 men and the crossing took 19 hours.

    b. Bluebell - There were three Bluebird boats owned by Malcolm Campbell, and all of these went to Dunkirk, Winser gives the skipper of Bluebell as Mr Booth.

    Bluebell 2: is the motoryacht CHICO, 80 tons 73 ft, 11 kts, built in 1932 at Miller's yard in St Monans, Fife, to a G L Watson design, requisitioned by the Navy in December 1939, and fitted with Lewis guns and echo sounding gear, commissioned as HMS CHICO in March 1940, based at Dover on minesweeping duty. At 2130 on 25th May a force of seven trawlers, three yachts (the Grey Mist, Conidaw and Chico), and two drifters sailed for Calais Roads ready to evacuate troops the moment an order to do so was received. On 30th May the Chico (under Sub -Lieut. J. Mason, RNVR, Winser gives the owner name as Mr Onslow) left Dover for Dunkirk where she embarked 217 troops and returned to Dover. On the 31st she ferried nearly 1,000 troops from the Dunkirk shore to ships, disembarking a further estimated 100 troops herself on her return to Dover. On 2nd June, she was transferred to life-saving duties on Route X - a new middle route prepared between Dover and Dunkirk, from the North Goodwin to the Ruytingen Pass and thence into Dunkirk Road. She saw further action with enemy aircraft in the Channel and is thought to be the ASR vessel berthed in Folkestone Harbour in 1942 as described below.


    2. Jan 1942: Royal Naval Patrol Service: Local Air Sea-Rescue Service was provided at Folkestone by fast patrol boat BLUEBIRD commanded by Ty/Sub Lt J D Caldwell RNVR. (Don Kindell, Admiralty Reports Dover Command RN Ships, Naval-history.net). The term fast patrol boat is very misleading as I believe that this vessel was HMS Chico, the second Bluebell boat of Sir Malcolm Campbell, and it was only capable of cruising at 11 knots. It appears that she was mainly employed on servicing the rescue floats anchored in the Channel.


    3. May 1943: Combined Operations base. Base was commissioned as HMS Allenby on 14/3/43 and paid off on 10/4/45. Some records show that the base was in existence as early as 1/12/42. Possibly called Bluebird III before 12/42. If so reverted to Bluebird III 11/45. The Royal Pavilion Hotel provided accommodation for the RN unit and stores. (Combined Operations forum).


    4. June 1944: Operation Neptune on D-Day:

    a. Landing Craft base constructed, with ramps consisting of x1 LST and x3 LCT Hards (NT1).

    b. Operation Glimmer – x12 HMDL’s formed part of the decoy operation and sailed out towards the French coast flying balloons to represent a fleet of larger ships.

    c. Follow up Force L – on evening of D-Day a WREN was in the harbour and watched troops loading into LCI’s.

    d. Ferry service for leave troops, mail ships, and landing of unusual loads from LCT’s (captured German equipment and salvaged aircraft).

    e. Mulberry Harbour tugs: the sections of the Mulberries were parked at Dungeness, and Seymour Castle (now Devon Belle) was used as a tug to move components around the Folkestone area (from ADLS). Built by Ferris & Blank, Old Mill Creek, Dartmouth, in 1938, she is 60 feet long and 37 tons.


    5. Late 1944: Training Base: Lt. Brown, Peter Henry, Oct1944 – Mar1945, lent to HMS Allenby (Combined Operations base, Folkestone) as training officer at base for minor craft pool.


    Other Bluebells: Bluebird of Chelsea, 23 tons, 52 ft, built 1931 by Thornycrofts of Southampton, as a twin petrol-engined wooden carvel-built motor yacht, Went to Dunkirk after two false starts, first due to engine trouble and then over-crowding. Her return from Dunkirk was even more fraught: after first refilling the fuel tanks with water, then fouling her screws on debris, she returned under tow. Her later wartime service was spent in Scotland performing transport work for the RASC, then later on the South coast around Weymouth and Gosport possibly as a radar decoy ship. Her history after this is sketchy, although she was renamed Blue Finch and found herself on the Atlantic coast of the South of France:

    Bluebell 3: BLUE BIRD of 1938 previously Bluebird II, Goole Shipbuilding Co Ltd, 107ft, 12 kts. In September 1941 Blue Bird was posted to Londonderry, N. Ireland engaged in the H.M. Customs Examination Service with a complement of two RNR officers and 16 crew, to patrol the coast of Ulster and Eire to intercept 'neutral' cargo vessels and to identify coasters in the channel approaches.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
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  5. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Looking great.
    Is this an "0" Gauge layout?

    Regards
    Tom
     
  6. CommanderChuff

    CommanderChuff Senior Member

    Hallo Tom,

    Thanks for your apprecaition, this is an O gauge layout.
     
  7. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    David

    May I just say how impressed I am ?

    Good luck with the project and, as Clive says, Keep us updated !

    Ron
     
  8. Hello David,

    From OPERATION NEPTUNE–NAVAL ORDERS, 10.4.44:
    _______________________________________________________________________
    ON 22.–Glossary of Terms
    Section E.–United Kingdom Shore Authorities and Embarkation Hards in the area principally concerned with Operation Neptune

    (...)
    LOCATION_________________U.K. SHORE AUTHORITIES____REMARKS
    _________________________ AND EMBARKATION HARDS

    FOLKESTONE_____________R.N.O., Folkestone
    __________________________H.M.S. ALLENBY______________Landing Craft Base.
    FOLKESTONE, Railway Pier__Hard “ N.T. ” 1_________________L.C.T. and L.S.T. Hard (3 L.S.T.
    _______________________________________________________ __and 3 L.C.T. berths).

    _______________________________________________________________________
    ON 4.–Loading and Assembly

    Appendix II. Naval Berthing Plan
    DOVER COMMAND
    (...)
    PORT___________SHIPS AND CRAFT____FORCE OR AUTHORITY____DATE

    FOLKESTONE___20 M.M.S._____________Local_____________________ __
    _______________________________________________________________________

    Folkestone (or Dover) does not appear as a Port of Embarkation in these Naval Orders. But then, why were the LST and LCT hards/berths built? Maybe for training or back-up?

    Michel
     
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  9. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    Michel,
    Below are a few bits and pieces about Folkestone. The Bigbobs must have taken up a lot of space around the time of Operation Neptune.

    I still have a few other things to look at and will post any additional details I find.

    Regards

    Danny


    Folkestone Harbour - General
    1940

    “SS UMVOTI” Scuttled.

    1943
    Plan to bring the harbour back into operation.

    Director of Movements

    November 1942.

    Folkestone would be used in the Follow Up and Maintenance stage of “Round Up”.

    Four personnel ships per day.

    Controlled minefield at entrance to harbour to be lifted.

    Confirmed LCT will not be required to load tanks

    Harbour needs dredging

    Mines lifted when SS Umvoti lifted. Dated June 1943

    Harbour to be dredged. To be completed by 1st April 1944. Dated 21st July 1943.

    Blockship SS Umvoti to be lifted by 1st July 1943.

    Pier and cranes need repairing

    July 1943 Folkestone shown as “Ports - Personnel Only

    Loading Ramp for Minor Landing Craft

    1944
    Folkestone. 18th May 1944

    Caution must be exercised when approaching the outer harbour owing to the laying of three rows of mooring trots.

    HMS Allenby - Landing Craft Base
    September 1943 Information

    HMS Allenby
    Principle Functions : Landing Craft Base
    Accommodation for 48 L.C.P.s and 6 N.A.T.s.
    Accommodation for Officers and Men, Royal Pavilion Hotel.
    WRNS Quarters, 44 Bouverie Road
    Officers and Men, Princes Mansions Hotel
    Accounts kept by HMS Lynx

    Green List - First entry for any landing craft based at HMS Allenby
    11/12/44 - Dover Command
    HMS Allenby Base Flotilla
    Unit Allocated to HMS Allenby, Unit Equipment 12 Minor Landing Craft (6 LCA & 6 LCV)

    Last entry for HMS Allenby 16/4/45

    Hard “NT 1” Folkestone
    Completed January 1944.
    11/1/44 Railway Pier - 3 LCT - First entry for this hard.

    25/1/44 3 LCT + 1 LST. No fuel or water laid on at this date.

    Fuel/water laid on between 15th and 29th February 1943.

    Royal Marines will man the nucleus of Hard Parties in the Dover Command except for the Hardmaster who will be a Naval Officer.

    Nucleus of RM for Hard NT1 will start training at Stokes Bay on 25th March 1944 and be at Hard NT 1 on 9th April 1944.

    10 personnel. 9 RM 1 Naval Officer.

    Additional RM for Berthing and Working Parties will be detailed at a later date.

    Bigbobs - Operation Quicksilver III

    21st March 1944 Recce for launch areas Folkestone

    “Launching possible from behind Pier (673537) and also from beach in front of esplanade (673543 - 678545)”

    6/6/44 - One harbour launch from Det 626 Motor Boat Coy Ramsgate report to 10 WORCS Dover. Launch will be attached to 632 Water Tpt Coy on arrival.

    “Bigbobs MK II and Mk V will be launched and maintained in accordance with the phased program at Appendix “A”.

    “B” Coy 10 WORCS at Folkestone

    Bigbobs to be launched at Folkestone. 18 Bigbobs in total expected there. 19/5/44

    185 Field Coy to be at Dover to assist with maintaining Hards(?) May 1944

    Craft : 20
    Launching Hard : Beach to East of Fish Market Hard at Pier.
    Area of Berthing : Folkestone Harbour

    Dover 2nd July 1944.
    “Local goodwill arrangements have now broken down : the three TIDs at Folkestone have sailed, both C.A. tugs are in dock for extensive repairs”.
    RM need their landing craft back.

    Between the 29/5/44 and 31/7/44 there were between one and four Landing Craft Personnel (Ramped) from the 454th Ancillary Flotilla, based at HMS Robertson, at Folkestone to help with the Bigbobs.


    War Diary - 10th Bn Worcestershire Regt 1944

    1st May Delivery of devices begin at Dover and Folkestone.

    27th May Operations begin at Folkestone

    Operation Quicksilver III

    11th June. Construction of devices finishes at Dover and Folkestone ( D – 42, F – 17)

    13th June. 00.40 to 05.50 hrs Shelling, mainly of Folkestone. Several rounds in harbour close to devices. No cas in personnel.

    Mentions shelling of convoys so must have been close to harbour as they mention “no cas to personnel or equipment”

    1st August. Second phase of replacement begins at Dover and Folkestone. Twelve devices to be launched at Dover, Thirteen devices to be taken out at Folkestone.

    6th August. Replacement programme completed at Dover and Folkestone.

    7th August. B Coy (less rear party) returns from Folkestone.

    Good article on 10th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment / Bigbobs here Worcestershire Regiment (29th/36th of Foot)

    folkestone  1946  all  re.jpg
     
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  10. Excellent info and photo Danny!

    Lots of ideas for craft of many kinds, including dummy LCT, for David to include in his layout too.
     
  11. CommanderChuff

    CommanderChuff Senior Member

    This is just perfect, thanks Danny and Michel.

    From the blog of Elinor Florence (with my comments): - Quicksilver III was the display of dummy landing craft, including associated simulated wireless traffic and signing of roads and special areas, (to support the exsistence of Pattons FUGSAG army). (There were two types of dummy craft - Wetbobs were small landing craft, and Bigbobs the tank landing craft). The landing craft, built from wood and canvas and nicknamed wetbob's, suffered from being too light. Wind and rain flipped many over or ran them to ground. One of the most intensive efforts went into simulating the "invasion fleet." The dummies themselves, code-named Bigbobs, were made of canvas stretched over a steel frame, floating on an array of 45-gallon oil drums.Building the Bigbobs was very labour-intensive, as each kit had more than five hundred parts, filled six or seven three-ton trucks, and took twenty men six hours to assemble. When complete, each one weighed eight tons and looked convincingly like a real landing craft.

    The diaries of the Worcestershires is a great read and really show how much work was needed to make this very important deception plan successful.

    Michel, the loading tables in your post has a reference to 20 M.M.S., can I presume that this is a ship of some sort. And in response to your query of why the hards were built in Folkestone harbour but not used for the loading of landing craft and/or ships we must assume that they were part of the Quicksilver deception plan, in support of the larger effort in Dover with the dummy fuel depot and shipping there. This theory stands up as they are the two ports closest to Pas de Calais the site of the landing which was expected by German army command.

    Thanks again for great information which helps me to plan and build the model harbour,

    David
     
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  12. M.M.S. stands for Motor Mine Sweeper. Here's what wikipedia has to say about them:
    MMS-class minesweeper - Wikipedia

    I am not familiar with this type of vessel, and do not know which ones were planned to be berthed there, nor whether they actually were. Those possibly present around D Day should be mentioned in the relevant Red List (ADM 208), which I do not possess. I also could not find which Motor M/S Flotillas (probably two in number) were stationed there.

    A quite unrelated link with one reference to Folkestone around D Day (I have not listened to it though):
    Harris, Raymond Vincent (Oral history) | Imperial War Museums - in Reel 11

    Michel
     
  13. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    Hi
    Besides the MMS there were at least 17 other minesweepers listed as being at Dover around this time, Trawlers and BYMS (British Yards Minesweepers)

    MMS at Dover in the Red List 4th June 1944 below.

    Part of 112th Minesweeping Flotilla
    MMS 76, 78, 87

    131st Minesweeping Flotilla
    MMS 56, 59, 79, 82, 282, 287, 295

    204th Minesweeping Flotilla
    MMS 1024, 1030, 1032, 1033, 1035, 1036

    Some of the MMS from these Flotillas are not listed here as they were not at Dover on this date.

    Minesweeping was carried out every day from Dover.

    On the 5th June : US LST 981, loaded with Serial 3786 was mined and damaged off Beachy Head.

    On the 6th June : US LST which was mined off Beachy Head was taken in tow by the tug Lady Brassey and arrived Portsmouth.

    Regards

    Danny
     
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  14. Great info again Danny!

    Does the Red List mention any ship with location Folkestone itself around D Day? Or maybe the Red List does not make the difference between Dover and Folkestone, the latter being part of Dover Command?

    Michel
     
  15. CommanderChuff

    CommanderChuff Senior Member

    This is totally fantastic, thank you again for such wonderful pointers, here is a summary of the oral history of Raymond Harris:-

    IWM REEL 10 Continues: attending night landing course; Commando course at Bickleigh; character of area; amusing incident of flotilla officer falling into trench; supplementing of rations with rabbits; Christmas celebrations, 12/1943; promotion to lieutenant, 1/1944; incident of near gas poisoning in bath at HMS Westcliff. Aspects of period commanding 476 Assault Flotilla, Royal Navy in GB coastal waters, 1944: appointment to flotilla, 2/1944; nature of duties during lead up to D-Day; state of flotilla craft; move to Poole, 3/1944. REEL 11 Continues: removal of flotilla’s craft; move to Folkestone, 4/1944; under German shell fire at Folkestone, 6/1944; patrolling for ‘parachutists’ at Folkestone after D-Day; move of flotilla officers to Lancing College; morale in flotilla; attending minesweeping course at Leith, 10/1944; hospitalisation for Enteric Fever. Aspects of journey from GB to India, 12/1944-1/1945: background to appointment as officer aboard troopship Capetown Castle in India; flight from GB to India via Malta, Palestine and Iraq.

    476 Assault Flotilla: from the Royal Marines Museum

    Landing Craft Personnel and LC Vehicle Personnel: There were several types of LCP and LCVP, which were wooden assault craft or used for ferry work and ancillary services. The following have been identified as RM Flotillas at some stage
    in their existence: LCP Ancillary Flotillas with either LCP(Large) of 36ft 8in or LCP(Small) of under 30ft, and sometimes with other LCP types: Nos 441, 449, 452, 477, 478, 469, 470. 476,481, 490, 493, 495, 498 and 780. Others existed for short periods with RM crews.

    The range of modelling opportunities continues to improve wtih every little snippet of information, thanks again for your interest and for taking the trouble to post your replies,

    David,
     
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  16. CommanderChuff

    CommanderChuff Senior Member

    Having listened to the audio, the initial excitement of having some landing craft to model soon leaves, apparently the boats of the 476th flotilla were tranferred to the RM for the invasion, and that highly trained RN crews were moved to Folkestone to be held on standby as replacements for the expected casualities on the ebahes, there wer 6-7 flotillas at Folkestone, (which explains why the establishment HMS Allenby required the large SER Royal Pavilion hotel for accommodation) the RM's were considered to be expendable, he then recounts how German artillery landed several shells in the harbour, (presume that these were intended for the dummy landing vraft in the harbour although Harris does not mention these), and the endless waiting with patrolling and dealing with morale issues being the main activies.
     
  17. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Just trawling through some of my old discs. One has the results of a survey of all available loading berths prior to Neptune. Folkestone has the short entry:
    1 LST Hard. Capable of handling 6 LST per day.
    3 LCT Hard. Capable of handling 48 LCT per day.
    1 LCI(L) Berth. Capable of handling 6 LCI(L) per day.

    This list dated January 1944.
    Described as a list of ports and hards capable of maintaining a sustained handling of ships and craft. Thus the facilities are for the sustained shuttle service rather than the assault.

    Mike
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
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  18. CommanderChuff

    CommanderChuff Senior Member

    Mike,

    Thank you for this latest update, which completes the picture of how Folkestone was used in the period after d-day,
     

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