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Shore Establishments => UK Establishments => Topic started by: daisy1942 on 10 October 2018 02:44:03 pm

Title: Naval Historic Branch
Post by: daisy1942 on 10 October 2018 02:44:03 pm

Many, many years back,my husband contacted by phone the Naval Historic Branch when it was in central London.  We were (and still are!) researching what Dad was doing in Singapore just before it fell in February 1942.  A gentleman confirmed that the ship Dad escaped on, a waterboat called DAISY, had been briefly seconded into the RN.
I am trying to find out the followig:
1)  Are there surviving records of when and how DAISY was seconded.
2)  I believe that DAISY was crewed for this period by RN personnel, does any record survive of who these men were.  I believe it to have been 1 P.O. and 5 or 6 ORs.
3) The RN men on DAISY were, I believe like a number of other men, authorised to try and escape because they had essential skills.  Is there a surviving list of the men who were given such authorisation?
4)  Where would I find any of this information?

Many thanks for any ideas and suggestions.
Title: Re: Naval Historic Branch
Post by: PhiloNauticus on 12 October 2018 03:42:25 pm
Details of DAISY may be found in Lloyds Register of Shipping =
Tonnage: 163   Dimensions:  100.3ft x 22.1ft
Built: 1938 at Hong Kong for W. Hammer & Co, Singapore
Fitted as a Water Tanker;  one deck; engines aft; 5-cylinder Crossley Bros. diesel engine
The Daisy was evidently used by Singapore Harbour Board. 
The escape from Singapore was somewhat chaotic and vessels were taken over with little official paperwork – and what there was would not have survived.  Any and all vessels in Singapore harbour were used for the evacuation.

In answer to your specific questions:

1: No. She was probably taken over on or about the 12 February, solely for the use of the evacuation

2: She would have been crewed with anyone that was available - crew lists simply do not exist.  After the war, there were various attempts to try and compile lists of who went on what vessel, but these are often contradictory. 

3: It may have started with people being authorised, but by 13/14 Feb, everyone was told to get out by whatever means they could

4.  What records there are are all now in the National Archives at Kew.

I can say from my brief notes I have Daisy – water boat, left S’pore 13 Feb with Yin Ping; Mr Walmsley

An account of the escape of DAISY may be found here:

There is mention of her in the account of the escape of Lt Mann from Singapore:

Also features in the sinking of the Yin Ping:

Title: Re: Naval Historic Branch
Post by: daisy1942 on 24 October 2018 05:28:06 pm
Hi PhiloNauticus,

Thank you for the information about Daisy's build.  I had that information previously but had lost it when a computer crashed several years back. The link to Ying Ping's account is new to me too and makes interesting reading.  The account in the Roll of Honour was put together with the help of a friend and is taken in bulk from the research I have made into Dad's story.

I have one further question, which I thought I had asked in my original post.

When I contacted the Naval Historic Branch way back in the 1990's, the man I spoke to on the phone obviously found some sort of record of Daisy.  Where would that record be now?  If it still survives it may just hold the answer to a question that has puzzled me ever since.  At the time the Naval Historic Branch was based just off Whitehall - where is it now?

The picture (if I managed to attach it)shows Dad in 1943 in American uniform that is the next phase of finding out about Dad, how did he get from Singapore to Trinidad?

Thanks again
Title: Re: Naval Historic Branch
Post by: PhiloNauticus on 25 October 2018 05:26:11 pm
Naval Historical Branch relocated to Portsmouth some time ago.   I have two addresses which are slightly different from different sources =

The National Archives has this:

Naval Historical Branch
HM Naval Base PP20
Telephone: 02392 725 297

Whilst the National Maritime Museum has:

Naval Historical Branch
No. 24 Store, PP20
Main Road
HM Naval Base
Portsmouth PO1 3LU
Tel: +44 (0)2392 725 187
Fax: 02392 724003

Title: Re: Naval Historic Branch
Post by: daisy1942 on 25 October 2018 07:07:26 pm
Thanks !

ere would have to be two of them now - just my luck!