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Author Topic: Ark Royal and Totem at Rosyth  (Read 43105 times)


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Ark Royal and Totem at Rosyth
« on: 28 May 2023 12:04:00 am »


I'm new here and hope I've come to the right place.   I'm trying to confirm an experience (I think) I had as a small boy at Rosyth.   I was living in Dunfermline just a couple of miles from Rosyth, during the war.   My Dad came home on leave and took me to Rosyth where I have a memory of going aboard Ark Royal and a submarine called Totem.   I just learned from a documentary that Ark Royal was lost in November 1941 which surprised me and made me realise that I had to be less than 3 years old if/when I went aboard.   At 84 y.o. now I'm actually wondering if I imagined the whole episode ... that will be very worrying!   

Can anyone here help me learn whether these two vessels were ever together at Rosyth or steer me to somewhere that I might find the answer?



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Re: Ark Royal and Totem at Rosyth
« Reply #1 on: 28 May 2023 12:21:24 pm »

I have to say that it is quite impossible for you to have seen both Ark Royal and Totem at the same time at Rosyth during the war– as you say, the wartime Ark was sunk in 1941 and the next Ark Royal did not enter service until 1955.   

Totem was not commissioned until January 1945 and was initially based on the east coast of Scotland, in Holy Loch before deploying to the Far East in May 1945, returning to the UK at the end of 1946.

Doesn’t mean to say that your visit didn’t happen, just that you have the names or perhaps the date wrong? – I have found a mention of the Totem being at Rosyth for a Navy Day in 1948, and the aircraft carriers Theseus and Vengeance were also present.



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Re: Ark Royal and Totem at Rosyth
« Reply #2 on: 28 May 2023 01:53:38 pm »

Thanks so much for the reply.  It makes much more sense now that I went to that "Navy Day" in 1948.   I had sort of remembered the visit as a Navy Day too.    I know for certain I went aboard Totem and saw that ceremonial totem pole on the conning tower.   We did go aboard a carrier so it probably was one of the two you mentioned but time and faded memories must have transformed it into Ark Royal. 

Thanks again for clarifying my memories and confirming that I haven't totally lost the plot yet.

Frank Smart
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