Private Papers of Commander J A J Dennis DSC RN

Catalogue number
  • Documents.3129
Subject period
  • File: Weight 6.4 kg
private papers

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History note

Catalogue date 1995-03

History note

Cataloguer RWAS

Content description

Bound copy of a very interesting and extensively illustrated wordprocessed memoir (312pp), written in the 1980s, covering his training on his Sub Lieutenant's courses (1938), his service as a junior officer and, from November 1940, as First Lieutenant in the destroyer HMS GRIFFIN (January 1939 - October 1942) embracing her deployment on patrol and escort duties with the 1st Destroyer Flotilla in the Mediterranean Fleet (January - October 1939), in the North Sea (November 1939 - March 1940), in the Norwegian campaign including the capture of the German Q ship POLARES and the evacuation from Namsos (April - May 1940), in the Dover Straits including the evacuations from the Netherlands and St Nazaire (May - July 1940) and in the Western Mediterranean (August - November 1940); and on similar duties first with the 14th Destroyer Flotilla in the Eastern Mediterranean (November 1940 - October 1941) including several major convoys to Malta, the Battle of Matapan, the evacuations from Greece and Crete, operations off Syria and supply convoys to Tobruk; and then with the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla in the Mediterranean and, following Japan's entry into the war, in the Indian Ocean (November 1941 - October 1942); as First Lieutenant of the newly built HMS SAVAGE (26th Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet) from February 1943 - October 1944, including escort duties with North Russian convoys from October 1943, the Battle of the North Cape and supporting the Normandy landings from May - July 1944; and as Commanding Officer of the destroyer HMS VALOROUS in the Rosyth Escort Flotilla (December 1944 - June 1945) employed on escorting North Sea convoys and then on the liberation of Norway. The memoir, which includes interesting references to the professional qualities of his fellow officers, coming under air attack at sea, life ashore in North Russia, the surrender of the German forces at Kristiansand in Norway and the stress of prolonged sea-time as well as accounts of the sinkings of the destroyers GIPSY, GRENVILLE, and AFRIDI, the troopship MOHAMED ALI EL-KEBIR (August 1940), the Italian submarine LAFOLE, the SS PENNLAND (April 1941), the destroyers DIAMOND and WRYNECK, the battleship BARHAM and the cruiser GALATEA, is accompanied by a file of photocopies (ca80pp) from The National Archives, dated April - July 1940, relating to the capture of the POLARES and its aftermath and a copy of Harry Wardle's DIVE NAVY (CPW Books: 2002) which embraces the author's service as a rating in GRIFFIN from 1939 to 1942.

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