HMS Erne and HMS Ashanti

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HMS Erne and HMS Ashanti

Postby Whickham » Fri Apr 03, 2015 7:58 am

A view of Middle Docks, before the extension mentioned in: viewtopic.php?f=147&t=15698

Two unidentified destroyers in dock, maybe a Z Class on the left and a Tribal on the right, but I'll leave that to the experts.

Destroyers.jpg
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HMS Erne and HMS Ashanti

Postby E28 » Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:47 pm

We must thank Dave for the image here which is remarkable for its simplicity and clarity bearing in mind it was taken in mid August 1941.

On our left is HMS Erne, a Black Swan class sloop.
HMS Ashanti is the Tribal class destroyer on the right.

Both were in for repairs to extensive damage caused in separate incidents.
Erne was the first ever warship built by Furness on the Tees, yno 317, launch 5 Aug 1940. On 30 April 1941 only 4 days after completion she suffered bomb damage off Kinnaird Head and was here for extensive repairs lasting 13 months.
Ashanti had been here somewhat longer after running aground at Whitburn on night of 16/17 October 1940 with HMS Fame. It was 2 weeks before Ashanti was refloated and ended up here for very extensive repairs, but also a major refit and modernisation and it is that which dates the image to mid August.
She is immaculate and amongst the visible additions are her 1st Admiralty disruptive camouflage, DF loop to bridge front and 286 radar at the fore mast head. Much else was done but is not visible due to the angle of photo.
Her completion and departure was only days away manned by many men from her lost sister Mashona, some of whom can be seen by the brow starboard side clustered together.
Ashanti was built by Denny, yno 1300 and launch was 5 Nov 1937. She with Eskimo, Nubian and Tartar were the meagre survivors from the RN's 16 Tribal class by wars end in 1945.
The only other warship Furness built was Ibis, yno 318, a sister to Erne and sunk 19 Nov 1942.

There is so much here to fascinate everyone. My next task is to identify the warship on yonder side of the river above Ashantis foremast.
Last edited by E28 on Thu May 21, 2015 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Thats all folks. Sean.
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HMS Erne and HMS Ashanti

Postby Whickham » Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:55 pm

Background at a slightly larger scale:

Background.jpg


Also changed the "Subject" to be more relevant.
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Re: HMS Erne and HMS Ashanti

Postby brianh » Sun Apr 26, 2015 3:36 pm

destroyer at TCQ may be HMS Broke in the river early August 1941.
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Re: HMS Erne and HMS Ashanti

Postby E28 » Thu May 21, 2015 10:01 pm

H.M.S. Erne was bombed and damaged off Kinnaird Head at 2212 hours on 30th April 1941 whilst escorting the East coast convoy E.C. 13 and her damage was such that she had to be towed into harbour. Not clear which however or by what.
There were 4 attacks on this convoy by a few aircraft but the ships defended well.
Thats all folks. Sean.
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Re: HMS Erne and HMS Ashanti

Postby E28 » Sun Jul 26, 2015 2:06 pm

HMS Erne during her final completion and to the time of her bombing, a very brief period, was commanded by Lt Cdr Henry Maxwell Darrell-Brown. RN. He had 6 years seniority promoted 30 Sept 1935.
From Erne he went straight to her sister Ibis in June 1941, completion 30 Aug 1941, the pair being the only warships built by Furness Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Haverton Hill on the Tees.
As such he was Ibis sole CO to her loss in Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa, on 10 Nov 1942, where although he survived her sinking in an air attack 10 miles North of Algiers died of his injuries after rescue in the cruiser Scylla then committed to the deep.
Promoted Commander 30 June 1942. Henry was 37. Duly awarded a posthumous DSC and MID.
The exact numbers lost in Ibis are difficult to establish as she was carrying troops in addition to her own complement bringing the total to approx 350, as many as a third probably did not see the next dawn.
Thats all folks. Sean.
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Re: HMS Erne and HMS Ashanti

Postby E28 » Sat Oct 01, 2016 7:26 pm

Just love this image, as i stated previously, there is so much detail, but scarcely any activity for a war time image.
The cranes.
There are the 2 railway cranes here, a small one alongside Erne to the left, a larger to our right alongside Ashanti.
They patently use the same tracks, or lines, with that exemplary detail in the curved section this side of the larger, enabling some clever evolutions, and much hilarity, no doubt.

I have some questions for those more learned than me..
Are the cranes steam, or driven by other means.
What would their lifting capacities be and arm reach over the docks, depending on load.
Who built them, where and when.
That will suffice for now. I'll be back.
Thats all folks. Sean.
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Re: HMS Erne and HMS Ashanti

Postby E28 » Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:47 pm

When we say Tribal, what does this mean.

The Ashanti are a group of people whose Kingdom is today encompassed within the wider Country of Ghana, West Africa.
In the days of the British Empire, the Ashanti, or Ashantee, were a formidable group who were involved in assorted conflicts with the British in the 19th Century, became highly regarded, and ultimately, allies to the Brits. To this day, they remain a major influence within greater Ghana.
Tribal names are historic within the RN, however, this Ashanti was the first named to honour this group of people, and was the only ship of the 16 built for the RN to visit those for whom she is named, pre WW2.
Surviving the rigours of active service 1939-1945, Ashanti was awarded 8 Battle Honours, and 1 of only 4 RN Tribals to survive the conflicts and rigours of that war, together with sisters Eskimo, Nubian & Tartar. Canada also had 8, Australia 3.

The 2nd Ashanti was also the lead ship of the 7 Type 81, or Tribal class frigates, from the Late 1950 early 1960 era.
Thats all folks. Sean.
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Re: HMS Erne and HMS Ashanti

Postby E28 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:45 pm

This image as we have already established is in Middle docks, South Shields 1941.

The dry dock which Ashanti is in, on our right, has another larger dry dock to our right. The ground between the two is scarcely wide enough for a man to walk between, the edge of this northerly dock being just visible in photo.
There are other dry docks here including the largest further East which is almost parallel to the river, even further over to our right.
Does anyone have the numbers or title for each of these dry docks please and did Middle Docks actually trade as such during this period.

Thank you. Sean.
Thats all folks. Sean.
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Re: HMS Erne and HMS Ashanti

Postby Whickham » Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:22 pm

The term Midle Docks Company certainly is used in the newspapers for 1939 and also for the few covering the early 1940s. Then resumes in 1946.
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