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MGB 606

Posted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:38 pm
by nosey
Hi, Although I knew that my father served in the Royal navy on gunboats based at Great Yarmouth I only recently discovered that my father served on MGB/MTB 606. While looking at the cfv website site I saw a picture of the crew of 606. As my father passed away when I was very young I only have a vague memory of him in uniform but I recognise the seated sailor on the extreme right of the picture as it could be him.
His name was William (Bill) Henry Parke. If anyone could confirm this I would be extremely grateful.
I remember my parents talking of Jimmy Totten and I think that Jimmy was a good friend of father.
thank you.

Re: MGB 606

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 3:22 am
by Admin
Welcome to the forum nosey

I've not been able to confirm from the resources I hold whether your father was a member of this boat's crew but I have dug out the crew photo of MGB 606 we have and cleaned it up slightly and created a crop of the right hand side for a slightly better view. The photo below it shows MGB 606 (or just possibly 608) after it had sustained damage and was down at the stern. I believe this is taken at Portland going by the landscape but I am not completely sure of this. The boat is carrying the flag superior 'S' which was used to signify a Gun Boat, so this photo must have been taken prior to the boat's conversion to an MTB and subsequent loss.

The crew photo was originally supplied by Ken Forrester who served on 606 and wrote a memoir called If I Only Had Known

Crew of MGB 606
close-up-of-crew-mgb-606.jpg (213.93 KiB) Viewed 832 times
MGB 606 after receiving damage


Re: MGB 606

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:45 pm
by nosey
Thank you very much for the information which you have provided. Mum was in the wrens, billeted at Lowestoft but stationed at Gt.Yarmouth where she met my father. The story which she told me was that she was called and informed that dads boat had gone down but they did not know the casualty status. She waited on the dockside and saw the boats return with casualties on the deck. Thankfully father was ok. He told her that when the order came to abandon the boat, he attempted to go below to get his friend out, presumably this could have been Jimmy Totten, but was ordered off by an officer who stated that that was a direct order which had to be obeyed.