SGB 7 scuttled and onwards to Marlag POW camp

Motor Gunboats (MGB) & Steam Gunboats (SGB)
NigelTickner
Seaman
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2015 3:23 pm

SGB 7 scuttled and onwards to Marlag POW camp

Postby NigelTickner » Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:28 pm

I came across this website after a google search in which I was surprised to find the wreck of my father's SGB 7 had been found by divers in the Baie de la Seine area. Let me introduce myself; my name is Nigel Tickner and I served as an officer in the RN and RNR (HMS SUSSEX) in the 70s and 80s. The true story lies with my father, Petty Officer Jim Tickner (RN 1936-1946) (born 1921) who I believe was Coxswain of SGB 7 on that fatal night of 19th June 1942. My Dad sadly died when I was only 14 in 1975 and I never had the chance to ask him all those questions young men wish to ask their fathers of their wartime exploits. My treasured heirloom though is his Red Cross POW log he kept in Marlag near Westertimke after being picked out of the sea by the crew of an E-boat that night, and taken as a casualty into Brest and then Rennes, before he was taken by armed guard as a POW to the camp near Bremerhaven. I read with such interest therefore David Purvis' article of 21st July 2009 on this website about the finding of the wreck of SGB 7 by divers. My Dad was already selected for the Upper Yardman scheme. He was originally a boy telegraphist at HMS ST.VINCENT. He'd served already onboard the cruiser HMS CORNWALL and had seen service in the battleship HMS RODNEY during the Bismarck action. To become an officer he had to switch to a seaman branch and thus became I believe a Petty Officer Torpedo Coxswain. From my Dad's accounts from what I remember of them as a boy the Free French skipper laid the charges for'ard to scuttle her and my Dad laid the charges aft. He said the skipper didn't want to admit to the Germans he was Free French so was going to tell them he was French Canadian. My Dad was picked up by an E-boat with shrapnel wounds in the leg, lost consciousness at some point and came round in hospital in either Brest or Rennes. He survived the war by being in the prison camp for three years before being liberated by the Scots Guards. There were three prison camps for different services, and his wartime log is such an interesting read as his companions included all sorts of nationalities including Greek submariners from a submarine called TRITON sunk off Crete. I just add this message to the forum as I see Purvis' article says not much was known of the surviving crew of SGB 7 who went on to Marlag POW camp. If there is anyone still out there who has stories about SGB 7, the day to day life onboard a wartime SGB, and of that fatal night I would love to hear them. I feel honoured that my parents were of the WW2 generation, and although they are now both deceased that I am still a link to the memories of that generation. It is important for me to pass this on to my son and daughter. Ironically, my son, James was in the Baie de la Seine area earlier this year training to be a commercial yachtmaster with UKSA in Cowes and he wondered about that night, where it occurred and what happened. Thank you for reading my tuppeny halpenny's worth in my message here. Best, Nigel Tickner

Pioneer
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Re: SGB 7 scuttled and onwards to Marlag POW camp

Postby Pioneer » Wed Jun 10, 2015 6:08 pm

Hello Nigel
Welcome aboard.
I saw your post a couple of days ago and I have since been awaiting a reply from Dr Andrew Weir - the son of Lt Weir MID RNVR, the officer in charge of the scuttling operation.

I have been given permission to pass on his contact details - and have sent you a Private Message.

We would be most pleased if you can keep us up to date with any news etc. - and do you have any photographs that you can share with us.
Regards

Brian Holmes
Commander
Posts: 238
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 3:26 pm
Location: Portsmouth

Re: SGB 7 scuttled and onwards to Marlag POW camp

Postby Brian Holmes » Thu Jun 11, 2015 8:06 pm

SGB_7 Denny (Dumbarton) 11/3/42

For an attack on an enemy supply ship in the Bay of Seine on 18th June 1942
MID TLt William James Alexander Weir RNVR
DSM ALSto Robert Watt Muir D/KX92804
DSM AB William Gough D/SSX29193
DSM Ord Richard Barnes D/JX225975

Ungazetted award for the above action
MID Lt Ronald Lewis Barnet

Known Crew
Lt Ronald Lewis Barnet (A French National) SGB 7 For an attack on an enemy supply ship in the Bay of Seine on 18th June 1942 MID
TLt William James Alexander Weir RNVR HMS St Christopher 22/6/41 TLt 1/5/42 First Lieutenant SGB 7 For an attack on an enemy supply ship in the Bay of Seine on 18th June 1942 MID Prisoner of War
ALSto Robert Watt Muir D/KX92804 SGB 7 For an attack on an enemy supply ship in the Bay of Seine on 18th June 1942 DSM
AB William Gough D/SSX29193
Ord Richard Barnes D/JX225975 SGB 7 For an attack on an enemy supply ship in the Bay of Seine on 18th June 1942 DSM

Wartime Activities
18-9/6/42 HMS Albrighton, SGB 4, SGB 6, SGB 7 and SGB 8 attempt to intercept two German merchant vessels accompanied by E Boats that have departed Le Havre off CapBarfleur at approx. 0100.
0100 Shortly afterwards SGB 6 has an engine failure, loses contact and returned to Portsmouth
0230 HMS Albrighton makes Radar contact at about 2.5 miles. A warning signal was seen followed by a merchant vessel at 1000 yards. HMS Albrighton opened fire and fired a torpedo that missed before breaking off to allow the SGBs to attack and to illuminate with starshell. The second merchant vessel is sighted. One vessel is severely damaged by gunfire and the other is torpedoed. SGB 7 was sunk in the action.
0415 HMS Albrighton has stayed behind searching for SGB 7 but breaks off as it is growing light.
On the German side Channel Island steamer Turquoise (ex-Belgian, 810 GRT) and minesweepers R 41 are lost. - When towing R 41, auxiliary minesweeper M 3800 (ex-Dutch Stoomloodsvartuig 16,585 GRT) is next day in the Bay of St. Vaast attacked by a destroyer and runs on the beach, but is recovered and repaired

NigelTickner
Seaman
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2015 3:23 pm

Re: SGB 7 scuttled and onwards to Marlag POW camp

Postby NigelTickner » Wed Jul 08, 2015 4:05 pm

Dear Brian,
My apologies for the lateness of my response. I am just about to make some posts from a couple of scanned pages from my Dad's POW log, and a couple of photos of him. Please add him to 'known crew' as Petty Officer (Frederick) James Tickner D/JX150848. Just looking at his POW registration card now where it states his RN service number and also states Prisoner-of-War No. 19006 Marlag und Milag Nord, Westertimke, Germany.

NigelTickner
Seaman
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2015 3:23 pm

Re: SGB 7 scuttled and onwards to Marlag POW camp

Postby NigelTickner » Wed Jul 08, 2015 4:28 pm

Dear Friends,
Just posted two scanned pages from my Dad's POW log; a titled name page, and a coloured pencil drawing of SGB7 with some naval verse by Rudyard Kipling below which I presume he drew and wrote. At the end of his log he gives five members of the PO's mess onboard H.M. L.S.T.9 onboard which, as he states: "I terminated my stay on the continent arriving in Tilbury on May 9th 1945." He was indeed one of the youngest Petty Officers in the RN at the time, partly because he had been selected for the Upper Yardman scheme. Looking closely at the photo of him in civilian rig, I'm wondering if it had been on him at the time of imprisonment; is that the Nazi swastika in the stamp at the bottom of the photo? The other photo is taken of him as an MN Radio Officer after the war. When I was a boy he was teaching morse to radio officers at Norwood Technical College in the early 70s before the establishment moved to Greenhythe.
Attachments
Dad MN (2).jpg
Dad when young (2).jpg
Dad when young (2).jpg (36.54 KiB) Viewed 2704 times
sgb7.JPG
pow log.JPG

NigelTickner
Seaman
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2015 3:23 pm

Re: SGB 7 scuttled and onwards to Marlag POW camp

Postby NigelTickner » Sun Aug 23, 2015 3:48 pm

Here I attach a photograph of SGB 7 which I bought in Wright and Logan's photography shop in Portsmouth quite a few years ago. In pencil on the back of the photo it says '1942', so if correct, earlier in the same year before SGB 7 was engaged in her final action.
Attachments
Ohne Titel.jpg

Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 279
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:40 pm

Re: SGB 7 scuttled and onwards to Marlag POW camp

Postby Admin » Thu Aug 27, 2015 2:46 pm

Hello Nigel

Thank you for the photo of SGB 7 which is the best I've seen of any of the SGBs. It's particularly interesting to see the torpedo tubes as I wasn't aware these had been fitted to the SGBs. A very good find! and thanks again for posting.

Admin

Georgia
Seaman
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:29 am

Re: SGB 7 scuttled and onwards to Marlag POW camp

Postby Georgia » Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:36 am

Hi Nigel,

I do hope you see my reply. I am transcribing a conversation I had with my Grandfather, 8 years ago, of his time in the war. Frank Draper, 98, still alive. According to his memory, he was one of two survivors after SGB7 was hit by a torpedo on its bow. He and one other (Les) jumped overboard, and were in the water for approximately 12 hours, when they were spotted and captured by the Germans. He remained a POW in two camps, escaped around 3 times, even stole a German jeep in Poland but was turned back in France.
He now lives in Melbourne, Australia, where he came almost immediately after the war ended as a 10pound Pom.

I'll leave it at that for now.
Georgia


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