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Re: ML 206

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:18 pm
by Admin
Hi Gray207

I've just realised where I probably heard about the minesweeping in the Seine that I referred to in your thread on ML 207, and that is in part four of the sound recording made by the IWM of William Arthur Gostling as I recognise my own note for ML 206 referenced earlier in this thread, which mentions it.

I've been doing some research today on other enquiries we currently have, and I happened across an interesting piece in one of the old CFVA newsletters, which is a Normandy Diary for ML 204, with entries for all of the days in June, which provides an interesting insight into the work of an ML Flotilla during that period and the kinds of things that were going on, and which I will copy and send to you later this week.

Admin

Re: ML 206

Posted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 5:16 am
by Peploe
More photos of Ml206 1945

Re: ML 206

Posted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 5:18 am
by Peploe
Ml 206 at Kiel

Re: ML 206

Posted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 5:22 am
by Peploe
ML 206

Re: ML 206

Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 11:47 am
by Norfolkgal
Hi
My Grandfather was ACCM Alfred Vincent Thorn. I have limited info on his time in the services and know a little about when he was awarded his DSM. Anyone have any information please.

Re: ML 206

Posted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:34 am
by Admin
Hello Norfolkgal

Our Coastal Forces Awards database gives him as being ML 224 for this particular award. A batch of Mention in Dispatches awards to four crew members on this boat, listed in the 26 June 1945 edition of the Gazette are for minesweeping off the north coast of France from September to December 1944, so it's possible his was an earlier award for this, or for good service in general whilst minesweeping.

Regards
Admin

Re: ML 206

Posted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:19 am
by Norfolkgal
That's brilliant Thankyou.

Re: ML 206

Posted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 12:54 pm
by Admin
You're welcome, and thank you for your earlier photographs Peploe. I don't know if you have followed the ML 916 thread, which was also a minesweeping ML, where the hazards of the job are viscerally revealed. It was normal practice for all of the crew who could, to remain on deck during operations, as that was the safest place for them to be, so the role of the motor mechanic and his stokers shut down below tending to the engines, was a very brave thing to have to do.

The citation for the later awards to four other crew members of ML 224 in the London Gazette reads:
For outstanding skill, courage and devotion to duty in hazardous mine-sweeping operations in the ports of Northern France after the invasion

Re: ML 206

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:42 pm
by jpfoynes
Dear ML 206 son...

I have been researching MLs for very many years, partly for various naval histories I've published, but also out of sheer personal interest.
My late father worked for Aldous Successors, Brightlingsea, where 206 was built, and worked on her.
I am now helping the local museum build up their collection of B'sea 39-45 naval photos, and wonder if you have any taken by your father when his ML was fitted out and commissioned there (straight after building) in the early spring of 1941.

Julian Foynes (do check my bona fides as naval history writer on Amazon, British Library Catalogue, IWM Catalogue)

Re: ML 206

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:21 pm
by RichardBell
photos attached from the time my Dad Ernest Bell served on ML206 from 41-45.

Re: ML 206

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:23 pm
by RichardBell
More photos of ML206

Re: ML 206

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:25 pm
by RichardBell
Further photos

Re: ML 206

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:28 pm
by RichardBell
ML206 and photos of reunion in the 80’s

Re: ML 206

Posted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:22 pm
by David Carter
Richard Thank you for posting these photographs - most interesting. David Carter

Re: ML 206

Posted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 2:36 pm
by Gray207
Fascinating photographs Richard. Thank you for posting them. I wonder if you have any idea of the locations and the dates that they were taken? As you may have read elsewhere in the forum, my father was on ML207 during the war and he said that ML206 was the ship they worked closely with. I have a basic timeline of events, which I would I am trying to tighten up. I imagine the times and places for the two ships would be similar. Also, did your father ever mention a convoy in the Baltic in late 1945 or very early 1946, during which the MLs were acting as escorts to some small German vessels? They were being taken to the Soviet Union as war reparations. My father has written a graphic account of events when the convoy were hit by a ferocious storm after setting out from Bornholm Island. He says he thinks ML206 ended up in Sweden.

Re: ML 206

Posted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:55 pm
by RichardBell
I am afraid I do not have dates but I will check my records of where ML206 was based during the war from the records of the Royal Navy. I think 206 was posted to the Med in late 45 but my father did not go.

Re: ML 206

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:11 am
by RichardBell
ML206 movements from launch in 1941 to July 1945

Re: ML 206

Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 1:23 pm
by Gray207
Richard, thank you for this information. It has proven very helpful. The dates generally tally with my own timeline and I’ve been able to tighten up the gap that I had around the Christmas of 1944 – though, as always, more information raises further intriguing questions.

Individual ships from the flotilla would, of course, have been in for repair or refit at different times, so were not always together, which complicates matters. However, the flotilla deployment contained within your time line is particularly useful. I had been under the impression that the flotilla had been based in Ostend not Terneuzen but I suppose it spent considerable time at both ports during mine sweeping operations. Just as it spent roughly equal times at Gosport and Ramsgate, when on convoy escort duty in the Channel, even though the flotilla was actually based in Gosport.

Could you tell me how you obtained the information? I am wondering if similar deployment details exist for ML 207. My own searches have not uncovered anything. However, I have unearthed information that explains why ML 206 was being repaired in the October of 1943, after being damaged by a shell in Ramsgate Harbour. I discovered a document at the National Archives that relates to the incident, which I have included below - ML206 is mentioned top left.

adm267_123_002.jpg

My father also mentioned the incident, although he was not there at the time, the crew told him about it. This is his account:


There was one particularly tragic incident that the crew often spoke of. It happened in the October of 1943, just a few weeks before I joined the ship. ML 207 and its sister, ML206 were moored close together in Ramsgate harbour when the shell warning sounded. Soon after, a shell hit the water of the harbour close to where the ships were berthed, disintegrating as it did so and sending a torrent of shrapnel in their direction. ML 206 took the brunt of the strike with metal bomb fragments tearing though several parts of the hull. The largest hit the rear quarter and ripped straight through the wardroom where the offices, including the flotilla commander Lt. Cdr. Harry Leslie and his second in command, Sub.Lt Peter Harrison, were sleeping. Leslie had the top bunk and Harrison the lower. Tragically, one large fragment severed Sub.Lt. Harrison’s head clean off, killing him instantly, whilst Lt. Cdr. Leslie, just inches above him, was left completely unscathed.


My father told me that the crew regarded the incident as tragic example of fate. Here was a brave man killed in a UK harbour whilst asleep in his bunk, when he had been in the front line in fights with German forces in the channel and else ware. I’ve since also discovered that Sub.Lt Harrison is buried in Ramsgate cemetery.

Re: ML 206

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:47 pm
by RichardBell
I obtained the information on behalf of my mother from The Naval Historical Dept of Ministry of Defence in Portsmouth. They sent my fathers war records along with the detail of ML206 movements

Re: ML 206

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:11 pm
by Gray207
Richard

Thanks for the reply. I already had my father’s service record from when he left the Navy, so have never requested a further copy. I did contact Portsmouth some years back, asking if they had any information about ML 207 but was simply directed to the National Archives. I was also told that there was a possibility that Greenwich may have information. I will try Portsmouth once more.

Thanks again for the information.