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Old British Royal Navy Photographs


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HMS Shamrock H06

S-Class Destroyer British Royal Navy Nore Reserve 1918 – 1936

‘S’ Class (Admiralty)   AA: (1) 2 pdr. pompom   Offensive: (3) 4 inch   Torpedoes: (4) 21 inch TT   Speed: 36 kts   Range:   Crew: 90   Tonnage: 1075   Dimensions: length 277 ft., beam 26.8 ft., draught 9 ft. Misc: in service 1918, 300 tons of fuel

This is the header of a series of photos recording the conveyance of a coffin containing the body of Commander von Bahr, attaché at the Swedish Legation, on board Shamrock. The date was Sunday 18th April 1926. The Harwich Standard of Saturday, April 24th page 4, reported the event as follows:


At Parkeston on Sunday afternoon the body of Commander Bahr, an attaché at the Swedish Legation, was taken on board a British destroyer, the Shamrock, which conveyed it to Sweden for interment. The body was bought from London to Parkeston by motor hearse.

At the Quay British naval petty officers from Shotley Barracks marched up and acted as bearers, carrying the coffin, which was covered by the Swedish national flag, to the destroyer moored alongside the Quay. A number of lads from Shotley Barracks followed, and as the procession wended its way across the Quay, passing a strong naval guard, it was joined by British naval officers. Swedish military and naval representatives were also present.

The coffin was reverently placed on board the Shamrock, where stood a naval guard with arms reversed, and in a few minutes the vessel was under way. The guard drawn upon the quayside presented arms as the destroyer passed on its journey down the river to the open sea.”

My thanks go to:

‘Brian Woods at Tendring Archivers’

History Research, House History, Family History & Tracing Services

01255 508629  for tracking down and supplying the Harwich Standard article.

The facts are:

  • The ship is HMS Shamrock
  • The series of photos were taken by Edith F Driver of Ipswich
  • Place : Parkeston Quay Harwich
  • Date 18th April 1926
  • Conveyance of the remains of Commander von Bahr – Attache, Swedish Legation, for interment in Sweden
  • HMS Shamrock arrived Gothenburg, Sweden 20th April 1926 and departed 22nd for Sheerness

“The SHAMROCK commissioned to full complement at Chatham 11 October 1919 for service in the 4th Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet and was detached to the Mediterranean for a time in 1920.  Her first CO was LtCom H P Boxer with Lt I L Whitehorn as his Number One.  In January 1921 these were replaced by Com C H H Sams and Lt P E Fell.  She recommissioned at the Nore 30 June 1921 as emergency destroyer, a tender to HECLA (later MALCOLM), with only engineering officers permanently attached, being completed to special complement whenever the need arose.  On 17 November 1927 she paid off into Maintenance Reserve at Rosyth and in November 1930 she recommissioned at Portsmouth for service at Gibraltar. She  remained in the Mediterranean until late 1936, when she returned to Portsmouth to pay off for disposal and scrap.” (National Maritime Museum)

In 1925-1927 the captain in charge of the GANGES establishment was Percy L H Noble CVO (NMM)

Do you know of anyone who served aboard HMS Shamrock or at Shotley Barracks/HMS Ganges 18/04/1926 who is alive today or who has surviving relatives who could be contacted concerning the event? Do you recognize anyone in the photographs? Please leave a comment or get in touch if you can help add to their story in any way. Contact form at base of this page.

You may download any of the images on this website for non-commercial personal use and archival only. 

taostream would like to thank the following for help and assistance (and patience!). They have truly brought life and meaning to the photographs.

  • Professor Andrew Lambert, King’s College, London
  • The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
  • Brian Woods at Tendring Archivers
  • The Imperial War Museum, London
  • Admiralty Library Naval Historical Branch (Ministry of Defence) Portsmouth and London
  • HMS GANGES ASSOCIATION webmaster and members
  • The National Archives PRO Records Enquiries Kew
  • Hans Houterman www.unithistories.com
  • Anders Thunberg (Sweden)
  • Johan von Bahr (Sweden)
  • John Williams www.southernmedals.co.uk
  • David Page www.navyphotos.co.uk (for the image of Shamrock on this page)
  • http://members.aol.com/destroyersaz (for Shamrock “stats”)

© Copyrighted material 2005 – 2015

Lads from Shotley Barracks on Parkeston Quay, Harwich, Essex, England April 18th 1926

Lads from Shotley Barracks on Parkeston Quay, Harwich, Essex, England April 18th 1926

Lads from Shotley Barracks on Parkeston Quay, Harwich, Essex, England 18th April 1926



18th April 1926 The conveyance of the remains of Commander von Bahr (Swedish Legation, London)



Second from left may be Colonel Erland Mossberg, third may be P.K. Kekewich

The Swedish Regeringskansliet Utrikesdepartementet of Stockholm has kindly provided photocopies of a few of short biographical essays on Colonel Erland Mossberg,  who in the Boer War was Swedish Military Attaché with the British Forces. Naturally, these are in Swedish and await translation.

Cdre. 2nd cl. Piers Keane Kekewich (1889 – 1967) Served European War 1914 – 1918 : Battle Cruiser Fleet (HMS Galatea and Cardiff). He was commander of HMS Ganges at the time this series of photographs were taken. He was promoted Captain in 1928. In 1939 he was CO HMS Cochrane (depot ship) & SO, Reserve Fleet & Kings Harbour Master, Rosyth Northern Patrol. He achieved Rear Admiral in 1940 and until February 1943 was with the Coastal Forces (HMS Attack) and spent some time on loan to the Royal Canadian Navy. He retired as Rear Admiral in 1942 (?) and made Cdre. 2nd cl. in November 1943 (?). His finished his career as Naval Superintendent, Malta Dockyard. Source: http://www.unithistories.com/


Captain P. K. Kekewich / Colonel Erland Mossberg / ? ?


Colonel Erland Mossberg Captain Percy Noble and ? ?

Admiral Sir Percy Lockhart Harnam Noble (1880-1955) joined the Navy in 1894. He first gained recognition on the Royal Yacht HMS Victoria and Albert (1911 – 1913) and as CO he served the Grand Fleet throughout WW1 (1914 –1918) before joining HMS Calliope towards the end of this period. Promoted Captain in June 1918 he served as Flag Captain on HMS Calcutta (the flagship of Admiral Everett) and was CO aboard HMS Barham within this period ending 1925. From 1925 until 1927 he was Senior Naval Officer at Harwich and CO at HMS Ganges RN Training Establishment at Shotley. He then moved to command the boy’s training establishment at Forton, Gosport until 1928. In March that year he became Director of Operations Division, Naval Staff, Admiralty (HMS President) and achieved promotion to Rear Admiral in October 1929. In this year he was also Naval ADC to the King. 1931 saw his role change to Director of Naval Equipment (HMS President). He commanded the 2nd Cruiser Squadron (HMS Leander) in late 1932 through to 1934. He was Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty and Fourth Sea Lord (Chief of Supplies and Transport) from February 1935 gaining promotion to Vice Admiral in May of this year. From December 1937 until 1940 he was Commander-in-Chief, China Station, HMS Cumberland (02.1938 – 08.1938),  HMS Kent (10.1938 – 08.1939), promoted Admiral in March 1939, HMS Tamar (04.1940). He was back with HMS President for Miscellaneous Services at the Admiralty from November 1940 to February 1941 before taking up position as Commander-in-Chief, Western Approaches until 1942. He was Head of the British Naval Delegation, Washington DC, USA 1942 – 1944 and from December of that year until April 1946 returned to HMS President (for Miscellaneous Services at the Admiralty). From October 1943 until (?) 1945 he was also First and Principle Naval ADC to the King. He retired as Admiral in 1945 and from June that year until his death in July 1955 held the title Rear-Admiral of the United Kingdom and of the Admiralty. Sources: www.unithistories.com http://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk


LtoR Captain Percy Noble ? Col Erland Mossberg ?

Bearing the remains of Commander Von Bahr aboard HMS Shamrock H06

Bearing the coffin of Commander von Bahr aboard HMS Shamrock H06


Written by taostream

October 11, 2009 at 5:45 pm

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