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Heroes Of Our Time

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Fred Baker

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19th November 1923 – 1st January 2013


Joined :     1939 aged 15.




At H.M.S St George.


H.M.S. St. George was commissioned on the 9th September 1939 at Cunningham's Holiday Camp, on the outskirts of Douglas in the Isle of Man, with Commodore Forster as Commanding Officer.    The camp was on a continuous slope down towards the sea not far from Onchan Head.  A main road ran through the camp dividing the two into upper and lower sections so safe access between the two camps was through a long underground passage (subway) which led to a glass-roofed and paved patio in Lower Camp. This subsequently became the quarterdeck.


St. George had not only absorbed the whole of H.M.S. Ganges but was taking in boys from a number of other training ships such as the St. Vincent, Caledonia, Exmouth, Arethusa, Royal Hospital School, etc.  As a result, another holiday camp was taken over on the Isle of Man.  This was Howstrake Camp nearer Onchan Head which was used to provide the first six weeks Induction Training.  


Accommodation.    At St. George, Boys, and those Chief and Petty Officers acting as class instructors were accommodated in summer chalets arranged in 'Lines'. The chalets were constructed of wood and asbestos sheeting with no heating system other than electric heaters for the Instructors.  Conditions were so bad in the winter of 1939 that a piped heating system was installed during 1940 and completed just as the most of the first 1939 intake to St. George were on their way to sea. At Howstrake Camp, the Boys were accommodated in unheated chalets, fitted with four bunks per chalet.  It was cold there as well and in February and March 1941 many of the boys went down with severe chilblains to hands and feet.


Food.  When the camp first opened up there was waitress service !   It didn't last for long though. 'Cooks of the Mess' soon came into being, while officers and instructors continued to enjoy  the comforts of personal service





This picture is at St George’s as background is the same, as other photos on above web site.




Unsure where this was taken, Maybe passing out parade?



H.M.S Euryalus.


(The name Euryalus is from a character in Greek mythology. )




This may have been Fred’s first ship depending on when he finished his training.


The fifth Euryalus was a Dido Class light cruiser, pennant number C42.


Launched at HM Dockyard Chatham, on 6 June 1939, Euryalus commissioned on 26 June 1941 as a light cruiser with 10 recently designed 5.25-in guns mounted in five turrets, a number of light AA guns and six anti-surface 21-in torpedo tubes. The 5.25-in dual purpose anti-aircraft and anti-surface guns showed a shift in cruiser design to counter the growing threat from the air.


After working up at Scapa Flow, Euryalus joined Force H temporarily in September to help escort a convoy from Gibraltar to Malta. She then transferred to the Mediterranean Fleet via Capetown, arriving at Alexandria on 1 November 1941 to join the 15th Cruiser Squadron. When the 8th Army began its advance in Libya on 18 November 1941, Euryalus and sister ship Naiad bombarded enemy positions in the Halfaya area that night in support.







This was possibly Oct 1941 on the way to Alexandria




Might be around the same time.




Note censor stamp so this photo was possibly posted home.




Would say early in 1942 after arriving in Alexandria November 1941.




Note same  number and pattern as on red sea pic.



After instructing in the Petty Officers' School and attending the Naval Staff College at Greenwich, he was appointed First Lieutenant of HMS CHEQUERS in 1949. CHEQUERS was Leader of the First Destroyer Flotilla in the Mediterranean Fleet.