Ending 2nd Aug, 2022 16:00

Timed Auction - Militaria

Lot 26

Royal Naval photograph album - relating to H.M.S Encounter, 1935-37

A photograph album compiled by a Royal Navy Lieutenant during service with the E-10 Class Destroyer H.M.S Encounter
covering the period from May 1935 to July 1937
comprising over 230 individually captioned photographs and some postcards, compiled during the vessel's service with the 5th Destroyer Flotilla, including 100+ naval, some active and many on tour shots together with some family photographs.

This album begins with the ship joining the 5th Defence Flotilla and documents manoeuvres including smoke screens off Lamlash (Isle of Arran). HMS Encounter and Escapade appear to have suffered a collision during these exercises and are shown in the dock awaiting repairs. Another collision occurred off Alexandria on 19th November 1935 and the album contains an official report, that reads '... During an exercise where six divisions of destroyers carried out a simultaneous attack with torpedoes on the First Cruiser Squadron. The attack had been made without lights and both ships were turning to pick up torpedoes when it was seen that Encounter's course was such that she would hit Echo between the funnels on the Port side. At the time Encounter was doing thirty knots and Echo twenty-five. By using full helms both Captains succeeded in avoiding collision and found themselves steaming on parallel courses about twenty feet apart. The ships were still not on steady courses and full helm was being used in both directions to prevent their respective bows and sterns swinging toward the opposite vessel. Echo reduced speed in an attempt to drop clear astern. As she did so, the swinging of Encounter's stern to starboard seemed to coincide with Echo's bow laying off to port. Collision occurred at upper deck level under the 0.5" bridge just before the starboard whaler. A further bump followed abaft the whalter, and the Echo's bows scraped aft along the side as far as the propellor guard."

Further included are photographs of the 1935 Silver Jubilee Royal Naval Review and the 1937 King George VI Coronation Review, including views of the vessels lighting up the skies with searchlights, candles and a spectacular array of fireworks. Snapshots include the crew celebrating onboard and the illumination displays. Elsewhere in the album are photographs of the Italian passenger ship S.S. Ausonia on fire off the coast of Alexandria (ultimately resulting in a total loss); manoeuvres off Gibraltar including towing; a menu card for the Luncheon given by the Mayor of Middlesborough in honour of the visit of H.M.S Escapade and H.M.S Encounter to the Port of Middlesborough; "Firing Fish" in Invergordon (taken by Gaumont British News) and many other interesting photographs. A good archive of this inter-war period of Royal Naval history. HMS Encounter was, of course, sadly lost during the Second Battle of the Java sea in 1942 with eight of its crew killed outright and the remaining 149 taken Prisoner of War by the Japanese, of which thirty-eight died in captivity.

Notes: A cross-reference and process of elimination of the names which appear in this album and the 1935 and 1937 Navy Lists suggest this album was compiled by Commander (then Lt) Peter John Knowling, O.B.E. His Second World War service included with HMS Cotswold 1940-41, with the Combined Operations Material Department and COHQ in 1944, as Commander of HMS Nile (a shore base) in 1945 and, post-war, at HMNZS Tamaki in 1954. He was Mentioned in Despatches in 1942, awarded an OBE in 1953 and retired in January 1957.

Sold for £200


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