Anniversary of sinking of battleships with loss of 424 lives

dor201

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/anniversary-of-sinking-of-battleships-with-loss-of-424-lives-will-be-remembered-today-in-plymouth/story-30247665-detail/story.html

http://www.journalistandwriter.wordpress.com

and

https://www.facebook.com/craig.lock.31

dor20sink203

dor2010survivors20hms20paladin

photos from

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/anniversary-of-sinking-of-battleships-with-loss-of-424-lives-will-be-remembered-today-in-plymouth/story-30247665-detail/story.html

“Lest we forget”

RIP dearest dad

YOUNgsailor

picture from  Bismarck, Dorsetshire and Memories available at Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=bismarck+dorsetshire+and+memories

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Dad’s Book: Bismarck, Dorsetshire and Memories

41-k622ywvl-_ac_us160_      51NUqd4EoiL._SX312_BO1,204,203,200_

https://dadswarbook.wordpress.com/

and http://www.championdad.wordpress.com

for you,dad

Your memory and generous spirit lives on

dad NICEpic

“Love knows no boundaries, recognises no barriers. It jumps hurdles, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”

We love you, dad

Craig, Glenda and family

 

 

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“Dodging Bullets”

Just got this title “out of the air” for a new book

A story of a family (“a family saga”), a tale bridging generations

from http://www.lifeisgodsnovel.wordpress.com

and  www.thedriverthenurseandthewriter.wordpress.com

(+ thedriverthenurseandthewriterdotcom.wordpress.com

thedriverthenurseandthewriterdotcom1.wordpress.com)

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The South African
Military History Society

Society’s website address: – http://rapidttp.co.za/milhist/

Newsletter No 332 KwaZulu-Natal Branch March 2003

PAST EVENTS:

The first announcement at the February meeting was to inform the largest audience we have ever had at a Society meeting in Durban, that there was to be a change in the main talk. Due to business pressure, our Vice Chairman Bill Brady could not be certain of being in Durban for the March meeting when he was due to give the main talk, and agreement was reached for him to give his talk in February and for Major John Buchan to delay his talk until the March meeting.

The DDH was given by guest speaker Ray Lock, who although he finished his World War II career as a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, spoke to us about two amazing events that happened to him during his time as an Able Seaman. The talk was entitled I Watched the Sinking of The Bismarck and started with an amusing explanation of how, in 1939, a very young Master Ray Lock signed on to join the SAAF at the age of 16 years as a student pilot, and when he heard nothing after a few weeks, how he travelled to Simonstown and joined the Royal Navy. He convinced everyone that at 16 years he was almost 18 years of age!!

After completing his initial training he was drafted to HMS Dorsetshire, a “County” Class cruiser and’ he joined the ship as it sailed off to protect convoys in African waters. It was the start of an amazing wartime experience for our speaker and he started with an explanation of how they were escorting a convoy off the coast of West Africa and going north, when he heard a change in the tone of the engines and the Dorsetshire sailed north and away from the convoy. Although at the time the crew did not know it, the Dorsetshire was sailing towards the great sea battle that saw the sinking of the Bismarck. On their way the dramatic news was received of the sinking of HMS Hood. We then heard in detail how the battle developed, with the Bismarck and the Prince Eugen sailing into the North Atlantic from Norway, the search and eventual finding of both ships and how the Royal navy gave chase. The tactics used and the mistakes made before a shot was fired were also described and how, in parallel, the Dorsetshire approached from the south with Able Seaman Ray Lock on board. Importantly he was not just “on board” he was “on deck” as he was part of the crew handling P1 4 inch anti aircraft guns, positioned in the front on the port side, and this gave him a grandstand view as one of the great naval battles of World War II unfolded.

On arrival in the area, the Dorsetshire came under the command of Admiral Tovey on HMS King George V, with instructions to fire from the south with the KGV and HMS Rodney to concentrate their fire from the north when the battle started. What was not known was that torpedoes fired from Swordfish aircraft operating from the Ark Royal had damaged the rudder of the Bismarck in an attack the previous evening. The following morning the Rodney suffered damage as she closed in on the Bismarck, but accurate shelling from all ships also damaged the Bismarck and eventually the Dorsetshire fired 3 fatal torpedoes – all were direct hits – and the Bismarck sank within 10 minutes. Ray Lock saw the torpedoes fired, watched their approach and saw them hit their target and described it all with wonderful clarity.

With the battle over, the Dorsetshire went to the UK for a major refit and returned to Simonstown, arriving in December 1941 to hear the news of the attack on Pearl Harbour. She then sailed to Colombo (in what was Ceylon) and together with HMS Cornwall sailed from there to join the Eastern Fleet. When 500 miles south west of Colombo, 70 Japanese dive-bombers attacked both ships and both were sunk within 12 minutes of the start of the action. The combined casualties were around 500 killed, 500 wounded and 400 unhurt. Ray Lock was one of those wounded with shrapnel and shot wounds and the survivors were in the water or on rafts for 32 hours before the Royal Navy picked them up. With no medical facilities of any kind and only one qualified doctor it took a further 3 weeks before they returned to Durban for hospital treatment. Our speaker was in hospital for 8 months before returning to sea, gaining his commission and seeing more naval action in the Mediterranean.

Ray Lock gave us all the sort of talk that could only be given by someone who “was there”. He spoke with very few notes and his command of the detail was as impressive as the eloquent and personal way he described these great events.

#

 “Man is mind
and evermore he takes the tool of thought
and, shaping what he wills,
brings forth a thousand joys,
a thousand ills.
He thinks in secret
and it comes to pass –
Environment is but his looking glass.”

– anon*

Thanks so much for sharing these words so often with me, dad. Your spirit (“driven”) lives on, as I “work” * on sharing your unique story.

dad NICEpic

* It’s not really “work”, but a “labour of love”.

The various editions of Bismarck, Dorsetshire and Memories ( e-books, paperbacks and picture books *) are available at  http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=bismarck+dorsetshire+and+memories

  • as with practice I’ve been learning a bit more each time (book)  about the publishing process

PPS

“The empires of the future are the empires of the mind”

– Winston Churchill (in an address to Harvard University in 1943)

 

“But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated.” 
― Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

from http://www.hemingwaythoughts.wordpress.com

“Together, one mind, one life (one small step at a time), let’s see how many people (and lives) we can encourage, impact, empower, enrich, uplift and perhaps even inspire to reach their fullest potentials.”
“Praa…vince”, er sorry, wrong city/province,  “Na…tal”
Picture: Table Mountain and the beautiful Mother City of South Africa taken from Bloubergstrand

#

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Appendix (for a new edition)

  1. Ray Remembers Epic Battle

His book is an eye-witness account of the sinking of the Bismarck

The book ‘Bismarck, Dorsetshire and Memories’ by Ray Lock

The book ‘Bismarck, Dorsetshire and Memories’ by Ray Lock

The book: Bismarck, Dorsetshire and Memories by Ray Lock

by Penny Tsepouras

from North Glen News 1/10/2004

and sent to me by my dear dad, which I‘m sharing on the www to help preserve his memory, and most importantly, to share his unique eye-witness account of epic battles from WW II through the amazing power of the net.

#

FOR many of us World War II occupies a distant place in history, far removed from our every day lives, yet immortalised for a generation who paid heavily for the price of freedom.

For Durban North’s Ray Lock, the recent publication of his book Bismarck, Dorsetshire and Memories, is a recollection of events documenting his eyewitness account to one of the major historical events in WW II that has rightly found a place in historical archives.

In 1939, at the tender age of 16, Ray, eager not to miss the action of WW II, falsified his age by two years and managed to enlist as a seaman for the Royal Navy. After spending a couple of months undergoing military training at the Natal Command in Durban, Ray was assigned as a crew-member aboard the battleship, the Dorsetshire.

His book is an eyewitness account of the events that led to the sinking of the Dorsetshire on 5 April 1942.

“In the first year aboard the Dorsetshire not much happened. With a crew, slightly in excess of 700, we did endless patrols in the Indian and Atlantic oceans searching for German commerce raiders, who in turn were searching for soft Allied targets.

Action in the Indian Ocean then was comparatively quiet compared with the concentrated Atlantic U-boat activity in the North Atlantic,” said Ray.

“The German battleship, Bismarck, was the most powerful warship ever built She had a crew of approximately 2300 and was commissioned on 24 August 1940 to cause havoc to the convoys plying between the United States and Britain. She could outgun and outrun any ship afloat.”

Ray’s account of the final battle that sunk the Bismarck makes for unwavering reading.

“The battle lasted approximately one and three quarter hours. Out of 2300. crew only 115 survived, of which 95 where picked up by the Dorsetshire. We then sailed northwards and finally docked at Newcastle cheered by the dockyard workers as we berthed.

“While in our Simon’s Town base we heard the news on 7 December 1941 that Japan had attacked the United States fleet at Pearl Harbour.”

The book takes the reader through the eventful Sunday 5 April 1942 when Ray and the crew of the Dorsetshire came under attack from Japanese aircraft.

“Horace Howe, my friend from Queenstown was standing next to me and took a number of

machine gun. hits across his body, he died instantly. I received a bullet wound just above the right knee,” he said.

Ray took another hit and was badly wounded on the left ankle and leg. Shrapnel also pierced his chest.His incredible account of the rescue operation, the long road to recovery and finally been reunited with his father is an incredible journey portraying an inner strength and spirit

Ray’s memories will no doubt leave a strong impression in the mind of the reader and as one often does when meeting an exceptional person, the testament to the human spirit lends inspiration to those who touch upon it.

An incredible chapter of history has certainly been recorded in Bismarck, Dorsetshire and Memories. Ray will be launching his book at Splashes restaurant, Newport Avenue, Glenashley on 6 October at 6.30pm.

Article by Penny Tsepouras

from North Glen News, Durban North, South Africa  1/10/2004
*

2. RAYMOND LOCK – ABLE SEAMAN RNVR. SA. -67699

07/01/1923- 23/02/2009

by John Bailey

Key words (tags): Ray Lock, John Bailey,Flotsam and Jetsam, books, the Book ‘Bismarck, Dorsetshire and Memories’, autobiography, war stories, memoirs, Royal Navy, military history, naval battles, naval history, South Africans

Sourced from FLOTSAM AND JETSAM Vol. 50 August 2002 No 209

GOLDEN JUBILEE EDITION

(and sent to me some years ago by my dear dad, which I‘m sharing on the www to help preserve his memory, and most importantly, to share his unique eye-witness account of epic battles from WW II through the amazing power of the net.

*

On a crisp, but sunny autumnal morning earlier this year, I made my way through the narrow but picturesque Harfield Village — one of Cape Town’s popular “Chelsea” areas. Streets bearing the names of English counties abound and instantly become a constant – if not a little nostalgic -reminder as I ambled through Hereford and Leicester, before reaching my ultimate destination in Sussex ….

I welcomed the soft and comfortable sofa that greeted me on my arrival at No 17, but no sooner had I seated myself than a dapper gentleman appeared and whose right hand was quick to come forward in a sincere gesture of greeting …

Raymond Lock – “Ray” to his family and friends — was instantly recognizable from his TV image as being a member of the congregation who had recently attended the sixtieth anniversary service at Simons Town, which recalled the sinking of HMS CORNWALL and HMS DORSETSHIRE on Easter Sunday 1942. It was not long before Ray was recounting his own experiences for me …

Born in the then Southern Rhodesian town of Bulawayo on 7 January 1923, Ray completed his education at the South African College High School in Cape Town. Although not yet seventeen years of age, he “bluffed” his real date of birth, and signed on for the Air Force in November of 1939. A change of heart soon found this intrepid young lad heading for Simon‘s Town, where he duly enlisted for service in the Navy. It was nor long before Ray was posted for duty to Klawer Camp on Red Hill – a naval installation that commanded an excellent view of the naval base in the bay below. However, by the Autumn of 1940, be was at sea, having been seconded to the 8-inch cruiser — HMS DORSETSHIRE —· as an able seaman.

In the May of 1941 — and in company with HMS RODNEY, HMS KING GEORGE V and HMS ARK ROYALHMS DORSETSHIRE succeeded in routing the German battleship BISMARCK in the North Atlantic Ocean. It is interesting to note that Ray Look was aboard HMS DORSETSHIRE, as the cruiser fired the final torpedoes into the already crippled battleship ….

Japan’s entry into the war in the December of 1941, opened up a new frontier of conflict for the allies and by the end of March of`1942, an attack on the island of Ceylon seemed imminent.

Shortly before midnight on Easter: Saturday — 4 April — HMS DORSETSHIRE, under the command of Captain Augustus Agar VC and HMS CORNWALL, under the command of Captain P C W Mainwaring (or Manwaring??) sailed from the Ceylonese port of Colombo. Their objective was to rendezvous with Admiral·Somervi1le some hundred of miles to the South at 16.00 on the following afternoon, and so be able to present a united front to the enemy.

In his definitive study on the Japanese assault on Ceylon entitled “The Most Dangerous Moment”,

Michael Tomlinson recalls that “shortly after one o’çlock (Sunday 5th April) with all men at action stations, numerous radio contacts were picked up (by HMS CORNWALL and HMS DORSETSHIRE…wireless silence was now broken to notify Admiral Somerville of their position (and) to report the enemy shadowing and possibility of an air attack

(The Japanese) wasted not a moment on sighting the two cruisers…(and) scored hit after hit from the word go….The line of attack seemed to have been carefully worked out in advance…..

Young Ray Lock, one of the Dorsetshire’s crew serving a 4 inch ack-ack gun amidships and fuming at their hopelessly restricted field of fire, found himself flung to the deck ten feet below by a blast from a bomb. Shaken, he got to his feet, intent on getting back to the gun; but was startled to see only two blackened stumps, where the twin gun barrels had been and the rest of the crew dead or badly wounded. Only some time later, noticing a squelching sound in his shoes, did he find them filling with blood and realized that he was seriously wounded in the chest and legs …..0nly eight minutes after the first bomb hit, her bows rose above the sea, where by now most of her company were floundering in the hot oily water, and she was gone….Much the same could be said for HMS CORNWALL….Lieutenant Geoffrey Grove relates:

“When at 1.40 pm the Jap planes struck, the first bomb hit the CORNWALL’s port-side, astern…We had something like fifteen hits in about seven minutes and the poor old girl took up a bigger list than ever and started to settle….once clear of the ship (I) turned around and waited for her to go, which she did quite quietly, bows first. Her stern came up into the air and she slid down, one propeller revolving slowly.”

Ray was quick to recall that having abandoned ship, he found himself swimming in a sea that was both warm and dead calm, excepting for a layer of oil that had already begun to ooze up and out of the sunken cruiser. He was to spend some seven hours in the water, before being dragged into a life-boat to endure a full day and night, before being rescued by HMAS PALADIN and transported to Addu Atoll in the Maldive Islands. Here Ray was transferred to a merchant ship to await the arrival of the hospital ship HMNS VITA, aboard which he returned to South Africa towards the end of April.

In his certificate for “Wounds and Hurts”, Surgeon Captain OD Brownfeld notes that Ray sustained a “gun shot through (the) left ankle with (a) fracture of the neck of the astragalus, as well as a “shrapnel wound to the left of (the) middle of (the) sternum.” However, the doctor makes `no mention of the pieces of shrapnel that have surfaced throughout Ray’s body over the past sixty years!

Glancing suddenly at my watch, I realized how quickly the time had passed… a quick “photo-call” was needed to recall the event and Ray, with bags packed, was soon to return to Durban…. Like so many men and women of his era, his quiet unassuming manner certainly gives one no indication as to the emotional suffering that he surely endured at so young an age; however, his inner bravery and strength was to shine forth during an interview recorded by The Daily News – a Durban tabloid in September of 1987: Of course, in dangerous situations we were scared, but you have to react. The bravest thing we did was signing the recruiting form.”

Go well, Ray

John Bailey

Sourced from FLOTSAM AND JETSAM

GOLDEN JUBILEE EDITION

“Man is mind
and evermore he takes the tool of thought
and, shaping what he wills,
brings forth a thousand joys,
a thousand ills.
He thinks in secret
and it comes to pass –
Environment is but his looking glass.”

– anon*

Thanks so much for sharing these words so often with me, dad. Your spirit (“driven”) lives on, as I “work” * on sharing your unique story.

* It’s not really “work”, but a “labour of love”.

“The empires of the future are the empires of the mind”

– Winston Churchill (in an address to Harvard University in 1943)

 

“But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated.” 
― Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

from http://www.hemingwaythoughts.wordpress.com

The various editions of Bismarck, Dorsetshire and Memories ( e-books, paperbacks and picture books *) are available at  http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=bismarck+dorsetshire+and+memories

  • as with practice I’ve been learning a bit more each time (book)  about the publishing process

                                   #

 

This “non-techno” is just working on updating my dads book and practising with Google Drive

from https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxslrCi5v2WzYUxDRUZ6T2ViNDg/view?usp=sharing

PS

see the pictures didn’t come out on Google Drive from my Word doc. Hopefully will come out in the updated book!

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Bismarck, Dorsetshire and Memories

51NUqd4EoiL._SX312_BO1,204,203,200_

Just been practising (I need it) publishing new editions of my dad’s book

The latest e-book version is at   http://www.amazon.com/dp/B013PW5PW2

and the paperback should be published later today

The various editions of Bismarck , Dorsetshire and Memories (e-books and paperpack versions) are available at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=bismarck%2C+dorsetshire+and+memories

YOUNgsailor

dad YOUNG

Ray Lock-page-0 (1)

DAD (talking to RAY)

“But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated.” 
― Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

from http://www.hemingwaythoughts.wordpress.com

Your memory lives on, dad

“When you live on in hearts you leave behind, is not to leave at all.”

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Bismarck, Dorsetshire and Memories (by Ray Lock)

I was a Witness to the sinking of the Bismarck!

‘Bismarck, Dorsetshire and Memories’ by Ray Lock

The book ‘Bismarck, Dorsetshire and Memories’ by Ray Lock

Click on http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00R4VDJR4

Just learning (a bit more) about the publishing process, as I “work” on and update my dear dad’s book Bismarck, Dorsetshire and Memories , a “true labour of love”

enjoy

craig

To the great song Sink The Bismarck by Johnny Horton

Click on www.youtube.com/watch?v=KecIdlEAKhU

PPS

“But man is not made for defeat,  A man can be destroyed but not defeated. ”

Posted in Bismarck, books by Ray Lock, dad, Dorsetshire and Memories, Military History (naval), Ray Lock, RC Lock, Royal Navy, World War II | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments