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Back to Glasgow West War Story

Project Title: Glasgow West War Story

Exhibition: Armed Forces: the Royal Navy

During World War II men were recruited into the Royal Navy in a variety of roles. These roles included: seamen, signalmen and telegraphists; stokers; engine-room, electrical and ordnance artificers; shipwrights; blacksmiths, joiners, painters and plumbers; air fitters, air riggers and air mechanics; sick berth ratings; writer and supply ratings; officers’ stewards; and cooks. Throughout the war the Royal Navy helped defend Britain’s supplies of food, raw materials and weapons. This exhibition recalls the experiences of Mr Maclean who joined the Royal Navy in 1945 just before the end of the war. Mr Maclean was a boy during the war. He was evacuated to Whitefields shortly after the outbreak of the war and later returned home to Glasgow in 19--. He joined Glasgow University Naval Division when he was – and went on to spend three years in the Royal Navy. On his release of service from the Navy in 1948 he began a degree in Electronic Engineering at Glasgow University graduating with a BSc in 1953. Mr Maclean has fond memories of his time in the Royal Navy but visiting countries such as Japan post-war he also witnessed first-hand the devastation caused by war.

Assets in this exhibition:

Mr Maclean onboard HMS Consort

Exhibition Image One

Description

Mr Maclean standing on the stearn of HMS Consort in Malta. The clothes worn were working unifrom; blue denim trousers and a light blue shirt.

Source

Date: 1947
Location: Malta
Original Source: Mr Maclean private collection


Royal Navy Certificate of Service

Exhibition Image One

Description

This certificate records Mr Macleans service in the Royal Navy. Page 1 contains his personal details and shows that he volunteered to join the Navy on the 20th February 1945.

Source

Date: 1945
Contributor: Royal Navy


Royal Navy Certificate of Service page 2

Exhibition Image One

Description

Mr Maclean joined the Royal Navy on the 20th February 1945. This certificate records his service. Page 2 gives the names and dates of all the ships he served on until his release from service on the 20th March 1948.

Source

Date: 1945-1948
Contributor: Royal Navy


Photographs of HMS Consort crew

Exhibition Image One

Description

Whilst in the Royal Navy, Mr Maclean took many photographs of his fellow HMS Consort crew members and the many places he visited. The photograph top left shows the crew dressed in uniform for Sunday divisions, non-denominational service. Top right shows Mr Maclean standing on the stearn of HMS Consort. The bottom photographs of crew members were taken whilst docked in Malta.

Source

Date: 1947
Contributor: Mr Maclean
Location: Malta/near Malta
Original Source: Mr Maclean private collection


Crew with anti-aircraft gun onboard HMS Consort

Exhibition Image One

Description

HMS Consort crew with Bofor anti-aircraft gun. Bofor guns were rapid firing 40mm canons manufactured in Sweden and formed part of the anti-aircraft armament onboard ships defending coastal areas during World War II.

The clothes worn by the crew are typical of the working uniform for onboard ship.

Source

Date: 1947
Contributor: Mr Maclean
Location: Mediterranean Sea
Original Source: Mr Maclean private collection


Gunnery History sheet

Exhibition Image One

Description

Whilst Mr Maclean was in the Royal Navy he received gunnery training. This is page 1 of his Gunnery History sheet which records his training.

Source

Contributor: The Royal Navy


Record of Examination in Gunnery and Radar

Exhibition Image One

Description

Whilst in the Royal Navy Mr Maclean received training in gunnery and radar. This document records his training and examinations. It shows that he passed examinations in radar whilst serving on HMS Valkyrie in 1946, and examinations in gunnery serving on HMS Drake later the same year.

Source

Date: 1946
Contributor: Royal Navy


9 inch Torpedo ('fish')

Exhibition Image One

Description

Mr Maclean was lucky to capture this photograph of a torpedo which had just been fired from HMS Consort during firing practice. The ship's identifier R76 can be seen on the nose of the torpedo. Torpedoes were also colloquially referred to as 'fish' in the Royal Navy.

Source

Date: 1947
Contributor: Mr Maclean


Mr Maclean at a Forces Club

Exhibition Image One

Description

This photograph of Mr Maclean (left) was taken at a Forces Club in Aden. The club had a swimming pool and leisure facilities and was used the Army, Air and Naval forces as a place to relax.

Source

Date: 1947
Location: Aden
Original Source: Mr Maclean private collection


Mr Maclean onshore in Aden, Gulf of Aden

Exhibition Image One

Description

Mr Maclean onshore in Aden, Gulf of Aden, aged 20 years old. The clothing shown here were typical wear for shore patrol.

Source

Date: 1947
Location: Aden, Gulf of Aden
Original Source: Mr Maclean private collection


Letter from Armed Forces Education Centre

Exhibition Image One

Description

Armed Forces Education Centre's were established in most major British bases for forces to attend classes and continue their education. Mr Maclean attended classes for Algebra and Calculus whilst his ship was based in Hong Kong. Attending such classes was advantageous for securing civil employment or a place at university once released from service.

Source

Date: 1947
Contributor: Armed Forces Education Centre


HMS Consort in drydock, Hong Kong

Exhibition Image One

Description

During his time in the Royal Navy, Mr Maclean served onboard the HMS Consort. HMS Consort was a destroyer, built in Glasgow and launched in 1946. As can be seen on the right, awnings were mounted on deck to shield crew from the sun.

Source

Date: 1947
Contributor: Mr Maclean
Location: Hong Kong
Original Source: Mr Maclean private collection


Mr Maclean, Miyajima

Exhibition Image One

Description

While Mr Maclean was in the Rotal Navy he visited Japan and other countries in Asia. Mr Maclean (left) is seen here in unifrom issued for tropical countries. This photograph was taken whilst on leave in August 1947. Mr Maclean is sitting on the Temple steps in Miyajima, Japan.

Source

Date: 1947
Location: Miyajima, Japan
Original Source: Mr Maclean private collection


Hiroshima, 1947

Exhibition Image One

Description

Mr Maclean went to Hiroshima in 1947 while he was serving in the Royal Navy. These photographs show the devestation caused by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima on the 6th August 1945.

Source

Date: 1947
Contributor: Mr Maclean
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Original Source: Mr Maclean private collection


Order for Release from Naval Service (Class A) Men

Exhibition Image One

Description

Mr Maclean was released from Service on the 13th March 1948 after which he was free to take up civil employment.

Class A release meant that individuals were being released from the Forces under the Plan for Re-allocation of Manpower in the period after the defeat of Germany and before the defeat of Japan. Individuals released under this order were still subject to recall to Naval Service in an emergency until the defeat of Japan.

Source

Date: 1948
Contributor: Royal Navy


Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

On August 6th 1945 the President of the United States of America Harry S. Truman gave the order for the atomic bomb, code named ‘Little Boy’, to be dropped on the city of Hiroshima. Three days later on the 9th August 1945 a second atomic bomb codenamed ‘Fat Man’ was dropped on Nagasaki. The bombs killed an estimated 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 80,000 in Nagasaki, most of which were civilians. People died from injuries or the combined effects of flash burns, trauma, and radiation. Since then, more have died from leukemia and solid cancers attributed to exposure to radiation released by the bombs. It was the fist and only use of nuclear weapons in the history of warfare. The bombings came after Japan ignored the Postdam Declaration issued on the 26th July 1945 detailing the terms of surrender of the Empire of Japan. The statement issued an ultimatum that if Japan did not surrender it would face destruction. On the 15th August Japan surrendered to the Allies and signed the Instrument of Surrender on the 2nd September bringing an end to World War II.