H.M.S. Glamorgan. October 1971. | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

H.M.S. Glamorgan. October 1971.

Those who looked towards the dockyard 50 years ago would have seen a new arrival on the north arm starboard side to in the shape of destroyer Glamorgan.

We left Singapore on the 11th to carry out assorted evolutions before making passage north easterly with a real threat of typhoons to hinder our intended course through the reefs and shoals which were avoided with just rough seas as compensation.

The night before we arrived in Hong Kong was quite fantastic. Ten miles off the coast, under the watchful eyes of a Communist signal station, were hundreds and hundreds of junks, a blaze of lights filling the horizon and radar screens with seemingly impenetrable mass. We just had to grit our teeth and head towards them, and they parted before us, slipping past, a few score feet away.

As dawn broke we entered Hong Kong harbour, which along with Sydney, visited previously, and Rio de Janeiro, which we visited in 1972, is said to be one of the most beautiful in the world.

Glamorgan would remain alongside illuminated at night for ten days. There was much planned for our visit, the carrier Eagle and others arrived in the coming days.

But then, too much work makes jack a dull boy, all the old hands knew the routine.


On 18th October, Captain T.H.E. Baird joined to relieve Captain R.P. Dannreuther. Arrangements had been made for Jenny of Jenny's side party fame to lay on her flag-bedecked ceremonial sampan, complete with Welsh flag billowing in the fresh breeze, to take Captain Dannreuther to the shore. Before leaving everyone mustered on the flight deck where Captain Dannreuther said cheerio to us all. He then boarded Jenny's sampan and was ceremoniously sailed past the cheering ship's company and on to the Commodore's steps at H.M.S. Tamar and onward to retirement at the end of the year.

That same evening Glamorgan was again involved in another moving ceremony. His Excellency The Governor of Hong Kong, Sir David Trench retired. The Royal Navy co-ordinated all the maritime arrangements for this event. Our part was to fire a 17 gun salute in conjunction with H.M.S. Tamar, H.M.S. Eagle and the 47 Light Regiment Royal Artillery. Everything went well with all guns going bang at the same time, which surprised a lot of people. It has been known for a co-ordinated gun salute to sound like a ripple of machine gun fire.

This activity was almost exactly mid point of our deployment since leaving Devonport with almost one third of our company changing at this point.

Glamorgan remained in Hong Kong for a further week, plenty of time to fully acquaint oneself with all delight's on offer.


Should any members have local news reports of these events additions here will be appreciated.

The events may have been covered in the South China Morning Post (SCMP). Past issues of that newspaper have been scanned by Proquest, so it'll be worth checking if your local library can get you access to them.