Dad's Navy Days

HMS Phoebe



HMS Phoebe, 1951

HMS Phoebe, 1951. Image from dad's photo albums.

In February 2019, Terry Bateman sent me a photo of HMS Phoebe, over the next couple of months he sent me more photos and a little about his father, Roy, who served on her. This page is the result of those emails.

Terry very kindly allowed me to use the following photos:

Terry wrote that his father, Roy Bateman, served on Phoebe between 1948 to when she was scrapped in 1951.

Roy joined the Royal Navy just after the end of WWII, his first ship was HMS Nelson after she had her rear turret removed, he also served on HMS Jamaica and HMS Swiftsure. Terry remembers him saying HMS Phoebe was his favourite ship.

After leaving the Royal Navy he joined the merchant navy and joined the liner SS Canton where he continued with his hobby of photography eventually leaving the merchant navy, marrying, and opening his own photographic studios in Kentish Town, London, named Canton studios finally retiring in 1999 to Spain. Sadly, Roy passed away in 2014.

Crew of HMS Phoebe

Roy Bateman is top right of this photo.

Roy Bateman

More photos of Roy Bateman

Crew of HMS Jamaica

Roy is second row, second from left of this photo from HMS Jamaica
Naval uniforms did change over the years and Alan Priestman suggests that because of the white caps and dark sea jerseys, this photo would have been taken around 1956.

HMS Phoebe's 1948-51 Cruise

HMS Phoebe's 1948-51 Cruise

HMS Phoebe's Christmas Menu, 1949

HMS Phoebe's Christmas Menu, 1949

HMS Phoebe, 1950

HMS Phoebe entering Grand Harbour, Malta, proudly displaying the "Cock of the Fleet" on her "B" turret after winning it at Marmarice, Turkey, in July 1950.

HMS Phoebe's "Cock of the Fleet" trophy

HMS Phoebe's "Cock of the Fleet" trophy after winning it at Marmarice, Turkey, in July 1950.

A resupply exercise. These photos from Terry Bateman might be of the exercise in October 1950 which ended with the collision of HMS Gambia and HMS Phoebe.

HMS Phoebe, resupply exercise

HMS Phoebe, resupply exercise

HMS Phoebe, resupply exercise


Terry also sent photos of the plaques of all the ships his father, Roy, served on:

All the plaques HMS Bicester plaque HMS Dido plaque HMS Jamaica plaque HMS Nelson plaque HMS Pembroke plaque HMS Phoebe plaque HMS St. George plaque HMS St. George plaque

HMS Bicester, HMS Dido, HMS Jamaica, HMS Nelson, HMS Pembroke, HMS Phoebe, HMS St. George, & HMS Swiftsure


Among the photos that Terry sent me was this one:

Damage to HMS Phoebe

HMS Swiftsure after a collision with HMS Diamond in September 1953

At first we thought this was damage done to Phoebe during the collision with Gambia, but it couldn't be, the damage is too extensive and too far forward. What this photo shows is HMS Swiftsure after a collision with HMS Diamond in September 1953.


Terry is investigating other members of his family. In August 2019, he wrote:

On a different subject, I have been investigating my grandfather who joined the navy in 1904 aged 18. It's easier to find details on his servic!

I found out that he ran and served 3 months in prison then ran again and this time joined the army (1st Battalion Glosters; number 8592) as he joined the army, the navy did not want him. He served in WWI at Mons and the battle at Aubers Ridge in May 1915 before running again before the battle of Loos in September 1915. He ended up in Scotland where he met my grandmother and disappeared until 1921, then reappeared in Limehouse working in the docks as a crane driver. Sad as my father never knew any of this. Ancestry is never dull!

This page created 20th July 2019, last modified 29th August 2019


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