January 13 (Sat) 1945, Alexandria, Egypt

Last Tuesday morning, we left harbour for working up exercises. On completion of the alloted serials, we anchored in “Mex Roads” for the night. The same procedure was followed every day for the rest of the week except yesterday, when we returned to our berth, (F buoy) early in the afternoon.

Engine room men at Action Stations, wearing anti-flash gear, 1942. Image copr. IWM A11900.

The exercises included 6″ sub & full calibre shoots at moored targets, 4″ & Close-Range shoots at towed [behind aircraft] sleeve targets (one was shot down), TB [torpedo bomb] attacks by Avenger aircraft, during which opportunity was taken to exercise the 6″ Barrage Units, Massed Air attacks by Corsairs, Seafires & Avengers, MTB [Motor Torpedo Boat] attacks (mainly for plotting exercise) and the highlight of the week was, of course, the night encounter with HMS Active [destroyer] Unfortunately, during this last, & for the other spectacular exercises too, for that matter, hands were closed up at Action Stations, and consequently, only a small proportion of the ship’s company was able to view the show. This seems rather a pity & I think that as many people as possible should be able to watch these fun & games so that when it comes to the real thing, they will have some idea of what is going on. Sitting in an enclosed space, not knowing or being able to guess what is happening above is a very poor sport.

On anchoring at night, seaboats were exercised at recovering lifebuoys. This manoeuvre was well executed. Preparations for oiling [transferring oil from one ship to another] destroyer were also made one forenoon. The official verdict on the week’s work up is apparently “Good Progress”.

HMS Sirius & HMCS Uganda [Canadian] have arrived in Alexandria during the week, the latter bringing very welcome Xmas parcel mail from the UK.





December 14 (Thurs) 1944, Scapa Flow, Orkney

Gale moderated slightly so weighed anchors and proceeded to exercise area and commenced RIX and radar tracking exercise with Zambeji [HMS Zambesi]. A 6″ full calibre shoot was scheduled for this forenoon but had to be postponed as the Battle Practise Target (BPT) was unable to leave harbour owing to the state of the sea & weather. RIX [Range & Inclination Exercise], etc. completed at 1115. By 1230 the gale had shown no signs of moderating. Therefore all gunnery exercises were cancelled and course set for Hoxa Gate [main entrance to Scapa Flow], which was passed at 1345. Secured with 9 shackles on port cable & two on starboard in berth A4. Set anchor watch and maintained steam for immediate notice as boom was only 20 yards astern of the ship.

A Scapa boom being opened by a Boom Defence Vessel.  Image copr. IWM A9953. One net, with floats and weights attached, was 900ft long and weighed 40 tons.