Unknown Crew Members Collection

I acquired a collection of photographs in an auction which all relate to HMS Ausonia taken sometime during her deployment with the Eastern Fleet between June 1944 and June 1946. The identity of the photographer is unknown but many of the photographs have the location and the names of those in the photograph, written on the back.

The collection starts with several members of the crew sailing the ships whaler at Aden, in the Yemen. The next set is several group photographs, taken at Asmara, in Eritrea, while it is assumed they were on leave and then on the beach at Khormacasar, near Aden. The ship then moved to Trincomalee in Ceylon and this is where the rest of the photographs were taken.

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The original scrap book compiled by the unknown photographer.

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This is believed to be the crew member who took the following collection of photographs. Although he has signed the back under the official security check wording, “Suitable for transmission by post”, his hand writing is unfortunately illegible, so his identity remains a mystery.

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Reg, Brad, Bobe and Jim sailing HMS Ausonia’s whaler in Aden. The photograph is stamped on the back with “British Forces, Aden – 6th December 1944”.

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Jim, Reg, Brad and Bobe sailing HMS Ausonia’s whaler in Aden. The photograph is stamped on the back with “British Forces, Aden – 6th December 1944”.

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Reg, Brad, Bobe and Jim sailing HMS Ausonia’s whaler in Aden. The photograph is stamped on the back with “British Forces, Aden – 6th December 1944”.

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Reg, Brad, Bobe and Jim sailing HMS Ausonia’s whaler in Aden. The photograph is stamped on the back with “British Forces, Aden – 6th December 1944”.

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Bobe sailing HMS Ausonia’s whaler in Aden. The photograph is stamped on the back with “British Forces, Aden – 6th December 1944”.

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Brad, Bill, Jim and Reg at Asmara near Aden. The photograph is stamped on the back with “British Forces, Aden – 6th December 1944”.

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Dave sailing HMS Ausonia’s 14 foot dinghy in Aden. The photograph is stamped on the back with “British Forces, Aden – January 1945”.

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Unidentified group at the Asmara aerodrome. The photograph is stamped on the back with “British Forces, Aden – April 1945”.

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This is believed to be the crew member who took the collection of photographs. The photograph was taken on the beach at Khormacasar, near Aden.

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This is believed to be the crew member who took the collection of photographs. The photograph was taken on the beach at Khormacasar, near Aden.

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David Samuels on the beach at Khormacasar, near Aden.

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Bill White on the beach at Khormacasar, near Aden. The photograph is stamped on the back with “British Forces, Aden – April 1945”.

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Taken at Pelelesa, Arthur Lambert, Ron Jackson, Harry Welch, Jim Wamsley, Reg Goldsmith, Bill Storey and in the front row, Geoff Brown, Dennis Bradford, George Glassey and Les Salisbury.

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Taken at Pelelesa, Bert Pascoe.

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Outbound convoy to Trincomalee and HMS Ausonia’s forecastle in heavy seas.

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Outbound convoy to Trincomalee and HMS Ausonia in company with HMS Artifex and escort carrier.

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Outbound convoy to Trincomalee, the deck of HMS Ausonia with HMS Artifex in the background.

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Outbound convoy to Trincomalee and HMS Ausonia with Dutch Armed Merchant Cruiser in heavy seas.

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Outbound convoy to Trincomalee and HMS Ausonia’s quarterdeck.

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Outbound convoy to Trincomalee and HMS Ausonia’s log line.

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Outbound convoy to Trincomalee and one of HMS Ausonia’s 20mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft gun positions at sunset.

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HMS Wayland in Trincomalee harbour 1945.

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The stern of HMS Wayland in Trincomalee harbour 1945.

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HMS Royalist in Trincomalee harbour 1945.

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The church onboard HMS Ausonia 1945.

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The ships barber at work onboard HMS Ausonia 1945.

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HMS Ausonia in Trincomalee harbour 1945.

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The stern of HMS Ausonia in Trincomalee harbour 1945.

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HMS Ausonia’s boat deck, Trincomalee harbour 1945.

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HMS Ausonia’s 45 foot motor launch, Trincomalee harbour 1945.

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Built onboard HMS Ausonia in the ships workshops, the small sailing dingy named the “Ausonias Blue”.

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The maiden voyage of the “Ausonias Blue”.

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Another photograph of the maiden voyage of the “Ausonias Blue”.

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VJ celebrations onboard HMS Ausonia.

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VJ celebrations in Trincomalee harbour 1945.

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VJ celebration fireworks in Trincomalee harbour 1945.

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The last photograph was taken at the Diyatalawa rest camp, Ceylon on the 25th August 1945, prior to returning to the UK. Unfortunately as they all seemed to have signed their names on the back of the photograph, it is difficult to read, but I think they are G. Daniels, G. Seaton, T. West, D. Samuels, W. Bothwell.