The Ministry of Defense no longer maintains a photographic collection. Its collection of "portrait" photographs of ships was transferred to:
The Department Of Photographs,
Imperial War Museum,
London, SE1 6HZ.
Tel: Int. + 44 (0)171 416 5000.
Wright and Logan, was a little shop near the entrance to Portsmouth dockyard. Nearly every ship photo in their collection was available at postcard size for £1.30. You could order any size and they did all sorts of ship presentations. They had 22,000 negatives!
The collection has now been sold to The Royal Navy Museum at Portsmouth Dockyard.
Wright and Logan,
20 Queen Street,
Hants., PO1 3HL.
Tel: Int. + 44 (0)1705 29555.
Photographs held by the Public Record Office.
Photographs held by the National Maritime Museum.
Naval Video Time CapsulesUnique 60 minute video archive material, researched from British archives by Roland Smith, over a 10 year period, containing superb and hitherto unreleased footage of the Royal Navy in WW2. These are simply the BEST video references available of this seriously neglected subject. Available in NTSC (North American) or PAL (rest of the world, including the UK and Europe) formats from the following suppliers:
Ships Co. UK
White Ensign Models
PART 1: BATTLESHIPS AT WAR 1941/42A very dramatic programme. Highlights include HMS HOWE fitting-out, commissioning for the very first time and leaving the Clyde. HMS ANSON departing Rosyth and arriving at Scapa Flow base. The loss of HMS HOOD, with the hunt and destruction of the BISMARCK. The triumphant scenes of the Fleet's arrival back at Scapa Flow with HMS RODNEY, HMS VICTORIOUS, HMS NORFOLK etc. The historic Atlantic voyage of HMS PRINCE OF WALES with Winston Churchill, including her sweeping through the lanes of a very large east-bound convoy. Her ill-fated arrival at Singapore, with a vivid portrayal of her subsequent loss with HMS REPULSE. A rare penetrating look at life an board HMS KING GEORGE V during wartime conditions. Also very spectacular views of the Home Fleet with HMS DUKE OF YORK, HMS RENOWN, VICTORIOUS, HMS ARETHUSA, HMS KENYA etc. in severe heavy Arctic seas when on Russian Convoy patrol during the month of March 1942.
PART 2: BRITANNIA GOES TO WARFrom Spithead Reviews to the Home and Mediterranean Fleets exercising off Gibraltar. From Chatham Barracks to the wartime submarine base at Dundee. And the Battle of the River Plate to humble sea-boat drill on board the ill-fated destroyer HMS ACHATES, these scenes represent only part of this extremely diversified programme. And the following is a list of some of the warships seen in a remarkable profile: HMS NELSON,HMS RODNEY. HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH, HMS RESOLUTION, HMS REVENGE, HMS RENOWN,HMS REPULSE, HMS HOOD, HMS WARSPITE,HMS BARHAM, HMS KING GEORGE V, HMS GLORIOUS, HMS COURAGEOUS, HMS FURIOUS, HMS EAGLE, HMS HERMES, HMS ARGUS, HMS ILLUSTRIOUS, HMS INDEFATIGABLE, C/D COUNTY & TOWN CLASS CRUISERS, HMS PENELOPE, HMS AURORA, HMS AJAX, HMS EXETER, HMS ACHILLES, HMS FROBISHER, HMS ENTERPRISE. HMS EURYALUS, HMS MAURITIUS, HMS ABDIEL, V/W DESTROYERS, HMS ENCOUNTER, HMS FIREDRAKE, HMS ECHO, HMS ESK, HMS COSSACK (arriving at Leith with released ALTMARK prisoners) HMS NUBIAN, HMS ESKIMO, HMS KELVIN, HMS JACKAL, HMS KELLY. HMS LIGHTNING, HMS OFFA, HMS PATHFINDER, HMS RELENTLESS, HMS BLANKNEY, HMS CATTISTOCK, HMS HEYTHORP, HMS UPROAR, HMS SNAPPER, HMS H49, BLACK SWAN SLOOPS, FLOWER CLASS CORVETTES, various MINESWEEPERS. FAIRMILES and MTBs.
PART 3: CLOSE UP FOR ACTION STATIONSLiterally crammed with nostalgia looking back at GANGES, COLLINGWOOD, EXCELLENT. The huge expansion of Minesweeping forays and the perils of East Coast Convoys, seen underair-attack as filmed from a destroyer escort. A unique profile of HUNT CLASS Destrovers at sea, including rare below-deck seenes. On board HMS BARHAM during the Dakar affair, being heavily engaged and towing the torpedoed HMS RESOLUTION, with further views filmed from HMS ARK ROYAL, plus HMS FORESIGHT, HMS FAULKNER, HMS ESCAPADE, HMS DEVONSHIRE etc. On board HMS BARHAM, HMS KENT during her last China commission, with the HMS EAGLE, HMS MEDWAY, HMS CORNWALL,HMS DORSETSHIRE, HMS BIRMINGHAM, HMS LIVERPOOL (also minus bows), HMS DAINTY, HMS TENEDOS etc. HMS WARSPITE, HMS RAMILLES, HMS VALIANT, HMS ILLUSTRIOUS, HMS COVENTRY and l4th Flotilla HMS JERVIS, HMS KINGSTON, HMS NUBIAN: Also HMS HEREWARD, HMS DIAMOND and Australian "Scrap Iron" Flotilla with HMAS PERTH. The bombardment of Bardia and under Italian air-attack, concluding with the final tragic voyage of the battleshlp HMS BARHAM and her catastrophic demise.
PART 4: COLOUR CAMERA AT SEAThe entire programme comprises of rare coloured film taken privately in wartime by two officers from the decks of HMS NELSON and HMS KENT, plus the ill-fated destroyers HMS IVANHOE and HMS LAFOREY. Spanning from Home waters to the Far East, Narvik to the Atlantic and Mediterranean convoy battles, with the only surviving film of the loss of HMS ARK ROYAL and HMS EAGLE, including the rescue of the EAGLE survivors by the HMS LAFOREY and HMS LOOKOUT. Scenes of the lst Battle Squadron and 3rd Flotilla off Malta 1939. The ilI-fated submarine HMS GRAMPUS and HMS BIRMINGHAM on the China Station. Various warships in Norwegian Fjords including HMS COSSACK approaching the ALTMARK. Carriers HMS ILLUSTRIOUS and HMS INDOMITABLE off Madagascar Operation "Ironclad ". Mediterranean convoy scenes of various warships HMS FURIOUS, HMS ARGUS, HMS RENOWN, HMS RODNEY, HMS EDINBURGH, HMS KENYA, HMS HERMIONE, HMS SIRIUS, HMS MANCHESTER, HMS CAIRO, HMS FIREDRAKE, HMS FEARLESS, HMS LIGHTNING, HMS NIZAM, HMS ASHANTI,HMS ESKIMO, HMS KEPPEL, HMS ZETLAND, HMS ERIDGE etc. South Atlantic crossing-the-line ceremony on board the HMS NELSON in company with HMS REVENGE and many troopship liners ANDES, ORONTES, STRATHALLEN, AQUITANIA, EMPRESS OF CANADA, STIRLING CASTLE, PASTEUR etc.
PART 5: TRAGEDY AND TRIUMPHCommences with historical views of HMS GLORIOUS during her 1935/37 Med commission, operating various types of aircraft and on exercise with the Home Fleet. On board HMS HOOD during an early wartime patrol in company with HMS REPULSE. Scenes of HMS RENOWN during same period. The grim 1940 Norwegian affair. HMS RESOLUTION bombed in Ofot fjord with various views of other warships: HMS VALIANT, HMS RODNEY, HMS VINDICTIVE, HMS YORK, HMS AURORA, HMS WARSPITE, HMS FURIOUS, HMS ARK ROYAL, HMS GALATEA, HMS ENTERPRISE, HMS HOTSPUR, HMS FAME, HMS FAULKNOR etc. Rare footage of the SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU sinking the HMS GLORIOUS and both HMS ARDENT and HMS ACASTA. The story of the Battle of North Cape with views of the flagship HMS DUKE OF YORK, HMS JAMAICA, HMS SHEFFIELD, HMS NORFOLK, HMS BELFAST and various destroyers that took part in the action. From the snow covered decks in the Arctic to their triumphant return to Scapa Flow and landing the SCHARNHORST survivors. Some extremely rare sound footage filmed on the quarterdeck of Duke of York with camera interviews given by Admirals Fraser and Burnett, and other engaged personnel.
PART 6: PERILOUS WATERSAll the events in this programme relate to the Battle of the Atlantic and include many views of Flower Class Corvettes, Frigates, Destroyers etc. A feature on Four-Stackers with the crews sailing via a transport liner to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Commissioning and their return Atlantic voyage. More scenes at Halifax of many warships including "R" Class Battleships and a tribute to the R.C.N. The Merchant Navy is much in evidence as are also U-boats. And what must be some of the most exciting battle footage ever filmed as Capt. Walker's escort group HMS STARLING, HMS MAGPIE, HMS WILD GOOSE, HMS WREN etc., zealously hunt a U-Boat, with some very dramatic scenes of its crew desperately struggling to escape from a devastating depth-charge attack, only finally being forced to surface where the survivors are picked up by the escorts. Their triumphant arrival at Gladstone Dock, Liverpool with lots of cheering Wrens. Landing the U Boat survivors. Admiral Max Horton and the First Lord inspect ships' companies, with interviews on board STARLING. The sudden tragic death af Capt. Walker with his large funeral cortege through Liverpool and burial at sea from HMS HESPERUS, flying STARLING's tattered battle ensign as a final tribute to this legendary figure.
PART 7: THE HAZARDS OF RUSSIAN CONVOYSContaining almost all the known surviving archive film this programme must be the only one of its kind ever devoted to the emotive subject of Russian Convoys. And in keeping with the uniquely adopted format of the added realism of real life drama found in the previous episodes of this ongoing series, all the hazards as suggested in the title are set against such a background. Oppressive weather conditions of snow, ice and howling Arctic gales are vividly featured as warships and merchantmen struggle ever onwards in these cold inhospitable Arctic seas, being occasionally complimented by the wry humour of ships crews! German warships and U-boats attacking and sinking allied shipping, with dramatic scenes of helpless survivors being rescued. Certainly one of the highlights of the programme is the harrowing views of what was the biggest air-attack ever on any Russian Convoy, being of course PQl8 and filmed primarily from the anti-aircraft cruiser HMS SCYLLA, with further dramatic views of many surviving merchant seamen being transferred to her at sea from the minesweeper HMS HARRIER. This convoy did have the largest through-escort than anything previously attempted, but it must be stressed that the numbers of ships seen throughout this programme are far too numerous to list, as also are all its complete details as it vividly recalls those evocative times.
PART 8: THE GREAT OPERATION ARMADA TORCHOperation Torch was the code name given to the greatest armada in history which comprised of some 170 warships and 350 merchantmen all sailing to the shores of North Africa. Many troopships are in evidence, but also it features some of the finest views ever filmed of the Royal Navy and seen are HMS RODNEY, HMS NELSON, HMS RENOWN, HMS DUKE OF YORK, HMS SHEFFIELD, HMS AURORA etc plus many superb shots of various destroyers and numerous smaller craft. The scenes included of the Fleet Air Arm are without doubt the most comprehensive ever yet seen of this service in wartime, and especially revealing is all the hustle and bustle of flight deck activity. The operational carriers seen are the HMS FORMIDABLE, HMS VICTORIOUS, HMS FURIOUS and various light escort classes including the ill-fated HMS AVENGER. Finding film in the archives of HM Submarines is somewhat rare, thus it is quite pleasing to add to this programme views of the 8th flotilla and their depot ship HMS MAIDSTONE. Of course many other events of great interest are also to be found within its contents which all ends with a smartly turned out ship's company of the battleship HMS HOWE being inspected by King George VI at the port of Algiers.
PART 9: D-DAY REFLECTIONS OF OPERATION NEPTUNEConcentrates on the greatest amphibious operation of all time, being of course the allied assault on Normandy. Ranging from the mighty battleship down to the smallest craft of Coastal Forces, almost 7,000 vessels of every description took part in this massive operation, and with so many scenes being covered by various cameramen this programme forcibly makes the viewer aware of its sheer scale and complexity. From the many embarkation ports we follow this huge array of craft as they slowly proceed towards the enemy coast, and though we never go beyond the waters edge it does portray some of the stressful moments experienced by the assault forces on landing, all being preceeded by a heavy naval bombardment. Yet despite the drama of such images there are moments of humour and fortitude, plus other surprises and it would be difficult to list the entire content of this dramatic programme. Certainly it contains some of the finest destroyer footage ever filmed during WWII as many of them are seen lending their support with, amongst others, HMS BOADICEA, HMS ONSLOW, HMS ORIBI, HMS OFFA, HMS ONSLAUGHT, HMS KELVIN, HMS VIRAGO, HMS ULYSSES, HMS URANIA, HMS FAULKNER, HMS UNDAUNTED, HMS ALBRIGHTON, HMS FERNIE, HMS GLAISDALE, HMS STEVENSTONE, HMS IMPULSIVE, HMS KEMPENFELT and the sad end of HMS FURY. Also caught on camera are HMS WARSPITE, HMS RODNEY, HMS RESOLUTION, HMS ARETHUSA, HMS AJAX, HMS SCYLLA, HMS GLASGOW,HMS ENTERPRISE, HMS FROBISHER, HMS SIRIUS, HMS BELFAST. It was a spectacular operation..
PART 10: BRITISH PACIFIC/EAST INDIES FLEETS - Phase oneThis first of two projected programmes of both fleets is painstaking attempt to integrate all the surviving archive film in as near chronological order possible, and commences early in 1942 when the war situation in the Far East was very precarious. Some ships seen of this period are the HMS WARSPITE, HMS RESOLUTION, HMS DEVONSHIRE, HMS GAMBIA, HMS MAURITIUS, HMS FROBISHER, HMS CATTERICK, HMS NIZAM, HMS PALADIN. We then move forward to the taking of Madagascar to forestall the danger of it being occupied by Japanese forces, with views of HMS MALAYA, HMS RAMILLIES, HMS ILLUSTRIOUS, HMS INDOMITABLE, HMS HERMIONE, HMS LOOKOUT, HMS LAFOREY. By 1944 the now seen strength of the EIF comprised of HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH, HMS VALIANT, HMS RENOWN, HMS VICTORIOUS, plus the two previously mentioned carriers, with also views of the USS SARATOGA and the French RICHELIEU, followed by the arrival af the HMS HOWE and other reinforcements for the assault on Sabang and her eventual visit to Sydney. As this was taking place major elements of the British Pacific Fleet were being assembled and, after a UK inspection, we also follow their journey from Ceylon to Australia, including the raid on Palembang, Neptune's party and their arrival at Sydney. Programme then continues with the commencement of the first Sakishima operation followed by a penetrating look at the Fleet train base at Manus, plus the refuelling at sea of the BPF. Other highlights are far to numerous to list, as also all the names of the many warships seen in this historic episode.
PART 11: BRITISH PACIFIC/EAST INDIES FLEETS - Phase 2This programme continues the story begun in Phase 1 - Almost daily attacks for 30 days continuous engagement and the horrors of kamikaze atttacks. Only one carrier, HMS INDEFATIGABLE, received a direct hit on the armoured flight deck, and although casualties were sustained, aircraft were able to land-on again within an hour, a considerable contrast with US carriers which were always more seriously damaged because they only had wooden flight decks. Two other carriers, HMS VICTORIOUS and HMS ILLUSTRIOUS were lucky insomuch as suicide planes just caught the decks in glancing blows and fell into the sea. The British Pacific Fleet was the biggest Royal Navy Fleet ever assembled in World War Two and and virtually all the ships which were comprised in it can be seen and are named in this and the previous episode where film of them has survived. There are just too many to mention on these pages - in a long colour sequence for example taken from the deck of a US warship many can be seen as they pass in line. This episode also contains an interesting and controversial fact about the Canadian manned cruiser UGANDA which is also seen, and rare footage of Japanese sailors being rescued from the sea and taken prisoner. A magnificent archive record which should not be missed.