|The Rushden Echo and Argus, 12th December, 1941, transcribed by Jim Hollis
Warships Week - To Adopt H.M.S. Quorn
Rushden, Higham Ferrers, and Raunds Effort
Rushden, Higham Ferrers and Raunds are going all nautical for the Warships Week campaign in February. There will be naval rank or rating for every participant, from the committee chairman to the smallest investor, and the whole effort will be visualised as the voyage of a ship to the port of success.
One important change of plan is announced, for at the suggestion of the Admiralty, the three towns and their neighbouring villages will set out to finance and “adopt” H.M.S. Quorn, a modern destroyer of the Hunt class. This goes beyond the original objective of two corvettes, but the advantage of knowing the actual ship will be an extremely helpful factor.
A distinguished Admiral, Sir William Edmund Goodenough, G.C.B., who in the last war commanded the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron at Heligoland and Dogger Bank, has promised to open the campaign and will review a big parade of Civil Defence and other services on Saturday, February 14th.
National Savings workers will attend an advance meeting, for which a notable speaker will be secured, and on the eve of the campaign a children’s meeting and entertainment will be held at the Ritz Cinema. It is hoped that a B.B.C. “aunt” or “uncle” will attend. Another entertainment, on nautical lines, will be incorporated with the public opening ceremony.
Ministers of the town have been asked to arrange a service on the Sunday, and to invite a naval chaplain to preach.
An exhibition and competitions are planned. All arrangements for progress indication and the daily announcements will strike a new and distinctive note.
Committee chairmen are Coun. T. W. Cox, J.P., (general), Mr. John White (general purposes), Mr. Walter C. Tarry (War Bonds), and Coun. W. E. Capon (publicity). Mr. A. Maclean is again the general secretary, with Coun. R. W. Janes as secretary for Higham Ferrers and Mr. E. F. Poole for Raunds.
|The Rushden Echo and Argus, 6th February, 1942, transcribed by Gill Hollis
All Aboard For Great Warship Week
Rushden Area to Adopt Destroyer
Towns’ “Voyage” to Goal of £250,000
Steam is being raised for the Rushden, Higham Ferrers and Raunds Warship Week (February 14th to 21st inclusive) which aims at a National Savings total of not less than £250,000, securing the privilege of adopting H.M.S. Quorn, a modern destroyer of the Hunt class.
Rushden district has to take first turn among local campaigns this year, so it proposes to make things difficult for Kettering and Wellingborough in the competitive sense by putting up an all-in programme. The appeal to the pocket is made through an appeal to the imagination, and everybody participating in the great financial voyage will have an honorary rank. The whole scheme reeks of the sea, in fact.
This is what the three towns are asked to raise:-
Key members of the crew the National Savings workers will meet at the Rushden Palace Cinema next Sunday under the chairmanship of Lady Culme-Seymour, of Rockingham, and Lieut.-Commander R. L. Tufnell, M.P. for Cambridge, a fine speaker with a wide knowledge of naval matters, will address them. After 2.50 p.m. all seats not taken will be available to the general public.
A monster procession will proclaim the weighing of the anchor at Rushden on Saturday of next week. If it is possible to outshine last year’s War Weapons Week parade, this will be done. Additional units in the long list of marchers include the A.T.C., Women’s Land Army, Fire Guards and R.N.V.R. The whole muster is intended to illustrate the war effort, and some features of special interest may be expected.
Admiral Sir William Goodenough K.C.B, M.V.O., will take the salute near the High-street railway bridge and will afterwards signal “Full Steam Ahead” during a public meeting at the Royal Theatre, where the Marquess of Exeter, K.G., C.M.G., T.D., Lord Lieutenant of the County, will preside. A nautical entertainment arranged by Mr. Don Bugby will add to the interest of this ceremony.
Children of the town will already have heard about the campaign, for on Friday next there will be an afternoon meeting for them at the Ritz Cinema.
A Warship Week service will be held in St. Mary’s, Rushden, on Sunday, February 15th, at 2.45 and the speaker will be the Rev. T. A. Embleton, of the Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest, London.
The special Rushden selling centre will be at the B.W.T.A. Hall, Newton-road, and at Higham Ferrers the Town Hall will be used. Daily dinner-hour announcements of progress will be made at Rushden from the “bridge” in Newton-road, otherwise known as the balcony of the Council Buildings, where the gradual hoisting of the anchor attached to a warship will show the progress of the voyage. Higham Ferrers will report success from a large quarter-deck on the Market Square.
Throughout Warship Week an exhibition of naval, military and other models will be open at the Rushden B.W.T.A. Hall, with small admission charges for adults and children. Mr. S. A. Lawrence, headmaster of Alfred-street School, is organising this and can find room for suitable local models and other objects of interest which should reach him not later than Thursday next. Daily opening hours are from 10-1 and 2-6.
Competitions will play a large part in popularising the campaign. All residents in the area can compete for a prize of five Savings Certificates by guessing the Warship Week total. They should write their estimate on a postcard or piece of paper of equivalent size, taking care to enter their name and address on the same side of the card or sheet. Entries should be posted or delivered to “Warship Week Total,” Alfred-street School, Rushden, Town Hall, Higham Ferrers, or Council Office, Raunds, and received not later than noon on Thursday, February 19th. A box will be found on the school gate at Alfred-street, Rushden. Precise forecasts should be attempted.
Model-making and parody contests are in progress at the schools. Full details of a limerick competition, also for scholars, are given in the “Echo and Argus” this week.
|The Rushden Echo and Argus, 13th February, 1942, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Naval Engagement at Rushden
District Sets Out to Adopt Destroyer Quorn
An inspiring lead to the workers in the Rushden, Higham Ferrers and Raunds Warship Week, which will open to-morrow (Saturday), was given by Lady Culme-Seymour, of Rockingham Castle (widow of Vice-Admiral Sir M. Culme-Seymour) and Lieut.-Commander R. L. Tufnell, M.P. for Cambridge, at a meeting in the Palace Cinema, Rushden, on Sunday afternoon.
The savings workers were welcomed by Coun. T. W. Cox, J.P. (chairman of the Rushden Urban Council), who said that the group secretaries had shown the greatest keenness in their job of collecting small savings in streets and factories. The people had rallied round and worked with great enthusiasm for the Spitfire Fund and War Weapons Week. Now, at the request of the First Lord of the Admiralty, they were to have a Warship Week, and he knew they could count on all of them to do their level best.
It was said that “all the nice girls love a sailor,” so he thought they could depend upon the ladies to make the campaign even a greater success than the previous one.
The objective this time was £250,000 to adopt H.M. Destroyer Quorn, and he was sure they would do all in their power to exceed that aim.
Mr. Cox mentioned that seven streets in the area had raised over £300 each during the last six months, Cromwell-road, Rushden, being the highest with £762. One factory had averaged the marvellous figure of 20s. per head per week of its employees.
Introducing Lady Culme-Seymour, Coun. Cox said her name brought to mind at once the sea, ships and sailors, for she belonged to a family that had long been connected with the sea.
“The Navy means everything to me,” declared Lady Culme-Seymour. “I have always been connected with it; I almost feel that I belong to it myself.
“I am specially thrilled because your ship is to be a destroyer of the Hunt class, because only about a year ago my son was appointed to command a vessel which belonged to that class.
“I was allowed to go up and see him and go all over the ship. I must say my heart sank when I managed with great difficulty to get on top of the bridge, and saw what a great height it was above the water and it seemed such a little ship against the great expanse of sea. But he told me it was the best possible ship to go against submarines and aeroplanes.”
Lady Culme-Seymour said it was a great blow when her son was suddenly sent to the Mediterranean and was unable to take “this perfect little ship” to sea. She congratulated Rushden on showing what could be done when all worked with a will.
“I should have thought,” she said, “from all accounts I have heard that everything possible had been done, but apparently it has not.” She hoped that in Warship Week they would have the success they deserved.
Lieut.-Commander Tufnell, who wore naval uniform, said he almost jumped for joy when he heard that Lady Culme-Seymour’s son was connected with a destroyer.
Destroyers were the most pleasant ships to serve in, as he knew from his own experience in the last war, when he had several months serving in them the most happy months he looked back upon.
In the last war he saw something of what the destroyers had to do, and the great work they accomplished in patrolling the coasts looking for enemy submarines, or ships in distress, working with a grand Fleet, going out with it when it went to sea, and seeing that it was protected from any submarines which might attack.
To-day he would like to see destroyers turned out like shelling peas, because they were wanted by the hundred, and wanted very badly indeed.
To-day they had all sorts of scientific methods of searching for submarines that they never had in the last war, and they had depth charges to throw at them. They were very much better fitted out than they were during 1914-18.
Extra Work To Do
Up to the time of the collapse of France the area we had to blockade was a small bit in front of the Cattegat a very small matter indeed. To-day the area extended for thousands of miles and included North-West Africa, where German submarines would re-fit and re-fuel and then go out and work in conjunction with aeroplanes.
To-day we had not got the ports in the south of Ireland, and this meant an extra journey for the destroyers to carry out. When they had finished their patrol in the approaches to the Atlantic they had perhaps another 200 miles to do before they could come in to re-fit and re-fuel and give the crews a rest.
It was a great tribute to the engineers and stokers in these boats that there had been hardly a single major breakdown in the destroyers since the outbreak of the war.
Not only were destroyers invaluable as convoy escorts and for attacking submarines, but also as an offensive weapon and in working with the Fleet to attack in shallow waters where the big ships could not go. As at Narvik, where they went in brilliantly with such successful results, they were, with their 4.5 inch guns and torpedo tubes, a very valuable form of attack. They had speed and the ability to turn quickly.
Short of Destroyers
Since the collapse of France we had been short of destroyers from the word “Go.” We had to get 50 from America to help us to deal with the sinkings that were going on all round our coasts.
At the beginning of last year we were losing ships at the rate of 400,000 tons a month.
As we depended upon our ships for practically everything, this required the most urgent measures. In the last three months of the year the sinkings were reduced to something like 100,000 tons a month, but even this improvement was not enough.
We wanted so to increase our patrols that there would be no sinkings and the materials we must have would arrive safely.
The British Empire had always depended upon the sea for its very existence, and if we lost command of the sea the enemy which had command could do anything with us.
The shortage of destroyers could only be made up by efforts such as were now being held all over the country.
Congratulating the area on its effort, Lt.-Commander Tufnell declared : “What you are aiming at is a very big task, but, after all, the bigger the target is the easier it is to hit.”
In War Weapons Week, he continued, they achieved very nearly twice that sum. He hoped they were going to do so again, because it was just as vitally important.
Ten Times Average
Mr. Peter Stevenson, Deputy Regional Commissioner for National Savings, said that until recently the Royal Navy had been doing a job which in the last war required five navies. He urged every group to fix its own objective, such as an anchor, a lifeboat, or some other part of a destroyer’s equipment, and he suggested that the target should be ten times the normal savings.
The national average of savings from the beginning of the war was a little over £20 per head, but in Rushden, Higham Ferrers and Raunds it was over £50. During Warship Week they had to see that every individual subscribed something and was canvassed as often as was necessary.
“I am quite sure we are going to get our target here and set up a record for the area,” added Mr. Stevenson. “I am going to suggest that we get “fighting mad” in Rushden and demonstrate our determination to give the Navy the support they so richly deserve.”
Ald. J. W. Barker, J.P. (Mayor of Higham Ferrers), proposed thanks to the speakers, and Mr. G. W. Frost, J.P., chairman of Raunds Urban Council, seconded.
Pretty little Josephine Edwards, representing the Cromwell-road Savings Group, went confidently on to the stage with a spray of carnations for Lady Culme-Seymour, who received it with delight. The directors and manager of the Palace were thanked by Coun. W. E. Capon (chairman of the Warship Week Publicity Committee), who also thanked the Youth Service Corps members who acted as ushers.
Announcing that the town’s Aid-to-Russia Fund total would be “far nearer £2,000 than I thought it would be last week,” Mr. Capon declared: “That is what I think is going to happen during our Warship Week when we start in earnest next Saturday.”
Others on the platform included Mr. Walter C. Tarry (chairman of the War Bonds Committee) and Coun. A. C. A. Colton (Deputy Mayor of Higham Ferrers).
|The Rushden Echo and Argus, 13th February, 1942, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Quorn’s Message to Rushden
Bedford Accepts a Wager
Admiral Opens Warship Week To-Morrow
“The Captain, Officers and Ship’s Company are greatly honoured to learn that H.M.S. Quorn has been adopted by the Rushden district for Warships Week. We wish you every success in your campaign, which will greatly assist the early achievement of our common object the final defeat of the enemy.”
Sent by postogram to the Rushden Urban Council chairman (Coun. T. W. Cox), this message from the Navy gives a fine lead to the Rushden, Higham Ferrers and Raunds Warship Week, which opens to-morrow (Saturday) and will continue until the close of next week. The area is resolved to invest a minimum of £250,000 in National Savings and so secure the privilege of “adopting” the Quorn. When that has been done there will be ways of cementing the bond between the ship and the towns. Already, in response to an enquiry, the commanding officer has intimated that the crew will be happy to receive gloves, stockings and other comforts from the people of this area.
Warship Week is also going to produce a battle of figures between the Rushden area and Bedford. It will be the first competitive clash (except in sport) between these districts, and Bedford, whose Warship Week does not open until February 21st, has accepted the Rushden chairman’s challenge to see which can show the best return per head of the population. Ald. Dudeney, Mayor of Bedford, hopes to receive a pair of shoes from Coun. Cox. Mr. Cox thinks he can win a hat the symbol of Bedfordshire industry from Ald. Dudeney.
“Quorn” v “Thorn”
Bedford aims to raise £425,000 for the submarine Thorn. It will not find this wager easy if Rushden goes anywhere near its War Weapons Week average of close upon £17 per head. Perhaps the Mayor of Bedford will sense the danger when he visits the Rushden opening ceremony to-morrow.
Admiral Sir William Edmund Goodenough, C.C.B., K.C.B., C.B., M.V.O., who will open Warship Week at the Royal Theatre after taking the salute from the big parade of fighting and home defence Services, has the following distinguished record:- Went to sea, 1882; Captain 1905; commanded R.N. College, Dartmouth, 1905-7, and subsequently H.M.S. Albemarle and H.M.S. Duncan; H.M.S. Cochrane; H.M.S. Colossus; present at relief operations after earthquake at Messina; went with escort to His Majesty in India; commanded H.M.S. Southampton; Commodore and Light Cruiser Squadron; in command of 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron at action with Germans at Heligoland Bight, 1914; and at action at Dogger Bank, 24th January, 1915; battle of Jutland, 1916; Superintendent, Chatham Dockyard, 1918-20, Vice Admiral, 1920; Commander-in-Chief on the Africa Station, 1920-22; Vice Admiral commanding Reserve Fleet, 1923-24; Commander-in-Chief the Nore, 1924-27; Admiral, 1925; First and Principal Naval A.D.C. to the King 1929-30; retired list, 1930; Commander of St. Maurice and St. Lazarus (Messina); Croix de Guerre.
The Marquess of Exeter, Lord Lieutenant of the County, will preside over the meeting, which will be open to the public.
Many striking features are promised for the parade, which will leave Spencer Park at two o’clock, headed by the Band of the Northamptonshire Regt., and march via Wellingborough-road, Skinner’s Hill and High-street back to the park. The saluting base will be at the foot of Station-approach.
Aircraft models lent by the R.A.F. will supplement the nautical models in the Warship Week exhibition (opening to-morrow) at the B.W.T.A. Hall. There will be a small charge for admission, and the money will be devoted to comforts for the crew of the Quorn.
A Warship Week service will be held at St. Mary’s Rushden, on Sunday afternoon.
Daily announcements of progress will be made outside the Rushden Council Buildings at 12.45. The speakers will be: Monday, Ald. J. W. Barker; Tuesday, Mr. F. J. Sharwood; Wednesday, Mr. W. C. Tarry;
Thursday, Coun. W. E. Capon; Friday, Ald. A. C. Allen; Saturday, Ald. C. W. Horrell; Monday, February 23rd, Coun. T. W. Cox. Cinema speeches have also been arranged.
To get a completely helpful atmosphere, the whole campaign is laid out as the voyage of the good ship “Rushferands” (evidently a three-decker), and when we asked for the list of officers we received this: Captain, T. W. Cox (chairman, Rushden U.D.C.); Lieut.-Commanders, J. W. Barker (Mayor of Higham Ferrers) and G. W. Frost (chairman, Raunds U.D.C.); Chief Engineer, A. Maclean (hon. General Secretary); Navigating Officers, J. Riseborough (Higham Ferrers secretary) and E. F. Poole (Raunds secretary); Chief Officer of the Watch, John White (chairman, General Purposes Committee); Chief Pursers, W. C. Tarry (chairman, Rushden and Higham Ferrers War Bonds Committee) and A. Miles (chairman, Raunds War Bonds Committee); Chief Radio Operator, W. E. Capon (chairman, Publicity Committee); Chief Telegraphist, L. V. Elliott; Chief Instructor, S. A. Lawrence; Chief Signallers, W. Ainge.
General Purposes Committee members are Officers of the Watch; the War Bonds Committee provides pursers and stewards; the group secretaries are engineers, petty officers and gunners; the general public makes up a trusty crew of stokers, artificers and seamen, and the schoolchildren are rated as cadets.
|The Rushden Echo and Argus, 13th March, 1942, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Comforts for The Quorn
Area Savings Committee Makes Plans
Exchange of Plaques
Plans for cementing the alliance between the Rushden district and the destroyer Quorn were discussed at a meeting of the Rushden, Higham Ferrers and Raunds Warship Week Committee.
Mr. P. Stevenson (Deputy Commissioner) said that H.M.S. Quorn would present commemorative plaques to Rushden, Higham Ferrers and Raunds. The committee agreed that the three towns should combine in providing a tablet for the ship, and Mr. Stevenson mentioned that a ceremony for the exchange of tokens would be arranged, with a representative of the Quorn in attendance if possible.
It was announced that just over £20 had already been given for the supply of comforts to the destroyer’s crew, and the committee decided to ask Mrs. A. Maclean, wife of the hon. Secretary, to organise the supply of gifts. It was suggested that girls’ organisations in the area would help to make socks, gloves and other articles.
Giving a detailed report on Warship Week, which raised £200,231, Mr. Maclean said the average investments per head, based on the latest population figures, were: Rushden £6 10s. 7d., Higham Ferrers £11 13s. 8d., Raunds £7 5s. 4d. Over the area small investments worked out at £3 3s. 11d. per head and large investments at £4 3s. 8d. per head.
In the whole course of the campaign from November, 1939, the area had invested £1,348,136 Rushden £896,490, Higham Ferrers £218,775, Raunds £232,871. The averages per head were: Rushden £50 (8s. 5d. per week), Higham Ferrers £121 (£1 0s. 4d.), Raunds £32 (7s. 3d.).
Mr. E. P. Poole (Raunds secretary) was informed that the population figures adopted by the authorities included evacuees who were in the district last year. He replied that the figures were a gross exaggeration in the case of Raunds.
Coun. T. W. Cox, J.P., chairman of the committee, said they had reason to congratulate themselves, and in all the circumstances the public had risen to the occasion as well as could be expected. He expressed thanks to all who had helped.
Several members paid tribute to the energy and ability of Mr. Maclean, and a vote of thanks was passed to the three secretaries Mr. Maclean, Mr. J. Riseborough (Higham Ferrers) and Mr. Poole (Raunds).
It was announced that scholars of the district had collected about 5,000 “ship” halfpennies for the Quorn Comforts Fund. Mr. S. A. Lawrence said that schools which had not yet taken part in this effort would probably be prepared to take it up now.
Owing to the pressure of his work as an officer of the Rushden Urban Council, Mr. Maclean tendered his resignation from the secretaryship. A reorganisation of the work was discussed the opening of a local War Savings Centre is possible and Mr. Maclean agreed to withhold his resignation for the present. “We regard him,” said Mr. Stevenson, “as one of our best secretaries, if not the best in the Region.”
|The Rushden Echo and Argus, 17th July, 1942, transcribed by Gill Hollis
H.M.S. Quorn - “Adoption” Ceremony to be Held at Rushden
A public exchange of tokens between the local authorities of the Rushden Savings Area and a representative of H.M.S. Quorn, the destroyer “adopted” by the area in Warship Week, will take place at the Hall Grounds, Rushden, on Sunday, July 26th.
The ceremony will take place from the bandstand at 3 o’clock, and Coun. T. W. Cox, who was chairman of the Warship Week Committee, will preside, supported by the civic heads of Rushden, Higham Ferrers and Raunds. Large mounted replicas of the ship’s badge will be presented to each town, and the area will present the ship with a commemorative plaque (for the quarter-deck) and other gifts.
The Rector of Rushden will lead prayers, and hymns will be sung, with the Rushden Town Band accompanying.
|The Rushden Echo and Argus, 24th July, 1942, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Bibles for Quorn - Gift from Rushden and District Children
Halfpennies collected by the children of Rushden, Higham Ferrers and Raunds have provided Active Service Bibles and other gifts for the ship’s company of H.M.S. Quorn, the destroyer “adopted” by the area as a result of the Warship Week savings campaign in February. The edition chosen is an abridged Bible in modern language with the Psalms set out as poetry, and about 100 copies will be presented to the representative of the ship who attends the plaque presentation ceremony at Rushden Hall next Sunday. Mr. E. F. Poole, B.Sc., headmaster of Raunds Senior School, will hand them over on behalf of the children.
From the Quorn Comforts Fund, of which Mrs. A. Maclean is hon. Secretary, other gifts will be sent direct to the ship. They include about 100 woollen articles made by ladies of the area, more than 100 books, games, writing materials, cigarettes and tobacco.
|The Rushden Echo and Argus, 31st July, 1942, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Joins The Quorn’s Company
Higham and Raunds Share in “Adoption” Ceremony
Children’s Gift of Bibles for Destroyer’s Crew
The officers of H.M. destroyer Quorn were honoured visitors to Rushden on Sunday when the adoption of their ship by Rushden, Higham Ferrers and Raunds the culmination to Warship Week was celebrated in a memorable ceremony.
Rushden Hall Grounds gave the grand setting, and 18 smart Sea Cadets from Kettering lent authenticity. Lined up in front of the old Hall they were inspected by the visiting officers, who also made the (words missing) of local civic leaders and Warship Week workers.
In front of a large crowd the chief ceremony took place from the band-stand and began as a service with the hymn “Eternal Father, strong to save” and prayers in which the Rector of Rushden (Rev. E. A. Green) made supplication for the ship and her company.
Coun. T. W. Cox (Rushden), who presided as chairman of the Warship Week Committee, said the occasion reminded them of the area’s great achievement in February. The committee’s aim then was to raise enough money to pay for at least part of a Hunt class destroyer. At every stage of that campaign whole-hearted support of investors large and small was given and they raised sufficient to provide the hull and he had the joy and satisfaction to announce the grand total of £200,231, Thus they were able with immeasurable pride to adopt that worthy ship the Quorn, together, of course, with the lads who formed the ship’s crew.
Proud of Them
Mr. Cox welcomed the Quorn’s representatives, Mr. F. R. Ransome, the gunnery officer, and Mr. Cockram, R.N., the ship’s ensign, announcing that Lieut. F. Winterbottom, R.N., was kept away by naval duties. All of them, he said, would like to pay tribute to Lieut. Winterbottom and his gallant lads who were helping to keep the highways of the sea free, and would like them to know how conscious they were that they depended upon them for their very existence.
After reciting Nelson’s prayer before the Battle of Trafalgar, Mr. Cox observed that Northamptonshire was often described as the county of spires, squires and hunts; the name of the Quorn, therefore, was appropriate.
“In the name of the people of Rushden, Higham Ferrers and Raunds,” concluded Mr. Cox, “may I be allowed to send this message to the officers and men: Good luck, good hunting and God bless you.”
“I feel proud,” replied Mr. Ransome, “to be selected to come here to-day to represent the officers and men of the ship’s company.
“Most of you have not seen the ship; most of you would like to see her. She’s a destroyer what we call in the Navy a maid of all work, liable to be shoved off anywhere at any time. I am sure you will follow any episode we may join in, any little job that may find us out; I know that you will follow us and give us your blessing.
“We in the Navy feel proud when we hear that some community has adopted us and is looking after our welfare, and that is why I am proud to come here to-day.”
Badges from Quorn
Having thanked (words missing) area, Mr. Ransome presented massive replicas of the ship’s badge, handsomely mounted and inscribed, to the three towns, Rushden’s being received by Coun. W. J. Sawford, J.P., chairman of the U.D.C., Higham’s by Ald. J. W. Barker, J.P., Mayor, and Raunds’ by Coun. J. C. Monk, chairman of the U.D.C.
Coun. Sawford replied that it gave him pleasure and honour to receive the lovely badge, which would be treasured for a long period to come. All of them hoped that the day was very near when they would have the opportunity to see the Quorn and know that the work that had been done had been something to be proud of. He wished the Quorn and its officers and men every success and safe journeys.
The Mayor of Higham Ferrers said the badge would occupy a very prominent place in the borough “not only in the old Town Hall but in the new one.” The people of Higham would look back in years to come on what they had done in National Savings, not only in Warship Week but throughout the war. There was only one alternative; they had either to win the war or lose it, and if they were going to win they must find the money.
“We shall be coming to you again shortly,” added the Mayor, “and I hope there will be the same response on that occasion.”
Coun. Monk, for Raunds and Stanwick, said they had no photographs of chairmen hanging up in their Council Chamber, and on their bare walls the badge would stand out all the more conspicuously. In the Midlands they saw little of the Navy, but they knew the spirit of the men, and they knew what history had taught them. Boys at school found history a dry subject; they had to memorise dates which they always forgot at examinations, but they remembered the way the Navy dealt with the Spanish Armada and they knew what they did at Trafalgar.
“I venture to say that the one thing the Navy would like to-day would be a good stand-up battle like they had in those days. Instead of that it is a grim, silent and determined work both day and night. Our hearts go out in gratitude to them, and I am confident that they will keep up the wonderful work the Navy has always done in the past.”
Commenting on the amalgamation of Rushden, Higham and Raunds for savings work, Coun. Monk said they all had their different characteristics, but he thought they had all gained by working with each other, and he hoped they would continue the amalgamation when the war was over.
Plaque for Ship
A commemorative plaque the area’s gift to the ship was presented to Mr. Ransome by Coun. Cox, who asked the officer to take to the ship’s company “our deep appreciation of the magnificent job of work that you are doing.”
“And may I ask you,” he continued, “when you pass this plaque in your daily walks, to remember that you have won the hearts, the loyalty and the support of many thousands of people in this area. Will you also convey to the men that we are very happy and willing to provide any comforts that you are in need of.”
Promising that these wishes would be carried out, Mr. Ransome said the plaque would be placed on the quarterdeck of the Quorn.
|The Rushden Echo and Argus, 18th September, 1942, transcribed by Gill Hollis
‘Quorn’ Will Answer this Signal -“Please Send Boat for Rushden Resident” - Commander’s Letter
Rushden people may visit H.M.S. Quorn, their “adopted” ship, whenever they find her in harbour. The invitation and an idea of the welcome they will receive are given in a letter from the “Quorn’s” commander to Mrs. A. Maclean, hon. secretary of the Quorn Comforts Fund.
Acknowledging parcels of comforts, all of which arrived safely, the officer states:-
“Of course it is too hot at the moment to issue any of the gear, so I don’t suppose any of the knitters will be hearing from the ship’s company for a bit, but in a month or two I hope you will receive many letters of thanks from the people who are actually wearing the clothes. For the present I hope this will do for everyone.
“Rushden is doing us awfully well, and we do thank you very much for taking such an interest in the ship.
“It does help to know that your welfare and deeds are being watched by a big community ashore, and I hope you will all feel, as we want you to feel, that you are all honorary members of the ship and will share our part in the war effort as well as doing your own job at home.
“And it goes without saying that if any of you find yourselves at a port where ‘Quorn’ happens to be we shall be only too delighted to see you on board at any time. Being honorary members of the ship, you are also entitled to have a signal made from the shore base signal station. ‘P.S.B. (Please send boat) for Rushden (or district) resident’ would be quite enough to bring the motor boat chugging across the harbour.”
|The Rushden Echo and Argus, 13th November, 1942, transcribed by Gill Hollis
“Quorn” Sinks a Raider - Exciting News for Local Children
Rushden, Higham Ferrers and Raunds school-children, who recently presented Bibles to H.M. destroyer Quorn, have received two delightful letters of thanks from members of the ship’s company. One message was sent through Coun. W. J. Sawford, J.P., chairman of the Rushden Urban Council, and the other through Mr. E. F. Poole, B.Sc.
“I am writing on behalf of my mess,” states one of the sailors, “to thank the school-children of your district who have sent each man of our ship a Bible, and I want to give them some idea of how much we all appreciate their gift.
“The ship is divided up into a number of messes, so I am only writing on behalf of a dozen of us, but I think we are fairly representative of the whole ship.
“In war, when everybody in the country is doing his share, a ship such as this is bound to contain every type of person from every walk of life, and naturally the work of a destroyer takes us all on occasion into the greatest danger. On these occasions especially, I think, we all realise how much we do all depend upon something more than human strength to sustain us. Not only at these times, but every day, it does help to know that we have the moral support of a community such as yours. The knowledge that so many school-children have contributed to provide each of us with these books, which we have received to-day, touches us all with something more than appreciation.
French Coast Battle
“It is a pity that in war-time the movements of the ship cannot be made known and that it is not possible for the children to visit the ship, as we should all be glad to show them over the various interesting parts of the ship. Perhaps one day the authorities will arrange such a visit, but till then we cannot meet our friends in person.
“We have been told that we may mention a recent action in which the ship was engaged. The battle was fought only a mile or two off the French coast, and as a result a large German ship and two of her escort were blown up and sunk. So till our young friends are able to see for themselves they must just accept this evidence that we are able to use the weapons we have been given. Likewise I can assure you that we shall use the books the children have sent us.
“As I have said, we in our mess are quite a representative lot. We have not anyone from Rushden; our nearest approach being two men from Coventry, but with one from the Isle of Wight and another from Glasgow we can see that we do represent the country. All of us send you and all our friends in Rushden our very best wishes and promise you that you will never have any regrets in adopting our ship as you have done.”
The Gunnery Officer, Mr. F. R. Ransome, R.N., who visited Rushden in July, writes:-
“Will you please convey to the schoolchildren of Rushden, Higham Ferrers and Raunds my sincere gratitude and appreciation for the little Bible they have presented to me? It is so gratifying and a wonderful gesture on their part. We are peculiar folk, children, we sailors. We lead a hard life during these troublesome times, but it is softened when little things like this occur.
“I well remember that glorious summer afternoon when I came to your delightful town to take part in the adoption ceremony. Everything was beautifully green, and for that very short time I forgot my part in this conflict. It really was a grand feeling.
“Well, children, you will be very interested and happy to know that your little ship had a very prominent part in the action in the Channel recently, when a large German merchant raider and most of its escort were sunk it took place at 1 a.m. while you were peacefully sleeping. I cannot tell you any more than that on account of the censor, although I ought to say we suffered no casualties or damage, and, using our usual phrase, it was ‘Good hunting’ and we thoroughly enjoyed it. So cheerio! Shipmates (you are part of the ship’s company, you know), and it won’t be long before we get this job over.
“Here is a little incident very worthy of note. A Petty Officer serving on your ship had his little daughter christened on board. All the ship’s company attended the ceremony, which the flotilla chaplain performed. On such occasions we use the ship’s bell as a font, and it is entered in the ship’s log. As soon as I receive a photograph I will send it along to you.”
|The Rushden Echo, 22nd January, 1943, transcribed by Jim Hollis
Uproar on The Quorn - Merry Welcome of Gifts From Rushden
Two harmoniums and other gifts from friends at Rushden, Higham Ferrers and Raunds have had a boisterous reception aboard H.M.S. Quorn, the area's adopted destroyer.
Writes Lieut. Bill Winterbottom to Mrs. A. Maclean, hon. Secretary of the Quorn Comforts Fund: "Your marvellous parcel of records, violin, pictures, etc., together with the two excellent harmoniums arrived the other day. Thank you all so very much for them. It really is splendid of you.
"The wardroom mess was in an uproar after they arrived, with Mr. Ransome (the gunner who came up to Rushden with Mr. Cockram) thumping away on each harmonium in turn (he keeps telling us he can play), myself running up and down the E string of the violin.
Then a third member was playing a selection of the records at full blast on the radiogram while yet another was doing the same thing on a portable. Bedlam undiluted!
"However, they have all been passed into more responsible hands now. One of the engine room branch plays the harmonium very well, and I think we have got a violin candidate too - our star player left the ship recently.
"We already have a banjo, mandolin and accordion, so it doesn't look as though we shall need the town band after all. However, if they will let us know when they are next broadcasting we shall be delighted to give expert criticism."
The lieutenant reports that Mrs. Maclean's suggestion about a darts trophy was received with enthusiasm. Acknowledging a gift of £5, he says this will be used to finance a dance. Christmas cards from Rushden were delivered to each man.
|The Rushden Echo, 5th March, 1943, transcribed by Gill Hollis
“Quorn” Receives Local Gifts
Captain and Lieutenant Send Thanks
Woollen comforts sent from the Rushden area to H.M.S. Quorn are acknowledged with gratitude by the destroyer’s commanding officer, who asks Mrs. A. Maclean (now living in Lancashire) to convey the ship’s best wishes to those who have knitted the articles.
“We are most appreciative of the work done on our behalf,” he writes, “especially on these cold nights at sea, and of the kind thoughts that go with that work.”
Lieut. Bill Winterbottom, also of the “Quorn,” writes to report with enthusiasm the arrival of the mess cigarette box, visitors’ book and games trophy. He describes the cigarette box as “delightful and just exactly what we wanted” and the book as “a magnificent piece of work.” “Our stock,” he says, “is now 100 per cent in the flotilla.”
The games trophy, it appears, has been received with great enthusiasm and exhibited by the captain during a speech to the men. Inspired by the gift, the ship’s company has elected a sports committee and formed teams among the forward messdeck seamen, the after messdeck seamen, the stokers, the petty officers and the officers.
The lieutenant expresses keen regret on learning that Mrs. Maclean has left Rushden.
|Rushden Echo & Argus, 7th April 1944, transcribed by Kay Collins
Sailors’ Gift to G.T.C.
Rushden Company, Girls’ Training Corps have received from the officers and men of H.M.S. Quorn this framed scroll, signed by every one of the ship’s company. An interesting feature of the scroll is that it has been designed and painted by the men themselves, and the frame was made by the ship’s carpenter. The girls were thrilled to receive this unique gift, and feel amply rewarded for their enterprise in accepting responsibility for the “Quorn” Comforts Fund.
|Rushden Echo, 18th August 1944, transcribed by Peter Brown
Rushden Mourns Loss of H.M.S. Quorn
Adopted Warship Carried Local Mementoes
Rushden, Higham Ferrers and Raunds people heard with profound regret the announcement on Monday morning that H.M.S. Quorn, The Destroyer "Adopted” by them in 1942, had been lost during "Operations for the Liberation of Europe."
The alliance between Quorn and the Rushden district was arranged by the Admiralty in recognition of the area's savings achievement in Warship Week, 1942 and has been developed in a very happy manner. Officers from the ship visited Rushden Hall Grounds for the public adoption ceremony in July, 1942, and gifts were exchanged, the adopting towns receiving handsome plaques bearing the ship's cresta hunter's horn held in a lion’s paw. These replicas now hang in the Council Chambers of the three towns.
Gifts From District
Quorn bore on her quarterdeck a commemorative plaque presented by the area. Her ship's Bible was a gift from Rushden, and the small-Bibles used by the men were given by the children of the district. Many other gifts, among them two harmoniums and a sketch of Rushden St. Mary's Church, were sent to the ship. Quorn's company exchanged greetings with the district, and there was a standing invitation for Rushden and Raunds people to visit the vessel.
Towards the end of last year the cadets of the Rushden G.T.C. Company became responsible for the local liaison work, and at one of their gatherings during the winter they were visited by Mr F. R. Ransome, the gunnery officer. A few months ago they received an illuminated address signed by every member of the ship's company. Some of them had "pen friends" on the ship.
Quorn was a Hunt class destroyer, completed in 1940, and took part in several engagements with enemy forces in the North Sea and Channel area. There have been changes in the command during the period of adoption, and the commanding officer named in the official communique announcing the ship's loss is Lt. I. Hall
A Boyhood Link
Lieutenant (E.) John R. Dight RN., who lost his life at the age of 27 in the sinking of H.M.S. Quorn, was the only son of Eng. Rear-Admiral S R Dight, C.B.E., brother of Mrs R J- Butland, formerly of Lloyds Bank House, Rushden. Lieutenant Dight was pleased that his ship was associated with Rushden. for, as he would jokingly remark, it was at Rushden that he, when a boy, stepped for the first time on board a battleship "H.M.S. Pinafore"! Mr. Butland, who produced the show, had taken him on the stage at the close of the local society’s performance of the Gilbert and Sullivan opera.