History of the 1st HMS Kelantan Deep-Sea Rover Scout Crew

7th October, 1945

FIRST OUTING WITH "PIONEER" and HONG KONG SCOUTERS.

by RSL A J Clarke

Several D.S.S. from "Pioneer" and Chinese Scouters were met by members of our Crew at the China Fleet Club on Sunday for the purpose of an outing on the other side of the Island. The R.S.L. of "Pioneer" had managed to get an old bus from somewhere in Hong Kong and about thirty of us took our seats ( or stood ) and prepared for our run round to the other side. We passed through rather delightful country, up winding roads and hairpin bends until we arrived at a small bay not far from Stanley Bay and afterwards named "Pioneer Bay". Here we enjoyed swimming amidst ideal surroundings and in clear, cool water for about an hour or more, followed by a light snack and then games with the Chinese chaps which were very much enjoyed by all. This outing was the foundation of a lasting friendship with our Chinese Brother Scouts. I discussed the possibility of a Den in Hong Kong for D.S.S. of the Fleet and the R.S.L. of "Pioneer" decided we should get together and see what could be done.

Members of D.S.S. present included
A.J.CLARKE R.S.L. "KELANTAN" F. YATES R.S.L."PIONEER"
K. GUEST "KELANTAN" E.HOPKINS "PIONEER"
JOHNNY WESTBURY do L. LAUNDERS do
ROY WOOD do H.DARLINGTON do
GORDON MAUDE do KEN DIXON do
BENNY HAWORTH do F.ROBINSON do
JOCK FRASER do VIC SEARLE do
BOGEY HARRIS do E.A. NEWTON R.A.M.C.
BOB DRURY do
RON ASKEW do
ERIC BONE do

and many Chinese Scouters.

SUNDAY 21st OCTOBER, 1945

by RSL A J Clarke

Another trip round the Island, with two three-ton trucks required this week to accommodate extra D.S.S. and Chinese Scouters, about forty or fifty of us in all. We further explored the island and once again returned to "Pioneer" Bay for our swim. During the week I had seen Fred on two occasions, and it looked as if we were to get a Den on the ground floor of the Cheerio Club. But there seemed to be some difficulty in getting the food which was stored there, taken away by the owners.

I had something to work on at last and Intended to follow it up at the earliest opportunity. We returned from our outing via Aberdeen, where we stopped for food at a Chinese Restaurant. (Never again.)

TUESDAY, 24th OCTOBER. 1945

Today I went ashore at 1300 and walked into the Den of the Hong Kong D.S.S. for the first time. I had arranged with Rev. Horsefield for a number of coolies to clear it out for us, it being in far too bad a state for us to have done it in the rig we had to wear when ashore. Pop Newton came in during the afternoon, whilst I sat there dreaming of what it might becoae and we had a long yarn which gave me a real liking for him. I had found another really good friend and Brother Rover.

Before we left we arranged for a meeting on Thursday, 25th October, to work out our future policy, and departed in very high spirits.

THURSDAY, 25th OCTOBER. 1945

Tonight we had our first meeting in the Den, D.S.S. from "Pioneer", "Kelantan", "Deersound" and "Anson" being present. Owing to the fact that Fred Yates was not present I was obliged to take the chair and in doing so, gave a roug outline of our future policy. Firstly, there was a lot of work to be done and a lot of material required. Secondly, we wanted the Den open every day, and programmes must be arranged as soon as we had finished work or, at least, had made the Den look something like presentable. Everybody agreed that it could be a good Den if we were prepared to make it so. Work wil commence tomorrow.

The meeting lasted little over an hour but we had made a good start and I left the Den quite satisfied.

SATURDAY, 27th OCTOBER, 1945

by RSL A J Clarke

Today we were presented with a canoe by the Commanding Officer of H.M.S. "SPRINGDALE", and since she was lying in the Basin and we on the West Wall, no time was lost in getting it round to our ship. We placed it on our well-deck and gave it a good look over - it certainly looks a good craft and we can hardly wait to try her out.

I must see about transport tomorrow so that we may try her out. Fred could get the truck right alongside us. I must also see our First Lieutenant for a couple of new paddles.

SUNDAY, 28th OCTOBER, 1945

At about 1400, Fred arrived with the truck and away we went with our canoe complete with two new paddles. Arriving at Pioneer Bay we had some trouble in getting the canoe down to the beach but after about twenty minutes she was afloat and ready for her maiden voyage. We found the only difficulty was getting in in the first place, but once in, we found her even better than we expected. She will take two - no more and I think no less; she is fast and easy to manoeuvre, but you have to watch you don't turn her over. Several of the chaps did have a spill, but the cork fore and aft made it possible for them to sit astride and paddle home that way. We had some good sport today and it was quite a change from just swimming. The Chinese Scouters seem to be falling off, there being very few with us today. I don't think they trust Fred's driving.

TUESDAY, 3Oth OCTOBER, 1945

Tonight we should have had a Rover meeting but owing to the work still required to be done in the Den before our official opening, we decided to work instead. I am afraid my ability as a painter is not very high and I spent most of a time cleaning up, after a short spell of painting. Having completed the walls we painted imitation wooden beams in tonight, the effect being quite good, and we also decided that an old-fashioned lantern style of lamp shade would be ideal. Bob and I promised to make them.

Fred came in just before we closed, to inform us that he had ordered some membership cards bearing the name "PIOKELDE".

THURSDAY, 1st NOVEMBER 1945

The Commodore is due to open the Den on Saturday, and after working like slaves for the past ten days or more, at last the Den is beginning to look quite good. We arranged all the furniture tonight, mounted the flags and put up curtains: also arranged the altar which really does look good. I can hardly believe it is the same room I saw about a fortnight ago. We made our final arrangements for the opening before leaving but Bob and i will have to work tomorrow to make the lamp-shade.

Next: an account of the beginning of the Den, as reported in "Scouts in Ships", February 1946.


About...

My father, Allan Johnson Clarke, served on HMS Kelantan from 6 April 1942 until 23 September 1946. In 1945, while stationed in Hong Kong, he led the ship's Deep Sea Rover Scout Troop. The text here is the diary he kept of this time.

Progress

The diary consists of 64 pages of typed foolscap. Scanned: pages 1-10 Uploaded: Pages 1 and 2 and part of page 3.

2017-10-01 After a gap of several years, I've restarted work on the diary. I'm indebted to Dominic Lo for rekindling my activity. I've started making a list of the pages I have. I'm getting through the scanning, starting to put the information online. In the meantime, you can contact me on the email address below.

Scanned 18/64 done
Corrected 7/64 done
Uploaded 7/64 done

Copyright

The text on this page is copyright © The Estate of A J Clarke 2004. I am happy for the diary to be used for education or for research by anyone who's interested. Please let me know if you want to copy some of the text for use elsewhere.

Contact

If you have any information connected to this story, or you would like to link to this page, I'd be glad to hear from you. You can email me at deepsea@scrich.co.uk