No. 2 January 2013
Introduction, by your virtual chairman
Here it is, the second Bulletin of our Live Bait Squadron Society. The idea to set up a society was launched last September. And we’re happy to say that meanwhile over 250 people have subscribed as members. And every week new members are reporting to join the Society. So far we count about 150 Members of the Aboukir, Cressy and Hogue Groups, ten of the SS Titan Group, and about a hundred Non-related Members.
After Mr John Tice and Mr Barry Mack had sent their letters to the Daily Mail, mentioning my email-address, ever more family relations of the men who served on the cruisers are expressing their wish to participate.
This could also be a good idea for other members, why shouldn’t you try and write to your (local) newspaper informing them about this project and our objectives for 2014? In May last year I wrote to almost all British newspapers, but I never received any reaction whatsoever. I suspect that where I failed, John and Barry succeeded because they had a personal message about an on-going existing human-interest project.
The November 2011 edition of “Navy News” paid attention to the fact that I would like to come into contact with descendants of the ships’ crews. This yielded up a mere two names in 2011. For several months that was it. But after a few publications in the Medway Messenger (thanks to its journalist Mr Peter Cook), a growing number of descendants finally started to get in touch. This development was just enough for me to count on a successful meeting 22 September in Rochester/Chatham.
Till that day, 22 September 2012, I had been able to trace family relations of exactly twenty of the servicemen of the cruisers, survivors included. And today, writing this Bulletin, the names of as many as 45 descendants figure on that list. You will find their names in the present Bulletin while any more ‘new arrivals’ will be welcomed in future Bulletins.
As you know we’re planning a Centennial Commemoration, dedicated to the subject Squadron, in September 2014, both in Great-Britain and in The Netherlands. I am very pleased therefore to be able to mention here that the British First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, The Mayor of the City of the Hague Mr Jozias van Aartsen, and the Commander of the Naval Forces of the Netherlands Rear-Admiral Mathieu Borsboom, have all been so kind as to send me letters in which they not only congratulated me on my efforts, but also assured me of their co-operation in organising the celebrations in September 2014. More on this topic is to be expected in Bulletin-3, next April.
The year 2013 will most likely be dominated by preparatory work for 2014. I would like to have some additional research done, for which I may kindly refer you to the notes and requests put forward elsewhere in this Bulletin.
Within the scope of the documentary that is in the making, a number of additional interviews and some more filming in Holland and in Germany is anticipated.
If the 2013 preparations run smoothly, it should be no problem to carry out the actual logistics for the events in the first six months of 2014.
This Bulletin is somewhat of a mixture of requests, questions and suggestions from the chairman to the members, supplemented with a few nice items from my own Treasure Chest.
To end with: my best wishes for you all, a peaceful and healthy New Year!
Kind regards, Henk
Mrs Vi Maidment, granddaughter of George James Keam (Cressy), Gelnelg, South Australia, would be very pleased if she could be in touch with relatives of the late Cressy crew, email@example.com.