Email: The Only Known Depiction of the HMS Beaumaris Castle (FY 992)? (12.11.2021)

Dear Leo

As you (and your colleagues) at the RNSPA have been so kind as to help me with my research, I thought that I would introduce myself. I corresponded with Mr George Smith (1924-2016) between 2010-2013 – which included telephone conversations. My maternal grandfather – Arthur Gibson (1911-1997) – served aboard the HMS Beaumaris Castle (FY 992) in the North Atlantic with him (George was the Telegraphist). He entrusted me with his biography because he said he could see the inner qualities in me that he knew and respected in my grandfather. I was introduced to George by a fellow historian who had become flummoxed by one or two events experienced by the crew of the Beaumaris. As the log-book of the Beaumaris is missing, these events cannot be verified. However, as Arthur Gibson had related these same events to me as a young child, I was astonished to be introduced to George and hear him relate exactly the same stories! The first involved a select number of Beaumaris crew going up the mountain on St Kilda and reprieving the dead bodies of US or Canadian Servicemen killed when their aeroplane either hit an air-pocket or collided with the mountain (versions differ). The second involves the Beaumaris taking the surrender of a German U-Boat on May 8th, 1945 and escorting it to Loch Ewe. According to George, the artist – Stephen Bone – captured an image of the HMS Beaumaris (FY 992) in the background of one of his harbour-scenes painted in Stornoway:

A Cropped Close-Up of Stephen Bone’s Stornoway Harbour Scene – the HMS Beaumaris Castle (FY 992)

Whatever the case, I have been unable to find a genuine photograph of our HMS Beaumaris Castle (FY 992) – although plenty exist of the HMS Beaumaris (J07) – for which it is often mistaken! 

All Best Wishes

Adrian

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