The Wartime Memories Project - HMS Collingwood

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HMS Collingwood is a shorebase, was built as a new entry Training Establishment for "hostilities only’ ratings of the Seaman Branch. The 200 acres it covers were compulsorily purchased in 1939. The base is is situated between Gosport and Fareham in Hampshire The buildings were erected to surround the Parade Ground which was the focal point of the training.

On 10 January 1940 the base was offically opened, training began a week later with batches of about 1000 trainees joining every 3 weeks for a 10-week course. Fifty wrens joined Collingwood initally and worked as Cooks, Stewards, Messengers and Telephonists.

The first Wireless Telegraphy ratings started their training in June 1940, a Radio Direction Finding School was added in 1942. At this time the Medical Section was rated as a Naval Hospital with a Surgeon Rear Admiral in charge.

After the war the Electrical branch was formed in 1946 and HMS COLLINGWOOD took over the training of officers and ratings, in the maintenance of all electrical and radio equipment in the Fleet.(except for the Fleet Air Arm.)

Today the base is still in use by the Royal Navy and is home to The HMS Collingwood museum which features an extensive collection of Naval communications and radar equipment.

This is my Grandfather Ernest Albert Matthews. I do not know much about his service history, but he joined the navy in 1942 and left in 1946. His service included Collingwood, Rooke, Golden Hind and the boom defence vessel called the Lionion. I have no information apart from that. We are unable to find any information about the Lionion, although we have been told that it probably was known by its number (What number?). Captains that signed his service forms are Graham, Cox, Lundy, and Brock - all guesses because the writing/signatures are so bad! He had several medals including the Atlantic Star, Pacific Star, Italy Star and Africa Star. If anyone can give me more information I would be appreciative.

My father Ivor Briggs was born in Bradford 9th Oct 1924 and died in Edinburgh in 1997, the son of Edith Shillito and David Briggs. I have been investigating my family tree and came across these photos. The only information I have is that he was a Chief Petty Officer and served on a minesweeper in the Med at the end of the war. I remember him telling me that he was based in Rhodes at some point although I have a picture of him with a date of 9th April 1946 taken in Malta. I have no other information and it would be great to hear from anyone who served with him who might have more information.

T33 Class, Ivor Briggs, middle row far right.

HMS Collingwood Group Photo 30/05/1943 14u Fx Division

My Father was Able Seaman Arnold Malina, and Trained at HMS Collingwood from 12 May 1943 August 1943 to 20 July 1943. He is the second person from the right in the 2nd Row.
He served on HMS Fishguard from 1943 to December 1945. Convoy escorts in Indian Ocean from 21/11/1943 to 31/05/1945 out of bases HMS Tana, Kilindini, Kenya and HMS Lanka in Ceylon. from 01/06/1945 to 31/10/1945

My father, Kenneth Granville Woodhouse, served at COLLINGWOOD from 10th March 1942 to June 1942. I recently lost my father, and have just located his service record, if there is anyone who knew of him or served with him I would dearly love to hear from them.

There is one other mystery I am trying to solve and have a load of friends trying also, here is a copy of it ...maybe ...I will get to the bottom of it. There was a ship/ shore base/ or port base, that my father served on but with the writing so illegible we cannot fathom what it says:

It is the last part of the puzzle and means so much to me.... I was told it may be a LCV (LANDING CRAFT VEHICLE.

I am trying to do some research on my Father's time in the Royal Navy during WWII. My Father was William Cutler (Bill) and according to his Naval records was at HMS Collingwood from 30 August 1943 to 17 October 1943. I have attached a photo that we have. My Father is the second person from the left in the last row. Written on the back is Collingwood Stokers 1943.

I have only just started researching my Father's war years and have found it to be very time consuming, but rewarding past time. My Father never spoke about the war and unfortunately he passed away in 1996.

Alison Richardson

I Trained at HMS Collingwood March 09 1943. Went on to join HMS Aristocrat and then HMS Gloty. Have class Photo anyone out there in the same intake

Lawrence John Rand

On behalf of my father-in-law, Reg Stanford, who was at HMS Collingwood during WW2 for training as a young submariner, I am trying to locate the graves of his colleagues who died in a tragic accident at the base during the war. Can you help? Reg is now 79 and would like to visit the graves.

Best wishes Penny Watson-Farrar


Here is a photo taken at HMS Colingwood. I don't know when it was taken but my Great Uncle Henry Wildey is on the middle row 3rd in from the right. I guess it must have been taken in the very early days as Henry died in 2002 aged about 85. I am submitting this photo because there are signatures on the back of the guys in the picture! Someone may recognise them as being members of their families.

Trayci Morris

HMS Collingwood the intake of October 1943

This picture was taken at the naval training centre HMS Collingwood the intake was October 1943. My brother Ronald Spenceley was one of the trainees. Ronald went on to serve on HMS Vestal and HMS Squirrel out in Far east during ww2. Both ships went down one sank by a Japanese plane and the second struck a mine.

George Spenceley

If you have any Photographs you would like to share please get in touch.

List of those who served.

  • William Cutler
  • Arnold Malina Read his story
  • Lawrence John Rand
  • Dick Seymour
  • Ronald Spenceley
  • Reg Stanford
  • Edward Walter Wilson
  • Kenneth Granville Woodhouse Read his story

If you have any names to add to this list please add their details.

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