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First Lord A.V. Alexander on board Dutch warship [mystery]

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  • First Lord A.V. Alexander on board Dutch warship [mystery]

    Hi all,

    The attached photo is from a WW2 periodical. It shows the First Lord of the Admiralty (A.V. Alexander)(#1) visiting a Dutch warship with Dutch naval officers and men present. At this point, I don't know (yet) when and where this photo was taken. I"m seeking your help to identify men in the photo and to discover when and where this photo was taken.

    The photo has been online for a while at for a while, but it hasn't yielded many responses yet:

    #1: A.V. Alexander - First Lord of the Admiralty (1940-1945)
    #2: Max Horton (presumably) - Flag Officer, Submarines (1940-november 1942), later Commander-in-Chief, Western Approaches (november 1942 - 1945)
    #3: unknown Dutch officer.

    #3 looks a lot like the Dutch naval officer J.H. Geijs, but I'm not entirely sure. Geijs was commanding officer of O-10 between 1940 - August, 1941, and later K-XiV between April 1942 - July 1943.

    Opinions? More information about the persons, place and date is appreciated!

  • #2
    Re: First Lord A.V. Alexander on board Dutch warship [mystery]

    Hello, Mister Fish

    Mistery Photo
    13 June 1942 or 1943: In Rothesay the crews of the O 9 and O 10 are inspected by the First Lord of Admiralty Mr. A.V. Alexander and Flag Officer Submarines Sir Max Horton.


    • #3
      Re: First Lord A.V. Alexander on board Dutch warship [mystery]

      Hi Folkert,

      Thank you for replying. Assuming this photo was taken during Horton's and Alexander's visit to Rothesay, it would most likely have taken place in 1942. By 1943, Horton had been appointed Commander in Chief Western Approaches.

      However, if this photo was taken in 1942 or 1943, the officer #3 can not have been J.H. Geijs. He was commanding officer of K-XIV in the Far East at the time.

      The search continues ...


      • #4
        Re: First Lord A.V. Alexander on board Dutch warship [mystery]

        Hello Jan,

        From information at my disposal, the old torpedo boat Z-5 was assigned the the 7th (Training) Flotilla at Rothesay between 24 March 1941 and 2 March 1942 when the ship was decommissioned. The photo shows the inspection party aboard a surface ship, and that ship does not seem very wide. This leads me to think that the photo might have been taken aboard the Z-5. The several old torpedo boats that escaped to the UK in May 1940 were administratively assigned to the Onderzeedienst, hence their presence at Rothesay.

        J.H. Geijs, if that is the man at the center of the photo, was the CO of O-10 from 15 November 1940 to 19 August 1941. He then was assigned to the Dutch submarine tender Colombia
        from 29 August 1941 to 1 September 1942.

        The photo does not offer many clues, but perhaps knowing when the Z-5
        and Geijs might have been present at Rothesay will allow you to estimate the date of the photo. I presume that a person as important as A.V. Alexander would have left many of his official papers to a museum or library. If you can determine where his papers are kept, you might be able to access a document that would tell you when he visited Rothesay and perhaps even which ships were boarded. The Liddell Hart Center for Military Archives at King's College, London has an on-line database listing what papers from senior British military officers and officials are found in what museum, archive or university.

        Hope this helps.

        Mark Jones


        • #5
          Re: First Lord A.V. Alexander on board Dutch warship [mystery]

          Possible Z class or N class Destroyer..

          HMS "Razor" Blade H97
          Hr.Ms. Z 5 escaped to the U.K. on 14 May 1940. On 3 Jan 1942: O 9, O 10, Z 5 and Otway arrive in Rothesay (Scotland). She was transferred to the Royal Navy on 2 March 1942. In May 1943 she was renamed HMS Blade. H 97 or "Razor Blade" Returned to the Royal Netherlands Navy on 9 April 1945 but not commissioned. Sold and scrapped at Troon, Scotland in October 1945.