Warship Week Plaques – Spectacular Exchange at Denaby

August 1942

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday 22 August 1942

Warship Week Plaques

Spectacular Exchange at Denaby

An exchange of plaques to commemorate the Conisbrough and Denaby Warship Week achievement of £73,334 for the purchase of Motor Torpedo boat 215, took place In an impressive ceremony at the Large Hall, Denaby, on Saturday.

The exchange was between the township and (through a naval officer representing the Admiralty), the ship. A parade of Home Guard and Civil Defence units headed by a St. John Ambulance Brigade band, marched from Conisbrough Miners’ Welfare ground, where they were inspected by Brigadier General Sir John Brind , who also took the salute at the march past, to the Large Hall.

On the platform were Coon. R. H. Shepherd, the Chairman and Chairman of the U.D.C., Lt. G. W. Watson, R.N.V.R., who received the plaque and presented that from the ship), Sub.-Lt. S. G. Shephard, R.N.V.R., Major W. Morris, M.C. (Regional Commissioner for National Savings), Brig.-Gen. Sir John Bend. Lt.-Col. J.B. Keates and J.R. Middleton-Walker (Home Guard), Coun. D. Sheldon. Mr. T. C. Campbell, Mr. J. Rawding and members of the Savings Committee.

Coun. R. H. Shephard said he had been present at many impressive and memorable occasions but none of them gave him as much pleasure as the exchange of plaques that was to take place that afternoon.

Now For Tanks

Major W. Morris said Yorkshire had played a great part in war savings but like the rest of the country must do more. In the past the pressing need had been for ships or the Navy. In this war the Navy had received priority. “The country has delivered the goods to the Royal Navy,” said Major Morris. Not only had towns all over the country adopted ships but they had cared for their crews as well. Now he need was for tanks for our land forces and he reminded his audience of their savings objective during the ten weeks commencing July 20th., £15,000 to buy two tanks.

General Sir John Blind congratulated the area on its past savings and expressed the hope that its future efforts would be equally successful. He felt honoured to have been asked to inspect the parade and take the salute.

The town’s plaque was then presented to the representative of the ship by Coun. R. H. Shepherd. He paid tribute to the work of Mr. C. Croxall a member of the Council staff who had executed the design for the plaque and asked Mr. Croxall to step up to the platform where he was loudly cheered. Mr. Croxall spoke in appreciation of the work of the Surveyor, Mr. H. Thirlwall, but for whose work the plaque would never have been made. Coun. Shephard described the plaque as representing mining. sickle manufacturing industry and Conisbrough’s historical castle.

Receiving the plaque. Lieut. Watson said that the M.T.B. service had not been heard of much in the past but was getting into the news more and more. The type of boat that Conisbrough had bought was one of the fastest things afloat and could sink almost anything within range. He told how his colleagues on patrol had rescued the crew of a Wellington bomber which had been forced down almost under the enemy’s nose.

Coun. Shephard accepted the plaque from the ship saying “I am sure that this plaque will be given a place of honour in the Council Chamber.”

“Denaby” In Action.

Coun. D. Sheldon, chairman of the local War Savings Committee, thanked members of the committee and all who had helped to make the Warship Week possible. Some people had doubts at the time whether Conisbrough could attain their target. “But the money came rolling in at the last minute.” It was a grand performance but Major Morris, like Oliver Twist, was always asking for more. Now he asked for £15.000 in ten weeks. The last three weeks savings were to be included in this total and at the rate of £1.500 a week they were already £8 to the good. He suggested that the two tanks should not both bear Conisbrough’s name but one the name of Denaby. “Hitler would know it was really over then, he said. (Laughter).

Mr. T. C. Campbell proposed a vote of thanks to the speakers. Mr. J. Rawding seconded.

The plaque from the M.T.B. to the township bore the insignia of the M.T.B. service—a white flying fish, set on a blue background, the whole enclosed in a diamond surmounted by a crown, both in gilt, and at the base a suitably inscribed brass plate.