Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Photographs: From the Collection of Lloyd Evans (1)

Lloyd Evans, Member of RCNVR and Combined Operations, 1941 - 45

Some Photos Without Names or Locations! Readers, "Help Wanted" 

Seven Canadians in Combined Ops stand easy. But where were they?*
Back row, L - R: Unknown, P. Bowers**, Lloyd Evans, Don Westbrook
Front L - R: Don Linder, Unknown, Doug Harrison w a smoke
From the collection of Lloyd Evans

*Editor's guess - a port in southern England, e.g., Southampton. Or, perhaps somewhere in The Med, e.g., in Gibraltar. [Help Wanted!]


I read the memoirs of Lloyd Evans at a tremendous, detailed website (Combined Operations Command) re members of Allied navies that volunteered (in most cases) for Combined Operations and therefore spent much of their time (in service during World War II) training or transporting the materials of war aboard various landing crafts in various theatres of war (e.g., Dieppe, N. Africa, Sicily, Italy, Normandy and more).

After reading Lloyd's memoirs I felt he must have crossed paths with my father (both were in RCNVR, trained in the many of the same locations, travelled aboard the same ships, were in certain war fronts at the same time, etc.) and - with the help of Geoff Slee, the creator of Combined Ops Command, I was able to connect with Mr. Evans (formerly of Markham, ONT) and then meet him at his home. 

We exchanged information in conversations and traded copies of his memoirs and my father's own. After seeing several photos of my father he said, "He looks familiar but I don't think I knew him." After Lloyd passed away his son Stephen sent me a rich photo file and I will share it here over the course of a few entries and will include some background or additional information when appropriate. And yes, Lloyd and Doug did cross paths and likely relaxed around a few of the same landing crafts in Southampton, or, was it Gibraltar?

Lloyd Evans as a young recruit in Sea Cadets, likely late-1930s in Ottawa:

As I remember Lloyd when we met in 2015 (approx.):

We exchanged books of memoirs, his and my father's;

Readers can link directly to Lloyd's memoirs here.

Readers can link to part of my father's memoirs here.

Photographs from Mr. Evans' collection follow, along with additional shots - that relate in some way - from my father's and from my own collection:

Many members of Lloyd's division volunteered for Combined Operations
Lloyd is in the top row, fifth from the left. P. Bowers** is fourth from left
Name of the division is not given. Date - late 1941 at HMCS Stadacona

The Effingham Division "almost to the man" volunteered for Combined Ops in
late 1941, the first Canadian draft to do so, also while at HMCS Stadacona
My father is front, third from left. From the collection of Joe Spencer

The two divisions appearing above may not have begun their training at HMCS Stadacona in Halifax at exactly the same time, but there was surely some overlap, especially once the divisions began their training aboard landing crafts in early 1942, in the UK. There are a few instances - in photographs I have examined - where I see members of one division with members of the other.

P. Bowers** stands beside Lloyd (on Lloyd's right side) in the first and second photographs, and in the next photo Bowers is seen with at least three members from the Effingham Division.

Back L - R: J. Dale, P. Bowers (from Lloyd's division), Joe Watson
(Effingham Division; above this photo, top row, second from right)
Front L - R: Chuck Rose (Effingham Div.; 3rd row from top, 1st on left),
Joe Spencer (not in the Effingham group shot for some reason; see below)
Photo from the collection of Joe Spencer; taken in Glasgow, 1943

Earlier group shot of Effingham Division, 1941 at HMCS Stadacona,
outside Wellington barracks. Back L - R: Joe Spencer, Chuck Rose, Art
Bradfield, Joe Watson, both of Simcoe, ONT. Photo - D. Harrison

Another example of members of the two earliest divisions mixing together is seen in Lloyd's early photos. Below we see two photos from his file of Richard Cavanaugh (killed in action at Dieppe, August 19, 1942), a member of the Effingham Division (full group shot, 3 photos above, second row from front, 2nd from left):

All aboard! Canadians often took the train while in the UK, e.g., from
Greenock, Scotland to Hayling Island (S. England) in January, 1942 

Out and about in Glasgow?

Lloyd Evans, date and location unknown. Sea Cadet uniform?

I am guessing a photo of a new friend beside the Clyde, in Glasgow.
Sailors enjoyed leave, dates and dances at The Locarno Club

Help wanted! Leith as seen from Edinburgh Castle?

From my photo files re Edinburgh Castle. Enough similarities to Lloyd's
previous photo for me to say we were standing near the same spot. GH

Canadian flotillas of landing crafts were placed aboard troop ships for
the trip around Africa in summer 1943, prior to Operation HUSKY, i.e.,
invasion of Sicily. A few sailors tell stories of buying monkeys enroute.

Eephus P. Murphy loved his new pet. Unfortunately, Canadian landing
crafts were bombed about every 2 hours during first 3 days of HUSKY.
It was no place for a wee pet. Click here for story - Monkey Mishap

Lloyd's memoirs mention a few details about his new pet as well

Canadians in Combined Ops were familiar with the iconic scenes below from Loch Fyne, Scotland, home of HMS Quebec, Combined Ops No. 1 training camp. Inveraray is 1 - 2 miles north of here:

A hospital ship. It's purpose in this area is unknown to me. Help wanted.

Lloyd Evans in Ottawa, date unknown. Possibly Dec. 1941, before heading
overseas, or Dec., 1943, after returning from two years service. I lean to '41

Location and date unknown and I make no guesses

One story has come my way about Canadians sailors having the chance to water ski while serving in the Mediterranean, after settling into routines in/near Messina during the invasion of Italy (i.e., Operation Baytown, beginning in early September, 1943). The sailors fashioned water skis from large wine barrels and were pulled by a U.S. MTB. Could this be Messina? It looks like Comox, B.C., but Lloyd did not serve there as far as his memoirs indicate. 

The next photo reveals wave action that was not ideal for water skiing:

Life at sea can be treacherous. "Hold onto the railing!"

So, here we are back at Southampton, Portsmouth or Gibraltar again (1942 - 43), near E Deck and a Fire Hydrant. If Lloyd took the picture, then he and my father were pretty close together again. 

L - R: Don Linder, Unknown behind him, P. Bowers, Doug (Dad) Harrison
(peeking out from behind Bowers), Unknown, Don Westbrook (Hamilton).

L - R: Don Westbrook, P. Bowers, Unknown

Here's one of P. Bowers, and not in Lloyd's collection:

Photo is a still (screen shot), taken from a video re invasion of Sicily,
1943. The 3 sailors to the right of Bowers (smoking) are Canadians.
Recognized by me from other photos, but no names available (yet)

The next three photos from Lloyd's files were most likely taken by Royal Canadian Navy photographers. I know that Gilbert A. Milne accompanied Canadian forces into The Med and to Normandy (his book entitled H.M.C.S.: One Photographer's Impressions... is filled w iconic shots re Canada at war), and many more did as well:

Photos comes w no name or date. Help Wanted.

This might be a peaceful training exercise on England's southern coast

Training exercise again?

A ship taking a torpedo?

Related to the invasion of Sicily or Italy, perhaps.

More photos from the collection of Lloyd Evans will appear shortly.

If you have WWII photos that seem to fit with the purpose/direction of this website, do not hesitate to contact the Editor (Gord H.) via email -

To view more photos of Canadian Navy vets, please visit Photographs: Aging Navy Vets Reconnect at Reunions (2)

Unattributed Photos GH 

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