- Rettie, Alexander
- Biographies and personal histories, History - WW1
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- June 1984 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
I actually joined the ship at the age of 16 years, as a boy rating. My early experience with the RENOWN was during the 1914-18 war. Much of our time was spent roaming the North Sea and gazing at the bridge over the River Forth.
The First Battle Cruiser Squadron comprising PRINCESS ROYAL, TIGER, LION, REPULSE and RENOWN joined with the Grand Fleet under the command of Admiral Beatty to accept the surrender of the German Fleet on 21st November, 1918. We escorted the German Fleet to Scapa Flow and watched over them in the early stages. We were relieved of this duty by the Second Battle Cruiser Squadron, and the German Fleet was scuttled some time after that.
After the war, I had the good fortune to sail with HRH The Prince of Wales to Canada and the United States under the command of Captain E.A. Taylor. In March 1920 I was privileged to sail on the RENOWN with the Prince of Wales to visit New Zealand and Australia. On returning to England, the RENOWN was put into dock for repairs, and the crew returned to barracks. After a short stay in barracks I was posted to the Mediterranean where I joined the light cruiser CONCORD at Malta. I stayed on the CONCORD until my discharge in 1922.
During my stay in the service, I experienced training in seamanship, gunnery and finally I transferred to the engineering side and did get a good training in turbines, boilers, condensers, engines, including internal combustion engines and aeroplane engines.