- Boxall-Hunt, Brian OBE, Commander, RN
- History - WW2, WWI operations
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- March 2004 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
The ceremony was performed by Rear Admiral G. Creasy, CB, CBE, DSO, MVO, Admiral Ramsay’s former Chief of Staff and later to be C-in-C Portsmouth. A short and simple service of thanksgiving preceded the unveiling and two speeches were made, one by Admiral Creasy and the other by Captain C. F. W. Norris, the Captain of HMS Dryad.
The speeches were recorded on 10 gramophone records (since also being recorded on cassettes).
The Wall Map:
The grid is the normal 1000 metre grid. The letters are in the middle of each square, which causes the false impression that each square is divided into four. (Position of Dungeness, for example, is (W)R5234.) The red lines around the east, south and west coasts of the UK indicate the searched channels which had been used by our coastal convoys throughout the war and which were naturally used by assault ships proceeding from their loading ports to the Assembly area which is shown as a white circle south east of the Isle of Wight. A symbol off Dungeness shows one MULBERRY on passage to Normandy. Shaded areas are German minefields, the white British offensive fields to bottle up enemy naval forces. Note also the anti-submarine barrier at the Southern end of the Irish Sea. Symbols in the eastern channel indicate some of deception forces.
Southwick House was totally renovated internally from top to bottom between 1999-2001 at a cost of £3M, as the Wardroom of HMS Dryad, and now looks absolutely splendid. Much of it was restored to original 19th century decor and the accommodation was brought up to modern standards. The much-treasured Wall Map was safeguarded throughout and now benefits from a new glass case and proper environmental protection. The inter-connecting room between Wall Map room and the Main Bar (the library where Eisenhower announced his epic decision), known as the Blue Room for obvious reasons, has now been re-named Ramsay Room after the great Admiral who made the whole OVERLORD venture happen; it contains a bronze statue and portrait of him amongst other relics. At the time that the contract for renovation was let, the view amongst naturally suspicious naval officers in the wardroom bar was that with that amount of money being spent, it spelled imminent closure. This forecast, although made partially in jest, was regrettably true, and the training currently conducted in HMS Dryad is in process of being transferred to HMS Collingwood nearby, with a view to de-commissioning within the next couple of years. One of my final acts in command was to safeguard the wall map in its current site by linking its ownership to the Royal Navy Museum in Portsmouth Dockyard – hopefully to be visited and admired by generations to come, as we have done. It is a lasting and just tribute to the momentous acts achieved in our name by men of great courage and wisdom in 1944, and whose efforts finally rid continental Europe of an evil tyranny.