• Author: Nichola Aldridge
  • Date: Wednesday 15th November 2017
Remembrance Remembrance Remembrance

For one Young Officer at BRNC the Remembrance Day ceremonies this year will be particularly memrable.

Midshipman Chris Ivill's ancestor, Leslie Ivor McLanaghan, served as an Able Seaman assigned to the Motor Gun Boat (MGB) Flotilla that operated from Kingswear during the Second World War.

The flotilla's role was to carrt out special duties, delivering and collectring secret agents, rescuing downed airman and evaders, and support operations by the Special Operations Executive, Secret Intelligence Service, M19, escape networks and underground resistance movements. Much of their work couldn't be discussed at the time, but the Flotilla has since been commended by many for their actions and work. 

Chris said: "My great-uncle was killed at 0345 on 12 May 1945, four days after VE day, when MGB 502 (2002) struck a floating mine in the Skagerrak, close to the Norwegian coast. She sank with only two survivors. She was Gothenburg bound to arrange for the transportation of metal ball-bearings, and the transfer of two merchant vesseels which had been used in Sweden as storage ships for their wartime operations."

After his death Leslie's mother was given his medals and 10 shillings in compensation, which equates to about 337.28 in today's money. Mid Ivill said: "Leslie was one of nine children. My grandmother, his sister, passed his medals to me because of my interest in military history. The missions he was involved in were incredibly dangerous, and there were numeroius times when his vessel came under enemy fire, whilst operating at the dead of night, in shallow waters rough seas and poor weather conditions. 

Mid Ivill joined the Royal Navy and BRNC in January passing out in August and has remained at BRNC for the first phase of his professional training. His father, Steve was also in the service joining in 1983 before passing through the College as a Senior Upper Yardman in 2003. When he attended his son's Passing-out Parade he shared with Chris a book he had found detailing the MGB Flotilla's life and operations throughout the war.

Mid Ivill said: "Having my father pass through BRC, and with Leslie serving out of Kingswear in the war, brings so much personal history and ties to this area and taking part in the Remembrance Day ceremonies in Kingswear is a huge priviliege. To represent a relative 73 years on from when he served is a huge honour, an one that I am immensely proud of. Leslie was 18 years-old when he joined the RN, the same as at which I have joined, and he was killed at the age of 20, powerful thoughts for today."


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