Reunion call for HMS Euryalus crew as world remembers Gallipoli landings

REUNION ... The Mayoress Stella Matthewson (left) and the Mayor, Counc Fay Cunningham, (far right) are pictured with former crew members Florrie Ford, Blood Reidy and George Patterson, with a picture of HMS Euryalus.
REUNION ... The Mayoress Stella Matthewson (left) and the Mayor, Counc Fay Cunningham, (far right) are pictured with former crew members Florrie Ford, Blood Reidy and George Patterson, with a picture of HMS Euryalus.

A CALL is going out to former members of the crew of South Tyneside’s adopted ship, HMS Euryalus, for a reunion to mark the centenary of the First World War’s Gallipoli landings

The get-together is being held to mark the role played by the Euryalusin in the ill-fated Turkish offensive.

It carried the first battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers ashore and also provided gunfire in support of Allied troops.

The three-day reunion will be held in Bury from Friday, April 24.

As part of the event, the six Victoria Crosses won by the Lancashire Fusiliers during the action will be on display together for the first time.

Ex-petty officer Florrie Ford, of South Shields, said: “There are more than 50 of us who are former members of the crew of HMS Euryalus who are already planning to go to the reunion, so there is a lot of momentum for this occasion.

“We know a lot of former crew members married and settled in South Tyneside, so we would be keen to hear from them – and their children – if they would like to come along.”

The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Fay Cunningham, said: “When these former officers came to see me, it really brought it home to me just what a special place HMS Euryalus holds in the hearts of people in the borough.

“I feel it is only right that former crew members are honoured in this reunion.”

Coun Ed Malcolm, chairman of South Tyneside’s armed forces forum, added: “I hope more people with a link to HMS Euryalus come forward as it would be nice to involve former crew in our Gallipoli commemorations later this year.”

HMS Euryalus became the borough’s adopted ship, and in 1981 was awarded the freedom of the borough.

More than 550,000 Allied troops participated on land and in ships off the coast in the Gallipoli campaign from Britain, the Indian subcontinent, Australia, New Zealand, Canada other Commonwealth countries and France.

Their casualties, including those killed, sustaining serious injuries, falling sick or missing, numbered more than 200,000.

Any former sailors who would like to attend the reunion are asked to call Florrie on 423 4186 or 07847 391712.