Commander A.G.Luxton.

School: 
PSTS
House: 
Capt, Superintendant.
House Number: 
0
From: 
1962
To: 
1964

 

Commander A.G.Luxton. RN.

Captain Superintendant:  (PSTS: 1962-1964)

 

 

Albert George Luxton was born  Jun 1914, Reading, Berkshire, the 2nd son of Frederick and Edith Luxton. 

 

School years.

He attended the Blue Coat School, Reading from 1924 to 1929. The school was established in 1646 for boys from humble families. The School Founders stipulated the boys would wear Bluecoat attire of gown and yellow stockings, hence the name Blue Coat School.

 

 

Blue Coat School, Reading, Berkshire.

 

The Royal Navy - World War 2 & post WW2

Albert Luxton joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) in 1940.

During the War he later transferred to the regular force.

 

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1941

In September 1941, Sub Lieutenant A.G. Luxton RNVR, was posted to HMS HERON for Training as a Fighter Direction Officer (FDO)

 

HMS HERON - RNAS Yeovilton 

The Fighter Direction Centre was situated in a farm off the main Air Station. The Training of  Fighter Direction Officers is so they will be able to control planes in Battle from Ships, this enables the FDO to interpret Radar Screens and to send Fighters out on the right bearing, at the correct height, and with enough time to intercept incoming Enemy Aircraft.

Officers are required to become competent in the use of Radio Equipment, the basic elements of Radio Reception. The Centre itself is set up as a mock Ships Control Rooms.  The Training use Radio sets in Exercises with Planes flown by Trainee Pilots  from the RNAS. Such Training was not without its incidents,

as Trainee Pilots crashed, some fatally.

 

 

Source:

1. The Navy List  (p.1171) - April 1942, Admiralty.

    Temp. Sub Lieutenant  A.G. Luxton RNVR.  Seniority date; Oct 1941

2. Service Certificate. HMS HERON: 3rd September 1941 – 3rd  October 1941

3. The Royal Navy Research Archive (www.royalnavyresearcharchive.org.uk

 

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1941

In Nov., 1941, Sub Lieutenant A.G. Luxton RNVR, was posted to HMS ARCHER

as Fighter Direction Officer

 

HMS ARCHER (D78)  (Cmdr J.I. Robertson RN as Captain)

Completed as a Long Island Class Escort Carrier, built (1939-40) USA as cargo ship: MV Mormancland and converted to an Escort Carrier at the Atlantic Basin Ironworks, Brooklyn, New York. 

Deck landing trials were held, late December 1941 and HMS Archer entered Philadelphia Naval Shipyard for modifications the same month. With sea trials complete, she was tasked with ferrying aircraft to the United Kingdom, however a collision of South Carolina left her with a damaged bow, she then headed for repairs at Charleston where she entered dry dock on 21 January 1942.

 

 

 

 

HMS ARCHER  (D78)

 

Commissioned into RN: 17 Nov 1941

Campaign Area:  Atlantic 1943-44

Tonnage (as a Carrier): 15,700 tons

Speed: 16.5  knots

Complement: 555 Officers & Ratings

Armament:  3 x 4” guns

Aircraft: 15

Served throughout the Atlantic, as Escort Carrier on Convoy duties etc. 

Aircraft carried; both; 

Martlet Vs of 892 Squadron and Fairey Swordfish Mk II aircraft of 819 Squadron

 

 

Source:

1. The Navy List  (p.1171) - April 1942, Admiralty.

    Temp. Sub Lieutenant  A.G. Luxton RNVR.  Seniority date; Oct 1941

2. Service Certificate. HMS ARCHER: 25th November 1941 – 22 January 1942

3. Jane’s Fighting Ships, 1944-1945, Sampson, Low, Marston & Co. Ltd. London.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1943

In May 1943, Lieutenant A.G. Luxton RNVR, was posted to HMS BULOLO.

 

HMS BULOLO (F 82)

Commissioned into the Royal Navy as an Armed Merchant Cruiser (AMC), after 

conversion in 1939. She was a former, 6,267 ton 250 passenger cargo ship, Built by Barclay, Curle & Co. Ltd., Glasgow, for the Burns, Philp Shipping Company for their Australian South Pacific Trade.

 

 

Displacement; 6,267 tons   - Complement: 572

Speed: 15 knots  -   Armament: 7 x 6 inch,  2 x 3 inch.

Campaigns:

1940/1941/1942:  South Atlantic, Freetown Escort Force and South Atlantic Station.

1942 Converted to HQ landing ship. Flagship of Admiral Sir Harold Burrough, for the landings on North Africa. During the Sicily landings (10th  July 1943) she was Flagship for Rear Admiral Troubridge, At Anzio (22nd Jan 1944) she embarked the British 1st Division. For the ‘D-Day’ landings in Normandy, she was HQ Ship for Gold Beach, for landing the British 50th (Northumbrian) Division She was fired on by the Artillery Battery near the French Village of Longues-sur-Mer in Normandy. The bombardment from the 6inch guns became that intense, (170+  shots were recorded) HMS BULOLO was forced to retire to safer waters. The Battery guns were finally disabled by the RN Cruisers HMS AJAX and HMS ARGONAUT. The next day, June 7th, she was hit by a bomb and sustained minor damage with several injured and 1 death. In 1945, she was used for the re-occupation of Malaya and Singapore (Operation Zipper). HMS BULOLO was the HQ Ship for the Japanese surrender at Singapore September 1945.

In 1946 she was decommissioned and was returned to her owners in 1948.

HMS BULOLO was scrapped in China in 1968 after thirty years service under innumerable Merchant Navy Captains and six Royal Navy Admirals.

Source:

1. The Navy List (p.916) - April 1943, Admiralty.

    Temporary Lieutenant  A.G. Luxton RNVR. Seniority date; 14th Aug 1942

2.The Navy List Vol III (p.561) - April 1944, Admiralty.

   Acting Lieutenant  A.G. Luxton RNVR. Seniority date; 14th August 1942

3. Service Certificate. HMS BULOLO: 21st May 1943 – 28 April 1944

4. Jane’s Fighting Ships, 1944-1945, Sampson, Low, Marston & Co. Ltd. London.

5. SS Maritime.com - Burns Philp Shipping Company.

6. Official History of the Second World War, The War at Sea, Vol.III Part II, Captain

    SW Roskill DSC, RN., HMSO., London, 1961

 

1944  D Day 6th June

By June 1944 the  Fighter Direction skills of Lt A.G. Luxton were in high demand. He was next posted to HMS HAWKINS for the D Day Landings.

 

HMS HAWKINS (D86) - Heavy Cruiser

A Hawkins Class Cruiser, 1 of 2 ships, the second HMS FROBISHER. Originally there were 5 in the class, the 3 others being; HMS RALEIGH, HMS EFFINGHAM and HMS VINDICTIVE.  The class was also referred to as an improved Birmingham Class.  HMS HAWKINS was built at Chatham Dockyard, and was completed on 25th July 1919. She was fitted as a Flagship.

 

 

 

Displacement; 9,800 tons

Complement: 749

Armament:  7x7.5 inch  x4inch AA. 4x 21 inch torpedo tubes. 

 

She was deployed to the China Station for some 9 years until 1928, when she underwent major repairs. Then again deployed to the East Indies until the mid 1930’s. At the commencement of WW2 she underwent a major modernization at Portsmouth and then deployed to the South Atlantic. Throughout 1943 and early 1944 she was deployed in the Indian Ocean.

In April 1944 she was recalled to the Home Fleet in preparation for the Normandy landings.

By late May 1944 she assembled with the ‘D-Day’ bombardment force  at Belfast.

‘Bombardment Force A’ consisted of; 

USS NEVADA, Battleship

USS QUINCY, Cruiser

USS TUSCALOOSA, Cruiser

HMS EREBUS, Monitor

HMS BLACK PRINCE, Cruiser

HMS ENTERPRISE, Cruiser

HMS HAWKINS, Cruiser

 

‘Bombardment Force A’ provided gunfire support for the landings at UTAH Beach. The force was to neutralize the German Batteries at; Maisy and St. Martin de Varreville.

At the end of June 1944, HMS HAWKINS returned to Rosyth, and then to refit on the Clyde.  After the War HMS HAWKINS was placed on the disposal list and scrapped in 1947.

Source:

1. The Navy List (p.570) - June 1944, Admiralty, HMSO.

 Acting Lieutenant  A.G. Luxton RNVR. Seniority date; 14th Aug 1942

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1944.

In July 1944, Lieutenant A.G. Luxton RNVR, was posted to HMS EMERALD.

 

HMS EMERALD (D66).

2nd of an original class of 3 Light Cruisers, HMS EMERALD was built by 

was built by Armstrongs at Wallsend. She was, laid down on 19th May 1920 and completed in January 1926. These light cruisers were D Cass; DESPATCH, DIOMEDE, DELHI and DAUNTLESS. but speed, 32 knots, was the major factor not armament. 

Displacement; 7,550 tons

Complement: 572

Armament:  7x6 inch (single guns). 5x4inch AA. 16x 21 inch torpedo tubes. 1 aircraft.

 

 

 

 

HMS EMERALD  (D66)

 

 

 

HMS EMERALD was completed in 1926 went via the Mediterranean and Aden on to the China station. She later joined with her sister ship HMS ENTERPRISE  in and around the Indian Ocean, she was based in Colombo

Early in World War 2  HMS EMERALD was on convoy duty in the Atlantic.

In 1941 HMS EMERALD escorted Troop Convoys to the middle east. After the Japanese invasion of Malaya in 1941, HMS EMERALD, moved to the Eastern Fleet as flagship, Admiral Layton as C-in-C.

In June 1944, the Allied Landings at Normandy, HMS EMERALD was with Force K in support of Gold Beach. She continued with the Eastern Task Force, throughout July 1944, providing further gunfire support for military operations in the Caen area.

After WW2, she joined the Reserve Fleet and in 1948 was scrapped, in Troon, Scotland.

 

Source:

1. The Navy List Vol III (p.2494) - October 1943, Admiralty.

     Lieutenant  A.G. Luxton RNVR. Seniority date; 14th July 1944

2. Service Certificate. HMS EMERALD: 14th July 1944 – 22 Sept. 1944

3. Jane’s Fighting Ships, 1944-1945, Sampson, Low, Marston & Co. Ltd. London.

 

 

 

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1944/1945

In November 1944, Lieutenant A.G. Luxton RNVR, was posted to HMS NABARON

 

HMS NABARON - Mobile Operating Naval Air Bases (MONABs)

HMS NABARON was one of a small number of;  Mobile Operating Naval Air Bases (MONABs). The MONABs were formed to support the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) aircraft in the Pacific towards the end of WW2. Each MONAB was self contained. Most of the MONABs were based in Australia.

The Headquarters for MONABs was RNAS Ludham, Norfolk , commissioned as HMS FLYCATCHER. The HQ was later transferred to RNAS Middle Wallop, near Andover, Wiltshire.

 

 

 

HMS NABARON was commissioned (at /or around) 1st Jan 1945 and designated MONAB IV. As with the majority of MONABs they were to see service in the Pacific.

Personnel and equipment for HMS NABARON, under the command of Captain ANC Bingley RN., assembled at Liverpool on Jan 16th 1945 for passage to Australia. They embarked on SS Dominion Monarch, arriving in Sydney, Australia, 21st Feb 1945.

The base was initially established at Warwick Farm, Race Course, Sydney;  (21st Feb 1945 to 5th Mar 1945). The base/accommodation in temporary huts and tents was known as HMS GOLDEN HIND. 

The British Pacific Fleet under Admiral Sir Bruce Fraser, decided that MONAB IV would be a forward base on Ponam, Admiralty Islands, some 2,000 miles from Sydney.

The SS Clan Macauley, which was en route with store and equipment for the base was ordered to nearby Manus Island, (at that time a US Base), to prepare for the base on Ponam. The US Seabees had built the runway and basic accommodation.

The base commissioned 2nd April 1945, 6 Corsairs arrived from HMS UNICORN 

(I 72) and shortly after Avenger aircraft from HMS FENCER  (D 64) and a month later in May 1945, FAA Naval Air Squadron 1701 B flight, Supermarine Sea Otters, arrived.

 

 

 

HMS NABARON – (continued)

 

The Fleet Carrier HMS IMPLACABLE (R86) arrived at Manus for a ‘work up’ 801, 808 AND 828 Squadrons disembarked aircraft to Ponam together some 30 Fighters. Many more followed.

 

 

Armourers servicing an Avenger on Ponam

 

VJ Day was celebrated on 16th August 1945. Work on Ponam continued with aircraft arriving and leaving almost around the clock.

HMS NABARON was withdrawn from Ponam Island on October 31st 1945. Personnel , Stores etc were embarked on HMS  UNICORN and HMS CHASER.

H.M.S. NABARON was decommissioned on November 10th 1945. Ponam Airfield reverted to US Navy control. It was back to Australia for many of the staff. Stores and equipment was dispersed, to other MONAB’s. It was during this time that Lt Cmdr. Luxton took time to see some of Australia. He spent leave time helping on a Farm and also visited a children’s home, one of the many that existed, from the time of the evacuation of children to Australia. It was seeing the evacuated children that was to have such an effect on him, and set the later stage of his remarkable life.

 

Source:

1. The Navy List  Vol II (p.1384) - April 1945, Admiralty.

   Temporary Lieutenant  A.G. Luxton RNVR (F). Seniority date; 14th Aug 1942

    Note: (F)  denotes; confirmed Fighter Directing Officer (AFO 5998 10 Dec 1942)

 2. The Navy List Vol III (p.2621) - April 1945, Admiralty.

    Lieutenant  A.G. Luxton RNVR. M.O.N.A.Bs.  Seniority date; 15th Nov 1944

    Note: Mobile Operating Naval Air Bases (MONABS) 1944-1945.

3. Service Certificate. HMS NABARON: 15th  November 1944 – 17th July 1945 and

    31st August 1945 – 10th November 1945

4. THE LONDON GAZETTE, 29 OCTOBER, 1946  (Issue No: 37772) Page 5311

    Tempy. Lt. (R.N.V.R.) A. G. LUXTON transferred to R.N. in rank of Lt. (A) with

    Seniority. of 14th August 1942. 

5. Fleet Air Arm Archives – RN Mobile Naval Operating Air Bases 1944-1945

6. The Royal Navy Research Archive (www.royalnavyresearcharchive.org.uk)

7. Specific thanks to Tony Drury for his remarkable work; The MONABs Story, 

    A History of the Mobile Airfields of the Royal Navy. A truly great collection of facts,

    photos and memories.

Notes:

1. Manus Island is an Island in Manus Province of Papua New Guinea. A nearby

    Island is Ponam.

 

 

 

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1947

In May1947, Lieutenant A.G. Luxton RN, was posted to HMS GOLDCREST as Instructor Flight Direction Training

 

 

HMS GOLDCREST  - RNAS Dale.  RN Aircraft Direction Centre, Kete

Construction of the Airfield began in 1941. It first became operational in June 1942 as RAF Marloes.

The RNAS Dale, Pembrokeshire, Wales,  was commissioned 1943 after the base was transferred from the RAF. The RNAS was used as the RN Aircraft Direction Centre Air Station, where Direction Officers and Radar Plotters were trained.

RNAS Dale was isolated and very exposed to the weather. In the winter of 1947 HMS GOLDCREST was cut off from the rest of the County. Food basics, bread, milk etc were brought in by boat being landed on the nearby beach.

 

 

 

 

Source:

1. The Navy List Vol III (p.2494) - October 1943, Admiralty.

     Lieutenant  A.G. Luxton RNVR. Seniority date; 14th July 1944

2. Service Certificate. HMS GOLDCREST: 29th May 1947 – 13 June 1947

 

 

1950

In Jan 1950, Lt. Commander A.G. Luxton RN, was posted to HMS CLEOPATRA as Flight Direction Officer

 

HMS CLEOPATRA (33)

The 5th of 16 light cruisers of the Dido Class (includes 4 Bellona sub class), she was completed in November 1941 at Hawthorns, Hebburn-on-Tyne.

Displacement; 5,450 tons

Complement: 480

Speed: 32 knots

Armament:  10x5.25 inch (twin). 6x20mm .  Anti Aircraft (AA) Cruiser.

 

 

 

HMS CLEOPATRA (33)

 

 

 

She saw early service in the Mediterranean during 1942, and was involved in the battle of Sirte with the Italian Fleet. In 1943 she was part of the successful landings in Sicily, however she was torpedoed in July 1943 and badly damaged and went to Philadelphia  for major repairs.

In 1945 she was ordered to the far East, and had the honour of being the first Royal Navy Ship to enter the recaptured Naval Base at Singapore. In 1946 she refitted at Portsmouth. She formed part of the 2nd Cruiser Squadron, Home Fleet until early 1951. Moving to the Mediterranean, HMS CLEOPATRA had the starring role in the 1953 film; ‘Sailor of the King’ (CS Forester story – Brown on Resolution), where she playing the role of both fictional ships; HMS AMESBURY & HMS STRATFORD.

HMS CLEOPATRA was scrapped in Newport, Wales, 1958.

 

Source:

1. THE LONDON GAZETTE, 5 SEPTEMBER, 1950  (Issue No: 39011)

Page 4486. Promoted:  Lt. Commander A. G. LUXTON. date: 14th Aug. 1950.

2. Service Certificate. HMS CLEOPATRA: 10th Jan 1950 – 5th  January 1951

3. Jane’s Fighting Ships, 1944-1945, Sampson, Low, Marston & Co. Ltd. London.

4. The Internet Movie Database

 

 

 

 

1951-1953

In February 1951 Lt. Commander Luxton RN. was posted to HMS VULTURE and HMS CURLEW the RNAS at St. Merryn , as Flight Direction Officer.

 

 

HMS VULTURE (1940-1952), HMS CURLEW post 1952)

The RNAS St. Merryn, near Padstow, Cornwall, was commissioned as HMS VULTURE (1940 to 1952 then later as  HMS CURLEW (post 1952).

 

 

 

 

 

RNAS St. Merryn Control Tower

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source:

1. THE LONDON GAZETTE, 14 SEPTEMBER, 1951  (Issue No: 39333)

    Page 4823   Lt . Commander A.G. LUXTON placed on the Emergency List; 

    date Effective 23rd August 1951

2. Service Certificate. HMS VULTURE: 26th February 1951 – 18 Sept 1951

    HMS CURLEW: 18 Sept 1951- 8th January 1953

 

 

 

Retirement from the Royal Navy

After retirement from the Royal Navy, Mr.and Mrs Luxton joined Dr. Barnado’s Homes.

 

1953  Garden City, Woodford Bridge, Essex.

Mr  and Mrs Luxton join Dr Barnardo Homes and arrive at Garden City for their joint training program. Woodford had opened in 1909 for boys and became a mixed home in 1945.

 

1958 Dr, Barnardo Home High Broom, Crowborough.

Mr & Mrs Luxton, next took up an appointment at High Broom, Crowborough, Sussex. High Broom opened as a Dr Barnardo's Home in 1945. By 1953 High Broom provided accommodation for boys and girls. It is Victorian built in the 1850’s on the site of an old farm, which dated from the 16th century, The Home closed June 1980.

 

1962 Parkstone Sea Training School.

Commander  Luxton was appointed Captain Superintendant in 1962. His task at Parkstone was an onerous one, he was to close the Parkstone Sea Training School down. It was a task that concerned him a lot, as a number of people thought it should continue. However it was not to be and he was to be the last as Captain Superintendant of Parkstone. The Colours were hoisted as usual on that Monday morning of the 27th July 1964. Later that day at a Ceremonial Sunset, the Colours were lowered for the final time, to the sound of the bugle. The  Commander, Lt. Cmdr. Woolven was Parade Officer, the band was lead by Bandmaster T.J Challis. The Guest of Honour from Barnardo’s was Lt. General Sir Arthur Smith, the parade under the direction of the Captain Superintendant AG Luxton RN Rtd. and Mrs Luxton. The School Headmaster, Mr. RE Wheeler who had been headmaster since 1955 completed the Official Party

 

Commander Albert George Luxton RN Rtd. (1914 -1976)

Medals: (left to right)  1939-1945 Star - Atlantic Star (Bar: France and Germany) – 

Africa Star (Bar: North Africa 1942-43) - Pacific Star - Italy Star - War Medal 1939-1945

 

1964  Garden City

Mr & Mrs Luxton continued with Barnado’s at Garden City until retirement in 1974. Albert Luxton died shortly after;  4th March 1976.

 

Special Thanks.

Parkstone boys are most grateful for the kind assistance of Pauline Sims, the daughter of Commander Luxton, who made this Memorial possible.