The City Of Benares

Senan Molony

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Jan 30, 2004
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The imperious mouser Lyddite (named after a type of Naval explosive), survivor of the HMS Shark at Jutland, six insignificant humans also surviving.

Showed splendid devotion to her milk, unparalleled gallantry in licking marmalade off someone's thumb, and all that is best about British feline fealty to King and country.
 

Senan Molony

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Jan 30, 2004
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Noel didn't say:

quote:

Senan, once more counter-cuckolded, obviates the opportunity to praeternosticate my challenge:

Provide me with ONE photo of my sacred Sovereign, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of this realm, ever conferring either civic decoration or other, recognised, honorific upon a hippopotamus or river horse.
You will have to give me a few days, Noel.

I had a quick look in my files before I went to work, but couldn't immediately find the image you seek.

However, I believe the animal was named "Inkspot," and it may have been on the trip to Kenya when she and her sister were up a tree and found out that she was Queen and the other sister to the Queen?

The Windsor girls, I mean. Not Inkspot, who remained suitably down to earth, even afterwards.​
 

Noel F. Jones

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May 14, 2002
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“…six insignificant humans also surviving.”

A commendable sense of precedence which shows that as a nation we’ve got things just about right.

“Showed splendid devotion to her milk, unparalleled gallantry in licking marmalade off someone's thumb, and all that is best about British feline fealty to King and country.”

Yes, yes, but what precisely was the accolade bestowed upon Lyddie-mog? As far as I know the Dickin Medal wasn’t instituted until the 1940s.

But there again I suppose it’s entirely feasible for an animal to be mentioned in dispatches.

As for your decidedly far-fetched hippopotamus, I am at a loss to know what decoration would ensue from its being in a particular place at a particular time to no particular human or animal advantage. I’m tempted to ask, was it pinned on and who did the pinning?

On the grounds that they even gave me one, I would have to agree to some extent with your contention that medals sometimes tended to be handed out on scant pretext.

We appear to be at some remove now from the City of Benares.

Noel
 

Senan Molony

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>>As for your decidedly far-fetched hippopotamus,<<

I did say he was in Kenya, and they didn't fetch him, but left him there.

Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon was back in the 1980s to renew acquaintances.

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Decorations were worn.

And Inkspot exhibited.
 
Jan 28, 2003
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Reverting to a point Senan made in connection with the awards to the (surely bewildered) children of the City of Benares
quote:

Giving a child a medal is nothing less than a piece of cynical manipulation and a classic distractionary ploy - which says 'Never mind the responsibility, feel the heroism!
I always feel distinctly queasy when the annual British awards inevitably honour some poor child who is the sole carer for a disabled single parent, and who also bravely struggles on at school whilst doing the shopping, cooking, medication, organising siblings etc. etc. In a civilised society, such an award should not be possible.

With regard to wartime propaganda - on any side -I think it's a bit hard to understand the WW2 mindset from this distance in time - and I'm the daughter of a nonagenarian Changi-survivor who still seems to have bellicose convictions ("Send in a gunboat!").

Anyway, I have enough trouble understanding the mindset of contemporary propaganda.​
 

Noel F. Jones

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May 14, 2002
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“… and they didn't fetch him, but left him there.”￾

As it seems we are being syntactically highly circumspect here, allow me to retrospectively re-construct the precipitating paragraph thus:

As for your decidedly far-fetched hippopotamising, I am at a loss to know what decoration would ensue from such an animal being in a particular place at a particular time to no particular human or animal advantage.

And we still go uneducated as to what decoration was accorded to Lyddie-Mog and as to who did the pinning in the case of Inkspot (and in the case of Inkspot the ink seems to have been a decadent violet...)

“In a civilised society, such an award should not be possible.”￾

Quite, Monica.

And it’s for want of gunboats that the world is in such a parlous state.

Noel
 

Noel F. Jones

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May 14, 2002
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As a matter of interest (well I find it interesting):

“The imperious mouser Lyddite (named after a type of Naval explosive), survivor of the HMS Shark at Jutland, …”￾

Lyddite (Picrin) was by no means the exclusive prerogative of the Navy, it having been developed by the War Department in the 1880s on the Lydd Ranges on Romney Marsh in Kent, from where it derives its name. The Lydd Ranges are still very much in commission under the MoD, successors to the WD, viz.:

http://www.defence-estates.mod.uk/access/walks/accopplocations/accopp_lydd.htm

Noel
 
Jan 28, 2003
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I say, Noel, even I was asleep between 3 - 4.00 this morning. Or was I trying to doze off again with the BBC World Service? Such a soporific.

Anyway, not knowing much about gunboats, I have done some research and I have to say, I'm not sure you're right about their usefulness today.

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Noel F. Jones

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Just the ticket I would say. Could that be from a diorama of the battle of Omdurman by any chance?

On the evidence, Senan’s partisan postulation of a plethora of phantasmagorical bravery awards would seem to demand concomitant citations which are nothing more than variations on a theme of Fortuitous Proximity, viz.:

A cat was in Fortuitous Proximity to a foundering warship: a vermillion hippopotamus was in Fortuitous Proximity to a Monarch at the Instant of her Accession...

And so on and so forth. A tenuous peg upon which to hang a denigratory diatribe (if you can withstand the tautology) - but then that would seem to depend upon which side of the Irish Sea one was pontificating from. Just to reintroduce a salutary element of seasonal acrimony, you understand.

Forgive me if I don’t hang around to labour the point - I’m finding myself in Fortuitous Proximity to good company, a decanter of old Armagnac and a Partagas Lusitania (albeit without the concomitant decals).

Noel
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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quote:

And so on and so forth. A tenuous peg upon which to hang a denigratory diatribe (if you can withstand the tautology) - but then that would seem to depend upon which side of the Irish Sea one was pontificating from. Just to reintroduce a salutary element of seasonal acrimony, you understand.
Be careful, Noel - geographic location vis-a-vis the Irish Sea might not affect one's views on the merits of awarding medals to heroic felines (Australians have been known to erect statues dedicated to heroic equines, although I'm sure the Walers could have done just as well without the Boer War, thank you very much), but I'm sure that being born on the right, Westward side of the Irish Sea does bestow a certain literary fluency.

If Sen sees those fireworks of alliteration in your post, he might view it as a bit of a challenge...an intimidating prospect indeed, given that he is not only Irish, he is also a journo. As those who recall certain cover blurbs for the WSJ would recall, Molony has a certain knack for alliteration that would put Henry Kendall to shame. "Molly, Moody, Mulhulland...and More!"​
 

Senan Molony

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Hey Noel,

I think everyone else copped on that I was just inventing the hippo and his medal.

I knew it would sent you off on a "Wild Google Chase" - your obvious first port of call in all these matters!

Unfortunately the many pigeon medals dispensed by Britain are all too real. If you Google them, you'll see a world record was set last month.
 
Jan 28, 2003
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"I think everyone else copped on that I was just inventing the hippo and his medal. "
That is a female hippo. Ears.

"Could that be from a diorama of the battle of Omdurman by any chance? "
Well I agree. Looks like the confluence of the Niles to me, but where's the Mahdi?
 

Senan Molony

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PLUCKY pigeons are fairly off-topic - unless it were suggested that the Titanic should have carried a few.

I can just see Captain Smith, Noah-like, releasing a bird with the message "Come at once, we are sinking," and watching it flutter off towards the ss Mysterioso.
Perhaps they could have done with the idea, low-tech or not. After all, it was good enough for balloonists, even in World War One.

If I was continuously championing my side of the Irish Sea, as Noel claims, I would feel compelled to point out that Paddy the pigeon, fearless courier of the Normandy beaches, was "one of ours," but you can have him as a hero of British arms. Coo, what a bird!
Did you know that among the 53 dogs, horses, pigeons and cats (don't forget the feline Simon of HMS Amethyst) given medals by 1949 that there was even a presentation of a Dickin medal to an American Army pigeon by a British Major General?
Major General Sir Charles Keightley did the honours at the Tower of London in 1946. Did he feel foolish, I wonder?

There were a couple of dogs honoured for their work with the Air Raid Precaution (ARP), Crumstone Irma apparently found 233 buried air raid victims.
Which leads me nicely onto Ginner the monkey, and I am not making this up. Ginner's owner was deaf, and he, the monkey, developed a means of waving his arms (pointing at the sky?) to warn his master of the drone of doodlebugs. Again, I am not making this up...
Ginner lies in Britain's "Arlington for Animals," which is the graveyard of the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (Custodians of the Dickin Medal) at Ilford in Essex.

Then there's Sefton, cruelly injured in an IRA bombing of the household cavalry. Several troopers died, but Sefton got all the cards and gifts.
On October 4, 1983, at the Horse of the Year Show, in the presence of royalty, Sefton was presented with a "bravery award" by the British Horse Society.
Don't get me wrong - I have nothing against anyone giving medals to animals, but I am suspicious of the search for a cute story with which to disguise horror and its causes, circumstances and culpability.
Sefton did not deserve the bomb. Noel and I would both agree on disagreeing with that IRA campaign. As to whether the horse "deserved" the award for bravery, well...

Horses are non-combatants, even though millions have died in action. So are pigeons. So are cats and other mascots, and so are children.

State systems should not give medals to children. Not in the ruins of the Reichs Chancellory, and not in the case of the City of Benares.

To give a medal to a child, to cite Colin Ryder-Richardson for bravery in the "merchant navy" when he was not in that arm, is to imply they are something which they are not.

I know why he got his medal - because propaganda is a weapon and the war is also fought on the home front - but one of the effects of honouring a child in quasi-military fashion is to suggest that children are, ultimately, usable (and therefore expendable) in the national interest.

I reject that idea - and that's all from me on this thread.
 

Noel F. Jones

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May 14, 2002
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“I knew it would sent you off on a "Wild Google Chase" - your obvious first port of call in all these matters!”￾

The operative expression was “On the evidence…”￾ which, in the context, can only expand as “on such evidence as has been presented here”￾. I do not need to go elsewhere when drolleries are masquerading as argument.

Noel
 

Pat Winship

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May 8, 2001
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Senan, "The Donald"-- my son-- is well and flourishing at 17. He's a self-proclaimed geek, and wants to be a software engineer. He has written the program for the Newark Public Library's 80,000 etnry song index, which should be going online for public use sometime next year. The computer I am now using is one that he built.

Cheers!

Pat W
 
Apr 3, 2006
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I recently started to try and accumulate a passenger list for the last voyage of the "City of Benares". I have successfully finished the list of CORB children and escorts but I am only halfway through the ninety paying passengers. Has anyone seen any passenger lists for the last voyage?
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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Local TV reported this evening that City of Benares survivor, Beth Cummings, has at last completed her interrupted voyage to the USA.

She arrived on Queen Mary 2.

So far I've found nothing on the net.
 
J

Jon Meadows

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Has the wreck been visited? Where is it? What condition? Depth?