Finlay Gee

FINLAY BRYSON GEE

Service: Royal Navy/ Fleet Air Arm

Unit: HMS Nabthorpe

Rank: Petty Officer - Radio mechanic

Service Number: FX.611358


Petty Officer Gee (known to his family as Bryson) was born on 21st October 1924 in Barton upon Irwell, Lancashire,  son of Vernon and Ethel Gee of Chesterlea, 26 Glamis Avenue, Newton Mearns.

He was deployed to H.M.S. Nabthorpe, also known as MONAB 3 (Royal Navy Mobile Naval Operating Air Base)  and Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Schofields. MONAB 3 was based at the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Station at Schofields, New South Wales.

Finlay Gee died on 18th August 1945, aged 20 and is buried in Sydney War Cemetery - Grave Reference 2Z. B. 10. He is also commemorated on the Bridge of Weir and the Glasgow Academy War Memorials. The stated cause of death was yellow fever.


We acknowledge permission to reproduce the following extract from the reminiscences of Petty Officer Radio Mechanic Stan Spencer, to be found on The Royal Navy Research Archive website.

"Life was always busy and interesting and the time came when MONAB 3 was to pack up and move on. We were told that the first stop was to be for some jungle training at the Australian Army Jungle School. However came the fateful day when the dropping of the Atom bomb was announced on the radio with all the speculation as to what this would mean, then the second bomb and the end of the war in the Pacific.  

Then there was real celebration in Australia. Of course we were freed to go to Sydney to join in the hi-jinks and the celebrations were really great, from Kings Cross to Martin Place.

 

Here I recall a very sad event. When we returned late at night one of our group, Leading Radio Mechanic Findlay Gee was distinctly under the weather and during the night was taken worse. He was got to the sick bay but in spite of the attention of all concerned he died of heart failure during the night. His funeral was a very sombre affair and it was the first and last time that I have acted as a pallbearer."


Footnote: HMS Nabthorpe

HMS Nabthorpe was a Royal Navy Mobile Naval Operating Air Base (MONAB) at the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) base at Schofields, New South Wales. HMS Nabthorpe was also known as MONAB III and Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Schofields.

Assembled at RNAS Ludham on 18 October 1944, MONAB III was commissioned as an independent command bearing the ship's name HMS Nabthorpe on 4 December 1944. Stores, equipment & vehicles sailed aboard the SS Essex on 4 December 1944, and personnel sailed from Liverpool upon SS Athlone Castle on 22 December 1944 bound for Sydney, Australia.

The main party arrived in Sydney on 25 January 1945 and were accommodated at HMS Golden Hind, Camp Warwick, a part of the Royal Navy barracks in Sydney, whilst awaiting the allocation of an operating base and the arrival of SS Essex, which arrived at Sydney on 4 February 1945.

An advance party was sent to RAAF Schofields on 5 February 1945 to prepare the airfield for the arrival of squadron personnel and aircraft which were to arrive with the British Pacific Fleet. Upon arrival of the main party of personnel they were accommodated under canvas tents as the station had no permanent buildings at the time. RAAF Schofields was officially transferred to the Royal Navy and commissioned as HMS Nabthorpe, RNAS Schofields, on 18 February 1945.


                                 


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Image reproduced by permission of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission