China Station 1929 - 1930





Author’s Note


We think it probable that the person to whom this album belonged is pictured below next to the Joss Priest.

Should anyone be able to identify him (or any of the people pictured in the photos) we would be very pleased to hear from you.



Photo with Joss Priest






H.M.S. Aphis 1930







The photos below may be enlarged by clicking on each of the miniatures which follow the photo pages.

In keeping with our usual practice, we have restored the enlargements.




Background to the Album



In 1929 H.M.S. Suffolk left England bound for the Far East on her first commission. H.M.S. Suffolk, pennant number 55, was a County-class heavy cruiser of the Royal Navy, and part of the Kent subclass. Built by Portsmouth Dockyard, Portsmouth, UK), with the keel being laid down on 30 September 1924. She was launched on 16 February 1926, and commissioned on 31 May 1928.



Vintage photo of a map showing the route taken out to China by H.M.S. Suffolk 1929 – 1930

(Click to enlarge)



Her first voyage took her to China, Japan and the Philippines. A photo record is available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9DCiYgujko

The youtube link was published on 19 Oct 2009 and is two photo albums taken by the ship’s photographer on board H.M.S. Suffolk during its time on China Station from 1928 to 1930. The ship stopped almost everywhere - there are some fantastic images. The link is in existence as at the date of this upload. (December 2017)


H.M.S. Suffolk served on the China Station until the outbreak of the Second World War. She returned to England in 1939 and then patrolled the Denmark Strait in October 1939. See:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Suffolk_(55)


On her maiden voyage one of her crew members took a series of photographs which were recovered from an old photo album and are featured above.


We believe he transferred to H.M.S. Aphis which was already stationed in China but unfortunately have no details of who he was though we assume he is the person in the photo at the top of this page. The photos he took provide a unique and often beautiful record of the times and places he encountered in a world now 90 plus years in our past. The captions in his own hand are written on the album pages.






HMS Suffolk on the Tyne (World War II)

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Suffolk_(55)





On route to the Far East

(This page was included in the album of original vintage photos which recorded the movements of H.M.S. Aphis Yangtze Patrol 1929 – 1930)


Clockwise from top left:


Leaving Malta

Suez Canal

Croyden Lads -  Crew members of H.M.S. Suffolk







H.M.S. Aphis in Winter 1929


Clockwise from top left:


1 and 2 - H.M.S. Aphis in Winter 1929

3 Sampan and Junks on the Mighty Yangtze – Winter 1929

The men in the photo are standing on an ice floe.







Vintage original photos of H.M.S. Aphis on the mighty Yangtze 1930







Clearing for action. 1930 on the Middle River







Just as in the 21st Century travellers enjoyed sight-seeing.

The next set of photos records some of what they saw. 


Views of Upper River

An excursion into the mountains






Views of Upper River in the Mountains






Views of China






Views on the Yangtze











                                              HMS Cricket alongside HMS Aphis                                                                   Taking Sounding






Clockwise from top left:


Floating Raft in Siangtan River

H.M.S. Aphis at I-Chang

Chinese Village

Mining at Nanking






                                          Landing Party - The Boys                                                                          Landing Party - Gunboat Sailors







                                       A Chinese Village – Yangtze River                                                                         Aphis “Dress-ship”












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