White ensign from HMS Glory : Lieutenant W P Mewes, RNVR

Place Oceania: Pacific Islands, Bismarck Archipelago, New Britain, Gazelle Peninsula, Rabaul Area, Rabaul
Accession Number REL32717
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Flag
Physical description Wool; Hemp; Brass; Cotton
Maker Unknown
Date made c 1945
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

White ensign with Union Jack in the canton and the red Cross of St George in the centre. Each piece of the jack and the flag are made from separate sections of wool bunting sewn together. Threaded through the hoist is a length of hemp rope with a brass Inglefield clip attached to each end.

History / Summary

This ensign was flown by HMS Glory during the Second World War. HMS Glory, a Royal Navy Colossus class light fleet carrier, was commissioned in April 1945 and served in the Mediterranean before sailing for service with the Pacific fleet. On 6 September 1945 she hosted the surrender of the Japanese forces in the New Britain area in which Lieutenant General Sturdee, an Australian officer, took the surrender from Lieutenant General Imamura. After the war the ensign came into the possession of Lieutenant William P 'Bill' Mewes of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. Mewes had served earlier in the war in the North Sea and was captured when his patrol torpedo boat was torpedoed and sunk. He was held in a prisoner of war camp near Bremerhaven in Germany and made several escape attempts. The first time he managed to escape the compound, but was recaptured and interned again. The second attempt failed when the tunnel he was digging collapsed on top of him. His third attempt was successful and he made his way to Norway just as the war in Europe was ending. He was advised by authorities that he would get back to England more quickly if he returned to his POW camp and waited to be processed, which he duly did. After he was repatriated to England he was assigned to HMS Glory and departed for service in the Pacific. After the war he was demobilised and settled in Australia.