H.M.T. Aronda

Discussion in 'Royal Navy & Royal Marines' started by Nabean, Nov 25, 2018.

  1. Bay Horse

    Bay Horse Can be a bit of a dark horse

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    ...where my daughter lives now, bizarrely. :eek:

    Dora's address in 1925 isn't far from Clatterbridge Hospital, which started out as a hospital for infectious diseases.

    Nabean, the similarities between the arches are remarkable. I think that the one in the drawing is an exterior one - but again, artistic licence and all that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
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  2. arthurk

    arthurk Well-Known Member

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    An ingenious thought - but the sketch does say Bradford.... :confused:
     
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  3. Bay Horse

    Bay Horse Can be a bit of a dark horse

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    It's an intriguing one, this.
     
  4. Nabean

    Nabean Well-Known Member

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    My son has suggested Kantara (Qantara) hospital, Egypt, Alexandria, Port Said, Ismailia, and Aden (Yemen was richer, and more fertile in those days, and had tall buildings, like the one in the sketch).
    He said to lookat the route the Aronda would have taken, in order to get to the Persian Gulf, ie: through the Mediterranean (so possibly calling at Palermo, Sicily), and on through the Suez canal.
     
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  5. arthurk

    arthurk Well-Known Member

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    That's an interesting thought. It's led me to some Google images of a military hospital in the Heliopolis Hotel, Cairo, though I haven't seen anything that really matches the sketch. (I didn't check out every location you mentioned.)

    I've also happened upon the predecessor of QARANC (Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps) - more at
    Code:
    https://www.qaranc.co.uk/qaimns.php
     
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  6. Nabean

    Nabean Well-Known Member

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    That's a very interesting site: there is a section entitled 'Service Scrapbooks', which has albums just like Dora's. I may very well contact them.
     
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  7. Nabean

    Nabean Well-Known Member

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    This photo of the Heliopolis Palace Hotel, Cairo looks very like the sketch.
    Code:
    https://www.google.fr/search?tbm=isch&q=%22Heliopolis+hotel%22+Cairo+WW1&chips=q:heliopolis+hotel+cairo+ww1,online_chips:hospital&usg=AI4_-kTlnb9XcxwSRGeL5_flagEWpcjIww&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwihveTghZffAhVSTBoKHcY4AlUQ4lYIKCgC&biw=1600&bih=758&dpr=1#imgrc=zmIfYTkK-jsTMM:
     
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  8. arthurk

    arthurk Well-Known Member

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    The style is certainly similar, which was what caught my eye earlier, but unless there's a lot of artistic licence going on, I'm wondering whether the details would quite match the Heliopolis - and possibly not any other grand building either.

    I think I saw that it was the grandest hotel in Africa, yet the sketch shows it a bit dilapidated - and would possibly poor local women be wandering around the place if it was being used as a military hospital?

    The buildings through the arch look like part of an ordinary street, so if it is part of a grand building, we'd be looking out at them; and in that case, I think I'd expect to see the steps going down out of the building rather than down into it.

    So I wonder if it might be something like part of an old city wall, and we're just outside looking in. Not that that helps much with the identification...
     
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  9. Bay Horse

    Bay Horse Can be a bit of a dark horse

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    Yes.

    The buildings viewed in the distance are grouped together and many storeys high, so a major city, not a town.

    The presidential palace in Cairo is very similar. Again, I do wonder if this is someone undergoing recovery/rehab at St. Lukes in Bradford with a sketchpad to hand and simply sketching from his imagination - perhaps having visited Cairo/the military hospital at some point, or maybe there was a newspaper nearby, from which to gain inspiration for his sketch - a palace in Cairo with imposing tall archways, a picture of downtown Chicago... throw in a few local women leaving their shift at the local woollen mill in their long frocks and shawls to add depth. It might explain why none of it actually fits, the outward-looking, inward-climbing steps etc.
     
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  10. arthurk

    arthurk Well-Known Member

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    From what I read, the Heliopolis Hotel was bought by the Egyptian government for use as the presidential palace.
    Interesting idea - if true, I wonder if there's a hidden subtext, that he's trying to say that his current situation somehow mirrors life in a middle Eastern palace. Or perhaps I'm overthinking it.

    However, this may depend partly on the date. I read it as 'Xmas 25', by which time St Luke's was a civilian hospital. I did wonder about 'Xmas 15' (when I think it would have been military), and I know others have questioned whether it was Xmas. I think the handwriting suggests someone who wrote quite a lot and fluently, and quite possibly professional/officer class.
     
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  11. Nabean

    Nabean Well-Known Member

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    I could put it in a new thread, by itself, to see if anyone recognises it.
     

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