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 Retired Section Swansea Docks


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World War 1

The following photographs and documents relate to Frank Hopkins, a Swansea Harbour Trust employee who served as an Infantryman in the Anson Battalion, Royal Naval Division, during the 1914-1918 war. Frank Hopkins was the uncle of former Swansea
H M Customs Officer Peter Hopkins, to whom we are grateful for giving us this fascinating insight into this family’s experience
of the Great War

This photograph of Frank Hopkins in uniform was taken in June 1917


Dear Mrs Hopkins


With deep regret I inform you of your son's death in action. He was a good and willing soldier and will be missed by all his comrades.

 I sincerely sympathise with you in your great loss and may God grant you strength in your sad bereavement, but rest assured he died nobly fighting for his king and country.

 If you care to write to me my address is Sub. Lt. Atkins. Anson Batt., B.E.F. France.

 Yours sincerely

 J Lloyd Atkins


Letter from France dated 11th November 1917.



Dear Sir


At the meeting of the Trustees held today, the Chairman, Sir Griffith Thomas, referred to the sad death of your son, who was a member of the Collectors' Department, and I was directed to convey to you the deep sympathy of the Trustees in the great loss you have sustained.


I am Dear Sir

Yours faithfully
Talfourd Strick



Letter from Swansea Harbour Trust dated 12th November 1917



The King commands me to assure
you of the true sympathy of his Majesty
and The Queen in your sorrow


Note of sympathy from King & Queen




Sir or Madam

 I am directed to inform you that a report has been received in this Department that Frank Hopkins is a Prisoner of War. The description given is not, however, sufficient to enable the soldier to be identified. As your name and address are mentioned in the report, it is believed that you will be able to supply a full description of this Prisoner of War.

 I am therefore to request that you will be good enough to complete the attached form and return it in the accompanying envelope, which will not require a stamp.

 I am, Sir or Madam
Your obedient Servant
W. Flemming


Letter from War Office dated 18th January 1918



A photograph of Frank Hopkins as a Prisoner of War


Dear Sir,

 I am in receipt of your letter of the 24th inst., informing me of your intention to leave the Trustees' employ on the 31st inst., which is in order.


Yours faithfully
P W Phillips


Letter from Swansea Harbour Trust dated 26th March 1921



Upon resigning from the Swansea Harbour Trust, Frank Hopkins emigrated to begin a new life Canada


The above photo shows a group of wounded soldiers from the 1914-18 war dressed in hospital blues. It was taken in either Chamberlain Hospital, France or the 1st Southern General Hospital, Birmingham, and includes Ernest Edward Beynon (later to be a Shunter on Swansea Docks) on the far right. Ernie Beynon served in the 14th Battalion Welsh Regiment, and was wounded in Lavanti in 1915 and again in Bourlon Wood in 1917. He retired from Swansea Docks in 1958 and can be seen on the day of his presentation in one of the photos on Page 1 of our Personnel section.

World War 2

The following photos show some of the damage inflicted on Swansea Docks 
by an enemy air-raid on the night of 17th/18th January 1941.

Air raid damage to D Shed Wharf.

Inside of D Shed with the cargo covered by sheets

D Shed East interior.

View of the centre of D Shed

D Shed Wharf.

D Shed Wharf.

G Shed.

G Shed.

J Shed and J Shed Annex.

L Shed.

Machine Shop Harbour Road.

Machine Shop Harbour Road, ( exterior )

Harbour Road Blacksmiths Shop.

Britannia Towing Company’s tug Queenforth was swamped by a near-miss from an enemy bomb during an air raid on Swansea Docks on the night of the 19th February 1941. The photographs below show her being raised from the dock bottom and put into dry dock for repairs.


The tug Queenforth  newly painted and overhauled after her sinking.

P38 Lightning fighter planes on Phoenix Wharf discharged from tanker  Cayuse  23rd Sept 1944.

The photos below show the transfer of P47 Thunderbolt fighter aircraft from the Empire Milner to the U.S. auxiliary aircraft carrier Ganandoc on the 16th August 1944.

Loading a 22,000 lb bomb.

14 of these 22,000lb bombs were shipped aboard the ss Frederick C Hicks in August 1945.


Bombs in N Shed 16th June 1944.

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