The People of Gibraltar
1929 - HMS London - The Ungodleys

General Sir Alexander Godley

The Royal Navy's County class heavy cruiser, HMS London was commissioned on the 31st of January 1929.  

On the 5th of February 1929 she was off to Portsmouth, then London, then back to Portsmouth. Then on the 28th of March she set sail for a lengthy Mediterranean cruise which lasted nearly 2 years.  On April Fool's day 1929 she arrived in Gibraltar for the first time.  All the photographs shown below are taken from an album with a lengthy  pictorial record of the of HMS London's  first commission. It was won in a raffle by a Royal marine, Alfred James Morgan. Unfortunately the name of the photographer is unknown.  

The Rock from the Gut

HMS London coming alongside the Detached Mole. It was not a popular billet as it was - and still is -  only possible to get ashore by boat. Ships with the senior officers were always 'parked' in the New Mole from where it was possible to go into town directly 

The Mediterranean Fleet in March 1929 apparently just before the arrival of the 'London'. The fact that at least one of the warships was anchored outside Gibraltar harbour suggests that it was absolutely full


HMS London travelled to Barcelona to represent Great Britain at the World Fair and then,  using Malta as a base she wandered around the Greek islands before a refit and a return to Gibraltar with the Mediterranean Fleet nearly a year later.

Fleet Review held in North Front

The tall figure of General Sir Alexander Godley is the officer taking the salute. Godley was a cold, aloof and unpopular commander. During his stint as Governor of the Rock he took exception to the fact that a civilian - Pablo Larios - had been elected as Master of the Hunt. King George V who was joint patron of the Hunt at the time asked his private secretary to make a few discrete inquiries as to what on earth was going on in Gibraltar. When he reported back to the King his message was succinct: 'We’ve got a problem. On the one hand we’ve got the Godleys, and, on the other hand we’ve got the Ungodleys!'

A typical Gibraltar Hackney carriage  ( 1929 0r 1930 )

The Neutral Ground with the Spanish town of La Linea in the distance ( 1929 or 1930 )

HMS Glorious in Gibraltar after a collision with the French liner SS Florida  - shown below on the 1st April 1931. It is not clear exactly when this happened. but it must have been the fault of the RN as there is no mention anywhere of French naval incompetence. The Glorious was sunk in 1940 - together with her auxillary destroyers - by the German battleship, Scharnhurst with the loss of over 1500 lives