By T. V. Antony Raj
Count Maurice de Mauny-Talvande named his son born on April 19, 1899, as Victor Alexander Christian Henry George de Mauny.
In 1912, Victor Alexander joined the British Royal Navy as a cadet. When First World War broke out in August 1914, he was appointed to the battleship HMS London, a Formidable-class battleship in the Royal Navy.
He assisted in landing the Australians at Anzac Cove as part of the amphibious invasion of the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey by predominantly Australian and New Zealand forces on April 25, 1915, and himself spent several days at Anzac Cove.
In 1919, he resigned his commission. He was placed on the Emergency List on March 8, 1919. He went back to Ceylon to work for the Rosehough Tea Company, first as an Assistant and then as an under-manager.
While his father, Count Maurice de Mauny-Talvande, was residing at Weligama in 1931, Victor Alexander resided at “Boxmead”, Turret Road (now Dharmapala Mawatha), Colombo – 7.
On September 8, 1939, mobilised by the Royal Navy, he was appointed to Ramsgate’s naval shore base HMS Fervent as a midshipman.
Victor Alexander was engaged in the evacuation of Allied soldiers from the beaches and harbour of Dunkirk, code-named Operation Dynamo, also known as the Miracle of Dunkirk, France, between May 27 and June 4, 1940. He served on this ship up to June 21, 1940.
He was mentioned in dispatches (The London Gazette of Friday, August 16, 1940). The recommendation states:
“Between Noon on 30 May and 0815 Hours on 4 June 1940, Lieutenant De Mauny was continuously engaged under way on evacuation duties without any intermission. He commanded in succession Ocean Breeze, Haig and then as Navigator in a group of Skoots, in Pascholl. He brought back more than 300 troops from Dunkirk beach in surf conditions on two separate occasions and was notably more successful than other small craft working in the same areas. On 31 May, when he was eight hours off the coast, his ship was subjected to continuous air attack. He displayed great devotion to duty under fire, and marked initiative, and was favourably reported upon by his Senior Officers on more than one occasion.”
He served as a navigator in Pascholl, for a group of Dutch schuyts (flat-bottomed sailboat, broad in the beam, with a square stern; usually equipped with leeboards to serve for a keel) used to ferry combat soldiers from the shore to the ships.
Promoted Lieutenant Commander on October 1, 1940, Victor Alexander served in HMS Brighton from October 1940 to August 1941.
He then commanded HMS Saltburn, a Hunt-class minesweeper built for the Royal Navy during First World War, but deployed as Royal Navy Signal School’s tender, for training.
At the end of March 1943, he commanded the patrol sloop, HMS Mallard, deployed in the North Sea. While serving in this vessel, The London Gazette of Tuesday, the 11th of December, 1945 mentioned that he received the Distinguished Service Cross award, the Royal Victorian Medal, G.VI.R., “For distinguished service during the War in Europe.”
Later in the war, he served in the battlecruiser HMS Renown, and then the destroyer HMS Midge. He took command of HMS Impulsive in July 1945.
WARSHIP COMMANDS LISTED FOR VICTOR ALEXANDER CHRISTIAN HENRY GEORGE DE MAUNY, RN
|HMS Saltburn (J 58)||Lt.Cdr. (emergency)||Minesweeper||25 Aug 1941||1 Jan 1942|
|HMS Saltburn (J 58)||Lt.Cdr. (emergency)||Minesweeper||5 Feb 1942||30 Mar 1943|
|HMS Mallard (L 42 / K 42)||Lt.Cdr. (emergency)||Patrol vessel||30 Mar 1943||1 Jul 1945|
|HMS Impulsive (D 11)||A/Cdr. (emergency)||Destroyer||1 Jul 1945||24 Oct 1945|
After World War II ended, Victor Alexander Christian Henry George de Mauny, DSC, RN, returned to Ceylon and became Chairman of the Rosehough Tea Company.
← Previous: Taprobane Island: Part 3 Next → Taprobane Island: Part 5
- Taprobane Island: Part 1 – Tambapanni the Island Paradise (tvaraj.com)
- Taprobane Island: Part 2 – Count Maurice de Mauny-Talvande (tvaraj.com)
- Taprobane Island: Part 3 – Count Maurice de Mauny-Talvande’s Island Home in Ceylon (tvaraj.com)
- Taprobane Island: Part 5 – Succeeding Owners of The Island Paradise (tvaraj.com)
- Taprobane Island: Part 6 – Does the Dead Count Haunt Taprobane Island? (tvaraj.com)
- Allied Warship Commanders – Victor Alexander Christian Henry George de Mauny, RN (uboat.net)
- A GOOD SECOND WORLD WAR D.S.C. GROUP OF NINE TO COMMANDER V.A.C.H.G. DE MAUNY, ROYAL NAVY, DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS, G.VI.R., … (christies.com)
- Count Maurice Maria de Mauny Talvande of France. A brief synopsis of his life and times (island.lk)
- Count Maurice Maria de Mauny Talvande of France (rootsweb.ancestry.com)
- Taprobane Island – History of the Island (taprobaneisland.com)
- Count de Mauny (oscholars.com)
6 thoughts on “Taprobane Island: Part 4 – Victor Alexander Christian Henry George de Mauny”
Nice read !