Mevagissey War Memorial

 
World War 2
 

ALDCROFT Arthur Angus

 

Chief Petty Officer Supply, D/M 38235, H.M.S Gloucester. Killed in action on H.M.S Gloucester during the Battle of Crete 22nd May 1941 aged 37.

 

Chief Petty Officer Supply ALDCROFT is Commemorated and Remembered with Honour on the Plymouth Naval Memorial Panel 55, Column 1.

 

Husband of Gladys May ALDCROFT, of Mevagissey, Cornwall.

 

Following the German invasion of Crete, H.M.S GLOUCESTER formed part of a naval force acting against German military transports to Crete, preventing German troops from being resupplied. 

 

On 22nd May 1941, H.M.S GLOUCESTER and H.M.S FIJI, both already low on ammunition, were been sent to support the rescue of survivors from the destroyer H.M.S GREYHOUND. Fierce air attacks further depleted their ammunition and they were given permission to rejoin the main fleet. While in the Kithera Channel, about 14 miles north of Crete, H.M.S GLOUCESTER and H.M.S FIJI were attacked by German Stuka dive bombers, H.M.S GLOUCESTER sustained at least four heavy bomb hits and three near-misses. As she began to sink and due to the heavy air attack, a decision was made to leave H.M.S GLOUCESTER behind. Under heavy fire H.M.S FIJI passed the stricken ship dropping its own rafts but was unable to stop. Of the 807 men aboard at the time of her sinking, only 85 survived. Her sinking is considered to be one of Britain's worst wartime naval disasters. H.M.S FIJI was sunk a few hours later.

 

Albert was born on 17th April 1904 in Manchester. The census for 1911 show’s 6 year old Albert living in Worsley Home for Boys, Manchester, Lancashire which was described as ‘a home for waifs and strays’.

 

On 13th July 1919, he signed up with the royal Navy at Devonport, initially as a Boy II, service number J95680, he received training there and was attached to several ships. On the 18th August 1924 he was transferred to Seaman Apprentice M38235 and from this period, underwent further training.

 

Albert married Gladys May CLARK on 9th March 1930 in Mevagissey.

 

On 28th January 1939 he joined H.M.S GLOUCESTER. On the 3rd July 1939 he was made Chief Petty Officer Supply, he remained with H.M.S GLOUCESTER until her sinking on 22th May 1941.

 

At the time of his death, Albert and Gladys were living at 1, The Cliffe, Mevagissey.

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CRUNDEN Ronald Allenby

 

 Able Seaman P/JX 145539, H.M.S ACHERON. Died 17th December 1940 age 20.

 

Able Seaman CRUNDEN is Remembered with Honour and buried in Mevagissey Cemetery

 

Able Seaman CRUNDEN is not on the Mevagissey War Memorial, however, he is buried at Mevagissey Cemetery in a Commonwealth War Grave. 

 

He was born on 7th February 1920 to Agnes Mary (Nee SINDEN) and George Samuel CRUNDEN in Eastbourne, East Sussex.

 

Able Seaman CRUNDEN was aboard HMS ACHERON when it struck a mine off the Isle of Wight on 17th December 1940. She was running trials after completing repairs following bomb damage sustained on 24 August. The trial was being conducted at night, in heavy seas, a strong north-east wind and in complete darkness.

During one of the speed trials on a measured mile, 8 nautical miles west-south-west of St. Catherine's Point, Isle of Wight, she struck a mine that was believed to have been left by the Luftwaffe along the channel. HMS ACHERON received major structural damage to the bow, due to her speed she sank within four minutes, driving herself to the bottom killing 196 crewmen and yard workers on board for the trials, there were only nineteen survivors.

 

On the 31st January 1941, Able Seaman CRUNDEN’s body was washed up on the Cornish Coast near to Mevagissey. On the 4th February 1941, he was buried with full Naval Honours in Mevagissey Cemetery.

 

He had three brothers, all served in World War Two :-

 

Lance Sergeant 6396611 Frederick George CRUNDEN, Royal Sussex Regiment Killed in Action on 4th September 1944, while fighting the Japanese and serving with the 14thArmy in Burma. He was aged 35.

 

Private 6403929 Sydney Thomas CRUNDEN, Royal Sussex Regiment. Killed in Action on 17th February 1944 in Italy.

 

Rifleman Kenneth CRUNDEN, Kings Royal Rifles. He was the only brother to survive the war, he died in 2012 age 86. 

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DADDA Edwin Henry

 

Private, 5445190, 5th Battalion Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. Killed in action at the battle for Hill 112, Normandy, France on 11th July 1944 age 21.

 

Private DADDA is Remembered with Honour and buried at Banneville-La-Campagne War Cemetery, Calvados, France Plot XII. Row F. Grave 16.

 

Personnel Inscription ‘SWEETEST MEMORIES FOND AND TRUE FROM THOSE WHO THOUGHT THE WORLD OF YOU’.

 

During the Second World War, the 5th D.C.L.I were a volunteer battalion, part of the Territorial Army. Despite this, the men landed in Normandy on 22nd June, 1944 as part of the 43rd (Wessex) Division. It took part in its first action on 27th June at Cheux where the fighting quality of the Battalion was demonstrated with the destruction of five German tanks who had attacked Battalion headquarters, sadly 20 men were killed in this battle including the Commanding Officer of the Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Atherton.  The first battle set the standard for the remainder of the campaign, the 5th showed courage and professionalism in all its encounters, sadly this meant the loss of many good men. 

 

Operation Jupiter, The battle for Hill 112, took place during 10th/11th July 1944. The objective was for the British to take the high ground of Hill 112 and the road from it to Chateau de Fontaine, which was being defended by German tanks. Following an initial heavy barrage of British artillery and mortar fire, the various British Division’s and Brigade’s moved forward. They were met by a very strong German defence leaving 5th D.C.L.I as the last uncommitted battalion. It attacked up the slopes of Hill 112, described as 'one of the most tragic acts of self-sacrifice in the entire North West European Campaign'. Launched at 20.30hrs towards 'The Orchard' on the crest of the hill, and supported by a squadron of 7th Royal Tank Regiment and all available guns, including the divisional light anti-aircraft guns, the attack reached the orchard, but could get no further. The infantry and anti-tank guns held off counter-attacks through the night from the newly-arrived 9th SS Panzer Division, and were reinforced in the morning by a company of 1st Worcestershire and briefly by a squadron of Sherman tanks from the Royal Scots Greys. By mid-afternoon all the anti-tank guns on the hill had been knocked out, the tanks had to retire to the reverse slope, and the defence was almost over. The order was given to withdraw and 60 survivors of 5th D.C.L.I were brought down. Both sides remained dug in on the slopes, with the hilltop left in No man's land.

 

It was particularly bad in which a mere 18 days after setting foot in Normandy, the 5th D.C.L.I had suffered so many casualties it was feared it would be broken up. However, in one of those remarkable instances of war the 4th Battalion in its final act before being disbanded sent a draft of 100, mainly Cornishmen, to the 5th, so ensuring it retained its unique identity for a little longer.

Edwin was born in 1923 at Mevagissey to William DADDA and Alice Maud JUKES.

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DYER Leonard

 

Private 5511661, 1st Battalion., Royal Hampshire Regiment. Killed in action during the D Day landings, ‘Operation Overlord’, Normandy, France on 6th June 1944.

 

Private DYER is Commemorated and Remembered with Honour at Bayeux Memorial, Calvados, France Panel 15, Column 1.

 

When the 1st Hampshire left its sealed camp in the New Forest on 31st May 1944 bound for the port of Southampton, it was with the purpose of assaulting the enemy’s defences at Arromanches for ‘Operation Overlord’. The men embarked and waited on board until the convoy sailed 5 days later.

 

D Day had been fixed for 5th June. Bad weather however, meant plans were delayed, and it wasn’t until 6.30pm on 5th June that the assault convoy sailed. Their task, as part of 231 Brigade (1st Hampshires, 1st Dorsets & 2nd Devons), was the vital one of piercing the elaborate defences on the Normandy coast between le Hamel and Arromanches, to enable the British 2nd Army to get a foothold in Normandy. The overall objective of Operation Overlord was ‘to secure a lodgement on the Continent of Europe from which further operations could be developed’.

 

The 50th Northumbrian (Tyne Tees) Division was to go in on the right of the 3 assault divisions of the 2nd Army, with 69 and 231 as the 2 assault Brigades. 231 Brigade was to land 2 assaulting battalions on ‘Jig Green Beach’, the 1st Dorsets on the left and 1st Hampshires on the right.

 

The Battalion’s tasks were for A Company to capture le Hamel East, B Company to capture Asnelles sur Mer, and C Company to capture le Hamel West. The final phase being for one company to clear the enemy positions from Arromanches.

 

The assault convoy anchored at 5.30am on 6th June 7 miles off shore. H Hour was 7.25am. The landing craft were lowered, the run in was uneventful, but most men were seasick and drenched with spray. They beached some 30 yards from the edge of the sea and the men leapt into the water; some were up to their armpits in the water, others up to their thighs, and at once they came under small arms fire. In spite of all the obstacles on the beach the Hampshire made their way up the beach to the sand dunes.

 

A Company, first ashore, landing in very heavy fire, could not get up the beach to deal with the enemy in le Hamel East. One platoon got inland and dealt with 2 pill boxes at the edge of les Roquettes while the other two ran into such violent machine gun fire that they were pinned down.

 

C Company were caught on the beach and tried in vain to get into le Hamel. B Company made good progress up the beach and dealt with the Dorset’s objective at les Roquettes, they then fought their way into Asnelles. D Company also forced their way inland in order to attack the gun position at Cabane.

 

At this stage the Commanding Officer was wounded, and Major Warren, commanding C Company took over. He saw that it was not possible to take le Hamel by frontal attack and so reorganised the companies in order to advance across country and establish itself on the road south of le Hamel and then B Company would assault the position.

 

B advanced on le Hamel but were held up by torrents of fire from the Hospital. This was dealt with by an AVRE (Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers), which fired its Pertard bombs until the enemy were silenced. While C were mopping up, B attacked le Hamel West, assisted by the AVRE.

 

With the enemy gun position at Cabane out of action, the next objective was a Radar Station along the coast which was quickly captured with 40 prisoners. The greater part of the day’s objectives completed; there still remained the task of clearing Arromanches itself. This was achieved with no casualties and resistance was slight. The town was clear of the enemy by 9pm that evening.

 

The vast achievements of D Day had been done in spite of many difficulties, including little of the promised support from assaulting arms. That the great assault succeeded is a fine testament to the fighting qualities of the men; to their leaders and their aggressive spirit. Every Hampshire man knew the importance of the task that had been given to the Battalion and they never hesitated; they understood the honour of being in the spearhead of the attack (1st Hampshire being the first British troops ashore) and rose to the challenge.

 

Casualty list 1488 states that Private DYER was listed as ‘Missing, on or shortly after 6th June 1944’. Casualty list 1814 dated 21st July 1944, it show’s his fate as ‘Presumed died of Wounds’. His body was never found.

 

Leonard was born in 1923 to Walter and Lucy DYER, of Mevagissey, Cornwall.

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GOODFELLOW Ernest Gilbert

 

Sergeant 649870, Royal Air Force, 158 Squadron stationed at RAF Lissett. Killed in action on 27th April 1943 aged 22.

 

Sergeant GOODFELLOW is Remembered with Honour and buried at the Rheinberg War Cemetery, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany Plot2. Row E. Grave 22. Alongside the rest of his crew.

 

Personnel Inscription ‘TO LIVE IN THE HEARTS OF THOSE WE LOVE IS NOT TO DIE’.

 

Grandson of Mrs E. A. GOODFELLOW, of Mevagissey, Cornwall.

 

In 1939 Ernest enlisted as a civilian with the Royal Air Force and was appointed as a Class F Reservist, service number 649870.

 

At some point, Sergeant GOODFELLOW was stationed with 1658 HCU (Heavy Conversion Unit). With the introduction of the new heavy bombers, the 4-engined Short Stirling, Avro Lancaster and Handley Page Halifax, into service, the Royal Air Force introduced Heavy Conversion Units. The Heavy Conversion Units began forming in late 1941 to qualify crews trained on medium bombers to operate the heavy bombers prior to assignment to an Operational Training Unit to gain experience before final posting to the operational squadrons.

 

On 22nd April 1943 he was posted to 158 Squadron, R.A.F. as a Flight Engineer, five days before he was killed. All the crew members had been posted at more or less the same time. 

 

At 00.27hrs on 27th April 1943, Halifax II HR737 Aircraft took off from R.A.F. LISSETT, Yorkshire to take part in a raid on the German city of Duisburg. On board the bomber was Sergeant GOODFELLOW, a Flight Engineer, Flying Officer Claude William GEBHARD (Pilot), Pilot Officer Arthur Edward TAYLOR (Wireless Operator), Flight Sergeant Reginald Henry BARNES, Sergeant Henry Lewis BARNES (Wireless Operator), Sergeant Eric Walter John BENNETT (Navigator) and Sergeant Frederick Charles BROWNLOW (Air Gunner). Whilst taking part in the raid, the bomber crashed near the city of Monchengladbach, Germany, all on board were killed. The cause of the loss was not established.

 

Following the crash all were laid to rest at Stadtfriedhof. Following the war, six bodies were exhumed and taken for re burial at the Rheinberg War Cemetery, the grave of the air bomber, Sgt R H BARNES could not be found. His name is commemorated on the Runnymede War Memorial.

 

At the time of his death, Ernest was living at Penlee, Mevagissey with his grandmother Elizabeth Ann GOODFELLOW.

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HALLIDAY William

Able Seaman D/J 107737, Royal Navy H.M.S Rawalpindi. Killed in action on armed merchant cruiser, H.M.S RAWALPINDI, in the North Atlantic between Iceland and The Faroe Islands on the 23rd November 1939.

 

Able Seaman HALLIDAY is Commemorated and Remembered with Honour on the Plymouth Naval Memorial Panel 33, Column 2.

 

Son of Jack and Alice HALLIDAY, husband of Ethel J HALLIDAY, of Mevagissey, Cornwall.

 

On 21st January 1925, William has enlisted with the Royal Navy for a period of 12 years. On his service record he is 5’ 5” tall, brown hair, brown eyes and fresh complexion. His occupation at the time was a Miner. He is shown to be at several training establishments until he was posted to H.M.S. RAWALPINDI on 23rd September 1939.

 

On 23rd November 1939, whilst patrolling north of the Faroe Islands, H.M.S. RAWALPINDI went to investigate a possible enemy sighting, only to find that she had encountered two powerful German warships, the battleships SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU, which had been conducting a sweep between Iceland and the Faroes. H.M.S. RAWALPINDI was able to signal the German ships' location back to base. Despite being hopelessly outgunned, 60-year-old Captain Edward Coverley KENNEDY decided to fight, rather than surrender as demanded by the Germans. He was heard to say "We’ll fight them both, they’ll sink us, and that will be that. Good-bye".

 

The German warships sank H.M.S. RAWALPINDI within 40 minutes. She managed to score one hit on SCHARNHORST, which caused minor splinter damage. 238 men died on H.M.S. RAWALPINDI, including Able Seaman HALLIDAY and Captain KENNEDY. Thirty-seven men were rescued by the German ships, a further 11 were picked up by HMS CHITRAL (another converted passenger ship). Captain KENNEDY was the father of naval officer, broadcaster and author Ludovic KENNEDY and was posthumously Mentioned in Dispatches. Crew members on SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU were eligible for the High Seas Fleet Badge for participating in the sinking of H.M.S. RAWALPINDI.

 

William was born on 21st January 1907 in Sunderland, Durham to Jack and Alice HALLIDAY.

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HUNKIN Maurice

Leading Wireman P/MX 65234, Royal Navy H.M.S Barham. Killed in action when H.M.S Barham was struck by four torpedoes fired from German submarine U-331, in the Eastern Mediterranean, midway between Crete and the Bay of Sollum on 25th November 1941 aged 24.

 

Leading Wireman HUNKIN is Commemorated and Remembered with Honour on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial Panel 57, Column 1.

 

Son of Samuel E and Carrie HUNKIN, of Mevagissey, Cornwall. 

 

On the afternoon of 24th November 1941, the 1st Battle Squadron, H.M.S. BARHAM, H.M.S. QUEEN ELIZABETH, and H.M.S. VALIANT, with an escort of eight destroyers, departed Alexandria to cover the 7th and 15th Cruiser Squadrons as they hunted for Italian convoys in the Central Mediterranean.

 

The following morning, the German submarine U-331, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Hans-Diedrich von Tiesenhausen, detected the faint engine noises of the British ships and moved to intercept. By the afternoon the submarine and the 1st Battle Squadron were on reciprocal courses and Tiesenhausen ordered his boat to battle stations.

 

An Anti-Submarine Detection Investigation Committee operator aboard one of the leading destroyers, H.M.S. JERVIS, detected the submarine at an estimated range of 900–1,100 yards, but this was disregarded. U-331 thus passed through the screen and was only in a position to fire her torpedoes after the leading ship, H.M.S. QUEEN ELIZABETH, had passed her by and the second ship, H.M.S. BARHAM, was closing rapidly. Tiesenhausen ordered all four bow torpedo tubes fired at a range of 410 yds. Possibly due to her closeness to H.M.S. VALIANT’s bow wave and discharging the torpedoes, the boat's conning tower broached the surface and was fruitlessly engaged by one of the battleship's. The boat dived out of control after she broached, reaching an indicated depth of 265 metres, well below her design depth rating of 150 metres, before she stabilised without any damage. U-331 was not attacked by the escorting destroyers and reached port on 3rd December. Tiesenhausen was not certain of the results of his attack and radioed that he had hit a Queen Elizabeth-class battleship with one torpedo.

 

There was no time for evasive action, and three of the four torpedoes struck amidships so closely together as to throw up a single massive water column. H.M.S. BARHAM quickly capsized to port and was lying on her side when a massive magazine explosion occurred about four minutes after she was torpedoed and sank her. The Board of Enquiry into the sinking ascribed the final explosion to a fire in the 4-inch magazines outboard of the main 15-inch magazines, which would have then spread to and detonated the contents of the main magazines. Due to the speed at which she sank, 862 officers and ratings were killed, including Leading Wireman HUNKIN and two who died of their wounds after being rescued. The destroyer H.M.S. HOTSPUR rescued some 337 survivors, including Vice-Admiral Henry Pridham-Wippell and the pair who later died of their wounds, while the Australian destroyer H.M.A.S. NIZAM reportedly rescued some 150 men. Captain Geoffrey Cooke went down with his ship. The sinking was captured on film by a cameraman from Pathé News, aboard H.M.S. VALIANT and can be viewed on Youtube.

 

Maurice was born on 20th July 1917 at Mevagissey to Samuel Ernest and Carrie HUNKIN. 

 

In 1939 Maurice was living with his parents at 23 Church Street, Mevagissey. Also at the address was his sister, Roma. Maurice was employed as a Wireman General Hand.

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JOSLIN Eric Bertie

Able Seaman D/JX 246261, Royal Navy H.M.S RENOWN. Died 11th January 1945 age 19.

 

Able Seaman JOSLIN is Remembered with Honour and buried at Durban (Stellawood) Cemetery, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa Block F. Grave 463.

 

Personnel Inscription ‘IN TREASURED MEMORY OF OUR DARLING SON ERIC SADLY MISSED BY DAD AND MUM’.

 

Son of Bertie Edward and Edith Margaret JOSLIN, of Mevagissey, Cornwall.

 

During October 1944, with Able Seaman JOSLIN as part of the crew, H.M.S. RENOWN took part in Operation MILLET, a prolonged series of air strikes and bombardment of Nicobar Island in the Eastern Indian Ocean. The operation was intended as a diversion for the US landings on Leyte in the Philippines.

 

On 19thOctober, H.M.S. RENOWN continued air and bombardment attacks on Nicobar Islands. During the day nine Japanese Oscar fighter bombers attacked the task force, seven of which were shot down for the loss of two Corsairs and a Hellcat. During Operation MILLET little damage or distress had been caused to the Japanese mainly due to the lack of worthwhile targets. This was the last time that H.M.S. RENOWN was to fire her main armament against the enemy.

 

On 18th December 1944, H.M.S. RENOWN arrived in Durban, South Africa for a refit. On 10th January 1945, she was moved into the Prince Edward Dry Dock for the refit.

 

On 11th January, while in Durban, Able Seaman JOSLIN has died as a result of ‘Accidental Drowning’. No information on his drowning can be found. 

 

Born on 26th November 1925 in Mevagissey to Bertie Edward and Edith Margaret (nee CHITTY) JOSLIN. His older brother Frederick died in 1928 aged 7 yrs.

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LEAN Arthur Geoffrey

Corporal, 1882679, 626 Field Sqn., Royal Engineers. Killed in action in Italy on 13th December 1944 age 25.

 

Corporal LEAN is Remembered with Honour and buried in Faenza War Cemetery, Italy Plot V. Row F. Grave 20.

 

Personnel Inscription ‘EVER LOVING, EVER KIND A BEAUTIFUL MEMORY LEFT BEHIND’.

 

On 3 September 1943 the Allies invaded the Italian mainland, the invasion coinciding with an armistice made with the Italians who then re-entered the war on the Allied side. The 626th Field Squadron RE, entered Italy as part of the 4th Armoured Brigade “The Black Rats”. 

 

Following the fall of Rome to the Allies in June 1944, the German retreat became ordered and successive stands were made on a series of defensive lines. In the northern Appenine mountains the last of these, the Gothic Line, was breached by the Allies during the Autumn campaign and the front inched forward as far as Ravenna in the Adriatic sector, but with divisions transferred to support the new offensive in France, and the Germans dug in to a number of key defensive positions, the advance stalled as winter set in.

 

The war cemetery at Faenza was formed during these months for the burial of those who were killed in the static fighting before the Allied advance was renewed in April 1945. Corporal LEAN was no doubt killed during this static fighting.

 

He served in 626 Fld Squ RE with Sapper OVER who was killed in action on 7th August 1944. They had both lived in Mevagissey and were born in 1919, so no doubt they grew up together. 
 

Arthur was born in 1919 to Henry LEAN and Marina BURT of Mevagissey.

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MILLS Alfred William

Able seaman, Naval Auxiliary Personnel (Merchant Navy), H.M.S Ulster Prince. Died on the 7th March 1946 Age 37.

 

Able Seaman MILLS is Remembered with Honour and buried in Mevagissey Cemetery Section A. Grave 483.

 

Son of Alfred William and Mary MILLS, of Mevagissey, Cornwall. His brother Charles Edwin, also died on service.

 

HIS BROTHER CHARLES EDWIN R.N.P.S. H.M. Trawler TOPAZE KILLED BY ENEMY ACTION 20.4. 1941 AGE 22.

 

There are no records available showing what Able Seaman MILLS involvement was in World War Two. His connection to H.M.S. ULSTER PRINCE is from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission web page. No records have been found of his cause of death, but it would have been as a result of his service in WW2. Below is what could be found about ULSTER PRINCE and its involvement in WW2.

 

The original ULSTER PRINCE was used as a troop ship during WWII, and became H. M. Trawler ULSTER PRINCE. In 1940, she landed troops in Iceland for the occupation of Iceland. In April 1941, during the evacuation of Greece, she ran aground off Nafplio, Greece. The following day, she was bombed and became a total loss.

 

An article in the Belfast Newsletter, dated 1st March 1946, makes reference to a second ULSTER PRINCE that was used during World War two as a hospital ship and troop carrier. The article read – “A SECOND ULSTER PRINCE – Before M.V. ULSTER PRINCE made her first crossing from Belfast to Liverpool last night, an inspection was made by his Excellency the Governor of Northern Ireland. The vessel, which has an outstanding record of service in the war, first as a base hospital ship, later as a troopship, and finally as a hospital carrier”.

 

The article goes on to say, “When the vessel, reconditioned by Hartland and Wolff, arrived in Belfast eight months ago the present spacious lounge was an operating theatre, and hardly a stateroom remained in its original state. With all traces of her arduous war service removed, the vessel should prove a worthy successor to the original ULSTER PRINCE, which was totally destroyed by enemy action off Greece”.

 

Alfred was born about 1909 in Mevagissey to Alfred William and Mary Ann MILLS (Nee DYER).  In 1911, 2 year old Alfred is living in Mount Street, Mevagissey with his parents and sibling Dorothy aged 4. His father is employed as a Fisherman. His sister Evelyn Mary MILLS was born on 21st July 1914 and his brother Charles was born on 19th August 1918.

 

At the time of his death he is living at 7 Myrtle Court, Mevagissey. 

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MILLS Charles Edwin

Ordinary Telegraphist, D/R 8859, Royal Navy H.M. Trawler TOPAZE. Killed when H.M.T TOPAZE was sunk, following a collision with the British battleship H.M.S RODNEY on 20th April 1941 aged 22. 

 

Ordinary Telegraphist MILLS is Commemorated and Remembered with Honour on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 50, Column 3.

 

Son of Alfred William and Mary MILLS, of Mevagissey, Cornwall. 

 

On April 20th, 1941, the British Navy trawler H.M.T. TOPAZE was sunk after a collision with the British battleship H.M.S. RODNEY off the Clyde. The incident took place in complete darkness. The Commanding officer, George Richard GALE and 17 more members of the crew went down with the ship including Ordinary Telegraphist MILLS.

 

Following news that Charles had been killed, the Cornish Guardian printed the following on 1st May 1941 –

 

“Mevagissey heard with regret a few days ago of the death by enemy action of Mr. Charles Edwin MILLS. Charles who was much respected at Mevagissey, was only 22 years of age. He had joined the Royal Navy and was killed somewhere at sea. He was home on leave a short time ago. He was the youngest son of Mr and Mrs. Alfred MILLS of 7 Myrtle Court, Mevagissey. He was a promising young man, and prior to joining the Navy was on clerical staff of the Truro post office. He was a clever, industrious and steady young man, and since being posted at Truro had made many friends in that area. Much sympathy is felt for Mr and Mrs. MILLS and family in their great loss.” 

 

Charles was born on 19th August 1918 in Mevagissey, to Alfred William MILLS and Mary Ann MILLS  (Nee DYER). At the time of his death, he was shown to still be living with his parents at 7 Myrtle Court, Mevagissey.

 

His brother, Alfred William MILLS, Naval Auxiliary Personnel (Merchant Navy), also died on service 7th March 1946.

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OVER Percy

Sapper 1882678, 626 Field Sqn., Royal Engineers. Killed in action in Italy on the 7th August 1944 aged 24.

 

Sapper OVER is Remembered with Honour and buried at Arezzo War Cemetery, Italy Plot VI. Row C. Grave 19.

 

Personnel Inscription ‘AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN AND IN THE MORNING WE WILL REMEMBER HIM’.

 

Son of Peter and Janie OVER, of Mevagissey, Cornwall.

 

On 3 September 1943 the Allies invaded the Italian mainland, the invasion coinciding with an armistice made with the Italians who then re-entered the war on the Allied side. The 626th Field Squadron RE, entered Italy as part of the 4th Armoured Brigade “The Black Rats”. 

 

Records show that Sapper OVER was injured on 30th November 1943, most probably during the Battle of the Sangro River. This was an attack on the German defensive Gustav Line that spread across Italy, from the mouth of the river Sangro on the Adriatic coast south of Ortona, to the mouth of the Garigliano River on the Tyrrhenian Sea about 8o miles south of Rome. In July 1944, 626 Fld Squ joined the 6th Armoured Division and remained in Italy.

 

Following the fall of Rome to the Allies in June 1944, the German retreat became ordered and successive stands were made on a series of defensive lines. The Germans made a stand in front of Arezzo early in July 1944 and there was fierce fighting before the town was taken on 16 July by the 6th Armoured Division with the aid of the 2nd New Zealand Division. It’s unclear exactly where Sapper OVER was killed, however it would most probably be in the vicinity of Arezzo as that’s where his final resting place is.

 

He served in 626 Fld Squ RE with Corporal LEAN who was killed in action on 13th December 1944. They had both lived in Mevagissey and were born in 1919, so no doubt they grew up together. 
 

Percy was born on 12th August 1919 to Peter OVER and Jane Elizabeth Cloke RICKARD of Mevagissey. His siblings were Lily born 1911, Peter born 1913, Sara Caroline born 1914 and Frank Lachlan born in 1917.

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PASSMORE Jack

Petty Officer Telegraphist, D/KX 149398, Royal Navy H.M Submarine Porpoise. Killed in action aboard H.M. Submarine Porpoise, after it was sunk off Penang Island, Malaysia on 16th January 1945 aged24.

 

Petty Officer Telegraphist PASSMORE is Remembered with Honour on the Plymouth Naval Memorial Panel 94, Column 2.

 

Son of Stanley and Ada Elsie PASSMORE, of Mevagissey, Cornwall; husband of Laureen PASSMORE, of Mevagissey.

 

On 3rd January 1945 H.M. Submarine PORPOISE was laying mines in the Straits of Malacca in the vicinity of Penang. On 9th January H.M.S. PORPOISE signalled confirming their mission had been successfully carried out. The submarine was never heard from again.

 

Japanese records show that on 11th January, radio direction finders at Penang picked up her position and submarine chaser CH-8 was dispatched to the area to conducted an attack on H.M.S. PORPOISE. Later that day, a submarine was spotted and bombed by aircraft Nakajima B6N2 Tenzan Bomber of 331 Air Group, the Imperial Japanese Navy, in the vicinity of Penang. The aircraft scored a hit with one of its bombs and the submarine sank, bringing up a large oil slick.

 

H.M.S. PORPOISE was the 74th and last British submarine lost in World War 2.

 

As a result of the mines laid by H.M.S. PORPOISE, Japanese auxiliary minesweeper KYO MARU No. 1 hit one just off Penang, Malaya on the 15th January 1945. On 27thMarch Japanese auxiliary minelayer MA 1 was sunk about 5 nautical miles north-east of Belawan, Sumatra, Netherlands East Indies. On 18th May 1945 the Japanese submarine chaser CH 57 hit a mine and was damaged off Penang, Malaya.

 

Earlier in the war, H.M.S. PORPOISE was used for mine-laying in the Mediterranean. She made several trips to Malta, laden with aviation fuel and munitions, to enable the Fleet Air Arm and the R.A.F. to operate. When, after 14 months in the Mediterranean she returned home, the crew flew a flag with the letters ‘P.C.S.’ on it, ‘Porpoise Carrier Service’.

 

Jack was born on 2nd October 1920 in Mevagissey to Stanley and Ada Elsie Laureen (nee CHESTERFIELD) PASSMORE.

 

In 1942, he married Lorraine (Laureen) NICHOLLS at Hatfield, Hertfordshire.

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SMITH Frederick James

Commissioned Gunner, Royal Navy H.M.S Courageous. Killed in action when H.M.S Courageous was struck by two torpedoes, fired from German U-boat U-29 off the coast of Ireland on the 17th September 1939.

 

Commissioned Gunner SMITH is Commemorated and Remembered with Honour on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 33, Column 1.

 

Husband of M SMITH, of Mevagissey Cornwall.

 

H.M.S. COURAGEOUS was an aircraft carrier capable of carrying 48 aircraft. She served with the Home Fleet at the start of World War II with 811 and 822 Squadrons aboard, each squadron equipped with a dozen Fairey Swordfish. 

 

In the early days of the war, hunter-killer groups were formed around the fleet's aircraft carriers to find and destroy U-boats. On 31st August 1939 she went to her war station at Portland and embarked the two squadrons of Swordfish. Courageous departed Plymouth on the evening of 3rd September 1939 for an anti-submarine patrol in the Western Approaches, escorted by four destroyers.

 

On the evening of 17th September 1939, she was on one such patrol off the coast of Ireland. Two of her four escorting destroyers had been sent to help a merchant ship under attack and all her aircraft had returned from patrols. During this time, Courageous was stalked for over two hours by German submarine, U-29, commanded by Captain-Lieutenant Otto Schuhart. The carrier then turned into the wind to launch her aircraft. This put the ship right across the bow of the submarine, which fired three torpedoes. Two of the torpedoes struck the ship on her port side before any aircraft took off, knocking out all electrical power, and she capsized and sank in 20 minutes with the loss of 519 of her crew, including her captain and Commissioned Gunner SMITH. The survivors were rescued by the Dutch ocean liner VEENDAM and the British freighter COLLINGWORTH. The two escorting destroyers counterattacked U-29 for four hours, but the submarine escaped.

 

At the time of his death, Frederick was married to Mabel SMITH and his address was given as Glenbrook, Mevagissey. 

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WARREN William Bernard

Lance Corporal, Service Number 14423233, 15th Air Formation Signals., Royal Corps of Signals, died following a road collision in Reading on the 8th August 1944 aged 19.

 

Lance Corporal WARREN is Remembered with Honour and buried in Mevagissey Cemetary, Section A, Grave 446.

 

Personnel Inscription ‘A SON WORTHY OF A MOTHER’S LOVE, A FATHER’S PRIDE AND A NATION’S GRATITUDE’.

 

Following the death of Lance Corporal WARREN an inquest was held in Reading. Giving evidence at the inquest, Lieutenant G. W. INCH stated that Lance Corporal WARREN had been detailed to take an officer on a journey in an Army Jeep. While travelling along Oxford Road and on the approach to Elm Lodge Avenue, READING, the Jeep was witnessed to go into a severe skid and collide with an American Army vehicle travelling in the opposite direction. As a result of the collision, Lance Corporal WARREN received fatal injuries.

 

William was born in about 1925 to Willie and Sorilda Belle WARREN, of Mevagissey, Cornwall. He was the grandson of Mrs W. WARREN, also of Mevagissey.

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