Saturday 6 June 2009

HMS "Boadicea", D-Day, Normandy and Loss

To the memory of those lost on 13th June 1944, when HMS “Boadicea” was sunk by an enemy aerial torpedo off Portland Bill, having taken part in the Operation Neptune, the Royal Navy part in the Normandy Landings. There were only twelve survivors, as she sank within minutes.

“Boadicea” saw action at an early stage of the war in late 1939 in the Channel. In February 1940 she carried Winston Churchill from Boulogne to Dover. In June of that year she suffered severe damage and losses in the attempt to rescue the remaining troops of the 51st Highland Division from Le Havre and Dieppe. After repairs she then was involved in hunting the “Scharnhorst” and went on to the Russian convoys.

Later she escorted the RMS “Queen Elizabeth” on Atlantic crossings. From there she moved in October 1942 to the North Africa landings “Operation Torch” rescuing 425 survivors from the sinking of RMS “Viceroy Of India”. After more Russian convoys she moved to West Africa for other convoy work, rescuing survivors of MVS “Incomati”, then returning to Russia again.

In the Spring of 1944 she was moved to the Channel to prepare for “Operation Neptune”. On 6th June 1944 she escorted 31 tank landing craft of the 8th Armoured Brigade, the first main battle tanks to land, those of B and C Squadrons of the 4/7 Dragoon Guards. On 13th June she was returning to England for more escort duties, when she was attacked by a single German aircraft.


MPK – Missing Presumed Killed

ABBEY, Samuel, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 648840, killed
ABBOTT, Eric, Stoker 1c, C/KX 595708, MPK
ALDRIDGE, Joseph A, Ty/Petty Officer Cook (S), C/MX 56877, MPK
APLIN, Walter S, Able Seaman, C/JX 206070, MPK
AVERLEY, Roland E, Ty/Act/Petty Officer, C/JX 171380, MPK
AYRES, William S, Signalman, C/JX 270008, MPK
BABB, Henry J, Assistant Steward, C/LX 623694, MPK
BAILEY, Basil, Ty/Supply Petty Officer, C/MX 69370, MPK
BAILEY, Walter, Electrical Artificer 2c, C/MX 47686, MPK
BAINBRIDGE, Robert, Able Seaman, C/JX 171168, MPK
BAINES, Cecil C, Able Seaman, C/JX 203299, MPK
BARLOW, John E, Ordinary Signalman, C/JX 360509, MPK
BARRETT, Charles, Ty/Act/Leading Stoker, C/KX 112565, MPK
BARRETT, Norman F, Able Seaman, C/JX 172342, MPK
BATES, Isaac, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 547920, MPK
BATTY, Leslie W, Ty/Act/Leading Seaman, C/JX 203439, MPK
BAYLEY, Leonard, Ty/Petty Officer Steward, C/LX 25120, MPK
BEARD, Alfred C, Ty/Act/Leading Seaman, RNVR, C/LD/X 4594, MPK
BEST, Ronald S, Act/Able Seaman, C/JX 545708, MPK
BONSER, Leslie, Telegraphist, C/JX 172085, MPK
BOOTH, Ernest, Able Seaman, C/SSX 32825, MPK
BRADSHAW, Maurice, Able Seaman, C/JX 279253, MPK
BROCKBANK, Arnold R, Coder, C/JX 220450, MPK
BROWN, Roy, Assistant Steward, C/LX 614156, MPK
BROWN, Walter J, Able Seaman, C/JX 130753, MPK
BROWNE, Colin F, Able Seaman, P/JX 387837, MPK
BURNS, James, Stoker 1c, C/KX 115193, MPK
CAIN, George, Able Seaman, C/JX 255632, killed
CARTER, Antony A, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 566194, MPK
CARTWRIGHT, James S, Ty/Lieutenant, RNZNVR, MPK
CASWELL, William C, Stoker 1c, C/KX 533255, MPK
CASWELL, William L, Ordinary Telegraphist, C/JX 310590, MPK
CHEAPE, Robert, Stoker 1c, C/KX 141871, MPK
CHRISTIESON, Robert J, Ordinary Telegraphist, P/JX 574858, MPK
COCKER, James A E, Stoker Petty Officer, C/K 55218, MPK
COGHLAN, William F, Ty/Stoker Petty Officer, C/KX 88967, MPK
COLBY, Victor G, Chief Petty Officer, C/JX 129625, MPK
COOPER, George W, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 547160, MPK
COOPER, Jack, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 375785, MPK
CROOKS, Joseph, Able Seaman, C/JX 229961, MPK
CROSS, James L, Signalman, P/JX 221536, MPK
DARTON, Basil J, Able Seaman, C/JX 264027, MPK
DAVIS, Arthur, Able Seaman, C/JX 351712, MPK
DAYNES, Ronald G R, Petty Officer (Pens), C/J 91531, MPK
DIXON, Roy, Able Seaman, C/JX 1896084, MPK
DOBBIE, Charles, Canteen Assistant, C/NX 583911, MPK
DONALD, William H C, Ty/Surgeon Lieutenant, RNVR, MPK
DRAYCOTT, Albert E, Stoker 1c, C/KX 133409, MPK
DUNLOP, Thomas, Canteen Manager, C/NX 703740, MPK
DUROSE, Thomas R, Able Seaman, C/JX 302767, MPK
DURRANS, James, Coder, C/JX 356923, MPK
FARRER, Albert, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 255936, MPK
FEATHERSTONE, Leonard, Ty/Act/Sub Lieutenant (E), RNVR, MPK
FIELD, Albert, Able Seaman, C/JX 153660, MPK
FINDLAY, William H, Stoker Petty Officer (Pens), C/K 58306, MPK
FOX, Victor A, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 409101, MPK
FRAKE, Harry, Telegraphist, C/JX 343097, MPK
FRAZER, Richard A, Act/Able Seaman, C/JX 374362, MPK
GAMBELL, Arthur E, Stoker 1c, C/KX 528302, MPK
GARBUTT, George W, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 642297, MPK
GIBSON, Ronald E, Ty/Act/Leading Seaman, C/JX 238783, MPK
GILES, William, Ty/Stoker Petty Officer, C/KX 85268, MPK
GOGEL, Charles E, Petty Officer, C/JX 126789, MPK
GOLDING, Henry, Able Seaman, RFR, C/J 96118, MPK
GREEN, John H F, Ty/Stoker Petty Officer, C/KX 84242, MPK
HALLIDAY, James A, Ty/Act/Leading Seaman, C/JX 174038, MPK
HARDIMAN, Reginald T, Stoker 1c, C/KX 528920, MPK
HARRISON, Rain, Able Seaman, C/JX 377747, MPK
HAWKES, John D, Able Seaman, C/JX 548007, MPK
HAWKINS, Frederick W, Lieutenant Commander, MPK
HEMINGWAY, Brian, Ordinary Telegraphist, C/JX 572114, MPK
HENSHAW, Albert E, Able Seaman, C/JX 279347, MPK
HEPTON, John C, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 657768, MPK
HERON, Thomas, Able Seaman, RNVR, C/TD/X 1897, MPK
HINKSMAN, John H, Stoker 1c, C/KX 112583, MPK
HISCOCK, Roy A S, Able Seaman, P/JX 324133, MPK
HOLLANDS, William J, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 628972, MPK
HOLLICK, Charles G, Able Seaman, C/JX 349598, MPK
HOYES, Eric, Lieutenant, MPK
HUDSON, Albert E, Ty/Petty Officer, C/JX 149695, MPK
HUGHES, Wallace E, Engine Room Artificer 5c, V/1805 (RCNVR), MPK
HUNTER, George R, Able Seaman, C/JX 248353, MPK
HURLEY, Henry F G, Able Seaman, C/JX 182708, MPK
INCE, Claude A, Cook (S), C/MX 122241, MPK
IRELAND, Eric F, Stoker 1c, C/KX 595754, MPK
JEFFREYS, Sydney J, Able Seaman, C/JX 172162, MPK
JOSEPH, Jack, Stoker 1c, C/KX 142822, MPK
KENYON, Harry, Able Seaman, C/JX 299418, MPK
KING, Alexander B, Ty/Act/Ty/Stoker Petty Officer, C/KX 83691, MPK
KNIGHT, James A, Able Seaman, C/JX 318013, MPK
LANG, William G, Able Seaman, C/JX 199928, MPK
LANGFORD, Leonard, Able Seaman, C/JX 317451, MPK
LAYTON, Kenneth C, Stoker 1c, C/KX 144027, MPK
LINDSAY, Thomas, Able Seaman, C/JX 237569, MPK
LLEWHELLIN, Edward J, Able Seaman, C/JX 372431, MPK
LOADER, Francis C, Able Seaman, C/JX 316619, MPK
LONG, Peveril S, Stoker 1c, C/KX 526066, MPK
LONGMORE, Frederick A, Telegraphist, C/JX 301586, MPK
MAGEE, Thomas, Able Seaman, C/JX 378086, MPK
MARSH, Ernest W, Able Seaman, C/JX 296482, MPK
MARTIN, Edgar, Able Seaman, C/SSX 32736, MPK
MAYES, Ernest G, Act/Able Seaman, C/JX 159703, MPK
MCMUNN, Robert, Ty/Act/Leading Seaman, C/JX 169655, MPK
MCNAB, Alexander, Stoker 1c, C/KX 576734, MPK
MCNICHOL, John F, Ty/Act/Leading Seaman, C/JX 259804, MPK
MESSENGER, George W, Able Seaman, C/JX 189828, MPK
MIDDLETON, Derrick L, Able Seaman, C/JX 318033, MPK
MILLS, Wilfred J, Able Seaman, P/JX 324132, MPK
MILNE, William K, Act/Stoker 1c, P/KX 178881, MPK
MOORES, John, Able Seaman, C/JX 352463, MPK
MORRISON, Bruce, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 549477, MPK
MOULTON, Eric, Able Seaman, C/JX 177791, MPK
MUMFORD, Cyril J, Engine Room Artificer 5c, C/MX 622056, MPK
MURRAY, James, Engine Room Artificer 3c, C/MX 53877, MPK
O'CONNELL, Robert, Able Seaman, C/JX 253994, killed
OKEY, John S, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 640140, MPK
PARKER, Edward, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 657192, MPK
PARKER, Samuel, Able Seaman, C/JX 240616, MPK
PEACH, Derek G H, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 547020, MPK
PECKHAM, Geoffrey S, Ty/Act/Chief Ordnance Artificer, C/MX 59291, MPK
PETTER, Ernest A W, Chief Electrical Artificer, C/M 39392, MPK
PHILP, Warren J, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 542203, MPK
PICKSTOCK, Francis J, Ty/Act/Petty Officer, C/JX 127028, MPK
PIKE, Grayham W J, Stoker 1c, C/KX 112588, MPK
POWELL, George W, Cook (O), C/MX 71156, MPK
PRESTON, Ralph E, Ty/Leading Supply Assistant, C/MX 95277, MPK
PRICE, Gerald J, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 515835, MPK
QUINLAN, Leslie B, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 549510, MPK
RAMSAY, Robert L, Sick Berth Attendant, C/MX 557042, MPK
RAYMENT, Laurence V, Able Seaman, C/JX 153300, MPK
REES, John R, Ordinary Signalman, C/JX 361273, MPK
RENNIE, John A, Ty/Sub Lieutenant, RNVR, MPK
REYNOLDS, Walter C, Able Seaman, C/JX 300420, MPK
RICHARDSON, Alan, Able Seaman, C/JX 353996, MPK
ROBINSON, John E, Leading Writer (Sp), C/MX 621804, MPK
ROBINSON, Keith, Ty/Sub Lieutenant, RNR, MPK
ROBSON, Thomas W, Able Seaman, RNVR, C/TD/X 1808, MPK
ROGERS, Sydney, Able Seaman, C/JX 299186, MPK
SAGGERS, Vivian G, Stoker 2c, P/KX 596983, MPK
SAMPSON, James E, Chief Petty Officer Stoker, C/K 62282, MPK
SCHRODER, Frederick J, Act/Lieutenant (E), killed
SEGGAR, John D, Ty/Act/Leading Seaman, C/JX 251844, MPK
SELBY, Wilfred H T, Able Seaman, C/JX 208640, MPK
SHAW, Dennis R, Able Seaman, C/JX 353099, MPK
SIMPSON, Donald A, Able Seaman (Pens), C/J 21934, MPK
SMITH, Alexander, Ty/Leading Stoker, C/KX 83513, MPK
SPENCELAYH, William McM, Ty/Yeoman of Signals, C/JX 138686, MPK
STEVENS, William, Able Seaman, C/JX 318082, MPK
STEVENSON, Reginald D, Ty/Act/Leading Seaman, C/JX 308148, MPK
STUBBINGS, Leslie F, Stoker 1c, C/KX 135233, MPK
SUMMERELL, Roland, Able Seaman, C/SSX 24948, MPK
SUTCLIFFE, Arthur, Able Seaman, C/JX 386616, MPK
TANNER, George W, Ty/Leading Seaman, C/JX 262802, MPK
TAYLOR, Alfred, Ordnance Mechanic 4c, C/MX 92966, MPK
TAYLOR, Dennis E, Act/Petty Officer Radio Mechanic, P/MX 116699, MPK
TAYLOR, John W, Ty/Act/Petty Officer, C/JX 226637, MPK
TENWICK, William J E, Able Seaman, C/JX 320246, killed
THOMSON, Alexander, Able Seaman, C/JX 321070, MPK
THOMSON, Robert W, Able Seaman, C/JX 373084, MPK
TONKIN, Ronald J C, Engine Room Artificer 3c, C/MX 51286, MPK
TORKINGTON, Joseph H, Ty/Act/Leading Seaman, C/JX 196736, MPK
TUCKER, Frank W, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 425767, MPK
TUCKER, John A, Stoker 1c, C/KX 137810, MPK
TURPIN, John H, Able Seaman, C/JX 354263, MPK
WARDBY, Thomas E, Ty/Act/Leading Stoker, C/KX 121224, MPK
WEDDERBURN, John, Petty Officer Telegraphist, C/JX 132489, MPK
WHITE, George W, Able Seaman, C/JX 213275, MPK
WHITE, Sylvester, Ty/Chief Ty/Petty Officer, C/JX 127568, MPK
WHITE, Thomas C, Able Seaman, C/JX 372496, MPK
WHITTAM, William, Stoker 1c, C/KX 107360, MPK
WILSON, Lewis L M, Ty/Sub Lieutenant (E), RNVR, MPK
WRAIGHT, Frederick J W, Stoker 1c, C/KX 596340, MPK
WRIGHT, Leonard, Act/Stoker 1c, C/KX 137319, MPK
WYNNE, Norman, Able Seaman, C/JX 375552, MPK
YOUNGER, Walter S, Stoker 1c, C/KX 135279, MPK


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Lest we forget". My wife often repeats a quotation that I find poignant for the memory of these casualties of war, "Growing old is a privilege denied to many."

  3. I messed up the spelling first time, Demetrius, sorry.

  4. Have only just found out some of the history of HMS Boadicea - she was the last boat my dad was on. All I can remember is late in the War after going all over the place, he suddenly was sent up to Rosyth in Scotland, and was a Master at Arms there for a while,(I always remember him saying how so many of the chaps there spoke Gaelic and he couldn't understand a word they were saying). Then he was fairly soon back to another shore job at Chatham. It was very lucky for us he wasn't on Boadicea. I never knew until relatively recently that she HAD been sunk and how. Dad was a boy sailor (straight from Barnados) (I never knew that either)towards the end of the lst World War at Scapa Floe, and then sent out to the Far East on HMS Hawkins. I have photos. I know he helped in the huge Yokohama Earthquake. He didn't really speak much about anything else regarding the War, though I have personal photos on Boadicea. He never ever mentioned that she had been sunk. I think we were all so glad the War was over and try to all start again.

  5. My Grandad was on the Bodicea during world War Two. I grew up listening to stories of how a series of strange coincidents saved his life. My Grandad was a gunner and ships mate. The ship was docked, and the other three men with the same jobs were on 6 weeks leave. Another ship The Narcisis was about to leave when a gunner/ships mate slipped and broke his leg, resulting in my Grandad being transfered to the Narcisis. Obviously he did not want to leave as all his friends were on the Bodicea and he was not given any time to say goodbye. He had no choice but to go.Not long after this the Bodicea was destroyed. My Grandad told me all were lost, however Iv read that their were survivours. Not sure which is true. The fact is that he would have been killed and I would not be here. My Grandad is an amazing man with a memory most would envy. He is almost 95 years old. One day i will sit with him and get all the correct details and dates from him. He also has many photos of his time on the Bodicea. Fate is a funny thing!!

  6. Please, other Anonymous, could you ask your Grandad if he knew CPO Frederick William MAY, my Dad, home town was Hastings, East Sussex. Married, one daughter.

  7. I wonder if anyone has any photos/memories of my uncle Warren John PHILP O/S C/JX542203 who went down with the Boadicea. We have his formal photo in uniform but it would be great to know more about his time on board, who he was friends with, what he did etc. We have a few of his letters home but of course he couldn't give out too much information. Thankyou.

  8. I have two photos with 3 other men on the ship, but no names at all on the back, and they are older men, as Dad was. They are well wrapped up and all look very cold. I do believe there was a great spirit of togethermess and that Dad was proud of being on that ship. He said he had great mates. He never talked much, except about experiences in China & Japan pre WW2, but said he had to swim around in the water once as a ship was hit & there were people in the water, but I thought that was in the Atlantic. As said previously, he was on Boadicea all through the war. Have photo of Dad at Gibraltar (no way of mistaking that rock). Joyce

  9. my dad was a survivor of the boadicea his name was ronald charles sabin ,i also have some photos .my e mail is

  10. My father's cousin, Alan Richardson, was lost when the Boadicea went down. He was newly married and his daughter was born 3 months after he died. After much searching, I made contact with her yesterday. I would be thrilled to be able to pass on information to her.
    Bill Richardson:

  11. For the attention of Damon Sabin, my Uncle was a survivor of the sinking of the HMS BODICEA. I have e.mailed you but address rejected is correct?. Trevor Stockton.

    1. Hi Trevor,
      My Uncle able seaman William Stevens went down with the Boadicea. Would your uncle remember him?

  12. My cousin was Ken Thompson who was a CPO on Boadicea and survived the sinking. He passed away a few years ago. I've tried to build up the Wikipedia page on the ship so would welcome any pictures. I can be contacted at mdhnight(at)aol(dot)com. Matthew

  13. My uncle, Sydney Jefferys was an able seaman on the Boadicea, unfortunately he was amongst the brave souls lost to the sea. His younger brother, Leslie Jefferys is my father and proudly wears Uncle Syd's medals at every Rememberance Day at the cenotaph in our village of Brotton. Might there be anyone out there that knew my uncle or perhaps the family? My sister and I are trying to put together some information for dad, it seems so much easier nowadays with the technology we have at our fingertips.

  14. I have a precious photo of my dad with 2 seaman with comments written on the reverse by him. My dad served as a telegrapher on HMS Enterprise during D-Day. On the reverse he's written "taken during a stand-easy", "up the Sparkers" and "Bob - lost on HMS Bodaecia at Normandy". My dad trained at Skegness and it's quite obvious he was pals with these 2 seamen, so Bless you Bob and "up the Sparkers". I'm out here, should I be of some use to a dear family or a WWII/ Naval/ D-Day enthusiast. xx

  15. My Granddad was killed on this ship. I would love any photos or stories any one might have as my dad was only 12 when the ship went down and would love to be able to give him some information. My Granddad was Walter Spencer Younger he was a stoker 1st class

  16. My grandfather was one who lost his life, I wonder if any of those photos would include him. Long shot I no. He was James cocker stoker petty officer. I would love to find out more about him as my mother was a young girl when he passed.

  17. Would anybody interested in joining our small group of relatives that lost men on HMS Boadicea please contact me. My Grandafther was Able Seaman Tom Heron and we hold a small service either in the cemetery at Portland or out at Sea weather permitting each year on the anniversary of her sinking.

    my e mail is and we also have a facebook page set up.

    Graeme Heron

  18. Does anyone know the names of the survivors? My great uncle James Thomson was on the Boadicea but I'm unsure if he was there at the end. He did survive the war tho. I wondered if it was the same person Joyce is speaking about as his daughter was Joyce. Thanks Helen

  19. My Uncle was William Tenwick he was killed when the Boadicea was sunk. I have several photos of him and I have his bible and medals. He had been on her for some time on convoy duty.