HMS Worcester launches her assault on the pocket battle ships on 12 Febuary 1942 Pinted by by Montague Dawson
The modified W class destroyer Worcester
was built by J. Samuel White at Cowes, launched on October 24th. 1919
and then towed across to Portsmouth Dockyard for completion. She
was commissioned on September 20th. 1922, the last but one of the class
to be put into service. In 1924 she was part of the 4th.
Destroyer Flotilla, Mediterranean Fleet and apart from a brief spell in
China she spent most of the interwar years in the Med.
In December 1943 she struck a mine but
refused to sink and was towed round to Sheerness but was not considered
worth repairing and taken to London as an accommodation ship and
source of spares for her sister ships. She was renamed Yeoman in June 1945 probably to release the name Worcester for use on a new destroyer and finally scrapped at Grays in February 1947.
short list of officers known to have served on HMS Worcester during World War II, further names will be added later. The links are to entries on the unithistories.com web site.
Sub Lt. Guy Agard-Butler, RN(May 1941 - Feb 1942)
Sub Lt. William Bowmer RNVR (5 Dec 1941 -
C.Eng. Hugh Griffiths RN (June 1940 -
Sub.Lt. Ronald Hardman RNR
Sub Lt N.L. Humpreys RN (April - June 1940) killed at Dunkirk Surg Lt David C. Jackson RNVR (Sept 1941 - Feb 1942)
Lt. A.T. Morgan RNVR (April 1940 -)
Wt Eng T. Smillie (Aug 1939 -
Lt. Anthony R.Taudevin, RNVR (July 1941 -
Sub Lt J.F.N. Wedge, RNVR (June 1941 - Gunner (T) L.G. Wellman (Aug 1940 -
Gunner (T) E.F. Wheeler (April 1940 -
Surg Lt F. Whitwell RNVR (May 1940 - Lt Dennis Williams RNVR (July 1940 - Dec 1941)
Winterbottom RN (June 1940 -
Lt. F.G. Woods RN (- April 1940)
Former Full Members of the V & W Destroyer Assoociation H.
Barnett (Portsmouth), R. Barton (London), H. Does (Salisbury, Wilts),
H. Davis (Caldicot, Gwent), A.W. Eaton (Nottingham), Vic Green
(Cheltenham, Glos.), Hardman (Haslemere (Surrey), J. Henley (Witham,
Essex), Norman Hollis (Wrexham, Clwyd),
Dr David Jackson (Brisbane, Australia), R. Madden (Kings Lynn,
Norfolk), J.F.N. "Bill" Wedge (Carshalton, Surrey), D. Williams (Troon,
The Training Ship of the Sea Cadet Unit at Worcester is TS Worcester
When the V & W Destroyer Association was dissolved in April 2017
its funds were distributed to the eight Sea Cadet Units with Training
Ships named after a V & W Class destroyer
Please get in touch if you have a family member who served in HMS Worcester
This web site about HMS Worcester was researched and edited by
Vic Green, Hon Secretary of the V & W Destroyer Association
Vic's father, who had the same
name as his son, was a wireman in the torpedo branch on HMS Worcester
from 1940-2 and this inspired his son to spend several years researching her history:
that time electrical supply aboard ships was dealt with by the Torpedo
branch, they covered all the low power circuits such as telephones,
gunnery torpedo and depth charge circuits, supplies to radio and
so on. Dad was rated as Wireman and his action station generally
alternated between the rear of the bridge and aft at the torpedo
tubes. During the Channel Dash he was on the bridge, his opposite
number was on the tubes, had it been the other way round I would not be
The name "Worcester" was first
carried by a 48 gun warship as part of Cromwell’s Navy of the
Commonwealth in 1650; the name was continued in 1698, 1735, 1769, 1820,
1876 and finally 1918. The third Worcester
had the distinction of having a certain Horatio Nelson as Acting Fourth
Lieutenant; he joined on October 1st. 1776 and spent 6 months aboard
before leaving having passed the examination for Lieutenant and no
doubt looking for greater glory!
The fifth and sixth Worcesters
give rise to confusion since they were both training ships established
to train boys for a career in the Merchant Navy. The Admiralty granted
permission for them to use the HMS prefix but they did not fly the
white ensign, they carried the defaced blue ensign to show their
honorary Royal Naval Reserve status, all very well for them but sadly
Google can’t tell the difference so an internet search will throw up
thousands of irrelevant sites.
The V & W Worcester was
ordered from J. Samuel White shipbuilders on March 20th 1918 as one of
44 Torpedo Boat Destroyers and Leaders most of which were cancelled
when the Armistice of November 11th. 1918 was declared. Worcester, however, survived this
first hurdle and in August 1919 J. Samuel White were instructed, “Work
of dismantling Wrangler &
Werewolf may be proceeded with
at once, also work necessary to launch Worcester”,
which finally took place on October 24th 1919 after which she was to be
towed to Portsmouth Dockyard for completion. Fairfield Shipyard in
Glasgow were instructed to send the machinery they had made for HMS Wave to Portsmouth to be fitted
It must have fitted because in September 1922 the full power trials
took place and presumably the engines were satisfactory since the
report is mostly concerned with excessive vibration of the cupboards in
the galley. Gunnery trials took place later in the month and the
ship was formally commissioned on 16 November 16 1922 with the crew
from HMS Vampire.
Her first commission was with the 1st. Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet,
when she was sent to Ireland to support the Irish Free State Government
though it was never clear what support a destroyer could give. This was
followed by a period at Gallipoli to curtail the activities of Mustapha
Kummel though again how this was to be achieved was a mystery to the
crew (and remains a mystery to researchers.)
Worcester spent most of the
interwar years as part of the Mediterranean Fleet. This was a time of
cutbacks when most orders were prefaced by W.U.E (With Utmost Economy)
and destroyers went in and out of reserve on a rotation basis which at
least meant that they all received a certain amount of maintainance.
1936 saw the hard up Admiralty swopping some destroyers for a liner to
be used as a training ship, with her customary talent for survival Worcester avoided that fate.
As the war clouds began to loom training became ever more important and
on 16 February 1937 some of the destroyers were at sea off Malta
practising torpedo attacks with the cruiser Galatea as their target. The
log entries are a masterpiece of brevity:
11.18 collided with Worcester
11.19 collided with Antelope
11.21 in collision with Active
11.20 in collision with Active
11.21 Active in collision
And by 7 o’clock that night Worcester
and Active had discharged
fuel and ammunition and were tucked up in No. 3 dock at Malta.
By the end of 1937 Worcester
was back in U.K. waters as part of the Portsmouth Local Flotilla for
Gunnery School duties before paying off into dockyard control at
Chatham for a lengthy refit. She recommissioned as part of the 11th.
Destroyer Flotilla, Western Approaches on May 9th. 1940 with Cdr. J.H.
Allinson in command and Lt. F.G. Woods as First Lt. Lt. Woods was
one of the four who escaped from the submarine Thetis
when she went down in Liverpool Bay in June 1939. Many people
blamed him (unjustly in my view) for the catastrophe which cost
99 lives and as a result the other officers sent him to Coventry so
orders had to be passed to him via a signalman, not a pleasant position
to be in.
May 25th. 1940 saw Worcester
some 120 miles north of Lands End when she received orders to proceed
to Dover, the evacuation from Dunkirkwas about to begin.
The Wardroom of HMS Worcester
Sub Lt John F.N. "Bill" Wedge, RNVR
Bill Wedge was the last officer alive who took part in the Channel Dash when he died aged 98 on the 7th January 2020
This photograph of the new CO, "Dreamy" Coats, and his officers was taken in Poplar Dock, East London, while she was undergoing repairs after Dunkirk Back row left to right: Sub. Lt. Dennis Williams RNVR,
Sub.Lt. Ronald Hardman RNR, C.Eng. Hugh Griffiths RN, Lt. F.W.L.
Winterbottom RN, Gunner (T) L.G. Wellman
Seated left to right: Lt. F.G. Woods RN , Lt.Cdr. E.C. Coats RN, Lt. Morgan RNVR
Two officers killed at Dunkirk are missing: Sub Lt Humpreys
joined on the 20 April and died from his wounds on 2 June 1940
26 year old Wt Engineer Thomas Smillie from Dumbarton who served in several V & W destroyers Courtesy of Vic Green
Bill Wedge wrote this informal account of his fellow officers in the Wardroom of HMS Worcester in 1941-2
"Much has been written about service
in the V and Ws, and 'Hard Lying' very successfully covers almost every
aspect except perhaps life in the wardroom, which I joined in Worcester in May 1941 as a very green midshipman after service as the telegraphist in a magnetic-minesweeper, HM Trawler Norse, based in the Thames estuary. Wardroom was a term used to describe the officers as a group as well as the actual room.
wardroom was overseen by the
First Lieutenant. The catering was run by a Petty Officer steward and
the three shillings a day messing item on my bill from 1941 (on right)
must have been paid to him to enhance the basic food allowance. The
steward reported to the Mess Secretary and the signature on the Mess
Bill is that of the Commissioned Engineer, Hugh Griffiths, who was
awarded the DSC for getting us home safely after the Channel Dash
action. He kept the accounts, issued the monthly bills and bought the
duty-free drinks and cigarettes from a firm called Saccone and Speed whose representatives had access to HM Ships.
Officers and men were also entitled to buy cheaply monthly tins of
cigarettes or pipe tobacco supplied by the Navy. Pipe smokers could
instead take bunches of tobacco leaves which were placed on a piece of
cloth, sprinkled with rum from someones ration and bound very tightly
with thin rope. After some weeks this produced a hard block of tobacco
from which were shaved pipe fillings which were very strong and, to me,
a very unattractive smoke.
The captain had his own cabin in which he ate alone
and only came into the wardroom if invited. On the other hand he would
occasionally ask officers to join him, in my case to play chess, rather
The other officers ate and spent
much of their spare time in the wardroom, where there was a gramophone
fed by members’ own records. Probably deliberately to encourage
physical activity the First Lieutenant would sometimes initiate a
“rough house” - some sort of game involving wrestling.
Executive officers never drank at
sea, though the ship’s company still had their rum, so almost as
soon as we were back in harbour we were likely to send or receive a
signal “RPC ” - Request the Pleasure of your Company [for a lunch time
drink]. The reply was “WMP”, With Much Pleasure [or occasionally “MRU”,
Much Regret Unable. Those free to accept almost always drank gin
and Rose’s lime juice which cost the mess twopence a time. Whisky was
three pence, and few risked the unpopularity of asking for a
sixpence-a-glass beer. Wren officers were, of course sometimes
entertained and, rather surpisingly, non commissioned officers and
I married a Plymouth boats' crew member. I think the cost of mess
entertainment was shared equally between the members of the Mess. Runs ashore for the then youthful,
non-drinking virtuous me, at base at Dovercourt, were for a cinema
visit, a café or a little shopping.
Away from the social side, each
officer was responsible for a part-of-ship and its men [forecastle,
quarterdeck etc.] but the First Lieutenant was responsible for the
daily allocation of work, among other things. Wardroom members were
allowed the services of a volunteer seaman to do their dhobeying,
polish shoes, bring hot water to cabin washstands, etc. He also filled
the wardroom bath as required - this was in the ship’s office and had a
wooden cover which served as the desk top. The office was my
responsibility and moistened papers were not unknown. Lt Cdr E. Colin Coats RN
Had served in first war. Greying rather curly hair, reddish complexion.
Light blue eyes. Wife Swedish. Two children - girls, I think. He often
had a pleasant half smile, but was rather taciturn and difficult to
know. Was certainly keen to get into action and during my time with him
collected a Mention in Despatches, a DSC and a DSO. At sea he rarely
left the bridge, where he sat, muffled in a heavy woollen jersey,
seaboot stockings, an old reefer jacket and duffel coat. He drank gin,
of course and liked Wrens [didn’t we all?] He had been called back as
a reservist, having been into some sort of antique dealing, which he
probably continued after the war. Lived in Kensington.
Lt. Morgan RNVR
First Lieutenant. Broke fingers in collapsed deckchair very soon
after I joined, April /May 1941 [Morgan joined Worcester in April
Lt Anthony R Taudevin RNVR
First Lieutenant, bearded, dark haired. Hard-working, efficient.
Popular. Was, I think, In some sort of market gardening in Cheshire. NB Taudevin joined Worcester
23 July 1941 (Naval List) so could not be the bearded officer in the
photograph taken while Worcester was under repair after Dunkirk. He was
probably Lt F G Woods RN who joined in April 1940; Bill Wedge's memory may have let him down. Sub Lt. Dennis Williams RNVR
Glaswegian. Left soon after I joined. Amusing, cheerful, rather
raffish. Grew hair rather longer than most and had a certain style.
Survived the war though wounded in Malta.
Sub Lit. Ronald Hardman RNR Left
soon after I joined. Was taught in the Conway,
Navy training ship. A cheerful and able man, survived the
war and worked in the
Lt. F.W.L. Winterbottom RN
Tall, good looking. Typical RN young officer Efficient, friendly. Volunteered for submarine service and was killed in one.
Surg. Lt. David C. Jackson RNVR
An Australian , always keen to point out that he was not RANVR having
joined the British Navy after gaining paediatric experience in London.
Average build, dark hair, slim. Good company. Became absorbed in
“Worcester” history. Wrote an article about the Channel Dash for Blackwoods magazine and later published a book, “One Ship One Company” about the seven Worcesters,
1650-1950. Following the channel action he worked in HMS Dolphin on the
development of midget submarines and human torpedoes. After the war he
returned home to Brisbane where he practised as a consultant
paediatrician and was president of the Australian College of
Paediaterics. He was made a member of the Australian Order (AM) for his
services to medicine.
Sub Lt. Guy D. Agard-Butler RN
Slim, dark haired, good looking, charming. Believed to be a vicar’s
son. Switched to Fleet Air Arm and was killed flying from Gibraltar.
Commissioned Engineer Hugh Griffiths RN
Tall, well-built, greying hair. Very sound, pleasant man who won a DSC for bringing Worcester back from the channel.
Gunner [T] L.G.C. Wellman
Average build, sturdy, dark haired. Responsible for torpedoes and 12 pounder gun. Pleasant but a little reserved.
Sub Lt. W. Bowmer RNVR
Joined just before channel action. Was later killed in HMS Martin off North Africa.
Bill Wedge was the last survivng officer in HMS Worcester when she took part in the Channel Dash on 12 February 1942 and described his memory of that day on this website. He joined Worcester in May 1941 and Sub Lt J.F.N. Wedge RNVR left while she was under repair after the Channel Dash. He served in HMS Mistral, an Air Target Ship for the FAA, from March to July 1942. After breaking his leg playing rugby he joined HMS Iron Duke, a depot ship at Scapa. In August 1943 he was sent to USA to join the newly built Captain Class frigate HMS Garlies, based on Belfast until June 1945. He joined HMS Wheatland
in Plymouth and went into reserve with her at Saltash. In April 1946
rejoined Barclays Bank. Bill Wedge was 98 when he died at Carshalton on 7 January 2020.
Sub Lt John F.N. "Bill" Wedge, RNVR was the last officer alive who took part in the Channel Dash when he died aged 98 on the 7th January 2020 For more about Bill Wedge's life read Ron Crompston's obituary of his father-in-law
The Ship's Company of HMS Worcester after Dunkirk
In all probability all the men in this photograph of the ship's company of HMS Worcester would have had a copy of this photograph.
This copy was supplied by Alan Cowburn, the son of Harry Cowburn whose
story is told at the foot of this page. If your family has better
copy do please let me know.
If you can you identify any of the men in this photograph I shall add
their names and hope to add further details of their service in the
This photograph of the Ship's Company of HMS Worcester was taken in Poplar Dock, on the Isle of Dogs in East London, while she was undergoing repairs after the Dunkirk evacuation The officers can be easily identified by comparison with the
photograph below but only six ratings have been
identified so far - it is hoped that further names can be added later
Lofty Childs and Tom King are third and second from the end of the long
row top right with a smiling Harry Cowburn fifth from right and his
friend Charlie Hill, face partly hidden, in. the row in front
Harry Cowburn and Charlie Hill were in the HMS Worcester football team - see the photograph below
Stoker Eddie Hill who was badly wounded in he left arm is on the left
in the long row at the back and Harry Philips is sitting
crosslegged to the left of
the capstan in the front Courtesy of Vic Green
When I am contacted by the families of the men in this photograph of the ship's Company of HMS Worcester I
shall add brief details of their lives with photographs supplied by
their families. If you woukd like to add an entry for a member of your
family please mail details to me, Bill Forster by clicking on this link, for adding to the website.
Edward "Eddie" Hill, Stoker
little I know about Edward Hill was sent to me by his Great Grandson,
Ian Parsons. Eddie Hill was born in Rotherham, Yorkshire, on 26 September 1900 and died
there in 1992. If his Service Certificate can be traced it will provide exact details of his service in the Navy,
including the names of the ships in which he served.
Ian told me that his Great Grandfather lied about his age when he joined the Royal Navy as
a "boy sailor" during the Great War and was 16 when the photograph on the right was taken. Ian
was told that:
"He was a stoker on HMS Iron Duke, the flagship of the Grand Fleet, at the Battle of Jutland in May 1916. Possibly served on Repulse and Renown during the 1920s. I think he retired from the RN in the early 30s and entered the merchant navy."
He was recalled to the Royal Navy at the outbreak of World War 11 and may have served in another ship before joining HMS Worcester as:
"He was in Norwegian fjord and took a
skiff out to do some fishing. Stukas attacked their ship,while out on
the water. Apparently all the bombs missed but hundreds of fishes
floated to the surface, so the crew had fish for a few weeks. Eddie
loved the rough waters off the Bay of Biscay. The new recruits always
got sea-sick so he always got their ration of rum."
"After joining HMS Worcester
he sustained a serious injury during the Channel Dash. He had a lump of
tissue blown off his arm around his elbow. Pieces of shrapnel remained
in him until his death. Apparently his second wife removed a piece from
his foot ten years later. His first wife died of pneumonia in 1942. He
married again around 1949.
Unsure if he continued in Royal Navy or returned to the Merchant Navy
aware he was in convoys to Russia as I used to wear his old heavy duty
naval duffel coat as a boy. He was a career seaman, spending
forty years at sea from the age of 16. Two of his sons are still alive,
Ian Parson's Grandfather lives in England aged 94 and a son by his
second marriage lives in Australia. I am hoping that they will provide
further details of his naval service, including his Service Certificate
and photographs of HMS Worcester and his shipmates."
The ship's Football team
This photograph of the ship's football team was taken on the deck of HMS Worcester while she was being repaired after Dunkirk
It is taken from the same position as the one of the officers
above and may have been taken on the same occasion by the same
Harry Cowburn (P/JX 177814) is second from right seated and his best friend
Charlie Hill (P/JX 175343) stands behind him second from right - their story is told
below Courtesy of Alan Cowburn who tells their story below
Harry and Charlie’s Story
Harry Cowburn was born on 29 August
1919 at the mill town of Leigh in Lancashire and left school when he
was fourteen. His son Alan Cowburn told me "there were two choices for
working class lads in Leigh, coal mine or cotton mill". Harry
Cowburn was working in the cotton mill when he was called up for
"the period of the present emergency" on 17 January 1940 and told his
son he joined up "to get out of the Mill". He was assigned JX177814 as
his service number and after basic training at HMS Royal Arthur, a former Butlins Holiday Camp at Skegness, he joined HMS Worcester as an Ordinary Seaman on 16 April 1940, shortly before the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) from Dunkirk.
"Harry joined his first ship HMS Worcester
in April 1940 and quickly struck up a friendship will fellow
‘Northerner’ Charlie Hill (P/JX 175343); they shared a love for
football and both were accomplished amateur players. Charlie lived in
Crosby, Liverpool, and Harry some 20 miles away in the mill town of
Leigh. Charlie and Harry would travel together to Liverpool on leave
and Harry would catch a train for the short journey to Leigh to see his
parents. Charlie's girlfriend, Lilian Joyce Levell, but always known as
Eileen, proposed to him in a poem (1940 was a leap year, when the
lady could propose to the gentleman) and Charlie accepted.
wasn’t long before they saw action in the evacuation of the BEF from
Dunkirk. When I asked Harry about Dunkirk, he said it was
undescribable, unless you were there you couldn't comprehend it. He
never really mentioned what he was doing, but what impressed him most
was howthe Beach Masters operated, the way the soldiers followed orders
under the bombing and strafing was awe inspiring. Soldiers, sometimes
up to their necks in water, wading out in lines and when they were told
"That's it Lads" they just turned around without a word and went back
to the beaches.
They both came through the experience unscathed but never forgot what
they had seen. When they had disembarked the soldiers after their last
trip, the crew slept wherever they happened to be; many years later
Harry would say if “you’re tired enough you can sleep on a clothes
line”. When Worcester
was being repaired after Dunkirk in Poplar Dock, London, a football
match was arranged with another ships’ crew - I don’t know which.
Harry and Charlie were both in the team and this photograph was taken
aboard HMS Worcester. Football matches were encouraged in port to boost morale and restore some form of normality.
By now Harry and Charlie had become
firm friends and after Harry had visited his parents in Leigh he
would return to Liverpool a day early to have a night out with Charlie,
Eileen and one of her friends. He would stay at Eileen’s parents house
overnight ready to catch the train South to re-join the ship. When
Charlie and Eileen married on 18 June 1941 at St. John Parish Church,
Waterloo, Liverpool, Harry, attended the wedding. They continued to
meet up whenever they got shore leave.
The Worcester was
in action on North Sea convoy escort duty between the Thames estuary
and the Firth of Forth where German E-Boats were the main hazard until
Worcester was one of the six V & W Class destroyers from the 16DF
and 21DF assembled at Harwich for the attack on the German ships
on their dash through the Straits of Dover from Brest to Germany on 12
February 1942. On the day before the action Charlie Hill wrote to
Eileen and some brief extracts are given below:
11th February 1942
My Dearest Darling Wife,
Thanks sweet for the lovely letter received today ... Remember me
telling you we sunk an E-Boat, well a few of the boys have been awarded
the DSM and few have been mentioned.
The next time we get leave I’ll ask Harry if he would like us to go
down to his place this time, it would be a nice change if we do,
Harry went ashore tonight, I was ok so I’m hoping he’ll bring me a
“pint” back, so keep your fingers crossed for me love ... Harry has
just come back and good enough he’s brought me a bottle ...
Lots of Love
This was the last letter Charlie
wrote before he died on the 13 February from his injuries sustained in
the Channel Dash action the previous day. The next correspondence
Eileen received was the dreaded telegram from the naval Barracks in
Portsmouth informing her of his death. Eileen had been married eight
months and was a widow aged 21. Charlie was buried alongside his
shipmates in Shotley Cemetery, Eileen and Charlie’s parents attended,
as did Harry and those who were able from Shotley Sick Quarters.
Harry was more fortunate, he was
hospitalised) for minor injuries to his elbow and thigh and shrapnel
abrasions to his head, which he told me everyone got to varying
degrees. After Harry was discharged from hospital he was transferred to
HMS Vanessa on 29 April 1942 and his ‘home’ shore base changed from Portsmouth to HMS Eaglet in Liverpool. The Vanessa
was seconded to long range escort duties in the North Atlantic where
Harry encountered what he described as the worst enemy, the weather.
Harry served out the war on HMS Vanessa encountering German U-Boats and
raging seas; he wasn’t one for talking much about his wartime, he had
seen his fair share of action and he would tell the odd story but it was mainly the funny ones which stuck in my memory. When one of his shipmates went missing he was presumed to be ‘lost at
sea’ but they found him alive, though not well, two days later; he
had fallen over while being violently seasick, into a locker full of
wet duffle coats, others sailors then chucked their wet coats into the
locker, covering him up!
When sailing out of Liverpool,
Harry took every opportunity to either ‘nip home’ to Leigh or visit
Eileen and her family to check how she was coping. Harry was doing what
Charlie had asked him; that if anything happened to him to make sure
Eileen was ok, “to look after her”. Finally, Harry wrote to
Eileen telling her of Charlie's request and asked her to marry him;
they had known each other for over three years and had always got
on together when Charlie was alive and since his death. Harry and
Eileen married on 10 April 1943 at St.Thomas’s Church Leigh, they
managed a short trip to Blackpool to celebrate before Harry had to
report back to his ship. Harry and Eileen lived with her parents in
Sandon Street, Waterloo, her parents house where she had lived with
Eileen Hill became Eileen Cowburn,
my mother. Harry and Eileen had two sons; my older brother, Brian
Charles Cowburn (1944-2015), named after Charlie, joined the Royal Navy
and served in destroyers, including HMS Cassandra, a sister ship of HMS Cavalier,
the only surviving wartime destroyer, in Chatham Naval Dockyard.
Harry returned to Leigh in 1951 but not to the Mill; he worked for
Anchor Cables (BICC) until he retired and played football for them well
into his forties. Harry and Eileen were married until Harry's death in
1989 aged 69, Eileen died in 2012 aged 92, sixty years after the death
of her first husband. She had two wedding photographs on her dressing
table until the day she died. It seems appropriate to remember their
marriage on the 80th anniversary of the Channel Dash.
Eileen and Harry never forgot
Charlie; I never heard him mention any other shipmate by name, I am
guessing that he did not want to get that close to anyone again during
his wartime service."