- Halstead POW Camp, Essex during the Second World War -
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Halstead POW Camp, Essex
HMS Halstead was a frigate, one of a large number built in the USA for the Royal Navy. She measured 1300/1840 tons and was armed with 3 x 3in, 2 x 40mm and 8 x 20mm guns, and carried 160 depth charges. She was completed and commissioned at Boston in November 1943, the crew joining her there. After working up in North American waters she crossed the Atlantic to join Nore Command (Sheerness). She was employed, along with her sisters in screening convoys in the English Channel. On 24 April 1944 in company with two other frigates she was in action whilst protecting a convoy which was attacked by a number of German torpedo boats off the Sussex coast; this was a fierce action fought at close range. She was present at the D-Day landings at Normandy, screening the ships carrying troops to the British landing beaches.
After the Normandy landings there were a series of naval actions between Allied and German forces, mainly involving enemy fast torpedo craft attempting to attack allied shipping. On the night of 11th/12 June 1944, she was off the French coast, near Cherbourg, in company with her sister ship, the Stayner, screening the continued efforts to supply British forces in France, when eleven German torpedo boats made a determined effort to attack allied shipping. A series of running actions commenced between the German and British warships. At 3.15 a.m. she was hit by a torpedo which exploded in the bows, and which blew off the whole of the forward part of her hull. She somehow stayed afloat and was taken in tow back to Portsmouth. Although temporarily repaired she saw no further service and was sent to the scrapyard in 1947.
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Those known to have been held in or employed at
Halstead POW Camp, Essex
during the Second World War 1939-1945.
- Bentley Jesse. Leading Seaman (d.11th June 1944)
- Berkeley Rowland William. Writer. (d.11th June 1944)
- Cobby Lesley Ernest. (d.11th Jun 1944)
- Cooper Alfred Henry. (d.11th Jun 1944)
- Heslop Harry. Able Seaman.
- Scammells Frederick Henry George. P/SSX 30905 (d.11th Jun 1944)
- Stanley William George. (d.11th Jun 1944)
- Kirk Erwin Otto.
The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List
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Leading Seaman Jesse Bentley HMS Halstead (d.11th June 1944)Leading Seaman Jesse Bentley was killed on the 11th June 1944 on board HMS Halstead. He was aged 32 and lived with his wife and child at Rowlands Castle, Hampshire.George Yalden
Able Seaman. Harry Heslop HMS HalsteadOne of my relatives Able Seaman Harry Heslop from Thornaby on Tees was killed on the 11th June 1944, while serving on HMS Halstead.Raymond Todd
P/SSX 30905 Frederick Henry George "Micky" Scammells HMS Halstead (d.11th Jun 1944)I am trying to trace, what happened to my uncle in World War Two. His name was Micky Scammels and his name is on the memorial post in Selsy, West Sussex. Just south of Chichester, West Sussex. He enlisted into the Royal Navy, we think in 1938,and I believe he was on a submarine when it went down, my grandmother was informed that he was missing in action. I know that is where he lived at the time he went missing, and did not come home. Please can you tell me where I can find out more about him. He had two children at the time, his widows name was Betty. Thank you so much.
I have checked the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site, which lists only one man of the name
Frederick Henry George Scammells Able Seaman official number P/SSX 30905
killed in action 11.6.1944 HMS Halstead
24 years old Husband of Betty, of Selsey, Sussex
Name engraved on Portsmouth Naval War Memorial
I would think that this would be your uncle. The official number with the prefix P/SSX shows that he would have been based at Portsmouth and had joined on a 'short service' engagement (seven years with a further five in the reserve).
I trust this will help
My father, F.H.G.Scammells (Micky) died on 11th June 1944 aboard HMS Halstead along with Lesley Cobby, Alfred Cooper, Harry Heslop and others. Any information on his friends, pictures etc will be welcome. I was only 2 years old at the time.
Danny ScammellsShirley Betteridge
William George Stanley HMS Halstead (d.11th Jun 1944)My Uncle, William George Stanley was one of the crew members of HMS Halstead, unfortunately he too died on that night of 11th June 1944.Christopher Stanley
Writer. Rowland William "Ron" Berkeley H.M.S. Halstead (d.11th June 1944)My uncle Ron Berkeley was a serving ship's writer on HMS Halstead in the 2nd World War. I have little information about him and his job on the ship and would love to hear any story or information about him. I know he was killed on the ship on the fateful night of 11th June 1944 and would be so grateful to know more about the role of the ship that night.
How brave those people were, and so selfless. I have no photos of my uncle Ron now, though I remember as a boy his picture hanging in a place of honour in our home.Mick Duerden
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