The Wartime Memories Project - HMS Forfar



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Information.

HMS Forfar was built by Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd in Glasgow being launched in 1920 as passenger ship Montrose(II) of the Canadian Pacific Steamships Ltd. In 1939 she was requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to an armed merchant cruiser and renamed HMS Forfar. Many of the crew remained with the ship under the T124X agreement which subjected them to Royal Navy rules, but ensured they retained their Merchant Navy ranks and pay.

On 2nd December 1940 HMS Forfar was torpedoed and sunk by 5 torpedeos from the the German submarine U-99. HMS Forfar had just escorted the convoy HX-90 and was about 500 miles west of Ireland. 36 officers, including her Captain and 136 men lost their lives. The survivors were rescued by the Canadian destroyer HMCS St. Laurent, the British destroyer HMS Viscount and the British merchant Dursley.



Those who served on HMS Forfar during the Second World War.

If you have any names to add to this list, or any recollections or photos of those listed, please get in touch.





Ord. Seaman E. Brunson HMS Forfar

Ord Seaman E Brunson was one of the survivors when HMS Forfar was lost on the 2nd of December 1940.



Lt. Skipper. George Ladley DSC. HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)

My Great Great Uncle George Ladley was a Lt. skipper on board the vessel when it sank. I wondered if anybody had any information regarding him or if they can advise me where to find the information. I would be grateful for any help or advice.



Midshpmn. T. R. Buchan HMS Forfar

Mid. Buchan was one of the officers who had remained with the ship under the T124 agreement. He was amongst the survivors when she was lost on the 2nd of December 1940.

Christmas night 1939, Broadhurst, Adams, Buchan and Ormerod.

Buchan and his Mother in thier garden at Kilkreggan, Summer 1940



Lt. Eng. L. C. McGowan HMS Forfar

Lt McGowan was one of the officers who had transferred with the ship under the T124 agreement. He survived the sinking on the 2nd of December 1940.



C.P.O. A. E. Anderson HMS Forfar

CPO Anderson was amongst the survivors when HMS Forfar was lost.



Trimmer William Carson HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)

William Carson.

William Carson died on the 2 December 1940, Aged 19. When HMS Forfar was sunk. He was the son of Thomas and Sarah Carson, husband of Louisa Carson, of Liverpool. He is remembered on an inscription on Naval Memorial, Pierhead, Liverpool.

William was my father-in-law's cousin, John Swanson who as a stoker in the RN survived the Russian Convoys, Sicilian Landings & 'D' Day to die peacefully aged 80 at home in Liverpool.

We owe them a great debt and should always remember them. Thank you



Able Seaman. E. Combden HMS Forfar

AB. Combden was rescued when HMS Forfar was lost.



Ord. Seaman A. Taylor HMS Forfar

A.Taylor was one of those who survived teh sinking of HMS Forfar.



Ordinary Signalman C. Atlee HMS Forfar

Signalman C. Atlee was one of those who survived the sinking of HMS Forfar.



Ord. Seaman G. Robinson HMS Forfar

G Robinson was aboard the Forfar when she was torpedoed, he was one of the surviors.



Able Seaman. J. Britt HMS Forfar

Able Seaman Britt was amongst those who survived when the Forfar went down.



Ord. Seaman Jack Prescott HMS Forfar

J Prescott is recorded as being amongst those who survived the sinking of the Forfar.



P.O. J. Gaskell HMS Forfar

P.O. Gaskill was amongst those who survived the sinking of the Forfar.



Act. P.O. H. J. Dewing HMS Forfar

Acting P.O. Dewing survived the sinking of HMS Forfar in 1940. He is listed in the cast of the revue "Get Sailing" which was performed onboard the Forfar on the 19th of June 1940, he is listed as Leading Seaman on the programme.



Act. P.O. Charles H. Lazenby HMS Forfar

Clipping from Hull local Newspaper

Acting P.O. Lazenby survived the sinking of the Forfar on the 2nd of December 1940.



R.P.O. F. W. Hughes HMS Forfar

R.P.O. F Hughes is listed as one of the survivors of the Forfar. He is listed in the cast of the revue "Get Sailing" which was performed onboard the Forfar on the 19th of June 1940.



Able Seaman. F. Bragg HMS Forfar

Able Seaman Bragg survived the sinking of the Forfar.



Seaman H. South HMS Forfar

Seaman South was one of the survivors of the sinking.



Able Seaman. H. Golding HMS Forfar

Able Seaman Golding was one of the surviors of HMS Forfar.



Seaman J. MacKinnon HMS Forfar

Seaman J Mackinon was one of 135 ratings who survived the sinking of HMS Forfar on the 2nd of December 1940



Able Seaman. D. Cooper HMS Forfar

AB. Cooper's name is listed amongst the survivors in a letter sent to my father by Cmdr Arnott. He is listed in the chorus of the revue "Get Sailing" which was performed onboard the Forfar on the 19th of June 1940.



Able Seaman. D. Crockwell HMS Forfar

A.B. Crockwell survived the sinking of HMS Forfar.



Seaman D. McLeod HMS Forfar

McLeod is listed amongst the survivors picked up after the sinking of HMS Forfar. He is also listed in the chorus of the revue "Get Sailing" which was performed onboard the Forfar on the 19th of June 1940.



Ord. Seaman T. Gillen HMS Hunter

T Gillen survived the sinking of HMS Forfar in December 1940.



Midshpmn. Morris C. Ashdown HMS Forfar

Morris Ashdown

Mid. Ashdown was amongst the survivors of the sinking of HMS Forfar.



Midshpmn. James B. F. Smith HMS Forfar

James Smith

Mid. James Smith is listed as one of the survivors of the Forfar.



Midshpmn. James E. Moxon HMS Forfar

James Moxon survived the sinking of the Forfar.



Temp. Sub Lt. Eng. E. J. L. Bailey HMS Forfar

Sub Lt Bailey was amongst the survivors of the Forfar.



Lt Cmdr. Paymstr. H. M. Taylor HMS Forfar

Lt Cmdr Taylor survived the sinking of the Forfar, he was one of the Merchant Navy Officers who had remained with the ship under the T124 agreement when she transferred to the Royal Navy.



Lt J. G. McLaughlin HMS Forfar

Lt McLaughlin was one of 26 officers who survived the sinking of HMS Forfar.



Sub Lt. Thomas Ellis Ladner HMS Forfar

Sub Lt Ladner was amongst the survivors when the Forfar was torpedoed on the 2nd of December 1940



Temp Paymstr. Peter E. Cooper HMS Forfar

Peter Cooper survived the sinking of HMS Forfar, he was one of the Merchant Navy officers who had remained with the ship when she was commandeered, signing the T124x agreement to remain under his current pay and terms, but subject to Royal Naval disipline.



Lt. Robert A. Antrobus HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)

Lt Robert Antrobus

My father had written below this photo: another grand old seadog although a bit of a "rough diamond" and possessed a natural sailors tendancy to "spin a line". He served his time in sail and was serving on the "Montrose" (The Forfar before she was commandeered) at the outbreak of the war. He was famous for his devotion to his budgerigars whom whom he was continually exhorting to "Lay egg, you" and for his perculiar but ctachy expressions e.g. "Ger sailing"

I know nothing of how he died, although suspect he stayed with the Captain. He was 46 years old and the husband of Kate Margaret Antrobus, of Watford, Hertfordshire.



Cmdr Reginald George Arnot HMS Forfar

Cmdr Arnot At the

This letter and list of survivors was sent to Sub Lt Broadhurst by Cmdr Arnot on the 11th of December 1940. A further 13 surviviors were located in a lifeboat some days after this letter was sent.



Lt Hicking HMS Forfar

January 1940

Lt Hicking was one of the survivors when the ship went down on the 2nd of December 1940



Lt Machin HMS Forfar

Lt Machin was one of the survivors when the ship went down on the 2nd of December 1940.



Lt Alexander HMS Forfar

Lt Alexander was one of the survivors when the ship went down on the 2nd of December 1940



Sub Lt. Rogers HMS Forfar

Sub Lt Rogers was one of the survivors when the ship went down on the 2nd of December 1940



Sub Lt. Eng. Askin HMS Forfar

Sub Lt Askin was one of the survivors when the ship went down on the 2nd of December 1940



Mr. Bree Boatswain HMS Forfar

Mr Bree, the boatswain, was one of the survivors when HMS Forfar was sunk on the 2nd of December 1940



Midshpmn. Allan Kerr HMS Forfar

Midshipman Kerr at the prizegiving of a boxing match onboard the Forfar 10th July 1940 he beat OS Penny on points.

Thursday, 12th Dec. 1940.

A week ago today, I was one of fifty-nine survivors of H.M.S. Forfar to be landed at Liverpool. At noon on the same day a party of eighty-seven were landed at Oban by the cargo steamer Dunsley and on Saturday 7th a final batch of thirteen were landed at Gourock by H.M.C.S. St. Laurent, thus bringing the total of survivors to the all too slender figure of one hundred and fifty-nine.

On Sunday night, 1st December, I kept the first watch (8 p.m. till midnight). At eleven o’clock that night I entered in the log “2300 – parted company with destroyer escort”. We had received a wireless message giving the position of a torpedoed vessel and had altered course to the Nor’ard to keep clear when we got another message from Admty. telling us to keep well to the South’ard. By eight bells we had made our second alteration of course and everything was running smoothly. I turned over to my relief and best friend Mackay, and his “Cheery-night” is the last word I heard before going below.

It was a black night, with no moon, and the fitful starlight occasionally obscured by cloud. I undressed, said my prayers and turned in quite happily. My sound sleep was soon broken by a terrific crash! Immediately I was awake. “Torpedoed” flashed through my mind and just as quickly I prayed and switched on my light. Never will I forget the eerie silence that prevailed. The engines had stopped and the lights were dimming rapidly. “Action Stations” was sounded on the klaxons, but this seemed to drain the last few dregs from the dynamo for it petered out and all went black.

I pulled on my uniform and an old jersey on top of my pyjamas, a scarf, cap and raincoat as well as the all-important lifebelt. I can still distinctly remember being annoyed when one of my shoe-laces broke as I pulled on my shoes.

I had an electric torch in my raincoat pocket and by the aid of this light I made my way to the bridge. In the lower chart-room I was able to assist Mr. Broadhurst who was holding a light for the navigator, Lt. Cdr. Kenworthy whilst he (the navigator) plotted our exact position on the chart. This was 54? 19’ N, 19? 54’ W. We should have met our convoy in about 40? W so we had got barely half-way. Broadhurst said, “I suppose it was a torpedo, sir?” and Ken answered, “Oh! Yes.” Well, the position having been ascertained I proceeded out on deck to find out what was happening. I was told that the order had been piped “Proceed to boat stations, turn out boats and stand-by.”

I accordingly proceeded to P3, my boat and the lower of the two (P2 & P3). P2 was swung outboard, when it was remembered that the plugs were not in. Meantime, there being no-one, neither officers or men, for P2, I went below to the Prom. deck in search of same. While here I saw the Bos’n and asked his advice on throwing overside the rope-ladders. With the help of Bos’n’s-mate McPhail we payed out one, then A.B. Smith (Corpl. of Gangway) helped in getting the after one over. During these operations, as the ship rolled in the moderate swell, the rush of air up the engine-room ventilators was quite unnerving. It roared up in a screaming crescendo and I had to take a firm grip on myself to prevent my shuddering. I saw Chief Skipper Ladley at this point, with a bag which he told me contained “a bottle o’ w’iskey and a bottle o’ brandy.”

I next proceeded back to the boat deck and there still being no officer in sight, in charge of P2, I went off to the C.B. room in search of Mr. Ascroft whose boat it was. I found him, in shirt-sleeves, packing the surplus C.Bs into Joe’s (Mid. Ormerod) suitcase. I asked him to come along to his boat as the order had now been given to lower same and stand-by the ship. He asked me if I was P2 and I said, “No sir, P3”. He then gave me a small case containing his personal papers, Master’s ticket etc., told me to take charge of P2 and to get going. On returning yet again to the boat deck I found Lt. Machin in charge of P3. He saw I had a torch so he told me to get into P2 and see that the plugs were in. Two seamen and myself were doing this when at 0345 (0445 G.M.T.) there was a crash seemingly right below us and P4 boat, not 10 ft. away, was smashed.

I crouched low while the debris was flying, realised that I was alone in the boat, took fright and jumped out, into P3 directly below. I heard Ashdown sing out that his boat (P4) was smashed and that his crew would just have to muck in with us. I clambered back into P2. At this stage the 3rd torpedo struck, Port side also, deluging us with water which came spewing out of the engine-room vents. etc. Having survived the previous one, we just crouched low and survived this one also, although now thoroughly soaked. The plugs now being in, one seaman manning the for’ard fall and myself the after one, I gave orders to lower away. I bawled out to ’vast lowering as we came level with the Prom. deck. The ship now had a slight list to Port because we hung about 3 ft. out from the ship’s side. I yelled into the blackness of the Prom. deck “Anybody here for P2?” There was no answer as the deck was deserted. I bawled to the lowerers to carry on lowering and we were soon in the water. The after fall unhooked itself as we rose on the swell and we lay alongside made fast by the painter to the Prom. deck.

Men now came down the rope ladders and as she settled some even jumped from the Prom. deck right into the boat. There would be nearly 20 men in the boat now and I was trying to slip the painter when someone in the water screamed my name. I was dripping with oil fuel even now, as the painter was thickly covered in it, however I got good grip of the young fellow who I think was Radio Cadet Fraser. Another chap and myself were endeavouring to haul him inboard when with a shattering roar we went sailing into the air. The fourth torpedo had struck directly below my boat blowing us right out of the water.

I thought this was finish. I can remember being down under and striking out mechanically for the surface. Just previously I had seen a Carley float for’ard of the boat. I swam to this to find the Postie, P.O. Lazenby and L/S Frank Mayo already “on board”. There were many others inside and all round so I just hung on for a while. Even in these circumstances the lads had to laugh at my appearance. Now capless, with hair and face coated thickly in that treacle-like oil I am sure I was an odd sight. While hanging there, Ken Fisher, a coder, came along and he was in a similar state. The time of the 4th torpedo striking us was approx. 0353 (Zone Time).

Two minutes later the 5th and last torpedo struck, again on the Port side. This was the final blow as the ship broke in two owing to the after magazine blowing sky-high. She was well down by the stern now and I remember the ghastly cracklings as the after end bent inwards crushing the decks like matchwood. She heeled quickly over on her Sta’b’d side, the after end disappeared, and as she settled, she turned right over and sank slowly and steadily by the stern. We had paddled like mad to get well away, but as there were twelve of us and only 2 paddles we did not get very far. However, as she turned over on her Sta’b’d side, she went away from us and there was little suction owing to the slow speed at which she finally settled. As the bows slid away for the last time I said, “Well boys, there goes the last of the old Forfar.” I don’t know why I should make such a melodramatic statement, but it didn’t seem right to me that she should make her last exit unannounced.

We could now see many Carley floats all round and men swimming in the water. We managed to paddle clear of the dreadful oil. I now managed to haul myself onto the float so that my chest rested on the side thus taking the weight off my arms. I kept kicking my legs slowly all the time to keep up the circulation.

Some hours had passed, but it was still dark, when to our great joy we heard a steamer blowing. We could dimly discern her lines and we made a big effort to get alongside. I smelt the cooking from her galley and promised the boys food and sleep. Well, paddle as we might we could not make it, but drifted past her bows and off to leeward. We spied our cutter (the Sta’b’d. one) which had a good number on board, and bellowed at her to give us a hand. She came alongside, took two fellows off (O’Brien and McIvor) then pushed off saying she would come back for us.

In attempting to board the cutter, other two of our number lost their lives. By now we were pretty numb with the cold and could do nothing to help them. One fellow had a leg inside the float and the rest of him in the water. L/S Mayo reported this to me, and on ascertaining that he was beyond help we just had to disentangle his leg and push him overside as his weight was a heavy drag.

We hung on and as it grew light we could clearly see the steamer S.S. Dunsley of Whitby, 3,860 tons, owned by Headlan and Sons of Whitby as she steamed around picking the lads up. We were patiently hanging on awaiting our turn. It was springing up blowey now and we tried to keep the float head to wind, then we tried to keep as near the steamer as possible. This however did not prove a task for which we were able in our present state so we drifted further and further away.

What I think would be three hours after we first sighted her, the Dunsley pushed off. It was a most sickening feeling to see her go. Some of the boys would not believe she was going and brave Mayo, although knowing the truth in his heart, informed us that that she was just picking up more of the lads who were “over there”. I too realised the truth but said nothing.

We all felt thoroughly miserable now seeing our only hope steaming away over our horizon. We did not know that the Dunsley had sighted the destroyers away in the distance and was going to enlist their help. I reckon the time then was about 10.30 a.m.

Anyway, there were a number of floats still about, so we didn’t feel too bad, as long as someone else was in the same plight. We attempted to paddle towards what we thought was a boatload of men, but what turned out to be several Carleys lashed together. Then I definitely did see a boat, the now abandoned cutter. For this we paddled and paddled and paddled. Sometimes we seemed a little nearer, I always encouraged this line of thought at any rate. I remember a shower of rain came on and we smiled a lot of twisted smiles, thinking aloud, had we not already had enough? At about 3.30 p.m. a Carley float overtook us in the race for the cutter. I could see that one of the four occupants was my friend John Morrison, who was still wearing his peculiar little Sou’wester with the bow on top.

We hailed them, saying, “If you get to the cutter first, bring her over for us, and if we get there first (what a hope) we will do the same for you.” They waved a cheery acknowledgement and the four of them, with a paddle each, seemed to whizz off like a speedboat. Before long we saw them tumble on board and we saw that someone else had got there too.

Then we espied an aircraft. This also proved very tantalising as she seemed to fly around the horizon and indeed, to do anything but fly over us.

I wondered if she saw. Anyway I cheered up my mates by assuring them that she did. I now believe such to have been the case, for about an hour later what was our joy as she came close over us to be followed by a destroyer. This was quickly followed by the appearance of a second destroyer and we knew at last that our salvation was at hand. How we thanked God, and shouted, one of us jeopardising the lives of us all by standing up and waving a paddle.

By now we were much nearer the cutter whose mast had been stepped and from which hung a signal of distress in the form of somebody’s scarf. To make the rescue work of our destroyers easier, we made a final big effort and at Mayo’s suggestion, manned a paddle between two. Thus, and by dint of counting up to ten many times, we made the cutter, whose occupants, having fed and rested, got out the oars and met us halfway.

Willing hands helped us tumble inboard and presented us with the oiliest, filthiest but most delicious bully-beef and biscuits which I have yet tasted. This we washed down with equally oily and delicious whiskey which was passed from one eager mouth to another with most amusingly audible enjoyment. From other Carleys we now collected Sub. Lieut. Rogers, Engineer Sub. Lieut. Askin, P.O. Gaskell whose leg was broken and who had received a cut on the head. In the company of these and other grinning “coloured gentlemen” we made further inroads in the iron rations and completely drained the whiskey bottle.

We now sat quite happily watching the destroyers as they picked up some of our less fortunate mates, then the great moment arrived when H.M.S. Viscount came alongside, threw us a line and one by one, took us all on board. It was like heaven. The kindly faces and ready, welcoming hands. We staggered along for’a’d where I was taken charge of by a jovial bloke name o’ Woolcock, L/S. He tore the clothes off me, gave me an amazing and scanty assortment of dry ones and proceeded to wipe my face down with a piece of waste soaked in kerosene. I must have been some sight, judging by the colour that waste became.

I was then given a great mug of hot tea, during the consumption of which I learned that “Joe” (Mid. Ormerod) was also on board. As soon as I was dressed I went to seek him out. I found him arrayed, like a Red man, in a blanket. We were both overjoyed at our meeting and stuck together till we finally parted in the station in Liverpool, where we were landed, three days later.

On board the destroyer we were treated most kindly and have many happy memories of our stay there: the sleepless nights with Joe’s elbow in my ear and Donald Lusk’s knees in my stomach, occasionally being trampled by the none-too-small but happily stockinged feet of Big John Connolly. These disturbances together with the “screwey” motion of the ship gave us much to think about, and to discuss!

I mourn the loss of so many splendid men, but I thank God for them, for their grand example and for their memory which I shall always cherish.

Allan W Kerr.



Radio Cadet John Conolly HMS Forfar

Radio Cadet Conolly survived the sinking of HMS Forfar



Radio Cadet Donald Lusk HMS Forfar

Donald Lusk was one of those rescued after HMS Forfar was lost on the 2nd of December 1940.



Lt G. E. Kernohan HMS Forfar

Lt Kernohan was one of the survivors when the Forfar was sunk on the 2nd of December 1940



Lt J. G. Humphrey HMS Forfar

Lt Humphrey was one of the survivors when the ship went down on the 2nd of December 1940



Midshpmn. David Ronald MacKay HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)

this is a photo from my father's album, Tom Broadhurst and David Mackay

My father had written below the photo: Mackay, David Ronald: One of the very best of fellows and my special friend. Lived in Glasgow and was educated at Kelvinside Academy and Glasgow University. Spent many a happy and riotous evening withhim as one. Was co-editor with him of the "Forfar Journal". I know nothing of how he died.



Midshpmn. John Ormerod HMS Forfar

This is a photo of John Ormerod from my father's album

My father, had written below the photo: John Ormerod who was picked up after 15 hours on a raft by a destroyer. He was in a bad shape and was given artificial respiration for 6 hours before he regained conciousness. Lives in Bradford, Navigator's "Tanky".



Lt Cmdr. James Henry Newton Kenworthy RD HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)

This is  a photo of Lt Cdmr James Kenworthy from my father's album

My father, Sub Lt Broadhurst, had written beneath the picture: Lt Commdr J.H.N. Kenworthy RNR. A grand old sailor, a staunch supporter of the merchant service and the RNR. Revelled in Naval tradition, was serving in the cunard at the outbreak of war.

He refused to leave the Captain, who in turn refused to leave the upper bridge and so died. Navigator of the Forfar.

He was 39 years old, son of John and Maud Kenworthy and husband of Sybil Caldwell Kenworthy, of Crewe, Cheshire.



Able Seaman. Peter Kelly HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)

I had a brother whom I never met who died with the sinking of the HMS Forfar. Peter Kelly, son of Clement and Bridget Kelly of Freshwater, Placentia Bay, Newfoundland. He was born July 21, 1919 and died 2nd December 1940 when the Forfar was lost.

I have often wondered how he died, did he drown or was he killed by the explosions.



Third Electrician William Newell Boyd HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)



Lt Cmdr. (E) John Bertwell "Jack" Davies HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)

My Grandfather Lft Com John (Jack) Bertwell Davies served on the Forfar and was lost on the night of the 2 December 1940. He was Chief Engineer.



Seaman Hugh MacDonald HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)



Cdr. Kenneth MacKarill HMS Forfar

I have just read Allan Kerr's report of the night the Forfar went down. My husband was there that night, he never talked about it very much. He was in the RNVR in Hull before the war & I believe most of his friends from the RNVR were lost that night. He was a coder & talked of having to take care of the books. I don't believe he was in a boat because he always said he was in the water for 5 hours, he was landed at Oban.



Acting Sub Lt. (E) Robert William Mayo HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)

Robert Mayo, (sub Lt )died when the Forfar went down, he was 21 years old and was my uncle, I was named after him.



Sub Lt. James Christon HMS Forfar

My father sub lieu James Christon also served on H M S Forfar. I would appreciate any information concerning his time on board. Thanks



Able Seaman. Henry Gordon Brinston HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)

I am Henry Gordon Brinston's great nephew. He was from Lark Harbour, Newfoundland. A small fishing village on the West Coast of Newfoundland. He was on the Forfar when she was lost. He did not survive, he was 28 years old. Three of his shipmates and friends from Lark Harbour were also on the Forfar and survived. They were Walter Darrigan, Stanley Darigan, and Leanord Vokey.



Ordinary Signalman John Edward Burke HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)

My father John Edward Burke served as ordinary signalman on HMS Forfar and did not survive. I was born seven months later, know very little about him and have never even seen his photograph. I would be so very grateful for anything anyone could tell me and would give my eye teeth for a photograph ! Thanking you in anticipation for any help anyone can give me



Able Seaman. B. L. Clark HMS Forfar

Able Seaman Clark was amongst the survivors of HMS Forfar.



Able Seaman. H. Hanson HMS Forfar

Able Seaman Hanson survived the sinking of HMS Forfar on the 2nd of December 1940.



Ord. Seaman D. Richards HMS Forfar

Ordinary Seaman D Richards was amongst the survivors brought ashore from HMS Forfar.



Seaman John Morrison HMS Forfar

Seaman Morrison of HMS Forfar was amongst those to survive when the ship was torpedoed.



Ldg Seaman. Frank Mayo HMS Forfar

Ldg Seaman Frank Mayo was one of the surviors of the sinking of HMS Forfar.



Ord. Seaman L. Fryer HMS Forfar

L.Fryer was amongst those members of the crew to survive the sinking of HMS Forfar.



Able Seaman. H. Langley HMS Forfar

H Langley survived the sinking of the Forfar.



Ord. Coder Ken Fisher HMS Forfar

Coder Ken Fisher was amongst those who survived the sinking of HMS Forfar.



Able Seaman. E. Chafe HMS Forfar

Able Seaman E Chafe survived the sinking of HMS Forfar.



Able Seaman. S. C. Sommerton HMS Forfar

Able Seaman S. C. Sommerton was listed amongst the survivors of HMS Forfar when she was sunk in December 1940.



Able Seaman. Harry J. Lundrigan HMS Forfar

My great uncle Harry Sudrigan was aboard HMS Forfar when she was torpedoed on December 2nd 1940. He was amongst the survivors.



Donkeyman J. Kearns HMS Forfar

J Kearns was one of those to survive the sinking of HMS Forfar.



Greaser M. Kennedy HMS Forfar

M. Kennedy survived the sinking of HMS Forfar.



Ships Cook. S. Fairclough HMS Forfar

S. Fairclough was the ships cook on board HMS Forfar, he was amongst those who survived.



Carpenter's Mate A. Campbell HMS Forfar

A Campbell was amongst those who survived when HMS Forfar was sunk in December 1940.



Steward G. G. McGill HMS Forfar

Steward G McGill was amongst those who surved teh sinking of HMS Forfar in 1940.



Trimmer E. Dillon HMS Forfar

Trimmer E Dillon was one of the survivors brought ashore from HMS Forfar.



Trimmer J. Barnes HMS Forfar

Trimmer Barnes survived the sinking of HMS Forfar.



Greaser M. Hurley HMS Forfar

M Hurley was one of the crew members who survived the sinking of the Forfar.



Greaser M. Duffy HMS Forfar

M. Duffy was amongst the survivors when HMS Forfar was lost.



Fireman W. Gallacher HMS Forfar

Fireman Gallacher survived the sinking of HMS Forfar, he was brought ashore and was treated for his injuries in Liverpool.



Fireman J. McGowan HMS Forfar

Fireman McGowan survived the sinking of HMS Forfar.



Trimmer H. Rainey HMS Forfar

H. Rainey was amongst the survivors of HMS Forfar.



Fireman H. Higgins HMS Forfar

Fireman Higgins survived the sinking of HMS Forfar.



Trimmer A. G. Simmonds HMS Forfar

A. G. Simmonds is listed as one of the survivors when HMS Forfar was lost.



Ldg Seaman. H. Blythe HMS Forfar

Ldg Seaman Blythe survived the sinking of the Forfar.



P.O. A. L. Woodhouse HMS Forfar

Petty Officer Woodhouse was amongst those who survived when HMS Forfar was lost. He is listed in the cast of the revue "Get Sailing" which was performed onboard the Forfar on the 19th of June 1940.



Able Seaman. W. R. George HMS Forfar

Able Seaman George was amongst those brought ashore when HMS Forfar sank.



C.P.O. G. Garlick HMS Forfar

C.P.O. Garlick was amongst those who survived when HMS Forfar was lost.



C.P.O. A. E. Baker HMS Forfar

C.P.O. Baker was one of those to survive when HMS Forfar was tordeoded and sunk in December 1940.



Able Seaman. A. Pearce HMS Forfar

Able Seaman Pearce was listed amongst the survivors brought ashore from HMS Forfar.



Ordinary Signalman C. F. Rhodes HMS Forfar

C F Rhodes was one of the crew members who survived when HMS Forfar was sunk.



C.P.O. J. P. Crossley HMS Forfar

C.P.O. Crossley is listed amongst those to have survived the sinking of HMS Forfar.



Master at Arms. F. Johnson HMS Forfar

F. Johnson was one of those to survive the sinking of HMS Forfar. He is listed in the cast of the revue "Get Sailing" which was performed onboard the Forfar on the 19th of June 1940.



Able Seaman. H. Bennett HMS Forfar

Able Seaman Bennett was one of those brought ashore after the sinking of HMS Forfar.



P.O. G. A. Ventris HMS Forfar

P.O. Ventriss was amongst those who survived the sinking of HMS Forfar on the 2nd of December 1940.



Able Seaman. E. G. Repsch HMS Forfar

Able Seaman Repsch is listed as one of the survivors of HMs Forfar.



Ord. Seaman W. R. Moss HMS Forfar

W.R. Moss was one of the crew members who survived the loss of HMS Forfar in 1940.



Ldg Seaman. A. W. Gee HMS Forfar

Ldg Seaman Gee was one of the survivors when HMS Forfar was sunk in 1940.



Able Seaman. R. Carter HMS Forfar

R. Carter is listed as one of the survivors of HMS Forfar.



Ord. Seaman J. Wiles HMS Forfar

J. Wiles was one of those who survived the loss of HMS Forfar in the Atlantic in December 1940.



Ord. Seaman C. Wilson HMS Forfar

C.Wilson is listed amongst the survivors from HMS Forfar.



Able Seaman. J. Rendell HMS Forfar

J Rendell survived the sinking of HMS Forfar in 1940



Able Seaman. J. J. Murphy HMS Forfar

J J Murphy was brought ashore afterthe sinking of HMS Forfar on the 2nd of December 1940



S.B.A. C. Hall HMS Forfar

C Hall was one of the crew members who survived the loss of HMD Forfar.



Ord. Seaman G. E. Garthwaite HMS Forfar

G Garthwaite is listed as a survivor of HMS Forfar.



Able Seaman. F. E. Henrdrickson HMS Forfar

F Hendrickson was one of the survivors brought ashore from HMS Forfar.



Able Seaman. P. Conway HMS Forfar

P Conway survived the sinking of HMS Forfar.



Ord. Seaman L. Earl HMS Forfar

L. Earl survived the sinking of HMS Forfar.



Seaman D. McDonal HMS Forfar

D McDonal was one of the survivors of the crew of HMS Forfar



A.M.B. W. Crane HMS Forfar

W Crane was one of the surviving crew members from HMS Forfar which was lost in December 1940



Ord. Seaman T. Jones HMS Forfar

T.Jones is listed as a survivor from the sinking of HMS Forfar.



Able Seaman. H. Conway HMS Forfar

H Conway was brought ashore after the sinking of HMS Forfar in December 1940.



Able Seaman. F. O'Brien HMS Forfar

F. O'Brien is listed as a survivor of the crew of HMS Forfar.



Able Seaman. A. Coombes HMS Forfar

A. Coombes survived the sinking of HMS Forfar in 1940



Able Seaman. R. W. Henderson HMS Forfar

Boxing Match Henderson vs West 10th July 1940

Able Seaman Henderson was one of the survivors from HMS Forfar which sank on the 2nd of December 1940.



Ord. Seaman W. Forrest HMS Forfar

W Forrest is listed as one of those who survived the sinking of HMS Forfar.



Ord. Seaman J. Herbert HMS Forfar

J Herbert was a survivor of the sinking of HMS Forfar



Assistant Steward James Aitken HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)

Aitken was the Pipe Major in the band of HMS Forfar.



Seaman B. Marshall HMS Forfar

B. Marshall suvived the sinking of HMS Forfar on the 2nd of December 1940.



Ord. Seaman E. Mercer HMS Forfar

E. Mercer was amongst the crew members who survived the sinking of HMS Forfar in 1940.



Able Seaman. A. Smith HMS Forfar

A. Smith is listed as one of the survivors of the sinking of the Forfar.



Able Seaman. J. McDonald HMS Forfar

J. McDonald was one of those to survive the sinking of HMS Forfar.



Ord. Seaman W. Jacobs HMS Forfar

W. Jacobs was one of the men brought ashore after the sinking of HMS Forfar.



Ord. Seaman J. Young HMS Forfar

J. Young was a survivor of the sinking of HMS Forfar.



Seaman J. Faulkner HMS Forfar

J. Faulkner is listed as one of the survivors from HMS Forfar.



Able Seaman. S. Tolhurst HMS Forfar

S. Tolhurst survived the sinking of HMS Forfar in 1940.



Ord. Seaman W. Chattery HMS Forfar

W. Chattery is listed as one of the survivors of the sinking of HMS Forfar.



K. Broome HMS Forfar

K. Broome was one of the survivors brought ashore after HMS Forfar was lost in the Atlantic.



Ord. Seaman T. Rayment HMS Forfar

T. Rayment was one of the survivors when HMS Forfar was lost in 1940.



Seaman C. B. Branch HMS Forfar

C.B.Branch is listed as one of the crew members who survived the sinking of HMS Forfar in December 1940.



Able Seaman. G. Smith HMS Forfar

G. Smith was amongst the survivors brought ashore when HMS Forfar was sunk.



Seaman J. A. Farrow HMS Forfar

J.A.Farrow was one of the survivors when HMS Forfar was lost in the Atlantic.



Ord. Seaman G. Perham HMS Forfar

G.Perham is listed amongst the survivors brought ashore from HMS Forfar.



Ord. Seaman J. Stiff HMS Forfar

J.Stiff is listed amongst the survivors brought ashore from HMS Forfar in December 1940.



Able Seaman. J. Coombes HMS Forfar

J. Coombes is listed as one of those to survive the sinking of HMS Forfar.



L. G. Parley HMS Forfar

L.G.Parley is listed as one of the survivors brought ashore after the loss of HMS Forfar



Asst.Cook J. R. Pinkerton HMS Forfar

Assistant Cook Pinkerton survived the sinking of HMS Forfar, he was one of the crew members who had remained with the ship under the T124X agreement when she had transferred to Royal Naval Command.



Asst.Steward W. Moore HMS Forfar

Moore was one of the survivors brought ashore when HMS Forfar was lost, he was one of the crew members to transfer to the Royal Navy under the T124x agreement when the ship was comandeered.



Engineer Wtr. J. C. George HMS Forfar

J.C. George was one of the crew members to survive the sinking of HMS Forfar. He had served on the ship before the outbreak of war and remained with her under the T124X Agreement.



Diesel Greaser P. McCulty HMS Forfar

McCulty transferred under the T124x agreement remaining with the ship when she became HMS Forfar. He was amongst the survivors to be brought ashore after she was sunk in the Atlantic.



Saloon Steward P. Wilkes HMS Forfar

P.Wilkes served aboard the ship when she was the Montrose, remaining with her under the T124x Agreement when she was requistioned to become HMS Forfar. He was amongst those to survive when the ship was lost in 1940.



Asst.Stores. T. J. Bennett HMS Forfar

T.J.Bennett survived teh sinking of HMS Forfar, he had been a member of the ship's crew when she was a passengerliner and had remained with her under the T124x agreement.



Carpenter's Mate H. Shone HMS Forfar

Shone was one of the crew members of the Montrose who transferred under the T124x agreement when the ship was transferred to the Royal Navy and became HMS Forfar. He was amongst those to survive the lost of the ship on the 2nd of December 1940.



Asst.Steward W. J. Hand HMS Forfar

Hand was one of the crew members of the Montrose who remained with the ship under the T124x agreement when she became HMS Forfar. He was amongst the survivors brought ashore after the shop was lost.



Asst.Steward G. Brocklebank HMS Forfar

Brocklebank was amongst the men to survive the sinking of HMS Forfar. He had served aboard the ship when she was the Montrose and transferred under the T124x agreement.



Asst.Steward M. Baron HMS Forfar

Baron was brought ashore after the sinking of HMS Forfar. He was one of the crew to have remained with the ship under the T124X agreement when she was requisitioned for Naval Service in 1939.



Seaman H. Harris HMS Forfar

Harris was one of the survivors when HMS Forfar was sunk in 1940. He is listed in the cast of the revue "Get Sailing" which was performed onboard the Forfar on the 19th of June 1940.



Asst.Steward W. J. McIvor HMS Forfar

McIvor had served aboard the ship when she was the Montrose, transferring under the T124x agreement in 1939. He was amongst the survivors brought ashore when the ship was lost.



Trimmer F. A. Davis HMS Forfar

Davis was one of the ships crew to transfer under the T124X agreement when the Montrose became HMS forfar in 1939. He was counted amongst the survivors when the ship was lost.



Trimmer J. Wilde HMS Forfar

Wilde had been a crew member when the ship was the Montrose and remained with her under the T124x agreement. He was amongst the survivors when the ship was lost.



Trimmer G. Houghton HMS Forfar

Houghton was a member of the crew of the Montrose who had remained with the ship under the T124x agreement when she became the Forfar. He was amongst the survivors of the sinking in December 1940.



Asst.Steward J. J. Barnbrock HMS Forfar

Barnbrock was amongst the men to survive the sinking of the Forfar, he had served onboard when she was the Montrose and transferred under the T124X agreement.



2nd Pantryman. J. Fairclough HMS Forfar

Fairclough was one of the crew of the Montrose who had transferred with the ship under the T124X agreement. He was counted amongst the survivors brought ashore when the ship went down.



Writer. T. Wilson HMS Forfar

Wilson was one of the crew members who had remained with the ship under the T124X agreement when she was requisitioned for service in 1939. He survived the sinking on the 2nd of December 1940.



E. C. Bartlett HMS Forfar

Bartlett was counted anmongst the survivors when HMS Forfar was lost. He had transferred under the T124x agreement as a crew member of the Montrose.



Chief Butcher J. S. Brown HMS Forfar

Brown was a member of the crew of the Montrose who had remained with the ship under the T124X agreement when she became the Forfar in 1939. He survived the sinking in 1940.



Trimmer J. Carmichael HMS Forfar

Carmichael was amongst the crew members who survived the loss of the ship. He had transferred with the ship under the T124x agreement in 1939.



Chief Baker D. Gordon HMS Forfar

Gordon was one of the crew members of the Montrose who remained with the ship under the T124X agreement when she was called for service in 1939. He was listed amongst the survivors when the ship was sunk.



Asst.Cook J. Smith HMS Forfar

Smith was amongst the crew members to survive the sinking of the ship. He had served onboard prior to the outbreak of war and transferred to naval service under the T124X agreement.



C.P.O. I. Steele HMS Forfar

Steele was amongst those to survive the loss of the ship.



Ord. Seaman H. Hogg HMS Forfar

Hogg was listed as one of the survivors when HMS Forfar was sunk.



Ord. Seaman J. G. Pegg HMS Forfar

Pegg is listed as one of the survivors when the Forfar was sunk.



P.O. G. Service HMS Forfar

P.O. Service is listed as one of the surviviors of the sinking of HMS Forfar.



Able Seaman. J. Graham HMS Forfar

Graham is listed as one of the survivors when HMS Forfar was lost.



Ldg Seaman. T. Worthy HMS Forfar

Worthy survived the sinking of HMS Forfar on the 2nd of December 1940.



Able Seaman. J. Grant HMS Forfar

Grant is listed amongst the survivors when the Forfar was sunk.



Seaman A. MacDonald HMS Forfar

MacDonald was one of the crew members who surved the lost of the Forfar in 1940.



Able Seaman. E. Hoffe HMS Forfar

Hoffe was amongst the suviviors when HMS Forfar was sunk.



Able Seaman. T. Beardsell HMS Forfar

Beardsell is listed as one of the survivors of the sinking of HMS Forfar He is also listed in the chorus of the revue "Get Sailing" which was performed onboard the Forfar on the 19th of June 1940.



Ord. Seaman E. Pratt HMS Forfar

Pratt was amongst those to survive the loss of the Forfar.



Sto. Trimmer T. McKinley HMS Forfar

McKinley was one of the men to transfer with the ship under the T124X agreement. He was amongst the survivors when the ship was lost.



Sto. E. Lyons HMS Forfar

Lyons was amongst the survivors when the ship was lost. He was a member of the crew of the Montrose and transferred with the ship under the T124X agreement when she was called into service in 1939.



Fireman David Wallace HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)

David and his brother Robert both served on HMS Forfar and both fell when the Forfar was sunk.



Greaser Robert Wallace HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)

Robert and his brother David both served on HMS Forfar and both fell when the Forfar was sunk.



Hospital Attendant William Whittle HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)

William Whittle on stage for the review

HMS Forfar was an armed merchant cruiser sunk by U99 in December 1940. My Grandfather William Whittle served on board as a CPO in the sick bay. I am eager to get in contact with any "Forfar" survivors.



Sub Lt. Thomas A. V. Broadhurst HMS Forfar

Sub Lt Broadhurst onboard HMS Forfar.

I have just read with interest, Mr Kerr`s report on the sinking of the H.M.S Forfar, in which he mentions my father Broadhurst. I then remembered that I had an old photo album of my father's in which there are many pictures, including some with Mr. Kerr, menus , boxing matches, band programmes recording some of the life on the Forfar. After the sinking of the Forfar, my father was reappointed to the H.M.S Reading. After leaving the Royal Navy he later became a founder member Of the British Sub Aqua Club.








Boxing program 10th July 1940



Telegram sent home after the ship was lost.



Able Seaman. Tait HMS Forfar

Boxing match onboard HMS Forfar Tait vs Conway

AB. Tait took part in the boxing match on the 10th of July 1940 onboard HMS Forfar, he fought OS. Conway, the match which consisted of three two minute rounds, was drawn.



Sub Lt. (E) Blood HMS Forfar

10th July 1940 Blood vs Walker

The above photo is from the album of Sub Lt Broadhurst, a boxing tournament on board HMS Forfar, Sub Lt Blood weighed in at 142lbs and OS. Walker at 141lbs. The contest was won by Walker with a technical knockout in the third round. On the horrizon the ship whihc the Forfar was escorting at the time can be clearly seen.



Ord. Seaman Walker HMS Forfar

Walker taken 10th July 1940 after boxing match

The above photo is from the album of Sub Lt Broadhurst, a boxing tournament on board HMS Forfar, Sub Lt Blood weighed in at 142lbs and OS. Walker at 141lbs. The contest was won by Walker with a technical knockout in the third round.



Able Seaman. Haydn Peter West HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)

10th July 1940 at prize giving of Boxing match on HMS Forfar

The above photo is from the album of Sub Lt Broadhurst. Ab Henderson (143lbs) vs AB West (146lbs) the match was a draw.



Able Seaman Cyril Hedley Penny HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)

OS. Penny took part in a boxing match on teh 10th of July 1940 onboard HMS Forfar whilst at sea. He weighed in at 157lbs, he was beaten on points by Midshipman Kerr who was a pound heavier.



Able Seaman. Casemore HMS Forfar

AB Casemore took part in a boxing match onboard HMS Forfar on the 10th of July 1940. He weighed in at 154lbs, his opponant AS Tait was one pound heavier. The match was declared a draw by the judges, Lt Antrobus and Pay-Lt Goldie.



Ord. Seaman Fowler HMS Forfar

OS Fowler took part in the boxing match held on the 10th of July 1940, he weighed in at 133lbs and was beaten on points by Mid. James Smith who was four pounds lighter.



Sub Lt. John William Raymond Adams HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)

John Adams

Adams was the musical director of a revue named "Get Sailing" which was held onboard HMS Forfar on Wednesday 19th of June 1940. The programme stated: "In the event of an air raid the Theatre wil be cleared in 30 seconds - NOT into the dressingroom as the artistes (French) are bashful. - Do not leave the ship unless you can reach your home in a few minutes. (What a hope)



Sub Lt. Turnbull HMS Forfar

Sub Lt  Turnbull

Sub Lt Turnbull is listed in the cast of the revue "Get Sailing" which was performed aboard HMS Forfar on eth 19th of June 1940.



Signaller. Breeze HMS Forfar

Sig. Breeze He is listed in the cast of the revue "Get Sailing" which was performed onboard the Forfar on the 19th of June 1940.



Ord. Seaman Weale HMS Forfar

OS Weale is listed in the cast of the revue "Get Sailing" which was performed onboard the Forfar on the 19th of June 1940.



Signaller. Olby HMS Forfar

Sig. Olby is listed in the cast of the revue "Get Sailing" which was performed onboard the Forfar on the 19th of June 1940.



Able Seaman. Pragnell HMS Forfar

Ab Pragnell listed in the chorus of the revue "Get Sailing" which was performed onboard the Forfar on the 19th of June 1940.



Able Seaman John Thomas Keating HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)

Keating is listed in the chorus of the revue "Get Sailing" which was performed onboard the Forfar on the 19th of June 1940.



Gunner William Harold Bell HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)

William Bell January 1940

William Bell was lost when HMS Forfar was lost on the 2nd of December 1940, he was 57 years old.



Lt Sparks HMS Forfar

The above photo was taken onboard HMS Forfar at the Trial of "Flamicus" (Lt Sparkes) and "Featherstone Haugh" (S/Lt Fanshaw)in 1940.



Capt. H. N. Lake HMS Forfar

Capt Lake was the captain of HMS Forfar in June 1940 when she sailed from the Clyde to join the Northern Patrol.



Able Seaman. Walter Thomas Mills HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)

My father was A.B. Walter Thomas Mills. Died 2/12/1940 when H.M.S. Forfar was sunk. I have had contact with Mr.Allen W. Kerr previously, to whom I sent copies of photographs of the ship's band, of which my father was a member, and of some interior shots of the ship, including the ship's theatre. At the time of correspondence Mr. Kerr was seeking news of L.S. Mayo, I hope he was successful.



Captain Norman Arthur Cyril Hardy HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)

Norman Hardy was the Captain of HMS Forfar, he went down with his ship on the 2nd of December 1940 in the Atlantic. He was 45 years old.



Able Seaman Leonard Henry Burkitt HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)

Served on Transylvania when torpedoed on 10th August 1940 and escaped with burnt hands



Able Seaman Maurice Francis O'Brien HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)

Maurice's brother, David also fell 28th Sept 1942 whilst serving on HM Rescue Tug Frisky. Their brother Michael was an Able Seaman in the Candian Merchant Navy fell on the 30th of March 1941 while on the SS Eastlea out of Newcastle upon Tyne.



Ordinary Seaman Peter Frederick Haldenby H.M.S. Forfar (d.2nd December 1940)

Uncle Peter was one of the 'lost at sea' he was 19 years old. He was the son of Walter James Haldenby and Helga Maack from Hull. He had a brother Thomas Herbert Haldenby who served in the RAF as a leading aircraftsman. All who served should be remembered!



Coder Edwin Gordon Young HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec1940)

My uncle, Edwin Gordon Young lost his life when HMS Forfar was torpedoed. He was 21 years old and prior to his call up he had been a footballer with Falkirk FC. He grew up in Dunfermline and attended Queen Anne junior high school.He had three siblings Janet(Nettie) my mother Annie(nan) and David the youngest and was survived by his mother Jenny and father Thomas, who had served with the Gordon Highlanders in the great war, hence Edwin Gordon Young. From all I can gather my grandparents never really recovered from his loss.Though I guess this is just one small tradgedy in the huge tapestry of WW2. I believe he was awarded three medals, still held by brother Peter.



Ordinary Seaman David Glyndwr Lewis HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)

For the last 6 years I have been photographing and recording my areas War Memorials and their fallen heroes. Each casualty has a sheet with all data that I have been able to collect, ie Local graves, memorial tablets from churches and chapels, roll of honour lists from schools and/or places of employment etc. David Glyndwr Lewis was the son of Henry & Ceinwen Lewis of Abercrave and his name can be found on the Ystradgynlais War Memorial under Abercrave, in the Ystradgynlais Park.



Able Seaman Albert Henry " " Everett (d.2nd Dec 1940)

I would just like to record my Great Uncle Albert Everett, as having served and been lost on HMS Forfar on the 2nd of December 1940. I know he was an Able Seaman but don't have any other details other than he was 35 years old and joined the navy at an early age. He was the son of Henry and Sarah Everett.



Able Seaman Frederick James Johnston Gunner (d.2nd Dec 1940)

Frederick Johnston was my father, he was killed on 2nd December 1940 when his ship the armed merchant cruiser HMS Forfar was torpedoed by U99 while on convoy escort west of Ireland. He was 32 years old and had joined the Navy from school, he was Irish, born in Dublin and although The Irish Republic remained neutral he was one of many who joined British forces. In the early thirties he served on board HMS Ramilies which went on to survive the war!



Ord. Seaman. Charles Edward " " Brown HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)

My uncle, Charles Brown served on HMS Forfar and died when the ship was torpedoed. I have his death record which is in volume 2 page 51 of naval ratings(war deaths) 1939 - 1948. If you have any information or know of any memorial, I would be very greatful. Thank you for your help



CPO (GI) William Sherwood Brown HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)

CPO (GI) William Sherwood Brown was my grandfather, born in 1897, he joined the Royal Navy at 16, having run away from home to do so. He served during the First World War, mostly on bug gun warships including HMS Ceres. In 1919, HMS Ceres was sent to the Baltic to support the White Russians in their struggle against the Bolsheviks, in which Ceres conducted a Naval gunfire Support Mission. At the end of the First World war my grandfather then joined the Mine Clearance Service, working on a variety of Fleet Minesweepers and converted fishng boats clearing the sea mines laid by all sides. After a varied career, including time at HMS Ganges as an instructor, time on HMS Kent on China Station, and working on a Yangtse River gunboat my grandfather was retired in 1936. Finding no work, he became a Royal Marine Officers Batman at the Royal Marine Barracks in Chatham. This lasted until the outbreak of war when he was recalled to the colours.

As a trained Gunner he was placed in charge of the armamaent on the Q ship HMS Forfar. In December 1940, the Forfar was hit by torpedoes fired by the U Boat nicknamed "The Golden Horseshoe". The Forfar being filled with empty barrels, stayed afloat for a long time and all the personnel are believed to have safely embarked into the ships boats. The Golden Horseshoe then came back and machine gunned the survivors.

My mother never forgave the Germans. I am proud to serve in the Royal Navy, as did my father. He, my grandfather and I have all served on an HMS Ceres.



Able Sea. William Joseph Farrell HMS Forfar (d.9th Dec 1940)

My Uncle William Farrell was born in May 1920 in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, Canada. He sailed for Britain with the fourth contingent Royal Navy in Feb 1940 onboard RMS Nova Scotia. He trained at HMS Pembroke at Chatham in Kent and was assigned to HMS Forfar.

The ship was torpedoed on 2nd of Dec 1940. it was believed by family he was lost at sea, however we have since learned he died Dec 9th. He is buried to our knowledge at the Commonwealth war graves in Chatham. My brother and I would like to find details of his rescue, which ship was he on, which hospital was he sent to, and place of death etc. We would be grateful if survivors families or any person with any knowledge of William's life in service, could email me.

Editors Note: The Naval Memorial at Chatham is a memorial to those whose home port was at Chatham and were buried at sea. As the Forfar was lost on the 2nd and William's death is recorded as being on the 9th it is likely that he was taken aboard another ship, where he subsequently passed away and was then buried at sea as is the Naval custom.



Mid Shipmn. Allan Weir Kerr HMS Forfar

I've just been reading the crew list attached to the Armed Merchant Cruiser HMS 'Forfar', and I note that AB Penney was outpointed in a boxing match by Midshipman Kerr. The said Mid. Kerr is my late father (sadly he died on 11 Apr 09, but he'd had a good innings, and his death was quick and clean), and I remember him telling me about that boxing match, when the MC announce that he "awarded the victory to Mr Kerr for the clever use of 'is left 'and!" I don't suppose there will be too many Forfar survivors left now after almost 70 years (the only one who comes to mind is another Mid, John Ormerod), but I did meet one of her former crew in Bermuda nearly 40 years ago, one Alec Foster (regrettably now deceased), who had served on Forfar in the spring of 1940 before being transferred to MTBs that summer. It just so happened that my wife worked as nurse/receptionist in Bermuda for Dr Liz Galloway, who just happened to be Mrs Foster! How's that for coincidence? My father, and my wife's boss's husband, shipmates on HMS Forfar 50 years previously!



Able Sea. Edward Albert Smith HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)

Edward Albert Smith was lost when HMS Forfar sank on 2nd December 1940, he was 25 years old.



Chief Petty Officer Cubert William Franklin HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)

Cubert Franklin was a much loved uncle to my mother and it seemed such a shame that he is only marked by his name. At the time of his death he was married to Violet and had a daughter Shirley Ann. I never knew any of these people, but the way he lost his life was told to me by my mother which came to her via her father, his brother.

They were told that after the ship was sunk, he was found swimming and appeared to have an injury, but insisted that the rescue boat helped others first. When they came back for him he had gone. The chaplain said that he must have been badly injured because he was known to be an exceptionally strong swimmer.



Cmdr(E) Charles Cunningham Jones HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)

Cmdr (E) Charles Cunningham Jones was my maternal grandfather. I believe he joined HMS Forfar when new or nearly new and then stayed with her, volunteering to stay during hostilities, though he was old enough to have declined. He died before I was born, but I was told by his widow that he was a jovial character, and generally popular. In those desperate days, he evidently knew his chances of survival were poor as he travelled with little more than he stood up in, even leaving his pocket watch behind for his wife to find.



Trimmer. John "Jocky" MacIver HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1941)

Uncle John McIver was lost in the Atlantic when HMS Forfar was torpedoed on 2nd December 1940 a few months before I was born. I never knew him, but my father took me to see his name in the War Memorial in Edinburgh Castle when I was ten.

He had been on the Iceland run in HMS Forfar and got two weeks' leave to go home to Ullapool while the ship was being refitted to go to Canada in a convoy, which, under the Lease Lend scheme would be met halfway. The family were relieved at this. It seemed safer than the perilous Iceland runs - but it wasn't.



Lt/Cmdr. Archibald Freebairn Campbell HMS Forfar (d.2nd December 1940)

Sub-Lieutenant Archibald Campbell was my paternal grandfather, who died on 2nd December 1940, aged 56, when HMS Forfar was torpedoed. He was in the Merchant Navy, seconded to the Royal Navy during the war. He served in the First World War too, but unfortunately I don't know the details. Because he was a seaman and home a lot, his children thought he was unemployed and so when free boots were being handed out at school to the children of the unemployed, my father and sister duly trotted out to claim theirs. My grandmother was furious and marched them straight back to school to return them. My aunt was 15 when the telegram came to say that her father had died. Of course it was devastating. She said that her father was a wonderfully kind man, who was always laughing and who would let her play with his glass eye - if she asked nicely. There are no photos of grandfather Campbell, unfortunately. Apparently his wife destroyed all the family snaps one afternoon in an excess of pique about something. Whether she lived to regret it, I don't know, but she survived my grandfather by 40 years, dying at aged 97.



Able Sea. James Peter Earley HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)

James Earley lost his life whilst serving on HMS Forfar in the North Atlantic. He is my wife's Uncle Jimmy.














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If so please let us know.

Help us to build a database of information on those who served both at home and abroad so that future generations may learn of their sacrifice.




Celebrate your own Family History

Celebrate by honouring members of your family who served in the Secomd World War both in the forces and at home. We love to hear about the soldiers, but also remember the many who served in support roles, nurses, doctors, land army, muntions workers etc.

Please use our Family History resources to find out more about your relatives. Then please send in a short article, with a photo if possible, so that they can be remembered on these pages.







The Wartime Memories Project is a non profit organisation run by volunteers.

This website is paid for out of our own pockets and from donations made by visitors. The popularity of the site means that it is far exceeding available resources.

If you are enjoying the site, please consider making a donation, however small to help with the costs of keeping the site running.



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is archived for preservation by the British Library





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