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HMS Drake in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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HMS Drake

   HMS Drake is the main naval barracks at Devonport.


If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.

Those known to have sailed in

HMS Drake

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

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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Andrew Alexander Adams HMS Drake

A.A Adams was my grandfather, in the Royal Navy from 1936 to 1947. I am interested in finding information about a ship that he served on quite a number of times in his service, HMS Drake. On the service record it has in brackets, after the ship name HMS Drake, a few different things for different times of service: for service in May 1941 it has M.L. 1048; for service from April to June 1944 it has LST(2) 425; for April to end of June 1945 it has T.F.36. If anyone is able to help me with the smallest amount of information about this ship or about A.A. Adams it would be most appreciated, thank-you.

Shona Ogilvy

Stwd. Percy Raymond Linsey LST.420 (d.7th Nov 1944)

I have been researching my uncle Percy Linsey who died in active service on the 7th of November 1944. He was travelling to the Walcheren Islands on LST420. As they were trying to land in heavy seas it became impossible. So they were instructed to return to England. As they were leaving Walcheren, unfortunately, they hit a mine and the craft broke up.

I have had quite a good response over the last few years. However I have come to a standstill. I was just looking on this website and spotted all the Royal Arthur pictures. I don't know if my uncle is on any of the pictures. I would be gratefull for any copies of any group photos.

My uncle was Percy Raymond Linsey, he served on: HMS Royal Arthur from 4th of May 1943, HMS DrakeII from 8th June 1943, HMS LakerII from 20th August 1943, HMS Caroline, HMS Domett from 20 September 1943 and LST 420 until 7th of November 1944.

Any other information would also be helpful and appreciated.

Christopher Raymond Antcliffe

Ord.Sea. John George Chisholm HMS Bonaventure (d.31st Mar 1941)

My cousin, Jackie Chisholm, was an only child and volunteered 14 March 1938, aged 16, unbeknownst to his parents. His training was aboard the HMS Caledonia at Rosyth, and after serving as a Boy 1 on board the Drake and Hermes, he joined the Bonaventure in May 1940 as an Ordinary Seaman.

The Bonaventure was torpedoed and sunk south of Crete on 31st March 1941 with many lives lost. Jackie's name is on Plymouth Naval War Memorial on Plymouth Hoe, dedicated to sailors who have been lost at sea. He was 19 years old when he died.

Sue Holland

PO. Robert Pickersgill HMS Firedrake (d.17th Dec 1942)

Robert Pickersgill died aged 27, he was born in Jarrow in 1913, son of Robert and (nee Pinder). He was the Husband of Hilda Pickersgill (nee Howitt) of Leeds. He is remembered on the Chatham Naval Memorial and is commemorated on the WW2 Roll of Honour Plaque in the entrance of Jarrow Town Hall.

Vin Mullen

Mech.1 James Harfitt MiD. HMS Sturgeon

My Dad, James Harfitt (born Oct.3 1914,) went to school on the training ship HMS Indefatigable when he was 12. After leaving (with quite a good record) briefly joined Merchant Navy and then volunteered for the Royal Navy for 12 years on the 4th of September 1933. He retrained at HMS Victory as a Stoker 2nd class, at HMS Neptune as a Stoker 1st class. He volunteered for service in Submarines on the 8th of Dec. 1934. He went on to serve on the L69 and HMS Sturgeon (Titania flotilla). He was Mentioned in Despatches on the 13th of November 1940. He was promoted to Acting Ldg. Stoker on the 9th of April 1940, then Leading Stoker on the 9th of April 1941.

He was at HMS Victory from 2nd of May 1941, then HMS Drake as A/S PO, then Mech. 2nd class. He joined HMS Sirius on the 21st of Feb. 1943 and was promoted to Mech.1 on the 1 Jan.1944. serving onboard until 30 Aug. 1945. He returned to HMS Victory on the 31st of Aug. 1945 until 21st of Dec. 1945. His ashes were scattered at sea in June 1980.

Samuel Howard "Taff" Mitchell

My father-in-law, Samuel Howard Mitchell, was learning the Butchery trade in Pontypridd until he decided to volunteer for the Royal Navy during the 2nd WW. The Navy took over the Butlins Holiday Camps during the War and Howard was sent up to Skegness Camp to do his Part 1 Training, this had been named HMS Royal Arthur. From tere he was then sent to another Butlins' Holiday camp at Pwllheli, its Naval name being HMS Glendower. He finished his training there and was then to be sent to HMS Drake, Plymouth. From here he was then posted to Naval Party 7049 or (1749) land based in Germany where he remained until Sept 1946. Leaving Germany he was then posted on HMS Urania until he got demobbed in March 1947 his rank at this time was Acting Leading Steward.

He then rejoined the Royal Navy at HMS Drake in November 1950 doing a months refresher course there to bring himself up to date, then on to Brittania Naval College Dartmouth where in March 1951 he got made Leading Steward and posted to HMS Apollo. After the Apollo he went to the carrier HMS Illustrious (31/1/1953 Leading Steward Royal Navy, DLX 752742, HMS Illustrious) where he was made a Petty Officer and left in March 1953. He was then landbased at HMS Drake and Mt Wise. In February 1955 he was posted to the carrier HMS Eagle until January 1957. On then as Captains Steward landbased at HMS Raleigh, Cornwall. From her on to HMS Blackwood then RNAD Culdrose, then back to sea joining HMS Tiger (early 1960's) in the far East. On leaving the Tiger he went to Commodores Personal Steward at HMS Drake. In 1964 he was again posted to HMS Eagle until Feb 1967 when he then went back for 12 months to Mt Wise, Devonport. A further 12 months was then spent at RNAD Culdrose, Cornwall where he then left the Navy as CPO Steward LX.752742

Mr T A Williams

Ord.Sig. Ronald Gibson HMS Europa

My dad Ronald Gibson joined the Royal Navy on 1st October 1941 at HMS Drake. He served at Impregnable, Pembroke 1 (7th April 1942), Europa 1 (1st May 1942), Flora (6th May 1942), Europa (20th October 1943), Pembroke IV - Evelyn Rose (30th November 1943), Minos (1st January 1944), Europa 1 (26th June 1944), Lanka (17th July 1944), Tana (18th November 1944), Lanka II - Languard (6th July 1945) and Europa (25th August 1945). He was released from service on 30th May 1946, Class A.

Steven Gibson

Lt. William Eldon Warwick HMS Drake

My father William Eldon Warwick was attached to the HMS Drake from 18th May 1943 until 18th November 1943. It is my understanding that HMS Drake was in actual fact a dockyard and barracks.

David B. Warwick

Able.Sea. Frank Lomax MID. HMS Sleuth

Frank Lomax served on:
  • HMS Raleigh, 3rd July 1940 as an ordinary seaman.
  • HMS Drake 10th September 1940.
  • HMS Defiance 2nd October 1940.
  • HMS Dolphin 6th February 1941.
  • HMS Maidstone 26th April 1941; 27th June 1941 as Able Seaman; 3rd July 1941 Able Seaman.
  • HMS St Angelo (SC) 18th July 1941; (HM Sub Urge) 16th September 1941. (Sub lost 28th April 1942); (SC) 16th November 1941.
  • HMS Talbot (HMS Sub Una) 28th February 1943.
  • HMS Dolphin (S/M's) 2nd March 1943.
  • HMS Ambrose (S/M's) 14th May 1943.
  • HMS Ambrose (HM Sub Sea Dog) 12th October 1943.
  • HMS Forth (HM Sea Dog) 15th August 1944; (S/M's) 29th November 1944; (HM Sub Sleuth) 10th January 1945.
  • HMS Maidstone (HM Sub Sleuth) 12 January 1945.
  • HMS Dolphin (HM Sub Sleuth) 1st October 194; (S/M's) 22nd February 1946 Released Class A.

He was Mentioned in Dispatches: for Distinguished Service (HM Sub Unseen) No. 1 1st June 1943 - Parchment. and for Distinguished Service (HM Sub Sleuth) No. 2 18th December 1945 - Parchment.

Frank William Lomax

Ld.Sea Hugh Hopkins HMS Illustrious

My father served on the following ships:
  • HMS Illustrious Oct 1941-Oct 1942
  • HMS Assegai 12-20th Oct 1942
  • HMS Harrow Oct 1942-Sept 1944
  • HMS Black Swan June 1945-Sept 1945
  • HMS Slinger 7th Oct-25th Oct 1945
  • HMS Drake and HMS Golden Hind 26th Oct _,13th Feb 1946

    I am trying to find out which activities these vessels were involved in and where these took place. I would be grateful for any help from anybody with information.

  • S. O'Connell

    Steward Richard Davidson "Mac" Mcpherson Steward HMS Drake

    My Dad should be writing this as he was known to be the biggest story teller. I know very little about his service except what I am reading on his Certificate of Service.

    He served the Royal Navy between April 1943 and August 1944 when he was discharged and although the writing is difficult to read it looks like he transferred to the Army. He would not speak about his service so no one knows exactly when he left the Army if in fact he did join.

    His Naval Service is listed below.

    • 1/4/1943 to 3/5/43 Royal Arthur training
    • 4/5/43 to 21/6/43 Drake
    • 22/6/43 to 9/8/43 Heron
    • 10/8/43 to 16/8/43 Drake
    • 17/8/43 to 30/9/43 Reads like Faust
    • 1/10/43 to 23/2/44 Drake
    • 24/2/44 to 5/7/44 Boscowan
    • 6/7/44 to 19/7/44 Victory
    • 20/7/44 to 24/8/44 Drake

    Karen Smith

    LSA(TY) George Hall Drake HMS Dipper

    George Hall was my father. I have recently found his Certificate of History and found he served on HMS Dipper from 17 June 1946 to 15 September 1946. He served in the Navy from 24 September 1942 until 15 September 1946 when he was "Released in Class 'A'. He also served on HMS Colossus from 29 October 1945 to 26 April 1946 when it took part in the evacuation of Japanese prisoners of war, converting the flight deck into a playground for the children. He said he used to make up a crew if a ship came in needing someone. He worked on convoy protection as a depth charge setter.

    Kenneth Hall

    Mervyn "Mick" Hawke HMS Venemous

    My father-in-law served on HMS Drake, HMS Venemous and HMS Philoctetes in WWII He was Mervyn Hawke, probably known as Mick. I would like to know what he did. I have so many pictures, but apart from one batch saying "West Africa", I don't know any more about his time during the war. Does anyone have information?

    Pat Hawke

    Ronald Henry Morris HMS Drake

    My father Ronald Morris was with the dental branch at HMS Drake in 1945. He was dental mechanic and spent several war years in Gibraltar before returning to Drake.

    Pam Morris

    Stkr 1st Cl. John Patrick Rutledge HMS Gosling

    My father John Rutledge was 18 when he joined the Royal Navy in 1943. He served on a number of ships including Gosling, Duke, Drake, Nile, Formidable, Golden Hind and Glenearn. He was a Stoker Class 1 and served from July 1943 to February 1947.

    Val Swaine

    Ord.Sea. Walter F Bixby HMS Drake (d.21st April 1941)

    Wally Bixby was the son of James Samuel and Jane Susan Bixby; husband of Kathleen Bixby (nee Dearman, remarried Naegeli), of Romford, Essex.(later Scranton Pa. USA)

    In memory of my dear husband Wally

    Could love have saved you

    You would not have died.


    Wireless.Mec. Alan Trevor Hurd "Shiner" Wright HMS Ready

    HMS Beagle 1942, Alan Wright 2nd from left front row

    Alan Wright served on HMS Drake, HMS Beagle and HMS Ready.

    Rosie Novis

    L.Sto. Patrick O'Brien HMS Drake (d.10th Jan 1944)

    Leading Stoker Patrick O'Brien was the son of Stephen and Abina O'Brien, of Ballymacoda. He was 26 when he died and is buried in the Ballymacoda (The Hill) Old Graveyard in Co. Cork, Ireland.

    s flynn

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