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

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World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII

HMS Electra




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



Those known to have sailed in

HMS Electra

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Buss S. A.. Cmdr
  • Buss Stuart Austen. Commander (d.13th November 1943)
  • Chambers Douglas Haig. CPO
  • Chapman Frank. (d.27th Feb 1942)
  • Chilton C. B.. Sub Lt.
  • Coale Eric. Lt. (d.27th Feb 1942)
  • Craven George Albert . Stoker
  • Crawford Eric Richard.
  • Fraser Robert. Able Seaman. (d.27th Feb 1942)
  • Jasper Charles Albert. Able Sea. (d.1942)
  • Langley Harry. Able Seaman. (d.27th Feb 1942)
  • Lee T. S..
  • May Cecil Wakeford. Cmdr
  • McDougall E. C..
  • Seymour William Richard Dunham.
  • Smith Charles Richard. PO. (d.27th Feb 1942)
  • Stafford Herbert William. Able Sea.
  • Trowbridge Harry. C.P.O.

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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There are 1 pages in our library tagged HMS Electra  These include information on officers service records, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Second World War.

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CPO Douglas Haig Chambers HMS Electra

My late father, CPO Douglas Haig Chambers, was an engineer aged 23 aboard HMS Electra when it was torpedoed. He did survive, and was one of the crew who got the General Verspeck steamed up to travel to Fremantle, Australia. Dad died in 1994.

Bruce Chambers



Stoker George Albert Craven HMS Electra

My Grandfather, George Albert Craven, was a Stoker on HMS Electra. He was working in the engine room when it was struck by enemy fire and was blinded by the blast, which had blown the retinas away from the back of his eyes, and was also badly burnt on his upper body. He was helped off the ship and into the water by his shipmates and was subsequently rescued by a US Navy submarine. He was eventually shipped home towards the end of 1942 after several months in hospital where he underwent surgery to repair the damage to his eyes. His eyesight was restored although he had to wear spectacles for the rest of his life. He didn't talk much about his wartime experiences but he did tell me a few things, like what it was like on Russian convoy escort, how they had expected to pick up many crewmen from the Hood but were shocked to find only three and how disturbed he had been by what he saw and heard during the sinking of the Repulse.

Paul Craven



Able Sea. Charles Albert " " Jasper HMS Electra (d.1942)

Albert Jasper was my Uncle. He died on HMS Electra in 1942, he was an uncle I never saw, but he saw me, (I was born in 1940!) I have recently been interested in looking up any info about him both for my own interest and records, but I was wondering if you can help me, there are no photos of him, do the Navy keep any on record? It would be lovely to see this young man who died for his country, he had 3 sisters and 2 brothers who have all gone now, I would be ever so grateful.

Ann Russ



C.P.O. Harry Trowbridge HMS Electra

My Uncle was Acting Stoker, P.O., Harry Trowbridge, he served on board HMS Electra, and I have a small HMS Electra ID. booklet showing his name, rating, part of ship, Mess No. and religion.

Following the sinking of the Electra, my Aunt was extremely concerned for his wellbeing and wrote to the Admiralty requesting information on the 25th of March 1942. A reply was received in April 1942 stating that my Uncle was confirmed as a survivor from HMS Electra and had been landed at Fremantle, Australia.

Following that my Uncle was “loaned” to the Australian Navy and in July 1942 my Aunt wrote to the Admiralty to enquire of the exact position. In September 1942 she received a letter from the Admiralty confirming that my Uncle was “on loan” to the Australian Navy but that his case and the cases of other ratings similarly placed, necessitated enquiries being made of the Australian Naval Authorities.

I have a postcard with a photograph of a ship set in the outline of Australia – it looks like a destroyer and has the number J186 printed on its side. I believe my Uncle stayed with the Australian Navy for approximately 2 years.

I am pleased to say that my Uncle continued to serve the British Navy until the end of the War. I have a photograph of him when he served on HMS Royal Oak and he also served on HMS Foxhound and T.S.S. Athenia sunk by a German submarine on 3rd of September, 1939.

Mrs C Allington



William Richard Dunham Seymour HMS Electra

My father was "the doc" on board The Electra when she sent down in The Battle of the Java Sea. His name is William (Bill) Richard Dunham Seymour. He is now 90 and was the ship's surgeon. He qualified in medicine at his home town of Belfast, N. Ireland, and volunteered (was known as "the wavey navy" as his strips were wavey to indicate he volunteered - no conscription in Ireland at that time - 1941). He joined up 4.4.1941 & went onto Electra, based at Scapa Flow and covering the N. Atlantic convoys before going out East. Luckily, was picked up after the Battle of the Java Sea by the Yanks and came home via Australia. Went to Haslar, then to King George V. and ended up being one the first specially chosen dozen to land in Japan after the two A bombs. We are still in touch with one or two survivors from the Electra.

Richard Coale was asking about people who may have known his grandfather who had been killed at the sinking of Electra in 1942. Could Richard please contact me?

Fiona Seymour



Frank Chapman HMS Electra (d.27th Feb 1942)

My Mother's first husband went down in the Battle of Java with HMS Electra. His name was Frank Chapman - Able Seaman. We understand that he was in the torpedo room at the time of the battle and that he was probably killed instantly. He was only 21 and he left behind him a loving wife and a child of 12 months.

My sister is now 63 and would love to hear anything aobut the Electra. We also know of the niece of the Captain of HMS Electra.

If anyone has any information to add, we would love to hear from you. Are any survivors of HMS Electra still alive? It would be great to hear from them.

Debbie Gaston



Able Seaman. Robert Fraser HMS Electra (d.27th Feb 1942)

In Memory of Able Seaman Robert Fraser

C/JX 190268, H.M.S. Electra, Royal Navy who died age 22

on 27 February 1942

Son of Peter Mackie Fraser and Frances Mary Fraser; husband of Winifred Joyce Fraser, of Brockley, London.

Father of Malcolm Robert Fraser (deceased), Grandfather to Ian Robert Fraser and Great-Grandfather to Vincent Robert Fraser.

My Grandfather, Robert Fraser, able seaman, was presumed killed in the 'Battle of the Java Sea'.

The crew's names can be seen at the Chatham Maritime Memorial, Chatham, Kent, I recently took my son to see his great grandfathers name, emotional. If any one has any information please contact me.

Ian Robert Fraser



Lt. Eric Coale HMS Electra (d.27th Feb 1942)

I have just inherited my Great Uncles Naval sword, medals, paperwork and photos, and I was wondering if you have any information about him or his crew. I have a book which mentions him.

Eric Coale, Age 23, Rank Lieutenant, Died 27 February at the battle of Java.

Richard Eric Coale



Able Sea. Herbert William "Bert" Stafford HMS Electra

I was fourteen in 1942, when a telegram for my parents, informing them that my brother Herbert William Stafford (Bert) had been wounded on active service. He was serving on HMS Electra when it was sunk in the Battle of Java Sea in February 1942.

The American submarine USS S-38 picked up 54 survivors of which Bert was one. Despite his injuries being described in the telegram as 'Not reported as serious', presumably they must have been sufficiently concerning (A head injury) that he was one of the 10 critically injured that were left at the hospital in Surabaya when the remaining men were taken to Australia. Shortly after this the Japanese over ran the island. No further news was heard of Bert for 13 months (March 1943), when we learned he was a prisoner of war.

Nothing more was heard of him until September 1945 when the war in the Far East was over. The first airmail from Bert was to my mother, telling her he was 'a free man again'. It was sent from No1 Cycle Camp Batavia Java. His first stop on the long journey home was in Singapore. While he was there Bert and 5 other sailors were invited to dine at the Naval Barracks with Lord and Lady Mountbatten (3rd October 1945) and he tells us in his letter that he really felt his luck was certainly in!

He sailed from there on the SS Cecilia to Colombo and eventually arrived home in November 1945. Bert had a wife and 3 children and died in 1970 at the young age of 53.

Mrs Eileen Gordon (nee Satfford)



PO. Charles Richard Smith HMS Electra (d.27th Feb 1942)

My uncle, Charles Richard Smith, Petty Officer (Supply) was on board HMS Electra when it went down. Unfortunately, he died that day aged 27 years. He was born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. My Grandmother had a wooden screen made and donated it to the local church in his memory.

Lynne Halford



Commander Stuart Austen Buss MVO DSC, MID HMS Dulverton (d.13th November 1943)

I am the son of Commander S. A. Buss, who commanded HMS Electra and was mentioned at lot in the book by T. J. Cain. He was killed in the Aegean when in command of HMS Dulverton on 13th November 1943. Sadly, apart from his medals and a few photos, I have few other mementos.

John Buss







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