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

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HMS Pembroke

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

Those known to have sailed in

HMS Pembroke

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Adams Frederick George. ERA.
  • Ashton William Patrick. Able Sea.
  • Beeching Sydney George. Stoker.
  • Burnley Victor Leopold. SPO. (d.10th Jun 1941)
  • Cant Walter Frederick. Stkr/2.
  • Cole George Cyril. SBA
  • Cooper Robert Fawcett. Sgmn. (d.August 28, 2010)
  • Crawford Robert Sloan. Sig.
  • Donovan Georgie. Sto1
  • Ganden Fredrick Charles. CPO.
  • Gould Reginald. Sig.
  • Gray William Hull. Era2.
  • Greenhouse Norman. Ldg.Sea.
  • Ives Sidney James. Stoker.
  • Knowlden Bernard Frank.
  • Lilley Clifford William. Ldg Sea.
  • O'Flaherty John Edward. ERA4
  • Parkes Vernon Charles T..
  • Plater Joseph Edward. ERA4
  • Potten George Edward. Sea.
  • Ridgley Godfrey John. Ord Sigs
  • Sadler Albert. Ord. Sea.
  • Tugwell Ernest William Robert.
  • Wood Bertram. Stoker 1/Cl. (d.1942)
  • Woodley Percy William.

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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SPO. Victor Leopold Burnley HMS Pintail (d.10th Jun 1941)

My grandfather was Stoker Petty Officer (SPO) Victor Leopold Burnley, aged 34 years old in 1941. Victor was killed on HMS Pintail on the 10th June 1941. He also served on the following ships in 1939 to 1941, HMS Emerald, HMS Pembroke, HMS Sussex.

I have also been able to establish a little more detail about the events around the sinking of HMS Pintail: On 10th June 1941, the Harwich based patrol vessel HMS Pintail was escorting a convoy near 62-Bouy, some 30 miles off the Humber, when steamship Royal Scott detonated an acoustic mine, blew up and sank. Pintail immediately dashed to the scene to help in the rescue, but she was also caught by an acoustic mine close to the steamship. HMS Pintail blew up and was lost almost immediately, instantly killing her CO Lieutenant McClintoch, six officers and 48 ratings. HMS Quantock a destroyer came to the scene and managed to save 22 crew from the water. The location of the ship is 28 miles East south east off Spurn Point.

Richard Bass

Sig. Reginald Gould HMS Pembroke

I have recently been given a list of ships my father was on during WW2 and I have been unable to find a lot of them in the records on line. As he passed away 7 years ago I am unable to ask him.

This has always been a great fascination to me and I want to make some record of his times to pass on to future generations .. so I was wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction where to find more information? The only one I have really found alot about is the Royal Arthur .. the others are

  • Scotia Mercury
  • Fox
  • Europa
  • Oystermouth Castle
  • Prophet
  • Pembroke

Clare Gould-smith

Stoker. Sydney George Beeching HMS Kittywake

My father and mother both served in the Second World War. Both enlisting in England. My father Sydney Beeching, enlisted in the Navy and after spending some time at Royal Arthur served at Pembroke and on the Kittywake from 20 December 1940 to 2 July 1943 according to his papers. Then he served on Pembroke 4 Steadfast from 3 July 1943 to January 1946. He also went to America on the Queen Mary when she went over for refitting as a troop carrier.

My mother was a telephonist in the Air Force but I don't know much about her postings or anything other than she was stationed at different airfields around Kent. Her name was Barbara Edna Bayly.

Heather Osborne

ERA. Frederick George Adams HMS Pembroke

Frederick Adams enlisted in the Royal Navy March 1943. He entered service as an Engine Room Artificer as he had already served an aprentiship as a boilermaker. He served on Minesweepers out of Chatham and Sheerness and apart from St Tudno I do not know what other minesweepers he served on.

In 1946 he joined HMS Rajah a lendlease U.S carrier that went out to the far east to collect released POW's. I know this is a long shot but if anyone knows or remembers him please could you get in touch.

Barry Frederick Adams

Ernest William Robert Tugwell

My father Ernest Tugwell was in Class 21. HMS Royal Arthur from 9th of July 1942 until 25the Jan 1943, training for signals before moving to HMS Pembroke which, I believe, was was at Chatham.

In the picture he is in the 2nd row from the front, 5th from left. he was born in October 1923 so he was just 19 years old.

Robert Tugwell

Ldg.Sea. Norman Greenhouse HMS Nigeria

Norman Greenhouse served on HMS Havock at Narvik and then in the Mediterranean and took part in the Battles of Cape Spada and Matapan. Later was on HMS Resource from 25 July 1941 to 16 April 1942. His record shows that he joined HMS Nigeria on 11 June 1944 until 21 May 1945; I believe it was during this time that he earned his Burma Star.

He was stationed back at HMS Pembroke on 22 May 1945 and spent the last months of his naval career on HMS Solebay, which, I believe made goodwill visits around Britain. He was transferred to Reserve service 7 December 1946 and remained on reserve until 1953.

Norman later served more than 20 years with the National Fire Service, and later was Chief Fire Officer at the Royal Festival Hall until his retirement.

Pat Whitter

Vernon Charles T. Parkes

Vernon Parkes was my father and he was based in Pembroke Gillingham from 1939 to 1955. I would like to know if anybody remembers him. I would like to know what ships he went on and where they went. I haven't got any photos as these were passed down to my brother when our dad died and now my brother has died there isn't any information with the family to trace my dad's naval career. I would like to know if anybody knew of anyone who was in the navy with him.


Stoker. Sidney James Ives HMS Bedouin

Sidney Ives was born in south London on 10th September 1917. He enlisted in the Royal Navy on 27th May 1940.

He served on HMS Arthur, HMS Pembroke, and HMS Bedouin which was sunk by the Italians and was in the sea for 10 hours before being rescued and taken prisoner. He was later handed over to the Germans and was in a POW camp for almost 3 years, he escaped twice but was recaptured both times. He was also on the long march across Europe.

He lived on his own in Chatham, Kent but needed extra care, so moved to Pembroke House, a care home for ex Navy personnel. He has short term memory loss but can remember lots of stories of his time in the Navy.

William Chesney

Able Sea. William Patrick "Asho" Ashton HMS Nigeria

My dad, William Ashton, (according to his Certificate of Service) joined the Royal Navy on 18th October 1941, when he was 19 years old. The name of the ships he served on were: Raleigh, Pembroke and Nigeria. I believe Raleigh was a training vessel. He served on Pembroke from 16th December 1941 to 10th January 1942, and on Nigeria from 11th January 1942 to 18th July 1944 and then from 19th July 1944 to 10th December 1945. Under the name of ship it states `u/Russia', but I am not sure what that means. It finishes with his being on the Pembroke again from 11th December 1945 to 13th April 1946. He was released, Class A, 30747.

The stories he related were about escorting the Merchant Navy ships on the Malta Convoys and the Russian Convoys in the Atlantic. I am sure he said he was torpedoed, but not on what ship or where. He said the Malta Convoys where scary, but escorting the Russian Convoys was a nightmare, not with just the attacks by submarines, but the planes and the sub-zero conditions with ice and frost on the ships. They had to knock the ice off with picks, hammers and any other available tool they had. The water coming over the ships was sub zero. I have some photos of a ship being fired on and then sunk by enemy fire. It seems like the photos were taken of the ship my dad was on, then two photos of my dad's ship being fired on. Also a photo of the high waves coming over his ship, which look like Atlantic waves. I have a photo of someone, who must be an officer, being saluted and whistled aboard. Another photo is of a crowd of sailors and (in the background) the flags of Britain, Russia and America, so I presume it could be in Russia. I believe he spent some time in Ceylon because I have a photo of him and two friends standing by some lush vegetation, but there is no information about where they are.

My dad had a twin named Ernie, who was also in the Royal Navy, but I don't know which ships he served on.

Paul Ashton

Stoker 1/Cl. Bertram Wood DSM HMS Ark Royal (d.1942)

My grandfather, Bertram Wood DSM, served in the Royal Navy from 1924 until April 1942, when he was killed. He served in HMS Ark Royal, HMS Royal Sovereign, HMS Pembroke, HMS Chatham, HMS Repulse, HMS Renown, HMS Ramillies, HMS Valiant, HMS Pegasus, HMS Ajax and HMS Havock.

Carol Broomfield

Sgmn. Robert Fawcett Cooper (d.August 28, 2010)

My dad joined the Royal Navy as a Boy/2nd Class in 1939 at the age of 16. He trained as a signalman and had been stationed on land bases Pembroke and Rooke. He also served on HMS Royal Sovereign as well as other ships. He left the Royal Navy in 1948 with his last post being at HMS Rooke in Algiers.

Jeanne Phair

Ord Sigs Godfrey John Ridgley HMS Royal Arthur

My dad, Godfrey John Ridgley, served aboard HMS Royal Arthur from May 15th 1941 until 24th September 1941. He was a Ordinary Signalman.

I came across his Navy history whilst sorting out my mother's house and found he went on to serve on Pembroke, Badger, Paris, Europa, Laulia and Mayina, finishing in May 1946 aboard Europa.

Jonathan Ridgley

Percy William Woodley HMS Pembroke

Enlistment Notice

Certicate of service

I came across my great granddad, Percy William Woodley, war enlistment notice letter and service record from when he was in the Royal Navy. My great granddad was enlisted on Monday 30th Nov 1942 and trained at HMS Royal Arthur at Skegness until 7th of January 1943. He later joined HMS Pembroke.

Jennifer Dawson

Ldg Sea. Clifford William Lilley DSM HMS Pembroke

My father, Bill Lilley, served on Pembroke twice in 1943 and prior to being discharged in 1946. He mostly served on landing craft and ops in occupied Holland

Russell Lilley

Sea. George Edward Potten HMS Berkeley Castle

George Potten trained at H.M.S Really in Chatham. His main ship was Berkeley Castle and he finished the war as Cox First Class. I would like to know why my father was at Pembroke and Copra.

George Potten

Sig. Robert Sloan Crawford HMS Royal Arthur

My father, Robert Crawford, joined the Royal Navy in August 1940. He started his Navy life at Royal Arthur and was there until Jan 1941. We have a list of ships or shore-based establishments which include HMS Pembroke, HMS Antrim and HMS Europa.

We know that he left the Navy in February 1946 and that he was a signaller but he never spoke about anything to do with his time in the war. Sadly, Dad died in 1986. I have been in touch with Navy Command Secretariat 4 and they have very helpful in getting Dad's war record for me. I would like to honour his life.

Robert Crawford

ERA4 John Edward O'Flaherty HMS Pembroke

From my Dad, John O'Flaherty's Service Certificate I can see that he joined the Royal Navy as an Engineer & Turner on 10th of December 1942. He joined the following Ships,

  • HMS Pembroke 2, joined as ERA4 on 10 December 1942 to 22 February 1943
  • HMS Wayland, joined as ERA4 on 23 February 1943 to 9 December 1943
  • HMS Hasdrubal (Ferryville) joined as ERA4 1 April 1944 to 2 December 1944
  • HMS Pembroke joined as ERA4 3 December 1944 to 4 November 1945 when he was discharged, cause given as Physically unfit for Naval Service

Upon his discharge he arrived in the Royal Naval Hospital Bristol, then to Warling Park Hospital, close to his family. As a child I don't remember much about him, he spent a lot of time in Hospital not returning home permanently till the late 1950's. Even then he seemed to be absent now and again. He retrained as a Center Lathe Turner, having several jobs before settling down to work for Merryweathers building Engines for Fire Engines at their Deptford London branch. He retired at 65 and enjoyed five years of retirement before surcoming to Cancer. He is remembered by his Children and Grandchildren.

Pauline Adkin

Stkr/2. Walter Frederick "Rick" Cant HMS Pembroke

My dad, Walter Cant, joined the Royal Navy at 17 and served on HMS Pembroke twice. It seems he also served time in detention. Does anyone remember him?


CPO. Fredrick Charles Ganden HMS Pembroke

My granddad, Fredrick Charles Ganden, was on the HMS Pembroke many times over the years in WW2. He was a cook and worked up to CPO.

Era2. William Hull Gray HMS Pembroke

Billy Gray was my father he had many friends on board ship at a very hard time. I have many photos of his time, of the ice in the riggings and of the time the King visited the ship. Many thanks for all who sailed with my father.

Denis Gray

Sto1 Georgie "Spike" Donovan HMS Pembroke

Dad was in the Royal Navy from 22 Nov 1938-8 June 1949 list of ships he served on in order of service:
  • HMSPembroke
  • HMS Foxhound (H69)
  • HMS Mauritius(80)
  • HMS Caledonia (D53)
  • HMS Volunteer(D71)
  • HMS Lanka
  • HMS Waldegrave(k579)
  • HMS Dido
  • HMS Triumph

He served on a few more but I had trouble in deciphering dad's certificate of service records. He never spoke about the war during his lifetime but having received a copy of his war records recently and reading about his dangerous engagements makes you fill proud.

Anthony Donovan

SBA George Cyril Cole HMS Pembroke RN Hospital

George Cole was born in Woking, Surrey, UK on 17th June 1924. He enlisted in the Royal Navy on 27th October 1942 as a probationary Sick Berth Attendant with service No MX 111110. He underwent initial training at HMS Glendower in North Wales, a newly built Butlin's holiday camp taken over by the RN.

George was drafted to RN Hospital Pembroke on 10th December 1942 and advanced to SBA on 28th April 1942 and remained there until 19th August 1943. He was sent to HMS Saker in the USA which was a holding station while waiting for HMS Gardiner which was transferred to the RN as a 'Lend-Lease' vessel on 28th September 43. George returned to the UK and to RN Hospital at Pembroke. He was then drafted to HMS Copra on 20th April 1944 which appears to have been at Largs, Scotland at the time.

He went back to Pembroke on 21st February 1945 and, on 25th July 1945 to HMS Derby Haven, a Loch-class anti-submarine frigate which had been converted to a depot ship. He then sailed for Singapore and after a call at Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) arrived there in November. The vessel was used as a depot ship for Harbour Defence Launches and US built BYMS wooden built minesweepers.

On 1st January 1946 George was drafted to Mull of Galloway a RN heavy repair ship in Singapore and returned to Britain in her and went back to Pembroke. He was discharged from the Royal Navy on 2nd October 1946.

George became a male nurse. Enlisted in the RNZN at HMNZS Maori, London as SBA on 6th June 1949. Then was drafted to HMNZS Lachlan on 29th July 1949 and was a crew mwmber who brought that vessel to NZ. George was at Philomel and Tamaki until drafted to HMNZS Kanieri on 30th January 1951. He was at RNZN hospital Philomel 11 Apr 51 and advanced to LSBA on 16 February 1952. Drafted to Kanieri pn 16th June 1954 and advanced to SBPO on 1st July 1954 and served in Korean waters during the period November 1954 to March 1955 and again from 1st April 1956 to 8th May 1957.

In January 1958 HMS Cardigan Bay, a RN Bay-class anti-aircraft frigate visited NZ, and George Cole spent some six weeks in that vessel while it was in NZ. At Philomel 4th March 1958. Advanced to A/SBCPO 14th July 1960, SBCPO 12th April 1961. Served in Royalist 14th January 1963 - 11th February 1964 then back to RNZN Hospital. Discharged to Retiring Allowance 29th June 1965. WW2 Medals not ascertained. Later entitled to NZOSM, NZGSM(K), NZDefSM.

These notes have been gained from my researches into those men who served in NZ Armed Forces in Korea during the period June 1950 - December 1957.

Howard Chamberlain

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