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

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- HMS Queen Elizabeth during the Second World War -

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HMS Queen Elizabeth

   HMS Queen Elizabeth was a Super-Dreadnought battleship, launched on 16 October 1913 at Portsmouth, Hampshire. She saw action during the Great War. She had a displacement of 27,500 tons , was 645 ft 9 in (197 m) long with a beam of90 ft 6 in (27.6 m) Her top speed was 24 knots (44 km/h) and she had a crew compliment of 950 during the Second World War.

At the outbreak of the Second World War she was in the middle of a refit at Portsmouth, because of enemy bombing she was moved to Rosyth to for the refit to be completed. In May 1941 she joined the Mediterranean Fleet. On the 18th of December 1941 She was mined, along with HMS Valiant by Italian frogmen whilst in the harbour at Alexandria, Egypt. None of her crew lost their lives. The ship sank low in the shallow water, but was able to maintain an illusion of being fully operational so concealing the weak British position in the Mediterranean. She was raised and some repairs were undertaken then sailed to the United States Navy Yard in Norfolk, Virginia arriving in September 1942. Repairs were completed in June 1943 and HMS Queen Elizabeth was sent to the Pacific, where she served from 1944, taking part in raids on Japanese bases in Indonesia. She returned to Britain in July 1945, and was sold for scrap in March 1948.


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

Those known to have sailed in

HMS Queen Elizabeth

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Barry Claud Barrington. Rear Admiral
  • Gregg William. Seaman
  • Lornie Peter Barnard. A/CPO
  • Lornie Peter Barnard. CPO.

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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Rear Admiral Claud Barrington Barry DSO HMS Queen ELizabeth

My father joined the navy as a cadet in 1904.Becoming a Submariner in 1914 he commanded various submarines in the war including C14.D4 and R12 Between the wars he commanded two J boatslent to RANthen K22,K26 ,Thames and Medway,attended Staff college and was Chief of Staff to Flag Officer Submarines 1939 saw him as NA to 2nd Sea Lord and then commanding HMS Queen Elizabeth and Then Valiant As a Rear Admiral was Flag Officer Submarines 1943-44 and then Naval Secretary followed by Director of Dockyards He died on the 27th Dec 1951 4 days before Retirement. His final Rank was Admiral

colin barry

Seaman William Gregg HMS Birmingham

I am trying to find my uncle, William Gregg. He is my mother's brother and served on the Queen Elizabeth when it was sunk in 1941 in Alexandria Harbor. My mother and William were raised in an orphanage in Lee Hill Cottages, Lanchester, County Durham. My mother has a memory of William visiting her wearing tropical whites at some point. She said that after the Queen Elizabeth had been mined, he also served on the HMS Birmingham, and possibly the Repulse. He told her that he worked on the dynamos on the Queen Elizabeth. My mother is almost 90 years old and in failing health. She would love to hear what became of her brother. They lost touch during the war because she had been moved in the Land Army. As a footnote to William's service, she regaled me of tales of Italian divers sinking the Elizabeth and the heroic efforts of British wartime seamen.

Gregg Salter

A/CPO Peter Barnard Lornie HMS Queen Elizabeth

Peter Lornie joined up in August 1940 as an assistant steward. Prior to the war he had been in the catering industry working in Newcastle upon Tyne. He joined the battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth in January 1941 and on 11th February was promoted to leading steward. He was on board when HMS Queen Elizabeth was attacked by Italian frogmen on 19th December 1941. On 9th May 1942 he joined the cruiser HMS Sirius as a petty officer steward.

On 17th October 1943 Sirius was bombed while serving in the Mediterranean and Peter Lornie was injured by shrapnel. He was hospitalised.

On 5th January 1945 he joined W Force as an acting chief petty officer steward and was part of naval party 2420 serving in the Far East. He was discharged on 26th December 1945.

Richard Lornie

CPO. Peter Barnard Lornie HMS Queen Elizabeth

Peter Lornie joined the Royal Navy on August 20 1940. His initial rank was that of Assistant Steward. He was promoted to Leading Steward in February 1941. In January 1943 he was posted to Petty Officer Steward and in January 1945 to a/COG Steward. He was discharged on 26th December 1945.

Peter was posted to the battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth in January 1941 and on 11 February was promoted to Leading Steward. Queen Elizabeth had been rebuilt twice between Wars. She re-joined the Fleet at Scapa Flow in February 1941 and served in the Atlantic and later in the Mediterranean. Peter was on board when HMS Queen Elizabeth was attacked and sunk at her moorings in Alexandria Harbour by Italian frogmen on 19 December 1941.

On 9 May 1942 he joined the cruiser HMS Sirius as a Petty Officer Steward. HMS Sirius was a Dido-class cruiser built in Portsmouth. Her keel was laid in April 1938 and she was launched on the 18 September 1940, and commissioned 6 May 1942. Peter served on HMS Sirius as Petty Officer (Steward) and one of his officers was Commander Richard Colville (later to become Press Secretary to the King and subsequently to Queen Elizabeth. (Peter would receive a Christmas Card from Colville postmarked Buckingham Palace well into the post war period). Peter served on board Sirius until she was bombed on 17th October 1943 and he was injured and hospitalised with multiple wounds to the right hip, thigh, shoulder and left ankle being closed up at his action station while the ship was engaging enemy aircraft. He was wounded as described consequent on the ship receiving a direct hit and several near misses. 14 men were killed and 30 wounded. Sirius returned to Alexandria and later sailed to Massama in Eritrea for repairs.

On 5 January 1945 he joined Force W as an acting Chief Petty Officer (Steward) and was part of Naval Party 2420 serving in the Far East. It has not been possible to determine which ship he served on at this time.

2420 Flag Officer Force W & Staff (attached to Admiralty 10.44 - 11.44/left UK for Delhi 20.11.44/to Chittagong area 12.44/ to Burma (Akyab) 02.45/ Force W to Delhi 05.45/ in India to 08.45/embarked BULOLO*) Chittagong 01.45/Akyab 02-03.45/Kyaukpyu, Ramree Is 04-05.45/Delhi 06-07.45/Bombay08-09.45/BULOLO 09-10.45/ Singapore 11.45 - 01.46/ title lapsed 02.46

Peter Lornie was discharged on 26 December 1945. Peter was awarded the Burma campaign medal along with 39 - 45 Star, Africa Star with North Africa Bar, France and Germany Star and War Medal.

Record of Service 1940 - 45

  • Royal Arthur 20 August 1940 Assistant Steward
  • Victory 2 27 September 1940 Assistant Steward
  • Queen Elizabeth 14 January 1941 Assistant Steward
  • Queen Elizabeth 11 February 1941 Leading Steward
  • Victory 15 January 1942 Leading Steward
  • Sirius 9 May 1942 Leading Steward
  • Sirius 27 January 1943 Petty Officer Steward 17 October 1943 - Injured in bombing attack
  • Victory 2 April 1944 Petty Officer Steward
  • Argus 8 August 1944 Petty Officer Steward
  • Victory 6 December 1944 Petty Officer Steward
  • Odyssey (Force W) 1 January 1945 5 January 1945 a/COG Steward
  • Braganza (NP.2420) 1 June 1945
  • Victory 7 September 1945
  • Victory 26 December 1945 Released Class A

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