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

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- HMS Galatea during the Second World War -

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HMS Galatea

   HMS Galatea was an Arethusa-class light cruiser of the Royal Navy. She was built by Scotts Shipbuilding & Engineering Co., with the keel being laid down on the 2nd of June 1933. She was launched on the 9th of August 1934, and commissioned on the 14th of August 1935.

HMS Galatea was under the command of Captain E.W.B. Sim as a unit of the 15th Cruiser Squadron. In late 1941 Force B was returning to Alexandria from an unsuccessful search for Italian convoys going to Benghazi. On the night of 14th December 1941 Galatea was attacked by German dive bombers; the attacks persisted for about seven hours. Just before midnight, when north west of Alexandria, Galatea became a target for U-557 which hit her with two torpedoes in quick succession. The cruiser turned over and sank in three minutes. 469 men were killed. Captain Sim with 21 of his officers and 447 ratings. About 100 survivors were picked up by the destroyers Griffin and Hotspur.


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Those known to have sailed in

HMS Galatea

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Chinner Richard. Marine (d.15th Dec 1941)
  • Clarke Frederick Charles. PO.Stoker. (d.15th Dec 1941)
  • Craft Walter George. Able Sea. (d.15th December 1941)
  • Davidson Alexander. Marine (d.15th December 1941)
  • Rosbottom Edward. Stkr.

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 Galatea  These include information on officers service records, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Second World War.

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Marine Richard Chinner HMS Galatea (d.15th Dec 1941)

Richard Chinner served with the Royal Marines during WW2 and was killed in action on the 15th December 1941, aged 18. He is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial in Plymouth. He was the son of Samuel James Chinner and Florence Ellen Chinner, of St. Just, Cornwall.

S Flynn

Able Sea. Walter George Craft HMS Galatea (d.15th December 1941)

I lost my grandfather, Walter George Craft, during WWII. He was on HMS Galatea.


HMS Galatea was torpedoed and sunk by the German U-boat U557 off Alexandria, Egypt. About 100 survivors were picked up by two British destroyers. Sadly, 23 officers and 447 ratings were killed.

About two days later, U557 was rammed and sunk by the Italian torpedo boat "Orione" and lost with all hands.

Maryanne Wyatt

PO.Stoker. Frederick Charles Clarke HMS Galatea (d.15th Dec 1941)

Born and raised in Spon Lane, Acting Stoker P.O. Frederick Charles Clarke was believed to be the only local man on board HMS Galatea. The Roll of Honour as published in The Times newspaper on February 12th 1942 records him as Missing Presumed Killed Clarke F.C. A/STO P.O. (Ty) Lives lost: 22 Officers, 394 R.N. Ratings, 50 Royal Marines and 4 N.A.F.F.I. (total 470).

After the First World War an appropriate way was needed to commemorate members of the Royal Navy who had lost their lives but had no known grave. As most men died at sea and a permanent memorial had to be sited on land, the three manning ports in Great Britain (Chatham, Plymouth and Portsmouth) were selected. After WW2 the memorials were extended to include the naval dead of this war also and it is here that Frederick Charles Clarke is commemorated.

Stuart Clarke

Marine Alexander Davidson HMS Galatea Royal Marines (d.15th December 1941)

I am trying to locate anyone who may have a friend or relatives who served on HMS Galatea. My great uncle, Alexander Davidson from Aberdeen, served on this ship and died when it was sunk on 15th December 1941.


Stkr. Edward Rosbottom HMS Galatea

My father, Edward Rosbottom, was on the HMS Galatea which was torpedoed at midnight. It was pitch black and he also had one of the sailors on his back whilst swimming as the boy could not swim. He was a survivor and lived until 1974.

Kath Peake

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