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

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- HMS Grimsby during the Second World War -

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HMS Grimsby

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

Those known to have sailed in

HMS Grimsby

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Curle Richard Alexander. F/Lt. (d.4th March 1943)
  • Roots Leslie Charles. Flt. Sgt. (d.18/19th July 1944)
  • Wattam Albert.
  • Willey R. W.. Sgt.

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

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Sgt. R. W. Willey 100 Squadron

Sgt. (Navigator) R.W. Willey served with 100 Squadron at Grimsby during WWII. Any memories?


Flt. Sgt. Leslie Charles "Jimmy" Roots 100 Squadron (d.18/19th July 1944)

My uncle, Leslie Charles Roots, trained as a Navigator at Air School 44 in Grahamstown, South Africa and passed out as a Flight Sergeant navigator in May 1943. He returned to the UK and was stationed in Lincolnshire at various RAF stations with the RAF Volunteer 100 Squadron. He was part of a Lancaster crew and flew on several bombing missions. His final flight was on the night of 18th/19th July 1944 in Lancaster LM620 which left RAF Grimsby to drop bombs on the Synthetic Oil Plants at Scholven. His plane was shot down at 0140 hours and all the crew were reported as missing presumed dead. Their remains were buried initially at Hassel near Gelderskirchen but later moved to the cemetery at Reichswald.

He was born in 1921 and was just 22 years old when he died. If anyone has any further information in respect of my uncle, I would dearly love to make contact.

Caroline Wood nee Roots

Albert "Boy" Wattam HMS Grimsby

Albert was a strong swimmer and when the Grimsby went down off Tobruk.They were still under attack. His mate couldn't swim so Albert frogged him on his back a mile or so to shore with occasional rests during the swim where he taught his mate to float although still under fire.

On reaching the beach they hid in the dunes and fell asleep from exhaustion. On waking, the firing had stopped, Albert grinned and tried to wake his friend saying "We made it". Only to find no response and his mate was dead from exhaustion. This event affected Albert's entire life.

On return to Blighty, like many others, he received no help, He converted a bicycle to carry ice-cream for sale to survive. He moved to Kent then emigrated to Darwin, Australia. He lived his life at Humpty-doo 40 miles inland in the bush.

His paratrooper brother had a bullet in his head that was inoperable and he committed suicide in 1949. His brother Reg was in Egypt and suffered all his life from steatorhea.

As you can imagine Albert had a rough life, but was much loved.The only medal they gave him was a service medal. The only medal they gave him was a service medal. Like my RAF regiment father in Burma, unsung heroes forgotten by government.


F/Lt. Richard Alexander Curle A Flight 100 Squadron (d.4th March 1943)

Richard Curle was a very close friend of my father. He trained in Canada and returned to fly operations over Germany in first Wellingtons and then in Lancasters with No. 100 Squadron based at RAF Grimsby.

It was on 100 Squadron's first operational sortie (as a bomber squadron) on 4th of March 1943 that Richard and his crew failed to return. They had been sent to the Gironde Estuary in western France to drop sea mines. A month later Richard's body was recovered from the sea but no trace of the Lancaster or the rest of the crew was located. He is buried in a small cemetery on the island of D'Oleron.

To learn more about Richard and his crew see

Craig Smith

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