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

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HMS Dinosaur

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

Those known to have sailed in

HMS Dinosaur

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Addis Richard Graham. Lt. (d.30th March 1944)

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Lt. Richard Graham Addis MID. DSC. HMS Laforey (d.30th March 1944)

Richard Addis was the 13th of the 13 children of Sir Charles and Lady Addis, of Woodside, Frant, Sussex. He was born in London on the 1st December 1916. He married Gill, nee Dearmer in London on the 9th December 1941. Their son, David, was born on 10th March 1944 (one son died at birth 17 Oct 1942). Dick was killed in action on 30th March 1944, aged 28, when his son was less than a month old. Gillian later remarried and died in December 2005.

From 20th of October 1939 to 19th of November 1939 Dick Addis was Prob. Temp. S/Lt RNVR at HMS King Alfred for basic training. Peter Scott (the famous ornithologist) was also in training there and singing Dick's songs. Gill had just come back from France and was in all the newspapers, especially the Evening Standard. Gill met Dick via Peter whom Gill knew via Peter's mother.

From 22nd of August 1940 to 9th of April 16941 he was a Lt RNVR on HMS Astral tender to HMS Wildfire (the Captain of Astral was a good cook and there was also signalman Stone, a cockney). In May 1940 he was at Dunkirk, about which he wrote an eye witness account that was published in Blackwoods Magazine. He was Mentioned in Dispatches for his work at Dunkirk. Temp. Sub Lt Mobile Balloon Barrage on Astral (this may have been a Belgian ship). The ships went up and down the Channel from Sheerness to Portsmouth and on the 6th of May 41 as a Temp. Sub Lt. he was awarded the DSC for his work on the Mobile Balloon Barrage.

From the 29th of May 1941 to 6th of January 1942 he was a Sub. Lt & Lt RNVR on HMS Mignonette Flower Class Corvette. As a Probationary Temporary Sub Lieutenant RNVR, Dick was sent in April 1941 for a fortnight's training at HMS Nimrod, the anti-submarine base in Campbeltown, commanded by his elder brother Charles, who was a Captain RN. The new entries were lined up on joining to be greeted by the commanding officer who, when he came to his brother, asked "What's your name?" "Addis, sir", Dick declared. At which Charles with a straight face replied "Oh yes, I believe I know your parents."

On the 8th of February 1942 be became a Temp Lt at HMS Mercury, RN Signal School. Then on the 23rd of May 23.05.43 he transferred to HMS Dinosaur training on landing craft. From the 1st of Decemner to 7th of January 1943 he was at HMS Mercury Qualifying for Lt 'S' before joining HMS Laforey under Capt "Beaky" Armstrong. The ship was torpedoed by a U-Boat and sank off the coast of Italy on the 30th March 1944.

Dick was a gifted musician and played the piano and oboe and also composed a number of pieces. He also wrote prose and poetry, including a number of books, one of which, a children's book, Barbara, the story of a Black Sheep, was published by Faber in 1944. His account of Dunkirk was published in Blackwoods Magazine. He was also an excellent cook and was friends with Andre Simon, founder of the Wine and Food Society.

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