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

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HMS Newcastle

   The seventh HMS Newcastle was a Town-class light cruiser of the Royal Navy. She belonged to the Southampton subclass. In the Second World War following extensive battle damage sustained in the Mediterranean, she spent some time being repaired in New York. She also saw action in the Korean War and was decommissioned in 1959.


   HMS NEWCASTLE was built by Vickers Armstrong on the Tyne. Ordered 1934 and completed 5th March 1937. She was 584 feet overall, 61ft 8in in the beam and had a draught of 17ft. Displacement was 9100 tons, 12000 tons full load with a wartime complement of 833. Machinery was 8 three-drum oil fired boilers to Parsons geared turbines driving four shafts, generating 75000 shp. Max speed was 32knots. Armament was 9 x 6in in three turrets, 8 x 4in in four twin turrets, with a variety of smaller calibre AA guns.


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Those known to have sailed in

HMS Newcastle

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

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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Arthur Lott HMS Newcastle

I have a friend, Mrs Doris Lott, who is currently visiting me from UK. Her husband (deceased), Arthur Lott, was a Torpedo Operator on the HMS Newcastle when it was torpedoed in the Mediterranean. His friend Kenneth Dobbs (Doris Lott's brother) was also aboard the same ship when torpedoed on the 15th of June 1942. I am told the ship was sailed backwards (stern first, because of damage) to the Boston Shipyards in Boston, Massachusetts for repairs.

Donald Baker

Albert F. Richards HMS Newcastle

My late Father Albert F. Richards served on the Newcastle, and was on board when she was hit during the Malta convoy. When he returned from the repairs in New York he married my Mother in Elburton, Plymouth, Devon England. My Father served on many ships, but loved the Newcastle.

Heather Dickerson

John Barnes HMS Newcastle

My father, John Barnes, served on the HMS Newcastle 1940-45.

Craig Fletcher

Maurice Herbert Thompson HMS Newcastle

My father served on HMS Newcastle from around 1941 to 1945 as a Royal Marine (45 Commando - Plymouth). His name is Maurice Herbert Thompson From Bristol. He's now 87 years and mostly worked on the 4inch AA guns. Occasionally he keeps his Grandson entertained with the missions that the 'Newcastle' did. If there are any of his old shipmates who remember Maurice and would like to contact him it would make his day.

Mike Thompson

Ldg.Hnd. Norman "Nobby" Hunt Stoker HMS Newcastle

My dad, Norman Hunt served in the Mavy 1938-1952 and left the service as a CPO. He loved his time in the the Navy got around a bit from the places he went to such as Malta, South Africa and Virginia USA where he spent time on a farm waiting for either repairs to ship or leaselend ship, I'm not quite sure which.

Bob Hunt

Able.Sea. Archibald Stewart Auld HMS Newcastle

Able Seaman, DJX288914, Archibald Stewart Auld, also known as Archie, served on HMS Newcastle during WW2. He was from Dundee.

Kelly Kirby

PO. Douglas Glen Pring HMS Newcastle

My grandfather, Douglas Pring served on HMS Newcastle between 1939 and 1947, during this time he and some of his shipmates were re-christened as Roman Catholics as this gave them an excuse to leave the ship on a Sunday to go to "church" whilst in port. The only Padre's on board were C of E.

Sarah Hussey

Kenneth Alexander Franks HMS Newcastle

Mike Franks

Leading torpedo operator William George "Bill" Baker HMS Newcastle

Bill Baker, currently aged 93 (Dec 2012), served on HMS Hasty from the start of the war until Jan 1940, and then La Triumphant (French destroyer) for a few weeks before joining HMS Newcastle in early 1940, where he served until 1943. He was on the ship when it was torpedoed by a German U boat which blew a hole right through the ship, before having to return to Alexandria. After a six month spell at Eaton Hall near Chester (Britannia 2 Royal Navy College - from transferred Dartmouth College) he went to join HMS Gold in Boston USA, but caught chicken pox so was not allowed to sail. The ship was subsequently sumk in the Atlantic shortly afterwards, so his life was saved by having chicken pox! He then joined HMS Bligh for the remainer of the war. During this time he was responsible for depth charges during action stations and was mentioned in despatches following the sinking of a U boat in May 1944.

Michael Robbins

Jeremy Donovan Nutt HMS Newcastle

My father, Jeremy Donovan Nutt, of Rhodesia served on the HMS Newcastle in the Pacific in approx. 1943-45. I have a few photos that are very unclear and would appreciate any photos or memorabilia from this period. Thanks.

Paul Kah-Nutt

John Ewens HMS Newcastle

H.M.S. Newcastle

John Ewens

John Ewens

John Ewens

My Grandad, John Ewens was a Gun Layer on HMS Newcastle (Pennant No. C76). The ship was torpeded on 15th June 1942 in the Med by Torpedo Boat S-56. She made her way via Ceylon, S.Africa and Brazil to Brooklyn N Y where she had a new bow fitted in 1943. She was scrapped in 1959 in Faslane, Scotland.

Kelly Drew

William Utterson HMS Newcastle

My brother Bill Utterson was on HMS Newcastle. Bill will be 90 this year (2014). I think he may be in the photograph of the crew which I think may have been taken on the steps of the Guild Hall in Portsmouth but I could not get it large enough to study it. I was in the WRNS for 5 years and lived in Pompey for 10 years.

Doris Clark

Marine George Wilfred Billington HMS Penelope

Dad, George Billington was on several ships including the Cardiff and Newcastle I believe. The story I remember was his being on the Penelope and somewhere off Malta in an engagement and being injured on a large gun by being thrown against its interior after an explosion. He ended up in hospital in Malta and while there German fighters machine-gunned the hospital, killing the man opposite dad's bed, apparently because we had sunk a German hospital ship by mistake. Penelope left and Dad stayed during the heavy bombing.

When he was discharged from hospital he eventually boarded a ship going to India before managing to get home as there was no other means of getting off Malta. He went back there with my Mum on holiday in the 1980s, but it was a mistake as it brought back too many memories. Dad died aged 86 in 2003. He was a good man with a wonderful wife, my mum. He was very lucky, a lot of people were not, and we all need to remember how much we owe them.

P Billington

Stkr. Timothy William "Ted" Courtney HMS Newcastle

Ted Courtney is my father-in-law. He served on HMS Newcastle from 6th May 1938 until 25th January 1942. At that time he was Stoker 1st Class, becoming Temp Acting Leading Stoker. During 1940 HMS Newcastle was involved with convoy cover sailing from Malta. In August 1941, HMS Newcastle was nominated for refit at Boston, USA. The ship arrived in Boston in September and left Boston to return to the UK in December. During this time, Ted was able to visit his sister, Jo and his aunt in New York.

Anne Courtney

Able Sea. Richard Hendy Butcher HMS Newcastle

My grandfather was the youngest able seaman on the HMS Newcastle. Being the youngest, he presented a chunk of coal from Newcastle, England to the Mayor(I think it was) of Newcastle, Australia. He had distinct memories of being kept awake at night in the Straits of Malacca because of the fear of being torpedoed.


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