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War Memorials on Anglesey, in North Wales.

H.M.S. Thetis Sinking - The Memorial in Holyhead

Holyhead - HMS Thetis Memorial 2013

Holyhead - HMS Thetis Memorial 2013

H.M.S. Thetis was a very early submarine in the days when submarines were very much a new concept, and it was being prepared for the war that was expected to follow in the near future. This Group 1 T Class submarine was experimental, and with the loss of 99 sailors and civilians she sank on 1st June 1939. It was less than one year since her launch at Cammel Lairds shipyard in Liverpool.

HMS Thetis’s hull was clearly visible as it was above the water line, and it would have been a simple task to drill or burn into the hull to rescue the people inside. In fact it was recently revealed that the admiralty would not allow this as it would permanently undermine the strength of the sub, and it must have been a conscious decision that those inside would perish.

On the 3rd of September 1939, the day that Great Britain declared war on Germany and her allies, the submarine was towed to and grounded at Traeth Bychan beach. The bodies were then recovered from the submarine and either buried in Maeshyfryd Cemetery in Holyhead, or repatriated to their next of kins,

It was subsequently repaired and re-launched as HMS Thunderbolt, only to be torpedoed and sunk on the 14th of March 1943 with all the crew losing their lives.

The majority of those bodies recovered from inside the sub were buried at Maeshyfryd Cemetery, where a memorial service is held every year. The memorial is dated 3rd of June 1939, two days after she sank, I guess that was the last date anyone inside was heard alive.

On the 18th of July 2015 Mr. Mike McQuaid sent me the ollowing email, which may be of interest to researchers:-

Hello, 

I’ve just seen the page dedicated to those lost on Thetis…  coincidentally, today I have been to the old Birkenhead Priory (now mainly ruins) next door to the Cammel Laird yard where the Thetis was built.  

The tower of the church that was once attached to the priory (St Mary’s) has been restored and contains not only a memorial to the Thetis, but has the names and ranks / professions of all those lost (plus some survivors) mounted on individual plaques along the handrail leading up to the top of the tower.

Yours appears to be (as you say) the only complete list of casualties so it might be of interest to anyone researching them to know about the Birkenhead Priory/St Mary’s memorial.

Regards, Mike.



Holyhead - HMS Thetis Memorial in 2005

Holyhead - HMS Thetis Memorial in 2005

Holyhead - HMS Thetis Memorial, Panel 1 Casualties Names

Holyhead - HMS Thetis Memorial, Panel 1 Casualties Names

Holyhead - HMS Thetis Memorial, Panel 2 Casualties Names

Holyhead - HMS Thetis Memorial, Panel 2 Casualties Names

Holyhead - HMS Thetis Memorial, Panel 3 Casualties Names

Holyhead - HMS Thetis Memorial, Panel 3 Casualties Names

Holyhead - HMS Thetis Memorial, Panel 4 Casualties Names

Holyhead - HMS Thetis Memorial, Panel 4 Casualties Names

 

 

Nowhere on the internet have I found a complete list of the casualties, so I am putting the following table here, which I believe to be a true record of those lost. The only anomaly in my list is that I have two casualties with the surname Smithers, the one in the table with no age does not appear on the memorial. I have nevertheless left it in as I must have had the name from somewhere during my research - maybe the name was omitted from the memorial only for it to be realised later that he was in fact onboard? I have arranged the names in alphabetical order for your convenience.

First Names
Surname
Age
Rank
Job
Service Number
Service
Comments
W. E.
Allen
24
Leading Telegraphist
Telegraphist
D/JX 135513
Royal Navy
Thomas
Ankers
56
Civilian
Civilian Contractor
James Irving
Armstrong
50
Civilian
Civilian Contractor
William Henry
Aslett
53
Civilian
Admiralty
Frank
Bailey
42
Civilian
Admiralty
Thomas
Bambrick
27
Stoker 1st Class
Stoker
D/KX 86324
Royal Navy
William George
Bath
47
Civilian
Civilian Contractor
Francis B.
Batten
28
Leading Signalman
Signals
Royal Navy
William Bradley
Beattie
45
Civilian
Civilian Contractor
Guy Howard
Bolus
37
Lieutenant Commander
Royal Navy
Married Sybil Poole in Ulverston in 1930.
Frank Richard
Bresner
55
Civilian
Civilian Contractor
Samuel
Broad
38
Civilian
Civilian Contractor
Robert S.
Brooke
26
Leading Stoker
Stoker
D/KX 81583
Royal Navy
William
Brown
32
Civilian
Civilian Contractor
Alan N.
Byrne
34
Artificer 2nd Class
Electrical
P/MX 47269
Royal Navy
Harold
Chapman
28
Lieutenant
Royal Navy
Arnold George
Chinn
25
Civilian
Civilian Contractor
George P.
Cornish
37
Chief Petty Officer
C/J 71379
Royal Navy
James
Costley
38
Able Seaman
P/J 64330
Royal Navy
Horace Thompson
Cragg
46
Civilian
Civilian Contractor
James
Craig
32
Stoker 1st Class
Stoker
D/KX 77855
Royal Navy
Archibald
Craven
39
Civilian
Civilian Contractor
Jack C.
Creasy
26
Artificer
Engine Room
D/MX 47691
Royal Navy
Holme Stanley
Crombles
20
Able Seaman
D/SSX 14810
Royal Navy
Robert William
Crout
48
Civilian
Civilian Contractor
David
Cunningham
26
Leading Stoker
Stoker
C/KX 80547
Royal Navy
Harold J.
Dillon-Shallard
37
Chief Petty Officer
Stoker
P/K 58669
Royal Navy
Married Mabel M. Butcher in Portsmouth in 1928
Gilbert Henry
Dobells
63
Civilian
Civilian Contractor
David Norman
Duncan
27
Civilian
Civilian Contractor
Alfred Horace
Dunn
22
Stoker 1st Class
Stoker
D/KX 86322
Royal Navy
Harold
Ecclestone
38
Civilian
Civilian Contractor
James Sidney
Feeney
25
Leading Stoker
Stoker
C/KX 81255
Royal Navy
Howard W. E.
French
31
Artificer
Engine Room
D/MX 49582
Royal Navy
Richard N.
Garnett
37
Lieutenant Commander
Royal Navy
Edward
Gisborne
29
Civilian
Admiralty
Roy Demetrius
Glenn
40
Commander
Engineer
Royal Navy
Theo Thomas
Goad
31
Petty Officer
C/J 108935
Royal Navy
Charles T. W.
Graham
31
Telegraphist
P/J 112924
Royal Navy
Louis Eric
Green
26
Stoker 1st Class
Stoker
P/KX 80815
Royal Navy
John
Griffiths
39
Civilian
Civilian Contractor
Walter L.
Hambrook
29
Acting Leading Seaman
P/J 115289
Royal Navy
Clifford Joseph S.
Hamilton
35
Civilian
Civilian Contractor
George A.
Harwood
24
Acting Petty Officer
Telegraphist
C/JX 134789
Royal Navy
Reginald G. B.
Hayter
37
Commander
Engineer
Naval Eng Dept
Married Elizabeth D. Fowler in Linton in 1928
Colin M. H.
Henderson
25
Lieutenant
Engineer
H.M.S. Dolphin
Albert Adair Fitzgerald
Hill
40
Civilian
Admiralty
Albert George
Hills
35
Stoker 1st Class
Stoker
P/K 61207
Royal Navy
Wilfred T.
Hole
25
Stoker 1st Class
Stoker
D/KX 80876
Royal Navy
Richard
Homer
33
Civilian
Civilian Contractor
John Adam
Hope
36
Acting Petty Officer
Telegraphist
D/J 81414
Royal Navy
Charles W.
Horne
34
Civilian
Admiralty
Harry Rushworth
Horsman
44
Civilian
Admiralty
Harold G.
Howell/s
26
Artificer
Engine Room
D/MX 50785
Royal Navy
Joseph Charles
Hughes
29
Petty Officer
Cook
P/MX 48198
Royal Navy
Leslie William
Hunn
27
Civilian
Admiralty
Peter F. Owens
Jackson
35
Acting Chief Petty Officer
Engine Room Artificer
C/MX 46112
Royal Navy
Stanley
Jackson
52
Captain
Engineer
H.M.S. Dolphin
Anthony G.
Jamieson
29
Lieutenant
Engineer
H.M.S. Trident
Married Ethel Graham in Tynemouth in 1928.
Edward A.
Kendrick
31
Able Seaman
D/JX 157904
Royal Navy
Thomas W.
Kenney
27
Leading Stoker
Stoker
C/KX 82462
Royal Navy
Robert
Kipling
38
Civilian
Civilian Contractor
Edward Hugh
Lewis
29
Civilian
Civilian Contractor
Thomas C. C.
Lloyd
34
Lieutenant Commander
H.M.S. Trident
Norman
Longstaff
26
Able Seaman
P/JX 132478
Royal Navy
Walter A.
Luck
24
Leading Seaman
C/JX 134188
Royal Navy
William A.
Matthews
24
Stoker 1st Class
Stoker
C/KX 87674
Royal Navy
Ernest
Mitchell
33
Petty Officer
P/J 102658
Royal Navy
James A.
Morgans
26
Able Seaman
P/JX 132797
Royal Navy
Thomas W.
Mortimer
22
Telegraphist
D/JX 138326
Royal Navy
William C.
Ormes
39
Chief Petty Officer
Engine Room Artificer
C/M 14525
Royal Navy
William
Orrock
22
Stoker 1st Class
Stoker
D/KX 85664
Royal Navy
Walter
Owen
32
Civilian
Civilian Contractor
James Alfred
Page
41
Civilian
Civilian Contractor
Lionel G.
Pennington
41
Commander
Engineer
Eng in Chiefs Dept
William A. W.
Poland
23
Lieutenant
Royal Navy
Philip Lawrence
Quinn
36
Civilian
Civilian Contractor
John Albert
Read
32
Leading Seaman
C/J 107220
Royal Navy
Arthur B.
Robinson
46
Civilian
Civilian Contractor
Frank
Rogers
24
Able Seaman
D/JX 135735
Royal Navy
Richard or Robert
Rogerson
27
Civilian
Civilian Contractor
Patrick E. J.
Ryan
28
Lieutenant
H.M.S. Trident
George Leonard
Scarth
30
Civilian
Civilian Contractor
Married Edith I. Douthwaite in Birkenhead in 1934.
Alfred Harry
Smith
38
Leading Seaman
D/J 80062
Royal Navy
Cornelius
Smith
27
Civilian
Civilian Contractor
William Henry
Smith
18
Civilian
Civilian Contractor
A. H.
Smithers
Leading Seaman
Royal Navy
Cecil Ernest
Smithers
27
Acting Petty Officer
C/JX 129326
Royal Navy
Married Edie G. Winter in Surrey in 1938.
Stanley W. G.
Stevens
22
Leading Seaman
P/JX 135921
Royal Navy
Francis Henry
Stock
24
Leading Steward
Steward
C/LX 21640
Royal Navy
George A.
Summers
33
Civilian
Civilian Contractor
John Henry
Turner
24
Acting Leading Seaman
D/JX 134566
Royal Navy
Donald Vernon
Tyler
42
Civilian
Civilian Contractor
Arthur Stanley
Watkinson
50
Civilian
Civilian Contractor
William
Watterson
35
Civilian
Civilian Contractor
James William
Wells
33
Petty Officer
Stoker
D/KX 81583
Royal Navy
Norman Douglas
Wilcox
25
Mersey Pilot
Mersey Pilot
Thomas
Wilson
22
Able Seaman
C/JX 138072
Royal Navy
Albert Edward
Yates
26
Stoker 1st Class
Stoker
D/KX 81352
Royal Navy
Edward J.
Youles
28
Acting Leading Stoker
Stoker
D/KX 80198
Royal Navy
Married Matilda R. Howling in Islington in 1936.
James
Young
42
Civilian
Civilian Contractor

Holyhead War Memorials Main Page




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