HMS Warspite
Message Board
Messages 25 to 49

Nov. 24, 2013

Have been following your site for some time now with special reference to HMS Warspite. I trained at HMS St. George 1942 - 1944 and joined Warspite in March 1944. Saw action at D-Day and Walcheren and left her for the BPF in March 1945. With me as Boy Telegraphists were Fred Sparkes (lost at sea his escort vessel  torpedoed in April 1945) Fred Cross, Charlie Leggat, Ken Austwick and perhaps others I do not remember. I am 87 and retired in Toronto, Canada since 1997.

(My Time in HMS Warspite)

Anthony F. Balch (C/JX371512)

Sept. 1, 2013

During a clear out of our garage I have found a commemorative coin engraved "A C Lynch - HMS Warspite 1941-43", set within a letter opener. I'm sure it's not worth much although may be of sentimental value to someone. If anyone knows anything please get in touch through the site.

G. Whitehouse

July 14, 2013

A very interesting site. I'm helping a friend find out any info on her late father, Henry Arthur  Brown RM. He was a gunner on the Warspite during WII. I noticed a couple of questions from readers asking about crew lists. Are there any? How can I read the responses to the postings?

Clive Richards
North Wales

Reply 1
July 14, 2013

At this point I don not have any crew lists, but am always hoping to obtain some. All responses are posted in yellow text below the original message (like this one).

Michael W. Pocock

June 18, 2013

Anyone have any information on the time some of the crew spent in Bremerton, Washington, USA 1941? My father was there "Reginald Albert Rainbow" and I have attached a couple of newspaper cuttings that he had from that time.

David Owen 


June 14, 2013

My dad, Leslie Lee, served on the Warspite during World War 2.  Apparently he was known as Geordie. Dad left behind two photograph albums (one is with my son and the other with my nephew) containing scenes of battles, burials at sea and a couple of certificates - one collected the first time he crossed the dateline and the other (from memory) collected as part of the first fleet into the South China Sea after the fall of Singapore. One of these certificates has several signatures of his shipmates on the reverse side.  Would it be worth my asking the holder of that particular album to dig it out in order for me to send you the names of the signatories?

Joyce Newton (nee Lee)

Apr. 10, 2013

My dad, Reuben Love, was on the Warspite during WW2, he was in Malta and was in Bremerton Naval Yard, we all went to Canada for a holiday in about 1983. The naval gateman remembered the Warspite and let my dad have a look round! He also told us about the local cafe he used there. Dad also told us when his ship was damaged he was in the water for a long time and had to swim about 7 miles. He did not talk much about the war but he loved the Warspite. He was also sent to Japan at the end of the war. He was from Bexleyheath in Kent.

Carole Paterson

Apr. 9, 2013

My father, Frank Goland BRACKING, served aboard HMS Warspite. He was born in 1919 and joined Warspite when he was 15 or 16 years old, so he joined the ship around 1934/1935. He rose to the rank of Petty Officer.  If anyone has any knowledge about my father or recalls mention of his name, I would love to hear.

Ian Bracking

Mar. 29, 2013

I am trying to find photos, pictures in fact anything about my grandfather who was in the Royal Marines band in 1913 and served aboard Warspite during the Battle of Jutland. My father and his dad were estranged and it wasn't until recently we found out he had been on HMS Warspite let alone had a service record. Any help would be gratefully appreciated. My grandfather was Edward James Bedford.

Many thanks,
Darren Bedford
Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, UK

Reply 1
Aug. 21, 2017

I would like to respond to Darren Bedford in Uttoxter. He is looking for his grandfather, Edward Bedford, who is also my great grandfather and I would like to contact him to see if I can give him any more information.

Many thanks,
Karen Criss

Feb. 26, 2013

My father B. Hill served on her from 19th Mar '41 'til 25th Aug '42, first as Stoker 1st class then as Acting leading stoker.

W. Hill
Tiverton, Devon, UK

Feb. 7, 2013

I came across your site and decided to get in touch. My father, John George Finan, was on the Warspite when it as attacked in 1941 and spent many hours in the sea before being rescued. I wondered if you had any information on him or on the attack? He passed away some years ago and was a very quiet man who never spoke about it. I had given up any hope of finding out more until I saw your site (which is excellent).

Kind regards,
Margaret Bradley-Smith
London, UK

Jan. 22, 2013

I have just recently started to look into the history of HMS Warspite as my grandfather said he used to serve on her. He told us many stories of his time on board. After speaking with my mother, I have learned that we are apparently, in possession of a pennant? from the ship. My grandfather "acquired" it when the ship was struck by enemy fire during a battle. If I can find out more information from my mother, I will of course take pictures of anything we have and forward them on if they are of any use to anyone? I will get hold of his diary and see where exactly it was taken from and during which battle.

Kind regards,
Edward Whitmore

Reply 1
June 7, 2014

In Relation to the above message. He refers to his Grandfather, but does not give his name unfortunately. I have a letter written by a relation who was on board HMS Warspite on D-Day. He wrote whilst on the ship at that time, to my father Tom Tyler (RAF Coastal Command). The letter is very graphic, emotional and accurate. It also gives a very detailed account of the bombardment from a deck perspective, however he has only signed it with his first name. The name Whitmore (Nottingham England) is one of our Family connections and related through the TYLER line. I would be interested to know if Edward Whitmore is related to the Tyler's of Nottingham and if it was his Grandfather that wrote the letter I have. If so what was his name, as I have several Whitmore relatives still living in Nottingham and I would also be pleased to send him a copy of the letter if it was indeed written by his Grandfather.

Kind Regards,
Tom Tyler

Dec. 7, 2012

I'm very sad to announce that my father, Arthur Graham Swatman, passed away Saturday 1st December at the age of 86. He was proud to have served on HMS Warspite at D-Day and also at Walcheren near the end of WW2. I'm very proud that my father has a small part in the history of the famous ship. Neither he nor the Warspite will ever be forgotten.

Ian Swatman

Dec. 2, 2012

My father was a crew member on the Warspite during WW2 and being the humble man that he was he spoke very little of his time on board and to my knowledge even never bothered to collect his campaign medal after the war. Now I am older and my father has passed away I am finding myself more and more interested in finding out more.

My fathers name was Ernest Edward Tottman and all I know is he served on board the Warspite and that his older brother died in navel service during the WW2, which my father never spoke of, so all I know is he was a Tottman as well. Please can you point me in the right direction to find out all that I can.

Paul Tottman

Reply 1
Dec. 4, 2012

The only Tottman I can find listed as lost in service in the Royal Navy is one William Christopher Tottman,
Able Seaman lost in HMS Cornwall Apr. 5, 1942.

Michael W. Pocock

Nov. 20, 2012

My father George Hargreaves served as a gunner on the HMS Warspite in WW2 he was born 1924 in the West Midlands. He is still alive at 88yrs but has little memory of his Navy career, all he has is photos which I have been looking at of crew members but we can't put names too, as I get more info I will forward it to you how do I send you photos? Thanks for a great site.

Ian Hargreaves

Nov. 20, 2012

My Dad served on the HMS Warspite. His name was Allan Harold Bishop from Cavendish Trinity Bay,  Newfoundland.  I would love to have some info or photos, ANYTHING THAT CONCERNS MY DAD. He was in the Second World War.

Thanks so much,
Florence Cumby

Oct. 21, 2012

I would like to add my father to your list of former Warspite crew, he was in the Royal Marines passing out from Chatham in Feb 1944. His name is John Welch born October 1926 lived in Derby, UK worked for British Railways died October 1997 if anyone does know of him feel free to contact me.

John F. Welch
Sydney, NSW, Australia

Reply 1.
June 23, 2014

My father also passed out at Chattham in February 1944, in the 298 SS Squad Royal Marines and went on to join the HMS Warspite. His name was William Charles Coleman. I have a photo of the passing out, which shows a chap surname of Welch on the back row a few places along from my father. Would be pleased to hear from John.

Bill Coleman

H.O. 298 S.S. Squad Royal Marines (Passed for Duty February 12th 1944)
Top row: Snooks, William Coleman, Gratton, Marchant, Careswell, Webb, Welch, Pedley, Dray, West, Mitchell, Nightingale, Bender.

Center row: Hewitt, King, Babb, Parish, Berry, Townsend, Goldsmith, Whitehead, Bristow, Plail, Burnett, Heggs, Wingate, Croucher.

Front row: Brooks, Lake, Turner, Clark, J. Holmes, Sgt. E. A. Wood (Instructor), Pike, Dykes, Jones, Wye, P. Holmes, Russell.

July 22, 2012

Below is a photo of a group on board the Warspite dated 1924. On it is written 'Stokers' Racing Cutter and Winners Polensa. In the photo is my mother's uncle John (Jack) Allen. He was later lost from HMS Lystrac torpedoed off the Isle of Wight in October 1940. His name is on the memorials at Truro, Cornwall and the Plymouth Naval Memorial.

Kath Jones


July 6, 2012

My Father, telegraphist Walter Christopher Shaw, served aboard HMS Warspite in the Mediterranean in the early years of the Second World War under Admiral Cunningham. Some 50 years on there was a reunion, I think in Devon, at which it was requested that each sailor wrote of his experiences. My Father, not a man of words, did that, and I'm about to rewrite them on a computer, the original having been written (or transcribed) via a typewriter.

My questions; does anyone know the date of that reunion, where it was held, was there (is there) a Warspite Association and did my Father submit his contribution. He gave me some photos, which ended up at the Training Ship (TS) Barham in Wembley around 1964. I believe he had some of the final minutes of the demise of HMS Hood although how he came by them I have no idea. My Father died in November 2008 at 101+ years (born 13/07/1907).

Chris Shaw

May 28, 2012

I have recently found out that my great grandfather served on Warspite during the First World War, and I would like to learn more about the ship and the people on board.  I believe he was a Royal Marine (family tradition!) but he studied at the Naval music college so could also have been a bandsman.  It would be lovely to hear more either about him, the ship or the people he served with, if anyone has any further information.

His name was Edward (Eddie) Bedford and was born about 1898 but we do not know too much about him as he left my great grandmother when she was expecting her second child and as far as we knew he was pronounced "missing in action,  presumed dead".  We have recently found out however that this was not the case and that he actually divorced my great grandmother and went on to marry twice more, but I suppose the stigma of divorce in the 1920's was far greater than it is now and she wanted to cover it up!! I look forward to hearing from anybody who may be able to help.

Many thanks,
Karen Criss

May 21, 2012

My mum has recounting stories told by my grandfather that we had a crew member from Warspite in the family. I suspect it would have been during WWI. The images I have seen of her are amazing. Do you have others as I am trying to build a nice album for mum and if I could find out who it was in our family that served it would be great. Perhaps a little hint in which direction to look for roster info would be appreciated.

Kind wishes and regards from,
Adam Mordecai
Guernsey, UK Channel Islands

Nov. 18, 2011

I have a copper box made out of a part of HMS Warspite handed down to me from my mother, who had been given it by her father. I cannot prove the provenance of it, but I have no reason to believe it is untrue. My family lived near Portsmouth and my grandad was in the Army and he had three brothers in the navy.

Martin Keane


Sept. 26, 2011

My grandfather, Joseph Smith, was a Chief Stoker onboard HMS Warspite at the Battle of Jutland. He described to me the shell hits during the battle and gave me a lump of shrapnel he picked of the deck after the battle which I still have. 

Allan Smith
Rothesay, Isle of Bute, Scotland

Aug. 28, 2011

While clearing out personal effects of my uncle, George Rodney Hudson of Bremerton, Washington, I came upon a photo of two gentlemen.  On the back of the photo, in my uncle's hand, is the following: Bill Andrews-Left & Jock Mann- H.M.S. Warspite. 1941 My uncle owned and operated a small café near the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard where Warspite was situated for repairs and replacement of its 15 inch guns in 1941. The two gentlemen look to be wearing civilian cloths and may be seated in my uncles café when the photo was taken. I would not be surprised if my uncle took them under his wing as he served in the U. S. Navy during WWI and held the British Navy in high regard. If anyone would like this photo I would be happy and honored to forward it to them.

Douglas G. Hudson
Bremerton, Washington

May 8, 2011

I have a photo of my granddad's brother on the HMS Warspite and thought it would be of interest Jim Parkinson is in the centre of the photo with a cross marked on his hat.

Phil Curtis,
Worcester, UK

Reply 1
Sept. 25, 2017

I have just seen the below photo of my father being on HMS Warspite. He also served on HMS Phoebe, but can't find him on the crew lists. So it seems he was on HMS first. His name was Godfrey William Bartlett, nickname Boy. He was very young perhaps someone knew him? Second row , second from the left. Anyone who knew him?

B. A. Edwards

Crewmen on HMS Warspite in June 1918.

Mar. 20, 2011

My dad served as radio operator in 1941-2. He came down with polio while on shore leave in Malta and was declared unfit for ship board service. He ended his military service in Y Service working on intercepts that were instrumental in the cracking of the Enigma Codes at Bletchley Park.

Dave Lowe

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Page published Apr. 16, 2007