HMS Argus
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Messages 25 to 49

Nov. 12, 2020

I found a letter dated May 1994 from Rear Admiral Philip R. Marrack who served on HMS Argus. His letter gives a little bit of insight of HMS Argus during the war. I've managed to find where he lived and where he was buried. He had many mentions in the press when he died.

David Jessep

Nov. 5, 2020

My grandfather James Bird (DOB 18 November 1910 Died March 1991) served on HMS Argus. He sailed to Malta with the consignment of aircraft. He sustained a leg injury while there and he was going to be taken off ship to hospital. He knew that if he was stuck in hospital he'd never get back to Blighty so he hid on ship until it left port. Once he got back to port in Greenock he boarded a train back to London and spent a year in the Herbert Seaman's Hospital in Shooters Hill, London.

He never recovered from that thigh injury. The marrow got infected and they wanted to amputate but he wouldn't have it. He lived with that gammy leg until he died aged 81. He was able to function on 2 legs but was always in constant pain. We never heard him speak about the war. I was unaware that they were involved in enemy action but I can see from other posts that people were killed. He must have been over 30 while in Malta so I reckon he was an experienced seaman. He had around 5 or 6 medals. Somebody in the family has them.

By the way, if you didn't realise, HMS Argus's ships bell is in the possession of The Bristol Shiplovers Society in Bristol. It is on loan to Bristol Cathedral and you can view it ( and even touch it or ding it if you dare!). My mum Rita Jessep ( his daughter) spotted it by accident when she visited the Cathedral. She became highly emotional when she found it (as you would)

Kind Regards,
David Jessep

Aug. 22, 2020

My father Walter Frank Kennard served on HMS Argus during the second world war . I think he was a stoker because he spoke about the heat in the engine room. I am unable to find any service records for him in any archives .  I only have part of a very old photograph from when he first joined up where I can just about make out the name Argus on his hat band . 

He said that they docked in Sydney at some point during the war , he remembers this because he got his front tooth knocked out in a fight over a girl he liked the look of . I think he also got reprimanded when he returned to the ship. He was born on 27th April 1925 so he must have joined up towards the end of WW2.   Sadly, he died in 2002 aged 77. Can you please tell me if there is any information listed about him.

Many thanks,
Frances C. Leigh

Jan. 12, 2019

I have found an item belonging to a member of the crew of HMS Argus. The only information I have on him is that he was born on 6th November 1919 and his mother or he seem to have lived in Diss, Norfolk. Would you be able to help me reunite this item (not precious, only sentimental value) with descendents or close family?

Best regards,
Jim Lagares Ballantine

May 12, 2018

I am a retired mariner whose uncle died on H.M.S. Somali when she eventually sank in 1942  -  QP14.
I already had his posthumous medals and then applied as next-of-kin for his Arctic Emblem, then his Arctic Star, both of which were awarded me by the MoD.

With my interest in the Arctic Convoys, and the support of Tim Lewin (son of Admiral Lord Lewin who had been involved in towing my uncle's torpedoed ship), I was able to help a friend's father apply for and receive both his Arctic Star from the MoD, and the Ushakov medal through the Russian Embassy. Sadly, he died a few months later, however, he was awarded these medals for service on H.M.S. ARGUS when she delivered those Hurricanes to Russia.

The 'ARGUS was not recorded as part of that first convoy - Operation Dervish - and does not appear in Ruegg & Hague's book 'Convoys to Russia' [isbn 0 905617 66 5]. This is because she sailed independent of that convoy, however, there is no question of her being associated with Operation Dervish, and is seen in that film 'Hurricanes to Murmansk'. My friend's father was then an Engineroom Artificer.

Another book, which I haven't read:

I hope this will encourage Terry Lippmann to re-apply for his father's Arctic Star, and if still alive, his Ushakov gallantry medal.

The film "Last Witness" is now available for free online:

Good luck,
Chris Woods

Dec. 9, 2017

My father, Frank Hippman, took part in Operation Dervish sending Hurricanes to the Russians. He was in the RAF and assembled the Hurricanes prior to them being flown off. I too have applied for the Arctic Star, but was rejected as there was no record of him. I have his service record and there is no mention, however, this maybe because once the aircraft had all flown off he returned with the ship rather than go on to Russia with the rest of the RAF personnel. His total time on board was less than a month. Could anyone help prove he was on the ship at the time?

Terry Hippman

June 29, 2017

There is a grave of a J. Roberts, a stoker on board HMS Argus who was killed In 1940 at the age of 22...the grave is in Sandy, Bedfordshire. I am interested to find out about him. The ship survived the war and I wonder why he didn't.

Many thanks,
Barry Selwood

Mar. 25, 2017

My father was on HMS ARGUS in WWII 1939 to 1945. He was leading stoker JAMES FERGUSON. He never talked about the war only when my Brother and me got him drunk at new year they were some stores. Even my mother never herd them before. Malta, Archangel, Murmansk. He was shot in both ankles and I remember as a child putting my finger in the holes. Would like to find out more. He said there were some famous people on board that he got to know. He told us one time he was pals with H. Samuel's son, when he was killed he went to see his father He even was offered a job after the war with Samuel's. Many stores Russ Conway served as well.

Thank you,
Patrick Ferguson

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Page published Mar. 25, 2017