HMS Illustrious
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Messages 75 to 99

Nov. 26, 2022

Below are four photos that must have been from 1942 onwards as my father served on the illustrious as a PO Radio Mechanic (I believe) his name was Sacville Frank Claydon always known as Frank. I have heard that he boxed for the ship? Maybe someone will recognise some of the others and also bring back memories of their loved ones. Dad, like so many others, rarely talked about what he did during the war years. I know he witnessed some terrible things as when he suffered with dementia in his later years little bits came out.

Stephen Claydon
Frank Claydon seen in uniform.
Officers and men of HMS Illustrious, date unknown.
Frank Claydon (left) and a unidentified crewman.
Frank Claydon, top row, second from left and a group of unidentified men seen during or just after training.
May 17, 2021

I am writing in regard to my Great Uncle, George Alfred Emerton. I am researching our family tree and would be very grateful if anyone has any information. According to Navy records, he was an Ordinary Seaman on HMS Illustrious from 1938/9 to 1940. My Grandfather (George's brother) knew he was killed in a road accident in Alexandria on 17 November 1940 and is buried in the Military cemetery there. But any further information would be much appreciated.

Kind regards,
Charlotte Emerton
West Sussex, UK

Apr. 12, 2021

Just to let you know that Geoffrey Hartley, Naval Seaman first class, who served on the Implacable and Illustrious during his national service circa 1948 has passed away.

A very neat writer, Geoffrey was asked to work in the ship's records, however he wanted to see the world and his job was assisting the bat man removing the chocks from the aeroplanes. He was proud that whilst on board the Illustrious they carried jet fighters, Vampires I think and these had to be lashed to the deck through the Bay of Biscay as they were fixed wing planes. Geoffrey was a survivor of the Portland disaster where 29 sailors were drowned. He was in the water for some time, but said "he was never cold."

He had a good life, with good health until recently. He died peacefully in his sleep. Married with 2 boys , 5 grand children and 3 great grandchildren he epitomized the generation who went through the war too young to serve. But yet did their bit for King and Country  in National Service.

Philip Hartley

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Messages 75 through 99
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Page published Apr. 12, 2021