HMS Victorious
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Messages 25 to 49

Sept. 25, 2022

I am trying to research my dads side of the family. I have been told that Fred Bailey, who would be my grand uncle met up with my Granddad, Clifford New in Trincomalee Ceylon during the war. Clifford was serving in the RN in Trincomalee. The Victorious was passing through to go to be part of the Pacific Fleet. Has anyone got information about either Clifford New 1917-1983 or Fred Bailey 1924-1960?

Thank you,
Angelina New
July 4, 2020

My Grandfather served on the HMS Victorious during World War II (Presumably 39-45). His name is Dennis Guilfoyle or 'Gilly' and I am told he served as a Royal Marine sergeant during his time on board.  He would've turned 100 two days ago, unfortunately he passed away in 1985. I am told he was a champion boxer on the ship for quite some time. Unfortunately my family and I are left with next to no records or photographs of his time of service. If anybody knows of him or has any information regarding my grandfather or knows where we can gather information, please do get in contact as we would greatly appreciate it.

Sapphire Guilfoyle

Dennis Guilfoyle, R.M. seen during an inspection by H.M. King George VI.

May 25, 2020

I'm trying to find some more information about my Grandad Cyril Trebble who served on HMS Victorious. He was a Stoker and was a keen boxer on board. I know he was on the Australian war brides trip back to the UK.

Helen Ing,
Reading, U.K.

May 15, 2020

My father, William Earnest Charters, served on HMS Victorious, and was in the pacific in 1945. He talked of two good friends Kelly and Cooney. I only have their second names. I am just looking to see if anyone new of him.

Kind Regards,
Jack Charters

May 10, 2019

I am in the process of starting a model aircraft build that will be a gift. It is for the son of a Canadian pilot who flew F4U Corsairs off the HMS Victorious in the May-August period of 1945 - Sea of Japan. Question - where can I find the correct color/camo scheme for that period. I am advised the color scheme was changed from the dark Navy blue to another scheme approx. May 1945. Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you,
Carl Baltare
Ottawa, Canada

Apr. 25, 2019

My Grandfather, Hugh McCann, D/KX599406 from Kirkintilloch, Scotland was a Stoker on the Victorious for duration of WWII. I'm hoping others may have stories or info that may include his and others role on the ship.

Thanks in advance,
Alyson McCann
Perth, Australia

Apr. 1, 2019

My father, Leslie Brittain, who died in January 2014, served in the Royal Navy as a young man. He was a Barnardo's boy from the age of 9 and dad was not forthcoming with too many details of his youth. He was 85 at the time of his death. His birth certificate showed no Father's name. Dad re-married after the death of his first wife, my mother and relations were never really what you might call close after that with his new wife. Since his death his widow has refused to allow my family and that of my brother to erect a stone in memory of dad at his grave.

Dad said that in his time in the Royal Navy he initially attended RNTE Shotley and served on HMS Triumph and I think HMS Victorious. I have pictures of him with navy friends (in uniform) which he says were taken in Malta. There is also one of him at RNTE Shotley on parade. Dad served as a Stoker (apparently). Could you or another contributor point me in the right direction as to where I may find dad's records and also I would like to have a metallic badge of his rank on his grave stone but have no idea as to where I might purchase one? Please ask any further questions you may have.

Thank you in anticipation and kind regards,
Wayne Brittain
Ipswich, Suffolk, U.K.

Leslie Brittain is seen on the left.

Leslie Brittain is seen on the right.

Oct. 25, 2018

Please can anyone remember if my Father, Arthur Charles Garrett (1925-1994), was aboard the HMS Victorious during WWII? I have discovered some really old photos that show Pacific islands, Sydney Harbour bridge, Carrier ships, planes on take off and landing, one even shows a plane on its propellers. On the back of these photos reads VCAF 02863/45. He never discussed the war as he said lost too many good friends and men. I vaguely remember he said that they were sent to scuttle ships after the war ended. Can anyone shed any light on this for me? RIP to all the servicemen who gave their lives so we could be free.

Thank you,
Anne Collins (née Garrett, daughter)

Sept. 25, 2018

My Dad was a sailor and used to work on the Victorious as he was an engineer and looked after the planes on board to make sure they were flight worthy by going up with the pilot after he made a repair he said. His name is Robert Risk, he passed away at 81 yrs. old in October 29th 2004. He told me a few good stories from his time on board and am sure hid a lot from me and all the family too. He had some photos from his time on board when they were attacked by the Japs and the Kamikaze pilots that tried to sink the ship, but he said it was a good war for them on board as they went all over the world. I wish I had more info for you and pics, but I will see what I can do as my Brother has them.

Brian Risk
Camelon, Falkirk, Scotland

Mar. 19, 2017

I am writing from Switzerland and am researching the short life of my grandmother's cousin's young son who was named   Sub-Lieut. (A) John Harry O'Carroll Nihill , aged 21, who was killed on the HMS VICTORIOUS on the 12th August 1942  on the aircraft carrier HMS Victorious during Operation Pedestal. John was the pilot of a Fairey Fulmar and was shot down by an Italian aircraft on the above date, and had evidently only been on the ship for about 11 days when he killed. I believe that John was my relative's only child. His father died in the mid-1970's and I have only just discovered that his son was killed when he was so young in August 1942. I have found the following information online about the incident in which he was killed, and would be interested to hear if anyone else has any further details of what happened, or also lost a relative in the incident on the Victorious.

August 12th 1942 During air attacks hit by bomb which broke up on Impact with flight deck. She participated in Operation Pedestal in Aug 1942 in an attempt to supply Malta; the operation was a success, but she suffered light damage dealt by Italian bombers.

Top of Form The names of the men killed in the incident are listed below:
Charles J, Ty/Sub Lieutenant (A),Charles Evans, RNVR, Fleet Air Arm, 809 Squadron
Ty/Sub Lieutenant (A) John Nihill, RNVR
Ty/Act/Leading Airman Walter Regan
Ty/Act/Leading Airman John Stewart, Fleet Air Arm
Lieutenant Robert Churchill, Fleet Air Arm, 884 Squadron
Ty/Sub Lieutenant (A) Alan Nunn, RNVR

Kind regards and many thanks,
Anne Buff

Nov. 29, 2016

I'm searching for anyone who might have known my grandfather, Frank 'Crash' Evans, from Stout Port on Severn. He served on HMS Victorious for most of the Second World War. I believe he was an aircraft maintenance engineer and he got the name crash as a result of being able to sleep anywhere / any time.

I'd love to know if any of your members still alive remembered Frank - I would love to hear of any stories about him or any reminiscences.

Unfortunately he passed away in the late 2000's and I wish I had found out more about this passage of his life. He didn't talk about it much other than to mention the ice cream machine the Americans installed (much to amusement of the rest of the fleet on their return to the UK) and some vague stories of R and R in Hawaii and battling through the Pacific.

I Would love to know anything further from any of his fellow sailors, anything at all Many thanks!

Ean Evans
Annandale, Australia

Nov. 4, 2016

Are you able to answer a question about the death of my cousin Maurice Colin Gardner who died in 1960 whilst working on board HMS Victorious. Family history details are very vague, but he was supposedly part of a "commissioning team" (midshipman?) working on one of the Bofors guns when he noticed an oil can had been left in the works, he stepped forward to retrieve it just as another crew member pressed the button to lower the barrel which then hit him a fatal blow to the head. I found the site about Victorious by chance a short while ago when doing some research on her as I worked as a young apprentice in the late 1950's. If you can help with this I would be grateful, are there any official reports on such matters?

Mike Gardner

Feb. 29, 2016

I am trying to research my father's past as a crew member on the Victorious. His name was Frank Oldham and was a C P O ERA. I am lead to believe he served on the Victorious during 41-45? Sadly he passed in 1978 leaving us with just a few memorable stories of life on the Indian and Pacific oceans. If there is anyone out there who knew of my father I would grateful if you could contact me.

Sam Oldham

Nov. 14, 2014

Anybody remember my dad, Cyril Williams? On Victorious from her start.

Philip Williams

June 15, 2014

My dad served on HMS Victorious between 43/45, I believe he went to both New York and Singapore. I would love to find a little more about this, real proud of him, sadly he as passed away, he was a keen boxing. His name was John Robert Backhouse, but could have been known as "Jack".

His Son,
Malcolm Backhouse

May 25, 2014

Below is a picture of a wooden plaque of HMS Victorious ship's crest and also a photograph of the Radar Staff of HMS Victorious dated 23rd April 1943, the x is my late husband John Heydenrych (died 10th July 2008). There  might be other photos, but I gave my husbands photo album to his son, I will contact him and ask if he would check and scan for your website.

Magie Heydenrych

May 25, 2014

Does anyone remember or have any information on my grandfather, Johannes Cornelius Richard Heydenrych, who served on the ship HMS Victorious as part of the radar staff in late 1944 and 1945.

Many thanks,
Karen Triegaardt
Cape Town, South Africa

May 25, 2014

I would be delighted to find any information regarding my father George Wylam who served on HMS VIctorious during WWII. I have little memory of my dad as he died after the war aged 46 when I was a child, but I'm so proud of him and would love to find out more about him and his service record.

I have his box of medals and photo albums etc. I understand he was a Petty officer or CPO in the Fleet Air Arm and I think he worked on the flight deck. I have photos on the ship, convoy and action scenes and photos of games on the fight deck and guns laded with ice. I also have photos of South Pacific islands and his certificate when he first crossed the equator.

He was from Chester le Street in Co. Durham and lived their after the war. If anyone has any knowledge of my dad I would love to hear from you, or if anyone has any information of my dad's service record or where I could obtain further information I would be most grateful also.

I hope this message finds someone who has information about my dad but if not I would like to offer my sincere thanks and massive respect to everyone who served so heroically in this and any other conflict

John Wylam

July 22, 2013

Thanks for a great place to search for loved ones who served on the HMS Victorious. My father's name is Robert Andrew Maxwell, and I have some wonderful photographs of his time on this vessel. I would love to hear from anyone who may have known my father.  He died a long time ago now, but I have often wondered whether there is anyone who might remember him, and/or can share any memories of him.

Bye and thanks.
Robert Maxwell

May 17, 2013

I have just started to research my family tree on my mothers side and found out that my Grandad, Charles Cecil Cooper, known as Charlie served on HMS Victorious during the war. All I know at the moment is that he was a cook on the ship and that he was on board when the Bismarck went down because we have some photos of it taken from Victorious. I will dig them out and post them here shortly.

I don't know exactly how long he spent on the ship. He used to tell a story about having a pet monkey on board the ship that was picked up along the way, but that died when it fell into a barrel of oil. He would be 87 now but he sadly died of cancer in 1987. He lied about his age to join up and he couldn't swim!  I would love to know if anyone remembers him or the monkey? Great site by the way.

Kind regards,
Jamie Cross
Charlie's Grandson

Apr. 19, 2013

My dad, Kenneth Gregory, served as a CPO on the Victorious from 39 to 45, I think he was in the engine room. He sadly died in1981, he often cried over his memories of the ship. Does anyone remember him?

Kenneth Gregory

Feb. 25, 2013

My father Philip Hemingway served on HMS Victorious between 1944 to 1945. He sadly died on 23rd February 1995. He flew Corsairs and his wingmen were Charlie Leddy and Gordon Showell. Pete "Topper" Hardiman was also a wingman who was tragically lost when flak from guns around an island airfield they were sent to render "unserviceable" in 1945 damaged Toppers undercarriage hook. It meant his plane did not catch the wire on return and he went over the side with his plane. For some reason he could not be rescued.

Dad did not volunteer much information about the war, but when I asked he would tell me. Topper's death troubled him until his death in 1995. He had a long and happy marriage to our mother with who he  fathered 3 children who all loved him deeply. I just wondered if anyone remembered my dad. If so, please let me know. 

Paul Hemingway

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