HMS Roberts
Message Board

Nov. 17, 2020

Here is my grandfather, Alexander (Jock) Kirkwood, who was an AB on HMS Roberts, not sure who his mate is unfortunately.

Lisa Ousby

July 9, 2020

I'm hoping I can use your website to track down the family of this man, Alfred Hutchinson, who was killed on HMS Roberts on 11/11/42 when she was bombed. The photo was sent to my late father-in-law in 2009 (he was a keen amateur historian) by Alfred's son Robert, who I expect has now died. It was never returned to the family. I would like to do the right thing and noticed that HMS Roberts has quite an active and recent presence on Maritime Quest. I am happy for my full name, address and e-mail to be published.
With best wishes and thanks

Richard Lyddon
Bristol, U.K.


May 22, 2020

My mother has recently passed away, and whilst looking through old documents we have found some photos and a book which we feel may be of interest to you and your site. These items belonged to my great uncle, Thomas Arthur Roberts, who died many years ago, it is from HMS Roberts crossing the line and it lists all ship mates on board in 1945 the captain was C. B. Tidd. (Crossing the Line in HMS Roberts)

Delyth Morris

Reverse side of the previous photo.

A scene from the Crossing The Line ceremony.

Thomas Arthur Roberts seen in civilian life.

Nov. 19, 2019

My wife is trying to find out something about her Father Alfred Ross who she thinks served on HMS Roberts as a Petty Officer during WWII. He passed away in 2003. If anyone has any information about him she would be grateful to find out about anything he did during the war.

Thanks in anticipation,
Ian Walker

June 6, 2019

My Father was James Clayton, I believe a cook on board HMS Roberts during 1944 at Normandy. Does anyone remember him? I am now 80 years old and my Father died when I was 11 years old. He came from Stratford on Avon. I joined the Navy in 1957 until 1984. I would be thrilled to know if anyone remembers or has heard of him.

James Clayton

Nov. 11, 2018

My uncle, William Moreland, from Musselburgh, West Lothian, Scotland, served on the HMS Roberts.  Unfortunately he was 'killed in action' when the HMS Roberts was bombed on 11th November 1942 off the coast of North Africa. Sadly his body was never found. I, Moira Cunningham, his niece, didn't have the privilege of knowing him - I was born months after his death. I live in Cape Town, South Africa.

Best regards,
Moira Cunningham

June 10, 2018

My Dad served on the HMS Roberts from 1941 (I think) until the wars end. Dad passed away in 1993. I would love to know something of his time in the Navy. His full name was Hubert Samuel Banks. Probably known better as Sam. He was from Didsbury Manchester.

Mrs. Kath Kelly (formerly Banks)

May 2, 2018

My father, John David Gillingham, served on the monitor HMS ROBERTS during the 2nd World War. It would be great to hear from anyone who recognises him.

Steve Gillingham
Johnstone, Renfrewshire, Scotland

May 10, 2017

My Grandfather served on the Roberts during WWII, his name was E. C. Austin, gunner at arms. Have you any relevant pictures or information about engagements. I know he was at Normandy and Salerno. Anything you may know, my mother will be very interested.

Thank you,
Chris Bryant

Apr. 24, 2017

I have just come across your website while looking for information on HMS Roberts, I would like to thank you so much for this fantastic site, my father served on HMS Roberts throughout the war his name was John Robert Alfred Murray (Jack) photo attached to use if you wish,  Dad was an AA gunner, to see the photos and read the articles brought tears to my eyes, unfortunately my Father passed away in June 1997 he always wondered what happened to his old shipmates.

John Murray

John Robert Alfred "Jack" Murray.

Feb. 16, 2017

My wife's grandfather was Capt R.E.C. Dunbar, R.N. of HMS ROBERTS (Commanding Officer June 1943 to June 1945), when she took part in support of allied landings at Salerno, Italy. My father was in the German Wehrmacht (Polish, but conscripted as a cartographer and Italian speaker) serving in southern Italy. Father had a story that he spent a week in German field-hospital suffering deafness after a large shell had landed close to his position; Grandfather-in-law had a story that to bombard Salerno from over-the horizon, two large chimneys were used as aiming-points, not to be destroyed, but to fire left-and-right of. With grandfather ' beating the hell out of ' my dad ... I'm lucky to be here!
b.t.w. One of ROBERTS' used gun barrels now sits outside the Imperial War Museum, London, next to I believe another off HMS BELFAST. I do fully recognise Ronald, in centre of the crew-photo on your website.

Best regards,
Ben Falat
(LtCdr, RN)

Sketch of Captain Ronald Ernest Cotton Dunbar, R.N. aboard HMS Roberts.
(Courtesy of the Imperial War Museum)

Nov. 13, 2015

My father, Albert Arthur Birch (now 91), served aboard HMS Roberts as a 19-20 year old. He talks about Normandy and also the aborted trip to fight Japan when they were recalled at Mombasa after VJ day. If any one remembers him, I think he was in signals, I would love to hear from them.

P. A. Birch

Nov. 11, 2015

My father, William Hobbs, served as a gunner on HMS Roberts during the Second World War. I would love to hear from anyone whom knew him.

Paul Hobbs

Apr. 24, 2015

My father was on HMS Roberts in WWII, unfortunately he passed away in 2010. He would have been over the moon seeing this site. Just like some of you others, my father didn't give much away about his time in service, although you could tell he was proud to have served. My father's name was William (Bill) Mullin, and as far as I know he was a radar/radio operator. If by chance anyone has any photographs of him, I would be very grateful to see them.

Many thanks,
Nigel Mullin

Dec. 29, 2014

My father, Colin Askey, served on HMS Roberts during WWII, he is 90 years old and often speaks about his time on there. I was wondering if anyone could contact me if they were on there too.

Thank you,
Kath Hoult
Worksop, Nottinghamshire, UK

Aug. 24, 2014

I served aboard the Roberts 1943-1946. I would like to hear from any mates who were aboard at that time. Life aboard Roberts was quite good with a fine ship's company some of them being great mates. The food was good and we were well catered for. Discipline not over strict and in my opinion she was a happy ship and I was a crew member for three years.

Norman Whitehead

June 9, 2014

My father was on the Roberts during WW2. His name was Bill Payne. He was a boxer on the ship and a gunner. Does anyone know of him or have any pictures of him. He has sadly passed and was very quiet about the war, as most people were. I would love to know anything about him please.

Nick Payne

Apr. 14, 2014

I am interested in finding any info or photos of my deceased father James Bannon who served on HMS Roberts during WWII

Shaun Bannon 

Oct. 31, 2013

My father served on the HMS Roberts from October 1941 when acceptance trials were beginning. She sailed to Alexandria in January 1942 where she served as a guard ship at Suez. She later supported the Allied landings at North Africa. I was born in April 1942! He was P.O. Patrick O'Callaghan and served on her until May 1942. After proudly serving on many Royal Navy ships from 1924 until 1948, he worked for British Rail and was tragically killed in a rail accident at Taunton Somerset in 1968.
"We shall remember them"

Leo O'Callaghan,
Cork, Ireland

Aug. 22, 2013

My father, Arthur John Humphreys, I believed served on HMS Roberts I believe as a sub-lieutenant RNVR - gunnery officer during the Normandy landings and maybe during the earlier Italian landings. He was not overly forthcoming about his time in the Navy during the war, but I understand he also served on HMS Walney in 1942 where his experience at Oran during Operation Torch must have been horrific where I understand from archive information that there were only 14/15 survivors out of a crew of 85 - an action in which his Captain was awarded a VC! If anybody has any information/photo's of the crew in which he may appear for either vessel then I would be most appreciative.

Andrew Humphreys

May 5, 2013

My father, Arthur Yeomans, from Widnes served on HMS Roberts during WW2. He has since passed away. It was very rare to get any information about his wartime experiences out of him during his life. I believe he was a radio operator and carried out this duty during the D-Day landings. I would be interested to hear from anybody who may know anything about him.

Steve Yeomans M.H.F.S.T.

Mar. 24, 2013

I recently saw your website and was very interested in photos and messages relating to HMS Roberts as my father served on this ship during the Second World War. His name was Arthur John Berry (Art) a PO. He passed away 9 years ago at 90 years of age. I have in my possession two photographs relating to HMS Roberts i.e. one being already displayed on your website (June 6th Normandy) and a photo of the entire crew.

I also have in my possession a football trophy given to my father for playing for the Royal Navy on a South Africa Tour 1937 - 1938 whilst I think he was serving on HMS Roberts. He did talk about the photo relating to the 6th June i.e D Day when he said HMS Roberts was asked to take out with its 15 inch guns a clock tower in Caan which the Germans were using as an observation position.

Ray Berry
United Kingdom

Nov. 11, 2012

My Grandfather served on the HMS Roberts for the duration of the war. His name was Ted Austin (Edward Charles) and he worked as a gunner before rising to CPO. He passed away some years ago now at the grand age of 86. He didn't speak too much of his times in the war but when he did there was an incredible nobleness and humility. I would love to know more about the Roberts exploits or any tales of my Grandfather. It seems very difficult to track down any photos of the crew. If anyone has any please pop them up.

Many thanks,
Nick Bryant

June 23, 2012

My father in law was a crew member of HMS Roberts at the Normandy Landings he was a gunner on board ship, Jack often talked about the "terrible twins" Lousy Lou and Saucy Sue the two guns that were the ships main weapons, they now stand outside the Imperial War Museum.

John (Jack) Coverdale was a terrifically nice chap, well respected in his home town of Normanby near Middlesbrough, he was mentioned in dispatches while serving on the Roberts, Jack was a small chap in stature but as tough as he was polite, as I write this email I am looking at lots of photographs of the ship and other crew members that Jack served with, sadly; Jack is no longer with us but prior to his demise I prepared a book for him that related to the D Day landings and the Roberts, I even have the old cribbage board that the lads used in the mess, it bears some of their names written on the back.

Jacks wife Rene is still alive today but not well and is in care, his eldest daughter is my wife and there is her younger sister too. I was very friendly with Jack as an ex submariner myself we got on very well, I was proud to think of him as a friend. I would be happy to hear from you and perhaps we may have information about each others relatives, who knows?

David Berridge

Able Seaman John Coverdale's Crossing the Line Certificate.

Jack Coverdale (left), John Partridge of Bolton (top), Woodhead of Yorkshire (right) and Cyril Holt of the Manchester area (front) photographed at Durban, South Africa. Note, Jack seems to be wearing a cap from HMS Caradoc.

Jack Coverdale.

June 6, 2009

My father,John Robert McCrum (Bobby or Jock) served on HMS Roberts and was involved in the Normandy landings on D-day. If anyone served with him, or has a relative who served with him, could you e-mail me.

Dr. David McCrum

Reply 1
Mar. 2, 2010

My dad was on HMS Roberts at the same time as yours, his name was Sam Valentine and he worked in the engine room. I don't know much about his time in the Royal Navy and he only told me he was at the Normandy Landings a couple of months before he passed away. He told me they were shelling the beach from 20/25 miles out, and I asked him if he was scared to which he replyed "what do you think"!! I have four of this medals from Africa and the Med. Sorry I don't know much more but it was nice to read you message.

Kind Regards,
Ken Valentine.

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Page published Dec. 1, 2007