HMS Formidable
Message Board
Messages 25 through 49

Oct. 30, 2021

My, father Mervyn Leslie Scott, was on the Formidable and also had photos of the Kamikaze bombing. As all family members say he didn't talk about the war and we never questioned him. I don't know how long he was on the ship, he was a stoker and was off the coast of Japan in May 1945. Sadly dad passed 18 February 1978 aged 56. I don't know why I thought about this last night never have before but would like to know if anyone knew of him. He was from Swindon Wiltshire and came to Australia in 1956.

Maureen Horsell (née Scott)

Apr. 26, 2021

I'm looking for any information or photographs about Roy Dickinson who served as flight mechanic. We believe he finished his service in 1946.

Rebecca Eversley-Dawes

Aug. 27, 2020

My grandad was on the ship from 1939 until 1947. He and grandmother have now been married 71 years, no small feat! He is currently 98 years old, he memory is pretty poor now. However he still talks often about his time on board with fond memories, especially their daily ‘tot' of rum, their decision to complete their own tattoos to pass the time and the places he visited while on board. He still has PTSD from the kamikaze attacks, however these are few and far between now. He would have loved to be able to share his stories on here if his memory served him better!

Best wishes,
Beth Blackman

July 13, 2020

My grandfather served on the Formidable. His name was Walter (Wally) Arthur Frederick Read. His nickname was ‘tickets' I believe. If anyone has any stories about him I would love yo hear them? Like many others he didn't like to talk of the horrors of the Kamikazes but he also had some amusing tales like writing love letters for his mate onboard! I believe his friend ended up marrying her! Unfortunately grandad passed away in 2016.

Lauren Mayers

June 7, 2020

My 7 years older brother was Frederick William Leng. He was a Sub Lieutenant RNVR fighter pilot aged 22 when he was killed in action on HMS Formidable circa 1943. I would like to hear from anyone who knew or of him.

Ronald Leng
Jan. 30, 2022
Reply 1

I have just seen a message of 2 years ago from Ronald Leng enquiring about his brother Freddie. Although I have scant information about him, my grandfather (Cy Ballard) was also a pilot with 888 and 893 Squadron aboard HMS Formidable and I am familiar with his name as one of the squadron. I did some research about their activities and have some photographs. I haven't been able to find a photo of Freddie or identify him in any of the group photos. Perhaps you could pass this on to Ronald should he want to get in touch.

Best regards,
Jon Collins

Jan. 29, 2020

I am writing to tell you is my old friend Andrew Ramsey died yesterday aged 96, in an Edinburgh nursing home. He was the person who wrote the book that I sent you. He joined the Formidable as a young lad and saw service on it right to the end of the war. He even was on it during the Russian Convoy time and it is such a shame that the Russian Embassy only 3 months ago presented him with a medal. I told him that I had sent his book on to you and he was so pleased that I had given it to you so that other people will be able to see it. I think he was probably one of the last ex Formidable veterans still alive.

He did a lot of work with the Fleet Air Arm as well preparing the planes for take off. I would be so pleased if you would put my dear old friend in your memorial site and I know his son Drew will be very proud that his father's name will live on. I know that I will certainly miss him and our phone calls every month him wanting me to find information on the computer wish you could have met him he was such knowledgeable person about the war. The only sad thing he never got to finish his book about all the Formidable's, but I think his son has found  an ex RN to finish it. 

With great sadness,
Sandy Meacock

Sept. 6, 2019

My father, William Oliver Merritt, P/JX151905 served aboard Formidable from July 1943 to May 1945 as Able Seaman, Leading Seaman and A/Petty Officer. He was injured in Kamikaze attack on 4 May 45 - receiving burns to his back. Sadly the seaman who was with him died in the attack. He was repatriated to Brisbane and then Sydney, Australia where he stayed for the remainder of the war. He spoke little about his activities in the war. He died aged 80 in Nov. 2001 in Adelaide South Australia.

Michael Merritt
Adelaide, SA, Australia

June 24, 2019

My late father, Leslie William Finch, was a petty officer serving on both HMS Formidable and HMS Implacable as I recall. I would love to see his name on the list of men who served on these vessels. I know he got awarded the Maltese Cross and many other medals, other than this I do not have much more info.

Thanking you,
Tony Finch

June 11, 2019

I am tying to find any details of my dad's service service. Unfortunately like many others he hardly ever talked about it. His name was Lawrence Powell. apparently his nickname was "Pedro" in view of his dark complexion. I know he was there when the Kamikaze's attacked. He passed away in 2001 aged 79.

Ken Powell

June 11, 2019

We are trying to find some information about our Dad he was on HMS Formidable during WWII. He never talked about it even though we tried. Dad sadly passed away in 2013, and with all the celebrations that have been going on we are wondering if you could help us.

Ernest John Orwin Born 27th September 1929 in Bridge of Allan, Scotland. Lived at 35 Selvage Street Rosyth, Fife, Scotland. Joined Formidable 12th September 1944, demobed 28th February 1946.Think he was a stores assistant.

Alaine Orwin

Sept. 22, 2018

My father, James Gray Waugh, served on HMS Formidable in the Pacific as an able seaman. My father passed in 2003. He always had fond memories of the friends he made and the comradeship of the Formidable's crew. The attached photo is my father James Gray Waugh (on the right) with an HMS Formidable shipmate whose name is unknown to us.

Jim Waugh

June 17, 2018

I am trying to trace details of my father Francis Davidson Hardie Brown who served on the Formidable during World War II. I believe he was a chief petty officer and I am trying to gather some info on him. He died some 30 year ago, but if anyone has any info on him it would be appreciated.

Michael Brown

Apr. 19, 2018

Latest update Petty Officer Ernest Charles Nicholls service number P/J 99464 I have since found out he was mentioned in despatches for devotion of duty on HMS Formidable which led to the successful landings at Salerno (Operation Avalanche) does anyone know of this and has anyone got a photo of my late father in law please.

David Banks

Feb. 11, 2018

Could you help me please,does anyone know of my late father in law Petty Officer Ernest Charles Nicholls who served aboard HMS Formidable 1941-44 he was mentioned in dispatches for something brave we think in the Italian landings. It's his daughters (my wife) our golden wedding anniversary this sept and I would love to give her information of her fathers Bravery.

David Banks

Sept. 26, 2017

I just learnt that my late father, Donald Stewart Stark, from Glasgow was on the HMS Formidable from about 1943 till it returned to Portsmouth where he was demobbed. I believe he was a stoker in the engine room.
I was always told he was there when the Japanese surrendered. I wonder if there is anywhere to confirm these facts? My dad died in April 1996 at the age of 73. Thank you for the work you are doing.

Helen Stark

June 25, 2017

I am looking for anyone who may have known my father John Nichol who served aboard HMS Formidable up until the end of the war in the Pacific. Dad served as a medical orderly so crossed paths with all ranks of shipmates. I am particularly interested if anyone has any photos of him during his 21st birthday celebration which would be 18th April 1946. I know there were photos of him with comrades and a cake the cook had made for him, we had a photo but sadly my Dad lent it to someone and it was never seen again. My father came from Boldon Colliery which was County Durham back then but is now Tyne and Wear. My mother and all family would be overjoyed if any photos of John could be found. Many thanks and bless every one of you brave men.

Many thanks,
Barbara Kell
South Shields, U.K.

Mar. 16, 2017

The below photograph of a group of 'Geordies' on HMS Formidable from December 1945 may be of interest? Their names are recorded on the reverse. My father (now deceased) served as a telegraphist on HMS Formidable towards the end of WW2 (amongst other ships - he suggested all his other ships had been sunk!).

Kind regards,
Syd Niven

The Boys "Geordies" HMS Formidable, Gibraltar December 1945.
Front row left to right: AB. J. Smith, AB A. Todd, Stoker Osborne, Stoker J. T. Hunter, Telegraphist C. A. Niven.
Center row left to right: SBA J. Wardle, SBA (illegible), PO J. T. Tomlinson.
Top row left to right: AB J. Devine, PO F. Trouton, L/S S. Lowden, PO S. J. Watson, O/S W. S. Porritt, AB Bamage, AB S. Griffin.

May 25, 2015

I've only just found this website as a result of the Daily Mirror article (Sat 16/5/15). My dad Miles (Johnny) Hulmes served on the Formidable from 1943-45 and was onboard during the Kamikaze strikes and as it went into Sydney in 1945. I have a copy of the ships book, which my dad has owned since long before my birth, which has some of the photos on this website. Sadly my dad died, aged 88 in March 2013, but he would have loved this site. I wonder if he'd have recognised any of the names mentioned? God bless any survivors reading this. Please find attached photos of my dad from those days. Group photo, my dad middle row, far right. Can anyone else recognise anyone?

Harry Hulmes
Manchester, U.K.

Apr. 7, 2014

Does any one have any photographs of any crew, my father served on the Formidable for most of the war. His name was Henry Wilson from Newcastle. I would love to hear from you if any one knew of him, he passed away in 2004 and always wanted to know what had happened to any of the crew.

Elizabeth Gillingham

Nov. 21, 2012

I am trying to trace my late father's step brother, Leading Airman John Thomas Montague, who served on HMS Formidable from November 1940 until April 1941, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal in July 1941 Battle of Matapan,  his Service Number was C/J72200, the above information is from his Service Record, does anyone know how he won the DSM and what happened to him as my father lost touch with him after 1945.

Susan Bluck nee Montague

Nov. 21, 2012

I found your interesting website and wondered if you could post a message for my dad, Fred Foley. His brother, Bernard Foley served on the HMS Formidable and was killed on 9th September 1943 on the deck of the ship when a plane apparently crash landed. He was only 18 and my dad, who is now 80 would like to know if there is anybody who knew Bernard and could give any more information about what happened.

Thank you,
Elaine Macfarlane

Aug. 24, 2012

My name is William Woodgate (Bill) or "Woody" FX104355 I served on the HMS Formidable from 1943 - 1945 as an electrician. I'm looking for Stan Warren or anyone that knows him. Also anyone else that might know me. I'm Now living just south of Sydney in Australia.

William Woodgatre

July 5, 2012

My grandfather Bernard "Jim" Clark was onboard Formidable from 1944-1946, unfortunately he died before I was born and therefore I never had chance to ask what he did onboard, I believe he was a gunner, I also remember being told that he collected ice when the ship docked. I would be interested to know if anyone remembered him. Thank you for the great website

Lorraine Clark

Apr. 14, 2012

I have been going through some of my mothers pictures from WW2 and have found some pictures of a Sam Howard that was visiting with some other military personnel.  I think is was in West Virginia, USA.  My mother was from a musical family and she and her mother had an all girl orchestra that would play at NCO clubs for the military.  They were picture bugs and took lots of pictures of all kinds of branches of service personnel.  They also traveled along the East coast to perform so these pictures could be from anywhere.  They even rented some rooms out for the military in Columbia South Carolina.  I found several pictures of Sam Howard with the caption of where he served.  It was taken on September 20, 1941 with my mother. Can you tell me if this is really a crew member?  I would like to send the shots of him to family members not knowing if anyone has survived him. Both my parents are gone now and I can't ask any questions.  Any help would be appreciated.

Medina Thurmond

Two photos of Sam Howard.

Feb. 19, 2012

My grandfather, William (Bill) Roland Foreman, served on HMS Formidable. He was the physical training instructor. If anyone has memories of him we would love to hear them. Sadly grandad died before I was born, he was only in his early 50's. He went on to be a very talented painter and after the war went on to teach PE at Winchester College.

Sally Lloyd

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Messages 25 through 49
Message Board
Page published Nov. 22, 2012