HMS Rodney (1925)
Message Board
Messages 1 through 24

Jan. 25, 2012

Could you tell me how I could access a list of the crew members of HMS Rodney please?  My father worked on board in the engine room I think. His name was William Holden born 16th May 1911.

Wilma Dorrian

Jan. 1, 2012

My father served on HMS Rodney from November 1939 to September 1943. He  was a Boy/Ordinary seaman and progressed to Leading Seaman by the time he left. His name was James Noel Edwards (Bungy/Edwards). I would be interested in any information about life on board.

Many thanks,
Letitia Edwards

Nov. 12, 2011

My uncle, Christopher Dunkley, served on the Rodney, on the site I noticed a copy of the Christmas Menu. My mum kept a copy of it which my brother now has. It was strange seeing another copy of it. My uncle worked in the boiler rooms as far as I know, he died two years ago, age 80. He came from Tottenham Hale. When he married Lena he moved to Romford they had one daughter Joyce. Hope this helps you in finding more names for your list of crew.

Christine Lee
(Barking, Essex, U.K.)

Nov. 11, 2011

I was scanning the Message Board for the HMS Rodney and came across the Rodney Menu cards in a 2008 post.  My grandfather, Robert Lambert, was CWO Writer on the HMS Rodney from 1944-1946 and made many of the menu cards for different locations.  I have posted some of them below. He tried to add some humor into the menu cards and it was fun to try and guess what was on the menu from his cartoons.  As in the other menu cards posted here, all the dinner guest that night signed the menu I guess as a slovenlier.  Very interesting stuff.  Does anyone know of any other menu cards?

Paul Martin

Oct. 30, 2011

I know that my grandfather served on HMS Rodney during WW2. His name was Wilfred J. Wallace, from Newport, Gwent and he was a stoker. He married my grandmother Elizabeth (Betty) and had his first daughter Ann in 1941. He unfortunately passed away last year at 90 and never spoke much about his experience except for the numerous campaigns and also helping to sink the Bismarck. Am hoping to find out a bit more.

With regards,
Jan Kocan

Oct. 9, 2011

I am trying to find information about my father Able Seaman Thomas Dennis. Thomas, who served on board HMS Rodney during the Normandy invasion as part of the main bombardment force. And the main covering force for convoy JW-60 to Russia. I am trying to find photos or crew lists during this period.

Mark Thomas

Sept. 20, 2011

I have a medal from HMS Rodney dated 1928. On one face is the ships emblem and on the reverse is "Interdepartmental Football 1928" Have you ever seen one? I believe it to be my grandfather's, but sadly it does not photograph well.

Mike Chamberlain

July 10, 2011

I wondered if you could help me. As a boy in Weymouth after WW2 I seem to remember either Rodney or Nelson being berthed in Portland Harbour. In the summer naval whaleboats used to come to the beach at Castle Cove in Portland Harbour, and take kids on trips round the harbour. I seem to remember sailing round one or both of these ships, one having suffered major damage. Am I dreaming?

Doug Hampson

July 4, 2011

I'm trying to find the crew list for the HMS Rodney for 1940/41 can you help me as it would be much appreciated as my late uncle Thomas Delaney was crew during the battle with the Bismarck, many thanks.

Kind regards,
Martin Delaney

Apr. 7, 2011

My grandad was called Gavin Taylor he served on HMS Rodney in the Second World Wa,r do you have any information on his rank and his service any information would be a great help.

Thank you,
David Bell

Apr. 4, 2011

I am researching my family history and in particular those who joined the forces. Unfortunately those that knew are no longer with us and anecdotally I have been told that two of my great uncles where in the navy. The oldest John Wakeham is reputed to have served on the Thunderer during the first and second wars and his younger brother Alfred Wakeham is reputed to have served on the Rodney during the second war and was aboard during the hunting of the Bismarck. Please could you advise me which direction I should take to confirm if this is true? Incidentally both returned home after the war.

Best regards,
Steffan Evans

Reply 1
Nov. 12, 2011

My Grandfather served on the Rodney during the Bismarck attack. His name was Peter Wakeham.


Mar. 16, 2011

As a New Zealander now living in England, I must say I was really delighted to have one of my relations in New Zealand email me the details of HMS Rodney - now a family Christian name of two of my male family back in New Zealand - bringing back to me the fact that my uncle, Alexander Innes apparently the only Kiwi aboard, was a member of the crew during World War Two, seemingly in that position during the engagement that ended in the sinking of the Bismarck and possibly being on board during the Normandy Landings. The set of your files are now in my personal family history collection so if you have any details of his time as a crew member during WW2, I should be very glad to receive same.

Arohanui e hoa,
Innes King
Oxford, England

Mar. 10, 2011

I had a relative who served on Rodney during the war, my brother was christened in 1942, his middle name is Rodney. Relatives name is Norman Atkinson from Doncaster who I believe was a CPO.

Colin Marr

Feb. 19, 2011

Would you or any of your correspondents be able to confirm if HMS Rodney was at Spike Island, Queenstown, Ireland on July 11th 1938? The occasion was the handing over of the "Treaty Ports" in Ireland to the Irish government. These ports had remained under British Navy jurisdiction since the Treaty of 1921 when part of Ireland gained independence, and were then handed over. I was at Queenstown on the date in question and believe that I saw "Rodney" at the quayside. I would like to be able to confirm this for some family history which I am compiling.

Sean Linehan
Hassocks, UK

Reply 1
Feb. 19, 2011

HMS Rodney left Bangor for The Skaw on July 8, 1938, I doubt this was the ship you saw. According to the article I found HMS Acasta was at Cork at that time.

Michael W. Pocock


Mar. 15, 2010

My father, Philip Smith, served on the HMS Rodney between 1940 and 1945 and was on board at the time of the sinking of the Bismarck. He passed away in 2001. He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on 7 December 1917. We have no information on his duties on the ship or, in fact, much about his service history as we migrated from the UK to Australia in 1963. He rarely spoke about his war time experiences and would like to know something of his time in the Navy. Any information would be greatly appreciated for both his children and his grandchildren.

Joan Evenden (nee Smith)
Stanhope Gardens, NSW, Australia

Reply 1
Sept. 8, 2010

I am currently researching a former gunnery officer from HMS Rodney who was a friend of mine's Grandfather (she lives not far from you actually, at Schofields) I was just wondering if you had any luck in your search for a crew list? My friends Grandfather was with the Rodney in NZ when war was declared in 1939. She believes he was with the ship for most of the war including the Bismarck sinking. Any help would be appreciated.

Tim Coleman
Eastern Creek, NSW, Australia

Oct. 25, 2009

My father served on HMS Rodney during WW2, his name was Walter Ernest Lingard and I think he was an engine room artificer.
I know he served on the convoy duties to Murmansk but that is all I know (he was very reticent about his wartime experiences). Does anyone remember him or can point me in the direction of a printed crew list. I am curious to know if he played any part in the sinking of the Bismarck. He originally came from Barrow in Furness having an apprentice in Vickers shipyard there.

Brian Lingard

July 21, 2009

I believe my father, William Leatten Hurley served on the Rodney during the period between 1939-1945. My father died in 1987 and I have no details of his Navy Service record. I believe he served in the RNVR before the outbreak of WW11. I would very much appreciate any information you may have concerning my father's naval service.

Thank you,
Bill Hurley

Oct. 7, 2008

My granddad, Philip King served on the Rodney as a Stoker/Mechanical Engineer from about 1940 -44.  He was awarded the DSM in the New Years Honours 1942 but to this day says he doesn't know why he got it, but that it "must have been something to do with the Bismarck business". If anyone remembers him, or might be able to shed any light on why he was awarded the medal I would be very grateful and would love to hear from you.

Tom Balch,
Bruton, UK

Oct. 5, 2008

I was wondering where I can obtain the crew list for the Rodney. I understand that my father-in-law (now deceased) was a radio operator on one of the ships that helped to sink the Bismarck, and I believe--but am not sure--that it was the Rodney. His name was Sydney Pilkington and he was from Southampton, England.

Marilyn Pilkington

May 26, 2008

My father George William Walter Booth served on the Rodney in 1944/45, and was on Rodney on D-day when she was shelling German positions in Caen. He told me that he was a radio operator and that he was involved in passing messages to the gunners about the accuracy of their fire. He also did one or more trips to Murmansk on the Rodney on convoy protection. He was known as "Scouse", as he came from Liverpool. He played the piano in the mess and apparently had a nice little earner on the side doing other ratings' laundry! He received a medal in 1985 from the Soviet government (along with other naval personnel who served on the convoys to Murmansk).

I also recall Dad recalling that the Rodney was once visited by an Admiral. When inspecting the crew, the Admiral asked my Dad very quietly if he could swim. When Dad said yes, the Admiral said he wanted Dad to jump overboard (they were in dock) to see how the crew reacted and what they did! Apparently my Dad was very efficiently rescued and the crew were commended for their reactions!

I don't think he progressed beyond ordinary seaman, but in later life he became the Head of the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service in Liverpool, a position he held until the mid 1980's. He died in 1998. I noticed on the crew list for the Rodney that there was an Ivan Walter Booth who apparently served on the Rodney from 1940-44, and that there was a George William Brears. Given my father's full name, I am just curious to know whether there could be any mistake in the crew list? I don't suppose there might be anyone out there who knew him? His best friend on the Rodney was Harry Carpenter, who later became a well-known BBC sports broadcaster.

John Booth

Feb. 2, 2008

I visited my sister in Canada last August, the last time we met was 1979.Whilst there we looked through a great many photographs of old times, amongst them was this menu card which I took a copy, how she came by it I'm not sure.

Kind regards,
Paul Latham


Nov. 5, 2007

I am looking for information about my uncle, William J.B.Cook of the Royal Marines. He served on H.M.S. Rodney in the early part of W.W.2 when the ship was damaged and taken to Plymouth for repairs. He was killed during an air raid on Plymouth on the 22nd April, 1941 whilst helping members of the Civil Defence in rescue operations. His wife was called Elizabeth and he was originally buried in Plymouth. Angela Smith

May 8, 2007

My father, William Lunney of Sheffield, England, served on this ship in WWII. I have no other info about his time on board, does anyone have links to more info about the crew.

Best wishes,
Mick Lunney

Mar. 21, 2007

My uncle, Arthur Tapp served on the Rodney during WWII. Looking for anyone who might have known him. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Sandie Vasquez

Reply 1
Sept. 26, 2019

I'm emailing in regards to Arther Tapp on your forum. Sandi Vasquez is a relative of mine and I'm trying to reach out as I have my great grandfather's Arther Tapp's war documents.

Kieran Lewis

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Page published Mar. 13, 2008