While serving as RN auxiliaries

It was impossible, during the war, for the Royal Navy to man all auxiliary ships that served with it. Accordingly, early in the war a manning depot was established at Liverpool for dealing with those men of the Merchant Navy who agreed to serve with the Royal Navy under the terms of what was known as the T124 Agreement, and became subject to naval discipline while generally retaining their Merchant Navy rates of pay and other conditions. They served in various types of auxiliary vessels, at first mainly in Armed Merchant Cruisers, but also in armed boarding vessels, cable ships, rescue tugs and others on special service. The maximum number of T124 officers and men exceeded 13,000. Among ships, a large proportion of whose complement belonged to the service, the Rawalpindi and the Jervis Bay won unique renown from the circumstances of their end; but men from over 120 ships are commemorated on the memorial which it was decided to erect in Liverpool. The Liverpool Memorial, to men of the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service who have no other grave but the sea, stands on the banks of the River Mersey adjacent to the Pier Head and opposite to the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board Offices.

764. HMS BRECONSHIRE Cargo-liner 9,776 tons

Glen Line                                      19 January 1941

1375 HOBSON                            Thomas Nathaniel                         lst RO Age 32

 The Breconshire, built in Hong Kong, 1939, was requisitioned in July 1940 for service as a naval auxiliary. Betweenthe 6 and 13 January she was in an Alexandria/Malta convoy. In this operation the full weight of the Luftwaffe was encountered. Whilst unloading at Malta the Breconshire received her full share of the heavy attacks made by enemy bombers; her guns were almost continuously in action. This officer was killed in one of these raids.

764A HMS CAPE HOWE                    Cargo-ship                                    4,398 tons

Lyle Shipping Co                        21 June 1940

 Operated by the Admiralty as a decoy ship or Q ship with the cover name of Prunella (RFA).

1376 HOWELL                            Thomas Fred                                 1st RO Age 37

1377 CLASSON                           Charles Henry                               2nd RO Age 20

1378 RAINFORD                        Harry                                            3rd RO No Age Given

1379 CARROLL                          Gordon Lawrence                         4th RO Age 19

 On 21 June 1940 the Prunella (SSV) was torpedoed by U-28 (Kuhuke) in the South-west Approaches, with considerable loss of life.

  1. HMS CAPE SABLE Cargo-ship 4,398 tons

         Lyle Shipping Co                          16 March 1941

Operated by the Admiralty as a decoy or Q ship with the cover name of Cyprus.

1380 BADCOCK                       James                                            1st RO Age 40

 HMS Cape Sable was released from ‘Q’ ship status, and in 1941 was commissioned as an AMC, but was ineffective, and was returned to commercial service under company management.

  1. HM CAROLINE MOLLER Rescue Tug 444 tons

7 October 1942

1381 COMELY                         Arthur N                                          3rd RO Age 31

On 7 October 1942, the rescue tug Caroline Moller, in a northbound East Coast convoy, was attacked by E-boats off the Wash.

  1. HMS CRISPIN Cargo-ship 5,051 tons

Booth SS Co                                 4 February 1941

Operated by the Admiralty as an Ocean Boarding vessel.

1382 GIGGAL                             Ashley                                             lst RO Age 30

1383 HUWS-JONES                    Garth                                                3rd RO Age 19

On 4 February 1941, the Ocean Boarding vessel Crispin when leaving an outward bound convoy (OB 279) to join a homeward convoy, was torpedoed by U-107 (Hessler) in position 57° OO’ N 19°30’ W.

  1. ANC HMS FORFAR 2 December 1940 16,401 tons

Formerly Canadian Pacific Lines passenger liner Montrose. Requisitioned by the Admiralty on 12 September 1939 and was converted to an ANC atPortsmouth.

1384      WARREN                      Harrold Gervase                               lst RO Age 53

          1385      MEIN                            James                                               2nd RO No Age Given

1386      PILLING                       John                                                 3rd RO Age 28

1387      FRASER                        Charles Hugh                                   Radio Cadet Age 20

Convoy HX 90’s Ocean Escorts were the ANCs Laconia and Forfar. Both left the convoy on 1st December 1940, the Forfar to meet the outward bound convoy OB 251. On 2 December 1940, the AMC HMS Forfar was torpedoed by U-99 (Kretschmer) in position 54° 05’ N 18° 18’ W. Captain N.A.C. Hardy RN, 41 officers and 143 seamen were lost. When the two AMCs left HX 90 on 1st December 1940, the convoy was unprotected. U-boats which had it under observation attacked after the AMCs departed and sank eleven merchant ships.

  1. AMC HMS JERVIS BAY Passenger Liner 14,164 tons

Shaw Savill and Albion                5 November 1940

Aberdeen and Commonwealth Line

Requisitioned by Admiralty in September 1939, and converted to an AMC under the command of Captain E. S. Fogarty-Fegen RN.

1388 WILLIAMSON                 Hugh                                                  lst RO Age 42

 Whilst escorting convoy HX 84 (37 ships) on 5th November 1940, the AMC HMS Jervis Bay encountered the German pocket battleship – Admiral Scheer in position 52° 3O’ N 32° 30’ W. The convoy scattered and the Jervis Bay attacked the Admiral Scheer only to be unmercifully pounded by the 11” shells of the pocket battleship. By doing so she kept the Admiral Scheer occupied for an invaluable half an hour which enabled 32 ships to escape. The five vessels sunk were: Beaverford, Kenbane Head, Maidan, Fresno City and Trewellard.

  1. HMS MALVERNIAN Cargo-ship                                       3,133 tons

Ellerman and Papayanni Line.      19 July 1941

Requisitioned by the Admiralty in 1940, and armed for use as an Ocean Boarding Vessel.

1389 ARNOLD                         LeslieHarry John                            lst RO Age 36

1390 STARLING                      Rowland Scott                                 2nd RO Age 28

1391 JENKINS                          Thomas James                                 3rd RO Age 24

1392 QUINLAN                       John Patrick                                     Radio Cadet Age 19

On 19 July 1941, HMS Malvernian was sunk after being bombed by German aircraft and set on fire off Spain. On 22 July 57 crew reached Spain, and the remaining 107 were captured by German minesweepers.

  1. HMS MANISTEE Cargo-liner 5,360tons

Elder andFyffes                                    24 February 1941

Requisitioned by the Admiralty as an Ocean Boarding Vessel.

1394 OXSPRING                      FrederickWilliam                             lst RO Age 41

1395 KIDSON                           Samuel Gillan                                   lst RO Age 30

1396 McCAN                            Edwin                                               3rd RO No Age Given

On 24 February 1941, HMS Manistee was torpedoed by U-107 (Heesler) and by the Italian submarine Bianchi. She sank in position 59°30’ N 21° 00’ W.

  1. AMC HMS PATROCLUS Passenger Liner 11,314tons

Blue Funnel Line – Alfred Holt & Co    3 November 1940

1397BARRON                      Arthur Sydney                                 lst RO Age 30

When returning from a Western Patrol, the ANC HMS Patroclus when going to the assistance of ANC EMS Laurentic (torpedoed by U-99) was herself torpedoed by U-99 (Kretschmer) in position 53° 43’ N 14° 41’ W.

  1. ANC HMS RAWALPINDI Passenger-Liner 16,697 tons

P and O S.N. Co                                    23 November 1939

Requisitioned by the Admiralty in August 1939, she was converted in London to an AMC, the work being completed by the end of October 1939.

1398 SHARP                             Stephen William                               1st RO Age 41

1399 EMSLIE                            Alexander                                         2nd RO No Age Given

1400SUTHERLAND               Douglas Swanson                             3rd RO Age 21

On 23 November 1939, she was in action with the newly completed fast pocket battleships Sharnhorst and Gneisenau between the Faroes and Iceland. The Rawalpindi was sunk and only 37 crew survived out of a total of 249.

  1. HMS REGISTAN Cargo-Liner 5,886 tons   C. Strick and Co 28 May 1941

1401 HARWOOD                     Ronald                                              2ndRO Age 20

1402 BARKER                          Terence                                             3rdRO Age 21

The cause of the deaths of these two officers is not known. The ship was returned to the original owners in 1941. She was sunk on 28 September 1942 by U-332 in position 12° 37’ N 57° 10’ W when on a voyage from the Persian Gulf to the USA.

  1. HMS SESAME Naval Rescue Tug 700 tons 11 June 1944

1403 HODGSON                      Eric                                                   2nd RO Age 20

Off Normandy, on 11 June 1944 HMS Sesame was attacked by an E-boat and sunk.

  1. AMC HMS VOLTAIRE Passenger- liner 13,245 tons

Lamport and Holt

In August 1939 the Voltaire was taken over by the Admiralty as an accommodation ship. Later she was converted to an ANC.

1404 BRADFIELD                   Tayson                                             lst RO No Age Given

1405 FRASER                           Alexander Simpson                          2nd RO Age 51

On 9 April, AMC HMS Voltaire encountered the armed raider Thor 900 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands. Both ships challenged each other, and Thor’s first salvo destroyed the Voltaire’s radio room. Thor over-powered the Voltaire and 72 of her crew were killed. The 197 survivors were taken aboard Thor and became POWs.

  1. HMS EDGEHILL Cargo-ship 4,724 tons

Reardon Smith Co                                  29 June 1940

Formerly Williamette Valley. Operated by the Admiralty as a decoy ship (SSV).

1406 STARKEY                        Peter Richard                                   2ndRO Age 23

On 29 June 1940, HMS Edgehill was torpedoed in the South-west Approaches by U-51 (Knorr).