Called up early as in the Reserve, before start of WW2 on HMS Boadicea

February 6, 2013

My Dad was in the Navy, placed in as boy sailor from a arnardos Home WWI to 930 (much time on HMS Hawkins in the Far East including helping after the Yokohama eathqualke). Called up early as in the Reserve, before start of
WW2 on HMS Boadicea. Seldom spoke of what happened in War, except mentioned taking Churchill back to Dover from France, and then getting troups off from Dieppe, and protecting in Atlantic and the northern convoys.

Got all his Admiralty records, detailed from WW1, but very brief re WW2. On Boadicea, but they said he had gone to Chatham as Master at Arms about 3 years after that.  I don’t think he was there, because we might have seen him more, living relatively near, and there are lots of other tiny things (and some photos on Boadicea) that do not tie in.

He never said she had been sunk.

Reason for contact is that have just seen that a gentleman called James Heron wrote to you saying he had copy documents from the Admiralty together with statements of the survivors re sinking of Boadicea. Mr. Heron said he
had a document signed by all survivors. Is there a Frederick William May there please. I have his medals from both wars. I would be very grateful.

Rica Hare,


John Heron did not share his documents with me so I cannot tell if William May is listed.
I am sorry but I do not have his E-mail address.
These details about HMS Boadicia may be of interest to you.

HMS Boadicea (H 65)
Destroyer of the B class

HMS Boadicea during World War Two
NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantH 65
Built byHawthorn Leslie & Co. (Hebburn-on-Tyne, U.K.)
Ordered4 Mar 1929
Laid down11 Jul 1929
Launched23 Sep 1930
Commissioned7 Apr 1931
Lost13 Jun 1944
Loss position50.26N, 02.34W
//position in = 02.34W (long) //position in = 50.26N (lat)

HistoryOn 13 June 1944 HMS Boadicea (Lt.Cdr. Frederick
William Hawkins, RN)
was sunk by German aircraft 12 miles south-west of
Portland Bill in position
50º26'N, 02º34'W while supporting the Normandy landings.

Commands listed for HMS Boadicea (H 65)
Please note that we're still working on this section.
1Lt.Cdr. George Bodley Kingdon, RN16 Dec 1938mid 1940

2Lt.Cdr. Michael Wilfred Tomkinson, RN10 Jan 1941Feb 1941
3A/Cdr. Errol Concanon Lloyd Turner, RNFeb 19414 Jul 1941
4Cdr. Harold Pitcairn Henderson, RN4 Jul 1941Feb 1942
5Lt.Cdr. Francis Cumberland Brodrick, RNFeb 194228 Dec 1943
6Lt.Cdr. Frederick William Hawkins, RN28 Dec 194313 Jun
1944 (+)

Noteable events involving Boadicea include:

HMS Boadicea now lies at 50m upright on the seabed, her
bows blown off, but
her stern and aft mid section intact. Depth charges and
torpedo tubes are
clearly visible, as is her aft gun although the Armour
plating has gone.
21 Nov 1939
Around 2100 hours the British destroyers HMS Griffin
(Lt.Cdr. J. Lee-Barber,
RN with Capt. G.E. Creasy, MVO, RN aboard), HMS Gipsy
(Lt.Cdr. N.J. Crossley
 RN), HMS Keith (Cdr. H.T.W. Pawsey, OBE, RN), HMS
Boadicea (Lt.Cdr. G.B.
Kingdon, RN) and the Polish destroyer Grom (Lt.Cdr. A.
Hulewicz, ORP) were
ordered to leave Harwich and establish a patrol in the
North Sea. Shortly
before that, a German He 59 seaplane dropped two magnetic
mines nearby, but
there was no time for searching. HMS Gipsy hit one of
those mines which tore
her into two pieces. Most of the survivors were picked up
by HMS Griffin and
HMS Keith.
6 Feb 1940
HMS Boadicea (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Kingdon, RN) and HMS Beagle
(Lt.Cdr. R.H. Wright,
RN) sail from Boulogne with the Prime Minister, War
cabinet and Chief of
Staff for Dover.
11 Nov 1942
The British troop transport Viceroy of India was torpedoed
and damaged by
German U-boat U-407 34 nautical miles north-west of Oran,
Algeria in
position 36°26'N, 00°24'W. She was taken in tow by HMS
Boadicea (Lt.Cdr. F.C
 Brodrick, RN) but sank in position 36°24'N, 00°35'W.
Boadicea picked up 450
18 Jul 1943
At 07.56 hours on 18 July 1943, the unescorted British
passenger ship
Incomati was torpedoed and damaged by German U-boat U-508
about 200 nautical
miles south of Lagos. At 08.18 hours, the U-boat began
shelling the ship,
setting her on fire and left the wreck in sinking
condition. The ship
finally sank in position 03°09'N, 04°15'E. One crew member
was lost. The
master, 101 crew members, eight gunners and 112 passengers
were picked up by
the British destroyer HMS Boadicea (Lt.Cdr. F.C. Brodrick,
RN) and the
British sloop HMS Bridgewater (Cdr. N.W.H. Weekes, OBE,
RN) and landed at
Details about HMS Hawkins:

HMS Hawkins (D86)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Class and type:Hawkins-class heavy cruiser
Name:HMS Hawkins
Namesake:Admiral Sir John Hawkins
Builder:Chatham Dockyard
Laid down:3 June 1916
Launched:1 October 1917
Commissioned:25 July 1919
Fate:Sold for scrap 21 August 1947 and broken up in
December that year by
Arnott Young, Dalmuir.
General characteristics
Displacement:9,750 tons (standard)
12,190 tons (full load)
Length:565 ft (172 m) (p/p)
605 ft (184 m) (o/a)[1]
Beam:58 ft (18 m) (65 ft (20 m) across bulges)
Draught:17.25 ft (5.26 m) (20.5 ft (6.2 m) full load)
Propulsion:Eight Yarrow-type oil-fired water-tube boilers
Two coal-fired boilers (until 1929 - then ten oil-fired
Parsons geared steam turbines, Four shafts, 60,000 shp
Speed:30 knots (55.6 km/h)
Range:5,400 nmi (10,000 km) at 14 knots (26 km/h)[1]
Capacity:2,186 tons oil fuel
Complement:690 (standard),[1] 800+ (wartime)
7 x BL 7.5 inch Mark VI in single mounts CP Mk.V[1]
8 x QF 12 pdr 12 cwt Mk.II on single mounts P Mk.I
4 x QF 12 pdr 20 cwt Mk.I on single mounts HA Mk.II
2 x submerged & 4 x fixed above water 21 inch torpedo
As completed,
7 x BL 7.5 inch Mark VI in single mounts CP Mk.V
4 x QF 12 pdr 20 cwt Mk.I on single mounts HA Mk.II
4 x QF 12 pdr 20 cwt Mk.I on single mounts HA Mk.II
2 x QF 2 pdr Mk.II on single mounts HA Mk.I
2 x submerged & 4 x fixed above water 21 inch torpedo tubes

Armour:Main belt;
1½–2½ in forward
3 in amidships
2¼–1½ in aft
Upper belt;
1½ in forward
2 in amidships
Upper deck;
1-1½in in over boilers
Main deck;
1-1½in in over engines
1 in over steering gear
2 in face
1 in crown & sides

HMS Hawkins was a Hawkins-class heavy cruiser of the Royal
Navy. She was
built at Chatham Dockyard and launched on 1 October
1917.[1] With the
conversion of her sister, HMS Cavendish, to become the
aircraft carrier HMS
Vindictive, HMS Hawkins became the name ship of her class.
1 Interwar career
2 Wartime service
3 Decommissioning and scrapping
4 References
5 Sources

Interwar career
HMS Hawkins was commissioned on 25 July 1919 and became
the flagship of the
5th Light Cruiser Squadron on the China Station. She spent
less than a
decade in active service before being paid off at Chatham
to undergo a refit
[2] During this refit, her coal-fired boilers were removed
and the remaining
oil-fired boilers modified. She recommissioned in December
1929, and became
the flagship of the 2nd Cruiser Squadron as part of the
Atlantic Fleet.[2]
Hawkins was decommissioned again in May 1930 and reduced
to the Reserve
Fleet. She was recommissioned again in 1932 to become the
Flagship of the
4th Cruiser Squadron in the East Indies, before again
being reduced to the
reserve in April 1935. The terms of the London Naval
Treaty meant that in
1937, Hawkins was demilitarised and had all her 7.5 inch
guns and the deck
mounted torpedo tubes removed before she was again
returned to reserve
status. In September 1938 plans were drawn up to utilise
Hawkins as a Cadets
 Training Ship.[2]
Wartime service

HMS Hawkins alongside the quay, probably Interwar period
When the Second World War broke out in 1939, Hawkins was
rearmed and
recommissioned to become the flagship to Rear Admiral
Henry Harwood, after
the Battle of the River Plate. She patrolled off the South
American coast,
operating as far south as the Falklands. She left
Montevideo on 5 September
1940 to sail to Simonstown, South Africa for a refit.
Before she could make
use of the dry dock, it was occupied by the aircraft
carrier HMS Hermes,
which was undergoing repairs after having been damaged in
a collision with a
merchant ship. Hawkins was diverted to Durban where she
spent seven weeks
waiting before she was able to dock in the Selborne dry
dock at Simonstown.
Hawkins also rescued nine of the crew from the tanker SS
British Premier,
which had been torpedoed off Freetown by U-65.
During February 1941 Hawkins was active off the East coast
of Africa,
supporting the British reconquest of British Somaliland
and subsequent
pushes into Italian Somalia from Kenya as part of Force T
of the East Indies
Fleet. She also captured a number of Italian and German
merchant ships
attempting to escape the fall of the former Italian
territory, including the
SS Savoia.[3] She later provided escorts for convoys and
intercepted Vichy
French and neutral shipping. Whilst off Mauritius her
starboard outboard
shaft fractured and she lost her screw and shafting. She
spent the period
between 10 October to the 28 October in the Selborne dry
dock, before
departing on 2 November to refit and repair in the U.K.
The repairs were completed by May 1942 and Hawkins left to
join the Eastern
Fleet,[2] and again escorted ships around the African
coast, with periods in
drydock for repairs and refits. One of the ships she
escorted was the SS
Khedive Ismail, later torpedoed by a Japanese submarine
with heavy loss of
life. In June 1944 she returned to British waters, where
she was involved in
Operation Neptune, as part of the Western Task Force
Gunfire Support
Bombardment Force A, for Utah Beach.[2] Before this, she
had been involved
in Exercise Tiger, a disastrous attempt to rehearse the
landings. In August
she was again designated as a Training Ship.[2]
Decommissioning and scrapping
In 1945 Hawkins was reduced to reserve for the last time.
In January 1947
she was allocated for ship target trials, and was bombed
by Royal Air Force
Avro Lincoln bombers off Spithead. She was sold for scrap
on 21 August 1947
and broken up in December that year at the yards of Arnott
Young at Dalmuir
^ a b c d e f Whitley 1995 p.77
^ a b c d e f g Whitley 1995 p.80
^ "Lloyd Triestino / Società di Navigazione Lloyd
Triestino / Società
Anonima di Navigazione Lloyd Triestino / (from 1936) Lloyd
Triestino di
Navigazione SpA". The Ships List. Retrieved 11 January 2009.
British and Empire Warships of the Second World War, H T
Lenton, Greenhill
Books, ISBN 1-85367-277-7
Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1922-1946, Ed.
Robert Gardiner,
Naval Institute Press, ISBN 0-87021-913-8
Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) [1969]. Ships of the
Royal Navy: The
Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy
(Rev. ed.). London:
Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8. OCLC 67375475.
Whitley, M. J., Cruisers of World War Two, Brockhampton
Press, Great
Britain: 1995. ISBN 1-86019-874-0
Jane's Fighting Ships of World War One (1919), Jane's
Publishing Company
HMS Hawkins at U-boat.net


back to letters index


This site was created as a resource for educational use and the promotion of historical awareness. All rights of publicity of the individuals named herein are expressly reserved, and, should be respected consistent with the reverence in which this memorial site was established.

Copyright© 1984/2014 Mackenzie J. Gregory All rights reserved