The Neptune Association



Please note that this page only contains messages posted to the forum during the years 2011 and 2012. To get in touch, VISIT THE MAIN FORUM PAGE where you can view the latest messages and add a message.

Lieutenant John Price

from: John McGregor, 28 Dec 2012, 11:16

Bruce Constable contacted the FORUM on 11 Jan 2011 and it is so rewarding that Chrissy has come up 2 years later to say that she has a photo of John Price who died in January 1938 when HMS Amphion's plane (an Osprey) crashed, and was then buried with full military honours from HMS Neptune, since John was in charge of Neptune's flight.

Chrissy has sent me this photo which I will ensure gets to Bruce Constable.

Lieutenant John Charles Hugh Price

from: Chrissy, 27 Dec 2012, 14:35

Hello John
I have just found your website and Bruce Constable was asking if anyone had a photo of Lieutenant John Charles Hugh Price. I have a photograph of him but not in his uniform.
If Bruce would like to contact me I do have some info relating to his family on my family tree. Please pass on my email to him if he would like the information.



Hitler's visit 1936

from: John McGregor, 24 Dec 2012, 19:16

Dear Margaret Yes, Neptune visited Kiel in 1936 and many of the crew saw the Berlin Olympics. If you send me the photo of Hitler inspecting a ship to my email address above, I will try to identify the ship. I do not expect it to be Neptune but still interesting.

Hitler's visit 1936

from: Margaret East, 13 Dec 2012, 20:25

Dear Sir, I have a letter that was sent to my grandfather from H.M.S. Neptune, c/o G.P.O. London. Dated 27-8-36. It tells of the ships visit to Keil,"the lads going to Berlin for 2 days to Olympic Games all free & the Germans sure chummed up with all & spent many happy times.
The crew was inspected by Hitler & Admiral Raeder & though Hitler never smiled he seemed a fine man. "

The sender is only known as Wil, but he mentions he was 'President of Mess' if that is a help to trace him. If anyone would be interested in seeing a copy of the letter I will happily scan it.
I also have a picture of Hitler on board a ship, but cannot say for certain if it is the Neptune, it would seem likely that the two belong together but I'm not sure how we can prove it. Did Hitler inspect many Royal Navy vessels?
I would be interested in any comments you might have.

Yours faithfully, Margaret East

Able Seaman Edward Vazey,

from: John McGregor, 23 Oct 2012, 09:00

Dear Sarah Many thanks for sending information on your Great Uncle which will be included when we produce a supplement to the 2nd edition of MINEFIELD.
Thanks also for the good photo of Edward now added to the Roll of Honour on this website.

Edward (Eddie) Henry Vazey, Able Seaman A 1821

from: Sarah Thorpe, 21 Oct 2012, 11:22

Eddie was my great uncle. He was the son of Annie Elizabeth Vazey(nee Parsons) and George John Vazey of Sandringham, Auckland, New Zealand. His brothers were Charles Edward Vazey, my grandfather, and Norman Vazey. He was 24 when he died.
Eddie served in the New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve and wrote many interesting long letters home during his travels. Before he joined the Navy he worked with his brother Norman in a hat factory in Auckland. He had a great sense of humour and was very much loved by all his family. Before serving on the Neptune he travelled from England to New York, on merchant ships transporting fuel. He wrote of travelling to Halifax, Baton Rouge, Glasgow, Belfast, Liverpool, and many other places.
He met up with his brother Charlie who served in the New Zealand Army 4th RMT in Alexandria just weeks before he died, and they were lucky enough to be able to spend a few days together. Eddie also recorded a short message which was to be broadcast before Christmas 1941 on Radio New Zealand. This was never heard by his family as it was never broadcast (due to the Neptune sinking). It is only now being able to read books and visit your website that we have gained a much fuller understanding of what happened. We would love to hear from anyone who may remember Eddie.

Marine William James Raindle

from: John McGregor, 20 Oct 2012, 18:37

Hello Frances, All we know is that William was the son of Frances Lillian Raindle of Thatcham Berkshire and was aged 21 when he died. We have a photo from his King's Squad passing out parade in 1940. His mother's name being the same as yours is quite a coincidence. Thoughts?

William James Raindle

from: Frances Raindle, 23 Sep 2012, 17:41

Dear John,
I am wondering if William Raindle is a relative and wondered if you have any more information please ? Many thanks, Fran Raindle

Able Seaman James Smith Brooks

from: John McGregor, 23 Sep 2012, 15:17

Dear David

We have always been most interested in what happened to your uncle who is buried in Tripoli War Graves cemetery. I have visited his grave twice and he lies amongst about 20 Neptune graves. We have been contacted by two other relatives of James but neither has been able to find a photo of him. I will be in touch by email with their details.

Able Seaman James Smith Brooks

from: David Brooks, 22 Sep 2012, 23:32

Dear John McGregor,

James Brooks was my uncle, my father's brother. I don't know very much about James so I would be very interested to learn of any other material concerning him.

I only recently discovered the Neptune site and I see that two relatives contacted you way back in October 2006. If it's possible I would very much like to get in touch with them.

David Brooks.

brynmor ivor harris

from: paul harris, 25 Aug 2012, 13:43

Thanks for all the info on brynmor. I didnt know my aunti was still alive but I will call and visit her. thank you

Albert Edward Cooke

from: John McGregor, 29 Jul 2012, 16:33

Hi Trevor Thanks so much for making contact. I am attaching a good photo of Albert sent by his nephew Alan Pallett, Presumably he is a cousin of your wife? I will also send you a photo of the whole Kandahar crew and a brilliant account written by kandahar's Doctor.

Albert Edward Cooke ( dickie )

from: Trevor Mayes, 18 Jul 2012, 14:58

Tracing family tree and have spent many years looking for ALBERT EDWARD COOKE ( DICKIE ) but my wife only knew the person as Dickie , we were looking completly blind for him . My wife's mother used to pall around with him when on leave we have 2 photographs of them when he was in wolverhampton visiting his grandmother, but my mother in law only said the name dickie. But now we have found the right person we would like to know more, if your selves have any information or photographs etc it would be great to hear from you. We know he was killed on H M S Kandahar 19/20 December 1941.

Thank You
Trevor Mayes

Marine Brynmor Ivor Harris

from: John McGregor, 10 Jul 2012, 06:59

Hello Paul Thank you for making contact.

Yes his sister, Violet Sandrey of Ynysybwl has been in touch saying that he was one of ten children and sent this good photo. He is on page 179 of our book Minefield. If you want a copy (£20) go to the website BOOKS page.

brynmor ivor harris

from: paul harris, 5 Jul 2012, 08:07

Are there any relatives of brynmor ivor harris on this site? He was my uncle. thanks

Stoker Herbert Payne

from: John McGregor, 12 Jun 2012, 10:34

Hi Janet I agree there is some space on page 128 under Herbert's entry so will bear it in mind. The 3rd edition is some way off since we still have to sell about 250 copies of the 2nd edition first. Adrian will contact you.

I am so glad you have enjoyed the book. I have attached his 1941 Xmas card to 'Fred and Flo'. He signs it 'Chub'.

3rd Edition of Minefield?

from: Janet Stonestreet, 6 Jun 2012, 17:08

Adrian St Clair mentioned to us that there is a possibility of a 3rd edition of Minefield being published, with more of the write up we sent and the postcard to be included as we were disappointed with the writeup and space left on my husbands great uncle Stoker Herbert James Payne on page 128 inclusion in the 2nd edition. Its an amazing book though, we have enjoyed reading it and so have members of our family.
Is there gong to be a 3rd edition?

Thomas Edwards

from: John McGregor, 23 May 2012, 18:22

Dear Garry

From the Commonwealth War graves list there are two possible Thomas Edwards but none with first name Tommas.

Able Seaman Thomas Gilbert Edwards aged 25 son of Evan and Emma Edwards of Wrexham Denbighshire. He died in HMS Neptune on 19 Dec 41.

Able Seaman Thomas William Guy Edwards aged 17 of Clapham London. He died in HMS Hood on 24 May 41.

Neither was a submariner so the connection with Neptune is doubtful.

Researching records for my great Uncle.

from: Garry Jones, 23 May 2012, 03:14

I have been searching records to find out if my great Uncle known as Tommas Edwards is listed as one of the crew on the HMS Neptune, I only know he was a comander oF a submarine and he died along with all his crew. I was also told that this was one of the first submarines to be sunk by the Germans in the 2 WW.
I do not have a photograph or any other details, my father seems to think he died in 1942.

Able Seaman Scotchy Smith

from: John McGregor, 22 May 2012, 18:28

Dear Michael

Yes Able Seaman John Thomas Smith was one of the 73 men who died in HMS Kandahar. He was aged 30 and the son of Albert and Ellen Smith of Rye, Sussex. Presumably he was your uncle even though Smith is a common name. I will be in touch by email.


from: michael cockerill, 23 Apr 2012, 16:38

I have been searching for any information about my Uncle Scotchy Smith.He was killed on the Kandahar when the ship hit the mine.He came from Rye in Sussex and was a able seaman.

Neptune books for customer

from: John McGregor, 23 Apr 2012, 15:49

Dear David

I would be delighted to send you a copy of Minefield 2nd edition for your customer. I will contact you by email to agree arrangements.

Neptune books for customer

from: David Payne, 23 Apr 2012, 10:34

Hello there, I am a bookseller at Waterstones in Kettering. I'm trying to source the St Clair Neptune book(s) for a customer. He has tried to contact your society himself to no avail. Would you please contact me? Many thanks.



from: DAVID OWEN EVANS, 20 Apr 2012, 12:21

Victor was the younger brother of my Father, Daniel Owen Evans. I remember, at a very young age, my Grandmother's 'Scrap Book' containing the original Dominion News cutting of the tragedy and those missing presumed dead. Which was pretty much the entire compliment of course.

I dont think my Grandmother ever really recovered from it?

ERA Leslie Jack O'Connell

from: John McGregor, 18 Apr 2012, 09:07

Hello Leah
I am delighted to hear from the relative of yet another Neptune casualty. What would be really useful would be to locate his photo. Was he called Leslie or Jack? I will be in touch by email with other details.

ERA Leslie Jack O'Connell

from: Leah Morshead, 17 Apr 2012, 01:12

Hi Everyone

i am an adoptee who re-unitied with my birth family a few years ago. I was told that my great-uncle Leslie Jack O'Connell was lost at sea during the war on the Neptune. It is only now having found this site that I am learning about the Neptune. Leslie Jack was an engine room artificer. Thank you for this site, I will definitely be sharing the Neptune story with my children and grandchildren this ANZAC day,
Regards Leah

Boy 1st Class Charles Payne

from: John McGregor, 16 Apr 2012, 09:13

Dear Clifford

I am delighted to hear from you and have added your uncle's photo to the Roll of Honour. I will be in touch by email.

Boy 1st Class Charles Payne

from: Clifford Perry, 14 Apr 2012, 16:16

Hi everyone,I have just been watching a programme on the history channel about "Lost Ships. "The Lost Ship in question was the German pocket battleship "The Graf Spee" which was involved in the Battle of the River Plate on December 13th 1939. During the commentary it was mentioned that HMS Neptune was too far away to assist in the blockade of the harbour of Montevideo.where the Graf Spree had achored for repairs.

I knew that my uncle was assigned to HMS Neptune and lost his life with many others on that sad night on 19th December 1941 aged 17. Please find attached a photo my Mum's brother and my uncle of whom we are immensely proud. In the memory of Charles George Payne "Boy Sailor"

Please could you add my uncle's photo to the Roll of Honour

PAYNE, Boy 1st Class, CHARLES GEORGE, C/JX 188511.

Charlie "Boy" Payne

Able Seaman Ronald Bowen Wigham

from: John Mcgregor, 13 Apr 2012, 21:34

Dear Lesley Anne Thanks for making contact and it is good to hear from another Kandahar relative. Do you have a photo of your great uncle Ronald Wigham? Your cousin John Pollock wrote a message on the FORUM on 20 Feb 2010 but couldn't find a photo.

reply to Jon Pollock re Able Seaman Ronald Bowen Wigham

from: Lesley Anne Greene, 13 Apr 2012, 14:00

Dear Jon,

Ronald Wigham (Able Seaman on HMS Kandahar) was my great uncle on my mother's side. My Nana Dorothy Ann Hardy(d 1997) was Ronnie's eldest sister and she looked after Ronnie and the younger siblings after they lost their parents.She always talked about the brother that she lost at sea and I remember seeing a photo of him on her wall when I was a little girl. I think that there was a rift between Ronnie's family and your grandmother but I do not know any thing of this.

I may be able to furnish you with further info should you wish to get in touch.

Kind Regards Lesley Anne Greene

Marine Albert Raby

from: John McGregor, 12 Apr 2012, 13:55

Dear Peter

It is good to hear from you and the photo is attached of your uncle Albert Raby (on left) with his brother AB John Raby who served in another ship. I will email you with my address. The only information is that he was aged 22 and the son of Albert and Amelia Raby, of Stockton-on- Tees, Co. Durham.

Message from Peter Raby

6 Apr 2012, 22:02

I have been researching my family tree when I came across Albert Frank Raby ply/x100440 and found out he was serving as a marine on the Neptune and was lost at sea when it sank. I have been trying to find out which company he was in but can't get any more information I think he may have been in the Kings Squad.I have been reading your website and found his details on the roll of honour, I have just managed to get a photo of him also.
could you give me any more information?

Able Seaman William Miller

from: John McGregor, 6 Apr 2012, 19:29

Dear Mary

It is very good to hear from you. Your uncle William Miller is one of the six Neptune casualties who is buried in Tripoli and I have been to see his grave twice. If you look down the FORUM page you will see that two other cousins have made contact in the last six months - Steven Barnett on 15 Nov 2011 and Joe Gillan on 4 Feb 2012. Apparently William's son John is living in Greenock and there are many nephews and nieces. I will send you an email copying to Steven and Joe. Hopefully you will be able to find a photo of William Miller.

William Miller

from: Mary Hodges, 5 Apr 2012, 15:10

William Miller was one of the many brave souls who perished on the Neptune. He was the younger brother of my mother Jessie Miller from Greenock Scotland. It was also my Mothers birthday, December 19th when this disaster happened.

I know nothing of this man apart from him being my Uncle. I have no photos of him and if there is a slight chance that someone may have photos that they would like to share I would really appreciate it.

Ordinary Seaman Harold Watson

from: Craig Watson, 12 Mar 2012, 23:29

Hi John,

Thank you very much for the photo. I will pass this on to my Grandad. As for the email address of Doris Lumb, that would be much appreciated as my Grandad has no idea about anyone else that he could be related to and I could use this to try and find out more information

Im working on finding more information about Harold Watson, when I do I will pass it onto you.

What is in the book you mentioned, I am thinking about getting it for my Grandad as it will give him some more information.

Thanks again


Ordinary Seaman Harold Watson

from: John McGregor, 9 Mar 2012, 17:14

Hello Craig It is very good to hear of yet another descendant of the Neptune crew and please send my regards to your grandfather. Remakably we have a photo of your great grandfather sent by his sister's daughter Doris Lumb and I have attached it. She sent it in time to be included in the book MINEFIELD published in November 2010 - on sale for £20. I will email you with Doris' address.

What we don't have is your great grandfather's age, parent's names or where he lived. Can you supply these?

Ordinary Seaman Harold Watson

from: Craig Watson, 7 Mar 2012, 20:42


I am looking for information on my Great Grandad, Harold Watson on behalf of my Grandad. He was 4 years old when his dad was killed. I have managed to find out that he was aboard the HMS Neptune when it was sunk on the 19th of December 1941 but this is all that i know. I have been looking on this site with great interest and was hoping that someone could provide me with some more information on him.

I have found his Service Number which is P/JX 263401.

I would be extremely grateful if anybody has any information or pictures on him as my grandad knows nothing about his dad and really wants to find out more.



Able Seaman William Miller

from: John McGregor, 12 Feb 2012, 08:24

Hello Joe Thanks so much for your message. You obviously saw the photo of William's grave in Tripoli posted in my reply (16 Nov 2011) to Steven Barnett. I have visited the grave twice and it is very moving to see the 6 named Neptune's amongst 16 others, many of whom would also be Neptune casualties. I would very much like to get a photo of William. Could you ask some of the cousins you mentioned?

william miller hms neptune

from: joe gillan, 4 Feb 2012, 21:13

Dear John I'm William Miller's nephew. My mother was his sister she always thought he was buried at sea. We had a photo of William but don't know who took it after my mum died. May have been his son john. I'll try and find out. William has still got a brother living as well son john and his family, and loads of nieces and nephews. It was very moving to see his grave. I wish my mother had seen it before she died.

Boy 1st Class Neptune 1861

from: John McGregor, 23 Jan 2012, 07:55

Dear Debra

Thanks for making contact but we don't hold records of those who served in HMS Neptune in 1861 - just those of the second world war cruiser HMS Neptune.


from: DEBRA HAWKINS, 21 Jan 2012, 23:27

I am researching my family and one of my close relatives I believe was a 1st Boy on the Neptune around 1861,I have this information from the census.Please does anyone have any information on him as I would be most gratful.
Thank you in advance.
Regards Debra.

Four Seamen or Stokers

from: John McGregor, 25 Dec 2011, 09:40

Hi Stuart Many thanks for the lovely photo and the cap badges are Neptune's, but having examined the uniforms closely, I believe they are taken on board the WW1 Dreadnought Class battleship HMS Neptune not the WW2 cruiser. You can see the propeller badge on his right arm which by the 2nd world war would have been yellow or gold. I will be in touch by email after Xmas. If any are recognised, please let me know.

John Hughes

from: StuartP, 19 Dec 2011, 23:40

Thanks for the forum post, I haven't received anything by mail yet. But I have found an extract in the Wigan Observer paying tribute to Able sea man John Hughes, sadly this was not his ship and he was getting back to his other ship via the HMS Neptune when disaster struck. Are there any ship logs or photos you may have seen of John?

I am also attaching this photo courtesy of Wigan World and Glynis Cunningham, the people are sadly unknown but hopefully some one may recognise a friendly face or two!

Unknown HMS Neptune

Horace Broughton

from: John McGregor, 19 Dec 2011, 07:55

Dear Graham Thank you for your kind thoughts on the 70th anniversary of the tragedy. Your father was indeed lucky to have left the ship so shortly before she sank, taking the lives of all his friends. Did he leave any photos of his shipmates? One of our aims is to include them on the GROUP PHOTOS page of the website, listed into their branch.


from: Graham Broughton, 18 Dec 2011, 07:36

I just want to say I am thinking about that day 70 years ago. My father Horace Broughton was very fortunate as he was taken off for special training the day before she set sail and sank. Every Christmas he would think about his shipmates and now I cannot help but think about them as well. I wish all the members a very happy Christmas and we will never forget those young boys and that beautiful ship HMS Neptune and the Kandahar. God bless to all Graham.

Plumber 4th Class Henry Vercoe

from: John McGregor, 16 Dec 2011, 06:48

Hello Neale The Commonwealth War graves site shows that your uncle joined the NZ Navy for training as an RNZN rating with an official number 56, which means he was one of the very earliest volunteers. The Plumber was regarded as a skilled craftsman so he would have lived in the Artificers Mess on board HMS Neptune.
I have sent you an email and I hope you will enjoy the 70th commemoration of the Neptune tragedy on 19th December at Wellington. Please send the regards of the Association to any who attend.

plumber Vercoe

from: neale dickson, 14 Dec 2011, 21:56

Just trying to understand where my Great uncle's position falls into in relation to which service he was with.
When he joined up I think it was with the Royal Navy as the RNZN had not been formed yet, but when the ship sank the RNZN had just been started. I can't find his name in either service and he was not part of the RNZNR

Chief Petty OfficerGeorge D Webber

from: John McGregor, 9 Dec 2011, 07:08

Hello Alison. Yes your grandfather George D Webber is listed with the Neptune casualties and if you click on the Roll of Honour on this website you will see we have included his details as Age 30, Son of Charles and Florence Webber, of Plympton, Devon; Husband of Edna Kathleen Webber, of Plympton. Have you a photo? The Seaman department was much the lergest on board with over 300 men. Your grandfather may have been the leader of one of the gun crews. Each 6 inch gun turret was worked by 72 men - mostly seamen.
I will be in touch by email and will send details of the Neptune Association. We plan to hold a commemoration service at the Memorial on Plymouth Hoe in May 2012.

George D Webber Acting Chief Petty Officer

from: Alison Hughes, 3 Dec 2011, 11:53

I have recently discovered this association, and wonder if you can help me. I would like to find out what the working role of my grandfather was, aboard HMS Neptune. I know he joined the ship in Plymouth to cover for someone who had been taken ill. That was the last my father ever saw of him. We know very little as my father was only 3 years old when he was killed.

Able Seaman John Hughes

from: John McGregor, 28 Nov 2011, 15:11

Hello Stuart It is good to hear from you but we have no information other than his age of 23 and that he was the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Ellen Hughes of Hindley Green, Lancashire. I will be in touch by email and send details of the Neptune Association.

John Hughes

from: Stuart, 16 Nov 2011, 15:18

Hello, looking for photos. information about Able seaman John Hughes, who joined this ship to reach his original one, sadly he was onboard the Neptune as she sank.

Able Seaman William Miller

from: John McGregor, 16 Nov 2011, 10:38

Dear Steven It is very interesting to hear from you. Yes your wife's uncle William Miller is buried in one of the six named Neptune graves in Tripoli War cemetery - photo attached. William obviously tried very hard to stay alive and nearly made it. His grave is amongst another 20 graves just marked "Soldier known unto God" which, very probably, are other Neptune casualties. The 61 of us who went on the pilgrimage to Tripoli in 2007 visited these graves and paid our respects. A recent BBC news item stated that the Commonwealth Wargraves cemetery in Tripoli has not been damaged during the unrest in Libya. Have you a photo of him?I would much like to speak to William's son.

Able Seaman William Miller

from: steven barnett, 15 Nov 2011, 21:09

I have noticed from your website that Able Seaman William Miller has a grave in Tripoli,I thought that all of HMS Neptune's crew went down with the ship except one. The reason I am asking as his son is still alive in Greenock and the story he was told is that no bodies were recovered? I hope you can help as he would have been my wife's uncle and we would like more imformation about what happened.

CPO Supply Edward Walter George Ford

from: John McGregor, 14 Nov 2011, 09:56

Hello Rosemary and thanks for making contact. You are the first from Edward Ford's family and we have no details other than that he was aged 24 and the son of Edward Charles and Emma Ford of Lambeth, London. Have you a photo of him? His name is on our memorial at the National Arboretum and on the Rolls of Honour in Malta Maritime Museum, the Clyde Naval Base Chapel at Faslane and on this website. My father was his boss and would have known him well. I have checked with Adrian Fewins and he hasn't had a book order from you. I will be in touch by email.

Edward Walter George Ford CPO

from: Rosemary Duffy, 13 Nov 2011, 13:33

I am trying to find information about my uncle, CPO Stores Ted Ford. He went down on HMS Neptune and until I found your website I did not even know there was a memorial at the National Aboretum. I would be very grateful if you could tell me anything about Uncle Ted or where I can go to find out for myself. I know he is listed on the memorial at the Lines in Chatham but that's about it so far. I have ordered a copy of Mediteranean Minefield and am really looking forward to reading it. I hope you can help.
Many thanks,
Rosemary Duffy

Ordnance Artificer Reginald Jones

from: John Mcgregor, 12 Nov 2011, 20:33

Hello Elaine
The photo of your uncle Reggie was placed on the FORUM page on 8 Nov 2009 and he is with another Ordnance Artificer. You are right that the photo could have been taken during training and maybe the other man didn't join Neptune at all, and maybe he is your friend but both men were 5th Class OA's at the time. OA's specialised in Gunnery. Are you sure your friend was an OA, not a Seaman Gunnery rating?

Reginald Jones

from: Elaine Morley, 26 Oct 2011, 11:26

You have a photograph of my uncle Reggie on your forum. He is standing with another man and we do not know who this friend is. Have you, since this photo was sent in, had any clue as to who this man was and is it obvious from the photo that this man was definitely aboard the Neptune and went down with this ship? Could it be somebody who he knew before he was assigned to the 'Neptune', perhaps in training? I only ask this because he bears a strong resemblance to somebody I knew who also went into the navy early in the war and trained as a gunner. He was not however aboard the Neptune.
Kind regards,
Elaine Morley

Ordinary Seaman Robert Kennedy

from: John McGregor, 25 Oct 2011, 22:17

Dear Adam

It is very good to hear from the grandson of a Neptune casualty. The Commonmwealth War Graves site states he was a casualty but fails to give the normal details of your grandfather (age, parent's names, wife's name, home town). We do not have a photo of him, and are dependant on families to supply one. Please give my regards to your father and I will be in touch by email.
If you can get to the National Arboretum, Alrewas next Saturday 26th, we would be delighted to see you at our 70th remembrance meeting.

Ordinary seaman Robert Kennedy

from: Adam Kennedy, 25 Oct 2011, 08:01

I am the great grandson of Ordinary Seaman Robert Kennedy and am inquiring as to whether or not there are any photos or information on him available to give to his son (my father)Robert John Kennedy whom is turning 80 next year?

Boy Bugler Albert Smith

from: John McGregor, 24 Oct 2011, 15:17

Well done buying Albert's medals. You are the first contact concerning Albert and the Commonwealth War Graves site gives his details as 'Age 16, son of Albert Edward and Ellen Amelia Smith of Swilly Plymouth.' Albert was the youngest of the 72 RM's who died in Neptune. Please send me a photo of his medals and I will add it to the Roll of Honour on this website. If any relative sees this, please leave a message on this page.

Albert Smith 15 yrs RM

from: Mark Naylor Ex RM, 24 Oct 2011, 12:00

Last year I bought from e-bay Abert's medals and and hopefully am going to present them to CTCRM School of music next year as well as taking my lad 10yrs. I felt a bit ashamed of the corp for not buying them as Albert (no relation) was only 15 when he died on HMS Neptune.If any of his relations are still alive then by all means contact me and really they should present the medals.
Mark Naylor RM PO35562D

Atkinson brothers Basil and Roy

from: John McGregor, 22 Oct 2011, 09:55

Dear Lee

Thank you very much for making contact and I have copied your email to Dr Jennifer Jones who presumably is a cousin of yours.

How awful for your grandparents to have lost both sons in the tragedy. I have photos of them. They both appear in MINEFIELD 2nd edition published last November. If you want a copy please let me know.

Atkinson boys .......Basil and Roy

from: Lee Adams, 10 Oct 2011, 20:48

These two brothers who lost their lives on the Neptune were my husbands uncles.
Their sister, my husbands mother died recently aged 96 yrs.
She received a visit from the sole survivor some 10 years ago when he visited NZ to meet with the familes of the men that died.
Over the past few days I have been doing some research about the ship and the men that died and have found that 10 recordings for a Xmas message were made by various NZ men on board. Radio NZ archives holds copies of all 10 recordings which were never broadcast until 2003. The names of the men that recorded messages is listed for each recording.A real voice from the past, unfortunately neither of our boys recorded a Xmas message.
I am also trying to trace a Jennifer A Jones who left a message on this forum in 2008 requesting contact from any family members related to these man.

eric merrideth

from: John McGregor, 9 Oct 2011, 09:49

Hello Neville

Eric Merrideth is not on the list of Neptune casualties, so he presumably left the ship before she sank.

eric merrideth

from: Neville, 27 Sep 2011, 11:11

My wife told me she knew a sailor named Eric Merrideth who was on board HMS Neptune when it was docked at Chatham UK,i am wondering if anyone knows the name and where he is now.

Auckland Heritage Festival

from: Tony Goodwin, 14 Sep 2011, 09:40

Just to let you know I have a display board regarding HMS Neptune as part of the Festival in conjunction with the NZ Military Historical Society. This will be at Auckland War Memorial Museum on 24 - 25th September.

Royal Marine Norman Hendy

from: Beth Stott, 24 Jul 2011, 19:39

Hi John

If you can get a photo from the museum that would be great.. being in Aberdeen I am a bit limited to what I can get.


Marine Norman Hendy

from: John McGregor, 6 Jul 2011, 22:44

Dear Beth You are quite right - Norman Hendy deserves to be remembered and it is the first time I have heard his name. It is just amazing how more and more of the crew who died seem to be making contact with the Neptune Association through their relatives. We do not have a photo of him but it is quite possible that we may get one from his training class through the Royal Marine Museum in Portsmouth - like the one attached to the FORUM message of 10 August 2009.

Royal Marine Norman Hendy

from: Beth Stott, 6 Jul 2011, 20:48

I have recently been researching my family tree and I have discovered that when my great great grandfather died his wife remarried. She had a son Norman Hendy. I have since discovered that he died on board HMS Neptune. I have his information below from the CWGC website and wondered if you have a photo or further information on him as I never knew he existed until I started my research and would hate to have him forgotten.

PLY/X 1659, H.M.S. Neptune., Royal Marines
who died age 24
on 19 December 1941
Son of Samuel and Catherine Hendy, of Ilkeston, Derbyshire.
Remembered with honour

Xmas Card

from: John McGregor, 21 Jun 2011, 15:06

Dear Barry Yes we are very interested in all Neptune casualties and the Xmas card was probably sent by a Neptune sailor to his wife or close relative. Please could your girlfriend find out as much as she can from the Care Home as to the name of whoever lived there and your address. It is unlikely to have been his parent's home as they would have died some time ago.

Last November, we published the book 'Minefield' by Adrian St Clair Fewins with details of 450 Neptune sailors. If you find information on this sailor, it will be included in the next edition with the story of the Xmas Card.

Xmas Card Found?

from: Barry Corrall, 2 Jun 2011, 07:11

Hi all. A little story behind this find. Basicly I decided yesterday to begin to gut my house and do it up. I started in the living room and ripped out the old wooden fireplace surround. After doing this i found some very interesting items that had fallen down the back over the years dating back to ealiest of 1939 and latest being 2000 which was a lottery ticket. (Hopefully not a jackpot winner lol, enough to drive someone insane that would lol) Anyway what lead me to this website was an xmas card with the neptune crest on the front dated Christmas 1941 new year 1942. Inside is a photograph of the neptune and is hand written to who i would persume lived here back in the 40s. Currently this morning my Girlfriend has taken it into work as she works in a care home where one of the residents was in the navy back in the war so he may remember it. Is this info of anyones interest as if it is i could put up a photo of the card when she comes back and give more details of the sender and reciver???

Petty Officer Arthur Aiton

from: John McGregor, 1 Jun 2011, 18:11

Hello Edward Many thanks for your message both by email and on the Forum page.
I have a problem in answering your question about the death of your uncle Arthur Aiton. Normally I just go to the Commonwealth War Graves site which gives basic details of Neptune casualties in WW2 but Arthur died before the start of the War so is not included. The best chance is to go to the Public Records Office at Kew and to ask to see the monthly Neptune Navigation log for March 1939. This would record the details of his death.
Would any Neptune veteran who remembers Arthur Aiton's death, please post a message or email me?

Arthur McKay Aiton

from: Edward Holland, 24 May 2011, 02:39

Hello John,

I'm writing to the HMS Neptune forum in hopes
of finding out what happened to my Great Uncle
who served on the HMS Neptune, his name was
Petty Officer Arthur McKay Aiton who died on
March 24, 1939.
He's buried at Simonstown, South Africa.

Arthur McKay Aiton

William Stock

from: John McGregor, 18 May 2011, 15:30

Dear Lin
I regret I do not have any information on your grandfather. I have the full list of all those who died in the WW2 cruiser HMS Neptune but not those in the WW1 battleship HMS Neptune, which fought at the Battle of Jutland.

william stock

from: Lin, 13 May 2011, 13:09

Searching for info on William Stock(my grandmothers brother) who is on the WW1 plymouth Hoe War memorial. I have no details whatsover about him. He did have a brother Joseph Stock who died at the Somme, France. My grandmothers name was Ellen Stock.

hms neptune

from: tony withnall, 11 May 2011, 09:07

Dear sir i have for sale a seamans hat from hms neptune. inside the hat is written the name sandiford it is in good condition but not mint.i was wondeing if the association was intersted in purchasing this item for your collection hope to here from you soon ultimately this item will be listed on ebay if you are not interested with thanks'

Able Seaman Bill ( William ) PERRY RNZN

from: John McGregor, 1 May 2011, 10:26

Dear June

It is good to hear from you as you are the first contact from Bill's family. However we have a photo of him sent by a good friend of his (Reg Rushton) who left Neptune before she sank and is still alive. The photo is both on the website Roll of Honour and in the recently published book MINEFIELD on page 84. If you wish to buy a copy of the book we would be delighted to send it. I will contact you by email for your postal address.

Bill ( William ) PERRY

from: June Perry, 10 Apr 2011, 10:08

My father's brother, Bill Perry was an RN reserve from WGTN, who went down on the Neptune. His land-based captain was Wybrants OLPHERT, WW1 naval hero, after whom the Wgtn base is now named. Before sailing on Aquitania to London in 1940, Bill played soccer for Toc h Wgtn. A number of the soccer club members joined up at the same time. Recently I found a letter from Bill to my father, dated Feb 1941,( he joined the Neptune 3 months later ) in which he described playing a game of rugby at Bristol. "There were 14 welshmen and myself, all sailors, up against 15 land boys who lived for the game. They thrashed us 17 - nil and I had two front teeth broken in half from kicks. What a great game - much better than soccer."!
I'm a freelance journalist, and this year have written an Anzac story about Bill, Neptune, and his mother's membership of the Wgtn Gold Star Mothers Club. I'd love to hear from anyone who knows anything about, or has in the family, a Gold Star badge. Lovely site, thanks John. June P

Commissioned Gunner Frederick Prince

from: John McGregor, 8 Apr 2011, 09:56

Hello Ken

You are right, Frederick came up through the ranks and had been promoted to Commissioned Gunner. I have attached a photo of him sent by his niece, Sandy Gilbert who sent it to the Neptune Association in 2005. It also appears on our website Roll of Honour and in the recently published book MINEFIELD (£23) where the paragraph on Frederick is on page 38. If you want a copy of the book, you can pay by credit card.

Fredrick Prince

from: Ken Burgess, 27 Mar 2011, 20:02

I am looking for any information on Gunner F.C.Prince.he is a distant relative and my Uncle who lives in the states has been trying to get information on him.I believe he came up through the ranks.I have no other information on him.

Ken Burgess Alberta Canada

Ordinary Seaman Thomas Gritton

from: John McGregor, 26 Mar 2011, 07:03

Dear Leigh

I have inserted the photo of your uncle Thomas Gritton on the website Roll of Honour. What a pity you didn't send it last year as his photo could have been included in the book MINEFIELD. A paragraph in his memory is on page 68. I had a number of conversations with your father (Tommy's brother in law) before he died but he couldn't find a photo. I am delighted that you have taken on his membership.

Thomas Gritton

from: Leigh Franks, 14 Mar 2011, 13:03

Tom was my Uncle and this is a photo of him if you have any problems with this photo please contact me.Is it possible to put this with his name on the roll of honour please.
Kind Regards,

Leigh Franks

Thomas Gritton

Stoker Joseph Freeman Allen,

from: John McGregor, 25 Feb 2011, 12:38

Joseph Thanks for your message and it is good to hear from you, and fascinating that you have been in Plymouth for all these years without realising your great uncle died in Neptune and is remembered on Plymouth Hoe. Just before we printed the book MINEFIELD a cousin of yours, Anne Wright from Newcastle made contact. She hadn't got a photo but from details she gave there is an entry for Joseph Freeman Allen on page 231 of the book.

Joseph Freeman Allen, stoker

from: Joseph Freeman Graham, 22 Feb 2011, 22:39

I was intrigued to read on your forum about Joseph Freeman Allen who was a Stoker on HMS Neptune when it was lost during the war. I am the eldest grandson of Anne Curry (nee Allen) Joe's sister, and I was named after him. My Aunty who now lives in Australia is doing our family tree and I came across your site almost by accident during some research. the Ironic thing is I come from Newcastle and joined the Royal Marines in 1982 and have lived in Plymouth all these years without knowing my name sake was on the memorial on plymouth Hoe. Thank you for your wonderful site and hopefully I will be able to contact some of my extended family as a result.
Joseph Freeman Graham

Cook Jack Loughland

from: John McGregor, 31 Jan 2011, 10:33

Hi Louris Thanks for your message and kind remarks about the website. I confirm that Cook Jack Loughland was a Neptune casualty but the Commonwealth wargraves website does not give any details fo his parents or home town. This is true for about 10% of the casualties. You are the first to make contact about him.

Jack Loughland

from: Louris Loughland, 31 Jan 2011, 01:19

Congratulations on a great website!

I found this through the War Graves site,researching the name Jack Loughland,who I believe is related to my husband.
If there are any details of his parentage or home town,it would assist me in establishing a connection.

The Death of Lt Price

from: Rorie Grieve, 18 Jan 2011, 00:11

I believe that Lieutenant (A) Price FAA was in charge of HMS Neptune's Fleet Air Arm Division from 716 Flight supporting 6th Cruiser Squadron at the time of the accident. HMS Neptune by this time no longer shipped Hawker Ospreys herself and had, in fact, recently pioneered shipboard operations of the Fairey Seafox with which the Fleet Air Arm was re-equipping. On the day in question he was, as Mr Constable suggests, actually piloting an Osprey from HMS Amphion (later to be HMAS Perth), then flagship of the 6th Cruiser Squadron of which HMS Neptune was a member. Apparently Lieutenant Price, with Flight Lieutenant Hammond from HMS Amphion as observer, was spotting for squadron gunnery exercises. Weather conditions worsened in the afternoon whereupon Lieutenant Price was ordered to return but in so doing flew into the side of Table Mountain. Both men were killed in the crash.

I do not know of any photographs of Lieutenant Price but Jack Harker's book "Almost HMNZS Neptune" has anecdotes of his experiences with HMS Neptune's Seafoxes just prior to his death.

Lt. John Charles Hugh Price

from: John McGregor, 11 Jan 2011, 22:15

Dear Bruce
I do not have any information on this flying accident and the sad death of Lt. John Price. You may well be right about the facts. The Commonwealth War Graves site gives the details of war casualties but not those killed in peacetime.

Later - Bruce has sent me a moving photo of John Price's coffin on board Neptune for burial at sea. Someone may recognise the Petty Officer and Seaman.

1938 Neptune Casualty

from: Bruce Constable, 3 Jan 2011, 00:01

Don't know if my first message got thru.
Was trying to find if Lt.John Charles Hugh PRICE(Pilot), killed in the crash of HMS Amphion's Osprey K5747 on 20 Jan 1938 at Simonstown South Africa, was a crew member of HMS Neptune.

I believe he was buried at sea from HMS Neptune on 22 Jan 1938.

Would anyone know of him or have a photo?


1938 Neptune Casualty

from: Bruce Constable, 2 Jan 2011, 20:28

On 20th Jan 1938 an Osprey aircraft from HMS Amphion, K5747, crashed into the mountains near Simonstown, South Africa, killing the pilot and the observer.

The pilot, Lt. John Charles Hugh Price, was said to be attached to HMS Neptune at the time. The passenger, AB Leslie Hammond was an Amphion crew member.

Lt.Price was buried at sea from HMS Neptune on 22 Jan 1938.

I would appreciate it very much if you could confirm that Lt.Price was a Neptune pilot. Also are there any photos of him

Thank You
Bruce Constable

Able Seaman James A Birss

from: John McGregor, 2 Jan 2011, 08:04

Dear Irene

Of course you can order the book for your uncle. I will be in touch by email.


from: Irene Burson, 2 Jan 2011, 02:37

Hello John
Is there any way that my uncle can purchase a copy of the book Mediteranean Minefield, he doesn't have access to a computer, but would be willing to mail his details.
He is James Birss's half brother

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