Halcyon Class Minesweepers

HMS Britomart - Crew

Jack Barlow
Family & Friends


This page contains all the names of crew members that have been found so far. If you can add to the information please contact me.

Crew of HMS Britomart  Murmansk 1943

Crew of HMS Britomart
Murmansk July 1943
(Source: Jack Barlow)

Lt. Cdr. Eric Percival Hinton, MVO, RN
Promoted to Cdr. on 31 December 1939
28 June 1939 28 May 1940
Lt. Cdr. John Mark Symonds Cox, DSC, RN
Bar to DSC awarded on 7 June 1940
28 May 1940 15 March 1941
Lt. G.H. Cook, RN 15 March 1941 29 March 1941
Lt. Cdr. R. Frederick, RN 29 March 1941 10 August 1941
Lt. Cdr. Spencer Shelly Stammwitz, RN
DSC awarded on 1 December 1943
10 August 1941 5 January 1944
Lt. Cdr. Arthur James Galvin, DSC, RNR 5 January 1944 27 August 1944


Crew of HMS Britomart, date unknown
(William) George Jenkins second from right, front row

Source: Georgie Tsyplek








Peter Allan



15th March 1941 30

Son of Herbert William and Maud Alice Block of Catford.  Husband of Kathleen Margaret Block.

HASLAR  ROYAL NAVAL CEMETERY Hampshire Plot G, Row 9. Grave 26.

BOLT Leslie P/O Stoker D/KX75645 2nd Sept 1942 36 Husband of Violet Maud Bolt, of Lipson, Plymouth PLYMOUTH Memorial    Panel 69, Column 1.
John Mark Symonds Lieut-Commander
   March 1941 32 Son of Francis William Henry and Ethel Sophie Cox, of Chelsea, London HASLAR ROYAL NAVAL CEMETERY HampshirePlot G, Row 9, Grave 23
HEMMINGS  Thomas Stoker 1st Class   4th April 1947 44 Son of Thomas and Ellen Hemmings; husband of Ivy Hemmings, of Winsford OVER (ST JOHN) CHURCHYARD Cheshire Grave 1297
HIGGINS William Engine Room Artificer 4th Class D/MX60245 9th July 1941   Son of Martin and Evelyn Higgins; husband of Margaret May Higgins, of Harpurhey, Manchester SS John and Thomas Section, Grave 506
NORRIS  Herbert Astley

 Able Seaman

D/J101604 24th January 1942 38 Son of William Astley Norris and Eva Norris; husband of Dorothy Denton Norris, of Southport, Lancashire PLYMOUTH Memorial   Panel 66, Column 1

William George Jenkins & others HMS Britomart
(William) George Jenkins in centre, others unknown
13th November 1943

Source: Georgie Tsyplek

(includes 2 who died shortly after)
To see photographs of the individual panels on the Plymouth Memorial go to http://www.webrarian.co.uk/rnwm/rnwm12.html









Thomas William

Ordinary Seaman

 D/JX 570723



 PLYMOUTH  Panel 87, Column 3


Lewis Henry Hubert

Able Seaman

 D/J 104664


Son of Mr and Mrs Jack Brickle; husband of Olwen Brickle, of Orielton, Pembrokeshire, Wales

 PLYMOUTH   Panel 86, Column 1



Able Seaman

 D/SSX 24580


Son of John and Florence Cutler, of Sneinton Dale, Nottingham

 PLYMOUTH    Panel 86, Column 1


William Richard

Able Seaman

 D/J 73416



PLYMOUTH      Panel 86, Column 1


Albert Newton

Chief Yeoman of Signals

 D/J 90489


Son of Frederick and Margaret Gerred; husband of Miriam Esther Gerred, of Shirley, Southampton

 PLYMOUTH    Panel 88, Column 2



Able Seaman

 D/JX 238295


Son of James and Emma Harrison, of Hyde, Cheshire

PLYMOUTH      Panel 86, Column 2


Ernest Charles

Ordinary Seaman

 D/JX 570743


Son of Ernest George and Emma Louisa Johnson, of Horfield, Bristol

 PLYMOUTH    Panel 88, Column 1


Alan Hugh

Ordinary Seaman

 D/JX 559094


Son of Joseph and Alice Matilda Jones, of Risca

RISCA OLD CEMETERY Monmouthshire    Plot C, Grave 169

HMS Britomart Headstone A H Jones

Photo: Steve Veysey


Leon Kenneth Edgar

Ordinary Seaman

 D/JX 559568


Son of Leon Christopher and Eleanor Jones, of Newport

NEWPORT (ST WOOLLOS) CEMETERY Monmouthshire Block 81, Grave 80


George Herbert

Stoker 1st Class

 D/KX 147555



 PLYMOUTH     Panel 90, Column 1


Sidney Clifford

Able Seaman

 D/JX 184868


Son of Sidney William and Anne Ethel Marston; husband of Eileen Alice Marston, of Richards Castle, Shropshire

  PLYMOUTH    Panel 87, Column 1



Petty Officer Stoker

 D/KX 86002



 PLYMOUTH     Panel 89, Column 3


John Henry

Ordinary Telegraphist

 D/JX 610352



PLYMOUTH      Panel 89, Column 1


Philip James

Ordinary Seaman

 D/JX 570495



 PLYMOUTH     Panel 88, Column 2


Walter George

Leading Steward

 D/LX 24871


Son of John and Frances H Smith; husband of Joyce Lilian Smith, of Brimscombe, Gloucestershire

  PLYMOUTH    Panel 91, Column 2


William Robert

Able Seaman

 D/J 89495


Son of William and Elizabeth Scott Spence; husband of Laura Ethel Spence, of Plymouth

  PLYMOUTH    Panel 87, Column 2


Ernest William

Able Seaman

 D/JX 304909


Son of Joseph and Mary Ellen Sykes, of Manchester

 PLYMOUTH    Panel 87, Column 3


Kenneth Martin




Son of Frederick and Mabel Ware, of Taunton, Somerset; husband of Margery Seward Ware, of Taunton

 PLYMOUTH    Panel 93, Column 1


Albert Edward

Stoker 1st Class

 D/KX 152777


Son of Thomas and Emily West, of Exmouth, Devon; husband of Barbara M West, of Exmouth

  PLYMOUTH    Panel 90, Column 2


William Frederick


 D/J 39682


Son of Alfred and Ellen Whitfield; husband of Lena Whitfield, of Woodford Greell, Essex

  PLYMOUTH    Panel 88, Column 2



Stoker 1st Class

 D/KX 140883


Son of Charles and Annie Yates, of Liverpool

BOOTLE CEMETERY Lancashire Section 6, C of E, Grave 10



HMS Britomart - George Jenkins on right
Source: Georgie Tsyplek

Other Members of the Crew of HMS Britomart








Altmore Alex Asdic Rating       PQ17- Lund & Ludlum
Anderson J D Tempy Lt   8.11.39   Navy List Dec 1939
Barlow John (Jack) AB   12.12.41 - 27.8.44  

Jack Barlow HMS BritomartMy father in law (now deceased) was a member of the crew when it was attacked and sunk by the RAF whilst carrying out minesweeping duties in 1944 off the coast of France. He managed to survive the attack by jumping overboard after spotting the RAF coming again for a second attack. According to his wife who is now 86, she says he was picked up and taken to Scotland, but doesn't know where.
She doesn't know the length of time he served on the Britomart but we do have several photographs from 1942/1943/1944 with his handwriting on the back of some of them of where they were taken, including one of a Guard of Honour for General Montel at Grosni Quay, Archangel in July 1943.
My father in law's date of birth was 28/06/1921, he died on 06/12/1967. His home address whilst serving was: No 9 Dalzell Street. Moor Row, nr Whitehaven ,Cumbria. As I stated his wife Joan, who served in the ATS and met Jack in a dance hall in Edinburgh, is still alive and went on to have two daughters.
He did many sailings to Murmansk, Archangel, Iceland and lost many friends, especially in the incident of 1944. Unfortunately my mother in law cannot remember any names of his colleagues but he did knock about with a lad from Hull. He always attended Remembrance Sunday service wherever he was living at the time.
Source: Richard Stead, Nov 2008
Cook G H Lt   15.3.41 - 29.3.41    
Crittle George Lt   1944    
Fitton Lawrence Signalman JX240566 24.2.44 - 27.8.44  

My Father, Lawrence Fitton was a signalman on HMS Britomart. 

He was Port Division Devonport  and his Official Number JX240566. He was born 6th November 1923 and died 19th August 1987 from cancer of the oesophagus.  

His Service Record shows that he joined 24th February 1944 until it was sunk on 27th August 1944. He then went back to HMS Drake. 

He was injured in the sinking (Shrapnel wounds to his arm – we still have the Shrapnel) and I believe helped save the lives of others, in particular one man who was trapped under Life Boat rigging. He managed to get him onto a flotation aid of some description. He was later reunited with the gentleman at a Hospital in Scotland where unbelievably my Father’s sister Mary, turned out to be the Nurse.

Source: Michael Fitton (son) Jan 2009

Frederick R Lt Cdr   29.3.41 - 10.8.41    
Galvin Arthur James Lt Cdr   5.1.44 - 27.8.44-    
Grose J C Tempy Sub Lt   8.11.39   Navy List Dec 1939
Harvey Richard Henry Stoker 1st Class   14.2.41 - 9.1.43   My father, Richard Henry Harvey, DoB 18/2/1912 was born near St Just in
Cornwall, official number KX 114425 and he served in HMS Britomart from
14/2/1941 to 9/1/1943 he was a stoker 1st class. He also served at HMS
Orlando between May and July 1943 and on HMS Milford between 26/5/1944
and 27/2/1945 (submarine training target ship?). 
Source: Chris Harvey March 2009
Hinton Eric Percival Lt Cdr   28.6.39 - 28.5.40   Navy List Dec 1939
Hodgkinson R H Lieut   25.5.39   Navy List Dec 1939
Hodges Alfred CPO   1944   My father Mr Alfred Hodges d.o.b. 11/07/1915 and was from south Wales and was also called taffy I believe.  As far as I am aware he was the chef and was a chief petty officer,  he told me he replaced Robert Newton the actor.  He was on the Britomart when it was sunk and had  shrapnel around his stomach and was covered in oil and was picked up (I think) by a hospital ship.  Sadly my dad died a couple of years ago with cancer he was 82 and a retired master baker having his own bakeries for a number of years.
Source: Mark Hodges (son) 
Holroyd Ronald ERA D/MX12067677    
My father-in-law Ronald Holroyd served on the Britomart.  He was on board when it was sunk and survived.He is still alive and well and living in Blackburn aged 84.
(Source: Julie Holroyd - Daughter in Law)
Hughes Bert     1944  

Daily Telegraph 29th Aug 1994

Jeffries E Stoker       PQ17- Lund & Ludlum
Jenkins William George Leading Writer       My father William George Jenkins was a crew member on Britomart for the whole war until it was sunk. He was a "Leading Writer" in charge of the ships administration. He escaped the burning ship by swimming under the burning slick of oil despite a broken collar bone and much shrapnel in his leg and some in his head. He was invalided out  after that from his injuries. He became a Civil engineer and died in 1988 .
(Source: Georgie Tsyplek)
Leah Cyril AB JX556128 19.11.43 - 27.8.44  

His date of birth was 27th. June 1925. He Joined the navy on the 19th July 1943 entered under NS (AF) Act 1939

He joined the Britomart on 19th Nov 1943 as Ordinary Seaman. On his certificate of service on the 19th July 1944 rating changed to A/A.B. He was with the ship when it was sunk on the 27th Aug. 1944

An entry on his service certificate, under the section Marks, Wounds and Scars there is a note :- Wounded in Le Havre aboard HMS Britomart.

My father died from cancer in 1995. He never spoke to me about his time in the navy during the war. The only things he mentioned was that he was sunk by friendly aircraft, but would say no more

The other thing he told me was that he was sent to Canada when the keel of his ship was laid down. As far as I can make out he was given a civilian job as a postman until his ship was built. This I am not very sure about. The certificate of service shows Canada HMCS name of ship Hadin. The next part in brackets is very difficult to make out as to scrawl of the hand writing. I think it is Indle Ness. Perhaps this could be confirmed some way. The dates are 6th August 1945 to 29th September 1945

The following entry is Indle Ness 30th September 1945 to 21st March 1946.

Next entry is Drake  March 1946 to 20th December 1946 I am assuming this is when he was discharged.
Source: Barry Leah (son)

Marriott Clifford Sick Berth Attendant DMX93856    
DoB  12.11.1903 in Manchester. Moved to Lytham St. Annes, Lancashire mid 1939.
Medically examined for National Service (Armed Forces) Acts on 2 October 1941 at Preston
Service No. DMX 93856, Rank SBA (Sick Bay Attendant)
Following enlistment passed out from basic training at "HMS" Royal Arthur Class 145
From what is remembered all father's service was aboard Britomart. It was fortuitous that on that fateful day of 27th August 1944 father was in hospital in Plymouth having damaged his knee while transferring to liberty boat at some unknown location.
Father passed away in Lytham St. Annes 03.03.1977 pre deceased by Mother (Catherine)in October 1969. 
Philip S. Marriott (son) Sept 2008
Metters W Cd Engineer   22.8.39    
Morrison Kenny AB Radar Technician   Aug 1944   http://freespace.virgin.net/forces.friends/narc/njun.html
Newton Robert Steward      

Robert Newton was a well known actor who served on Britomart for 4 years (apart from when he was occasionally given special leave to work on select films, notably the patriotic Henry V in 1944). www.robertnewton.net He was released from his duties on medical grounds (asthma). Perhaps his most famous film role was as Long John Silver.
(Source: Nicholas Newton (son) & Fiona McGregor)

Norton Arthur H PO       PQ17 - Lund & Ludlum
O'Regan J J PO/CPO?       As far as I know my uncle J J O'Regan served on the Britomart during the Murmansk Convoys, and possibly as late as its sinking. In fact the second man from the left, back row, in your photograph of the crew page looks rather like him. He was a PO or CPO. His brother Daniel died in the sinking of the Neptune.
Source: William Wall
Seaward Frederick Martin Leading Steward D/LX22489     He was born 5/7/1919 at Brixham, Devon. He joined the navy at Devonport in 1938 as an Officer’s Steward. He made 3 trips to North Russia, including PQ17. At the time of the convoys he was Leading Steward on HMS Britomart. He applied for the medal issued by the Russian Embassy, but sadly his application was received too late and he never received a medal. Mr. Seaward died in 1991.
(Information from Fiona McGregor - daughter in law)
Staniforth Ernest   SSX 25410 2.6.41- 27.8.44   My father Ernest Staniforth,SSX25410 served on Britomart from 2/06/1941 to its sinking on 27/08/1944. He very rarely spoke about his experiences during the war as the sinking was very traumatic and he lost friends in terrible circumstances. At the time of the attack he had just been taken of watch in the wheelhouse and was down in the mess, the chap who had taken him off was killed outright while at the the wheel. My father ended up in the water with a mate who was injured, my dad swam with him for a while in all the oil and flames, he eventually had to abandon him as he had lost most of his lower torso and would not have survived. He ended up ashore in an orchard in France and was eventually rescued and taken to Dartmouth and sent on survivors leave. While on leave he attended a wedding and someone came round collecting for the R.A.F.benevolent fund, with what happened at sinking, including shooting at them in the water he caused a right upset. He returned to civilian life in Jan 1946 he  very rarely spoke about his time during the war except about the conditions they put up with travelling to and from Russia, when I joined the Navy in 1965 he always commented on all the warm places I got to which he never did. he worked for the Post Office most of his working life and died in 1996 aged 73,
Source: R. E. Staniforth (son) Oct 2008
Stammwitz Spencer Shelley Lieut-Com   10.8.41 - 4.1.44   Commanding Officer   www.unithistories.com/
Stanton William Sub Lt   Aug 1944   Died aged 22 on 26.6.47.  Survived the attack by allied aircraft but "he never really recovered from the oil in his lungs when he was in the sea and was in some kind of naval convalescent home from then onwards" Belinda Stott - niece
Tweed G W Sub Lt   21.8.39   Navy List Dec 1939
Yakubovsky Benjamin Interpreter       http://www.times.spb.ru/archive/sppress/132/feature.html

Unknown crew members of HMS Britomart

  HMS Britomart - unknown crew members 1  HMS Britomart - unknown crew members 2

HMS Britomart - unknown crew members 3  HMS Britomart - unknown crew member
Unknown members of the crew of HMS Britomart
(Source: Jack Barlow)

Thirty years ago  I was a young nurse in Blackpool.  I had a nursing officer who over a few years I became friends with.  After I married and left home I used to write  to her and visit with my family.  Her house was called Britomart and she told me it was named after her brother who was on the Britomart when it was hit by friendly fire.  He survived but the oil from the ship damaged his lungs.  I do not know when he died, but it was certainly before I started nursing in the  1970s.  Sadly the nursing officer also died many years ago but Britomart has remained with me and I was very interested to read the account of it sinking.

Source: Alison Sangster


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This site was last updated 17 Januar 2012