Halcyon Class Minesweepers HMS Britomart
Family & Friends



Since the launch of this website in April 2006 there has been a steady number of e-mails from relatives of crew members and, indeed, former members of the crews of the Halcyons themselves. Details have been included here of those contacts relating to HMS Britomart, although e-mail addresses are excluded for privacy and to avoid spam messages. Please contact me if you would like to contact anyone listed here.


Crew Member Contact Relationship Information
William Stanton Belinda Stott Niece My uncle was on the Britomart when she sank. His name was William Stanton (sub RNVR Lieut) and he died aged 22 on 26/6/47. As far as I know 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. Any information about what happened to those who survived (where they went, any compensation etc) would be great to know about.
F M Seaward Fiona McGregor Daughter in Law

My father-in-law, Frederick Martin Seaward, was a crew member of HMS Britomart. 

He was born 5/7/1919 at Brixham, Devon. He joined the navy at Devonport in 1938 as an Officer’s Steward. His service number was D/LX22489. 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..

My father in law always said that Robert Newton, the Hollywood actor, was also a steward on HMS Britomart. I managed to get in touch with Mr Newton’s son, and got the reply that you can see below.

Thank you for your email. My father did serve on the HMS Britomart (his second wife Annie Penrose) confirmed this to me. I have a couple of photographs of him with other ratings but they do not identify the name of the ship itself but I am pretty nearly 100% certain. He was very unhappy when the sinking occurred and the loss of people he knew. I am delighted to find there is as much information on the web link and I hope someone will be able to source the ship’s complement for its war service. Nicholas Newton

Ronald Holroyd Julie Holroyd Daughter in Law
My father-in-law Ronald Holroyd served on the Britomart.  He was an Engine Room Artificer, Service number D/MX 12067677.  He was on board when it was sunk and survived.
He is still alive and well and living in Blackburn aged 84.

We asked my Dad about his time on the Britomart and he told us about  an incident when the crew had to board an American merchant ship whilst  on return from Russia to overturn a mutiny by the American crew, also he told us that whilst on one tour of duty he celebrated his 21st birthday and was supplied with a large amount of rum. If we manage to get any  more stories from my Dad we will contact you. Oct 06
Joseph Harrison Joe Harrison Nephew
My uncle served on HMS Britomart, His name was Joseph Harrison, he was killed on that fateful day 27-8-1944
If any one can remember him, or has any recollections, I would be most grateful
Alfred Hodges Mark Hodges Son I am writing to you regarding 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.  I hope this is some help to you if you wish I will send you his  photo when he was in  uniform if that is any help. 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.
Cyril Lean Barry Leah Son

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 Ord.Sea. 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 Harve 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. 
I am struggling to follow his short career in the navy. I have found most of the ships that he was a crew member of.

JJ O'Regan William Wall Nephew 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
Jack Barlow Richard Stead Son in law
My 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 Grosnie(?) Quay, Archangel in July 1943.
My father in law's date of birth was 28/06/1920 or 21, 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.
November 2008
Clifford Marriott Philip Marriott Son
I would be very happy (and proud) for you to add the name of my father to those of other crew members of Britomart.
Name             CLIFFORD MARRIOTT
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.
I hope to retrieve a photo or two from my sister assuming she still has these in the meantime I attach for information an account by my father of activities during June 1944.
Father passed away in Lytham St. Annes 03.03.1977 pre deceased by Mother (Catherine) in October 1969.
Philip S. Marriott September 2008


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This site was last updated 17 Januar 2012