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.
contact me if you would like to contact anyone listed here.
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
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
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
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
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
My uncle served on HMS Britomart,
His name was Joseph Harrison, he was killed on that fateful day
If any one can remember him, or has
any recollections, I would be most grateful
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.
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
An entry on his service certificate, under the section Marks, Wounds
and Scars there is a note :- Wounded in Le Harve aboard HMS
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.
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
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.
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
. 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
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
Philip S. Marriott September 2008