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DEVON - BORN CASUALTIES FROM THE CREW OF HMS EXETER IN WW2

 

HMS Exeter's first engagement in World War 2 on 13 December 1939 was off the coast of South America in an encounter with a German ship - the Graf Spee.

 

After lengthy repairs and after Japan had entered the War in 1941, HMS Exeter found herself taking part in a very one-sided action now known as the Second Battle of the Java Sea. With the ship damaged beyond hope, the Captain gave the order for its sinking and those who had survived the fighting, found themselves in the sea, awaiting rescue and imprisonment by the Japanese.

 

Many of those who were hauled on board Japanese vessels may have rued the day they were rescued - they were to pass the next 3½ years as prisoners of the Japanese, living under the harshest of conditions in a variety of destinations.

 

A large number of crew members died in all three of these events - some were men from Devon.

 

Wikipedia offers an excellent account of HMS Exeter's history at

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Exeter_%2868%29

 

 

HMS Exeter returning home after the Battle of the River Plate

HMS Exeter returning after the Battle of the River Plate

Temporary repairs were carried out in the Falklands and Exeter made it back

by herself to Devon for further repairs.

Courtesy of Steve Johnson

 

Please note that the following list may not yet be complete:
WALTER AINGE
D/J 52100 Chief Petty Officer Walter Alfred Ainge of the Royal Navy, HMS Exeter. Son of Henry John and Elizabeth Ainge; husband of Florence Hilda Ainge of Plymouth. Born in Swansea 14 April 1900. Died 13 December 1939 aged 39 from injuries received at the Battle of the River Plate and buried at sea. Commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial.
WILLIAM ANDREWS
D/M 34376 Engine Artificer 1st Class William Lewis Andrews of the Royal Navy, HMS Exeter. Son of Fred and Marian Andrews; husband of Lillian Ethel Winifred Andrews of St. Budeaux, Plymouth. Born in Dawlish 13 March 1893. Taken prisoner after the Battle of the Java Sea.  Died 5 February 1943 aged 49 as a Japanese prisoner of war.
FREDERICK BACK
D/M 54489 Engine Room Artificer 4th Class Frederick Edwin Ernest Back of the Royal Navy, HMS Exeter. Son of Frederick J and Elsie E. Back (née Carder) of Plymouth; husband of Blanche Susan Back (née Brash) of Honicknowle, Plymouth. Born in Plymouth in the June Quarter of 1916. Died of wounds 13 December 1939 aged 23  at the Battle of the River Plate and buried at sea.
KENNETH BICKLE
D/LX 25406 Steward Kenneth James Bickle of the Royal Navy, HMS Exeter. Son of James Henry and Winifred Mary Bickle (née Johns) of Lower Compton, Plymouth. Born in Plymouth in the March Quarter of 1920. Taken prisoner after the Battle of the Java Sea.  Died 2 June 1945 aged 25 as a Japanese prisoner of war.
WILLIAM BREWER
D/K 63608 Stoker 1st Class William George Henry Brewer of the Royal Navy, HMS Exeter. Son of William Henry Brewer and Olive Muriel Brewer (née Gray); husband of Alice Irene Brewer of Swilly, Plymouth. Born in Plymouth in the June Quarter of 1906. Taken prisoner after the Battle of the Java Sea.  Died 11 January 1945 aged 39 as a Japanese prisoner of war.
WILLIAM BURROWS
D/J 32682 Petty Officer Telegraphist William George Ladbrook Burrows of the Royal Navy, HMS Exeter. Son of Joseph Leonard and Harriet Emmaleen Burrows of Plymouth; husband of Doris M. Burrows (née Dingle). Born in Plymouth in the September Quarter of 1899 (7). Taken prisoner after the Battle of the Java Sea.  Died 20 May 1945 aged 48 as a Japanese prisoner of war.
STANLEY BURSTON
PLY/X 100339 Marine Stanley Jack Burston of the Royal Marines. Son of Wiliam John and Alice May Burston (née Emery) of Burlescombe. Born in Chard in the December Quarter of 1919. Died 1 March 1942 aged 22 in the Java Sea Battle.
GEORGE CASTRO
D/JX 147705 Petty Officer George William Castro of the Royal Navy, HMS Exeter. Son of William and Lillie Elizabeth Castro (née Smith); husband of Dora Alice Castro (née Blight) of St. Budeaux, Plymouth. Born in Paddington 2 March 1905. Taken prisoner after the Battle of the Java Sea.  Died 31 May 1945 aged 40 as a Japanese prisoner of war.
ANTHONY COLLINGS
D/M 14336 Chief Shipwright 2nd Class Anthony Charles Pennington Collings of the Royal Navy, HMS Exeter. Son of Charles and (Helen) Mary Collings (née Harding); husband of Violet Anne Collings (née Goodman) of Plymouth. Born in Millbrook, Plymouth 4 May 1900.  Died 23 December 1939 aged 39 from injuries received in the Battle of the River Plate Buried in the cemetery at Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands.
WILLIAM CORY
D/K 21680 Petty Officer William Edward Cory of the Royal Navy, HMS Exeter. Son of William John and Amy Lucy Cory  of Plymouth; husband of Gladys Irene Cory (née Hockridge). Born in Plymouth 14 February 1895. Taken prisoner after the Battle of the Java Sea.  Died 18 May 1945 aged 47 as a Japanese prisoner of war.
WILFRED CRANWELL
D/MX 45442 Chief Petty Officer Stoker Wilfred Benedict Cranwell of the Royal Navy, HMS Exeter. Son of Richard and Minnie Cranwell of Totnes. Born in Totnes in the June Quarter of 1907. Taken prisoner after the Battle of the Java Sea.  Died 12 January 1944 aged 36 as a Japanese prisoner of war.
FRANCIS DESVERGEZ
D/J 87016 Able Seaman Francis (Francois) Pierre Louis Desvergez of the Royal Navy, HMS Exeter. Son of  Peter Louis and Yvonne Desvergez; husband of Nellie May Desvergez (née Atkins) of Turnchapel, Plymouth. Born in 1900. Taken prisoner after the Battle of the Java Sea.  Died 16 April 1944 aged 44 as a Japanese prisoner of war.
LAWRENCE GOODMAN
D/J 106065 Petty Officer Lawrence James Goodman of the Royal Navy, HMS Exeter. Son of James and Agnes Goodman; husband of Hilda Dorothy Goodman of Mutley, Plymouth. Born in New Ottawa 27 June 1906. Taken prisoner after the Battle of the Java Sea.  Died 4 May 1945 aged 38 as a Japanese prisoner of war.
FREDERICK HANNAFORD
D/K 63027 Chief Stoker Frederick John Hannaford of the Royal Navy, HMS Exeter. Son of William John and Mary Ellen Hannaford; husband of Henrietta Hannaford (née Wakeham) of Devonport. Born in Totnes 19 October 1905. Taken prisoner after the Battle of the Java Sea.  Died 30 March 1945 aged 39 as a Japanese prisoner of war.
ROBERT HOLBORN
D/KX 93522 Stoker 1st Class Robert Holborn of the Royal Navy, HMS Exeter. Son of Mrs Helen Holborn; husband of Clara Holborn (née Smith) of Swilly, Plymouth. Born in  1896. Taken prisoner after the Battle of the Java Sea.  Died 1 May 1945 aged 49 as a Japanese prisoner of war. 
HERBERT JAGGER
PLY/X 22566 Corporal Herbert William Jagger of the Royal Marines Light Infantry. Son of Edwin and Eliza Jagger; husband of Lilian Mary Jagger (née Moylan) of Stonehouse. Born 28 November 1902; enlisted 3 February 1925. Taken prisoner after the Battle of the Java Sea.  Died 24 March 1945 aged 22 as a Japanese prisoner of war.
CHARLES KITTO
Naafi Canteen Assistant Charles Edwin Kitto of the Navy, Army and Air Force Institute. Son of William Edward and Lily Winifred Kitto (née Parker) of Devonport. Born in Devonport in the March Quarter of 1923. Taken prisoner after the Battle of the Java Sea.  Died 24 March 1945 aged 22 as a Japanese prisoner of war.
WILFRED KNAPMAN
D/JX 146806 Able Seaman Wilfred Donald Knapman of the Royal Navy, HMS Exeter. Son of William John and Laura Annie Knapman (née Ford) of Totnes. Born in Devonport in the June Quarter of 1920. Died  1 March 1942 aged 22 during the Battle of the Java Sea.
NORMAN MAKER
PLY/X 800 Sergeant Norman Maker of the Royal Marines. Son of James and the late Mahala Maker - stepson of Mary Maker of Tamerton Foliot. Born in Plympton in the June Quarter of 1917. Taken prisoner after the Battle of the Java Sea.  Died 15 February 1945 aged 28 as a Japanese prisoner of war.
LESLIE MAUNDER
D/JX 164033 Able Seaman Leslie Philip Maunder of the Royal Navy, HMS Exeter. Son of Phyllis Maunder of Peverell, Plymouth. Born in Launceston in the March Quarter of 1924. Taken prisoner after the Battle of the Java Sea.  Died 13 April 1945 aged 21 as a Japanese prisoner of war.
STANLEY MAYBURY
D/KX 118050 Petty Officer Stoker Stanley Russell Maybury of the Royal Navy, HMS Exeter. Son of Edward and Elizabeth Emily Maybury; husband of Kate Winifred Maybury of Plymouth. Born in Buxton 22 March 1901. Taken prisoner after the Battle of the Java Sea.  Died 28 February 1945 aged 43 as a Japanese prisoner of war.
RONALD MIDDLEWEEK
D/KX 111366 Stoker 1st Class Ronald John Middleweek of the Royal Navy, HMS Exeter. Son of Alfred John and Thirza Emily Middleweek of Compton, Devon. Born in Compton in the September Quarter of 1921. Taken prisoner after the Battle of the Java Sea.  Died 19 April 1945 aged 23 as a Japanese prisoner of war.
CHARLES MILLER
D/M 15403 Chief Petty Officer Cook Charles Edward Miller of the Royal Navy. HMS Exeter. Son of William E and Emma Miller; husband of Doris Annie Miller ( née Treeby) of Stoke. Devonport. Born in Cheriton Fitzpaine in the June Quarter of 1899. Died 1 March 1942 aged 42 during the sinking of HMS Exeter in the Battle of the Java Sea.
ARTHUR MORTIMORE
PLY/X 22647 Marine Arthur Ernest Mortimore of the Royal Marines. Son of William and Ellen Mortimore of South brent; husband of Olive M. Mortimore (née Gunter) of South Brent. Born in Staverton 9 August 1905; enlisted 18 May 1925. Taken prisoner after the Battle of the Java Sea.  Died 2 February 1945 aged 40 as a Japanese prisoner of war.
CLIFFORD MULDOON
D/K 62627 Chief Stoker Clifford Muldoon of the Royal Navy, HMS Exeter. Son of James and Amelia Muldoon (née Horrocks); husband of Lilian Maud Muldoon (née Witts) of The Hoe, Plymouth. Born in Bolton 5 July 1905. Died 27 February 1942 in the Battle of the Java Sea and buried at Kembang Koening.
ALFRED PHILLIPS
D/JX 142946 Able Seaman Alfred Victor Phillips of the Royal Navy, HMS Exeter. Fatally injured 13 Dwecember 1939 - died of his wounds next day.
WILFRED RUSSELL
PLY/X Marine Wilfred Aubrey Russell of the Royal Marines. Son of Charles Henryand Jessie Elizabeth Russell (née Goodwin); husband of Gwendoline Ivy Maud Russell (née Larsen) of North Hill, Plymouth. Born in Axridge in the March Quarter of 1908. Died 20 January 1940 from his injuries at the Battle of the River Plate. Buried in the cemetery at Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands.
ERNEST SQUIRE

D/JX 158659 Boy 1st Class Ernest Basil Squire of the Royal Navy, HMS Exeter. Son of Ernest and Winifred Squire, of Broadhembury, Devon. Born in Broadhembury in the March Quarter of 1922. Died 13 December 1939 aged 17.

WILLIAM TINK
D/K 21308 Petty Officer Stoker William Tink of the Royal Navy, HMS Exeter. Son of John and Mary Tink (née Bickle); husband of Emily Louise Tink (née Reed) of Devonport. Born in Germansweek 25 June 1893. Taken prisoner after the Battle of the Java Sea.  Died 10 January 1944 aged 50 as a Japanese prisoner of war.
REGINALD TRUSCOTT
D/JX 1440590 Leading Seaman Reginald Charles Truscott of the Royal Navy, HMS Exeter. Son of Frederick George and Charlotte Truscott (née Holmes) of Swilly, Plymouth. Born in Devonport in the September Quarter of 1917. Taken prisoner after the Battle of the Java Sea.  Died 3 May 1945 aged 28 as a Japanese prisoner of war.
WILLIAM WEEKS
D/MX 62594 Electrical Artificer 4th Class William Arthur Weeks of the Royal Navy, HMS Exeter. Son of Arthur and Annie Louise Weeks (née Correy); husband of Vera Minnie Kate Weeks of Keyham, Devonport. Born in St. Germans in the March Quarter of 1918. Died 1 March 1942 aged 24 in the Java Sea Battle.
ROBERT WRIGHT
D/J 94639 Able Seaman Robert Wright of the Royal Navy, HMS Exeter. Son of John William and Elizabeth Wright (née Bennett); husband of Hilda Mary Wright (née Webster) of Plymouth. Born in Durham 9 November 1902. Taken prisoner after the Battle of the Java Sea.  Died 30 March 1945 aged 43 as a Japanese prisoner of war.

 

 

 
 
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