HMS Repulse (1916)
Message Board

18.
Aug. 23, 2015

I don't know if this is a question you can give me an answer to, but I suspect you would know where I can direct my question. If you would be so kind. Thanks.

I have a roughly six-inch diameter bowl (showing below), like a nut bowl, that is made of the sort of metal used for ship (and also old hotel) dining, very old (but how old I don't know), that I discovered at a thrift store many years ago and thought was interesting. It has stamped into the heavy, but soft metal "HMS Respulse." Could this possibly have come from the ship, perhaps taken off during a refit in Singapore, prior to its sinking in December, 1941? Thanks for taking any time you have. Thanks for the interesting and fun site.

Also, my father who served for the final two years of the war in Europe as the Captain of an Army artillery unit in active combat.

Best regards,
James Eckblad
Chicago, Illinois


17.
Mar. 11, 2015

A friend suggested I should contact your site to see if you could help me identify what these are and if indeed they are original. I got them both from a charity shop in the UK.

Best regards,
Scott Garnett


16.
Mar. 24, 2014

An incredibly interesting site. I have an artifact that I think may be of interest. I know that my maternal Grandfather served on HMS Repulse through WW1 but have absolutely no additional information. The artifact is his dogtag, and as with most family heirlooms there is a story (or myth) attached. I wonder if there is anyone else out there who has a similar object and can confirm the story. I believe that the tags issued were tin, and as such rusted. The banisters / balustrades aboard the ship were ebony,  a wood more dense than water and therefore one that would sink in the event of loss at sea. My grandfather and and his colleagues manufactured replacement tags from this wood (I believe with the approval of his command), and as can be seen from the pictures contain all of the information that would have been present on the tin versions. My grandfather's name was Peter Delacourt.

Thanks and regards,
Martin McHarg
London. England


15.
Dec. 17, 2013

My father, Alec Broadway, was a Stoker at the time of her sinking.  Miraculously, he survived and served on several small vessels ferrying escapees fleeing Singapore en-route to Australia.  He was captured by the Japanese and imprisoned in Changi and other jails, and put to work by them, including on the Burma Railway.  He was one of the fortunate few who survived the war.  After leaving the Navy he worked in H M Dockyard, and later in a small boat building company in Devonport.  He enjoyed his later life, living each day to the full. He died of natural causes in 1975. I still miss him.

Alec Broadway, Jr.


14.
Oct. 17, 2013

I wondered if anyone could confirm that this impressionist oil painting painted in the early 20s is in fact Repulse. Two friends who work in the dockyard in Devonport are 95% sure it is her and said who ever painted her either was one of the crew or knew the important details of the ship, I would be very grateful for any information.

Yours sincerely,
Ru Wellings

 
Close-up of the signature.


13.
Jan. 29, 2013

I believe my, grandfather, now not with us, served on the Repulse in WW2 his name was Robert Chick and finished in Royal Navy as a Chief Stoker I believe. Any information would be appreciative.

Jason French


12
Oct. 20, 2012

I am seeking information on the ship's bell. Where can I view a picture of it? Was it recovered from the wreck site?

Thank you,
Kim Dugger

Reply 1
July 1, 2013

I bought a very special ships bell in an auction over 30 years ago, it was as black as the ace of spades. With very gentle careful cleaning, being careful around what's left of the ebony filled inscription "HMS Repulse". Yes, mine is the original bell from the Repulse from when it was commissioned in January 1916 to about the time she was in Singapore Harbour for a refit, three weeks before that fatal day of 10th December 1941.  I took the bell to the Maritime Museum, Greenwich in London, where Naval Records are kept and after seeing it, have confirmed by letter that I have the original bell. He said, from our records, the bell was removed in the refit because of a crack up from the mouth of the bell of about 4 inches, mine has that.

Kind regards,
Graham Dover

 
 

11.
July 27, 2012

My uncle was William Joseph Dunne he was 23 years old described as leading stoker on the Repulse, from Fethard on Sea, County Wexford, Ireland. My grandfather Matthew Dunne was Boatswain on the SS Kingsland died on 16th Feb 1938 following an accident on board ship and was buried in a catholic graveyard close by. He was 50 years old and none of the family have been to his grave, another of my missions! Both dead long before I was born in 1950.

Sadly he was killed 6 months following my grandfather (his father) being killed in an accident on board a cargo ship in Dieppe. I have no idea how my grandmother was the serene, elegant and lovely lady she was having had so much sadness thrust upon her. In 2013 I am visiting Singapore and I was wondering if visitors are allowed to see any memorials dedicated to Force Z at the naval base there? Its amazing how much its touches your heart; when older one suddenly understands and appreciates what these young men did for us.

Kind regards,
Annette St. John

William Joseph Dunne, back row 2nd from right and other men seen during training at HMS Drake.



Stoker William Joseph Dunne (seated) and an unidentified stoker seen during training at HMS Drake.



William Joseph Dunne far right and three unidentified men seen during training at HMS Drake.


10.
Oct. 20, 2011

There is to be a service on the 10th December 2011 to commemorate the tragic loss of life seventy years ago when the Prince of Wales and the Repulse were sunk. Please see the press release below. My interest is that my father Jack Farrer was on board the Repulse surviving the sinking and the war. There are few survivors still alive and we would like to publicise the event as it probably our last chance to honour them. If you require any further information please contact me.

Richard Farrer
(0)1626 364755
Newton Abbot England

H.M.S Prince of Wales and H.M.S. Repulse Survivors Association

Patron
Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths AO, DSO, DSC, RAN

Chairman

Maurice Pink
5 Pollard Court
Holcombe Crescent
Ipswich Suffolk
01473 686210

Secretary
Hannah Rickard
19 Crossways
South Croydon
CR2 8JP
0208 6573915

Press Release The 10th December 2011 marks the 70th anniversary of the sinking of the battleship HMS Prince of Wales and the battlecruiser HMS Repulse in the South China Sea. In 1941 a powerful naval squadron known as Force Z was sent to Singapore to act as a deterrent to Japanese expansion in South East Asia. This consisted of the two capital ships and four destroyers. Crucially, the new aircraft carrier HMS Indomitable that was detailed to join Force Z had been damaged after running aground and never joined the squadron.

Just days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour that brought the United States into the war Force Z sailed from Singapore with orders to intercept and destroy the Japanese invasion fleet that was landing on the Malayan and Siamese coasts.

Following their sighting by a Japanese submarine and reconnaissance aircraft a large force of 34 high-level bombers and 51 torpedo bombers attacked the two capital ships. A fierce battle ensued but within eighty five minutes the lightly armoured Repulse had sunk following one bomb hit and numerous torpedo hits and a further forty eight minutes later the Prince of Wales also sank having been crippled by a first torpedo hit and subsequent torpedo and bomb strikes.

The death toll was appalling; on board Repulse 513 of the 1309 crew died and on the Prince of Wales 327 of the 1612 crew. The survivors were picked up by destroyers and taken back to Singapore.

To commemorate those who lost their lives the Force Z Survivor’s Association is to dedicate a memorial on the 10th December 2011 at the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas in Staffordshire DE13 7AR. The memorial is to cost £12,000 of which £10,000 has already been raised. Contributions can be sent to the Association Secretary Hannah Rickard at 19 Crossways South Croydon CR2 8JP.

The Association website is at http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/
and the secretary can be e-mailed at hrickard1000@aol.com
0208 6573915


9.
Apr. 25, 2011

During a recent visit to Singapore in company with the Seletar RAF Association as a guest of one of its members, we visited the Naval Base at Sembawang.  Within its boundaries is a memorial to H.M. Ships Repulse and Prince of Wales, a fact of which you are no doubt aware.  As a young lad I remember being very upset when hearing of their sinking by the Japanese with the loss of over 1300 sailors.  All these years later, I found it a very emotional experience especially as there was not even a spray of poppies in remembrance of them. The RAF visitors said a few words and left a small plant at the base.  I deeply regretted that I had not had the foresight, as the only RN rating present, to have tried to obtain at least a wreath.  I enclose a small photograph of the Plaque and hope that it will trigger off a reminder of their terrible fate, all due to the lack of air cover.

At my request Sub-Lieutenant Dale Eyers has undertaken to obtain a wreath of poppies if possible to place on the memorial.  I have suggested that it will be presented on behalf of the 8th Destroyer Flotilla which was comprised of the following ships;  Comus, Cossack, Consort, Concord, Constance and Cockade. All these ships spent most of their working life in the Far East Station and would have sailed in the area of Kuantan many times. 

Regards,
Derek Hodgson
Ex-HMS Concord

Derek Hodgson (left) and Sub Lieutenant Dale Eyers, Assistant Royal Naval Liaison Officer seen in front of the Battle For Singapore Memorial.
(Photo courtesy of Des Kemp ex-RAF)
© 2011 Des Kemp all rights reserved




1941-1942

In World War Two (1939 to 1945), this site was part of HM Naval Base Singapore , a key part of the regional defences of the British Empire in the Far East . In December 1941 a newly arrived fleet comprising the battleship HMS PRINCE OF WALES, the battlecruiser, HMS REPULSE, and four escorting destroyers HMS ELECTRA, TENEDOS, EXPRESS and HMAS VAMPIRE were tasked with countering any Japanese aggression in the region.

This fleet, known as ‘Force Z' and under the command of Admiral Sir Tom Phillips on board HMS PRINCE OF WALES, received information of suspected Japanese landings on the coast of Thailand and Malaya . In response, at dusk on 8 December 1941, Force Z quietly sailed from near where you are now standing in a brave attempt to search out and engage the enemy.

Around 11.00 a.m. on 10 December off Kuantan in Malaya the force, which was devoid of allied air cover, came under attack by enemy aircraft as a result of a chance sighting. In the ensuing two-hour battle against an overwhelming force of some 83 Japanese bombers and torpedo-carrying aircraft, both British naval capital ships were sunk. Of a combined total of 2921 sailors, 840 perished including the Admiral. The loss, which was sudden and devastating in its effect, hastened the eventual fall of Singapore two months later.

In everlasting memory of their valiant sacrifice, given freely and against impossible odds so that we may now live in freedom. Erected by their proud successors in the Royal Navy serving in Singapore , supported by their Allied colleagues and friends in Sembawang.


Unveiled at dusk on 11 September 2005, as part of the commemoration to mark the 60th Anniversary of the liberation of South East Asia by Allied comrades in arms.

THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE, WE WILL REMEMBER THEM


8.
Apr. 18, 2011

My uncle, Robert Ian Davies, was an Australian midshipman serving on the Repulse when it was sunk in 1941. He was killed in action during the attack, disregarding an order to abandon ship, and was last seen strapped into one of the ships anti-aircraft guns firing at Japanese aircraft as the ship went down. He was posthumously awarded a Mention in Despatches for his bravery.

The Australian Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal (made up of academics and former Defence personnel) is currently reviewing 13 cases of heroism for consideration of awarding the Victoria Cross. To date, not one member of the Royal Australian Navy has received a Victoria Cross and my family is keen to see that our uncle is properly considered for the award.

We have numerous newspaper articles about his deeds, firing his gun with the ship half under water and throwing empty ammunition boxes over the side to help his shipmates in the water struggling to stay afloat (see below). We also have a letter from the ship's Captain and Lieutenant in charge of the midshipman on board the Repulse. Both speak of his heroism but neither directly witnessed the event. For our family, it would be a huge honour for Bobby to be awarded the Victoria Cross and the tribunal have requested submissions to the inquiry prior to 30 June 2011. We would be extremely appreciative if you could provide us with any documentation on the Repulse that you may have that may relate to this event.

Thanks,
David Amos

 
 
 
 

7.
June 21, 2010

I'm not sure if you'll find this interesting or not, my Grandfather was in the RAF, this is a page from his diary written in 1941 when he was cruising around Africa, he references the HMS repulse.

Lee Tonks

 

6.
Mar. 25, 2010

I have been reading the messages on your board about HMS Repulse. My Dad served on the Repulse and was aboard when it was sunk - he was in the sea for many hours. I have a photograph of the crew but do not have a date for it. If anyone is interested. My Dad's name was George Frederick Wells, I believe he was also a stoker.

Barbara Woodward


5.
Mar. 12, 2010

My stepfarther has an ashtray from the Repulse, it was won by him in  brynmill school Swansea, Wales before the 2nd ww and was given by a mother who son was killed when the ship went down, he was a pupil at the same school. We would like it to go on show in a maritime museum, as it would be of intrest to survivors or ther familys.

Thank you,
Linda Delve

Reply 1
Apr. 16, 2013

I found this HMS Repulse ashtray in my loft. Checked on the Internet and came across this post on your message board. I can't remember where I got the ashtray from. I've had it since a boy, and think I bought it at a jumble sale. Had it not been for the Internet, I would probably not had time to research HMS Repulse. I wondered if it's similar to the one this lady mentions on your message board? (see below)

As the ship sunk, I'm puzzled how the one I have still exists. Perhaps these ashtrays were given as rewards etc during the ships service? Or the one I have was 'taken' as a souvenir by a sailor! If Linda Delve or anyone can add light to the ashtray, I'd love to hear back. If there is a museum would like to add my ashtray to it's HMS Repulse collection, I'll happily donate it.

Yours sincerely,
Phil Bell

 

4.
Nov. 2, 2009

Was just looking at your very informative and interesting website. I was particularly interested in the reference to H.M.S. Repulse. Just thought that you would like to know that my uncle was a stoker on the Repulse when she sank. William (Bill) Bartholemew was the very last survivor to be picked up by the HMAS Vampire D-68 after 12 hours in oily and shark infested waters.

He has recorded a number of audio tapes about the sinking, life onboard Repulse and his time after the sinking, when he was a prisoner of war for three years at Changi in Singapore. These tapes were recorded by the Singapore government and a copy is held by the Imperial War Museum in London.

Colin Schiraldi


3.
Oct. 28, 2009

Am building an airfix model I bought years ago of HMS Repulse. My grandfather was chief stoker during WW2 and was on shore leave with an ulcer when she was lost at Singapore. Grandfathers name was Frank Laming. His family was evacuated to Poole during the war from Southampton and in later years, all families grew up in Portsmouth.

J. Laming (grandson)


2.
Jan 7, 2009

My father served on the Repulse around 1937-1938 as a stoker. He spent the war on corvettes on convoy duties. Is there any way I can find anymore information on him (Edward William George Rose) or on the ships he served on?

Many thanks,
David Rose


1.
Dec. 14, 2007

Do you know if there is a crew list of the 1916 Repulse? My uncle received a prestigious award for his bravery, when she sank. He was Alfred C. Fenton, although it doesn't say much. I understand he received an OBE for his efforts. Unfortunately, I have been unable to discover anything else and was wondering if you had any internet sources I could peruse?

Thank you,
Penelope Fenton




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Page published Feb. 20, 2008