A Poppy
A Poppy

Memorials & Monuments
on the Isle of Wight
- Events - Loss of HMS Royal Oak -
- 14 October 1939 -


H.M.S. Royal Oak was sunk on 14 October 1939 while at anchor at Scapa Flow, with the loss of many lives. At least 15 of the men who died were from the Isle of Wight.

See the H.M.S. Royal Oak website for full details

H.M.S. Royal Oak Wikipedia article


Friday, October 20, 1939 Page 1

One or two of the mothers now in Ventnor with their children have suffered bereavement by the sinking of the Royal Oak, and it is known that there were a few relatives of Ventnor inhabitants on the vessel.

Page 2

Local casualties on the Royal Oak, etc.
The war has been brought closer home to us this week by news of the casualties to local men by the sinking of the Royal Oak. Information has been received by his relatives of the death of Keith Newnham, son of Mr. and Mrs. George Newnham of "Vectis," Waltham Cross, and Grandson of Mr. W.J. Newnham, of the Appuldurcombe and Undercliffe Dairies. He was about 19 years of age and had spent a good part of his younger life at Ventnor where he was well known. His father is deputy clerk to the Waltham Cross U.D.C.
Raymond Western, aged 18, formerly of Dean Crossing, Whitwell, lost his life in the same disaster. His mother lost her first husband in the last Great War and married his brother, the father of the young lad now reported dead.
Our hearts will be moved in sympathy for the bereaved and anxious.
Mr. W.G. Saunders, the local sanitary inspector had a son on the Royal Oak from which he paid off before its last commission in June. He is an electrician.
(not all the report has been transcribed)


Saturday, October 21, 1939 Page 7



The sinking of the battleship Royal Oak by a German submarine was announced by the Admiralty on Saturday, and on Tuesday it was revealed in the House of Commons that she was sunk while at anchor at Scapa Flow. The Royal Oak, which was commissioned at Portsmouth in June, and was a Great War ship which fought at Jutland, had a complement of about 1200, of whom only 414 were saved. Among those who were missing and have since been reported as presumed drowned, were, as far as we have been able to ascertain, 15 gallant Island men, and eight others were among those saved.
On behalf of their fellow Islanders, we tender to the bereaved relatives profound sympathy in having to bear this, the heaviest blow which has yet fallen in Island homes as the result of the war. The following are brief particulars and photos of Island men who have made the great sacrifice, and of those who survived the disaster:

Died :

Photo Rank NamePlace of residenceCounty Press report ReferencesPortsmouth Naval Memorial
Other Commmemorations
Boy Charles Edward Brading Seaview Boy Charles Edward Brading, who was only 16½ years old, was the second son of Mr. and Mrs. G.E. Brading, of Garfield, West-street, Seaview, and entered the Navy in March, 1938, being an H.M.S. St. Vincent boy. For nearly eight years he sang in Seaview Parish Church choir, and was a member of St. Peter's Men's and Boy's Club. His elder brother Fred, who is 19, is also in the Navy. On Monday by the same post as his mother received an intimation of his death she also received a letter from him, written towards the end of the week, the closing sentences of which ran: "I certainly will be glad to get back home and see you all again, but it is no use worrying. You die if you worry; you die if you don't." CWGC record ... Portsmouth naval memorial : C E Brading

Ryde Borough War Memorial WW II
Seaview Parish War Memorial
Seaview St Peter's Church War Memorial
Seaview St Peter's Church Brading Memorial table
Leading Signalman Ernest Henry Ash Burt Fareham (Sandown) Leading Signalman Ernest Burt, 29, son of the late Mr. Albert Burt, and of Mrs. Burt, of 16 Fitzroy-street, Sandown. He leaves a widow and three young children in Fareham, and had recently passed an examination for promotion to yeoman of signals. CWGC record ... Portsmouth naval memorial : E Burt

Sandown War Memorial

Also commemorated at Fareham War Memorial

Stoker 1st cl. William Joseph Deacon Brading First-class Stoker William Joseph Deacon, aged 22, only son of Mrs. W.S. Deacon, of Glenroy, High-street, Brading. His father died only a year ago as a result of illness contracted whilst on service in the last war, when he was mentioned in despatches. He joined up three years ago, after being employed in the shoe department at Shanklin Co-operative Stores, and then for a few months at Messrs. Purnell's shop in Ryde. He was also prominent in Island sporting circles, and a friend of Petty Officer Eade. He used to play for Brading and Sandown Wednesday Football Clubs, was a member of Ryde Harriers, a good swimmer, played the cornet in Sandown Town Band, and was a member of Brading Orchestral Society. CWGC record ... Portsmouth naval memorial : W J Deacon

Brading Town War Memorial
Additional inscription on family headstone at Brading St Mary's Churchyard
Shipwright 4th cl. James Harry Eade St Helens Petty Officer Shipwright James Harry Eade, aged 27, youngest of four sons of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Eade, of St. Michael's-road, St. Helens, who are in the Royal Navy. He joined about three years ago. He was apprenticed at Messrs. Woodnutts on the Duver, and played for both the St. Helens Cricket and Football Clubs. Last season he was the regular goalkeeper of the Football Club, and at cricket he was a reliable bat and a good fast bowler. He was also a member of the Royal I.W. (Artisans) Golf Club. In all his associations he was exceedingly popular by reason of his admirable sportsmanship. CWGC record ... Portsmouth naval memorial : J H Eade

Ryde Borough War Memorial WW II
St. Helens Parish War Memorial
Additional inscription on family headstone at St. Helen's Churchyard
Cadet Antony Diarmiud MacDermott Ryde Cadet Anthony George (sic) Macdermott, aged 17, only son of Commander A.F.J. MacDermott, O.B.E., R.N., ret. (hon. secretary of the Royal Victoria Y.C.) and Mrs. MacDermott, of Leamington House, St John's Park, Ryde. He was on his first commission. A lad of particular promise, he had passed out in the A division from H.M.S. Britannia, Dartmouth, earlier in the year. He was a member of Ryde Lawn Tennis Club, and also of the I.W. Foot Beagles. CWGC record ... Buried at Lyness Royal Naval Cemetery
A.B. Albert Edward Milford Southampton (Ryde) A.B. Albert Edward Milford, aged 32, son of Mr. and Mrs. A.E. Milford, of St. John's-road, Ryde. He lived at Southampton, and leaves a widow and three children. CWGC record ... Portsmouth naval memorial : A E Milford
Petty Officer Francis Millmore Newport Petty Officer Francis Millmore, 34, son of Mr. J.H. Millmore, of Rock Cottage, Blackwater. His wife and three children, the eldest aged 12 and the youngest aged 2, live at 84 Upper St. James's-street, Newport. An elder brother (James) is also in the Royal Navy. Millmore and Chief Petty Officer Rann (see below) were employed as lads by Mr. J.H. King, builder, of Blackwater. They joined the Navy together, and had been close friends ever since. Mrs. Millmore was Miss Dorothy Brading, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. Brading, of 12 Hillside-terrace, Newport. CWGC record ... Portsmouth naval memorial : F Millmore

Newport Borough War Memorial

Signalman Keith Newnham Waltham Cross (Ventnor) Keith Newnham, 19, son of Mr. and Mrs. George Newnham, of Vectis, Waltham Cross, and grandson of Mr. W.J. Newnham, of the Appuldurcombe and Undercliff Dairies. CWGC record ... Portsmouth naval memorial : K Newnham

Ventnor Holy Trinity Church South Wight Scouts War Memorial
Further Biographical information

Stoker 2nd cl. George James Palmer Shanklin Second-class Stoker George James Palmer, 20, only son of Mr. George J.W. Palmer, of Glenholme, 22 North-road, Shanklin. He joined the Navy last November. CWGC record ... Portsmouth naval memorial : G J Palmer

Shanklin War Memorial WW II

Boy 1st cl. George Peters Worthing (Sandown) Boy George Peters, second son of the late Capt. T.B. Peters, and of Mrs. Peters, formerly of Stracathro, Grove-road, Sandown, and now of Worthing. He joined the Navy at the close of last year. CWGC record ... Portsmouth naval memorial : G Peters

Sandown War Memorial WW II

Petty Officer Robert George Puddy Wootton Petty Officer Robert George Puddy, aged 34, of Lancaster House, High-street, Wootton, only son of Mrs. Puddy, of Northwood. He had completed 15 years' service, and gained the good conduct medal. He married four years ago, Miss Mary Leal, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E. Leal, who is left with one daughter. He joined the Navy at the close of last year. CWGC record ... Portsmouth naval memorial : R G Puddy

Wootton War Memorial WW II

Chief Petty Officer Frank Rann Langstone (Whippingham) Chief Petty Officer Frank Rann, of 8 Coastguard Cottages, Langstone Harbour, Portsmouth, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. F. Rann, of Whippingham Post office. Rann, who was 34, leaves a wife, formerly Miss Jessie Allum, of Whippingham, and two children. He is the eldest of 12 children, and joined the Navy in 1922. Of Mr. and Mrs. Rann's nine sons, five are serving in the Services, and another will be joining up shortly. On Monday Rann's parents received a letter from him saying what a peaceful war this was. CWGC record ... Portsmouth naval memorial : F Rann

Whippingham War Memorial WW II
Whippingham St Mildred's Church Roll of Honour WW II

Stoker 1st cl. Harry Frederick Strickley Shanklin First-class Stoker Harry Strickley, adopted son of Mrs. Wade, of Napier Hotel, Shanklin. CWGC record ... Portsmouth naval memorial : H Strickley

Shanklin War Memorial (as H WADE)
Ryde School War Memorial

A.B. Roy Ernest Tutton Shanklin Seaman-Torpedoman Roy Tutton, 20, only son of Mr. and Mrs. E.S. Tutton, of Norman House, Clarendon-road, Shanklin. CWGC record ... Portsmouth naval memorial : R Tutton

Shanklin War Memorial WW II

Boy 1st cl. Raymond John Western Whitwell Boy Ray Western, 17, son of Mr. and Mrs. A. Western, of Nell Bank, Whitwell. He joined the Navy in March, 1938, and did his training at Gosport, joining the Royal Oak when she was commissioned in June. It is his parents' third loss of a near relative in eight months. CWGC record ... Portsmouth naval memorial : R Western

Ventnor Holy Trinity Church South Wight Scouts War Memorial
Whitwell War Memorial

Further biographical information
Survived :
Acting Petty Officer William James Lewis Barsdell Sandown Acting Petty Officer William J. Barsdell, of 9 Station-avenue, Sandown.

[subsequently died in 1945, and is buried in Sandown, Christ Church, Churchyard]
CWGC record ... Sandown War Memorial WW II

A.B. Sidney Reynold Dawson Gosport (Cowes) A.B. Sidney R. Dawson, of 4 Kingston-road, Gosport, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. W.G. Dawson, of 49 Fellows-road, Cowes. He has been in the Navy for about 18 years, is married, and his wife and young twin son and daughter are living with his parents, having been evacuated from Gosport.

[subsequently died in 1940]
CWGC record ... Portsmouth naval memorial : S R Dawson

Cowes Town War Memorial

Gunner Edward Augustus Evans Ryde Born in Ryde 23 March 1907, the son of George Edward Alfred Evans and Hilda May Evans (née Attrill). Joined Royal Navy in 1922. Gunner Edward Augustus Evans, aged 31, son of Mrs. H.M. Evans, of 14 St. John's Wood-road, Ryde. His wife and little son live at Portsmouth. Gunner Evans was formerly a choirboy at St. John's Church. His father, the late Gunner G.E. Evans, R.N. served in the last war.
Boy John Sidney Hall Freshwater Bay Boy John Sidney Hall, aged 16½, elder son of Mrs. Hall, of Homedale, Blackbridge-road, Freshwater Bay.
Ldg Smn Edward J Harris Southsea (East Cowes) Leading Seaman Edward J. Harris, of 110 Manners-road, Southsea, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Harris, of 73 Clarence-road, East Cowes. Harris, who has been in the Royal Navy about 17 years, is a married man, his wife having formerly been Miss Dorothy Ham, of Cowes.
Ship's Joiner Edward Randall Binstead Ship's-joiner Edward Randall, adopted son of Mrs. F. Salmon, of Binstead House Lodge. He is 21 years old. His foster father, Mr. Frank Salmon, is on active service with the Army.
Boy Edward William Scovell Ryde Boy Edward William Scovell, who was among the first 15 survivors, is the 17-year-old son of Mrs. Scovell, of 4 Anglesey-road, Ryde. He was formerly employed by Messrs. Dewhurst, butchers, of Ryde.
Warrent Engineer Edward Whitbread Portsmouth (Wootton) Warrant Engineer Edward Whitbread, elder son of the late Mr. and Mrs. B.J. Whitbread, of Wootton. Mr. Whitbread, whose wife and two small sons reside at North End, Portsmouth, is a former pupil of the Newport Secondary School, and received his training as a boy artificer on H.M.S. Fisgard at Portsmouth. He has been on several commissions to Malta, and his last station was China. Mr. Whitbread's brother, Capt. Leonard Whitbread, (acting adjutant), of the Royal Corps of Signals (also an old Newport Secondary School boy), is serving with H.M. Forces abroad.
Page last updated : 29 December 2012 (added further photos and newspaper notices)


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