Military (& related) obituaries

Norton Lee, commander of a landing craft tank at D-Day who was also present for the last surrender of the Germans in the Netherlands – obituary​

For his role in landing a troop of marines on the enemy-held island of Schouwen he was awarded the DSC for his courage and initiative
Norton Lee

Norton Lee
Norton Lee, who has died aged 98, commanded a landing craft tank (LCT) on D-Day in a flotilla which had been allocated to the Americans for the assault on Omaha Beach, and later showed great courage during the liberation of Holland.
In the early hours of June 6 1944, surf broke on the beaches and offshore a Force 5 wind blew from the south west. In heavy seas in the predawn darkness, Lee’s LCT begun to fill with water, and despite operating pumps at full capacity and frantic bailing by US marines with their helmets, the engines flooded, leaving the craft without power.
Lee’s passengers were transferred to another LCT; Lee and his crew were rescued just before their craft foundered.
Allocated to command another LCT, for the next few weeks Lee ferried troops to the beaches before being withdrawn to begin rehearsals for landings during the Battle of the Scheldt, which was intended to open up the shipping route to Antwerp.
Norton Lee: he threw himself into Kent life

Lee: he threw himself into Kent life
In November, Lee commanded a landing craft during the fiercely opposed landings on islands in the Scheldt estuary leading to the port, but the Germans continued to hold the island of Schouwen.

There, on the night of March 10/11 1945, Lee took part in a raid which its historian, the future Major-General James Moulton – then commanding 48 Commando, Royal Marines – described as “gallant, skilful, successful and unlucky”.
It took place during the third phase of the flying-bomb attack on London; as Lee’s landing craft crossed the 3,000-yard-wide Zijpe channel, a bomb flew over, anti-aircraft fire lit the night sky with tracer, and the reflected light off the surface of the water disclosed his presence.
Undeterred, Lee pressed on to land a troop of marines on the Schouwen dyke. They captured two prisoners, but were counter-attacked and ran into a minefield, sustaining several casualties, who were slowly taken on stretchers back to the dyke, where the tide was dropping.
Lee had strict orders to depart well before dawn, but was reluctant to leave anyone behind and waited two hours until he was certain that everyone had re-embarked. There was some difficulty shoving the craft clear of the sand, and another craft broke down and had to be towed, but by 5am he had reached the southern, friendly shore of the Zijpe.
Moulton wrote that “young Lee did well and resolutely, too” and he was awarded the DSC for his courage and initiative in keeping his craft on the enemy shore for a considerably longer time than laid down in his orders, enabling the commandos to evacuate their wounded.
On May 6 1945, 11 months to the day after he had nearly drowned off Normandy, Lee attended the German surrender of Overflakkee, the last island off the coast of Holland to be held by the enemy.
Norton Lee: praised for his resolute approach

Norton Lee: praised for his resolute approach
Norton Ralph Lee was born at Ashford, Kent, on August 22 1922, and educated at Sutton Valence School, near Maidstone. Inspired by his brother (the future Commodore Herbert Jack Lee CBE, DSC and two Bars), Lee volunteered for the Navy in 1941, and joined the light cruiser Cairo in Plymouth in February 1942.
That winter she sailed to Murmansk, and Lee recalled the daily routine of chipping ice from the superstructure to prevent the ship becoming top-heavy, and manhandling a cargo of gold bars for the return to Scapa Flow.
In April 1942 Cairo escorted five convoys to the besieged Malta: Operation Calendar, when USS Wasp delivered Spitfires; Harpoon; Pinpoint; and Insect, when the carrier Eagle flew off Spitfires; and Pedestal.
On August 12, Cairo’s luck ran out – she was torpedoed by the Italian submarine Axum and had her stern blown off, killing 24 crew. Lee was rescued by the destroyer Wilton which came alongside, happily recalling that although his ship went down he never got his feet wet.
Once commissioned, Lee joined No 1 Combined Training Centre at Inveraray, where he learned to handle landing craft and practised beach assaults. Subsequently he took part in the Allied landings at Sicily and Salerno, including the crossing of the Strait of Messina.
Postwar, Lee declined a permanent commission and in 1946 joined the family business, Lee & Sons, founded in 1878 by his great grandfather, which employed its own curtain-makers, upholsterers, carpet-fitters, shop assistants, removal men, storemen and auctioneers.
Aged 29 Lee was one of the youngest councillors elected to Ashford UDC, where he served as an independent. Wanting to improve sanitation for deprived families in Ashford, he became chairman of the local water board, and in 1956 he was appointed to the Kent magistracy.
He served on the Ashford bench until he was 70, fulfilling the roles of vice-chairman, chairman of the juvenile court and member of the licensing and betting committee.
Norton Lee: a devotee of the chase

Norton Lee: a devotee of the chase
In 1959 he and his wife Angela moved into a near-derelict farm which they improved and filled with guests, black labradors, horses, large gin and tonics, infectious laughter and immense fun.
For 20 years he commanded the Ashford Sea Cadets, while as churchwarden of St Mary the Virgin, Hastingleigh, he organised musical events to raise funds for its restoration, which in 1966 uncovered 12th-century murals.
The Lees hunted in all weathers with the East Kent, and on moving to East Garston, Berkshire, they rode with the Vine and Craven until a fall ended Lee’s mounted career; they then became badgeholders at Newbury racecourse.
Lee once more threw himself into local affairs, whether as a member of All Saints’ parochial church council, inviting visiting choirs to “songs of praise”, or mowing the churchyard.
In 1953 Lee married Angela Nash; she died in 2009, and he is survived by their son and daughter.
Norton Lee, born August 22 1922, died February 22 2021

A fine obituary, spoiled by one, minor error: USMC did not take part in OVERLORD.
 

Squadron Leader ‘Benny’ Goodman, one of the last surviving bomber pilots of 617 (Dambuster) Squadron – obituary​

Goodman dropped Barnes Wallis’s powerful Tallboy bomb on the battleship Tirpitz and the 22,000 lb Grand Slam which destroyed a viaduct
Benny Goodman of 617 Squadron

Benny Goodman of 617 Squadron
Squadron Leader Lawrence “Benny” Goodman, who has died aged 100, was one of the last two surviving Lancaster pilots of 617 (Dambuster) Squadron who were involved in attacking the German battleship Tirpitz in late 1944. And in the final weeks of the war he dropped the 22,000 lb “Grand Slam”, the biggest bomb dropped by the RAF.
Goodman had completed his training as a bomber pilot in the summer of 1944 when he was posted to 617 Squadron, based at Woodhall Spa in Lincolnshire. With its unique reputation as a special-duties squadron manned by highly experienced crews, it was unusual for a novice crew to be sent to 617.
To gain experience, he flew his first raid on August 18 – an attack on the U-boat pens at La Pallice in the port of La Rochelle – with an experienced captain before he took his crew to Brest a few days later.
On their fourth operation they deployed to Scotland attacked the massive Tirpitz.
The possibility that the German battleship might cause havoc among the convoys carrying vital supplies across the Atlantic, and the crucial war materials for Russia, had dominated naval plans. RAF and Fleet Air Arm bombers had made several attempts to disable “The Beast”, as Churchill dubbed the battleship, but they had failed, as had the gallant efforts of mini-submarines.
In September 1944, Lancasters dropping the 12,000 lb “Tallboy” bomb had penetrated the steel armour of Tirpitz, forcing it to move south to Tromso, inside the Arctic circle, for repairs. This brought it in range of bombers taking off from northern Scotland.
Drawn from Nos 9 and 617 (Dambuster) Squadrons, 37 Lancasters, led by Wing Commander “Willie” Tait, took off on October 29 1944. Cloud appeared as the bombers approached and the battleship put up a smoke screen. Goodman dropped his Tallboy into the smoke before turning for Lossiemouth.
Lawrence Seymour Goodman, always known as “Benny”, was born on September 24 1920 in West London and educated at Herne Bay College in Kent where he was a member of the Officer Training Corps. He completed an electrical engineering course prior to joining his father’s film and advertising business in London.
He joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve in 1940 and began training as a pilot in June 1941. He trained in Canada and during an eventful passage back to Britain an escorting destroyer was sunk and Goodman’s ship was damaged.
Back in Britain he trained as a bomber pilot before arriving at 617 Squadron in August 1944.
One of Goodman’s colleagues drops his Grand Slam earthquake bomb on the Arnsberg Viaduct

One of Goodman’s colleagues drops his Grand Slam earthquake-effect bomb on the Arnsberg Viaduct
After the raid on Tirpitz, Goodman flew on many notable operations; the majority involved dropping Barnes Wallis’s Tallboy deep-penetration bomb using a precision bombsight. The bomb had an 11-second delay fuse to allow maximum penetration before exploding to create an “earthquake” effect.
In December Goodman attacked the synthetic oil refinery at Politz near Stettin on the Baltic coast, which had been marked by flares dropped by the Pathfinder Force. On return, after a flight of more than nine hours, fog had appeared over Lincolnshire and Goodman’s Lancaster was the only one to land at Woodhall Spa, the remainder having been diverted to other airfields. At the end of December he attacked the E-Boat pens at Rotterdam and at Ijmiuden.
After bombing the U-boat pens at Bergen in Norway on January 12 1945, and a return to the E-Boat pens in the Netherlands, the squadron turned its attention to destroying the crucial viaducts that carried the railways being used by the Germans to bring reinforcements to the front line in the west. On February 22 Goodman dropped his Tallboy on the Bielefeld viaduct, a particularly difficult target to hit from high level.
In March the squadron began receiving Barnes Wallis’s 22,000 lb “Grand Slam”, the biggest non-nuclear air-dropped conventional weapon of the war. To carry this huge bomb the Lancasters had to be modified, with the fitting of a stronger undercarriage, as well as removal of the front and mid-upper gun turrets, some of the armour plating, and the bomb doors.
As the specially modified bombers took off, observers on the ground saw the straight wings of the Lancaster flex with the weight.
On March 19 the target was the Arnsberg viaduct. Goodman was flying one of the six Lancasters carrying the Grand Slam. He was the third to drop his bomb and, as the raid departed, the viaduct was in ruins.
Over the final weeks of the war, Goodman dropped more Tallboys, including one on the U-Boat construction yards at Hamburg. On April 25 he took off on his last operation, the attack on Hitler’s retreat at Berchtesgaden in Bavaria. Despite being hit by anti-aircraft fire, he dropped his Tallboy. Later, he commented that “we certainly made a mess of the Waffen SS barracks.”
Goodman was vigorous in praise of his ground crew. He wrote: “Working out in all weathers, often on wind, snow and rain swept dispersals, they were always there to ensure the serviceability of our aircraft and to see us depart. They waited in uncertainty eager to witness our return. For 365 days and nights they made it possible for us to do our job. All of us who flew knew their worth.”
He remained in the RAF and transferred to Transport Command, flying the Stirling. He left the RAF in the summer of 1946 and immediately joined the Auxiliary Air Force flying the latest mark of Spitfire with 604 (County of Middlesex) Squadron.
He re-joined the RAF in September 1949 and over the next few years flew the Hastings transport aircraft. He later converted to the Canberra and was a flight commander on 80 Squadron based in Germany. After a tour in the Air Ministry he left the RAF in 1964 to re-join the family firm.
He obtained his British and American civil pilot’s licenses and flew a Piper Comanche, of which he was part owner, until he was 93.
He was an active member of the 617 Squadron Association and was in demand as a speaker raising funds for charitable causes, including the RAF Benevolent Fund.
In 1990 he was introduced to the local Heimatbund (Local History Society) in Arnsberg and became a minor celebrity attending official receptions when he was invited to sign the town’s official guest book. On one occasion he was invited to the local Schützenfest, and he attended in the full uniform of an honorary member. In 2017 the French Government appointed him to the Légion d’honneur.
Benny Goodman’s marriage was dissolved and his son survives him.
Squadron Leader “Benny” Goodman, born January 12 1945, died July 18 2021
 
They got his DOB wrong.
Didn't they just, and yesterday they had the USMC hitting the beaches of Normandy in another Obit!

Sadly the days of Hugh Massingberg and David Twiston Davies are long gone, that was when the research and person were well interwoven, and the facts were spot on.
 

Lieutenant Johnny Myerscough, pilot with the Fleet Air Arm and ‘one of the most outstanding pilots’ in the wartime Navy – obituary​

He destroyed seven locomotives during one bombing attack in 1945
Johnny Myerscough serving aboard the escort carrier HMS Ameer with the British East Indies Fleet in 1945

Johnny Myerscough serving aboard the escort carrier HMS Ameer with the British East Indies Fleet in 1945 CREDIT: Imperial War Museum; www.iwm.org.uk
Lieutenant Johnny Myerscough, who has died aged 100, barely left Lancashire except to fly for the Fleet Air Arm in the Second World War, when he won a DSC for gallantry, skill and inspired leadership.
In January 1945, Myerscough joined 803 Naval Air Squadron, and after a spell in the naval fighter pool at Puttalam, Ceylon, embarked in the escort carrier Empress for Operation Stacey, codename for a naval photographic reconnaissance of Penang, the Kra Isthmus and Northern Sumatra during February and March, for which he earned his DSC.
On June 20, while flying from the escort carrier Ameer, 804 NAS (in the same air wing) carried out 84 bombing and strafing attacks which were “most encouraging … both in execution and results”. Myerscough personally was credited with destroying seven locomotives.
At war’s end, his commanding officer described him as “one of the most outstanding pilots in the Navy, who has shown exceptional flying ability and great wisdom as a leader. He has been a great inspiration to 804 Squadron.”

John Myerscough was born on August 28 1920 at Cottam in Lancashire, leaving Preston Catholic College at 16 to become a junior clerk at Preston Savings Bank. He volunteered for the Fleet Air Arm in 1940; rejected because he did not have an engineering qualification, he studied in his own time before “blagged my way” through the recruitment process.
In June 1941 he was sent for flying training to Florida, where on January 27 1942 he was awarded his wings. He made his first deck landings in a Grumman Martlet fighter on the carrier Furious on October 1 of that year, and was rated “above average”.
Myerscough with his medals

Myerscough with his medals
Later in the month 893 Squadron sailed in the carrier Formidable for service in the Mediterranean, where on November 17 Myerscough flew one of two Martlets which strafed the German U-331. It was then torpedoed by Albacore torpedo-bombers of 820 NAS; Myerscough was hit and forced to ditch, but was picked up by the destroyer Quentin.
On July 11 1943 he was second in a flight of four aircraft of 893 NAS which set a record by landing on Formidable in 1 min 13 sec. The feat elicited a signal from the watching admiral: “Pretty work by that section of aircraft.” (The previous record had been held by 5 aircraft of 803 NAS 5 five aircraft at 29 second intervals.) Subsequently Myerscough flew throughout the Allied landings in North Africa, Sicily and at Salerno, and was briefly based in Gibraltar.
The squadron also escorted an Arctic convoy to Russia in late 1943, and in August 1944 Myerscough joined 845 Naval Air Squadron in the Indian Ocean, flying the Grumman Hellcat fighter on regular low-level bombing and reconnaissance sorties.
On July 11 1943 he was second in a flight of four aircraft of 893 NAS which set a record by landing on Formidable in 1 min 13 sec. “Pretty work by that section of aircraft,” said the watching admiral

On July 11 1943 he was second in a flight of four aircraft of 893 NAS which set a record by landing on Formidable in 1 min 13 sec. ‘Pretty work by that section of aircraft,’ said the watching admiral
Between 1941 and 1945 Myerscough flew 905 hours in 22 types of aircraft and made more than 200 deck landings, but after this wartime excitement he returned to his civilian career, and for 45 years was manager of what eventually became the TSB in Preston.
The Russian government awarded Myerscough a campaign medal, and reportedly when President Putin discovered that the medal was not of sufficient quality, a replacement was brought to Myerscough’s home in 2016 by an official of the Russian embassy in London.
Celebrating his 100th birthday during the coronavirus lockdown

Celebrating his 100th birthday during the coronavirus lockdown
Johnny Myerscough was a gentleman: industrious, brave, disciplined, polite, honest, reliable, meticulous, loyal, artistic, but often able to demonstrate a wicked sense of humour; he also enjoyed playing golf and watching football. He married Doreen Knowles in 1948, and latterly nursed her for 20 years until she predeceased him in 2008. He is survived by his two daughters.
He celebrated his centenary during lockdown, the residents and staff of his care home in Lytham St Annes becoming his family for the day.
John Myerscough, born August 28 1920, died March 30 2021
 

Lieutenant Basil Trott, thought to be the last survivor of the Battle of the River Plate – obituary​

His 4-inch gun helped to wreak decisive damage on the Graf Spee, and he also assisted in rescuing victims of a catastrophic earthquake
Basil Trott

Basil Trott
Lieutenant Basil Trott, who has died aged 101, was thought to be the last survivor of the Battle of the River Plate on December 13-17 1939, of which Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, said: “This brilliant sea fight takes its place in our naval annals and in a long, cold, dark winter it warmed the cockles of the British heart.”
In 1939, Trott, a seaman gunner, was the gunlayer of the left gun of Y turret (the after turret) of the heavy cruiser Exeter, off the River Plate, where Commodore Henry Harwood had concentrated three cruisers of the South Atlantic squadron in the hunt for the German pocket battleship Graf Spee.
Trott was at his action station when shortly after dawn on December 13 Graf Spee loomed over the western horizon; with the longer range of her 11-inch guns she was able to open fire on Exeter before Exeter could fire back.


In Y turret it was hot and noisy, but there was no shouting as Trott and his comrades loaded their twin 8-inch guns “like it was an ordinary practice shoot”. Graf Spee was able to fire twice the weight of shell of all three British cruisers combined, and was concentrating her broadside on Exeter as the largest of the British ships, but any fear vanished as the men fired some 50 rounds in reply.
The Graf Spee scuttles itself: when he heard the news, Trott said he was disappointed not to have had the chance to finish the job himself

The Graf Spee scuttles itself: when he heard the news, Trott said he was disappointed not to have had the chance to finish the job himself
As gunlayer, Trott’s task was to control the angle of elevation of the left gun, ensuring that the two pointers (showing the demanded angle from the director and the angle of his gun) were kept in sync – and, after power was lost, to fire the gun. His was the last of Exeter’s guns to be let loose at Graf Spee.
The action seemed to Trott to last “no time at all”, but it was an hour and a half before he emerged from the turret to discover that Exeter was in “a pretty sorry state”. The 4-inch gun which had been Trott’s previous action station was destroyed, and he realised that he might have died: A and B turrets were out of action, the superstructure was pocked with splinters, the bridge was wrecked, and among the 58 dead and many wounded the captain, “Hooky” Bell, was temporarily blinded.
Graf Spee was also damaged, and while she was chased into Montevideo harbour by the 6-inch light cruisers Ajax and Achilles, Trott joined the chain of men passing orders from the emergency steering platform to the tiller flat. He was then detailed to assist in the gruesome task of picking body parts from the wreckage and sewing them up in weighted hammocks for burial at sea.
Boy Seaman Trott

Boy Seaman Trott
He recalled: “It was impossible to separate who was who and it was a matter of putting together bits and hoping that those that you had sewn up into a hammock were all the same person.”
After the mainbrace was spliced (a free tot of rum given out) Trott turned in, slept well, and was never troubled by bad dreams afterwards.
Exeter made for the Falkland Islands, where she was warmly welcomed. The ship’s company was accommodated ashore while they repaired the ship, Trott staying with the family of a young woman whom he had met on previous visits.
One of his tasks was to climb Exeter’s masts, in the style of one of Nelson’s sailors 150 years earlier, to strike the wooden topmasts and rig a crow’s nest on the foremast. He also heard the news that Graf Spee had scuttled herself, and was disappointed not to have had the chance to finish the job himself.
Trott, circled, in HMS Comus during the Korean War

Trott, circled, in HMS Comus during the Korean War
When eventually Exeter reached Plymouth and her people were greeted as heroes, Trott’s thoughts were: “Why all this, what have we done? We fought a battle which we had been trained to do and just felt that we had done our duty.”
Trott’s return home was marred by the news that a brother had been killed when the destroyer Daring was torpedoed off Scotland. Nevertheless, he was pleased that his ship was given the freedom of the city of Exeter, and on February 29 1940 the ship’s company marched through the streets with fixed bayonets carrying Exeter’s shell-torn White Ensign.
Basil Arthur Trott was born in Catford, south-east Londonon December 22 1919, and, like his three brothers, was educated at the Royal Hospital School, Greenwich. Aged 15, he joined the Royal Navy at HMS St Vincent, Gosport. There he distinguished himself as a marksman and as “button boy” atop the 127 ft mast at his passing out parade.
Lieutenant Trott

Lieutenant Trott
By 1937 he was in Exeter in the Pacific when a major earthquake hit the city of Concepción, Chile, killing some 30,000 people. The tremors were felt at sea, and Trott was a member of one of three platoons and a demolition party who dug in the rubble, rescuing an estimated 800 casualties. Later Exeter sailed for Valparaíso with several hundred refugees. Medals were struck, but the war intervened before they could be awarded, and it was not until 2017 that Trott received his Chilean award.
After Exeter, Trott served as a petty officer in the cruiser Kenya for three years; as gunner’s mate in the destroyer Wallace on convoys off Britain’s east coast (1944-45); as master gunner in the destroyer Solebay (1946-48); and, commissioned as a special duties gunner, in the destroyer Comus during the Korean War. After a period of instructing at the gunnery school, HMS Excellent, Trott joined his last ship, the frigate Whitby, as gunnery officer, serving from 1955 to 1957.
Trott finally receives his medal for his rescue work during an earthquake in Chile in 1937

Trott finally receives his medal for his rescue work during an earthquake in Chile in 1937
In 1958 Trott took a “golden bowler” (early retirement) to pursue a career as a local government officer, first in Gosport and then in Portsmouth. He retired in 1984, and four years later settled in Torrevieja in Alicante, where he established a new Masonic lodge, Old Tower: he finally settled in Cherry Hinton, Cambridgeshire.
In 2001 Trott visited Montevideo, financed by the National Lottery Heroes Return Initiative, and met one of the survivors of Graf Spee. In 2003 he was in the town of Ajax, Ontario – which has streets named after the victors of the Battle of the River Plate – and opened Trott Lane.
He married Violet Duncan in 1943; she died in 1989, and he is survived by his son and his second wife Sadie Anderson-Rush, whom he married in 1994.
Basil Trott, born December 22 1919, died July 12 2021
 

Lieutenant Basil Trott, thought to be the last survivor of the Battle of the River Plate – obituary​

His 4-inch gun helped to wreak decisive damage on the Graf Spee, and he also assisted in rescuing victims of a catastrophic earthquake
Basil Trott

Basil Trott
Lieutenant Basil Trott, who has died aged 101, was thought to be the last survivor of the Battle of the River Plate on December 13-17 1939, of which Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, said: “This brilliant sea fight takes its place in our naval annals and in a long, cold, dark winter it warmed the cockles of the British heart.”
In 1939, Trott, a seaman gunner, was the gunlayer of the left gun of Y turret (the after turret) of the heavy cruiser Exeter, off the River Plate, where Commodore Henry Harwood had concentrated three cruisers of the South Atlantic squadron in the hunt for the German pocket battleship Graf Spee.
Trott was at his action station when shortly after dawn on December 13 Graf Spee loomed over the western horizon; with the longer range of her 11-inch guns she was able to open fire on Exeter before Exeter could fire back.


In Y turret it was hot and noisy, but there was no shouting as Trott and his comrades loaded their twin 8-inch guns “like it was an ordinary practice shoot”. Graf Spee was able to fire twice the weight of shell of all three British cruisers combined, and was concentrating her broadside on Exeter as the largest of the British ships, but any fear vanished as the men fired some 50 rounds in reply.
The Graf Spee scuttles itself: when he heard the news, Trott said he was disappointed not to have had the chance to finish the job himself

The Graf Spee scuttles itself: when he heard the news, Trott said he was disappointed not to have had the chance to finish the job himself
As gunlayer, Trott’s task was to control the angle of elevation of the left gun, ensuring that the two pointers (showing the demanded angle from the director and the angle of his gun) were kept in sync – and, after power was lost, to fire the gun. His was the last of Exeter’s guns to be let loose at Graf Spee.
The action seemed to Trott to last “no time at all”, but it was an hour and a half before he emerged from the turret to discover that Exeter was in “a pretty sorry state”. The 4-inch gun which had been Trott’s previous action station was destroyed, and he realised that he might have died: A and B turrets were out of action, the superstructure was pocked with splinters, the bridge was wrecked, and among the 58 dead and many wounded the captain, “Hooky” Bell, was temporarily blinded.
Graf Spee was also damaged, and while she was chased into Montevideo harbour by the 6-inch light cruisers Ajax and Achilles, Trott joined the chain of men passing orders from the emergency steering platform to the tiller flat. He was then detailed to assist in the gruesome task of picking body parts from the wreckage and sewing them up in weighted hammocks for burial at sea.
Boy Seaman Trott

Boy Seaman Trott
He recalled: “It was impossible to separate who was who and it was a matter of putting together bits and hoping that those that you had sewn up into a hammock were all the same person.”
After the mainbrace was spliced (a free tot of rum given out) Trott turned in, slept well, and was never troubled by bad dreams afterwards.
Exeter made for the Falkland Islands, where she was warmly welcomed. The ship’s company was accommodated ashore while they repaired the ship, Trott staying with the family of a young woman whom he had met on previous visits.
One of his tasks was to climb Exeter’s masts, in the style of one of Nelson’s sailors 150 years earlier, to strike the wooden topmasts and rig a crow’s nest on the foremast. He also heard the news that Graf Spee had scuttled herself, and was disappointed not to have had the chance to finish the job himself.
Trott, circled, in HMS Comus during the Korean War

Trott, circled, in HMS Comus during the Korean War
When eventually Exeter reached Plymouth and her people were greeted as heroes, Trott’s thoughts were: “Why all this, what have we done? We fought a battle which we had been trained to do and just felt that we had done our duty.”
Trott’s return home was marred by the news that a brother had been killed when the destroyer Daring was torpedoed off Scotland. Nevertheless, he was pleased that his ship was given the freedom of the city of Exeter, and on February 29 1940 the ship’s company marched through the streets with fixed bayonets carrying Exeter’s shell-torn White Ensign.
Basil Arthur Trott was born in Catford, south-east Londonon December 22 1919, and, like his three brothers, was educated at the Royal Hospital School, Greenwich. Aged 15, he joined the Royal Navy at HMS St Vincent, Gosport. There he distinguished himself as a marksman and as “button boy” atop the 127 ft mast at his passing out parade.
Lieutenant Trott

Lieutenant Trott
By 1937 he was in Exeter in the Pacific when a major earthquake hit the city of Concepción, Chile, killing some 30,000 people. The tremors were felt at sea, and Trott was a member of one of three platoons and a demolition party who dug in the rubble, rescuing an estimated 800 casualties. Later Exeter sailed for Valparaíso with several hundred refugees. Medals were struck, but the war intervened before they could be awarded, and it was not until 2017 that Trott received his Chilean award.
After Exeter, Trott served as a petty officer in the cruiser Kenya for three years; as gunner’s mate in the destroyer Wallace on convoys off Britain’s east coast (1944-45); as master gunner in the destroyer Solebay (1946-48); and, commissioned as a special duties gunner, in the destroyer Comus during the Korean War. After a period of instructing at the gunnery school, HMS Excellent, Trott joined his last ship, the frigate Whitby, as gunnery officer, serving from 1955 to 1957.
Trott finally receives his medal for his rescue work during an earthquake in Chile in 1937

Trott finally receives his medal for his rescue work during an earthquake in Chile in 1937
In 1958 Trott took a “golden bowler” (early retirement) to pursue a career as a local government officer, first in Gosport and then in Portsmouth. He retired in 1984, and four years later settled in Torrevieja in Alicante, where he established a new Masonic lodge, Old Tower: he finally settled in Cherry Hinton, Cambridgeshire.
In 2001 Trott visited Montevideo, financed by the National Lottery Heroes Return Initiative, and met one of the survivors of Graf Spee. In 2003 he was in the town of Ajax, Ontario – which has streets named after the victors of the Battle of the River Plate – and opened Trott Lane.
He married Violet Duncan in 1943; she died in 1989, and he is survived by his son and his second wife Sadie Anderson-Rush, whom he married in 1994.
Basil Trott, born December 22 1919, died July 12 2021
This is a cracker. Quite often we see obituaries of brave men who maybe only saw action post D Day or who had a moment of glory but then were rested in a training role. But Lt Trott really was in the thick of it from the very beginning to the very end. I don´t suppose there was much he didn´t know about naval gunnery.
 
This is a cracker. Quite often we see obituaries of brave men who maybe only saw action post D Day or who had a moment of glory but then were rested in a training role. But Lt Trott really was in the thick of it from the very beginning to the very end. I don´t suppose there was much he didn´t know about naval gunnery.
Totally agree one of the first serious Naval actions of WW2 and he was in from the start. The mention of Captain 'Hooky Bell' and HMS Exeter bought the classic 1956 film to life again
 

Lieutenant Basil Trott, thought to be the last survivor of the Battle of the River Plate – obituary​

His 4-inch gun helped to wreak decisive damage on the Graf Spee, and he also assisted in rescuing victims of a catastrophic earthquake
Basil Trott

Basil Trott
Lieutenant Basil Trott, who has died aged 101, was thought to be the last survivor of the Battle of the River Plate on December 13-17 1939, of which Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, said: “This brilliant sea fight takes its place in our naval annals and in a long, cold, dark winter it warmed the cockles of the British heart.”
In 1939, Trott, a seaman gunner, was the gunlayer of the left gun of Y turret (the after turret) of the heavy cruiser Exeter, off the River Plate, where Commodore Henry Harwood had concentrated three cruisers of the South Atlantic squadron in the hunt for the German pocket battleship Graf Spee.
Trott was at his action station when shortly after dawn on December 13 Graf Spee loomed over the western horizon; with the longer range of her 11-inch guns she was able to open fire on Exeter before Exeter could fire back.


In Y turret it was hot and noisy, but there was no shouting as Trott and his comrades loaded their twin 8-inch guns “like it was an ordinary practice shoot”. Graf Spee was able to fire twice the weight of shell of all three British cruisers combined, and was concentrating her broadside on Exeter as the largest of the British ships, but any fear vanished as the men fired some 50 rounds in reply.
The Graf Spee scuttles itself: when he heard the news, Trott said he was disappointed not to have had the chance to finish the job himself

The Graf Spee scuttles itself: when he heard the news, Trott said he was disappointed not to have had the chance to finish the job himself
As gunlayer, Trott’s task was to control the angle of elevation of the left gun, ensuring that the two pointers (showing the demanded angle from the director and the angle of his gun) were kept in sync – and, after power was lost, to fire the gun. His was the last of Exeter’s guns to be let loose at Graf Spee.
The action seemed to Trott to last “no time at all”, but it was an hour and a half before he emerged from the turret to discover that Exeter was in “a pretty sorry state”. The 4-inch gun which had been Trott’s previous action station was destroyed, and he realised that he might have died: A and B turrets were out of action, the superstructure was pocked with splinters, the bridge was wrecked, and among the 58 dead and many wounded the captain, “Hooky” Bell, was temporarily blinded.
Graf Spee was also damaged, and while she was chased into Montevideo harbour by the 6-inch light cruisers Ajax and Achilles, Trott joined the chain of men passing orders from the emergency steering platform to the tiller flat. He was then detailed to assist in the gruesome task of picking body parts from the wreckage and sewing them up in weighted hammocks for burial at sea.
Boy Seaman Trott

Boy Seaman Trott
He recalled: “It was impossible to separate who was who and it was a matter of putting together bits and hoping that those that you had sewn up into a hammock were all the same person.”
After the mainbrace was spliced (a free tot of rum given out) Trott turned in, slept well, and was never troubled by bad dreams afterwards.
Exeter made for the Falkland Islands, where she was warmly welcomed. The ship’s company was accommodated ashore while they repaired the ship, Trott staying with the family of a young woman whom he had met on previous visits.
One of his tasks was to climb Exeter’s masts, in the style of one of Nelson’s sailors 150 years earlier, to strike the wooden topmasts and rig a crow’s nest on the foremast. He also heard the news that Graf Spee had scuttled herself, and was disappointed not to have had the chance to finish the job himself.
Trott, circled, in HMS Comus during the Korean War

Trott, circled, in HMS Comus during the Korean War
When eventually Exeter reached Plymouth and her people were greeted as heroes, Trott’s thoughts were: “Why all this, what have we done? We fought a battle which we had been trained to do and just felt that we had done our duty.”
Trott’s return home was marred by the news that a brother had been killed when the destroyer Daring was torpedoed off Scotland. Nevertheless, he was pleased that his ship was given the freedom of the city of Exeter, and on February 29 1940 the ship’s company marched through the streets with fixed bayonets carrying Exeter’s shell-torn White Ensign.
Basil Arthur Trott was born in Catford, south-east Londonon December 22 1919, and, like his three brothers, was educated at the Royal Hospital School, Greenwich. Aged 15, he joined the Royal Navy at HMS St Vincent, Gosport. There he distinguished himself as a marksman and as “button boy” atop the 127 ft mast at his passing out parade.
Lieutenant Trott

Lieutenant Trott
By 1937 he was in Exeter in the Pacific when a major earthquake hit the city of Concepción, Chile, killing some 30,000 people. The tremors were felt at sea, and Trott was a member of one of three platoons and a demolition party who dug in the rubble, rescuing an estimated 800 casualties. Later Exeter sailed for Valparaíso with several hundred refugees. Medals were struck, but the war intervened before they could be awarded, and it was not until 2017 that Trott received his Chilean award.
After Exeter, Trott served as a petty officer in the cruiser Kenya for three years; as gunner’s mate in the destroyer Wallace on convoys off Britain’s east coast (1944-45); as master gunner in the destroyer Solebay (1946-48); and, commissioned as a special duties gunner, in the destroyer Comus during the Korean War. After a period of instructing at the gunnery school, HMS Excellent, Trott joined his last ship, the frigate Whitby, as gunnery officer, serving from 1955 to 1957.
Trott finally receives his medal for his rescue work during an earthquake in Chile in 1937

Trott finally receives his medal for his rescue work during an earthquake in Chile in 1937
In 1958 Trott took a “golden bowler” (early retirement) to pursue a career as a local government officer, first in Gosport and then in Portsmouth. He retired in 1984, and four years later settled in Torrevieja in Alicante, where he established a new Masonic lodge, Old Tower: he finally settled in Cherry Hinton, Cambridgeshire.
In 2001 Trott visited Montevideo, financed by the National Lottery Heroes Return Initiative, and met one of the survivors of Graf Spee. In 2003 he was in the town of Ajax, Ontario – which has streets named after the victors of the Battle of the River Plate – and opened Trott Lane.
He married Violet Duncan in 1943; she died in 1989, and he is survived by his son and his second wife Sadie Anderson-Rush, whom he married in 1994.
Basil Trott, born December 22 1919, died July 12 2021
Note that after the battle, then assisting with steering of the damaged ship he was tasked with recovering body parts to place in hammocks for burial at sea. Upon completion of this task he got a tot of rum and got his head down ( no visit to a gender fluid wobble room in those days). If the firewall permits, the comments on his obit are well worth reading.
 
Note that after the battle, then assisting with steering of the damaged ship he was tasked with recovering body parts to place in hammocks for burial at sea. Upon completion of this task he got a tot of rum and got his head down ( no visit to a gender fluid wobble room in those days). If the firewall permits, the comments on his obit are well worth reading.
Isn't it just - horrific.
The full Obit is a couple of posts above.
 

Warrant Officer Eric Carter, Hurricane pilot decorated for his role in helping to defend Murmansk – obituary​

After his work in the Arctic he converted to Spitfires and escorted transport aircraft supplying the 14th Army in Burma
Eric Carter

Eric Carter
Warrant Officer Eric Carter, who has died aged 101, was thought to be the last surviving pilot who flew RAF Hurricane fighters that operated with the Russians to defend the Arctic port of Murmansk.
After the German invasion of the Soviet Union, Prime Minister Winston Churchill promised assistance, and on July 12 1941 an Anglo-Soviet Agreement was signed in Moscow. Carter, a Hurricane pilot, was on leave when he was recalled and sent to join 81 Squadron. Together with 134 Squadron, the squadron made up No 151 Wing and it was deployed as the first example of British aid to the Russians.
The Wing was deployed to the naval airfield at Vaenga, 10 miles from Murmansk, the Russian port close to the Germans’ advancing front line. Some 550 men, plus 15 crated Hurricanes, made up the principal cargo of the first Arctic Convoy, sailing on the former Union Castle liner Llanstephan Castle, bound for Archangel.


Once they were reassembled they were flown to Vaenga where they joined 24 more Hurricanes, which had been flown off the aircraft carrier Argus direct to the airfield.
The primary role of the Hurricane pilots was to provide defence for the crucial port, and also to escort Soviet bombers on raids over Finnmark and northern Norway. Carter flew patrols and engaged Messerschmitt Bf 109 aircraft on a number of occasions. Later he commented: “I took pot shots at several but couldn’t claim any kills.”
With winter weather approaching, 151 Wing began training Soviet air and ground crew to use the Hurricanes, which were taken over by the Soviet Air Force when the RAF contingent departed in late November.
One of the first Russian pilots to be checked out on the Hurricane was the fighter ace and “Hero of the Soviet Union” Boris Safonov, and he soon took command of the Russians’ first Hurricane squadron. His successes continued until he was killed in May 1942, by which time he had been awarded the British DFC.
As well as defending Murmansk, Carter and his comrades escorted Soviet planes on bombing missions

As well as defending Murmansk, Carter and his comrades escorted Soviet planes on bombing missions
In 2006 Carter returned to Vaenga with his son, and laid a wreath at the cemetery in memory of his fallen comrades; they met the son of Safonov who was living nearby and who was delighted to meet “one of the young airmen who had come to the Soviet Union’s aid.”
Eric Carter was born on February 12 1920 near Bromsgrove and brought up in Birmingham. He joined the RAF in 1939 and trained as a pilot. After converting to the Hurricane he joined 615 Squadron, which escorted convoys in the Irish Sea and provided air defence for Liverpool.
Carter returned from Russia on a British destroyer and continued to fly Hurricanes. Later in the war, after converting to the Spitfire, he left for Burma, where he flew missions escorting transport aircraft delivering crucial supplies to the 14th Army as it advanced towards Rangoon.
Carter left the RAF in 1946 and, after studying for a degree in Electrical Engineering, he became an engineer for Associated Electrical Industries. He supported the 151 Wing Association and received numerous anniversary medals from the Russians.
He visited Russia with fellow veterans in the 1990s, including a visit to Moscow when the Queen made a state visit. He returned a year later for the commemorations to mark the 50th anniversary of V-E Day.
In 2013 he joined his surviving colleagues at 10 Downing Street when the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, presented them with the Arctic Star. A year later he received the Russian Ushakov Medal at a ceremony at the Russian Embassy.
Eric Carter married Phyllis in 1943; she died in 2006. Their son survives him.
Eric Carter, born February 12 1920 died July 26 2021
 
Funniest Obituary I have come across for a while, he qualifies as he was TA and I rather think 23 SAS - but could be very wrong!

His observations about the young Camilla Parker Bowles were more arresting than sublime. “If you wanted to be with someone who could go through the jungle and then scrub up in time for dinner, you couldn’t find anyone better,” he told the world, adding: “She has a cleavage to die for.”

Broderick Munro-Wilson, merchant banker, amateur jump jockey, and self-confessed ‘cad’ – obituary​

Though hardly a stylish horseman, he rode a winner at Cheltenham, and was an indefatigable socialite and a close friend of Prince Charles

ByTelegraph Obituaries6 August 2021 • 5:35pm

Brod Munro-Wilson

Brod Munro-Wilson CREDIT: Alpha Press
Broderick Munro-Wilson, who has died aged 76, made his career as a merchant banker, but it was for his extra-curricular activities that he was better known.
Chief among these was his pursuit of glory on the racecourse as an amateur jump jockey. And while he never managed to electrify the National Hunt scene (his most signal success was winning the 1982 Foxhunter Chase at Cheltenham on a horse called The Drunken Duck), his unorthodox riding style became the subject of much discussion.
The racegoer’s bible Timeform observed that the lanky Munro-Wilson “embodies the spirit of the National Hunt amateur almost to the letter, and anything he lacks in style he certainly tries to make up for in enthusiasm”. Others used more colourful language: his riding in the finish resembled “someone trying to put up a deck chair in a gale”, or was “like watching a charlady trying to dust all four corners of a room at the same time”.

Munro-Wilson remained unmoved: “I like to ride like a gentleman, not a monkey on a stick, which is why I rarely take a tumble,” he said. “Length of leg, that’s what it’s all about.”
As a serving Territorial Army officer, Munro-Wilson was able to enter the Grand Military Gold Cup at Sandown, a steeplechase which he won in successive years, 1980 and 1981, on Beeno and The Drunken Duck, both of which he also owned. His single tilt at the Grand National, in 1980, had a less happy outcome: riding Coolishall with a Flat race saddle to minimise his weight, he was catapulted off at the third fence when the stirrups snapped.
At a polo day in Gaynes Park with Ellie Redman, of The Only Way is Essex

At a polo day in Gaynes Park with Ellie Redman, of The Only Way is Essex CREDIT: Alpha Press
Munro-Wilson’s last outing as a jockey was in 1990, shortly before his 45th birthday, and thereafter he concentrated on polo, becoming a familiar figure at the Guards Polo Club in Windsor Great Park, a favourite haunt of the Prince of Wales.
An indefatigable and charming socialite who liked to sport Saint Laurent suits, Munro-Wilson had known the Prince for many years, but it was his friendship from childhood with Camilla Parker-Bowles (now the Duchess of Cornwall) that provided the real ballast for his reputation in later life as a talking head for television programmes seeking to explore the inner workings of the Royal Family.
Broderick Giles Edward Munro-Wilson was born in London on June 18 1945, the only child of a surgeon who died when his son was only a year old. Brod’s mother brought him up near Plumpton, in Sussex, where near-neighbours were the Shand family – Major Bruce Shand, his wife Rosalind and their three children, one of whom, Camilla, would marry Brigadier Andrew Parker Bowles and later the Prince of Wales.
The young Brod graduated from the Pony Club to hunting with the Southdown and the Crawley & Horsham. In later life, in his role as a pundit, his observations about the young Camilla Parker Bowles were more arresting than sublime. “If you wanted to be with someone who could go through the jungle and then scrub up in time for dinner, you couldn’t find anyone better,” he told the world, adding: “She has a cleavage to die for.”
At Royal Ascot in 2014

At Royal Ascot in 2014 CREDIT: Alpha Press
His best memory of his schooldays at Lancing was of his encounters in a haystack with the daughter of the head of English: “She had a body like a Greek goddess and began my fascination with the female superstructure.” But he applied himself sufficiently to be accepted by Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he read Economics and was joint master of the Cambridge Drag.
Prince Charles was on the periphery of Munro-Wilson’s orbit, as both hunted with the Quorn in Leicestershire. They also came across one another in the jockeys’ changing room during the Prince’s brief foray into steeplechasing. “The Prince,” Munro-Wilson recalled, “wore funny old breeches with darns in them, undoubtedly inherited from the late Duke of Windsor, boots which did not fit, and colours made of rayon.”
Later he would place himself firmly in Prince Charles’s camp during the unravelling of his marriage to Lady Diana Spencer. After her extraordinary interview for Panorama in 1995, Munro-Wilson told The Guardian: “I have never seen such a deliberate debunking of the royal family in my life … She’s talking in therapy jargon – she’s been brainwashed by therapists and now she’s trying to brainwash us.”
For Mirror readers he had this message: “[Diana] should have been left in obscurity stuck in a field in Norfolk on a shooting party. She’d have married some wealthy farmer with 10,000 acres and she’d organise some school teas.”
With the polo player Janey Grace at a party in 2015

With the polo player Janey Grace at a party in 2015 CREDIT: Alpha-Edward Lloyd
Munro-Wilson’s various business ventures included directorship of a merchant bank, Munro Corporate, that provided finance for small and medium-sized companies. He maintained that it was he who persuaded Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, to go public: “I’m the man who walked into her kitchen and said ‘Do you want to be a millionaire?’ ” Munro Corporate later went into liquidation.
In 1993 Munro-Wilson was accused in court of harassment by a former fiancée, whom he described as “a tired old mare”. Granting an injunction against him, the judge declared: “With your background, social standing and education even now I would expect you to behave like a gentleman and not a cad.” Munro-Wilson was unfazed: “I would say of course I’m a cad, all the best men are. And that’s why really nice girls love us.”
Brod Munro-Wilson was twice married and divorced. With his first wife, a South American, Pilar Cepeda Yzaga, he had a son, Rodrigo. With his second, Carolyn Magor, he had two daughters, Charlotte and Emma. Emma is the wife of Andreas Carleton-Smith, a former 22 SAS officer who was awarded an MC in Bosnia in 1994 and is now CEO of Control Risks’ High Risk Managed Services.
Broderick Munro-Wilson, born June 18 1945, died July 26 2021
 
He sounds like a **** to me.
I don't begrudge anyone the priviledges of their birth - not their fault.

What is important is when you are an adult and take on a responsibility for others .....
could be .. children, soldiers, Nation , whatever level ..... its about how you deal with that
 

Poppy

LE
I'm a little disappointed in her. An Essex girl at a horsey event and she's not carrying her shoes... or swigging champagne from the bottle... or rolling around in the dirt, tearing the hair extensions from the head of another slapper.

I expect she would't dare bend down to take them off in that dress!
 

Yokel

LE
Cdr John Muxworthy:



I am sure that at one point he was on ARRSE but I cannot remember his username.
 

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