Researched background information on ship casualties

We present one of the greatest efforts undertaken by our small research team of Trevor Reeve and Joyce Rainsbury.

This PDF document includes as much background family information as we have currently been able to uncover about the 190 casualties of the HMS Jervis Bay.

Men on deck

If you can assist us with additional information, or corrections, we would appreciate it.

Click here for the full document.

Compiling a list of details of the 255 men who served aboard HMS Jervis Bay, when she encountered the 'Admiral Scheer' on November 5th, 1940, has for many, many years been one of our main goals.

And although it is not complete, and that there may be some inaccuracies on it, I would like to think that it is far superior to what limited information has been available before now.

This list could not have been as complete as it is so far, if it had not been for the development of the internet, and the great assistance I have received from my good friend, Joyce Rainsbury, whose help has been invaluable to me.

Prior to this list, all that existed online as regards any sort of family details, was the Caithness Archives list of casualties.

Whilst the above list has been useful over the years, it is unfortunately incomplete, has errors on it, and a lot of information is missing from it. Hopefully, my new list will bring things more up to date.

The Caithness Archives list had only 187 casualties on it. Missing were Richard Curry; Henry Ferguson and William Hart. These 3 x Casualties bring the Caithness list up to the correct amount of 190 crewmen. Added to that, we knew that there were 3 sets of brothers on HMS Jervis Bay. John & Thomas Rooney from Liverpool were killed. Bobby & Jackie Durrand from Wick, survived. The other brothers we could not discover until William Hart was named. William Hart (right) died in the tragedy alongside his brother Reginald.

Hart Brothers Reginald (L) and William (R)

There were inaccuracies too, such as wrong Christian names etc, though that is not entirely the fault of the Caithness Archives. Much was missing of course. Crewman parents & wives; Places where they were born or lived: Nationalities; etc, etc.

Our list should hopefully be far useful to living relatives of crewmen who served aboard HMS Jervis Bay, on that fateful day. Even now though, it is difficult to trace information accurately, so many things remain incomplete. Hopefully, over the coming years, some of these details can be upgraded, once they occur.

So, there were 255 men who were aboard HMS Jervis Bay on 5th November, 1940. 187 were killed in the battle or lost at sea. Initially, there were 68 survivors, though three were to die of their injuries, and they would be buried at sea. So, that made 190 men killed or lost at sea, and 65 survivors. The 3 x Crewmen buried at sea were 2nd cook, Harold Hinstridge from the Isle of Man; Seaman Alexander Webster from Wick, Caithness; Acting Sub. Lieutenant (E) Hugh Pattinson of Glasgow, Scotland; The burials took place aboard the rescue ship M.V. Stureholm.


What did amaze me once I was able to fill in a lot of the missing information, was just how many crewmen came from Greater London, and the counties around the River Thames, such as Essex, Kent, Middlesex & Surrey. Over half of the 255 men originated from or lived in this area. Canadians & Newfoundlanders numbered nearly 30 men. There was an Australian, and 2 x New Zealanders, that we did not know were aboard ship.

Half a dozen men were from Ireland, both North & South. Wales provided a couple of men, and Scotland (including the Wick fishermen) over 30 men. Northern ports such as Hull ( 5 men); Liverpool/Lancashire ( a dozen men); Tyneside ( 7 men); provided more crew, with the rest being scattered around the counties of the UK. London of course was the centre of the largest Merchant Navy of the world in its heyday, so it is no surprise really, that so many crewmen lived or were based here.

Hopefully, people will find this list useful, and has been a true 'labour of love' for me.

Trevor Reeve. 18.12.14.

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