Jervis Bay Memorial Web Site brings men to Saint John

Internet find: Mike Chappell, whose father died when the HMS Jervis Bay went down, comes from England to visit Jervis Bay - Ross Memorial Park.

by Melissa Henderson, "Evening Times-Globe", March 2000


Click to enlargeAfter they read the New Brunswick Community College - Saint John web site, three men from Kent, England decided they had to pay a visit to the Port City.

Mike Chappell and his two sons were in Saint John March 26, 2000 to visit the memorial to the Jervis Bay and to donate some family artifacts to the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #53.

It all began when Ian was browsing the Internet and discovered the story of the Jervis Bay-Ross Memorial Park. Ian is the step-son of Mike Chappell, who has a special connection to the story.

His father, James Harold George Chappell, was chief engineer on the ship, which was lost while defending her convoy of 38 ships in a battle with a German pocket battleship. He appeared in a photograph with the crew of the HMS Jervis Bay in a photograph published in the Telegraph Journal on Nov. 14, 1940.

During their visit, Mike Chappell donated an original photo of his father together with his Seaman's Discharge Book to RCL#53 so they could take their place with other artifacts on honoured display at the Legion.

On hand to receive the Chappells were a number of dignitaries during a formal ceremony arranged by RCL#53.


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Andrew, Mike, Ian

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Sonny Thomas, RCL#53, discusses the monument with Andrew

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Mike, Andrew, Ian

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Mike explains his father's Discharge Book.

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Presentation of Chappell artifacts to Wally Joyce, President, RCL#53


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Andrew reads a poem on the Jervis Bay

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   Her Worship, Mayor McAlary,
  presents Mike Chappell with
   gifts from the City


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Her Worship, Mayor McAlary, presents Mike Chappell with a Saint John 2000 pin as Ian looks on


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Her Worship, Mayor McAlary, presents Andrew with a Saint John 2000 pin

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Scroll presented to family by
King George VI

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   Andrew, Wally, Mike, Ian


Click to enlarge Chappell Discharge Book

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Page showing last entry

Click to enlargeMike Chappell, age 5, wearing his father's hat during a visit on board the Jervis Bay in 1938. He recalls gripping the railing in fear, afraid of sliding across the deck and falling overboard. An attempted visit to the engine room was also not to his liking, as the depths of the ship were too overwhelming.

Little did he know at the time that he would achieve the same rank and position as his father aboard the Esperance Bay, sister ship of the Jervis Bay.

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