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Heroes Of Our Time

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Cecil Thomas Smith

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Family History

 

Date Of Birth: 04/02/1916

Date Of Death: 21/05/1964 (Age 48) - Norwich, Norfolk

 

Father

 

Frederick William Smith                        

DOB: 14/02/1888        

DOD: 18/10/1926

 

Mother

 

Maude Susannah Chaney                

DOB: 14/08/1887        

DOD: ??/08/1933

 

Wife

 

Joyce Rose Whitham                        

DOB: 23/06/1916        

Married: 18/04/1938        

DOD: 10/01/1996

 

Brother

 

Maurice Frederick George Smith                

DOB: 06/07/1914        

DOD: 26/11/1971

 

Sister

 

Bertha Maude Smith                        

DOB: 07/10/1919        

DOD: 26/07/2011

 

Daughter's

 

Daphne Jean Smith                        

DOB: 08/03/1941

 

Shirley Jocelyn Smith                        

DOB: 23/05/1950

 

His father Frederick died when he was 9 years old and his mother died seven years later when he was 16 years old, him and his brother Maurice had to leave school (City Of Norwich School) so they could look after younger sister Bertha.

 

Maurice was supposed to start teacher training but that had to change.  Both boys were helped by christian friends to find employment.  Maurice went to the Education Office and Cecil to Forehoe and Henstead Rural District Council where he was trained as an accountant.

 

Both Maurice and Cecil got scholarships from The British Legion.

 

He worked at Forehoe and Henstead Rural District Council for 32 years from age 16 to his death aged 48.

 

He was also a Special Constable with the Norfolk Constabulary.

 

 

Military Information

 

Height: 5' 7"

Chest: 34½

Hair: Brown

Eyes: Grey

Complexion: Fresh

 

Scar on lower lip

 

Service number: C/MX 70276  (C for Chatham (his home port), M denotes his trade and pay structure e.g. Others - Artificers, Electrical, Supply etc, the X was added to pay codes after 1930)

 

Rank/Rating: Supply Assistant - responsible for stores and accounting for them

 

 

Military History

 

Location

Rank / Rating Held

From

To

HMS Royal Arthur

 

 

Supply Probationer

4 September 1940

8 October 1940

HMS Pembroke II

9 October 1940

18 November 1940

HMS Merlin

19 November 1940

3 December 1940

HMS Merlin

Supply Assistant

4 December 1940

26 March 1941

Released to reserve list

27 March 1941

28 July 1941

HMS Merlin

Supply Assistant

29 July 1941

24 November 1942

Duty

25 November 1942

26 November 1942

HMS Merlin

27 November 1942

7 November 1943

Duty

8 November 1943

11 November 1943

HMS Merlin

12 November 1943

8 April 1944

HMS Pembroke

9 April 1944

21 April 1944

HMS Ekins

22 April 1944

12 September 1944

HMS Ganges

13 September 1944

13 September 1944

HMS Ekins

14 September 1944

12 February 1945

HMS Pembroke

13 February 1945

17 February 1945

HMS Badger

18 February 1945

18 February 1945

HMS Ekins

19 February 1945

20 August 1945

HMS Pembroke

21 August 1945

12 September 1945

HMS Europa

13 September 1945

14 May 1946

Released / demobbed to Shore in Class A

14 May 1946


 

 

HMS Royal Arthur

 

A shore establishment located at Ingoldmells near Skegness.  The site was a Butlins holiday camp which was requisitioned by the Royal Navy for about 6 years.  During this time it was bombed 52 times by the Germans, one attack on 21 August 1940 damaged 900 small buildings.  At the end of the conflict it was still in reasonable condition and it only took 6 weeks to repair damage and reopen as a holiday camp.

 

HMS Pembroke II

 

A shore establishment / accounting base located at Chatham between 1940 and 1957.

 

HMS Merlin

 

An air station of the Royal Naval Air Service, located at Donibristle, Fife.  It was a former RAF station, but was transferred and commissioned in 1939.

 

HMS Ganges

 

An uncompromising training establishment for the Royal Navy, designed to turn Boys into Men fit to serve in His/Her Majesty's Fleet.  It was located in Shotley in Suffolk.

 

HMS Badger

 

A shore establishment commissioned in 1939 as the headquarters of the Flag Officer In Charge, Harwich. The site was decommissioned in 1946, but the facility remained an emergency port control until 1992.

 

HMS Europa

 

A shore establishment / parent accounting base at Lowestoft, Suffolk for the Royal Naval Patrol Service (RNPS), this is where his records were kept prior to demobilisation.

 

HMS Ekins

 

Click to open

Click to open

 

© Russell, J E (Lt), Royal Navy official photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

A British Captain-class Frigate of the Royal Navy. Originally constructed as a US Navy Buckley-class destroyer escort it was used by the Royal Navy between 1943 and 1945.

 

Cecil served on board from 22 April 1944 until 20 August 1945, with only short times off the ship for shore leave which appears in above history as HMS Ganges, HMS Pembroke and HMS Badger - N.B. he would appear on these establishments pay and victual ledgers so they could feed him

 

During the time Cecil was serving on HMS Ekins it was involved in the Normandy landings, joining the 21st Destroyer Flotilla based at Sheerness in June 1944 and forming part of an escort convoy from the River Thames to the invasion beaches on 6 June 1944. It then continued to escort convoys to Normandy until September 1944.

 

On 21 July 1944 she joined the frigate HMS Curzon and sunk with depth charges and hedgehog (a forward-throwing anti-submarine weapon) the German Submarine U-212 in the English Channel south of Brighton, 49 men died and there were no survivors.

 

In September 1944 she transferred to the 16th Destroyer flotilla based at Harwich and server as a coastal forces control frigate, to protect from attacks from German E-boats (fast attack craft), she operated in conjunction with torpedo boats and other warships, using her radar to direct operations, she was also fitted with additional communications equipment to intercept German radio transmissions

 

On the night of 24/25 December 1944 in conjunction with sister ship HMS Thornborough and others disrupted a German E-boat attack against the convoy en-route to Antwerp.  

 

On 1 January 1945 HMS Ekins sank a German Seehund submarine off the coast of Ostend.

 

On 11/12 April 1945 she sank two German Linsen explosive motor boats.

 

On 12/13 April Ekins and the hunter-class destroyer HMS Hambledon encountered 12 German E-boats laying mines in the Scheldt estuary, damaging two of the E-boats.

 

On 16 April 1945 she set off two mines in the North Sea 13 miles NW of Ostend, Belgium - the first flooded the engine room causing loss of power, and the second holed the ship in the Asdic compartment. Severely damaged she limped back to port, she was damaged beyond economical repair and declared a total loss, decommissioned later in 1945 and sold / scrapped in the Netherlands during 1947.

 

 

Images

 

1939 Register - Click to open

1939 Register - Click to open

Marriage Index - Click to open

Marriage Index - Click to open

Probate - Click to open

Probate - Click to open

 

 

Central Record Card 1 - Click to open

Central Record Card 1 - Click to open

Central Record Card 2 - Click to open

Central Record Card 2 - Click to open

Death Certificate - Click to open

Death Certificate - Click to open

 

 

Royal Navy Service History - Click to open

Royal Navy Service History - Click to open

Pay and Victual Details - Click to open

Pay and Victual Details - Click to open

 

Fourth From Right - Click to open

Fourth From Right - Click to open

Front - Click to open

Front - Click to open

Front Fourth From Left - Click to open

Front Fourth From Left - Click to open

 

 

Holding Football - Click to open

Holding Football - Click to open

Right - Click to open

Right - Click to open

Xmas 1940 - Click to open

Xmas 1940 - Click to open

 

 

 

Joyce Rose Smith - Click to open

Joyce Rose Smith - Click to open

Joyce Rose Smith - Click to open

Joyce Rose Smith - Click to open

 

 

Useful Links

 

HMS Royal Arthur (above photo shows him in Class 128) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Royal_Arthur_(shore_establishment) and https://www.higgypop.com/urbex/royal-arthur/

 

RNAS Donibristle (as written on back of photo above) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RNAS_Donibristle and http://www.royalnavyresearcharchive.org.uk/FAA-Bases/Donninristle.htm#.XJo0yJj7SUl

 

HMS Badger (shore establishment) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Badger_(shore_establishment)

 

HMS Ekins - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Ekins_(K552) and http://www.navsource.org/archives/06/087.htm

 

Service Number Information - http://www.hms-vengeance.co.uk/serviceNo.htm

 

German submarine U-212 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_submarine_U-212