It was impossible, during the war, for the Royal Navy to man all auxiliary ships that served with it. Accordingly, early in the war a manning depot was established at Liverpool for dealing with those men of the Merchant Navy who agreed to serve with the Royal Navy under the terms of what was known as the T124 Agreement, and became subject to naval discipline while generally retaining their Merchant Navy rates of pay and other conditions. They served in various types of auxiliary vessels, at first mainly in Armed Merchant Cruisers, but also in armed boarding vessels, cable ships, rescue tugs and others on special service. The maximum number of T124 officers and men exceeded 13,000. Among ships, a large proportion of whose complement belonged to the service, the Rawalpindi and the Jervis Bay won unique renown from the circumstances of their end; but men from over 120 ships are commemorated on the memorial which it was decided to erect in Liverpool. The Liverpool Memorial, to men of the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service who have no other grave but the sea, stands on the banks of the River Mersey adjacent to the Pier Head and opposite to the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board Offices.
764. HMS BRECONSHIRE Cargo-liner 9,776 tons
Glen Line 19 January 1941
1375 HOBSON Thomas Nathaniel lst RO Age 32
The Breconshire, built in Hong Kong, 1939, was requisitioned in July 1940 for service as a naval auxiliary. Betweenthe 6 and 13 January she was in an Alexandria/Malta convoy. In this operation the full weight of the Luftwaffe was encountered. Whilst unloading at Malta the Breconshire received her full share of the heavy attacks made by enemy bombers; her guns were almost continuously in action. This officer was killed in one of these raids.
764A HMS CAPE HOWE Cargo-ship 4,398 tons
Lyle Shipping Co 21 June 1940
Operated by the Admiralty as a decoy ship or Q ship with the cover name of Prunella (RFA).
1376 HOWELL Thomas Fred 1st RO Age 37
1377 CLASSON Charles Henry 2nd RO Age 20
1378 RAINFORD Harry 3rd RO No Age Given
1379 CARROLL Gordon Lawrence 4th RO Age 19
On 21 June 1940 the Prunella (SSV) was torpedoed by U-28 (Kuhuke) in the South-west Approaches, with considerable loss of life.
- HMS CAPE SABLE Cargo-ship 4,398 tons
Lyle Shipping Co 16 March 1941
Operated by the Admiralty as a decoy or Q ship with the cover name of Cyprus.
1380 BADCOCK James 1st RO Age 40
HMS Cape Sable was released from ‘Q’ ship status, and in 1941 was commissioned as an AMC, but was ineffective, and was returned to commercial service under company management.
- HM CAROLINE MOLLER Rescue Tug 444 tons
7 October 1942
1381 COMELY Arthur N 3rd RO Age 31
On 7 October 1942, the rescue tug Caroline Moller, in a northbound East Coast convoy, was attacked by E-boats off the Wash.
- HMS CRISPIN Cargo-ship 5,051 tons
Booth SS Co 4 February 1941
Operated by the Admiralty as an Ocean Boarding vessel.
1382 GIGGAL Ashley lst RO Age 30
1383 HUWS-JONES Garth 3rd RO Age 19
On 4 February 1941, the Ocean Boarding vessel Crispin when leaving an outward bound convoy (OB 279) to join a homeward convoy, was torpedoed by U-107 (Hessler) in position 57° OO’ N 19°30’ W.
- ANC HMS FORFAR 2 December 1940 16,401 tons
Formerly Canadian Pacific Lines passenger liner Montrose. Requisitioned by the Admiralty on 12 September 1939 and was converted to an ANC atPortsmouth.
1384 WARREN Harrold Gervase lst RO Age 53
1385 MEIN James 2nd RO No Age Given
1386 PILLING John 3rd RO Age 28
1387 FRASER Charles Hugh Radio Cadet Age 20
Convoy HX 90’s Ocean Escorts were the ANCs Laconia and Forfar. Both left the convoy on 1st December 1940, the Forfar to meet the outward bound convoy OB 251. On 2 December 1940, the AMC HMS Forfar was torpedoed by U-99 (Kretschmer) in position 54° 05’ N 18° 18’ W. Captain N.A.C. Hardy RN, 41 officers and 143 seamen were lost. When the two AMCs left HX 90 on 1st December 1940, the convoy was unprotected. U-boats which had it under observation attacked after the AMCs departed and sank eleven merchant ships.
- AMC HMS JERVIS BAY Passenger Liner 14,164 tons
Shaw Savill and Albion 5 November 1940
Aberdeen and Commonwealth Line
Requisitioned by Admiralty in September 1939, and converted to an AMC under the command of Captain E. S. Fogarty-Fegen RN.
1388 WILLIAMSON Hugh lst RO Age 42
Whilst escorting convoy HX 84 (37 ships) on 5th November 1940, the AMC HMS Jervis Bay encountered the German pocket battleship – Admiral Scheer in position 52° 3O’ N 32° 30’ W. The convoy scattered and the Jervis Bay attacked the Admiral Scheer only to be unmercifully pounded by the 11” shells of the pocket battleship. By doing so she kept the Admiral Scheer occupied for an invaluable half an hour which enabled 32 ships to escape. The five vessels sunk were: Beaverford, Kenbane Head, Maidan, Fresno City and Trewellard.
- HMS MALVERNIAN Cargo-ship 3,133 tons
Ellerman and Papayanni Line. 19 July 1941
Requisitioned by the Admiralty in 1940, and armed for use as an Ocean Boarding Vessel.
1389 ARNOLD LeslieHarry John lst RO Age 36
1390 STARLING Rowland Scott 2nd RO Age 28
1391 JENKINS Thomas James 3rd RO Age 24
1392 QUINLAN John Patrick Radio Cadet Age 19
On 19 July 1941, HMS Malvernian was sunk after being bombed by German aircraft and set on fire off Spain. On 22 July 57 crew reached Spain, and the remaining 107 were captured by German minesweepers.
- HMS MANISTEE Cargo-liner 5,360tons
Elder andFyffes 24 February 1941
Requisitioned by the Admiralty as an Ocean Boarding Vessel.
1394 OXSPRING FrederickWilliam lst RO Age 41
1395 KIDSON Samuel Gillan lst RO Age 30
1396 McCAN Edwin 3rd RO No Age Given
On 24 February 1941, HMS Manistee was torpedoed by U-107 (Heesler) and by the Italian submarine Bianchi. She sank in position 59°30’ N 21° 00’ W.
- AMC HMS PATROCLUS Passenger Liner 11,314tons
Blue Funnel Line – Alfred Holt & Co 3 November 1940
1397BARRON Arthur Sydney lst RO Age 30
When returning from a Western Patrol, the ANC HMS Patroclus when going to the assistance of ANC EMS Laurentic (torpedoed by U-99) was herself torpedoed by U-99 (Kretschmer) in position 53° 43’ N 14° 41’ W.
- ANC HMS RAWALPINDI Passenger-Liner 16,697 tons
P and O S.N. Co 23 November 1939
Requisitioned by the Admiralty in August 1939, she was converted in London to an AMC, the work being completed by the end of October 1939.
1398 SHARP Stephen William 1st RO Age 41
1399 EMSLIE Alexander 2nd RO No Age Given
1400SUTHERLAND Douglas Swanson 3rd RO Age 21
On 23 November 1939, she was in action with the newly completed fast pocket battleships Sharnhorst and Gneisenau between the Faroes and Iceland. The Rawalpindi was sunk and only 37 crew survived out of a total of 249.
- HMS REGISTAN Cargo-Liner 5,886 tons C. Strick and Co 28 May 1941
1401 HARWOOD Ronald 2ndRO Age 20
1402 BARKER Terence 3rdRO Age 21
The cause of the deaths of these two officers is not known. The ship was returned to the original owners in 1941. She was sunk on 28 September 1942 by U-332 in position 12° 37’ N 57° 10’ W when on a voyage from the Persian Gulf to the USA.
- HMS SESAME Naval Rescue Tug 700 tons 11 June 1944
1403 HODGSON Eric 2nd RO Age 20
Off Normandy, on 11 June 1944 HMS Sesame was attacked by an E-boat and sunk.
- AMC HMS VOLTAIRE Passenger- liner 13,245 tons
Lamport and Holt
In August 1939 the Voltaire was taken over by the Admiralty as an accommodation ship. Later she was converted to an ANC.
1404 BRADFIELD Tayson lst RO No Age Given
1405 FRASER Alexander Simpson 2nd RO Age 51
On 9 April, AMC HMS Voltaire encountered the armed raider Thor 900 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands. Both ships challenged each other, and Thor’s first salvo destroyed the Voltaire’s radio room. Thor over-powered the Voltaire and 72 of her crew were killed. The 197 survivors were taken aboard Thor and became POWs.
- HMS EDGEHILL Cargo-ship 4,724 tons
Reardon Smith Co 29 June 1940
Formerly Williamette Valley. Operated by the Admiralty as a decoy ship (SSV).
1406 STARKEY Peter Richard 2ndRO Age 23
On 29 June 1940, HMS Edgehill was torpedoed in the South-west Approaches by U-51 (Knorr).