H.M.S. Partridge.

Arthur James Alden. Killed in Action.

Memory Plaque
Ronnie Pigram
Postcard. Sinking of H.M.S. Partridge. 1942
F. Fink. Wilhelmshaven. Germany

ARTHUR JAMES ALDEN .  Service No. 157357.
Rank.  Chief Petty Officer.  Royal Navy.
Unit Text.  H.M.S. Partridge.
Killed in Action.  12 December 1917.

The Memory Plaque on the wall of the Lychgate entrance to St. Mary Church.  South Benfleet.

11 December 1917.  Lerwick.  Scotland.

H.M.S. Pellew and H.M.S.Partridge were “M” Class Destroyers escorting a British convoy of the following ships to Bergen.

Armed Trawlers
Commander Fullerton.   Livingstone.   Lord Alverstone.  Tokio.

Merchant Ships
Bolista Bothnia.  Cordova.  Kong Magnus.  Maracaibo.  Torlief.

Although the Cordova was a British registered ship the others were neutrals, two Norwegian, two Swedish and one Danish.  Germany had previously declared that all ships sailing under the protection of the British Navy would be classed as enemy vessels.

The German Navy decided to repeat a successful attack on British shipping that occured on 17 October when their fast Light Cruisers, Brummer and Bremse attacked a convoy 65 miles east of Lerwick and sunk two British Destroyers, the H.M.S. Mary Rose, H.M.S. Strongbow and nine merchant ships.

12 December 1917.  11.30 a.m.  South West of Bjorne Fjord.

German Navy Lieutenant-Commander Heinrich Kolbe sighted the convoy and prepared three of his ships to attack the destroyers.  A fourth ship was ordered to sink the merchant ships.   About the same time H.M.S. Partridge sighted the four German boats but due to a defective searchlight was unable to make an immediate challange and the delay allowed the German ships to close in.  At about 12.15 p.m., H.M.S Partridge was hit by gun fire that damaged the high pressure steam system causing the turbines to stop.  Now crippled an lying dead in the water she was hit by two torpedoes.  Her Captain, Lieutenant Commander Reginald Hugh Ransome gave the order to abandon ship.  Survivors were picked up by one of the German ships and taken into captivity.  They were allowed to dry their clothes in the engine room and were given rye bread and raw bacon to eat.

H.M.S. Partridge sank.  Six officers and ninety-two ratings died.

The German Destroyers sank all six merchant ships and the trawler escorts.  H.M.S. Pellew, although damaged remained afloat.

Two Essex men serving on H.M.S. Partridge also died in the battle.

George William Buckle.  Service No. K/10543.
Rank.  Petty Officer Stoker.
Son of.  Robert and Fanny Buckle, of High Street.  Mountnessing.

A. C. Creek.  Service No. Z/2950.
Rank.  Able Seaman.
Address.  Athelston Road.  Harold Wood.

The bodies of four men were recovered and taken to Norway for burial the Fredrikstad Military Cemetery.  Another body had been washed ashore and was  buried in a village cemetery.  In 1961 the body was removed and taken to the military cemetery.

Arnold Baker Wyatt.  Royal Navy Reserve.
Rank. Able Midshipman.
Age. 20.

A. C. Creek.  Service No. Z/2950.
Rank.  Able Seaman.
Age. 19.

F. Dransfield.  Service No. J/61410.
Rank.  Ordinary Seaman.
Age. Unknown.

F. J. Calvert.
Age. 36.
Originally buried in a village cemetery.

J. Stancliffe.  Service No. SS/4845.
Rank.  Able Seaman.
Age. Unknown.

Youngest to Die.
Sub. Lt. Robert England Ferrier.  Age 17.
Address.  Hemsby.  Norfolk.

On 5 August 1941, another ship of the same name was launched.   On 18 December 1942 she was hit by a torpedo fired from U-Boat 565 and sank.  Three officers and thirty-five ratings died.


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  • My dad was on the Partridge when it went down in 1942. His name was Frank Bennett, can anyone prove the photo is genuine and can I get a print?

    (Hello David, I am sorry we are unable to prove whether or not the photo is genuine. We are not holders of the copyright for the photo and so cannot give permission for you to copy it. [Editor])

    By david bennett (20/02/2020)
  • I’m sure that the pic of the sinking isn’t the destroyer in WW2 as it states.

    By Erling (08/05/2018)

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