The story of HMS Venomous

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The Hecla Scrapbook
Can you provide more information?
Have you items for the Scrapbook?

These fragments have been sent to me over the years and I thought it worth creating a space for them on the web site about HMS Hecla in case anybody recognises a face or name and can provide further details. Get in touch if you can.

A Debt Repaid - as told by the Daily Mirror

Harry Langley and James Gow shared a Carley float - one died and the other lived.

Press Cutting

James Gow was 42 when he died and his name is recorded on the Chatham Naval Memorial. He and the four canteen assistants were civilians and consequently their dates of service were not recorded in the Pay and Victualing records from which the crew list for HMS Hecla on the 12 November 1942 was compiled:

George Hardingham, Canteen Assistant
Raymond L Lilley, 1st Canteen Assistant
Ronald R Holile, 2nd Canteen Assistant
Frank A. Smith, 3rd Canteen Assistant

James Gow would have been known to most ratings on Hecla and non of his four assistants are listed as "Missing Presumed Killed" and if still alive might be able to add something more to this story. I would like to hear from them and the families of AB William H. ("Harry") Langley (JX219770) and James Alexander Gow (CN/X2722), the Canteen Manager on HMS Hecla. This cutting from the Daily Mirror was sent to by David Holmes Golby, the son of Electrical Mechanic, Norman Holmes, one of those who died that night.

Survivors with USN men on USS Augusta at Casablanca after rescue

Survivors on USS Augusta
Does anybody know their stories? And whether they are alive today?
Harry Cliffe identified some of the survivors in this photograph taken on USS Augusta at Casablanca on the 13 November 1942
The key: (1) Harry Cliffe AB; (2) Charlie Brierley Sto; (3) T J Chambers Sto; (4)  R Hoile; (5) Harold Howells Sto; (6) G W Vaughan Sto; (7) Harry Wareing AB (Waring)
Courtesy of Marie Cliffe

The hero who helped save his shipmates but died hours later

Press cutting about HECLA
Did the Daily Mirror get it wrong?
The survivors were picked up by HMS Venomous and kitted out with new clothes aboard USS Augusta in Casablanca the following day.
Is Bob White still alive? Do you know the "story behind the story" as reported here in the Daily Mirror?

Get in touch if you think you can
Phone: +44 1727-838595

Return to the "Home Page" for HMS Hecla
to find out more about its history and the stories of other survivors

Holywell House
Holywell House Publishing
88 Holywell Hill, St Albans, Hertfordshire AL1 1DH, Britain
Telephone: +44 1727 838595
contact online