HMS Gloucester 1339 - 1941, Battle of Crete

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Joss, Jun 15, 2018.

  1. Joss

    Joss Member

    Hi everyone,
    My name is Joss and Im new to the forum so just saying hi. I am researching my family history and recently discovered that my Great Uncle John (my Grandfathers brother) was a 21 year old ERA on HMS Gloucester when she was sunk in the Battle of Crete. Most of the ships 800 crew went down with the ship, with around 70-80 survivors.

    My Grandfather never spoke of the tragedy, nor did his parents to my mum, they were totally devastated by it. All we knew was that he was lost at sea.

    Years later when Grandad died, we found a box of about 20 perfectly preserved letters sent by John from the ship. At that time it was engaged in an active campaign in the mediteranean and the Battle for Crete and Ive got letters right up to a week before the ship sank. The letters were put in a box and by the look of it had only been read once as theyre in pristine condition.

    Im in the process of typing the letters up, which I can share later if anyone is interested?

    Ive also joined a memorial group of HMS Gloucester survivors & family members, details can be found online if any other family members of survivors come across this post. There is now only one survivor of HMS Gloucester still alive, South African Marine Melvyn Baker.

    Would be great to hear from any others with connections to the ship.
    Peter Clare likes this.
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Joss


    Boy they made ships to last in those days HMS Gloucester 1339 - 1941 :lol: - what was your Great Uncles name ?

    Joss likes this.
  3. Joss

    Joss Member

    Oh dear!! Thanks Dicky he was John Lover.
  4. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018
    Tricky Dicky, Joss and ozzy16 like this.
  5. Joss

    Joss Member

    Many thanks CL1 thats him.

    His name appears on the Plymouth Hoe Memorial and another in Portsmouth as he was a Pompey lad.

    Incidentally his letters show that he was just about to be promoted to ERA 4th Class. He may well have been promoted but the records went down with the ship.
    CL1 likes this.
  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    UK, British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960
    Name: Ernest John Lover
    Event: Death
    Birth Date: 18 Jun 1920
    Birth Place: Portsmouth, Hants.
    Death Date: 22 May 1941
    Death Age: 20

    There is a couple of family trees on Ancestry - interesting 1 of them shows he was born in Hampshire and died in Gloucester, which he sort of did


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