Family’s fury over ‘navy bid to say Timmy is dead’

MUCH-LOVED Missing sailor Timmy MacColl with his wife Rachael
MUCH-LOVED Missing sailor Timmy MacColl with his wife Rachael
The fragment from the Union Jack believed to have flown on board HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. Credit: Sotheby's

Flag from HMS Victory and Lord Nelson’s love letters up for sale at London auction

Have your say

THE family of missing sailor Timmy MacColl have criticised the navy’s alleged attempt to declare him dead without speaking to his wife.

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage said in parliament yesterday the Royal Navy tried to declare the 28-year-old dead without speaking to his wife Rachael.

Her grandfather Jim Cunningham said he had been given an ‘indication’ of the navy’s actions but had no proof.

He said: ‘It’s highly unethical because she should at least have it discussed with her.

‘I find that absolutely abhorrent that they could just steamroller the way through.

‘There seems to be an unholy rush at the moment.

‘It’s a pity they didn’t do that in the investigation stage.

‘The burning question of course is what evidence do they have?

‘If they have evidence to say he’s dead then it’s about time they shared it with the family.’

As previously reported, LS MacColl was serving on HMS Westminster when he went missing while the ship was visiting the United Arab Emirates in May last year.

He was last seen getting into a taxi taking him back to the ship at Port Rashid.

In a question to Justice Minister Helen Grant in the Commons, Ms Dinenage yesterday said: ‘The Royal Navy are now seeking to get a certificate of death without any face-to-face consultation with his wife.

‘On top of the emotional strain of this, it also casts a question mark over their financial future and indeed where they will live.’

Ms Grant said she was happy to speak to Defence Secretary Philip Hammond about the case.

There are fears that Rachael and the couple’s three children could be forced to leave their military accommodation.

As previously reported in The News, Rachael has since made an emotional appeal for information about his whereabouts.

A Royal Navy spokeswoman said it is still concerned for LS MacColl’s safety and are supporting his family.


THE Royal Navy has said it regularly speaks to LS MacColl’s wife Rachael.

A spokeswoman said: ‘The Dubai Police have primacy for the investigation into LS MacColl’s disappearance and search.

‘There is regular contact between the navy, its representatives, and Mrs MacColl.

‘She is being kept informed of all developments.

‘We have provided Mrs MacColl with written assurance over her husband’s status for pay purposes and assurance of her eligibility to remain in their married quarter.’