WWII boy sailors remembered through Roll of Honour at Gosport museum

HONOURED Members of the HMS St Vincent Association gather with the family of Jim Reed, seated, and Arthur Smith, behind Jim, at St Vincent College
HONOURED Members of the HMS St Vincent Association gather with the family of Jim Reed, seated, and Arthur Smith, behind Jim, at St Vincent College

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The HMS St Vincent Association Padre, Reverend Phillip Hiscock, devoted the Roll of Honour at the St Vincent Museum in Gosport recently.

The Roll of Honour lists the 274 boys who joined the Royal Navy at HMS St Vincent and died under the age of 17-and-a-half as ‘Boy Seamen’ on service during the Second World War.

The project was planned by James Henry Reed, known as Jim Reed, who was responsible for presenting the Roll of Honour to the museum, at St Vincent College in Forton Road.

A former St Vincent boy himself, Jim, 93, has devoted a lot of his time to the project over the years, researching the names of all the boys who lost their lives.

In 2012, Jim arranged for a plaque incorporating the names of all the boy seamen who were killed in the Second World War to be placed at Portsmouth Cathedral.

Also in attendance was fellow ex-St Vincent boy Arthur Smith, 93.

Public relations officer for the HMS St Vincent Association, Darby Allen, said: ‘Arthur is the last survivor of the Ship’s Company of HMS Royal Oak which was sunk by a German U-Boat at Scapa Flow in 1939.

‘Arthur presented the museum with a White Ensign which had previously been placed on the official grave site of the wreckage by Royal Navy divers, which has been replaced periodically over the years.’

The HMS St Vincent Association brings together all those who served or trained at HMS St Vincent in Gosport, and aims to motivate and facilitate relationships and communication between past boy seamen, naval airmen, juniors and other people who provided service at HMS St Vincent.

One way the association does this is by helping members to get back in contact with old shipmates, and partners and children of deceased members.

The museum at St Vincent College in Gosport is open every Friday during term time, giving guests a look into the decades of training carried out at HMS 
St Vincent.

For more info go to www.hmsstvincentassoc.org.