JX 712756 Petty Officer James Richardson Royal Navy
I'm trying to get some information on a Naval Petty Officer who died whilst serving aboard HMS Palliser on 25th October 1961 apparently 'missing at sea'. The Palliser was I believe, engaged in providing support for the fishing fleet in Icelandic waters at the time of his death.
His wife has sadly passed away and his daughter has only a scant detail on his death as she was a little girl when it occurred. I have found his details on the MoD Roll of Honour, which of course only lists the date of his age and the date of his death. I believe his SQ was a Radar Plotter as he was an RP3. Being a Royal Marine I'm not too well aquatinted with Naval qualifications.
I've pointed this lady to the National Memorial Arboretum as I believe that his name is listed there. It would be wonderful if anyone on this site could throw any light on to the circumstances surrounding his death so his she could put a bit more detail around a man she barely new but whom she rightly has an enormous connection with.
Have just read your message and suggest you have a look at HMS Palliser Association. You may have already done so but there is a lot of information on there. Another place to look my be where he lived as I'm sure it would have been in his local newspaper - they go back years and it's was free each time I've used it. Just put the name of the paper in google, plus obituary's and 1961. I served on Palliser, joining in January 1962 but never heard it spoken about. I actually saved someone's life in France when we visited in 62 when he got into difficulty whilst diving in the basic. I've have attempted to find his name and spent many hours looking on Palliser websites but nothing as yet. Sorry I can't suggest anything else. Kind regards - Richard Ford
Thank you for your response. I've been through Obits in months of Navy News, but no luck. His details are recorded on the RN Casualties list but of course that has scant details, just his name, rank, service number and 'died'. His daughter believes that he was lost at sea, there was a family tale about a line breaking and as Palliser was on Fishery Protection it is possible. I believe that ship to ship transfers to trawlers when rendering medical support were via dingy and line. I'm sure that the H&S lot would have a fit.
The Palliser Association is a good lead though. I'll have a look into that one. The next step is to go to Whale Island Records Office and get hold of a copy of his service record.
I have found out that his name is recorded on 'The Wall' at the National Memorial Arboretum so at least his surviving family have somewhere to pay their respects which I believe they will now do.
Again, many thanks for replying and for your assistance.
Glad you are moving forward on this, albeit slowly. You can still try his local newspaper as mention before, but can also request a copy of the death certificate which will cost about ten pound showing place, date and cause of death. I'm also thinking about a letter to the MOD under the freedom of information requesting the details of what occurred. An example of these letters can be googled and they have to reply. Some organisations have a charge for the information but I would be surprised if the MOD charged for this.
As a last report you could also speak to the local newspaper to run an article on this on how they helped you discover the information as to them it would be an interesting story that took part during the Cod War.
Interesting you mention the cod war as I thought it had finished earlier in ‘61. This doesn’t mean of course the Fishing Protection Fleet went home, they continued to support the UK’s fishing fleet.
I had no idea of what a tough and dangerous job this was. When you read the stories of some of the rescues these guys carried out, you see there were many individual acts of heroism carried out which were just considered part of the job and in more visible circumstances would have resulted in a gong.
My difficulty is finding out which local newspaper would be appropriate, as the Ship was I believe deployed from one of the Jock bases but his home town was in the South of England. I will go for the death certificate though, as well as trying the FOI route.
Hoping that this may be of interest.