Richard Brown – HMS Wivern

13 May

On the 14th May 1940 Conwy sailor, Richard Stephen Brown, was killed in action when the ship on which he held the rank of Sub-Lieutenant came under enemy fire in the North Sea.

The 21 year old grew up in the Deganwy area and had always been a keen mariner; his father Harold was the Commodore of Conwy Yacht Club.  Richard attended Rydal School in Colwyn Bay and on leaving joined a Birkenhead insurance company which his father was chairman of.

In early 1939 he joined the Royal Navy Volunteer Supplementary Reserve but at the outbreak of the Second World War he was called up and joined the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve.  After training at first Hove then Weymouth and Plymouth he was given his first posting aboard HMS Wivern on April 11th 1940. 

On the 14th May 1940 HMS Wivern or ‘Tiddly Wiv’ as she was affectionately known by her crew was involved in Operation Ordnance and assisted in the evacuation of British and Dutch troops from the Hook of Holland just as the German war machine was sweeping through the Low Countries.

HMS Wivern sustained damage when she came under attack from German bombers and a 500lb bomb hit the destroyer killing Sub Lt Brown and 28 of his fellow sailors.  Sadly he had only served on HMS Wivern for just over a month.  He was buried at sea and is remembered on Portsmouth’s Naval Memorial.

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Richard Brown remembered on Portsmouth Naval Memorial

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