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Samuel Grimshaw

Seaman and Gunner

HMS Prince of Wales


Sam is in the middle of this picture  (Click for a larger view) (13964 bytes)

Sam was born in Ancoats Manchester in 1907, the eldest of three brothers and one sister, the other brothers being Arthur and Jim. At the start of the war Arthur went into the Army and Jim the RAF, while Sam joined the Royal Navy.

Sam's basic training was at HMS Raleigh before joining his first ship, the Prince of Wales. The ship had just undergone repairs to damage resulting from the Bismarck action. Sam was an AA gunner and operated 2pdr pom-pom and Oerlikon guns. I think the sinking of Prince of Wales must have been particularly traumatic for him since he never spoke much about his experiences of this time. I know he was in the water for some hours until picked up by a destroyer. 

After he had recovered from this ordeal he was posted to the Mediterranean where he joined the Tribal Class destroyer F36 HMS Nubian, again as an AA gunner. This particular ship was heavily involved in many actions against Italian and German forces, in one of which I believe it had its stern blown off. Ultimately Nubian was scrapped in 1949.

Sam's final ship was HMS Patroller, an escort carrier of the Bogue class and formerly USS Keweenaw CVE-44, on which he served out the remainder of the war.

After demobilisation he went back to his old trade of printer/signwriter, living in the south Manchester area. In 1959 he bought a news agency business from which he eventually retired. Sam died of cancer in 1977 at the age of 70 and is buried in Gorton Cemetery, Manchester. Only one of the three brothers survives, Jim, who lives in Sale.

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Arthur Grimshaw