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Robert Silcock

Mechanician, 2nd Class

HMS Prince of Wales


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Newspaper clipping from the Bradford Telegraph and Argus dated 11th December 1941 (supplied by Frank Sugden)

Robert was the eldest son of Mr & Mrs P Silcock, of Oakworth, Yorkshire.

From the records, it appears that Robert survived the sinking of Prince of Wales, but was killed on HM Tug Yin Ping, at Singapore on 15th February 1942.


An account of the sinking of HM Tug Yin Ping:

Captain Atkinson, RN, Captain-in-Charge Singapore, was one of the few senior British naval officers left in Singapore when the Empire Star sailed on February 12. Following the decision on January 31 to abandon the naval base and evacuate all personnel, some key staff had been instructed to remain in Singapore to assist with evacuations. Not all had obeyed this command. Despite explicit orders from Admiral Spooner to remain at his post, the officer in charge of all auxiliary vessels, Commander Bayly, sailed for Java, forcing Spooner to issue an order for his immediate arrest on the grounds of desertion.

Moving between the docks and the command bunker at Fort Canning, Captain Atkinson had continued to carry out his duties with his usual efficiency despite the growing chaos around him. A highly respected officer, Atkinson's sense of duty was such that even when he and his remaining staff were ordered to evacuate, he stayed at his post as long as possible. On the day before the surrender, he and his fellow officers finally boarded a small coal-burning tug, Yin Ping bound for Java. But they had left it far too late. The next day, as the vessel entered the Bangka Straits, a Japanese cruiser lying in wait opened fire. The first of six rounds hit the bridge, killing all but Atkinson and two others. Although the badly injured captain managed to reach the foredeck, he went down with his ship when the vessel, now burning fiercely, sank without warning.

In Memory of
H.M.S. Sultan (lost in H.M. Tug Yin Ping)., Royal Navy
who died on
Thursday 5 February 1942 . Age 40 . 
Additional Information: Son of Corbett Wadsley Atkinson and Constance Mary Atkinson; husband of Winifred Mary Atkinson, of Ethsworth, Hampshire. Awarded the Robert Roxburgh Memorial Prize, the Beaufort Testimonial and the Wharton Testimonial. 
Cemetery: PLYMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL Devon, United Kingdom 
Grave or Reference Panel Number: Panel 98. 



Text of the above news clipping for Robert Silcock:


Among those believed to have been in the Prince of Wales are Petty Officer Geoffrey Whitehead, son-in-law of Mr Herbert Richardson, Licensee of the Crown Hotel, Batley;  AB Eddie Midgley, son of Mr and Mrs George Midgley of Earlsheaton; AB Peter Manning, son of the late Mr and Mrs William Manning, Vulcan road, Dewsbury; and Robert Silcock, aged 27, mechanic, eldest son of Mr and Mrs P. Silcock, Manor Cottage, Oakworth.


Robert is now also commemorated on the Oakworth Village Society website here


Please contact Andy (Webmaster) with any information.

Andy Wade (Webmaster)

Information provided by

Frank Sugden

Commonwealth War Graves Commission record:

In Memory of
Mechanician 2nd Class
D/KX 83208
H.M. Tug Yin Ping, Royal Navy
who died on
Sunday 15 February 1942 . Age 27 .
Additional Information: Son of Peter and Emily Silcock; husband of Irene Lilian Silcock, of Peverell, Plymouth. Cemetery: PLYMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL Devon, United Kingdom Grave or Reference Panel Number: Panel 69, Column 1.