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Caryl Lavers

Ordnance Artificer


Caryl's grave picture supplied by Brian Budge - Click for a larger view (41671 bytes)

Caryl Lavers was tragically killed in an accident on Friday 11th July 1941  He was 22. 

His niece Sandra Ryan (nee Lavers) writes:

We have never had much information about my Uncle Caryl. My Grandmother was very closed about the whole thing, if we ever asked she never wanted to talk about it. I can't imagine what it was like for her, my dad said she was never quite the same after.
My Dad (Russell) and Caryl, and their parents lived in Oreston near Plymouth, they never really had a lot but like a lot of families then, they were happy with what they had. Their dad died young, he worked in a timber yard not far from their home. He was asked to work a couple of hours on Christmas Eve and needed the money so off he went. There was also a freak accident...the timber fell on him and killed him.
Their mother then had two small boys to bring up.
Caryl was very smart and did extremely well in school and ended up at Plympton in those days 'poor' boys didn't get to Plympton Grammar and my grandmother did tell me that Caryl was shunned and tormented, but he was determined to carry on, he was going to be a doctor !
He had great ambition to become a doctor but alas, WW2 happened.
He went away and my grandmother didn't have money to buy him a 21st birthday present....his birthday was going to be while he was gone, so she gave him her wedding band telling him that by the time he returned she would have a gift for him and she would have her ring back. Well we know what happened and I think (not 100% though) but think that she never saw that ring again. I think she told me that and I did remember she always wore a cheapish ring in it's place...telling me the real one was gone.
Caryl never returned home.

Sandra Ryan.

The accident.

Caryl Lavers was tragically killed in an accident with 'B' Gun turret which was manned by Marines. He was apparently leaning into a gun breech inspecting an obdurating pad on one of the 15inch guns, when he was head and shoulders in and the breech was closed on him.
As this gun has a three quarter screw breech he didn't have much of a chance, I do know an attempt was made to open the breech, and could have burst the hydraulic cylinder (used to open and close the breech) although had that burst, it would have taken out more of the gun's crew.
The funeral I think was held at Thurso, we had been out on a full caliber shoot from Scapa. The escort etc was from Repulse. I know we had to climb a steep hill to get to the Cemetery.
There was a service on board for him and the body was landed by a fleet tender. Lyness would be the cemetery.

Ken Blackman


My father (Ted Matthews) informs me that his death resulted in quite a bit of ill-feeling between matelots and bootnecks for several weeks afterwards.

Alan Matthews.

We now have a page dedicated to the Royal Naval Cemetery at Lyness, there are more pictures on that page.

Click here to view it

Please contact myself or Andy (webmaster) with any information.

Andy Wade (Webmaster)

Information provided by these 2 websites:
Lyness Royal Naval Cemetery

Lyness Naval Cemetery

Commonwealth War Graves Commission record:

In Memory of
Ordnance Artificer
H.M.S. Repulse, Royal Navy
who died on
Friday 11 July 1941 . Age 22 . 
Additional Information: Son of Ida Mary Gertrude Lavers, of Peverell, Plymouth. 
Cemetery: LYNESS ROYAL NAVAL CEMETERY Orkney, United Kingdom 
Grave or Reference Panel Number: Plot P. Row 4. Grave 2. 
Location: Lyness Royal Naval Cemetery, Hoy and Graemsay, is on Hoy, between Mill Bay and Ore Bay.