Rowland John 



Royal Navy

Died On:
25 February 1942


Rowland Hemingway was born in London on 20 May 1913, the son of John Ford Hemingway and Emma Mabel Hemingway (née Baxter). 

He was promoted to Midshipman on 1 September 1932 and was appointed to the cruiser HMS EXETER (2nd Cruiser Squadron, Home Fleet) on 3 September 1932.  On 25 July 1933 he joined the battle cruiser HMS RENOWN also in the Home Fleet and was then appointed to the cruiser HMS NEPTUNE on 18 April 1934.  

On 1 January 1935 he was promoted to Sub Lieutenant and, on 2 September 1935 he was serving in Portsmouth for his Lieutenant’s Courses.  His date of joining Submarines is not known.  Promotion to Lieutenant followed on 1 April 1936.  

On 8 August 1936 he was appointed to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS MEDWAY (4th Submarine Flotilla) in Hong Kong and, on 15 December 1936 he joined HMS PANDORA as 3rd Hand followed by HMS REGENT also as 3rd Hand on 25 December 1936.  

After returning to UK, he was appointed to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS TITANIA on 4 January 1939 and joined HMS H31 as First Lieutenant on 2 August 1939 and then HMS TIGRIS as First Lieutenant on 27 August 1940.  

Rowland Hemingway was awarded the DSC (London Gazette dated 2 November 1940) for courage and resource in successful action against an enemy submarine.  An appointment to the submarine base HMS ELFIN for his Commanding Officer Qualifying Course followed on 28 January 1941 before he was appointed back to HMS H31 on 20 April 1941 this time in command. On 26 April 1941 HMS H31 accidentally grounded off Londonderry and it took three attempts to get clear.  

He served in H31 until 10 August 1941 when he joined the Submarine Depot Ship HMS TITANIA ‘for submarines’.  On 15 September 1941 he was appointed to the Submarine Depot HMS DOLPHIN for HMS P38 standing by whilst completing at the Vickers Shipyard at in Barrow in Furness and in Command on Commissioning.  After acceptance trials and Work Up, HMS P38 was sent to the Mediterranean to join the 10th Submarine Flotilla at Malta in January 1942. 

In February P38 was sent with other submarine to form a patrol line off Tripoli.  On 23 February 1942 P38 was detected by the Italian Torpedo Boat Circe which made a depth charge attack which blew the submarine to the surface. There was then a gunfire attack by the Italian destroyer Antoniotto Usodimare after which P38 submerged again.  Further depth charge attacks were made by both  Antoniotto Usodimare and Emmanuel Pessagno which brought P38 to the surface before sinking for the last time.  She was lost with all hands.  

Rowland Hemingway of 42, Grove Road, Finchley, London was the husband of Sybil J Hemingway (née Austin).  

He is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval War Memorial on Panel No 62 Column No 1.


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