James Lees 


Royal Navy

Boat Crest
Died On:
13 May 1941


James Livesey was born in Pueblo in the United States on 23 September 1911, the son of Lees Livesey and Anne Livesey (née Bean). He joined the Royal Navy as a Cadet at the Royal Naval College Dartmouth in May 1925 and was appointed to the Battleship HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH (Atlantic Fleet) on 5 January 1929. He was promoted to Midshipman on 1 September 1929 and appointed to the Cruiser HMS ENTERPRISE (Fourth Cruiser Squadron, East Indies) on 30 October 1930. He was promoted to Sub Lieutenant on 16 September 1932.

Livesey was appointed to HMS DOLPHIN for the Submarine Course on 8 May 1933. On 30 July 1933 he qualified for his private pilot’s licence at the Hampshire Aeroplane Club. On 19 August 1933 Livesey was appointed to HMS DOLPHIN for Submarines and joined HMS SWORDFISH as Third Hand (Fifth Submarine Flotilla, Portsmouth) on 13 November 1933, being promoted to Lieutenant on 16 November 1934. His next appointment was to the Submarine Flotilla Leader HMS DOUGLAS for HMS REGULUS as Third Hand to date 19 March 1935 and, on 17 August 1937, he was appointed to HMS DOLPHIN for HMS STERLET as First Lieutenant. He was then appointed to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS MEDWAY (Fourth Submarine Flotilla) at Hong Kong for HMS REGENT as First Lieutenant on 17 December 1938.

He was appointed to the Commanding Officers Qualifying Course on 6 May 1940 and joined HMS UNDAUNTED, in command, on 15 November 1940. HMS UNDAUNTED is presumed to have been lost ‘with all hands’ during James Livesey’s first Mediterranean patrol on 12 May 1941 near ZUARA on the coast of Libya. The Italian Corvette Pegaso conducted depth charge attacks on a submarine in that area after a submarine had been sighted by a patrolling aircraft. However, HMS UNDAUNTED may not have been in that area at the time and may have been lost in a minefield.

Twenty-nine years old James Livesey is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval War Memorial on Panel no 45 Column No 2.

James Livesey left a widow, Frances (née Ching).


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