Engine Room Artificer 2nd Class 



Royal Navy

Boat Crest
Died On:
20 January 1942


Born in 1906, the son of Joseph and Agnes Wilkinson, of Crewe, Cheshire, Fred trained as an apprentice on the LMS railway. When he qualified he joined the RN in 1929 as an artificer.

Fred served in HMS RESOLUTION from January 1931 to September 1933, then HMS RODNEY from 1933 to 1937. In January 1937 he was drafted to the aircraft carrier HMS EAGLE, which he left in August 1939.

He was married to Muriel Hardern Wilkinson, of Crewe.  On the outbreak of the war he persuaded his wife to move with his family to the family home in Cheshire. A few weeks after the move his house was bombed.

Fred was a helmet diver. While in the far East he dived on a sunken gun runners boat, recovering two swords as personal souvenirs. His wife refused to mount these over the mantlepiece!

Fred joined the submarine service in May 1940. While on his submarine course in Portsmouth he volunteered with others to go to Dunkirk, taking an 80ft ex-Belgian vessel on several crossings, returning with our troops each time. Along with many other Dunkirk veterans this service is not recognised in his official record.

In October 1941 Fred wrote home hinting that he might see Muriel soon. HMS TRIUMPH had obviously received her orders for home by this date.

Fred had passed for Chief ERA.

He is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial on Panel 69, Column 1.


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