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Name: LYDEKKER, John Ryck Wolfe

image of individual

Nee: son of Cuthbert John Wolfe Lydekker

Birth Date: 24 Aug 1921 Harpenden

Death Date: 22 Feb 1943 killed in action on HMCS Weyburn

Book Reference: Pembroke, Burke

War Service: Sub. Lt. RNR, served in WW2 HMS Quentin

School: Pembroke House, Kenya

General Information:

Pembroke No. 57, 1929, Naivasha
Newspaper cutting Ancestry 'killed in a gallant effort to save the life of his captain'. This task accomplished
CWGC - memorial register, Portsmouth and Portsmouth Naval Memorial
Tom Lawrence: He was on “…H.M. Canadian Corvette “Weyburn” which was lost in the Mediterranean. Having been ordered to the United Kingdom, she was on her way thither when she was disabled by a severe underwater explosion, which knocked unconscious the Captain, Lieutenant Commander Golby R.C.N.R. From this point, the story is best told in the following letter, which this young officer’s parents, Mr. & Mrs. John Lydekker, of ‘Toll Gate’, Harpenden, have received from Capt. R.M.J. Hutton DSO RN, (Capt. “D” of the Destroyer Flotilla in which Sub-Lieutenant Lydekker had been serving previously: “He was in a small ship which was gravely damaged by an explosion, and was alright when it was hit. He immediately went up on the bridge to assist the Captain and one of my sailors who was wounded. The bridge was so deep in water thrown up and the ship was in shambles, with steam pouring out of a hole in the boiler room”. “Ryck immediately went down after this to superintend the lowering of a boat. Most of the launching gear had been destroyed, and survivors say that it was entirely his initiative and excellent work in charge of the men that enabled the boat to be got out at all. After about twenty minutes Ryck went away in this boat in which there were several severely injured men, and lay off the ship.By now it was obvious that she was going to sink, and all men had left except the Captain, who had recovered and was in a dazed condition, trying to put the badly wonded men off the bridge”.
“Lieutenant P.S. Milson, a Canadian RNVR officer, had been round the upper deck and had dived overboard to swim to Ryck’s boat and was the last man to leave, not realising that the Captain was still on the bridge. Ryck said: “ I am going back for the Captain” fearlessly dived into the sea and swam back to the ship”. “When he got close, she suddenly sank by the stern, there was a tremendous explosion and Ryck was never seen again. So many have had to die in this foul war, but few more magnificently, and it must be said quite instantaneous. What superb courage for a man he hardly knew! Everyone out here speaks about his name with the greatest pride for his coolness and spirit in great danger, and the completely fearless action which cost him his life. In the ‘Quentin’ too his Commanding Officer and the First-Lieutenant had great admiration for him” (Undated Newspaper Report, Harpenden Archives).

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