James RICHARDSON 1917 – 1941 

C/JX 206122 Ordinary Seaman James Richardson, RN HMS Registan died 27 May 1941 aged 23.  He is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial[1] and the West Auckland War Memorial.

Family Details

James Richardson was born 1 December 1917 [2], the son of James and Edith Richardson.  In 1939, James and Edith Richardson lived at 18 Oakley Street, West Auckland with George [James’ brother] and children George, Ivy and 3 others [who’s records are officially closed]. James and George senior were employed as coal miners, George junior was a bus driver and Ivy worked a “tailoring factory worker” [presumably West Auckland Clothing Company].[3]

Service Details

The service details of Ordinary Seaman James Richardson have not been researched.

HMS Registan

Steam merchant Registan was built by J. Readhead & Sons Ltd., South Shields for F.C. Strick & Co. Ltd., London and completed in 1930.

13 September 1940: It was requisitioned by the Royal Navy and converted to the ocean boarding vessel, HMS Registan [F 106].

27 May 1941:  It was bombed by German aircraft off Cape Cornwall caught fire and 63 crew members were lost including OS James Richardson.  The survivors were rescued by HMS Wivern, HMS Vansittart and HMS Wild Swan and landed at Milford Haven.  The badly damaged ship was towed to Falmouth by rescue tug HMS Goliath, where she was rebuilt to a merchant and returned to the owner in November 1941.

29 September 1942:  When carrying general cargo from Basrah to Capetown to Trinidad to Philadelphia, the unescorted Registan was torpedoed and sunk by U-332 about 140 miles east of Barbados.  Eleven crew members and 5 gunners were lost.  The master, 34 crew members and 3 gunners were picked up 30 September by the Argentinian merchant Rio Neuquen and landed at Pernambuco, Brazil 11 October.[4]

29 April 1943: U-332 was sunk in the Bay of Biscay north of Cape Finisterre, Spain by depth charges from a British Liberator aircraft [224 Squadron] and all 45 hands were lost.[5]

Commemoration [6]

Ordinary Seaman James Richardson is commemorated at column 41, the Chatham Naval Memorial, Chatham, Kent.  It commemorates more than 8,500 Royal Navy personnel of the First World War and over 10,000 of the Second World War who were lost or buried at sea.


[1] Commonwealth War Graves Commission

[2] UK British Army & Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records 1730-1960 and England & Wales Birth Index 1916-2007 Vol.10a p.396 1918Q1 Auckland

[3] 1939 England & Wales Register



[6] CWGC