SIDDLE Henry Taylor

Henry Taylor SIDDLE 1923 – 1941

P/JX Able Seaman Henry Taylor Siddle, RN HMS Dunedin died 24 November 1941, aged 18 and is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial[1] and West Auckland War Memorial.

Family Details

Henry Taylor Siddle was born c.1923,[2] the son of Robert and Beatrice Siddle.  Robert Siddle and Beatrice Dewey were married in 1907 [3] and in 1911 they lived at Railway Terrace, Tindale Terrace, Bishop Auckland where Robert worked as a fireman for North East Railway.  He served overseas with the British Expeditionary Force in the Great War with the Royal Engineers having initially enlisted into the cavalry.  Robert and Beatrice had 3 children Jonathan, Robert and Fred by February 1916.[4]  Henry’s birth was registered in the first quarter of 1923 and possibly there was another brother William, born 26 April 1928.[5]  The complete number of Henry’s siblings is unknown.

Henry’s father Robert died in December 1927 at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.  Robert and Beatrice lived at Dent Street, Tindale Crescent. [6]  In 1934, Henry’s mother Beatrice married Albert H. Baines [7] and in 1939 they lived at Dent Street, Tindale Crescent with Jonathan and William Siddle and 1 other [record officially closed].  Henry Siddle was not recorded as living there.[8]

Henry’s step father, Albert Baines died in 1940 [9] and his mother Beatrice married Henry Horsman, later that year.[10]   Henry Horsman was  a widower, living with 3 children at Hestebel Gardens, Bishop Auckland.[11]

It seems evident that Henry T. Siddle had joined the Royal Navy prior to 1939, possibly as a boy sailor.

Service Details [12]

The service details of Able Seaman Henry T. Siddle have not been researched.

HMS Dunedin was a light cruiser, class D, Pennant D93, commissioned in 1919, built by Armstrong Whitworth, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

At the outbreak of war, HMS Dunedin was part of the 12th Cruiser Squadron based in Kirkwall [Orkneys] on the Northern Patrol.

After which, she spent the rest of her war hunting enemy merchant shipping in the Atlantic Ocean.  HMS Dunedin was, however, involved in the hunt for the German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau after the sinking of the armed merchant cruiser Rawalpindi.

15 June 1941: HMS Dunedin captured the German tanker Lothringen and gathered some highly important Enigma cipher machines.[13]

24 November 1941: HMS Dunedin under the command of Captain R.S. Lovatt, was steaming in the central Atlantic Ocean, north of Recife, Brazil when at 1526 hours, she was sunk by 2 torpedoes from U-124.  Of 486 officers and men, only 4 officers and 63 men survived.  For the 250 or so who managed to escape the ship, the next 78 hours was a nightmare of torture and slow death.  Some men died of their injuries, some went insane, others drowned and were lost to the sea.  Only 6 Carley life rafts were left afloat when rescue arrived in the form of the American merchantman, Nishmaha en route from Takoradi to Philadelphia.  72 men were lifted to safety, although 5 died before reaching port at Trinidad.  One of those lost at sea was Able Seaman Henry T. Siddle.

Commemoration [14]

Able Seaman Henry Taylor Siddle is commemorated at panel 49 column 2, the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.  After the Great War, the 3 manning ports at Chatham, Plymouth and Portsmouth were selected to house the memorials to those lost at sea.  There are 14,918 sailors of the Second World War commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.


[1] Commonwealth War Graves Commission

[2] England & Wales Birth Index Vol.10 p.426 1923Q1 Auckland

[3] England & Wales Marriage Index Vol.10 p.297 1907Q1 Auckland Army Form B2065 records date as 11 January 1907

[4] Army Form B2065

[5] 1939 England & Wales Register

[6] England & Wales National Probate Calendar [Index of Wills and Administrations] 1858-1995England & Wales Death Index Vol.10a p.160 1927 Q3 Newcastle-upon-Tyne

[7] England & Wales Marriage Index 1916-2005 Vol.10a p.307 1934Q1 Auckland

[8] 1939 England & Wales Register

[9] England & Wales Death Index 1916-2005 Vol.10a p.459 1940Q2 Durham Western

[10] England & Wales Marriage Index 1916-2005 Vol.10a p.548 1940Q4 Durham Western

[11] 1939 England & Wales Register.

[12] & &

[13] “Blood in the Sea: HMS Dunedin and the Enigma Code” Stuart Gill

[14] CWGC