369 dead and 10 survivors – The Story of HMS FIDELITY

On the 11th November is Remembrance Sunday, a day we should all reflect and look back on.

 On that SPECIAL day I am going to publish here on this blog the story of ‘James Edward Plaskett’ (1st cousin 3x removed) and the tragic tale of mutiny and disaster that was HMS FIDELITY. a 2,456 ton special service vessel which was sunk by U-435 on New Years Eve 1943 in the icy cold Atlantic Ocean. The disaster took with it 379 people of which only 10 people survived. James Edward Plaskett was 23 years old.

When researching your family history, it’s only a matter of time before you discover a war hero, or tragic stories of loss and disaster… If anyone has story to share, please, please do… I would love to hear them and include them here on my blog.

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7 thoughts on “369 dead and 10 survivors – The Story of HMS FIDELITY

  1. I found your blog while searching HMS Fidelity. My uncle, Thomas Arthur Noon was also lost on the ship. He was just 18 and it was his first time at sea. We only have two photos of him so I was very excited when I saw your picture of the crew. Sadly I think it was taken before he joined the ship. Seeing his fellow crew was very interesting nevertheless.

  2. Paul Lovegrove
    My second cousin Ronald Salter Beckett Able Seaman aged 21 was lost while serving aboard HMS Fidelity.Could be he knew James Plaskett as they were of a similar age?Ronald lived in Queens road Reading,every time I drive pass that road I see him turning the corner heading to the station,never to return.

    1. Hi
      Thank-you for your comment. a very lovely thing to say about your second cousin and remembering him every time you pass his Street.
      It must have been an awful way to go, but very brave.

  3. Hello,
    My name is Elizabeth Kelly and I live in California, but I was born and raised in Preston, Lancashire.
    I just came across your blog while working on the family tree.
    Thank you so much for this blog. My dad’s brother in law had a brother William Mackle, and I found that he died on Jan 1 1943, but there was a link to War Graves. I was fascinated because I served in the Royal Air Force, my husband is a Viet-Nam vet and all four of our sons are military vets. Two of my uncles were at Dunkirk, and my mum’s twin brother died on the Death Railway POW of the Japanese, a cousin also POW of Japanese survived.
    Anyway I was researching William Mackle and found that he was on the HMS Fidelity,
    MACKLE, Sto. 1st. Cl. WILLIAM, P/KX. 112015. R.N.H.M.S. Fidelity. 1st January 1943. Son of William and Hannah Mackle; husband of Margaret Mackle of Preston, Lancashire. Panel 78, Column 2.
    I also found that William had two sons William 12 and Francis 10. Very sad.
    One of my uncles Harold Bradley was Captain of a minesweeper, and 13 of his sister ships were blown up, It was his son also Harold who was a POW of the Japanese and survived.

  4. Hi
    Our great uncle Donald Chatfield was also lost while serving on HMS Fidelity. Do you by any chance have names on the back of the photograph ?

    1. Hi Clive,

      I really wish I could help you on this one. There are no names on the back and it took me years to discover which one was my first cousin.
      Its very likely your uncle is in the photo. All I can suggest is take a copy of the image and post it around in the hope that another relative recognizes him, or has a photo. Good luck.
      If you do discover which is your uncle, please let me know.

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