In memory of Frederick Arthur Kingsley, Yeoman of Signals, HMS Kelly 1940

  In May 1940 HMS KELLY was torpedoed in the North Sea. Amongst those killed was Acting Yeoman of Signals, Frederick Arthur Kingsley. The ship was towed to the Tyne and docked for repair at Hebburn. The next of kin were informed and the casualties were buried in Hebburn Cemetery.

  Yeoman Kingsley's father was Jetty Superintendent for Tunnel Cement at their Thames Wharfs. He worked under Mr W.E. Lunnon, Tunnel Cement's overall Traffic Manager. The latter granted him leave to go to Hebburn, and helped arrange his travel.

  While at Hebburn, Mr Kingsley senior received from Lord Mountbatten, the Captain of HMS Kelly, a Union Jack which may have been worn by the ship, or perhaps had been on Yeoman Kingsley's coffin at this funeral.

  Mr Kingsley senior gave the Union Jack to Mr Lunnon on the occasion of the Coronation in 1953. Mr and Mrs Lunnon, who moved to Devonshire after he retired, used to fly the flag at their house on "State" occasions.

  Mr Lunnon gave the flag to Mr C.L.H Reckitt, who was Chairman of the Parish Council, on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee in 1978. Mr Reckitt offered it to HRH The Prince of Wales when he read of HRH's Presidency of The Kelly Reunion Association in 1983.

  His Royal Highness attended an HMS Kelly Re-union Association Dinner aboard HMS President on the 25th of May 1984, at which he presented the flag to Captain W.W.F. Chatterton-Dickson, Commanding Officer of HMS Mercury, for safe keeping on behalf of the HMS Kelly Association.

  The flag was then passed to the HMS Mercury Museum/Library and subsequently transferred with all the other exhibits to HMS Collingwood when the Royal Navy Signals School at HMS Mercury was decommissioned in 1993.

  The torpedo attack, by a German E-boat, killed a total of 27 ratings, 13 of which were 'Communicators'. Although this Union Jack is in memory of Yeoman of Signals Frederick Arthur Kingsley, the following 'Communicators' are also remembered:













Thomas Percival


Bill Thomas Ames


Harold B.


Albert William

Herbert Charles

Cyril Henry

Leslie Frank

Eric Tarrel

Bernard Eric Alex


Leading Signalman

Leading Signalman

Petty Officer Telegraphist

Leading Telegraphist

Ordinary Telegraphist

Leading Telegraphist



Leading Telegraphist

Petty Officer Telegraphist


They shall not grow old as we that are left to grow old,

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn,

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,


  Hebburn Cemetery contains 41 scattered burials of the First World War. Of the 52 Second World War burials, 33 form a war graves group in Section C. Among these graves is the collective grave of 20 sailors who were killed on 9 May 1940 when the destroyer H.M.S. "Kelly" was torpedoed whilst in action against German E-boats in the North Sea. Four of those men could not be identified. There is also a memorial to the officers and men who died when the "Kelly" was sunk during the Battle of Crete in 1941. The memorial was erected by surviving members of the crew and employees of the Hebburn shipyard where she was built.