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A Good Second World War Naval group, on H.M.S. Ark Royal when she sank in 1941.


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A Good Second World War Naval group, on H.M.S. Ark Royal when she sank in 1941.

1939-45 Star; Africa Star; Atlantic Star; Defence medal; 1939-45 War medal; Long Service and Good Conduct medal, (Geo VI), JX 130581 L. Jeffs. A.B. H.M.S. Hawkins.

Lawrence Jeffs was born on the 15th January 1911 in Watford, Hertfordshire.

A shop assistant he enlisted as Boy II on the 16th August 1927 he served on the following ships:

HMS Ganges from enlistment to 27th May 1928

HMS Marleborough from 21st September 1928 to 15th January 1929 when he was taken on as an Ordinary Seaman.

He went on the serve on various ships up to the commencement of the second world war, these include HMS Iron Duke, Basham, HMS Couragious, HMS Vernon, HMS Hawkins21st September 1932 to 23rd March 1935, HMS Excellent, HMS Greyhound, HMS St Angelo and HMS Ark Royal. plus the normal mixture of shore bases.

In 1938 he joins HMS Ark Royal on the 12th December and sevres on her  until 12th March 1940

HMS Sparrow Hawke 12th March 1940 to 23rd April 1940

HMS Ark Royal from 23rd April 1940  to the 15th November 1941 (Ark Royal Sunk on the 14th November 1941

Ark Royal operated in some of the most active naval theatres of the Second World War. She was involved in the first aerial U-boat kills of the war, operations off Norway, the search for the German battleship Bismarck, and the Malta Convoys. Ark Royal survived several near misses and gained a reputation as a ‘lucky ship’. She was torpedoed on 13 November 1941 by the German submarine U-81 and sank the following day. One of her 1,488 crew members was killed.

His available service papers cease with the sinking of Ark Royal.

However we have traced the award of his Long Service and Good Conduct medal to the 7th February 1944, whilst serving on HMS Hawkins. We cannot prove his service between November 1941 and February 1944 or after that date, but H.M.S. Hawkins service from  1941 to the end of the war is:

When the Second World War broke out in Europe, H.M.S. Hawkins was immediately deployed in South America and South Africa. In February 1941, it operated off the Horn of Africa and in the Indian Ocean where many merchant ships German and Italian were arrested.

In the spring of 1944, the Hawkins was deployed in the English Channel as part of the preparations for Operation Neptune. It participated in Operation Tiger, a life-size rehearsal of the landing, which resulted in a terrible failure due to the intervention of German speedboats. On June 6, 1944, it anchored off Utah Beach and bombarded the batteries at Saint-Martin-de-Varreville and Maisy. Then deployed along Gooseberry 4 in front of Courseulles-sur-Mer, it continued to support by fire the progression of the allied land forces in Normandy until the end of June before returning to Great Britain.

Once again used by the Royal Navy cadets as of August 1944, HMS Hawkins was later removed from active service and placed in reserve in 1945

Condition – GVF