Wilshire, Harold Frederick

Age: 19
Date of birth: 5th July 1925

Parents: Frederick Honey and Emma Wilshire
Wife: Single
Address: 20A Emscote Road, Warwick

Occupation: Butcher at Tuckey's of Smith Street, Warwick

Harold Frederick Wilshire was born in Warwick in 1925. His parents were Frederick Honey (b1900) and Emma (nee Gee b1902) Wilshire who were married in Warwick in 1923.

Harold’s father Frederick came from Aston in Birmingham but by 1911 was living with his family in Leamington Spa. Harold had an older sister, Ada Frances, who was born in 1923.

Harold attended All Saints School and upon leaving, went to work at Tuckey’s butchers in Smith Street.  He is commemorated at All Saints Church.

His sister, Ada, married a German, Heinrich Wittur in 1949 and in 1953 the couple emigrated to America, where they had one daughter.

Frederick died in 1970 and Emma died in 1990 – they were still living in Warwick. Harold’s sister, Ada, died in 1995.

Military Service

Rank & Number: Able Seaman, D/JX 650811
Regiment/Service: Royal Navy
Brigade/Division: HMS Lapwing
Date of death: 20th March 1945
Cause of death/Battle: Lost at sea
Commemorated/Buried: Commemorated on Plymouth Naval Memorial. Panel 94, Column 2.
Commemorated locally at: All Saints Church, Emscote

Harold joined the Royal Navy as soon as he was old enough, becoming an Able Seaman aboard HMS Lapwing, a specialised convoy defence vessel. Just a few months before the end of the war, when Harold was 19 years old, the Lapwing was escorting a Russian convoy towards the port of Murmansk in the far north of Russia when it was torpedoed and broken in half by a German U-Boat off the Kola Inlet in the Barents Sea. It sank inside 20 minutes. 158 sailors were killed and 61 survived. One of the survivors, Thomas Jess, described later how those in the lifeboats succumbed to the bitter cold one by one until HMS Savage arrived to rescue the survivors.

Harold is commemorated on Plymouth Memorial and his ship at Saffron Waldron:


  • Unlocking Warwick Research Group
  • Warwick Advertiser excerpt courtesy of Warwickshire County Record Office
  • Saffron Waldron memorial photo kindly supplied by Les Edwards, Secretary HMS Lapwing Association.  Please contact us if you would like to get in touch with Les.

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