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March 20, 2007

Kildare man killed in action in WWII

Notification in the Leinster Leader from December of 1941 of the death of a young Kildareman in the Second World War.
Leinster Leader 20 December 1941, p. 3.

            Mr. Frank Nixon, Windmill House, Curragh Road, Kildare, has been officially notified that his son Frederick H. Nixon, who was serving in the Royal Navy, has been killed in action. The sad news was heard with deep regret in Kildare Town and surrounding district where the deceased young man (he was 26 years of age) was well known and very popular with all. The sympathy expressed with the bereaved father and other members of the family is very widespread and sincere.
Some more personal details are available on the
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website


In Memory of

P/JX. 153271, H.M.S. Puckeridge, Royal Navy
who died age 26
on 13 December 1941
Son of Francis Sidney and Annie Nixon, of Kildare, Irish Republic.
Remembered with honour
The gravestone is front left of picture
According to information on the Internet such as the H.M.S. Puckeridge was sunk in 1943 by a German U-Boat...

Around 2015 hours on 6 September 1943 HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN) was hit by two of four torpedoes fired by the German submarine U-617 and sank about 40 nautical miles east of Gibraltar in position 36º06'N, 04º44'W. HMS Puckeridge was en route alone taking important messages to Oran . 129 men were rescued and 62 men were lost with the ship. 

Difficult to find infromation relative to the 13 december 1941 action but a post on the British Medal Forum provides some answers...

13 December 1941
One direct hit 250 kgm direct actiuon fuzed bomb
(Time out of Action) 7 months

PUCKERIDGE, while proceeding from Portsmouth to Liverpool, was attacked by enemy aircraft and sustained a direct hit on the upper deck just forward of ‘Y’ gun, to starboard of middle line, the bomb detonating on contact or just below the deck. The side plating, upper and lower decks and the internal structure from keel to upper deck, between the after gun mountings, was severely damaged. The superstructure aft of ‘X’ gun was wrecked. All compartments abaft the gearing roan, except the steering compartment were flooded, including the after magazines and after group of oil fuel tanks.
The ship settled by the stern with a heavy list to starboard and the quarter deck awash. The fire main aft was destroyed and a serious fire on the after mess deck was eventually brought under control by steaming astern and washing down aft. The main machinery was undamaged, but all electrical equipment in the damaged area was destroyed. ‘Y’ mounting and No.2 magazine were wrecked and the 4 inch R.U. ammunition on the upper deck was exploded by the fire.

Fighting Efficiency - Seriously impaired.
‘Y’ gun was destroyed ‘X’ gun in local control and all the after ammunition was lost. The steering gear jammed at 20° to port, but vessel was steered by main engines and could steam at reduced speed.



It seems the ship was towed back to Pembroke Dock (Wales) and the men killed in action were buried there.


Posted by mariocorrigan at March 20, 2007 06:50 PM