Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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C/SSX 29509   Ordinary Signalman Richard Curry
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 12/07/2020
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: HMS Jervis Bay, Royal Navy (British Navy)
Died: 05/11/1940 (Killed in Action)
Age: 19
Summary      
Richard Curry was the son of Thomas and Mary Curry. He was born about 1921. Signalman Richard Curry served with the Royal Navy on board HMS Jervis Bay. On 5th November 1940 HMS Jervis Bay was acting as sole escort for a thirty-seven freighter convoy when it encountered the pocket battleship ‘Admiral Scheer’. HMS Jervis Bay ordered the convoy to scatter and attacked the Admiral Scheer alone. This gallant but unequal action, which lasted for 24 minutes, resulted in the loss of HMS Jervis Bay. The Captain of the Jervis Bay, Edward Fegen, was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.
Ordinary Signalman Richard Curry
Further Information
Richard Curry was the son of Thomas and Mary Curry. He was born about 1921.
Signalman Richard Curry served with the Royal Navy on board HMS Jervis Bay, a converted passenger ship which was taken over by the Admiralty in 1939. The Jervis Bay was equipped with seven 6-inch guns and re-designated as an armed merchant cruiser.
Photo of Richard Curry
On 5th November 1940 HMS Jervis Bay was acting as sole escort for the thirty-seven freighter Convoy HX84, when the convoy was located and engaged by the German pocket battleship ‘Admiral Scheer’.
HMS Jervis Bay
In an effort to protect the convoy, HMS Jervis Bay ordered the convoy to scatter and attacked the Admiral Scheer alone. This gallant but unequal action, which lasted for 24 minutes, resulted in the loss of HMS Jervis Bay and the deaths of her Captain and 198 of her crew including Signalman Richard Curry.
Their sacrifice however was not in vain as 32 freighters from the convoy escaped into the closing darkness. Richard Curry was posted missing, presumed killed.
Ordinary Signalman Richard Curry was 19 years old.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 16th November 1940: Coagh Man on Jervis Bay
Mr Thomas Curry, of Coagh, received a telegram from the Admiralty on Friday morning that his son, Richard Curry. Who as a seaman on the Jervis Bay, is missing.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 16th November 1940:
The epic story of how the Jervis Bay, 14,164-ton British merchant cruiser, tackled an enemy surface raider (possibly a pocket battleship) in mid-Atlantic and went down in flames with her guns still roaring defiance was told on Tuesday night in an Admiralty communique which revealed that it is now certain that all except nine of the 38 ships in the convoy escaped when attacked on the night of 5th November. Twenty four of the vessels reached port and the Admiralty say that some of the ships still missing may be safe. The German High Command claimed recently that the whole of the convoy had been annihilated.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 5th February 1944: Coagh District L.O.L. No. 10
The quarterly meeting of Coagh District L.O.L. No. 10 was held in Coagh Orange Hall, Bro James Sloss, D.D.M., in the chair and Bro William Nesbitt, District Secretary, in the vice-chair. A vote of sympathy was passed to the relatives of the late Bro A Forsythe, D.M., of L.O.L. No. 1436. Resolutions of sympathy were also passed to the following Orangemen of the District who have lost sons killed in action:- Bros Thomas Currie, Samuel Hartley and Alex Jeffers.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 26th August 1944: Coagh (William J Curry – brother of Richard Curry)
His many friends in the district were glad to welcome homwe last week William J Curry and to congratulate him on having gained the rank of petty officer. This boy (second son of Mr and Mrs T Curry of Main Street, Coagh), joined the Navy in March1937 and has served all over the world, several of his former ships being now sunk by enemy action. His younger brother, Richard, who was also in the Royal Navy, gave his life for King and country when the Jervis Bay was lost in the last memorable fight which saved the convoy it was protecting.
The Captain of the Jervis Bay, Edward Fegen was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.
Signalman Richard Curry has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel 37 of the Chatham Naval Memorial in Kent.
Panel 37 of the Chatham Naval Memorial.
A book has been published about the sinking of the Jervis Bay - If the Gods are Good: The Sacrifice of "HMS Jervis Bay
If the Gods are Good: The Sacrifice of
The CWGC record Ordinary Signalman Richard Curry as the son of Thomas and Mary Curry of Coagh, County Tyrone.
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Relevant Cookstown Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Coagh area Coagh CWGC lists parents in Coagh 54.646032 -6.612998
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 IMDB - San Demetrio London Movie about HMS Jervis Bay (1943)
2 Book about the Jervis Bay If the Gods are Good: The Sacrifice of "HMS Jervis Bay" (By Gerald L Duskin, Ralph Segman)
3 HMS Jervis Bay Association Details of HMS Jervis Bay
4 Photo of Richard Curry Shown on the right with R.J. Hill
5 The Ballad of Convoy HX84 Poem about HMS Jervis Bay
6 uboat.net - HMS Jervis Bay HMS Jervis Bay -location of attack
7 Wikipedia HMS Jervis Bay
8 wrecksite.eu Brief details of Richard Curry
9 Youtube newsreel 30 second newsreel footage from the time
Cookstown District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2010-2021