Born: 20th January 1908, Woodbridge, Suffolk
Rank: Stoker 1st Class; Service Number: P/KX 130632
Regiment: Royal Navy, H.M.S.’Encounter.’
1911 Fir Tree Cottage, Mill Hill, Woodbridge, Suffolk.
Charles was 3 years old and living with his parents, siblings & niece.
Thomas Banyard, 60, a Journeyman Carpenter, born Woodbridge.
Caroline Banyard (nee Boynes), 45, born Hasketon, Suffolk.
Daisy Maude Banyard, 15, a Day Nurse, born Woodbridge.
William Thomas Banyard, 11, born Woodbridge.
Caroline Banyard, 5, born Woodbridge.
Drusilla Ellen Banyard, 10, born Sudbury, Suffolk.
Charles’s father, Thomas Banyard, died May 1928, Woodbridge, Suffolk.
In 1936, Ipswich, Charles married Elizabeth Margaret Farthing, born 1906, Ipswich. They had 1 son.
Charles is also remembered on the war memorial at Woodbridge, Suffolk.
1st March 1942
H.M.S.’Encounter’ was an E-class destroyer built for the Royal Navy by Hawthorn Leslie & Co. (Hebburn-on-Tyre, U.K.). Ordered 1st November 1932, laid down 15th March 1933, launched 29th March 1934 and commissioned 2nd November 1934. Second Battle of Java Sea – H.M.S. Exeter, Encounter and the American destroyer U.S.S. Pope were ordered to sail to Colombo on the 28th February, via the Sunda Strait, between the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra. On the morning of the 1st March they were ambushed by the Japanese heavy cruisers Haguro, Nachi, Ashigara and Myoko, and the destroyers Akebono, Inazuma, Kawakaze and Yamakaze. At about 09:30hrs Myoko and Ashigara’s shellfire hit Exeter. Encounter turned back to lay a smoke screen to try to protect Exeter, but Encounter came under attack and she too was hit by shell splinters and sustained major damaged. Encounter’s Captain Lieutenant Commander Eric Vernon Saint John Morgan ordered the crew to opened the sea cocks to scuttle Encounter. She capsized and sank. Pope was sunk shortly afterwards. 7 men were lost the surviving crew endured nearly 24 hours in the water, clinging to wreckage and floats. They were rescued by a Japanese destroyer ‘Ikazuchi’ (Thunder). Lieutenant Commander Shunsaku Kudo searched for survivors all day, stopping to pick up every man until his ship was dangerously overflowing. He offered and treated the rescued men with dignity and respect. The 442 British and American sailors became PoWs – Charles was 1 of the 37 rescued men who later died in captivity.
The heroic rescue by Lieutenant Commander Shunsaku Kudo later became the subject of a book and a 2007 TV programme.