Richard is not remembered on the war memorial at Christchurch Park.

Image from the Evening Star – 31st August 1944




Born: 3rd February 1921, Ipswich.

Died: 12th October 1943; age: 22; MPK when H.M. Submarine ‘Usurper’ was attacked with depth chargers in the Gulf of Genoa.

Residence: 53, St. Matthew’s Church Lane, Ipswich.

Occupation: in the office of Messrs. William Brown & Co., Ipswich.


Rank: Able Seaman; Service Number: P/JX 235070.

Regiment: Royal Navy, H.M. Submarine ‘Usurper.’


Memorial Reference:

Panel 75. Column 3.

Portsmouth Naval Memorial,



Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Herbert Elias & Harriett Elizabeth Rodwell, of Ipswich.


Father: Herbert Elias Rodwell, born 1888, Ipswich – died 1931, Ipswich. A Shoemaker.

Mother: Harriett Elizabeth Rodwell (nee Laffling), born August 1891, Somersham, Suffolk.


Richard was a keen footballer and played for Old Grammarians.


HMS Usurper (Lt. David Roger Oakeley Mott, DSC, RN) had left Algiers on 24th September 1943 with instruction to patrol of La Spezia. Late on 3 October 1943 she was ordered to move to the Gulf of Genoa. No further contact was made and she failed to return to Algiers on 12 October 1943 as expected. The German anti-submarine vessel UJ-2208 reported attacking a submarine in the Gulf of Genoa on the morning of 4 October 1943 and it is often believed that this may have been the Usurper. However we think this attack is bogus and the most likely cause of HMS Usurper’s loss is due to mining.

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