Images and information courtesy of David

Born: 11th September 1918, Woodbridge, Suffolk.

Died: 10th January 1941; age: 22; MPK.


Rank: Leading Seaman; Service Number: C/JX 141014.

Regiment: Royal Navy, H.M.S. ‘Gallant’.


Memorial Reference:


Chatham Naval Memorial,




Relatives Notified & Address: Husband of Marjorie Edwards, of Ipswich.


Father: Herbert Spencer Edwards, born 1892, Mendlesham, Suffolk.


Mother: Maud Mary Edwards (nee Miller), born July 1889, Otley, Suffolk.

spencer-john-edwards-5A family note: “John and his father, an apparently tenant farmer who mysteriously became a substantial landowner in Bromeswell. The house is still there.”



In April 1940, at St. Nicholas Church, Ipswich, Spencer married (Cherry) Marjorie Kent, born April 1919, Woodbridge, Suffolk, of 46, Ranelagh Road, Ipswich.


Evening Star – 6th April 1940.


Edwards – Kent


The wedding took place, at St. Nicholas Church, Ipswich, of Mr. S.J. Edwards, R.N., second son of Mr. and Mrs. S. Edwards, of Church Farm, Bromeswell, and Miss Marjory (Cherry) Kent, 46, Ranelagh Road, Ipswich, the Vicar (the Rev. H. Green) officiated.

 The bride, who was given away by her father, wore a gown of white satin, and veil trimmed with orange blossom. She carried a bouquet of red carnations, and was attended by five bridesmaids, Miss Mabel Edwards (sister of the bridegroom), Miss Bluebell Valerie Kent (sister of the bride), and Miss Edna Haines, were attired in gowns of mauve satin, and carried bouquets of pink tulips. The other bridesmaids were Misses Gloria and Sylvia Gillingham (cousins of bride). Mr. Herbert Edwards was best man. The hymns, “Lead us Heavenly Father, lead us,” and “Love Divine all loves excelling,” were sung, and the organist played Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March.”

 The reception was held in the Friars Head Hotel, after which Mr. and Mrs. Edwards left for their honeymoon in Woking, the bride’s travelling dress being a grey costume, and accessories to match.


H.M.S. ‘Gallant’ 10th January 1941


H.M.S. ‘Gallant’ was a G class destroyer, built by Alexander Stephen & Sons, Glasgow, Scotland. Ordered 5th March 1934. Laid down 15th September 1934. Launched 26th September 1935 and completed 25th February 1936. ‘Operation Excess’ – on the 10th January 1941, she had left Gibralter on a military escort movements convoy in the Eastern Mediterranean. The Italian torpedo boats ‘Circe’ & ‘Vega’ attacked the Allied convoy off Pantellaria, in the Straits of Sicily. The convoy was pushed further south. H.M.S. ‘Gallant’ struck a mine, causing an explosion in the starboard ammunition’s room, the bow separated and was blown off the ship. 65 lives were lost. H.M.S. ‘Griffin’ rescued most of the survivors and H.M.S. ‘Mohawk’ towed her stern first to Malta.

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