HMS Bonaventure

HMS Bonaventure & Comander Disbrowe

Pictured: Captain H.J. Egerton (L) and Commander E.F. Disbrowe. (R)

Commander Edward Francis Disbrowe R.N.

Died 31st March 1943, aged 40 years, at the sinking of H.M.S. Bonaventure.

Remembered with Honour at Plymouth Naval Memorial.

Edward was born on 12th April 1900 at Halton Holegate.

1 of 3 children born to Revd. Charles Penrose Disbrowe and Margaret Frances Disbrowe.

Brother Henry Clement born 1893. In 1915 Henry was a 2nd Lieutenant in the 3rd battalion Lincolnshire Regiment, and became a Captain in 1916. He was reported as ‘convalescing’ between September and November 1917, at Polesden Lacey hospital. In 1918 he became a schoolteacher, and ultimately principal at St Bede’s school, Eastbourne. He died 26th May 1937 ‘not of war injuries’.

Brother Charles Wilfred born 1894 died in 1911.

Edward’s father Revd. Charles Disbrowe was Rector of Halton Holegate from 1900 to 1915.

Edward married Lois Gwendoline Williams on 16th August 1927 at Holy Trinity Church Brompton, London.

A son, Noel John Edward was born 19th May 1928, and a daughter Pamela Lois born 24th July 1929, both at Portsmouth.

Commander Disbrowe’s Naval History

1st May 1919 Midshipman aboard the H.M.S. Wild Swan

15th January 1919 Acting Sub Lieutenant

15th September 1919 Sub Lieutenant

15th February 1921 Lieutenant

(In 1926 Commander of H.M.S. Laburnum)

15th February 1929 Lieutenant Commander

30th June 1935 Commander    

The Memorial Plaque in the church

H.M.S. Bonaventure.

On 31 March 1941 she was torpedoed and sunk south of Crete (33°20′N 26°35′E), – while engaged on a convoy escort – by the Italian submarine Ambra with the loss of 139 of her 480 crew. “On Tuesday, April 15th, it was announced with regret by the Admiralty that the small cruiser H.M.S. “Bonaventure,” under the command of Captain H. J. Egerton, R.N., had been torpedoed while acting as escort to a convoy. The ship subsequently sank. The ‘Bonaventure’ was one of the ten new small cruisers of the ‘Dido’ class, which were under construction at the outbreak of war.

The “Dido” class cruisers have a displacement of 5450 tons, with a length of 506ft., a beam of 51ft. 6in. and a draught of 14ft. Unofficial figures for the armament quoted by “Jane” refer to ten 5· 25in. guns and sixteen smaller guns, and six 21in. torpedo tubes arranged in triple mountings. One aircraft was carried and one catapult was provided. The armour of this new type of small cruiser is generally similar to ships of the “Arethusa” class.

Plaque Image Sources:

Captain H.J. Egerton (L) and

Commander E.F. Disbrowe. (R)

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