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Herbert Cockhill
Able Seaman 
Service no.
P/JX 137762. 


Herbert died when HMS Express struck a mine on 1st September 1940

On August 31st 1940, the Express and 4 other Mine-laying Destroyers left Immingham to lay an offensive field off the coast of the Netherlands. At around 23.00 hours almost to the point of dropping mines, it was reported by radio that there was an enemy convoy near at hand, which was to be attacked after the mines had been dropped. Before any mines were dropped, three of the ships, including Express, had themselves struck mines. Express was the first and some of the crew were picked up by the Ivanhoe, who then also struck a mine. Meanwhile the Esk struck and sank almost immediately. There was a considerable loss of life in all three ships, the Express lost 4 officers and 55 ratings.
In spite of having most of the bows blown off, the Express was towed back to port and eventually rebuilt.

Please contact Andy (webmaster) with any information.

Andy Wade (Webmaster)

Information provided by
CWGC and British War Memorial Project

Commonwealth War Graves Commission record:

 Herbert Cockhill 
Unit: HMS Express
Service: Royal Navy

Service Number: P/JX 137762
Rank: Able Seaman
Location: Portsmouth Naval Memorial
County: Hampshire
Country: England
Other Details: 1st September 1940. Age 23. Son of Harry Gill Cockhill and Cicely Florence Mabel Cockhill; husband of Lily Cockhill of Balby Yorkshire. Panel 38 Column 2.