Service no. P/KX
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.
contact Andy (webmaster) with any information.
Information provided by
CWGC and British
War Memorial Project
War Graves Commission record:
Edwin Charles Gray
Unit: HMS Express
Service: Royal Navy
Service Number: P/KX 77507
Rank: Leading Stoker
Location: Portsmouth Naval Memorial
Other Details: 1st September 1940. Age 32. Son of Edwin and Ethel Gray of Yeovil Somerset.
Panel 41 Column 3.