Harold Checketts was serving on HMS Drake after HMS Javelin was towed back into Plymouth. He recalls:
"While at HMS Drake I was one of a group set to work in day time cleaning up the destroyer HMS Javelin. She had somehow been towed in, badly damaged, after a dust up in The Channel on 29th November 1940 between German and British destroyers. The daring Louis Mountbatten, later Lord, had been her skipper, and he was later to command HMS Kelly in the same style. Several of the Javelin's crew had been killed or injured in the action, and one of our working party discovered one of the bodies in the course of cleaning out. We ate our sandwiches alongside that body, now suitably covered. How cramped the mess deck of the ratings was up in the bows of the Javelin, as indeed I later found it in other destroyers."
It's strange that Harold Checketts worked on the Javelin after his relative Jack Male had been killed there that very same day and he never knew. Jack was the son of Arthur Male and Florence Checketts.
My thanks to Carol Booth (nee Checketts) and Harold Checketts for this information.
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