Saturday, 25 April 2015

Monk, Kenneth - Ordinary Seaman

"No soldier photo available"
H.M.S. Spartan, Royal Navy
Died 29 January 1944
Age 17

On 22 January 1944 British and American troops made sea-borne landings at Anzio and Nettuno, 30 miles south of Rome. The task of H.M.S. Spartan was to support the advance of the Americans at Nettuno. The landings were at first unopposed, but the Germans quickly mounted an offensive and heavy fighting ensued. H.M.S. Spartan fell victim to a glider-bomb which exploded near her magazine. She caught fire and blazed for some hours before she sank. Five officers and 59 ratings, including Ordinary Seaman Kenneth Monk, lost their lives.

Kenneth was the son of John and Harriet Monk.
At the age of 17 years and eight months he was the youngest of Haslingden's war casualties. He attended Haslingden Grammar School from September 1938 to July 1940, when he joined the Royal Navy at the age of 15. Although Kenneth was an Ordinary Seaman, he had passed his examinations for promotion to Able Seaman, but was unable to take the rank because he had not put in enough 'sea-time'.

Kenneth's name is on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon. The memorial is on the Hoe, which overlooks Plymouth Sound. It commemorates more than 7,000 sailors of the 1914-1918 War, and almost 16,000 from the 1939-1945 War who have no grave but the sea. Kenneth is named on Panel 88, Column 1.