Arthur Wall

Bingley College Barman Arthur Wall  was on board HMS Exeter, (I have previously posted about the Battle of River Plate and the severe damage on HMS Exeter. The sister ships of HMNZS Leander, were two Leander class, light cruisers, Ajax and Achilles. ). The Battle was on the 13th December 1939, same day I won a By-election in Bletchley in 2018. Cmdr Harwood (1956 film) was played by Anthony Quayle, a wartime visitor to BP.

Arthur’s ship was sunk 2nd battle of the Java Sea. 1st March 1942, the attack force was lead by the Japanese heavy cruiser Haguro. Arthur seems to be only two people to make a successful escape from a Japanese PoW camp in WWII. He then took part in D -Day. (Operation Neptune which could have been compromised with larger casualties, if it was not for the work of Harry Golombek OBE).

Harry Golombek’s best friend was Alan Turing OBE. Hence my request for more information on the 1939 Chess Olympiad team. Harry became the County President of Buckinghamshire chess and thus would have had contacts with the likes of chess player Sir Frank Markham.

Chess players will know that the Anglo-Dutch chess match is called the De Ruyter Trophy – [John Saunders has a fuller description].

For submariner knowledge- this was the first use of Japanese long lance oxygen fuelled torpedoes at the battle of the Java Sea.

“”The Japanese amphibious forces gathered to strike at Java, and on 27 February 1942, the main Allied naval force, under Doorman, sailed northeast from Surabaya to intercept a convoy of the Eastern Invasion Force approaching from the Makassar Strait. The Eastern Strike Force, as it was known,[13] consisted of two heavy cruisers (HMS Exeter and USS Houston), three light cruisers (Doorman’s flagship HNLMS De Ruyter, HNLMS Java, HMAS Perth), and nine destroyers (HMS Electra, HMS Encounter, HMS Jupiter, HNLMS Kortenaer, HNLMS Witte de With, USS Alden, USS John D. Edwards, USS John D. Ford, and USS Paul Jones).

The Japanese task force protecting the convoy, commanded by Rear-Admiral Takeo Takagi,[14] consisted of two heavy (Nachi and Haguro) and two light cruisers (Naka and Jintsū) and 14 destroyers (Yūdachi, Samidare, Murasame, Harusame, Minegumo, Asagumo, Yukikaze, Tokitsukaze, Amatsukaze, Hatsukaze, Yamakaze, Kawakaze, Sazanami, and Ushio) including the 4th Destroyer Squadron under the command of Rear Admiral Shoji Nishimura.[15] The Japanese heavy cruisers were much more powerful, armed with ten 8-inch (203 mm) guns each, and superb torpedoes. By comparison, Exeter was armed only with six 8-inch guns and only six of Houston’s nine 8-inch guns remained operable after her aft turret had been knocked out in an earlier air attack. “””

These “Lightning” class “Toyko Express”  Japanese destroyers also were used in the “Slot” in 1943.  In the Solomon Islands, Battle of Kolombangara, 13th July 1943 HMNZS Leander was badly damaged by one of these torpedoes. My father who missed joining his submarine as a torpedo man, was sent as a replacement for casualties. Later HMNZS Leander in August 1945 was the ship that brought the gold back to the UK from Montreal to Scotland, Port of Leith- So, Gold in Scotland).

Hugh Alexander did far more than break Dolphin (surface) and Shark (U-boat). He then went to work more on IJN (Imperial Japanese Navy) codes –He became Deputy Head of Hut 7 in November 1942 and then became Head of Japanese codes March 1945 at HMS Anderson, Ceylon.

My father’s elder brother, George Kenworthy, born Silk St, Manningham, Bradford [by Listers Mill chimney], was on both HMS Courageous and HMS Ark Royal when they were both sunk by torpedoes. I believe Jack Good joined BP as the same day as the sinking of the Bismarck. It is said that he was interviewed by CHO’DA. It was HMS Ark Royal that disabled the Bismarck’s rudder. See also the 1954 National Club chess final where Jack Good (GCHQ team) lost to Dr Ben Spurgeon( Iiford.)

Operation Dukedom, was the sinking of the last major Japanese capital ship was entirely due to intelligence, wireless intercepts and cryptographic work, the Battle of the Malacca Strait, sometimes called the Sinking of Haguro…

Best rgds Gary Kenworthy, FIDE master, ex Chairman of Barbican cc, Bletchley cc.

BTW – life has also been quite interesting, from Government procurement, to Designing the Encryption, Key Management and Authentication system for CHAPS at Lloyds Bank, Risk Management during the GFC at several banks, etc  Hence, I could understand what Harry Golombek told me.

(my grandmother named my father after her brother, Henry (Harry) Cresswell KIA with Drake Battalion, RN at Gallipoli.).

My grandfather was born 21st October (Trafalgar Day and Horatio Nelson). etc

Gary Kenworthy 2018