In Memory of


Petty Officer
C/JX 130126
H.M.S. Mashona, Royal Navy
who died on
Wednesday, 28th May 1941. Age 30.

Additional Information: Son of Charles William and Alice Theaker; husband of Ethel Theaker, of Harpurhey, Lancashire.

While in company with HMS Tartar on 27 May 1941, German aircraft commenced bombing attacks on the two ships. One bomb found its mark and struck Mashona's port side, abreast of the forefunnel. It penetrated No.1 Boiler Room and exploded there, blowing a huge hole in the side of the ship. The air attack continued. As Mashona continued listing to port, her guns were hand trained to starboard. At least the crew would be able to fire at any target that passed overhead. To lighten the Tribal, all unnecessary gear was thrown overboard for a 45 minute interval but it was to no avail. Mashona was listing farther and farther with each roll. Orders were given to abandon ship. For an hour, there was a lull in the bombing. This gave Tartar an opportunity to pick up the survivors. Forty-six men had been lost in the action. The Tribal was now on her side and refusing to sink. Tartar fired a torpedo and missed. By this time, HMS Sherwood and HMCS St. Clair had arrived and they were ordered to fire at the hull. The shells hit, the trapped air rushed out and Mashona (Cdr. W.H. Selby, R.N.) slipped into the sea. Mashona's battle ensign was saved and now resides in the Cathedral of Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia. Further information can be found on .

Commemorative Information

Memorial: CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL, Kent, United Kingdom
Grave Reference/
Panel Number:
41, 3.
Location: The Memorial overlooks the town of Chatham and is approached by a steep path from the Town Hall Gardens.