Harold Reginald TOMLINSON was known as Reg.
He died on 10 November 1942 when HMS Martin was torpedoed by the German submarine U-431 between Gibraltar and Algiers. The ship was part of "Operation Torch" – the landings in North Africa. The only survivors from a complement of over two hundred men were four officers and fifty-nine ratings picked up by HMS Quentin.
Previous to being sunk Martin had an illustrious period as an escort vessel. In the July she sailed from Scapa to Archangel in convoy with many other ships. On the return journey the Martin sank the German Minelayer Ulm and took fifty-four prisoners of war. In the September she was part of a convoy from Scarpa to Jan Meyen Island when they were heavily attacked by torpedo bombers and U-boats. Ten ships were lost. Later in the month they transferred to another convoy of fifteen ships which came under heavy U-boat attack. Three of the convoy were sunk along with two of the escort ships and a fleet oiler. Martin picked up survivors from four of the merchant ships before returning to Scarpa. Her next convoy on "Operation Torch" was to be her last.
Harold Reginald TOMLINSON was born in 1917 to James Tomlinson DUFFIELD and Mabel SMITH.
1939 Register: The Tors, Sun Lane, Crich
James T DUFFIELD b. 06 Mar 1896; DCC General labourer; married
Mabel T DUFFIELD-TOMLINSON b. 20 Mar 1900; Unpaid domestic duties; married
Harold R TOMLINSON b. 06 Dec 1917; Ganister Getter Clay; single
[Ref: RG101/5941A/021/33 Letter Code: RCHN]
James Tomlinson DUFFIELD married Mabel SMITH in Q3 of 1917
Commonwealth War Graves Commission Debt of Honour
Name: Harold Reginald TOMLINSON
Born: 1917, Age 25
Death: 10 Nov 1942
Rank: Able Seaman
Unit: HMS Martin
Regiment: Royal Navy
Grave: 56, 3
Memorial: Chatham Naval Memorial
Information: Son of James and Mabel Tomlinson, of Crich, Derbyshire