ID: OOD_029

TitlePeter Heard
Leading Seaman Service No. LT/JX225030
Royal Naval Patrol Service HM Trawler HORATIO

Died 7 January 1943 age 36
Commemorated on Roll of Honour St Mary's Church, Tollesbury, and on Lowestoft Naval Memorial

Peter was husband of Ida M. Heard, of Tollesbury, Essex. His brother Peter was killed on HMS JERVIS BAY in 1940, and Peter had married his brother's widow. He was a keen member of the Tollesbury Sailing Club. When he left school he became a fisherman and a yachtsman. He went yachting in the Philippines and came home with exotic presents for all the family. He joined the Royal Naval Patrol Service with other fishermen from the village.

HMS HORATIO T153 was a trawler built for minesweeping and anti-submarine duties, built at Beverley and launched August 1940.


Six Messerschmitt 109's bombed and machine-gunned H.M. Trawler HORATIO which immediately opened fire, states an Admiralty communiqué. One Messerschmitt was hit and crashed into the sea and another was heavily hit and was last seen on fire, rapidly losing height. The remaining Messerschmitts abandoned the attack and flew away. The Horatio suffered only minor superficial damage. No lives were lost reference The Canberra Times Monday 11 May 1942

The Horatio left Plymouth in September 1942 with the trawler flotilla comprising four T class trawlers, ROUSAY, RUSHOLM, JURA and HORATIO in the company of a large convoy heading to Scotland then on to Gibraltar where they were part of Operation Torch the invasion of North Africa. Lost whilst serving with the 8th Minesweeper/Anti-submarine group based at Oran Western Mediterranean.

On the night of the 6th Jan 1943 HM Trawler HORATIO was on patrol outside the Port of Bone in Algeria when two German Motor Torpedo Boats came along on a mine-laying mission. One of them S58 saw Horatio and in the dark mistook her for a destroyer. Dumping her mines, S58 attacked firing two torpedoes at a range of 800 metres, both torpedoes hit and Horatio was sunk. Two members of the crew were picked up by the Germans and survived and 32 of the crew including Peter did not. (There are other references to HORATIO being torpedoed by an Italian Motor Torpedo Boat MA/SB in the Scarpanto Channel in the Western Mediterranean on the 7/01/43).

Apart from Hubert, he had two other brothers Edgar & Joseph plus a sister Muriel. The 4 brothers formed "The Stag's Head Oyster Company" between the wars. They carried on fishing through the war. Edgar caught a mine in his nets on his smack ROSENA CK65 CK65, which was badly damaged when the mine exploded. During the 1st World War, Edgar had lied about his age & joined up at 17 and had been captured by the Turks.

1939-45 War Star 1939-45 War Medal

1939-1945 Star; Atlantic Star; Africa Star, 1939-1945 War Medal; Defence Medal

The Depot for the Royal Naval Patrol Service, developed from the pre-war Royal Naval Reserve Trawler Section was at Lowestoft during the 1939-1945 War. At the outset of the war the men of this service were mainly the fishermen of the requisitioned trawlers and drifters used on patrol work, but later it included men from all walks of life and various types of small craft. In the spring of 1944 the Royal Naval Patrol Service reached its maximum strength of some 57,000. Between 1942 and 1946 new construction ships and craft manned by the Service totalled 1,637, among them minesweepers of various kinds, corvettes, fuel carriers, motor launches and naval seaplane tenders. Their objective was to maintain wartime patrols and safeguard the coasts of Britain. Lowestoft was chosen as the site for the Memorial to those men of the Royal Naval Patrol Service who have no other grave than the sea.

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Hubert Heard killed 5 November 1940

The article above is from the Memorial Profile for Peter Heard, written by Edwin Sparrow, with some additions. It is similar to the section in On Our Doorstep.

SourceMersea Museum
Related Images:
 1935? Peter Heard, killed when HMS HORATIO was sunk 6 January 1943  HEA_OPA_067
ImageID:   HEA_OPA_067
Title: 1935? Peter Heard, killed when HMS HORATIO was sunk 6 January 1943
Source:Mersea Museum / Edgar Heard