Norman Vivian Joseph Thompson Thew, RN

Born  25 Jul 1907
Died  8 Dec 1972(65)Auckland, New Zealand

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1 Sep 1927 A/S.Lt.
16 May 1928 S.Lt.
16 Jul 1930 Lt.
16 Jul 1938 Lt.Cdr.


16 Aug 1940 Mentioned in Despatches (MID)

Warship Commands listed for Norman Vivian Joseph Thompson Thew, RN

HMS Anthony (H 40)Lt.Cdr.Destroyer15 Mar 193914 Oct 1940
HMS Jupiter (F 85)Lt.Cdr.Destroyer28 Oct 194027 Feb 1942

Career information

Evening Post (Wellington, NZ), Volume CX, Issue 109, Wednesday 5 November 1930, Page 15
A naval wedding of much interest took place at St. Mark's Church, Auckland, yesterday after-noon, when Jcnii Kathleen Florence, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. E. Lawford, "Edenholme," Remuera, Auckland, was married to Lieutenant Vivian J Corman Thew, of H.M.S. Laburnum, son of Madame Despordes and the late Major N. Thew, Northumberland, England. The church was decorated in shades of lemon and gold summer flowers, the Rev. G. J. Cruickshanks officiating. Mr. Pascoe was at the organ. The bride, who was escorted by her brother, Mr. John Curling Lawford, wore a frock of cream triple ninon, embroidered in all-over design of delicate gold roses. The frock was made in simple old English fashion, long gold tassels falling from the picture cuffs and finishing the draped train, which fell in two fish points. Her veil was of Brussels lace, and was fastened with clusters of orange blossoms. She carried a large sheaf of white and yellow tea roses. The three bridesmaids were Misses Joeelyn Riddiford (Wellington), Audrey Horton and Marjorie Vaile. They wore dainty organdie frocks shaded from primrose to deep russet pink, the skirts alternating the shades in graduated tucks. The bodices were finished with Berte collars, and they wore gold Juliet caps trellised with pearls. They carried golden coloured bouquets. Little Betsy Reed was a train-bearer, and Michael Russell and Warwick Gray were pages. The best man was Lieutenant Westmacott, and the groomsmen Surgeon-Commander Quinn and Lieutenant J. Warrand. The ushers were Messrs. Dennis Lawford, Jack. Russell, Bruce Elliott, and Mervyn Reed. After the ceremony a reception was held at the residence of the bride's parents. A huge marquee was erected in the garden, and all the decorations were in the same shades as the bridesmaid's frocks. (source: Evening post, Wellington, NZ).

Evening Post (Wellington, NZ), Volume CXXXIII, Issue 66, Thursday 19 March 1942, Page 9
The commander of the British destroyer Jupiter, which was sunk in the Java Sea battle, was Commander Vivian Thew, R.N., who has served twice on the New Zealand Station. He married Miss Jean Lawford, daughter of Mrs. C. E. Lawford, of Auckland, in 1930. Commander Thew, who first visited New Zealand with the special service squadron in 1924, later served here in H.M.S. Laburnum for three years. After being transferred to the Mediterranean Fleet, he returned to H.M.S. Philomel. He later went to England and was on the destroyer Basilisk. As commander of the destroyer Anthony, Commander Thew took part in an engagement led by Captain Lord Louis Mountbatten in January,, 1941, when a squadron of destroyers sank several enemy supply ships off the Hook of Holland. He spent three days at the evacuation of Dunkirk. Aged about 35, Commander Thew joined the Royal Navy in 1918 and served on the China Station as a cadet. (source: Evening post, Wellington, NZ)

He died in Auckland, New Zealand on 8 December 1972 and was cremated 9 December 1972 at the Puwera Crematorium. His widow died in Southland NZ on 7 September 2000.

Events related to this officer

Destroyer HMS Anthony (H 40)

25 Aug 1940
The British merchant Jamaica Pioneer is torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-100 east of Rockall in position 57°05'N, 11°02'W. Later the British destroyers HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. N.J.V. Thew, RN) and HMS Wanderer (Cdr. J.H. Ruck-Keene, RN) pick up 55 survivors.

1 Sep 1940
HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. N.J.V. Thew, RN) picks up 27 survivors from the Greek merchant Efploia that was torpedoed and sunk earlier that day by German U-boat U-101 about 130 nautical miles north-west of Ireland in position 55°27'N, 13°17'W.

26 Sep 1940
HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. N.J.V. Thew, RN) picks up 42 survivors from the British passenger ship City of Benares that was torpedoed and sunk on 18 September 1940 by German U-boat U-48 253 nautical miles west-south-west of Rockall in position 56°43'N, 21°15'W.

Destroyer HMS Jupiter (F 85)

6 Feb 1941
British raid on Genoa.

Force H (Vice Admiral Somerville) left Gibraltar on 6 February 1941. The battlecruiser HMS Renown (Capt R.R. McGrigor, RN), battleship HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal (Capt. C.S. Holland, RN), light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. C.A.A. Larcom, RN) and the destroyers HMS Fearless (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN) HMS Foxhound (Lt.Cdr. G.H. Peters, DSC, RN), HMS Foresight (Cdr. J.S.C. Salter, RN), HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN), HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St.J. Morgan, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) left Gibraltar to the west with convoy HG-53. This was done to fool German and Italian observers in Spain. In the meantime 4 destroyers HMS Duncan (Capt. A.D.B. James, RN), HMS Isis (Cdr. C.S.B. Swinley, DSC, RN) HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.P. Thew, RN) left Gibraltar and steamed to the east to conduct a anti-submarine sweep. During the night Force H reversed course and passed Gibraltar on an easterly course back into the Mediterranean. There they were joined by the 4 destroyers that conducted the anti-submarine sweep.

On 8 February the Italian fleet left port and steamed south after they received reports of British carrier aircraft south of the Balearics. The Italians thought that there was another convoy to Malta.

Early in the morning of 9 February Renown, Malaya and Sheffield bombarded the Italian city of Genoa. In the harbour 4 ships were sunk and 18 were damaged. Also the city itself was damaged.

The Italian fleet turned around and tried to intercept the British ships but due to the bad weather this failed.

In the meantime Ark Royal's aircraft raided Livorno and mined the harbour of La Spezia.

Force H safely returned to Gibraltar on 11 February.

28 Jun 1941
The British light cruiser HMS Nigeria (Capt. J.G.L. Dundas, RN) and the British destroyers HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, DSO, RN), HMS Tartar (Cdr. L.P. Skipwith, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.P. Thew, RN), in thick fog, intercept the German weather ship Lauenburg north-east of Jan Mayen Island in position 73°02'N, 03°13'W. The German ship was detected due to HF/DF. Her crew abandoned ship after they were fired upon. Valuable codebooks and the Enigma machine were found aboard the German weather ship.

17 Jan 1942
The Japanese submarine I-60 (built 1929) (offsite link) is sunk by HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.P. Thew, RN) about 25 miles North-North-West of Krakatoa Island in position 06°00'N, 105°00'W.

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