Gilbert Lescombe Farnfield DSO, DSC, RN

Born  15 Nov 1905Broadstairs in Kent, UK
Died  11 Nov 1961(55)Bridge of Weir, Renfrewshire, Scotland

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15 Nov 1931 Lt.
15 Nov 1939 Lt.Cdr.
30 Jun 1945 Cdr.
30 Jun 1950 Capt.

Retired: 7 Jul 1959


11 Nov 1941 DSO
30 Oct 1944 DSC

Warship Commands listed for Gilbert Lescombe Farnfield, RN

HMS Defender (H 07)Lt.Cdr.Destroyer30 Oct 194011 Jul 1941
HMS Quality (G 62)Lt.Cdr.Destroyer15 Jun 1942Jun 1944

Career information

He was educated at the Thames Nautical Training College HMS Worcester circa 1918 – 1922. Cadet and then Junior Officer in the Peninsular & Orient Line (P&O) Merchant Service

Entered service in the Royal Navy 15 November 1931 (26th Birthday). Retired in the rank of Captain

Married Lucy Edith Turner on 28 April 1934 in Sydney New South Wales, Australia. They had a son; Richard Hugh Farnfield born 4th December 1937 (Also Captain RN).

Events related to this officer

Destroyer HMS Defender (H 07)

11 Jul 1941
At 1300hrs of 11 July 1941 HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, RN) sailed from Tobruk for Alexandria in company with HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, RAN). Besides her complement she had on board the crew of the sunken Waterhen.
Within a few hours, taking advantage of a clear and moonlit night, a single Ju-88s of I/LG.1 (Lt. Gerd Stamp), on a reconnaissance flight along the coast, attacked the destroyers: at 0518 hrs a heavy calibre bomb near-missed Defender, detonating beneath the machinery spaces. The heavy mining effect deformed the stern and flooded the engine rooms and one boiler room.
Despite determined attempts at towing, Vendetta was unable to make much headway. It appears Defender's back was broken, and as she was deep in the water from flooding, the tow caused much strain on Vendetta's old (1917 vintage) engines. The decision was then made to scuttle the crippled destroyer, carried out by a torpedo at 1145 hrs, barely 7 nautical miles north of Sidi el-Barrani. There was no loss of life in the sinking, all 271 aboard Defender transferred safely to Vendetta and arrived Alexandria unscathed.

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