Roy Littlewood Couves

Chief Officer - Merchant Navy - SS Cornwallis

Background Information


26th June 1919



Chief Officer - Merchant Navy - SS Cornwallis



3rd December 1944 age 26

Roy Littlewood Couves was born on 26th June 1919 in Gravesend, Kent. His father was Leonard Alfred Couves, a Trinity House Pilot, and his mother was Marion Primula (née Littlewood). Roy’s father served on HMS Albatross in World War One. The first school that he attended was Cecil Road School in Gravesend.
In 1927 Roy Couves joined The County School for Boys – now known as Gravesend Grammar School. The Head Master at that time was the Reverend Samuel Lister. The County School for Boys was located in Darnley Road, Gravesend close to the Railway Station. In 1938 the School moved to brand new premises in Church Walk, Milton, Gravesend opposite to Milton Church.
The School’s Admission Register lists Roy’s home address as 16 The Avenue, Gravesend. Whilst at the School, Roy was in Town House. Two younger brothers also attended the School, Derek (born 1923) and Brian (born 1925). Both saw service in World War Two; Brian was a Cadet in the Merchant Navy and Derek a Leading Aircraftman in the Fleet Air Arm.
In 1935 Roy left the School and joined the Merchant Navy. He went to the Sir John Cass Nautical College and served his apprenticeship with the Clan Line. Having been torpedoed earlier in World War Two, in 1942, he joined the Merchant Steamship S.S. Cornwallis (Vancouver), as Chief Officer (First Mate). On the 3rd December 1944 the S.S. Cornwallis was hit by U boat U-1230 off the Maine coast on a voyage from Barbados to St John, New Brunswick. Roy Couves was killed, age 26.
Roy Couves is remembered on the Halifax Memorial, Nova Scotia Panel 23.

Two other members of Roy Couves’ Form also died in World War Two – Robert Knox and Horace Mercer.

There are links below to Newspaper Clippings and Photographs from the Gravesend Grammar School Archives.

Also links to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website and a few other websites that might be of interest:

Halifax War Memorial, Nova Scotia, Canada Panel 23