Sub-Lieutenant - Royal Naval Reserves - HMS Ark Royal
David Malcolm Ferguson was born on 11 January 1921 in Middlesborough. His father was David Ferguson, a Printer’s Assistant, and his mother was Gertrude Helen (née Westcott). The first school that he attended was Gordon Senior School in Gravesend.
In 1933 David Ferguson 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 (now the Victoria Centre for Education). In 1938 the School moved to brand new premises in Church Walk, Milton, Gravesend opposite to Milton Church.
The School’s Admission Register lists David’s address as 34 Essex Road, Gravesend, Gravesend. Whilst at the School, David was in Hill House. Three younger brothers also attended the school – George (born 1924), Peter (born 1926) and Jack (born 1933).
In 1937 David left the School and started work for the General Life Assurance Company (now Aviva) in the Mortgage department. He joined the Fleet Air Arm shortly after the outbreak of the war, the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserves as a Sub Lieutenant on HMS Ark Royal, with 818 Squadron.
The Ship was on Operations with Force H in the Eastern Atlantic escorting outward and homeward bound Sierra Leone convoys. On the 8th March 1941, Force H and Ark Royal were ordered to the Canary Islands to search for battleships, and to cover convoys crossing from the United States. Ark Royal used her aircraft to search for captured ships returning to Germany, under the control of prize crews. On the 13th March HMS Ark Royal was hit by a torpedo from U-Boat U-81 and sank on 14th. David Ferguson died aged 20. He is remembered on the Lee on Solent Memorial Bay 2, Panel 7.
There are links below to Newspaper Clippings and Photographs from the Gravesend Grammar School Archives.
Below are links to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website and a few other websites that might be of interest: