Lieutenant Commander - Royal Navy - HMS Trollope
Harry Westacott was born on 3rd April 1910 in Wandsworth. His father was Arthur Robert Westacott, a Customs Officer, and his mother was Amelia (née Packer). He first attended Lynton House School in Gravesend. This was a Private school run by 2 sisters, which also went under the name of Miss Kennedy’s. A Plaque on the gate stated it was a school for the sons and daughters of gentlefolk. It was run by Florence Kennedy and her younger sister – Ethel Kennedy. They also employed Elizabeth Noble in 1911 (1911 Census). Situated at 119 Darnley Road, Lynton House became part of the County School for Girls in 1919 (which was later known as Gravesend Grammar School for Girls, and now known as Mayfield Grammar School). The building was demolished in 1970.
In 1919 Harry Westacott joined The County School for Boys – now known as Gravesend Grammar School. The Head Master at that time was Henry F A Wigley, followed by 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 Harry’s address as 14 Lennox Road East, Gravesend. Younger brother Robert (born 1915) also attended the School.
In 1926 Harry left the School and joined the Royal Navy as a Sea Apprentice. In the 1939 Census he is listed as living in Chichester and his occupation is Navy Lieutenant on the HMS Peregrin.
In World War Two Harry was Mentioned in Despatches for bravery and skill in successful mine-laying operations in HMS Abdiel, he was Lieutenant Commander from 18th August to 21st September 1942. On 10th January 1944 he took over a brand-new Frigate, the HMS Trollope, as Lieutenant Commander.
On 6th July 1944, HMS Trollope was torpedoed off Cap d’Antifer, Normandy by E-Boats coming out of Le Havre. The Frigate broke in two and half the crew were lost, including that of Harry Westacott, age 34. He is remembered at Portsmouth Naval War Memorial.
There was a book written about him by Hawthorne Mills, published in 1998.
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: