Richard Norman Reed

3rd Officer - Merchant Navy - Tanker SS Empire Metal

Background Information


4th April 1922



3rd Officer - Merchant Navy - Tanker SS Empire Metal



2nd January 1943 age 20

Richard Norman Reed was born on 4th April 1922 in Gravesend, Kent. His father was Alfred George Reed, an Assistant Printer, and his mother was Annie Alice (née Truss). The first school that he attended was Holy Trinity School in Gravesend.
In 1933 Richard Reed 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 Richard’s address as Wayside, Constitution Hill, Gravesend. Whilst at the School, Richard was in Downs House.
In 1938 Richard left the School and joined the Merchant Navy, serving his apprenticeship with the British Tanker Company. During World War Two he survived being machine-gunned, bombed and torpedoed on three occasions.
On 2nd January 1943 Richard Reed was the 3rd Officer on the Tanker SS Empire Metal, when it was bombed and sunk whilst in Bone Harbour, Algeria. Richard was killed age 20. He is remembered at the Bone War Cemetery, Annaba, Algeria.

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:

Bone War Cemetery, Annaba, Algeria