Dennis Ernest Lawrence
C/JX 203584, Ordinary Seaman Dennis Lawrence, Age 18
HMS Forfar, Royal Navy
Died 02 December 1940
Ordinary Seaman C/JX 203584, Royal Navy, HMS Forfar. Died 2/12/1940. Age 18.
Born 10 June 1922 in Walton, the fifth of seven children of Walter James Lawrence and Beatrice Maude nee Clarke. Beatrice died in 1931, the three youngest children were under 10 at the time. Walter remarried & in 1939 the family were living at 33 - 35 Maidstone Road where Walter was the coal yard foreman.
In 1939, the Admiralty requisitioned the Canadian Pacific passenger liner, Montrose, and converted her into an Armed Merchant Cruiser, HMS Forfar. On 2nd December 1940 the Forfar was on the Northern Patrol, she had just left convoy HX-90 to meet up with convoy OB-251, at 0546 hrs she was struck by a single torpedo fired by U-99. 500 miles west of Ireland she finally sank at 0657 hrs after four additional torpedo hits at 0639, 0643, 0650 & 0657 hrs. Only 21 of her 193 crew survived after being rescued by HMCS St. Laurent, HMS Viscount and the Dunsley, they were landed at Oban. Dennis is commemorated on Chatham Naval Memorial.
Chatham Naval Memorial
Montrose before conversion