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Farndales and the sea












Several Farndales were seamen, generally associated with Whitby 







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General Sir Martin Farndale KCB



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References and citations are in turquoise.

Context and local history are in purple.


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Farndales and the Sea


John Farndale, (FAR00136) lived in Whitby and sailed with James Cook. He was a seaman named in a list of 42 of the crew of The Friendship of Whitby on 10 Nov 1753 when James Cook was Mate. John would be about 42 years old in 1753.


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Giles Farndale (FAR00137) served in the Royal Navy. It seems very likely that he was press-ganged at Whitby, probably in 1740 when he would have been 27 years old. The Muster Book for HMS Experiment, a brig with a compliment of 130, shows Giles Farndell as No 101 Able Seaman, impressed on 29 Jun 1740. He is present at every muster until 9 May 1741 when he is marked ‘DD’ (Discharged Dead). No circumstances are recorded which probably means that he died of sickness on 9 May 1741. The ‘Experiment’ was commissioned under Captain Hughes at Deptford between Mar and Jun 1740. On 29 Jun 1740 the ‘Experiment’ was at The Nore, where Giles Farndell (or Farndale; he is listed under both names in different Muster Books), came on complement. From there she sailed for Port Royal, Jamaica where she arrived on 15 September 1740. From there until June 1741 the ship was either in Port Royal, at sea, or in Cartagena. He must have taken part on the War of Jenkins’ Ear in the Spanish Main.


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HMS Experiment taking the Telemaque, 8 July 1757


William Farndale (FAR00157) became a master mariner. He captained the collier Abigail and Martha in 1767. He died at the age of 34 in 1777 and may well have died at sea.


John Farndale (FAR00198) was born in 1773 and was probably the son of William Farndale (FAR00157). After he died, his widow, Dinah, sought a pension through the Royal Hospital at Chelsea, so John probably served in some capacity with the Royal Navy.


Robert Farndale (FAR00197), the son of William Farndale (FAR00157), was a ship’s carpenter of Whitby, but died aged only 23.


John Farndale (FAR00244) was a master mariner who was captain of the William and Nancy by 1826. There are a large number of records of his voyages along the east coast. He died aged only 35.


John Farndale (FAR00265), was a sailor of Whitby.


William Farndale (FAR00289) was a Master Mariner of Whitby who captained the William and Nancy like his father. He traded along the east coast.


John Christopher Farndale The Younger (FAR00308) was a Master Mariner of Whitby. He got into some trouble as an apprentice mariner in 1845 when he went absent and was sent to Northallerton gaol for a month of hard labour. By 1853 he was captain of the John Stewart and a master mariner. He captained several different ships and regularly traded along the east coast regularly calling at Wisbech in Cambridgeshire where he met his first and second wife. He regularly sailed to ports in the Baltic, including St Petersburg. He was witness to an assault on the high seas. He died at sea in a storm in the Bay of Biscay.


Thomas Farndale (FAR00300) was a ship’s broker’s clerk in Whitby.


Henry Farndale (FAR000495) was working as a sailor by the age of 22 and later worked as an Able Seaman in the merchant navy for Mercantile Marine, Eagle Oil Transport Company in Hartlepool. He probably served in the Royal; Navy Reserve on HMS Pembroke in 1916.


Thomas Harry Farndale (FAR00699) service No Z/6840 served in the Royal Navy Reserve in London in the first World War. He was a telegraphist.


Clarence Farndale (FAR00850) served in the Royal Canadian Navy from 1939 to 1966.


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The Collier Trade


More research to follow.




A brig is a type of sailing vessel defined by its rig. It had two masts which were both square-rigged. Brigs originated in the second half of the eighteenth century and were a common type of smaller merchant vessel or warship from then until the latter part of the nineteenth century. In commercial use, they were gradually replaced by fore-and-aft rigged vessels such as schooners, as owners sought to reduce crew costs by having rigs that could be handled by fewer men. In Royal Navy use, brigs were retained for training use when the battle fleets consisted almost entirely of iron-hulled steamships. Brigs were prominent in the coasting coal trade of British waters. 4,395 voyages to London with coal were recorded in 1795. With an average of eight or nine trips per year for one vessel, that is a fleet of over 500 colliers trading to London alone. Other ports and coastal communities were also be served by colliers trading to Britain's coal ports. In the first half of the nineteenth century, the vast majority were rigged as brigs, and that rig was retained for longer in the northeast of England.

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The Mary, a Brig of South Shields painted in 1855

The Traditional Song, the Collier Brig: Oh, the worst old ship that ever set sail, Sailed out of Harwich on a windy day. Chorus: Stormy weather, boys, stormy weather, boys, When the wind blows the barge will go. She was built in Roman style, Held together with bits of twine. Skipper’s half Dutch and he hasn’t got a clue, The crew were fourteen hands too few. Cook spilt the dinner on the galley floor, Skipper caught his hand in the wheelhouse door. Off Orford Ness we sprang a leak, Hear our poor old timbers creak. We steered our way round Lowestoft next, The wind backed round to the sou-sou-west. Through the Cockle to Cromer Cliff, Steering like a wagon with a wheel adrift. Up The Humber and up to town, Pump, you devils, pump or drown. Then on a sandbank we got stuck, Skipper’s drunk in the Dog and Duck. Up come a mermaid covered in slime, We took her down the hold and we had a good time. We kept on course all through the night, Nearly went aground at the Apex light. Coal was shot by a Keadby crew, Bottom was rotten and it went right through. So when we saw the brig was sunk, We went to the Barge and we all got drunk.


The Royal Navy in 1740


More research to follow.


The Master Mariner


master mariner is a licensed mariner who holds the highest grade of seafarer qualification; namely, an unlimited master's license. Such a license is referred to as unlimited because it has no limits on the tonnage, power, or geographic location of the vessel that the holder of the license is allowed to serve upon. A master mariner would therefore be allowed to serve as the master of a merchant ship of any size, of any type, operating anywhere in the world, and it reflects the highest level of professional qualification amongst mariners and deck officers.


The term master mariner has been in use at least since the thirteenth century. In guild or livery company terms, a master mariner was a master craftsman in this specific profession just as a master carpenter of master butcher.


There are also various other levels of master's certificates, which may be restricted or limited to home trade/near coastal voyages and/or by gross tonnage. The holder of a restricted master's certificate is not referred to as a "master mariner".


In the British Merchant Navy a master mariner who has sailed in command of an ocean-going merchant ship will be titled captain. A professional seafarer who holds a restricted or limited master's certificate who has sailed in command of a ship (i.e. appropriate to the size, power or geographic limits of their certificate) can also be titled captain.


Where the movements of ships were recorded in the shipping news and other media, the name of the ship was followed by the name of the Captain.


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HMS Farndale


HMS Farndale was a Type II, Hunt-class Escort Destroyer. It was involved in convoy escort missions. She served on the Malta Convoys 1841, and in the Mediterranean 1941, Libya 1942, the Atlantic 1942, North Africa 1942 to 1943, Siciliy 1943, Salerno 1943, the Aegean 1943, South France 1944, and the North Sea in 1945.


She was scrapped in 1962.


She was the only British Warship so far to bear this name.


HMS Farndale was ordered on 4 September 1939 under the 1939 War Emergency Build Programme. She was completed in April 1941. She was adopted by the civil community of Southgate, then in Middlesex, as part of Warship Week in 1942.


She earned eleven battle honours for extensive service during the Second World War. This included service in the Mediterranean where she was severely damaged in February 1942, and resulted in extensive repairs in the UK that year. She then saw service with Russian convoys, followed by work to support the allied landings in Italy. Towards the end of the war she was nominated for service in the Far East in support of Operation Zipper for landings in Malaya, which was cancelled with the end of the War.


She returned to Sheerness from the Far East in November 1945 and was transferred to the Reserve Fleet.


From 1946 until 1951 she was part of the Nore Local Flotilla and was then placed in reserve again at Hartlepool. She remained there until 1962 when she was sold to Bisco for scrapping by Hughes Bolckow. She arrived at their breakers yard in Blythe on 29 November 1962.


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The Crawley and District Observer, 10 May 1941: SAILORS AND SCHOLARS. A plaque has been received by the school billeted in the village. It bears the inscription: “presented to Oldridge Road JM School, May 1940, by officers and men of the SS Farndale (Captain Wright), in token of friendship between the ship and the school.” The plaque is engraved with a picture of the SS Farndale. Scholars of that school are now collecting illustrated magazines for sailors at their newly adopted ship.


The Sheerness Times Guardian, 11 July 1941: SERVING TGHEIOR KING AND COUNTRY. … MINTER, Stoker (2nd), J K, HMS Farndale, Golden Dawn, New Road, Sheerness.


The Yorkshire Evening Post, 17 December 1941: A FLIGHT FROM BARDA. An Admiralty communique says: The Italian U-boat Ammiraglio Caracciolo has been sunk in the Central Mediterranean by the destroyer Farndale (Commander S H Carrill RN). Fifty three survivors have been taken prisoners of war. The u-boat left Bardia in an attempt to give passage to 20 Italian military officers, amongst whom was General Guido Lami. The General is not among those rescued. General Lami was the chief executive engineer of the engineering headquarters of the Italian army in Rome. The destroyer Farndale was built at Wallsend on Tyne in the yard of Messrs Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson. The Ammiraglio Caracciolo, of the Saint Bon class was one of the latest types of ocean going under underwater craft. She was part of the 1938 programme and was of 1,400 tons displacement. She was 288 ½ feet long, beam 25 ½ feet, and had a speed of 18 knots. She carried 14 eight inch torpedo tubes. Her armament also included two 3.9 inch guns and four machine guns. Before war broke out, commander Carlill, of the Farndale, was squadron gunnery officer of the mediterranean flotillas.


The Liverpool Echo, 17 December 1941. A GENERAL ESCAPING FROM LIBYA ON BOARD. “The Italian U-boat Ammiraglio Caracciolo has been sunk in the Central Mediterranean by the destroyer Farndale (Commander S H Carrill RN)” said the Admiralty today. Fifty three survivors have been taken prisoners of war. The u-boat left Bardia in an attempt to give passage to 20 Italian military officers, amongst whom was General Guido Lami. The General is not among those rescued. General Lami was the chief executive engineer of the engineering headquarters of the Italian army in Rome. The destroyer Farndale was built at Wallsend on Tyne in the yard of Messrs Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Limited. Before war broke out, commander Carlill, of the Farndale, was squadron gunnery officer of the mediterranean flotillas.


The Hull Daily Mail, 3 January 1942: DESTROYERS SINK 3 AXIS SUBMARINES. News that three enemy submarines had been sunk in the Mediterranean by British naval forces during the land advance through Libya was given in an interview with an Associated Press correspondent by Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham, commander in chief in the Mediterranean. Admiral Cunningham also said there were “indications that Nazi submarines are operating in the eastern Mediterranean in considerable number.” Sir Andrew said: “during the advance of our army in Libya the enemy appeared to have been making special efforts to interfere with our supplies by sea. In this they have had little success while our counter attacking forces have sunk one Italian and two German submarines and brought in prisoners. The forces carrying out these successful operations included the destroyers Farndale, Kipling, Hasty, and Hotspur. The submarines attempted to sink British supply ships and merchant men bound for to Tobruk and Benghazi. 130 prisoners were taken when the crews escaped from the submarines as they broke surface after being depth charged.


The Northern Whig 03 January 1942: THREE U BOATS DESTROYED. British naval units operating in cooperation with our land forces in Libya, sunk one Italian and two German submarines which were trying to dislocate our sea supplies. 130 prisoners were taken from the three ‘victims’. All the submarines were destroyed by depth charges from the destroyers Farndale, Kipling, Hasty and Hotspur. Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham, chief commander in chief of the Mediterranean fleet, in a special communique announcing this latest naval success says...


The Long Eaton Advertiser, 24 January 1942: We have received a copy of the January issue of the “Gasbag” which states “A week or two ago the Admiralty announced that HMS Farndale had destroyed an Axis submarine in the Mediterranean. One of our lads, Jack Everill, X314, is aboard the Farndale, so I think we can offer our congratulations and basket a little of the reflected glory...


Honours Announcement. Whitehall, 17 March 1942. The KING has been graciously pleased to give orders for the following Appointments to the Distinguished Service Order, and to approve the following awards:1 For skill and enterprise in action against Enemy Submarines, while serving on HMS Farndale: To be a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order: Commander Stephen Hope Carlill, Royal Navy; The Distinguished Service Cross, Lieutenant Roger Curteis Norwood, Royal Navy; The Distinguished Service Medal, Leading Seaman Alexander McDonald C/SSX.14555; For bravery and coolness when HMS Farndale was attacked by enemy aircraft: The Distinguished Service Cross, Mr Richard Dunstan Goodier, Commissioned Engineer, Royal Navy; Mention in Dispatches (posthumous), Shipwright Third Class Leonard Loman Cooper, C/MX.48324; Mention in Dispatches, Lieutenant Roger Curteis Norwood DSC, Royal Navy


The Hampshire Telegraph, 15 May 1942: … For bravery and coolness when HMS Farndale was attacked by enemy aircraft: - DSC – Mr R D Goodier, cd, Eng, RN


The Portsmouth Evening News, 21 April 1943: DESTROYER’S LINK WITH DOOMESDAY BOOK. HMS Farndale, a hunt class destroyer, has an unusual plaque commemorating her adoption by the borough of Southgate. The plaque was cut from Minchenden oak, which is mentioned in the Doomsday Book, and is still growing in Southgate. It was presented to the ship by the mayor of Southgate when he visited her and inspected the ship's company. On this occasion, also, the commanding officer accepted a cheque for £50 from the mayor and burgesses of Southgate to start the Farndale Benevolent Fund to provide immediate and urgent assistant for the dependants of men serving in the ship who may be injured or killed in action.


The Falkirk Herald, 19 January 1944: HANDS TO BATHE. An hour after the landings in Sicily, his majesty’s destroyers, Haydon, Calpe, Farndale and Puckeridge, stood off the islands coast, having “unbuttoned” their convoys and the first two piped “hands to bathe”. While crews splashed over the sides, the Farndale and the Puckeridge circled out to make an anti submarine patrol around the area. When the Haydon and Calpe had had their fun, they took over the patrol, and the Farndale and the Puckeridge closed in and came to rest with their “hands to bathe” pipe.


The Birmingham Mail, 27 October 1945: FOUR DESTROYERS COMING HOME. For veteran destroyers, which between them have seen service in every theatre of sea war, have sailed from Colombo for Britain. They are hunt class destroyers of the 18th flotilla, HM ships Farndale, Calpe, Chiddingfold, and Bleasdale.


The Hampshire Telegraph, 2 November 1945: VETERAN ‘HUNTS’. Four veteran destroyers which among them have seen service in every theatre of sea war, have sailed from Colombo for Britain, and are expected in homeports about the middle of November. They are hunt class destroyers of the 18th flotilla, Farndale, Calpe, Chiddingfold, and Bleasdale. Commander EH Roper of the Farndale, said: “We finished our first Commission in the Mediterranean with a 2,000 lb bomb in the wardrobe wine cellar. It broke every bottle we had, but didn't hurt a soul.”


The Dover Express, 2 August 1946: a guard of honour of the Royal Navy will be drawn up outside the town hall, with the band of the Royal Navy (Chatham). Two Hunt class destroyers, HMS Bleasdale, and HMS Farndale will be at Dover for the occasion.


The Dundee Evening Telegraph, 3 January 1947: SHIP SINKS – NO SIGN OF SURVIVORS. The Norwegian steamer Magnhild, reported sinking near Gjedser light vessel by the British warship Farndale this morning, was later reported sunk according to a Lloyds message. There were no signs of survivors.


The Shields Daily News, 3 January 1947: NO SURVIVORS SEEN AFTER SHIP SINKS. The Norwegian steamer Magnhild, 929 tonnes, first reported sinking near Gjedser light vessel, off South Denmark, by the British warship Farndale, was later reported sunk according to a Lloyds message today. There were no signs of survivors. The Lloyds message stated that a message received from the Farndale said: “Norwegian steamer Magnhild sinking in position three miles northwest of Gjedser light vessel. No sign of survivors.” Later the ship was reported sunk. The Magnhild left Boulogne bound for a Baltic port on December 28, and was reported to have passed Cuxhaven on December 30.


The Belfast News-Letter, 4 January 1947: The British destroyer, Farndale, arrived in Copenhagen last night with the crew of the Norwegian steamer Magnhild, which sank yesterday north of Gjedser, in the Baltic.