Military Monday – Robert Titterington (1905-1945)

Robert Titterrington is the husband of Mary Ann Paley, my 1st cousin 2x removed. Mary Ann’s parents are William Thomas Paley and Lilian Holden Coates. Our common ancestors are my 2x great grandparents James Paley and Mary Ann Spink.

Robert was born on 27 August 1905 in Skipton, Yorkshire to parents Robert and Ada Titterington. He was baptised on 24 September 1905 at Holy Trinity Church, Skipton.

Sometime in the December quarter of 1931 Robert and Mary Ann were married. They had one son whose birth is registered in the March quarter of 1934.

When the 1939 Register was taken at the outbreak of WW2 Robert and Mary Ann were living at 37 Ash Grove, Ilkley, West Yorkshire. Robert was working as an Insurance Agent.

Sometime after that Robert joined the Royal Navy – his service number was C/MX824444. He served on board HMS Virago as a Sick Berth Attendant (SBA).

HMS Virago was a V-class destroyer built by Swan Hunter, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom. The Virago was launched on 4 February 1943 and was in service in the Arctic convoys, the Normandy landings and in the Far East.

300px-HMS_Virago_1943_IWM_FL_9578

HMS Virago

HMS Viargo patrolled the Malacca Strait and supported Operation Dracula off the coast of Burma in late April 1945. Subsequently she participated in the Battle of the Malacca Strait with Saumarez, Verulam,Venus and Vigilant which culminated in the sinking of the Japanese heavy cruiser Haguro on 16 May 1945. This was a textbook destroyer night action, and was the last naval gun battle of the Second World War.

Sadly it was also in this battle that Robert Titterington died on 16 May 1945.

Virago participated in preparations for Operation Zipper (the invasion of Malaya) in July/August 1945, and its eventual execution as a reoccupation manoeuvre in September 1945 following the surrender of Japan. Based in Hong Kong with the British Pacific Fleet after VJ day, Virago returned to Chatham, Kent in December 1945.

I guess that Robert, along with others killed in action would have been buried at sea. He is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial in Kent, United Kingdom.

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Chatham Naval Memorial (from CWGC website)

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