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Glasgow Xmas Card

Many thanks to Patrick Thompson for permission to publish

This Christmas card has been donated by Patrick Thompson. Ex Army Major RA. Ex 29 Cdo Regiment and a Naval gunfire spotter.

Patricks uncle Noel Richards served on HMS Southampton.

11 January 1941 Southampton (Photo) came under attack from 12 German Stuka dive bombers. She was hit by at least two bombs south-east of Malta and caught fire; the resulting blaze spread from stem to stern and trapped a number of men below decks. 81 men were killed, 27 of which were Officers, with the survivors being picked up by Gloucester and HMS Diamond. Heavily damaged and without power, Southampton was sunk by one torpedo from Gloucester and four from HMS Orion. Noel was one of the officers lost.

It seems the Christmas card is a bit of a mystery. The card came to light early this year (2011) it was discovered among the papers of his brother( Kenneth)on the death of  kenneth’s  widow.


Noel and Kenneths father served in the Royal Navy during WWI as a Engineer Captain, at sometime on HMS Bacchante. (Photo)



Kenneth served in the army during the war so his only connection with the Royal Navy it would assume, be with his brother and father, so who was this card addressed to within the family and who is John Yendell? He was obviously an officer as the wording says IN Superb oposed to ON! Why the wardroom insist on IN than ON, has always baffled me. No doubt someone out there will enlighten me!

A quick internet search for a J Yendell shows a Captain William John Yendell, who commanded both HMS Glasgow and HMS Superb but this was in 1951:

NPG x165263; William John Yendell by Walter StonemanRear Admiral William John Yendell CB (1903–1988)

After the war, apart from a few brief commands (HMS Glasgow, HMS Superb), he was based at the Admiralty becoming director of naval ordnance in 1951 and assistant chief of naval staff (warfare) in 1954, as well as naval ADC to Queen Elizabeth II. He retired in 1957.

If this the same Yendell, then it could be that he was a family friend and had sent the card Christmas 1951. Probably had the Christmas card when serving in Glasgow the previous year and used it to inform family of his new appointment. With the wording “now in Superb”

Does anyone know or heard of a John Yendell?

  • Rear Admiral William John Yendell CB (1903–1988) was a British Royal Navy officer. He was head of the naval mission to Greece up to its invasion by Axis forces, and after evacuation served as a staff officer in Alexandria until 1943. In October of that year until the closing months of World War II he commanded the escort carrier HMS Shah. After the war, apart from a few brief commands, he was based at the Admiralty becoming director of naval ordnance in 1951 and assistant chief of naval staff (warfare) in 1954, as well as naval ADC to Queen Elizabeth II. He retired in 1957.

3 Responses to Glasgow Xmas Card

  1. Gemma Cox

    July 7, 2013 at 22:14


    I’m not sure when this was posted to your website but it came up in my google search of William John Yendell – my great grandfather on my dads side. I can’t help much with information on him as I was only 4 years old when he passed away in 1988. Everything you have written about his Naval career is true and the most I can say is that the handwriting looks like his. To my father, he was known more as uncle Bill but this could be just a name he used inside the family since other information I have found from people he served with and was friends with etc all called him either William or John.

    I hope this helps somewhat and it’s nice to see more information about him in print 🙂

    Oh and one last thing – http://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait/mw110673/William-John-Yendell?LinkID=mp81566&role=sit&rNo=0 – that’s a link to a photo of him in the National Portrait Gallery.

    Take care,


  2. Gemma Cox

    July 7, 2013 at 22:15

    Ooops, I wrote Great Grandfather instead of Great Grand Uncle!

  3. robbyg

    July 9, 2013 at 11:02

    Thank you Gemma.
    Having contacted Gemma by email, I have offered her the Christmas card. She has gratefully accepted this and will present it to her father.
    After all these years it is nice to know that the card is “going home”.

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