Leading Stoker Frank Edward Coe, Royal Navy
HMS Exmoor

Town Memorial World War II

Leading Stoker

Service Number C/KX 86109
Died 25/02/1941
H.M.S. Exmoor
Royal Navy
Location: Kent, United Kingdom
Cemetery/memorial reference: 47, 1.

This is the only WW2 record in the CWGC database corresponding with F E Coe, as he is named in Leatherhead.

Aberdeen Press and Journal
Saturday 01 March 1941
H.M.S. Exmoor Sunk
The loss of H.M. destroyer Exmoor was announced in an Admiralty communique last night, which stated: Last Tuesday night German E-boats endeavoured to attack one of our convoys in the North Sea. The attack was driven off, but the Board of Admiralty regrets to announce that the destroyer H.M.S. Exmoor (Lt.- Com. R. T. Lampard. R.N.) was sunk. "Next of kin casualties have been informed. "No other damage was inflicted by the enemy upon our convoy or its escorts." The Exmoor was a ship of 900 tons, described in "Jane's Fighting Ships" as an escort vessel. She was laid down in 1939.

Hampshire Telegraph
Friday 04 April 1941
Casualties in H.M.S. Exmoor
'The Board of Admiralty regrets to announce the following casualties suffered in H.M.S. Exmoor, the loss of which has already been announced:—  MISSING ...  Coe, F E A/Ldg Stoker ...

HMS Exmoor

HMS Exmoor was a Hunt-class destroyer of the Royal Navy. She was launched on 25 January 1940 and commissioned into service on 18 October 1940. After working up, she was assigned to the 16th Destroyer Flotilla at Scapa Flow.

According to Wikipedia:
" ... on 23 February [HMS Exmoor] was deployed with [HMS] Shearwater to escort a convoy from the Thames estuary to Methil [an eastern coastal port in Scotland].
The convoy was attacked by E-boats as it passed off Lowestoft on 25 February. Exmoor suffered an explosion aft, suffering major structural damage and rupturing a fuel supply line. A fire soon broke out which spread rapidly. Exmoor capsized and sank in ten minutes. The survivors were picked up by Shearwater and the trawler Commander Evans, and were taken to Yarmouth.

Exmoor had either been hit by a torpedo fired by the E-Boat S30 commanded by Klaus Feldt, as the Germans claimed, or had struck a mine as the Admiralty claimed."

Four officers including the Commanding Officer and 100 men were lost. A casualty list, which includes Frank Edward Coe, can be seen via the link below.

He was 'lost at sea' and having no know grave is remembered on the Chatham Naval Memorial 47, 1. This Memorial, which overlooks the town of Chatham in Kent, commemorates more than 8,500 Royal Navy personnel of the First World War and over 10,000 of the Second World War who were lost or buried at sea.

His life

Frank Edward Coe was born on 3 June 1916 in the Paddington area of London. His parents were Frank Coe born 1883 and Minnie Gibbs born 1890, both believed to be from Paddington. They married at St Paul's Paddington on 6 May 1913. Their daughter Grace May was born 15 or 16 May 1914.

Frank snr was a dairyman who enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery on 10 December 1915. He served in Mesopotamia. He was medically discharged following bouts of malaria on 8 October 1919. His address was 71 Bravington Rd, Queens Park,  Paddington W9. He died on 12 May 1921 in Willesden, Middlesex.

Frank jr's mother Minnie, née Gibbs, was born 18 July 1890 in Paddington. She was an only child. In the 1891 Census her father Edward was described as a Milk Carrier, born in Bloomsbury, London and her mother Ellen, née Champion, was from Kennington, Oxford. They reappear when we get to 1939.

Frank jr, Minnie and Grace are listed in the 1937 Electoral Register at Fairview, Abinger Common. In 1938 they were at 116 Fairfield Drive, Dorking.

The 1939 National Register establishes Frank Edward Coe's connection with Leatherhead .
Frank and Minnie are listed at at No1 Apple Tree Cottage, Givons Grove, Leatherhead. Frank is described as a Gardener [his date of birth 23 Dec 1890 is incorrect.] The others listed with Frank are:

Minnie Coe, unpaid domestic duties, dob 18 Jul 1890
Edward Gibbs, retired lavatory attendant, dob 17 Mar 1863 
Ellen Gibbs, unpaid domestic duties, dob 3 Jan 1867 

Edward and Ellen are Minnie's parents.

Frank Edward Coe is named on the following memorials:
Leatherhead Town Memorial
Leatherhead Parish Church, Royal British Legion Roll of Honour
Chatham Naval Memorial


HMS Exmoor
Casualty list - http://hmscavalier.org.uk/casualtySearch.php?surname=&forenames=&ship=exmoor

the website editor would like to add further information on this casualty
e.g. a photo of him, his memorial inscription, and any recollections of him

last updated 2 Jun 20