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Record Detail
Full Name: Ronald Hayden Charles Clark
Rank Last Held: Able Seaman
Forename(s): Ronald Hayden Charles
Surname: Clark
War: World War II, 1939-1945
Serial No.: NZ 1467
Body on Embarkation: Royal New Zealand Navy
Last Unit Served: Royal New Zealand Navy, HMS Neptune
Place of Death: Mediterranean
Date of Death: 19 December 1941
Year of Death: 1941
Cause of Death: Killed in action
Memorial Name: New Zealand Naval Memorial, Devonport Naval Base, HMNZS Philomel, Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand
Memorial Reference: Panel 1
Biographical Notes: Ronald Clark died when his ship, the Neptune, hit several mines in the sea off Tripoli and sank.
Description of Image:
  • New Zealand Naval Memorial, Devonport, Panel 1: Royal New Zealand Navy - Lieutenant, Paymaster Sub-Lieutenant, Midshipman, Petty Officers, Leading Seamen, Able Seamen - Atkinson - Dryland (photo John Halpin 2011)
  • New Zealand Naval Memorial, Devonport, detail (digital photo John Halpin 2011)
  • New Zealand Naval Memorial, Devonport and garden, detail (digital photo John Halpin 2011)
Additional Information:
  • Neptune's Legacy by Nixie Taverner
  • HMS Neptune was launched at Portsmouth on 31 January 1933. She was one of five 'Leander' class light cruisers completed between 1933 and 1935. Two others were HMS Achilles and Leander serving in the RNZN. They displaced 7,200 tons, could make 32 knots and carried eight 6 inch guns and 550 crew.
  • The Neptune was in the Mediterranean from 1 December 1941 as part of Force K which was searching for Axis shipping, especially those taking supplies to Rommel in North Africa. Early on the 19th the ships of Force K ran into a minefield. The Neptune hit three or four mines and sank with only one survivor. At the same time the Aurora was badly damaged and Penelope slightly. Trying to reach Neptune to assist, the destroyer Kandahar was mined and had to be scuttled the following day. On the same day in Alexandria harbour the Queen Elizabeth with Admiral Cunningham on board and the Valiant were both badly damaged and sank. The Mediterranean Fleet battle squadron ceased to exist.
  • Of the total crew of 766 there was only one survivor. He was rescued off a raft five days later by an Italian destroyer and spent the rest of the war in a prisoner of war camp.
Sources Used: Commonwealth War Graves Commission. URL: http://www.cwgc.org
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