Kenneth Reddin was born on the 15th March 1915 in Connah’s Quay Chester, according to Kenneth Reddin in the UK, British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960.
He was the son of Job & Catherine Reddin, who had married in St. Mark’s Church, Connah’s Quay in 1892. (Flintshire (Mold) C104/01/E312).
There are no census returns released yet that gives us an insight to Kenneth, so the next time we see him is when he marries his wife, Ethel Wright, in Christ Church, Mostyn in 1938. (Flintshire (Mold) C7/2/E35)
His father Job had died, so his mother Catherine is seen as a widow on the 1939 Register, with Kenneth’s new Bride, Ethel, this also gives a clue to the fact that after Kenneth’s death, Ethel remarried in 1946 to James H. Tomkinson in Walsall (Walsall Vol. 9b Page 1883):-
Reddin Household (5 People)
13 Dock Road , Connah’s Quay U.D., Flintshire, Wales
Catherine Reddin 29 Nov 1871 Female Unpaid Domestic Duties Widowed 223 1
Ethel Tomkinson (Reddin) 19 Feb 1917 Female Unpaid Domestic Duties Married223 2
Sorry, this record is officially closed. Check if you can open a closed record.
Hilda Vernon* 04 Dec 1895 Female Unpaid Domestic Duties Married 223 4
Philip Vernon 01 Jul 1934 Male Under School Age Single 223 5
*I believe that Kenneth’s sister, Hilda, had married George Frederick Vernon in St George’s United Reformed Church, Thornton Hough in 1917, when Kenneth was 2 years old, (Wirral BK84/1/23)
So it seems that Kenneth was not in the household and was probably already in His Majesty’s Service as a Sailor.
Again, in the according to Kenneth Reddin in the UK, British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960, his name is right next to his brother William Reddin, who also died in 1944, please click on the link to read his story, but as I believe Catherine died in the June quarter of 1944, the family had to suffer 3 bereavements in a few years.
Also sadly another Connah’s Quay lad was to be lost with Kenneth, so please also click on the link to read the story of Harry Dodd who was also on the Northern Rover, they probably were mates or knew each other in Connah’s Quay, as they both born there.
I was able to find information about what happened to Kenneth, Harry and the Northern Rover thanks to http://www.naval-history.net/WW2BritishLossesbyDate1.htm
November 5 – Trawler NORTHERN ROVER (R, 655t, 1936), overdue at Kirkwall, Orkneys by this date and also thanks to https://uboat.net/allies/warships/ship/13531.html the story of Northern Rover and it’s crew can be told, it was Commissioned Sep 1939 and Lost 30 Oct 1939, Loss position 59° 57’N, 4° 24’W.
Displacement: 655 tons.
Torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-59 about 100 miles west of Sumburgh Head, Shetland Islands in position 59.57’N, 04.24’W on 30 October 1939. ). It’s Commmander from 27th September 1939 – 30th October 1939 was Lt. (retired) Martin Hugh Macpherson, RN.
Ships hit by U-boats – https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/ship/86.html
Fate Sunk by U-59 (Harald Jürst)
Position 59° 57’N, 4° 24’W – Grid AN 1313
Complement 27 (27 dead – no survivors)
Route Kirkwall – patrol area – Kirkwall
History – Completed in October 1936 as steam trawler Northern Rover (LO 164) for Mac Line Ltd (Lever Brothers Ltd), London. 1937 transferred to Northern Trawlers Ltd, London. In August 1939 requisitioned by the Admiralty and used as armed boarding vessel, based in Kirkwall for Contraband Duties.
Notes on event
At 23.35 hours on 30 Oct 1939, HMS Northern Rover (4.58) (Lt M.H. Macpherson, RN) was hit by one torpedo from U-59 and sank about 100 miles west of Sumburgh Head, Shetland Islands. The commander, three officers and 23 ratings were lost.
Crew list of Ships hit by U-boats – https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/person/16081.html
RNR (P/X 20971 A). British
Died 30 Oct 1939 (25)
Roster information listed for Kenneth Reddin
Ship Type Rank / role Attacked on Boat
HMS Northern Rover (4.58) A/S trawler Seaman 30 Oct 1939 (+) U-59
Son of Job and Cathline Reddin; husband of Ethel Reddin, of Mostyn, Flintshire.
List of all U-boats – U-59 Type IIC https://uboat.net/boats/u59.htm
Ordered 17 Jun 1937
Laid down 5 Oct 1937 Deutsche Werke AG, Kiel (werk 258)
Launched 12 Oct 1938
Commissioned 4 Mar 1939 Oblt. Harald Jürst
4 Mar 1939 – 17 Jul 1940 Kptlt. Harald Jürst
Career – 13 patrols
Successes -17 ships sunk, total tonnage 34,130 GRT
2 auxiliary warships sunk, total tonnage 864 GRT
1 ship damaged, total tonnage 8,009 GRT
1 ship a total loss, total tonnage 4,943 GRT
Scuttled on 3 May 1945 in the Kiel Arsenal after being decommissioned in April 1945. Wreck broken up in 1945.
History on Kptlt. Harald Jürst – https://uboat.net/men/commanders/565.html
Lancashire Evening Post dated 11th November 1939 printed an announcement of the loss of the Northern Rover and it’s Crew.
Any help to tell Kenneth’s Story would be gratefully received.
Job & Catherine Reddin were to sacrifice 2 of their sons in WW2 and the family were also steeped in the seafaring world as another son Percy was also at sea during WW2 as can be seen by the newspaper report below, his Commanding Officer tells the family he had been Mentioned in Despatches.