Reddin, Kenneth

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):-

1939 Register

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

November 1939

November 5 – Trawler NORTHERN ROVER (R, 655t, 1936), overdue at Kirkwall, Orkneys by this date and also thanks to 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 –

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 –

Kenneth Reddin

RNR (P/X 20971 A). British

Born    1914

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

Personal information

Son of Job and Cathline Reddin; husband of Ethel Reddin, of Mostyn, Flintshire.

List of all U-boats – U-59 Type IIC

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 –

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.



Learn more about the other soldiers on the Connahs Quay and Shotton War Memorial

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