Reddin, Kenneth

Kenneth Reddin was born on the 15th of 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).

St. Mark’s Church Parish Registers – Marriages – Page 156 No. 312 31st January 1892 Job REDDIN, 27, Bachelor Mariner, Wepre, father – Job REDDIN, Labourer & Catherine JONES, 21, Spinster, Wepre, father – Thomas JONES, Labourer. (After Banns – see Folder) (Both signed.) – Witnesses: – Thomas COLLINSON & Mary JONES

They are seen on the 1911 census living at 13, Dock Road, Connah’s Quay, Flintshire (5 Rooms).   Head of the household was Job Reddin, 45, a Labourer in the Iron Works, with his wife Catherine, 39 telling us that they had been married 18 years and 9 children had been born to them, all still living.   They also tell us that they whole family had been born in Connah’s Quay.     The children were Mary Alice, 17, single and in Domestic Service, Hilda, 15 at home, while children Thomas,13, Edward Peers, 8, Job, 7, Kitty, 5, Percy, 4 were at school, Agnes, 3 and baby John, 1 made up the family.   It may have been that another baby was on his way, as William Reddin, born in 1911 was a brother to Kenneth and he too was to lose his life in the War years, please click on the link to read his story.

Kenneth’s father, Job, had died, as I found a death certificate (Flintshire (Mold) FLNT/32/18) for a Job REddin in 1917.    This would have to be purchased to confirm/deny.

The 1921 census, which was taken on the 19th of June 1921, gives us the first sighting of Kenneth Reddin, as he was born in 1915.  This census sees the family still living at 13, Dock Road, and Catherine head of the household as a widow.   Catherine Reddin was now 49 years and 7 months old.   Her children were Thomas Reddin, 23 years, and 7 months old, now a Merchant Seaman, but “Out of Work.”   Edward Peers Reddin was 19 years old and Job Reddin, who was 17 years and 5 months old, were both Labourers at John Summers & Sons, Hawarden Bridge Steelworks, Shotton.   Job Reddin was “Out of Work.”  Kitty Reddin was 15 years and 11 months old and was “At Home.”   All were single.   Percy Reddin was 14 years and 11 months old and a Labourer, “Out of Work.”  Agnes Reddin was 14 years old, Robert John Reddin was 12 years old, William Reddin was 9 years and 7 months old, and Kenneth Reddin was 6 years and 3 months old.

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)

Christ Church Parish Registers – Marriage, Mostyn. – 30th July 1938 Kenneth REDDIN, 23, Bachelor, Iron Worker, 13, Dock Road, Connah’s Quay, Father Job REDDIN, Sailor & Ethel WRIGHT, 21, Spinster, Silk Worker, 4, Hafod-y-Ddol, Mostyn, Father Robert WRIGHT, Fisherman.   (By Banns) – Witnesses: – W. REDDIN, Muriel DAVIES & Gwilym JONES.

Kenneth’s mother, Catherine, is seen as a widow on the 1939 National Register, which was taken on the 29th of September 1939, with Kenneth’s new Bride, Ethel, this also gives a clue to the fact that after Kenneth’s death, Ethel remarried in 1946.

They were still living at 13, Dock Road, Connah’s Quay.   Catherine Reddin was head of the household, and this source gives us dates of birth, she had been born on the 29th of November 1871 and was doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties.”   Ethel Reddin*, Kenneth’s new bride, had been born on the 19th of February 1917 and was also doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties.”  It was the custom then, that when you married, you gave up your job.  Kenneth’s sister Hilda Vernon** had been born on the 4th of December 1895, her son, Philip Vernon, born on the 1st of July 1934 and was under school age.   There was one redacted or closed record, but I do not know who that was.

* I believe Ethel remarried in 1946 to James H. Tomkinson in Walsall (Vol 9b Page 1883).

**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)

On the same National Register page was William Reddin, Kenneth’s brother, who was also to die in WW2, please click on the link to read his story.   William was living at 360, High Street, Connah’s Quay.   He had married Phyllis Baskett in a Civil Marriage in Holywell in 1935.   Again, this source gives us their dates of birth, William being born on the 9th of November 1911 and was a Club Steward, Phyllis being born on the 31st of August 1912 and was doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties.”  There was one closed or redacted record.

So, it seems that Kenneth was not in the household and was probably already in His Majesty’s Service as a Sailor.

Again, according to the 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, and another brother Job Reddin, who had been in the Royal Engineers is also remembered on the Commonwealth War Graves Database, he died on the 31st of January 1946, probably due to his war service.   However, his name was not put forward to be remembered on the Connah’s Quay & Shotton WW2 War Memorial, as he was living in the Wirral, but he was born in Connah’s Quay, a Connah’s Quay lad, and should be remembered.  I have put his name forward to be added to any new WW2 Memorial we manage to get erected.   He too, should be remembered for his service.

I believe Catherine died in the June quarter of 1944, so the family had to suffer 3 bereavements in a few years, with more to come a few years later.

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 its Crew.

Any help to tell Kenneth’s Story would be gratefully received.

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

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