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Dubious marine deaths at Doonfoot,Ayrshire,May1942

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Alison Report 1 Nov 2015 18:48

I am requesting this on behalf of a cousin who has no internet.
Their family have always been led to believe that their brother/uncle passed away in unfortunate circumstances due to his (regiment) all having a little too much to drink that evening whereby a fracas ensued and he got tipped out of bed by someone that caused his passing to a head injury. This was always their thoughts as was told to the family at the time, and passed down to the next generation.

Upon looking into this for more information for family history, she found that the incident was not recorded or at the least very little surrounding it.

My cousin attended a Royal Marines remembrance event where they display the book of remembrance and was shocked to say the least that 13 men (I'm sure she said 13, but it may have been 16) from the same (regiment) had died on the same day, this naturally roused suspicion and now it is putting question marks in the surviving family's thoughts that they were not informed of the true facts surrounding his death and even suspecting a cover up. One death in this way is a tragic accident, two would rouse suspicion, but 13 and I think I am inclined to agree with her.


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 1 Nov 2015 20:46

It does sound suspicious, doesn’t it? Considering the period, if there had been a major incident, it could well have been covered up for the sake of the wider ‘Morale’.

Has anyone thought to purchase his DC to see the recorded cause of death?
It might be listed on Scotlandspeople (pay to view) as he allegedly died in Scotland.
Is he listed on the CWGC site? It’s possible to manipulate the site to see who else died on the same day/place.

Although you’ve posted the same request on Curious Fox, with no apparent replies, have you considered also posting on WW2Talk?

Searching the National Archives site for Royal Marines (as opposed to Royal Navy), “

A register of Royal Marines war deaths 1939-1945 : part 1-3 / compiled by J.A. Good.”

is held at the Royal Marines Museum in Portsmouth. It might be worth contacting them in case they are aware of the incident. At the very least, they should be able to give you the reference number and suggest where you can order a copy. At the same time, check where his service records are held. Normally we’d assume that they are with the MOD and can be purchased for £30.

National Archives page

RM Museum
How to find a Service Record

Contact us with a research query


Potty Report 2 Nov 2015 12:50

Doing a search on the CWGC, the only day in May 1942 on which there were many deaths was the 14th. 12 men are recorded on that day, all remembered on the Plymouth Naval Memorial and all from HMS Trinidad.

As they are recorded on the Memorial and don't have individual graves, that would seem to indicate that they were lost at sea. Do you know where the man you are interested in is buried.

Also, on you Curious Fox post, you mention HMS Scotia as his ship.


Potty Report 2 Nov 2015 13:01

HMS Scotia in 1942 was a shore based Training Ship; HMS Trinidad was sunk in May 1942 whilst escorting an Artic Convoy.

Is you cousin sure that the men mentioned were all on the same ship? It wouldn't have been unusual for 13 men from different Marine divisions to be killed on the same day.


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 3 Nov 2015 12:22

As Alison is a new poster, PM sent advising that she has replies on here.


Alison Report 4 Nov 2015 00:30

Thank you both for your help, (and for the PM, I probably got an email but since the microsoft email update & all the problems caused by it, my email account is a nightmare, so thank you for messaging me to find this thread again)

Regarding my cousins's uncle, he was on the HMS Scotia, and my cousin pointed out that this was a land-ship as opposed to a ship that went anywhere. She was teaching someone who pointed out her Dad worked on naval records, so allowed her to view this and the saved copy of his details of his death stated head injury, and tallied up with what she already knew (I don't know if she has a copy of the original certificate, probably, but is going through bereavement herself and I don't want to ask her).

I didn't even think to look on the war graves website until you had nudged me in the comments above, but found him straight away, so thank you, as that in turn lead me to other documents that I can send my cousin.,%20DOUGLAS%20RICHARD

I'm about to go through the naval/marine link that has been posted, I had a brief look, but looks like it is going to need a fair bit of working out for me to find anything, so thought I'd best come back here before I attempted it.

My cousin did say that she was only told her uncle had died, but it was the remembrance service held this year that she noticed all of them on the same day. She also mentioned that it was a very hard day for her and had spent most of it being tearful, so she may well have got some details a little confused in her distress, but she was also adamant which is why I said I would look on the internet on her behalf, but so far have reached no conclusions for her.

With regard to curious fox, I only found that website a couple of months ago, maybe a little longer, but don't think so, and I'm still trying to find my way around it. I like the idea that you can go directly to an area and ask questions. As I have lived in my area all of my life, I have attempted to help someone look for their relatives, and know that my uncle has lived in the area of Warwickshire where my Dad was born all of his life, and there are a lot of people that are like us, but also know that in this day and age, people move a lot more and further away so we're a limited breed of community.

I also noticed that the royal marines are in Portsmouth which isn't a huge distance away from my cousin who lives on the south coast, so it may be beneficial for her to pay them a visit if they allow this, if I cannot retrieve anything.

Thank you both again for all your assistance with this, I really appreciate it


Alison Report 4 Nov 2015 00:36

Good grief, thank you for the WW2 talk, but I have no idea where to start on it. I have tried Doonsfoot which resulted in 0, then tried HMS Scotia which brought up loads of results but also included air, so will have another go when it is a more sociable hour in the day and my brain is better equipped to deal with it.

Is there a WW1 site that is similar though please that any of you are aware of, I know that it would only be the descendants now, or the war children, but I would like to be able to view it if there is one, because if not for WW1 my Mum and Dad would never have got together as my Grandad that lived in this area was put in one in Warwicks, became friends with another and kept in touch after both demobbed and their children married.
I have also lost family in both as many of us have.


Alison Report 4 Nov 2015 00:55

cheated with good ol' Google that took me to one of the sites that you kindly gave me above. It is only showing my cousin's uncle as the casualty for that date, but it says that he was killed. Here is the link.

TYLEY, Douglas S, Musician, RMB/X 1691, killed


Denis Report 4 Nov 2015 07:55

It's quite easy to see his record of death online. This is because he died in Scotland and older Scottish records of Birth, Marriage and Death can be viewed and then downloaded online. I've checked and he is listed in their index. Images of Statutory deaths from 1855 to 1964 are available to view on this site. A digital image is a scan of the microfiche copy of the original register page containing the entry in which you are interested. It therefore contains the same information you would normally see when looking at the actual record. Images are Crown copyright; however, they are not official copies. If you wish to have a certified, legally admissible copy of the specific register entry in which you are interested, you will need to order an extract. You will need to register on the site, which is free, but if you wish to view records you will need to purchase some credits.

The site is:

If you prefer to order by mail etc then the details are here:

If you want to obtain his service records the deatils are here:


Potty Report 4 Nov 2015 11:55

Only about 30% of WW1 soldiers' records survive, not sure about Naval ones. Those that do survive can be found on the Ancestry site (or at the National Archives). The Medal Record Cards have survived and they also can be viewed on Ancestry, FindMyPast and National Archives.

You will find WW1 burial records on CWGC.

If you have any problems, post the details and I am sure somebody will help.


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 4 Nov 2015 12:30

:-D At least you have a date now - 8 May 1942

Strange - The CWGC site gives his name as

There must have been a transcription error on the Naval History site

Rank: Musician
Service No:RMB/X1691
Date of Death: 08/05/1942
Age: 21
Regiment/Service:Royal Marine Band
H.M.S. Scotia
Grave Reference:Sec. K. Grave 10.
Additional Information:
Son of Thomas Henry and Edith Ellen Tyley, of Stockingford, Nuneaton.

A photo of his headstone is shown here
If you or your cousin were interested, you could download a copy with 'copyright' on it by right clicking the image and selecting 'Save As'. Alternatively request a clean copy to be sent electronically for a donation of £3.50.


Alison Report 7 Nov 2015 02:17

Thank you all again for your much appreciated research and passing it on to me, to in turn pass to my cousin (Douglas Tyley's niece). I wasn't aware of most of the links that you've kindly posted here, so thank you sincerely for those.

I did register with Scotland's People and it gave me a free first credit, but didn't show me anything, although I will re-read this as it's obviously me and my very bad habit of trying to digest information whilst sleep deprived (a bad combination). I will probably sign up for credits as I have realised that I have a few family that lived in Scotland, albeit for a short while whilst the railways were being set up, and that was something that I hadn't realised before.

I didn't notice at first regarding Douglas Tyley being marked down as his middle initial being 'S'; I have checked this and his middle name is definitely Richard, so this must have been a transcript error.

I am now of the thinking that my cousin may have viewed the remembrance book and viewed the amount of marine deaths on that date in total, rather than on the HMS Scotia, as it seems that Douglas Tyley was the only young man to pass from the ship (on that date in question, I haven't viewed the total on the HMS Scotia).

I have tried to take advantage of the free access to WW2 records that are free until the 11th, and searched for him, but it came up with no records under his name which is a mystery, I took out the area field, and just kept his first name and surname as exact, but still nothing, so not sure why that was. (that was on Ancestry)

I will pass the information onto my cousin and also ask if she would like me to order online, it is a testing time for her at the moment, so I may leave it a while.

Thank you regarding the WW1 question, I should have realised regarding the records, as had heard that a lot were destroyed in WW2. I have found information to my family that sadly were killed in action, but not anything regarding my family that made it back alive. I quite naively thought that as both of my Grandfathers were in the Royal Warwickshire regiment it would be easy to find information on them, but I hadn't realised about the number of battalions etc., and have come to a bit of a brick wall, though this may well be due to my limited knowledge of how to find it, rather than it not being there.

Thank you for all your help (and a special thank you for giving me a nudge in a message)


Potty Report 7 Nov 2015 12:24

You should be able to find their medal cards and entries on the medal rolls, although if they had common names there might be a lot to choose from.


Alison Report 7 Nov 2015 21:54

I have just tried that, but kept getting tied up in knots. I think I will have a trip down to Kew and enlist the help of an expert to show me how to view the records, as apparently you almost need a degree to search there it's so confusing, mind you, I'm up for the challenge.


Potty Report 8 Nov 2015 11:40

Medal cards and rolls are on Ancestry, quite easy to search and all Military Records on there are free for a few days. If you need help searching there, please ask.


Alison Report 28 Nov 2015 21:01

Thank you Potty and apologies for my delay (again), I've been unwell, trying to sort out an email account that was unfortunately hacked, on top of that outlook updated their email account and lost a few folders of mine (thankfully back now after communications via phone with them). I need to get back on track with all of this, as obviously I have been absent from it for a while.

I did speak to my cousin tonight and she was definite about the deaths all being on the HMS Scotia for the same day, and said that from memory she thinks it was 13 that lost their lives on this day. I'm in the process of emailing the marines museum, which is where the remembrance book was (apologies, as I wrongly assumed that it was at the main Royal Marines building).

I will apologies in advance for any delayed response, but I don't seem to be getting emails to say that anyone has commented. I'm sure it was sheer fluke that I found these boards in the first place as it was thanks to receiving a personal message from someone in this thread that directed me back to here initially (and which I have used each time to find myself back here again).


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 28 Nov 2015 23:07

Sorry to hear you've been unwell.

If you haven't already, click the 'Watch This' button at the top of the thread. As long as your email account isn't consigning emails from Genes to 'Spam' you should receive notification if anyone adds to the thread. There may be a time-lag before you are receive one.