Telegraphist James Thorpe Friend (V/52131) served in the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve during World War Two. He was the son of John Walter Friend and Maggie Friend and the husband of Beatrice Elizabeth Friend of New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada.
James died at Derry, Co. Londonderry on 11th April 1945 aged 28 years old. At the time, he served on HMCS Strathadam. The Esquimalt, British Columbia built vessel was part of Escort Group EG 25 in the North Atlantic.
It left Halifax, Nova Scotia on 2nd February 1945 bound for Derry, Co. Londonderry. It spent the following months in United Kingdom waters until VE Day. The Strathadam took part in the sinking of U-1302 on 7th March 1945.
On 11th April 1945, while in pursuit of a suspected U-Boat, a tragic incident occurred. The mortar projectile system, known as a Hedgehog, exploded killing 6 of the crew.
James Thorpe Friend’s grave is in Glenalina Extension, Section BS, Grave 106 of Belfast City Cemetery, Belfast, Co. Antrim. His headstone bears the inscription:
Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.