John Gilmore

Killyleagh born John Gilmore died on 12th June 1942 as HMS Grove was torpedoed by U-77 off the North African coast while en route from Egypt to Malta.

Able Seaman

John Gilmore

C/SSX 18758

John Gilmore of Killyleagh, Co. Down served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War and returned to his hometown in December 1941 to spend Christmas with his family.

Able Seaman John Gilmore (C/SSX 18758) served in the Royal Navy during World War Two. He was the eldest son of Terence Gilmore of Maymore, Toye, Killyleagh, Co. Down.

John visited his family in Killyleagh, Co. Down for Christmas in December 1941. That was the last time they saw him. By that stage of the war, he had 8 years’ service, survived 2 torpedo attacks, and had seen action at Dunkirk, France. John’s younger brother Edward Gilmore served in the Royal Navy.

Able Seaman Gilmore died on board HMS Grove on 12th June 1942 aged 24 years old. HMS Grove had taken part in the sinking of U-587 on 27th March 1942, laying depth charges along with HMS Aldenham, HMS Volunteer, and HMS Leamington.

HMS Grove was a relatively new ship, built by English shipyard Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd. in 1942. In June 1942, it left Alexandria, Egypt bound for Malta in Convoy MW-11, part of Operation Vigourous. The ship sank after an attack from U-77 captained by Heinrich Schonder off the coast El Salloum on the Egypt/Libya border. Under the captaincy of Commander JW Rylands, Grove took two direct torpedo strikes at 0537hrs. One hundred and ten men died on board leaving sixty survivors.

John Gilmore’s name is on Panel 54, Column 1 of the Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent, United Kingdom. His name is also on the Killyleagh War Memorial, Killyleagh, Co. Down.

Newsletter Signup

If you'd like to hear more from WartimeNI, you can sign up for regular free updates to your inbox. Just enter your email address below.