John, Howard Stanley

Howard Stanley John, Able Seaman, D/SSX 28198, Royal Navy.

Howard was the son of William Alfred and Mary Jane John, of Cresselly, Pembrokeshire, and served in the Royal Navy aboard H.M.S. Repulse.

Repulse had been built in World War One, and was a lightly armoured Battlecruiser. She was refitted and modernised in 1938, and operated with the Home Fleet in the North Sea and Atlantic during the first two years of the Second World War, taking part in the pursuit of the German battleship Bismarck in May 1941. 

Later in the year she was sent to the Far East, accompanying the new battleship Prince of Wales. The two ships arrived at Singapore just before Japan began the Pacific War. 

As soon as hostilities commenced, both steamed northwards to intercept a reported invasion force. While returning to Singapore on 10 December 1941, Repulse and Prince of Wales were attacked by Japanese high-level bombers and torpedo planes.

Repulse was moderately damaged by bombs early in the action and was later hit by several torpedoes. After receiving this heavy underwater damage, she sank rapidly, followed less than an hour later by the Prince of Wales. 

Howard went down with the ship that day. He was only 20 years old, and is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon.