Boards of Inquiry


Lantern Swinger
I'm looking for a bit of general info, which will hopefully point me in the right direction for a future project.

I've spent some time talking with an ex-crew member from HMS Hunter (lost at the first Battle of Narvik, and recently rediscovered.) His story was absolutely fascinating, involving being a POW in Norway, a forced march, internment in Sweden, the dash across the North Sea under the noses of the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in Operation Rubble and his subsequent return to civilian life (having signed a declaration that he would not go to sea again).

Did the Admiralty call a Board of Inquiry to investigate the loss of ships due to enemy action, and if so, anyone know who to contact? Would they be released to members of the public?

They say everyone has a book inside them (pretty uncomfortable I would have thought!), but the more I think about these remarkable exploits it seems a shame to lose the chance to write it for a wider audience. Looking through many original papers, including the original telegrams to the next of kin informing them of his presumed death and subsequent "resurrection" as a POW as well as his letter "requesting his presence" at an investiture at Buckingham Palace gave a human side to history.

A small overview of John Hague's story can be found here

There are loads of Board of Inquiry reports at the National Archive under Classes ADM 1, 156 and 178. They were held after the sinking of all HM Ships during WW II - only one resulted in disciplinary action being taken against the CO, HMS MANCHESTER in 1942. If you get stuck or have a particular case in mind, PM me. (Used to work in the MoD Records Dept on Naval reords).
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