HMS/TS Foudroyant ww2

Greetings, this photo is of my wife's grandfather during world war 2 when he was enlisted in the royal Canadian navy. Is it possible that he was in Portsmouth?

Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers, RogerFB_IMG_1573225438926.jpg


War Hero
I'm only guessing but it seems highly likely that he was in Portsmouth at some point but it was not in that photo. St Malo is in Brittany.


War Hero
Super Moderator
Maybe he's just posing with a lifebelt (or peribouy if you prefer) from a ship called Foudroyant registered in St Malo?

Foudroyant was originally French before she was captured so it's logical to assume other French ships would share the name. Could be from a French fishing boat for instance.
Thank you all for the responses.

I'm really curious where the St. Malo comes from and where the kisby ring comes from ...
I think you're right. Will have to search a list of convoys from Halifax or Sydney Nova Scotia. My thoughts are that this may have been a merchant vessel doing convoys from North America.


War Hero
I think that the photo was taken in St Malo, taking into account the information given in Lloyd's Register. The port of registry for the Foudroyant was St Malo and the owners were 'Chalutiers Malouins'. 'Chalutier' is French for 'trawler' and 'Malouin' means 'of/from St Malo", so the Foudroyant was a St Malo registered fishing trawler.

Looking at the photo, I wondered whether he is standing on the trawler itself. The mechanism shown top left looks like something you would use to haul in the nets over the stern and onto the deck.
You may well be right. It does look like a trawl boom, but I haven't looked enough at a flower class Corvette to see if there was something similar (besides, there is a fellow in the background of the photo that appears to be in civilian attire). A question I have is whether or not this vessel was ever in the western Atlantic. I've only found one reference to a foudroyant being in any convoy (HG 4, I think it was), but I believe that convoy was from Gibraltar. If it was a trawler there could be a chance it was in the Grand Banks. My wife's grandfather (from family stories) reportedly sailed between Halifax and St. John's, but if this photo was taken elsewhere, well...

Thank you for the feedback.


War Hero
Super Moderator
It could be any privately owned local fishing boat, without knowing the specific vessel it's difficult to surmise it's range and capabilities. it might even be too small to have been registered.


War Hero

I don't think that the gentleman actually went to St Malo on a ship called the Foudroyant, I think that you will find that he crossed the Atlantic on a ship of the Royal Canadian Navy with a different name. You will know which one once you have received his service record from the BAC-LAC.

The scan from Lloyd's Register which I included in my earlier post shows that there was a trawler called Foudroyant registered in St Malo at exactly the right time. The script on the ring, by the way, is in a style which would fit with French script of the time. I note, too, that there is nothing like 'HMCS' on the ring; it seems quite clear that this isn't a ring from a military ship.

I think that your photo isn't of a matelot being photographed on his own ship, by the way; I think that it's a photo of a matelot larking about in the harbour near where his own ship is moored. There will have been a point, incidentally, as the War came to an end, when ships of the RCN were coming in to ports like St Malo to pick up troops and equipment returning to Canada.

I would suggest that what you have here is a kind of 'Selfie', one which says 'Greetings from France'. I think that he could have had a photo taken of himself wandering around with nothing showing the name of the place in question and no way of remembering in later years exactly where he was at the time. By grabbing this ring from an unattended trawler as he was bimbling along and framing his face with it, he was able to have a photo taken which he could look at once his film was developed and again as the years receded and know straightaway where he was when it was taken.


War Hero
If you look right behind him I think there is a gangway being held by the block and tackle of a ship alongside

so for my four penneth I think his ship is alongside on the left and you can just see a bit of the QD and the block and tackle of that ship

Eh Eh ????
great responses, thank you.

For context, Elmer Cook (the lad in the photo) was enlisted in the royal canadian mounted police marine division and transferred to the RCN in September 1939. As I've not received his service record it has been a challenge to garner much information other than he served on Corvettes and his daughter (my mother-in-law) was born in Sydney Nova Scotia in 1944 (thinking he was in Sydney at least by that time). She now has Alzheimer's and that knowledge is lost. Elmer transferred back to the RCMP Marine Division in 1945 and was discharged (somewhat dishonorably) by around 1951 when his drinking took over his life and he eventually died at the age of 53.

He also had a brother who sailed, but he and his career have proven to be rather elusive.

We have other photos of Elmer that were taken later in the war in which you can clearly see that this picture of him was likely taken earlier in the war ... his youth was still noticeable whereas later photos show an older war-ravaged navy veteran.

I will continue to wait the arrival of his service records with the hopes of gathering more relevant information. Meanwhile, thank you all for your input.

Cheers, Roger
Nova Scotia, Canada

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