Date of birth: 23.3.1922
Date of death: 17.1.1942
Regiment: Royal Navy
Family information: Son of Ada May Radley
Service number: D/SSX/32975
Wilfred Radley was serving on destroyer HMS Matabele RN when he died on 17th January 1942 age 19. He is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon Panel 68 Column 2.
Destroyer HMS Matabele was in convoy from Iceland to Murmansk when on 17rth January 1942 she was hit by a torpedo fired from German submarine U454 and sank immediately. Only 2 out of a crew of 238 managed to survive and were picked up by minesweeper HMS Harrier. Some of the crew was killed when the depth charges of the sinking destroyer detonated, but most died of hypothermia in the icy waters before they could be rescued. The survivors were unable to release the Carley floats because they were frozen in their lashings and had to jump overboard.
He is listed as Wilfred Hey Radley and Knottingley online roll of honour suggests that his father is Wilfred Hey (Radley).
Pontefract & Castleford Express 6 February 1942 p3 (with photo)
“ OFFICIAL INTIMATION
Official Intimation has been received by Mrs J R Green of 9 Grangefield Terrace, Rossington, Doncaster, that her son Telegraphist Wilfred Hey Radley, has been killed while serving aboard a destroyer. Telegraphist Radley who was 19, was a grandson of the late Mr and Mrs Alfred Radley, of Low Green, Knottingley, with whom he lived for many years. He was educated at the Ropewalk Modern School and was employed for the two years before he joined the Navy in January 1940, by the Crystal Glass Company, Knottingley. He was an enthusiastic swimmer. He has served in a good number of waters during his period in the Navy and was keenly interested in his work. Of a quiet and pleasant disposition, Mr Radley will be much missed amongst a large circle of friends.”
Wilfred Radley was born on 23rd March 1922 and baptised on 23rd April 1922 at Christ Church, Knottingley. He was the son of Ada May Radley.
In the second quarter of 1924, registered at Doncaster, Ada May Radley married James R Green.