NEWS

JULY 26TH 2018

Attending a Green Plaque unveiling

Lieutenant Commander Rod Grant and Warrant Officer Sean Jones HMS Sherwood 2

Lieutenant Commander Rod Grant and Warrant Officer Sean Jones HMS Sherwood. Image courtesy of Leicestershire County Council.

Two members of the Ship’s Company from HMS Sherwood, the East Midlands only Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) unit, attended the official unveiling of a Green Plaque to remember the life of Tommy Brown GM, a brave World War Two sailor.

The Leicestershire County Council Green Plaque Awards are awarded to people and places around the county, nominated and voted for by local people.

Plaque

Plaque – Image courtesy of Leicestershire County Council.

On 5 July, an event was held at Earl Shilton and was attended by council representatives, members of the community and the Royal Navy.

Explaining more about Tommy Brown, Lieutenant Commander Rod Grant from HMS Sherwood, said: “Tommy is a war hero as he helped to rescue the Enigma cypher machine and code book from a sinking German submarine during World War Two and was later awarded the George Medal. It was an honour for Warrant Officer Sean Jones and I to attend the plaque unveiling and pay our respects to a man whose work was vital in times of uncertainty.”

Tommy was 16-years-old in 1942 and was serving as a Canteen Assistant on-board HMS Petard. It was during this time that the vessel he was on was engaged in the hunt for a German submarine.  When the submarine surfaced alongside HMS Petard after being damaged, it was important that the Royal Navy locate the Enigma machine and code book before the submarine sank after being scuttled. This contained information vital to code-breakers at Bletchley Park.

Tommy helped to rescue the documents, swimming between the sinking submarine and HMS Petard. Two of his shipmates died in the attempt as the submarine sank before they could also escape. The bravery of Tommy Brown and his fellow seamen helped Britain survive the war, the details of which only came to light 55 years later when they were released from the Official Secrets Act.

Group shot

Group shot – Image courtesy of Leicestershire County Council.

"It was an honour for Warrant Officer Sean Jones and I to attend the plaque unveiling and pay our respects to a man whose work was vital in times of uncertainty.”