Cecil John Torode
Cecil John Torode was the son of Abraham Torode and Anne-Marie Allain. He was born on the 20th of February 1900 at les Domaines in the parish of St. Saviour on Guernsey. After leaving school he joined the Royal Navy and by the time that World War Two began he was a Chief Petty Officer Telegraphist. He had married Emily Sullivan and was living in Plumstead raising their three children Myrtle, Bernice, and Barry. He was appointed to the Balleship HMS Barham. She was a veteran of WWI having been built by John Brown on the Clyde and launched in October 1914. As the CPO Telegraphist it was Cecil John Torode's job to read all the flag hoists and send semaphore messages to other ships. He would keep his watch on the bridge and be ready when the captain wanted to communicate a message. HMS Barham was sent to the Mediterranean to form part of the British force there. On the 25th of November 1941 HMS Barham was attacked by the German submarine U-331 commanded by Lt. Hans Diedrich von Tiesenhausen who fired four torpedoes at the battleship. Three hit their target causing a mortal wound to the great ship. She quickly started to turn over onto her side - when suddenly she blew up in a tremendous explosion and sank. 841 men were killed that day and one of them was Cecil John Torode. It was through the sacrifice of men like him that we are able enjoy our freedom today.