Frederick James Palmer HMS Rooke 1941

30th September 2011, 09:54
Good morning all,

I am very much hoping someone here can help me. I am trying to trace my Paternal Grandfather Frederick James Palmer who came originally from Whitby but married my Grandma, a lady from Milford Haven in the local church. He was 23 and she was 17.
Details of him are very sketchy and few and far between - in fact my Dad knew only that his name was Fred Palmer. I have worked late into most nights to ascertain his full name, and the other details that I have.

I now have the marriage certifcate and know that Frederick was born in 1918 and at time of marriage his residence was HMS Rooke (or HMS Rook as the certificate says) Now I have reached a brick wall as simply cannot find a list of men who served there or anything more about it. Fredericks Fathers name was William Frederick Palmer.

Any help -however small it seems to you- would be a godsend to me and I thank you in advance.

Jayne Palmer

30th September 2011, 13:47
Hi Jayne,
I've had a look in my book Shore Establishments of the Royal Navy and it lists HMS Rooke as the Boom Defence Central Depot at Rosyth.
Rosyth is on the north bank of the Firth of Forth, just above Edinburgh.
It was commissioned in 1940 and closed in 1946.
Boom defence was a way to protect harbours from submarines by having large steel nets hanging like curtains in the water, they were suspended from buoys.
Your grandfather could have served aboard numerous craft in numerous harbours around the country or even stationed ashore looking after the harbour defences.
He might have been on some sort of temporary assignment to Milford Haven or Pembroke Dock so put down HMS Rooke because that was his base depot.
I Googled Boom Defence and came up with this entry
This guys grandfather, like yours was part of the RN boom defence in WWII and was at Rooke (and other places)

Hugh MacLean
30th September 2011, 17:30
Hello Jayne,
You should always start your research on a serviceman with his service records [assuming he was a serviceman]. See this link which will detail what you have to do to get them: rdsOfDeceasedServicePersonnel.htm

Ask for a photocopy and not a transcript - cost 30.


Irene Blair
23rd April 2012, 21:56
My uncle William McKay died from wounds incurred while serving on HMS Rooke in November 1941

9th August 2013, 23:53
Hello: HMS Rook was a shore establishment and was located in Kings Road High School, Rosyth, Fife Scotland. (Located on Kings Road, Rosyth). I attended Kings Road HS and many of the heavily varnished doors still had faded 'Officers Only' markings on them. In an amusing wartime incident William Joyce (Lord Haw Haw) announced that the Luftwaffe had sunk HMS Rook. He was unaware that the RN name shore establishments as they do ships. I grew up in Rosyth and used to frequent HMS Caledonia and HMS Cochrane as a young cadet. The school burned down in a fire many years ago (1980s). Incidentally Rosyth was the first place in the UK to be bombed by the Germans as we had the Forth Rail Bridge and numerous shore establishments there. There were ships called HMS Rook, but the time you mention it was a shore base. Hope this is of some help. Best wishes.

senior pilot
12th August 2013, 21:25
i put a picture in the r n gallery showing some of the staff of H M S ROOKE on the steps of kings road school 1942 i posted it in feb 2012