- Letter Writer
- Biographies and personal histories, WWI operations, History - post WWII, Letter to the Editor
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Cerberus
- June 2021 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
An article by Greg Swinden appeared in the June 2017 edition of this magazine outlining the story of Commander Frederick Darley RN who played a significant part in the establishment of HMAS Cerberus. A bronze plaque to his memory was placed in the Cerberus chapel of St Mark in October 1927 and remains there to this day.
Commander Darley, in command of the light cruiser HMS Despatch, died on active service in China’s Yangtze River. He was Mentioned in Despatches with his citation reading: ‘Commander Frederick Campbell RN (Killed) HMS Kia Wo. “Organised the expedition, acted with considerable gallantry, and by personal example installed enthusiasm in the officers and men under his command in HMS Kia Wo”’.
We have recently received correspondence from Mr William Bell in England who wrote to say that one of his great uncles served in HMS Tern, a patrol gunboat on the Yangtze, between 1929 and 1931. In his uncle’s album was a photograph of the grave of Commander Darley.
The plaque under reads:
To the memory of Frederick C Darley, Commander Royal Navy, HMS Despatch. Killed in action Wanhsien 5thSeptember 1926. Erected by the Flag Officers, Captains, Officers and Ships Companies of the China Squadron in conjunction with the relatives.
Wanhsien is now known as Wanzhou. Whether the gravestone or grave still exists remains unknown.