A Collection of Medals to Second World War Casualties

Date of Auction: 18th July 2018


Estimate: £100 - £140

Three: Able Seaman J. F. I. Lawrence, Royal Navy, who was killed in action when H.M.S. Veteran, on convoy duty in the North Atlantic, was torpedoed by the German submarine U-404 and sank with the loss of her entire crew, 26 September 1942

1939-45 Star; Atlantic Star; War Medal 1939-45, with named Admiralty enclosure, in card box of issue, addressed to ‘Mr. F. W. Lawrence, 128 Clive Road, Enfield, Middlesex’, extremely fine (3) £100-140


Jack Frederick Ivor Lawrence served during the Second World War as an Able Seaman in the Destroyer H.M.S. Vernon, that had been lent from the Royal Navy to the Royal Canadian Navy. In early September 1942 she was at Halifax, Nova Scotia, when she was detailed to escort a special convoy of river steamers (Convoy RB.1) from Newfoundland to the United Kingdom.

The convoy left St. John’s, Newfoundland, on 21 September, and four days later was attacked by three wolf packs totalling 17 U-boats. Two of the steamers, the S.S. Boston and the S.S. New York, were sunk. The following morning, Vernon, which, in order to pick up survivors from the two steamers, had become separated from the convoy, was hit by a torpedo from the German submarine U-404, and sank with her entire crew of 8 officers and 151 ratings, together with all 78 survivors that she had rescued from the two steamers.

Lawrence was amongst those killed, aged 20. He is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. His medals were sent to his father Frederick Lawrence.