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'We Will Remember Them' WW2 Hero Cecil Francis Ivanson Batt

Cecil Richard Francis Ivanson Batt was born on 29th May 1902 at Ilford, Essex, the son of Charles William and Ruby Alberta Batt.

After serving an engineering apprenticeship, he continued to study and gained practical experience with well-known engineering firms. After entering the P & O service he travelled on some famous ships. A few years later he was accepted in the Royal Navy as a Lieut. Engineer and served in several ships including the Aircraft Carrier Courageous.

After leaving the Navy in 1930s, he was placed on the Royal Navy Reserve, and was promoted to Lt. Commander (E) on 4th June 1938. He became engineer to Wandsworth Borough Council in 1933, and four years later in 1937 accepted the position of Chief Engineer at Cranage Hospital.

He married Phyllis M Beechey in 1929 at West Ham in Essex. Cecil and Phyllis did not have any children. In September 1939 he was working as Institution Engineer at Cranage Hospital from which he was called up. His wife was living in Gainsborough with her parents.

Having previously served in the Royal Navy, and being on the Naval Reserve, Cecil Batt was called up early at the start of the War. He served as Lt. Commander (Engineer) on HMS Fortune.

On 12th June 1942, HMS Fortune was deployed as part of a screen for HM Cruisers providing cover for convoy MW11 during passage from Egypt to Malta under Operation Vigorous.

On 14th June, HMS Fortune came under heavy and sustained air attacks.

On 15th June, when Cecil Batt died, HMS Fortune was under night attack from German E Boats.

On 16th June, the operation was abandoned after further damage to the convoy and escorts.

On 17th June, HMS Fortune returned to Alexandria with an escort.

In July 1942, Canon Vale said “Our very real sympathy with Mrs Batt and all others concerned. Lieut. Comm. C. Batt formerly Chief Engineer at Cranage Hospital, recently paid the supreme sacrifice in action on the high seas. God grant him eternal light and peace.”

He is listed on the Naval Memorial at Chatham, Panel 65.3, and on the Holmes Chapel War Memorial in St Luke’s Churchyard.


'They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.'

Extract from 'For the Fallen' by Laurence Binyon

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