John Manners in Royal Navy cricket team photo cover photo
Navy

Royal Navy's Last WWII Destroyer Captain Dies Aged 105

Lieutenant Commander John Manners commanded two Royal Navy destroyers during the Second World War.

John Manners in Royal Navy cricket team photo cover photo

A veteran believed to have been the last of the Royal Navy’s Second World War destroyer captains has died aged 105.

Lieutenant Commander John Manners spent much of his career at sea in torpedo boats and destroyers in the Mediterranean, the Far East and the North Sea.

He was one of three brothers to serve under the White Ensign during World War Two.

During that time, Lt Cdr Manners commanded two destroyers - HMS Eskimo and HMS Viceroy.

He spent six months commanding Eskimo, including during the invasion of Sicily in 1943.

For the final 18 months of the war, and in the initial weeks of peacetime, he commanded Viceroy and helped liberate the Norwegian port of Trondheim in May 1945.

Lt Cdr Manners was the captain of HMS Viceroy for the last 18 months of the war (Picture: Royal Navy).

His actions in Norway were recognised in 2019 when he was presented with a medal and diploma of gratitude from Oslo.

He also sank German submarine U-1274, destroying it with depth charges shortly after it had torpedoed a tanker off the coast of Norway.

Ltd Cdr Manners balanced his naval career with a passion for cricket and he made a number of appearances for county side Hampshire - playing into the early 1950s.

Following his retirement from the Royal Navy, he wrote books on rural life and artwork.

His wartime photographic archive was donated to the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.

Cover image: Lieutenant Commander John Manners lining up for the Royal Navy cricket team in 1948 (Picture: EMPICS/PA).