Sub-Lieutenant (E) Cyril George Perrie, H.M.S. "Copra", Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
Cyril George Perrie was born on the 12th September 1906 in Dinnington, Rotherham, the only child of railway drayman John Perrie and his wife Kate (nee Guest) who had married in Sheffield in Spring 1905. John was born in 1879 at Harthill, Rotherham and Kate in 1884 in Laughton, Rotherham. By 1911, the Perrie family are living at 16 King Street, Station Road, Ossett and Cyril is 4 years of age.
Sadly, Cyril's father John Perrie died in December 1914 and his widow Kate remarried on the 22nd April 1916 at All Saints Church, Dewsbury 41-year-old widower and coal merchant William Rowley. They had a daughter Kathleen M. Rowley who was born in the Spring of 1917 in Dewsbury. In 1921 the couple were living at 2, Camroyd Street, Eastborough, Dewsbury and Cyril, now 14 is working as an apprentice at Ashworth & Son's Midland Iron Works in Scout Hill, Dewsbury. Kate Rowley died at the early age of 43 in the Doncaster area in 1928.
Cyril had married Winifred Horsley in the Grimsby area in April 1927. Winifred had been born in Gorton Manchester in 1904. By 1939, the Perrie family are living at 142, Weedon Street, Sheffield and Cyril is working as a motor engineer and an ARP warden at his place of work. There were two children: Winifred K. Perrie born 1930 and Marjorie P. Perrie born 1932, both in Rotherham.
Cyril Perrie was appointed as a Temporary Sub–Lieutenant in the RNVR on the 29th November 1943. Although he is listed as serving at HMS Copra (Combined Operations Pay Rating & Accounts) it was not a ship, but a shore base which had locations in Largs, Scotland, Southend and London. It was never anything other than a shore base for the maintenance of personnel records and the calculation of pay and allowances for RN personnel attached to Combined Operations.
Above: British Landing Craft in action D-Day 1944.
Many men were recorded as lost from HMS Copra because, sadly, the landing craft they were serving on at the time of their deaths, was not recorded. The use of HMS Copra on grave stones, in pay books and other service records confirms that the men concerned were in the Royal Navy and assigned to Combined Operations including crew members on landing craft.
Sub-Lieutenant Cyril George Perrie is one of those men who had been involved in the D-Day landings on and after the 6th June 1944 and part of HMS Copra was also a training base for Commando Special Forces. Perrie was a member of No. 1 Landing Craft Recovery Unit, HMS Copra and died as a result of his landing craft hitting a mine on the 21st July 1944.
Cyril George Perrie was killed in action on the 21st July 1944 aged 37 years and buried or commemorated at position V..E. 5. at the Bayeux War Cemetery, Calvados, France.
The town of Bayeux, in Normandy, lies 30 kilometres north-west of Caen. Bayeux War Cemetery is situated in the south-western outskirts of the town on the by-pass (D5), which is named Boulevard Fabian Ware. On the opposite side of the road stands the Bayeux Memorial.
The Bayeux War Cemetery, which was completed in 1952, contains 4,144 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 338 of them unidentified. There are also over 500 war graves of other nationalities, the majority German.
Above: Cyril George Perrie is also remembered on the Rotherham War Memorial in Clifton Park, Rotherham: "Died 21st July 1944 aged 37. Killed by a mine in Normandy. Mentioned in Despatches."
The Supplement to London Gazette 13th March 1945 carried the news that Sub-Lieutenant Cyril Perrie RNVR had been mentioned in despatches posthumously. This was for his part in an assault on Normandy on the 6th July 1944.
Cyril George Perrie's name was quietly added to the Ossett War Memorial with little or no notice in October 2023.
1. Ancestry Family Trees for Cyril George Perrie.