The origins of the HMS Tetcott Project can be traced back to the mid 1990’s with the discovery of a brief newspaper article by author and museum volunteer Shawn Dymond.  The 1941 article recounted the visit to the village of Tetcott of two officers and eight ratings from HMS Tetcott, during which a battle ensign taken from the ship - was laid up in the church.  With the help of the late Bill Cloke -   churchwarden of Tetcott Church – ensign was eventually rediscovered, folded and placed behind the organ. 

Further research led to contact being made with three former crew members, Sub Lt Francis McCall, A/S John Brooks and A/S Albert Carlson, whilst a telephone call from Robert Davenport (son of Rear Admiral Dudley Davenport HMS Tetcott’s First Lieutenant provided Shawn with enough primary material (including the memoirs of Rear Admiral Davenport) to produce a small 25-page booklet retelling the history of the vessel, the proceeds of which went towards the day-to-day running of Holsworthy Museum.



Little else happened regarding the history of HMS Tetcott until some ten years later.  Having teamed up with fellow museum volunteer Janet Mason, Shawn and Janet – with the support of the museum - produced their first publication “Holsworthy – caught in the lens”, published by Holsworthy Museum Society in 2004.  The success of the book, prompted Shawn and Janet to revisit the original HMS Tetcott publication with the intention of revisiting and publishing an updated version.

Originally envisaged as a small-scale project to gather primary material to aid and complement the publication of the proposed book, the project soon escalated beyond the authors’ and the museums’ wildest expectations.  Being successful in obtaining a grant from Awards for All ensured the funding was available to cover the cost of publishing the book as well as giving us the opportunity to organize a ‘small-scale reunion’ (with an anticipated two or three veterans and their families) and the development of the original HMS Tetcott website.

Within weeks of starting work on the book, contact had been made with seven veterans – far more than could have ever been expected or wished for, little did we know that, by the time the book went off to print later in 2006, that number would have increased to almost twenty! With a similar increase in the number of families of deceased crew who had made contact.



It is thanks to all of these people - and the many others who have contacted us since - that we have been able to amass an unrivalled collection of photographs, documents and recorded memories which now form the basis of Holsworthy Museum’s HMS Tetcott Archive.  Containing many unique items, the collection includes copies of notebooks written on the bridge by Jim McGregor, a copy of a 1942 diary kept by the Sick Bay Attendant, and the ship’s morse key kindly donated by Barry Johnson.  All go towards providing a lasting memorial to this small destroyer and the men who served on her.  Our thanks also go to all of them for their unfailing encouragement and enthusiasm.



Whilst both the book and reunion are covered in some depth elsewhere on our website, a little must be said about the creation of the website.  Originally designed by Janet Mason and Peter Preston, the website continues to be the portal through which veterans and their families can both learn about the ship and contact us.  Even today - almost six years after going live - we continue to receive numerous emails from those with an interest in HMS Tetcott, and we hope to continue doing so for many years to come.



The driving force behind the original (hmstetcott.com) website, it’s updating, the recording of new contacts and communication between veterans, families and the Museum was, until the end of 2010 carried out by Janet.  Sadly, on 29 April 2011 Janet passed away – having courageously fought cancer for several years.  Never letting her illness get the better of her, having beaten it previously, it raised its ugly head once more and, this time, she lost the battle. Without her untiring efforts, her enthusiasm and determination, the HMS Tetcott project would not be the success it evidently is. 


Sadly missed by all who knew her, we continue to add to the project in her memory