Ajax Veterans Street Dedication: Withay Drive (Withey)
- Media Type:
- Street Name: Withay Drive
Name of Veteran: Jack Withey Jan. 27, 1916-Feb. 4, 1996
Rank: Chief Petty Officer
Ship Served: HMS Ajax
Date of Service on Ship: 1939
Year of Visit/Dedication:
Veteran or Family Visit:
Veteran of the Battle of the River Plate: Yes
Died at Battle: No
Jack Withey was born to Emily Williams and George Withey on January 27, 1916 in Stirchley, Birmingham, England. Jack left home at 16 and lived with his sister, Dorothy, and her family until he joined the Royal Navy.
Jack joined the Royal Navy as an Able Bodied Seaman in 1939 before the war started. He eventually became a Chief Petty Officer and was on the HMS Ajax at The Battle of the River Plate. In is spare time he was boxing champion for the fleet.
On August 17, 1945 Jack married Gwen in Bournville, Birmingham. They had two children, one that died tragically while still young.
Aside from the famous battle with the Graf Spee Jack was also on convoy duty in the Atlantic and assisted in the removal of the British Army out of Greece. He was present at the Battle of Crete and in Normandy. At the action off of the coast of Greece the Ajax was attacked by a German bomber and a bomb went down the funnel and destroyed the engine room. Many died and the ship had to be towed into Gibraltar.
Jack was round faced, 5’10” tall, broad and in his later years, thin on top.
After the war Jack left the Royal Navy and worked in at the Austin Motor Works on the production lines in Birmingham. He retired in 1976 at the age of 60 and died twenty years later at the age of 80.
Note: Name spelt incorrectly with an ‘a’ instead of an ‘e’.
- Copyright Statement:
- Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
- Location of Original:
- Original document and image located in the Ajax Archives.
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