For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project


In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar 


James Thorpe Friend


Telegraphist, V52131, RCNVR


Born: 24 Feb 1917, Vancouver, British Columbia


Died: 11 Apr 1945 at sea


Book of Remembrance


FRIEND, James Thorpe, Tel, V52131, RCNVR, killed - 11 Apr 1945, HMCS STRATHADAM - Son of John Walter and Maggie Friend; husband of Beatrice Elizabeth Friend, of New Westminster, BC.


Telegraphist J. T. Friend was one of six members of the crew of H.M.C.S. Strathadam killed by a premature Hedgehog explosion on board.  He was with the squadron staff and had recently transferred to HMCS Strathadam from HMCS La Hulloise with the squadron staff. He was killed on 11 Apr 1945 during an attacked on a suspected U-boat when a Hedgehog exploded on firing, killing 6 men. During almost two years of sea duty he did patrol duty in the North Atlantic and out of Bermuda. He was buried in Belfast City Cemetery, Belfast, Northern Ireland on 14 Apr 1945. He was survived by his parents John Walter and Maggie Friend, his wife Beatrice Elizabeth Friend and his two year old daughter Barbara.


Ships served in:



HMCS ETTRICK - Served in Ettrick 29 Jan 1944 - 18 Mar 1944 as O/Tel & Tel, RCNVR.  Rated Tel 25 Feb 1944

HMCS ORKNEY - Served in Orkney 19 Apr 1944 - 13 Feb 1945 as a Tel, RCNVR

HMCS LA HULLOISE - Served in La Hulloise 14 Feb 1945 - 19 Feb 1945 as a Tel, RCNVR

HMCS STRATHADAM - Transferred to Strathadam 20 Feb 1945 - Killed 11 Apr 1945


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(1) Portrait of Tel Friend  (2) Certificate of Service (3) Naval Training and Active Service Record  (4-5) Service Summary  (6-7) Conduct Report  (8) Telegram informing Beatrice Friend that her husband, James Friend, was killed in  action


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(9) Report of Death  (10) Casualty Report  (11-12) Letter informing Beatrice Friend that her husband was buried in the Belfast City Cemetery, Belfast, Northern Ireland.  (13) Newspaper article on casualties from HMCS Strathadam. From the Vancouver Daily Province, Sat, 09 Jun 1945


(14) Graves of three of our shipmates who were killed on HMCS Strathadam, 11 Apr 1945, when a hedgehog exploded during the attack on U-1302. Belfast City Cemetery, Belfast, Northern Ireland.  Graves of Dennis McEwan, Jimmy Friend, Clifford Purdy - From the collection of Marcel Chasse (HMCS Orkney K448).  Courtesy of Robert Chasse


(15-16) In 2015, James Friend's daughter, Barbara Hamlin, visited her father's grave. This photo shows the Belfast City Cemetery 70 years later. Photo taken 13 Aug 2015


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(17-21) Letter from Lt Donald C. Miller, Group Signals Officer, to Beatrice Friend about the loss of her husband, James Friend


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(22-23) Letter from Lt Nelson Jules Castonguay, RCNVR, 1st Lt, HMCS Orkney to Beatrice Friend expressing sympathies on behalf of the crew of HMCS Orkney and informing her that the crew of HMCS Orkney took up a collection and used their canteen fund as well to purchase a $1000 war bond in the name of their daughter Barbara to go towards her future.


(24) Letter from Lt (S) David Standfield, RCNVR, HMCS Orkney to Beatrice Friend with a cheque for $538 from the surplus canteen funds of HMCS Orkney (as she is being paid off) in memory of her husband, James Friend, who was killed on HMCS Strathadam.



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B.C. Electric Employee's Magazine - May 1945

Page 13 contains a write-up on James Friend


Courtesy of Barbara Hamlin



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