Richard Frank Jolly GC (EGM exchanger)

b. 28/08/1896 Wandsworth, London. d. 16/10/1939 Firth of Forth, near Edinburgh, Scotland.

DATE OF GC ACTION: 16/10/1939 Firth of Forth, near Edinburgh, Scotland.

Richard Frank Jolly (1896-1939) was born on 28th August 1896 in Wandsworth, the youngest of three children born to Frank and Ellen Alice Jolly (nee Parker). Richard’s father died when he was just 8, and he was raised by his mother. He was educated at Bedford School, and in September 1914, he joined the Royal Navy as an 18 year old, on the outbreak of World War I.

Richard F Jolly GC

He served as a midshipman on a battle cruiser during the Great War, and decided to remain in the Royal Navy at the end of the conflict. On 30th August 1919, he married Brenda Bowring Wimble in London, and they had a son, Martin, in 1933. He continued to rise through the ranks, becoming a Commander in 1932.

On the day of his death, HMS Mohawk was patrolling the Firth of Forth, near Edinburgh, when she came under attack by enemy aircraft. From a subsequent report: “After arrival in Forth came under air attacks by Ju 88 aircraft and straddled by two bombs which on explosion scattered splinters causing extensive casualties to personnel on bridge and upper decks. 15 of ship’s company were killed and 30 were injured”. Among those injured was Commander Jolly; he was wounded in the stomach, but refused medical attention and also refused to leave his post, saying: “Leave me, go and look after the others.” Assisted by his Navigating Officer, who was also wounded, he directed his ship for the next hour and twenty minutes, and succumbed to his injuries a few hours after bringing her safely into port. The Captain of his flotilla reported: “Commander Jolly was an imperturbable Commander of careful judgement who devoted his energies to perfecting his ship and ship’s company for battle. His fearlessness and honesty in counsel were remarkable, and he proved his bravery and devotion to his wounded men when for a long period he manoeuvred his ship despite a mortal wound”. For his actions that day he was awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal posthumously, and a year later it was exchanged by his family for the George Cross upon its inauguration. He is buried in the chuchyard at St. Peter’s, Boughton Monchelsea, in Kent. His medals are not publicly held.





Kevin Brazier – Image of Jolly GC Grave in St Peter’s Churchyard, Boughton Monchelsea, Kent.