Stoker 1st Class
No. D/KX 152720, HMS Abdiel, Royal Navy
Died as a result of enemy action on Friday 10 September 1943 (aged 19)
No known grave
Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon, England (Panel 82 Column 1)
Ballywalter and District War Memorial
Ballywalter Presbyterian Church
Family grave headstone in Whitechurch Cemetery, Ballywalter
David Cromie was born on 25 February 1924 (naval records) and he was the eldest son of Albert and Agnes (Aggie) Cromie (nee Blair) of 36 Well Road, Ballywalter. They were married on 24 September 1923 in Newtownards Registrar’s Office. David’s uncle, Rifleman David Cromie (No. 16359), died of wounds in the First World War. David’s uncles, Thomas and Robert Cromie, were also on active service and they survived the First World War. Albert and Aggie Cromie had four children:
David (born 1924)
Maureen (married John Lemon who served in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War and who died on 19 December 1978)
Elizabeth (born 1932; died 7 February 1935 aged 2½)
During the Second World War Stoker 1st Class David Cromie (No. D/KX 152720) served with the Royal Navy aboard the minelayer HMS Abdiel. HMS Abdiel was built by J.S. White and Company (Cowes), commissioned in 1941 and she served successively with the Mediterranean Fleet (1941), the Eastern Fleet (1942), the Home Fleet (1942/43) and the Mediterranean Fleet (1943).
HMS Abdiel was sunk by mines in Taranto harbour, Italy on 10 September 1943. The mines had been laid a few hours earlier by the German torpedo boats S-54 and S-61 as they left the harbour. HMS Abdiel was carrying troops of the 1st Airborne Division (6th Welch Parachute Battalion) and Stoker 1st Class David Cromie (aged 19) was among more than 100 soldiers and sailors who were killed when two mines detonated beneath the ship.
Stoker 1st Class David Cromie (No. D/KX 152720) is commemorated on Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon; on Ballywalter and District War Memorial; in Ballywalter Presbyterian Church and on the family grave headstone in Whitechurch Cemetery, Ballywalter.
David’s father, Albert Cromie, died on 1 March 1983 and his mother, Aggie Cromie, died on 3 February 1993.