The Crew of The Bee

History records that the other two crew members were Harry Downer of Highfield Road, Newport who was the Mate and eighteen year old Marc Hocking of Alvington Road, Newport. It is hoped that readers of this website might be able to contribute information about these two.

The four people in the photograph have been identified from left to right as Fred Reynard, Bill Trowbridge, Harry Downer and his son Ernest whose nickname was “Muddy” Downer.

On Saturday 29thMay 2010, seventy years to the day that the Bee arrived at Dunkirk, a memorial to Captain Trowbridge and his crew was unveiled and blessed by the Archdeacon of the Isle of Wight, The Venerable Caroline Baston.

Among those attending were Mrs Hocking, the widow of crew member Marc Hocking, and her eldest son.

The honour guard was from the British Legion and the Deputy Chairman of the Isle of Wight County Council, David Ward represented the Council.

Archdeacon Caroline Baston unveiling the memorial

Present at the ceremony was Mrs Hocking, seen here in the red coat

The senior officer of the British Legion present salutes after the Exhortation

The blessing of the memorial

The Memorial

Photos courtesy of Roger Wills

3 replies
  1. tazznrolo
    tazznrolo says:

    I have just visited this site again and found the photograph of the crew of The Bee which includes my father Ernest (muddy) Downer and my grand father Harry Downer. I would love to have a copy of this photograph as the one I have was ruined. I shall over the next few weeks collate as much information about Harry as I can and post here. Kevin Downer.

    • mike
      mike says:

      Hello Kevin,
      Many thanks for the two comments. I am so relieved that we got the name of your grandfather right on the memorial! I am sorry that it was wrong on the website. I will correct this.
      I would be most grateful for any information about your grandfather that I could include on the website. Do you have any photos of him? I will shortly be posting some photos of the ceremony when the memorial was blessed.
      I will print off a copy of the photo of the Bee for yuo. Please let me have your address and i will send it. I am afraid that the quality is not brilliant but it is 70 years old!
      Best wishes,

  2. tazznrolo
    tazznrolo says:

    I read with great interest the article in the ‘County Press’ (4th june issue) with regard to the unveiling of a memorial to capt.Trowbridge and the crew of the ‘Bee’. The article was slightly wrong naming the first-mate as Ern Downer (my father) when in fact it should have read Harry Downer (my grandfather) Ern Downers’ Father. I have paid a visit to the memorial today, out of respect and the name is correct here. I would love to see any information and photographs you may have of the ‘Bee’ and her crew.I don’t have much by way of documentation myself but can provide some information as to the character and life (latter days) of my grandfather Harry Downer. Yours Kevin Downer

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