Royston Harry Young was born in Chelmsford, his father dying eight months before he was born. During the war he served in the Royal Navy and was killed in November 1942 when his ship was sunk by a German aircraft while escorting a convoy from Egypt to Malta. His mother lived in Upper Bridge Road.
Royston was born in Chelmsford on 18th November 1919, the son of Harry William Young (1896-1919) and Ellen Mabel Young (nee French) (1876-1987). Royston's parents had married at Chelmsford Cathedral on 29th January 1916. At that time both had been 19 years if age and were living at 56 Primrose Hill in Chelmsford.
Royston's birth was eight months after his father had died, aged just 23, in a motorcycling accident. His father's death was reported in the Essex Chronicle on 14th March 1919:
“CHELMSFORD MOTORIST KILLED. A sad fatality occurred in London Road. Chelmsford .on Saturday, shortly after noon. It appears that Harry Young, a turner, employed at Messrs. Crompton and Co.'s works, and living at Redcliffe Road, was riding a motor cycle down the road wlfh a friend, Sidney Jones, of 25 Nursery Road, on the carrier.
Near the Friars Young was about to pass some cyclists, who were proceeding in the same direction, when one of them turned to proceed along the Friars. Young swerved to avoid collision and struck the pillar-box the corner of the footpath.
Young was picked up unconscious and conveyed the Hospital close by, with serious injuries to the head. He was seen by Dr. Storrs, and everything possible was done, but death ensued at about 5.30 the same afternoon. Deceased, who was 22 years of age, leaves wife and two young children. He was a son of the foreman porter at the G.E.R- station.
THE INQUEST. At the inquest on Tuesday, held Mr. C. Edgar Lewis at Chelmsford, the father, Mr. James Young, said his son had ridden a motor cycle for about three months.
Capt. C. W. Alford, R.A.M.C. stated that deceased died from pressure the brain due fracture of the'skulL
Sidney Jones said that he had ridden on the carrier of deceased's motor cycle before, and the deceased appeared able manage the machine all right. As they came down London Road they were travelling about six to seven miles per hour. Four cyclists were going in the same direction in front; one of them turned to go down Friars Road. Deceased turned off in order to miss him, in the same direction, but the front wheel of the motorcycle hit the bicycle, causing deceased's machine get out of control, and went straight on and hit his head the pillar-box. The cyclist fell the road behind them.
Royston's siblings included Norman James William Young (born in 1916) and Jeanne Katherine Young (born in 1918). His mother remarried in 1927 to William Knight.
Royston Harry YOUNG, Engine Room Artificer 4th Class, H.M.S. Arethusa, Royal Navy
Killed when his ship was torpedoed and sunk in the Meditteranean. Aged 23
During the Second World War Royston served in the Royal Navy as Engine Room Artificer 4th Class C/MX 60302 on H.M.S. Arethusa.
In November 1942 Royston was on board H.M.S. Arethusa when she left Alexandria in Egypt as part of the escort for a convoy of ships to Malta. H.M.S. Arethusa was a 506 foot-long vessel, displacing 7,180 tons.
In the early evening of 18th November 1942, some 450 miles from port, she was torpedoed by a low flying twin engined German aircraft. The initial explosion and resulting fire took the lives of 156 men including Royston, on what was his 23rd birthday. Despite the damage his ship managed to limp back to Alexandria.
Royston has no known grave and is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial in Kent.
On 4th December 1942 the Essex Chronicle reported:
“Killed on birthday - Royston Harry Young, of the Royal Navy, only son of Mrs. Knight, of Upper Bridge Road, was killed on active service in the Eastern Mediterranean in November on his 23rd birthday. He was the grandson of Mrs. Young, of South Primrose Hill, and a popular young man."
At the time of his death Royston's mother and sister were living at 130 Upper Bridge Road in Chelmsford. Royston left an estate of £304 9s. to his mother.