HMS Burghead Bay, Royal Navy
Died on Saturday, 23rd February 1946 aged 22
Julian Purser was born 19 March 1923 in Wraysbury, the second son of Thomas Albert William Purser (1873-1928) and second wife Cicely Victoria (Vicky) Reffell (1897-1975) who were married in 1918. His elder brother Richard William Purser also died during the Second World War when his RAF plane crashed.
He was educated at Lancing College and commissioned as an Acting Sub Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in November 1943, being was promoted to Sub Lieutenant in May of the following year.
He joined the anti submarine frigate HMS Burghead Bay. On the 23rd February, while the ship was at anchor off Babbacombe Devon, Julian and three other crew members were sailing the ship’s whaler when the craft capsized in a squall two and half miles to the east of Teignmouth. The whaler was later found waterlogged and empty, but despite a search by both the ship and the Torbay lifeboat, no survivors or bodies were recovered.
HMS Burghead Bay was a Bay class anti-aircraft frigate named after Burghead Bay in Morayshire, and was commissioned on 20 September 1945. Burghead Bay carried out sea trials in October and was deployed in November to the Plymouth Local Flotilla, where she stayed until the end of 1952, carrying out exercises, search & rescue in the Channel, and sea training.
During 1957 the boat had an extended refit and became part of the 7th Frigate Squadron in the South Atlantic until she was bought by Portugal in May 1959 for service in the Portuguese Navy as NRP Álvares Cabral. Deployed as an anti-aircraft frigate she was scrapped in June 1971.
Panel 96, Column 2, Plymouth Naval Memorial, The Hoe, Plymouth, Devon.