I have plenty of candidates for today’s article. There are
- 52 Thomas Heenans
- 5 Theresa Heenans
- 4 Timothy Heenans
- 2 Terence Heenans
I’m going to chose one of the people who was killed in World War 2
Thomas Michael Halpin Heenan
Thomas was an able seaman serving on the submarine Parthian when he died on 11 August 1943.
HMS Parthian was the lead boat of six Royal Navy Parthian-class submarines, all launched in 1929. It was nicknamed Peanut, because of the identity letters PN painted on the fin.
Parthian spent most of the Second World War in the Mediterranean. On the outbreak of the war, she was on the China Station, but was transferred to Alexandria in May 1940. She sank the Italian submarine Diamante near Tobruk on 20 June 1940. By the end of the year she had been attached to the 8th Submarine Flotilla based at Malta.
The sub had sailed from Malta in July 1843, to patrol the southern Adriatic. On the 26th she was ordered to patrol off Capo Otranto. This order was cancelled on the 28th when a new patrol area was given. The submarine was signalled on 6th August to leave the patrol. This signal was not acknowledged and no further contact was made with the submarine.
Parthian was due to arrive at Beirut on 11th August but failed to do so. The likelihood is that it hit a mine on or around 6th. August. All 61 of its crew members were lost.
Details about Thomas Michael Halpin Heenan are scant. According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the Registers Of Reports Of Deaths he was born on 1 April 1916 and was the son of Thomas and Margaret E. Heenan, of Benwell, Newcastle-on-Tyne, England.
I’ve not found any records which list these parents. Nor can I find a record of the birth of their son. It’s an unusual name so to find no trace is unusual. Unfortunately service records for personnel in World War 2 are available only to next of kin.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Registers Of Reports Of Deaths 1939-1945