HMS Ajax & River Plate Veterans Association


FAQ 38

How did the careers of the three British Captains develop?


Admiral Sir Charles Woodhouse KCB, Captain of HMS Ajax.

In October 1940 he became Director of the Local Division at the Admiralty and in April 1942 he assumed command of HMS Howe. In March 1944 he was appointed as Director of Naval Ordnance at the Admiralty. After the War he became Second-in-Command of the Carrier Fleet and in 1948 he became Commander-in-Chief, East Indies Station. He retired in 1950 and died in 1978.


Admiral Sir Edward Parry KCB, Captain of HMS Achilles.

He assumed command of HMS Renown in 1943. He took part in the Normandy landings and served on the staff of Allied Naval Commander-in-Chief of the Expeditionary Force in 1944. After the war he became Deputy Head of the Naval Division at the Allied Control Commission in Germany. Parry was the second Chief of Naval Staff (Commander-in-Chief) of the Royal Indian Navy in August 1948. He retired in 1951 and died in 1972.


Captain Frederick Secker Bell CB. Captain of HMS Exeter.

Bell later became Flag Captain to Flag Officer Malaya, escaping from Singapore to Sumatra in a 6 metre yacht. He commanded HMS Anson in 1945. He developed TB and retired from the Navy owing to ill health in January 1948 and died in 1973.


A1-1 Captain Woodhouse HMS Ajax

Captain Woodhouse

E1-1 Captain Bell, HMS Exeter

Captain Bell

Ac1-1 Captain Parry, HMS Achilles

Captain Parry