Jack Maben

Jack Maben - Royal Marines

The following was provided to the HMS Gambia Association by Jack's son, Peter.

Jack Maben and fellow Royal Marines
Jack Maben and fellow Royal Marines
From left to right, Marines Steptoe, Bowkett, Henshaw, Stockton, Griggs, Brown, Ellis, Smith and Jack Maben.

Jack Maben grew up in Kent Jack with his younger brother, Kenny, who died of pneumonia shortly after the end of the war. Jack joined the Royal Marines shortly after the outbreak of WW2 after previously training as a barber. He married Elizabeth (Betty) and they enjoyed a short honeymoon in Torquay before he re-joined the war.

Prior to joining Gambia, Jack served on HMS Shropshire from January 7, 1942 to April 5, 1943 on South Atlantic convoy escort duties.

Jack joined HMS Gambia at Liverpool on September 23, 1943, the day after Gambia was transferred to the Royal New Zealand Navy, and was based at Plymouth for a short while. Gambia was in the Azores at Horta on December 15, 1943. During 1944, Gambia did a lot of travelling and was in Gibraltar on February 2, Alexandria on February 6, Aden on Febrary 13, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) on February 20, Wellington on November 4, Aukland on November 8, Dunedin on January 26, 1945 and Sydney on February 17.

Jack landed at Asuma for the liberation of the prisoners of war on August 30, 1945 and was present for the occupation of Yokusuki Naval Base on September 3, 1945, and then on to Tokyo.

He returned to Auckland for a long leave and then returned to the U.K. on March 27, 1946 at whch time he was demobbed and left the Gambia.

Battle ensign at Kamaishi
The battle ensign flown while bombarding Kamaishi on August 9, 1944. This photo kindly donated to the HMS Gambia Association by Peter Maben, son of Jack Maben who served on HMNZS Gambia as a Royal Marine.

X turret bpmbarding Kamaishi on August 9, 1944
X turret bombarding Kamaishi on August 9, 1944. This photo kindly donated to the HMS Gambia Association by Peter Maben, son of Jack Maben who served on HMNZS Gambia as a Royal Marine.

4 barrel pom-pom
A 4 barrel pom-pom on HMNZ Gambia during WWII. This photo kindly donated to the HMS Gambia Association by Peter Maben, son of Jack Maben who served on HMNZS Gambia as a Royal Marine.

One of Jack's descendants has created a website about him at Grandad's War.