Graphical version

National Maritime Museum

Merry, Lieutenant Vernon Charles (1922-1986)


Reference code(s): GB 0064 MEX

Held at: National Maritime Museum

Title: Merry, Lieutenant Vernon Charles (1922-1986)

Date(s): 20th century

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 1 box

Name of creator(s): Merry | Vernon Charles | 1922-1986 | Lieutenant


Administrative/Biographical history:

Lieutenant Merry (1922-1986) joined the Royal Navy on his 18th birthday in August 1940 for war service. He was appointed Flag Lieutenant to Admiral Sir Bruce Fraser and saw service in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Ocean theatres. He was on the bridge of the battleship HMS DUKE OF YORK during the Battle of the North Cape in 1943 and witnessed the sinking of the German battleship Scharnhorst on 25 December 1943. He remained as Flag Lieutenant when Admiral Fraser was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the British Pacific Fleet. He was present on the deck of the USS MISSOURI in Tokyo Bay on 2 September 1945 and witnessed Admiral Fraser signing the Japanese surrender document on behalf of Britain. Lieutenant Merry was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and after the War he elected to remain in the Royal Navy and served in a variety of appointments at sea and ashore in the UK and around the world, including Australia and the USA. In the early 1960s he attended the Allied Forces' Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia, and then served in a NATO appointment on the staff of Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic. He retired from the Royal Navy in the rank of Commodore in 1977. Lieutenant Merry died in January 1986 at the age of 63.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Lt Vernon Merry. They demonstrate the social life that Admiral Bruce Fraser had to lead and they shed light on Anglo-American relations in the Pacific during the formation of the British Pacific Fleet and during the early post-war period following the surrender of Japan.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue online at the: National Maritime Museum website .


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The papers were deposited with the Museum on 5 December 1986 by Mrs Marjorie Merry following the death of her husband, Lieutenant Merry, earlier that year.


Related material:

Mrs Merry and her daughter, Mrs J Church, have also donated various photographs relating to this same period to the Museum. The donations occurred in 1986, 1989 and 1990 and are kept by the Historic Photographs Department.


Archivist's note: Edited by Sarah Drewery, Sep 2011.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: 2011-04-19

Naval operations | Military operations | Military engineering
World War Two (1939-1945) | World wars (events) | Wars (events)

Personal names
Fraser | Bruce Austin | 1888-1981 | 1st Baron Fraser of North Cape | Admiral of the Fleet
Merry | Vernon Charles | 1922-1986 | Lieutenant

Corporate names

Pacific Ocean | Oceans