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Biography of Fred Rodway - Stoker - died March 17, 2011

Viewers able to provide more information (stories or photos) are asked to contact Dan Delong.
March 1945 Photo Nene Lives Book Photo
Extracted from the photo of the Crew of the Nene on deck taken March 1945
Photo from the book "NENE LIVES The Story of H.M.C.S. Nene & her Crew" - 1993

Frederick Rodway - Stoker 1st Class
Fred Rodway was born on November 29, 1922, in the hamlet of Halkirk, Alberta. He grew up and received his education there. At the age of 19, Fred enlisted in the navy on July 29, 1942 and received his basic training on HMCS Nonsuch in Edmonton. After further training at HMCS Cornwallis he joined HMCS Nene. While on active duty Fred was miraculously rescued from drowning by a fellow shipmate Ralph Patterson. Fred was discharged on October 29, 1945 at HMCS Tecumseh, Calgary. On June 20, 1946 Fred married Joyce Dageforde. They have three children, Devin, Deborah and Nancy and seven grandchildren. Fred operated a country grain elevator for fifteen years and was employed by the Home Oil Company, Calgary for twenty-two years. He took early retirement in May 1986 and has since kept active travelling, gardening, golfing and curling. Fred and Joyce are members of St. Matthew Lutheran Church and the Second Sixties Outdoor Club. Fred is also a member of the Kensington # 264 Legion and the Calgary Naval Veterans Association. At present he is a volunteer, working with senior alcoholics through an Alberta government program.

Mr. Frederick Rodway, of Ponoka, Alberta, passed away March 17, 2011 at the age of 88 years.

Fred and his dog Sadie.

Fred joined the navy on July 29, 1942. After basic training at HMCS Cornwallis he jooined the HMCS Nene. Fred was almost swept overboard but was rescued by Ralph Patterson. Fred was discharged from the navy on October 1945.

November 29th, 1922 Halkirk, AB TO March 17th, 2011 Ponoka, AB

......Formerly of Calgary, AB, Passed away in Ponoka, AB March 17,2011, at the age of 88 yrs. Leaves behind Son Devin (Carla) Lacombe, AB, Daughter Deborah Ashwood Calgary, AB, Daughter Nancy (Hagen) Hartwell Calgary, AB, 10 Grandchildren: Justin (Sherrie) Rodway, Delisa (Richard Hamlyn), Jason (Suzanne) Rodway, Laura Arsenault, Colin (Jennifer) Ashwood, Amber (Russell) Mack, Jarrod Eligh, Jakob Hartwell, Lydia Hartwell & Kaleb Hartwell. 7 Great Grandchildren: Riley Mack, Kristyn Rodway, Kelsey Rodway, Dylan Mack, Jacob Rodway, Maija Rodway, Ned Esquivel-Rodway.

Fred is featured on pages 64 and 65 of a book, "HONOUR", published by the Chartwell group of senior retirement homes in 2010. The project was inspired by a well-known professional photographer, now located in Toronto - Yuri Dojc. He has kindly given permission to post this photo of Fred Rodway here, in his biography. The book is available for $10 at any Chartwell home, with proceeds going to projects supporting Canadian veterans. Yuri was saddened to learn of Fred's passing. He thought Fred had made the cane, shown in the photo, himself.

Photo by Yuri Dojc [Click the photo for bigger.]


When Fred Rodway enlisted in the Canadian Navy at the age of 19 he recalls that "the most water I'd been around was in the bathtub." The Stoker 1st Class was assigned to the frigate HMCS Nene. One evening, while the ship was crossing the turbulent Nordic Sea, Fred ventured out on deck for some fresh air. The waters were treacherous and a surprise swell swept Fred overboard. His quick reflexes saved him from falling immediately into the frigid waters, and he bravely held on as the cold water lapped at his legs. With only seconds of strength left, Fred was miraculously saved by his shipmate Ralph Patterson. They still talk by phone once a month. Fred's ship was part of an escort group that accepted the surrender of 15 German U-boats after V-Day, ferrying them to the north of Scotland. "Up close we could see that the German boats had superior equipment, but we knew we had prevailed out of respect and admiration for our sense of purpose," said Fred, describing the victory of the Allied forces. "We were a close group on the Nene, full of youthful confidence. I don't think we spent much time thinking of the danger. At the same time, we all know that war never solves anything, and I fear making it sound glorious because it never is."


Webmaster: Dan Delong - Updated: November 30, 2002

Updated July 28, 2011