John Egerton Broome was born in Seattle, United States, 23 February 1901, the son of Louis Egerton Broome and Clara Kathleen (Aimée) Lake. He was educated at Oakwood School, Surrey; the Royal Naval College, Osborne, 1914-15; the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, 1915-17; and Trinity Hall, Cambridge, 1922-3. He married Sybil Nicholas in 1928 (divorced 1954), with whom he had one son and one daughter, and Joan Featherstonhaugh Crisp in 1954 (died 1996).
He served as a Midshipman in HMS Colossus, 1917-18, and various other ships, 1918-22. He specialised in submarines and, except for two short periods in HMS Tiger and HMS Royal Oak, served in submarines based in Britain and on the China Station, 1924-38. He was promoted Commander and was an instructor at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, and at Royal Air Force Staff College, Andover, 1936-8. He commanded an escort destroyer, HMS Veteran, 1939-40; served on the staff of the Commander-in-Chief Western Approaches, based at Liverpool, 1940-1; and commanded HMS Keppel and 1st Escort Group, based at Londonderry, 1941-2. During this period he was the escort commander of Convoy PQ17, which sailed from Iceland to Russia and was scattered with heavy losses of men and merchant shipping, 29 June-4 July 1942.
He was promoted Captain and joined the staff of the United States Naval Command in Newfoundland, 1942. He commanded escort aircraft carriers, HMS Avalon, 1942-3, and HMS Begum, 1943-4. He was commandant of HMS Vernon II, the shore establishment at Portsmouth, 1945, and captained HMS Ramillies, 1945-6.
He retired from the Royal Navy, 1947, and became editor of "Sketch Magazine", 1947-51. He died on 19 April 1985.
He was awarded the DSC, 1943.
His publications include: "Make a Signal" (1955); "Convoy is to Scatter" (1972); and "Make Another Signal" (1973). He was a talented illustrator who contributed to magazines and books. He also acted as naval adviser to a number of film projects, including "The Cruel Sea", and wrote scripts for film and television.
Correspondence and papers mainly relating to a libel action against David Irving and Cassell and Co Ltd over the publication of "The Destruction of Convoy PQ 17".
With a photograph album of Louis Egerton Broome, 1900-10.
The papers were given to Churchill Archives Centre by Jackie Broome, 1974, and Katharine Broome, 1992. Further items may have been added by Stephen Roskill, undated.
See also transcripts of evidence, copy judgements and correspondence about the legal action among the papers of Stephen Roskill (reference: GBR/0014/ROSK 19/1-11).
Copies of the collection level description and catalogue are available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge, the National Register of Archives, London, and on the Janus website http://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk.
This collection level description was prepared by Sophie Bridges at Churchill Archives Centre, July 2004. The collection was catalogued by Stephen Roskill, 1979, and Ieuan Hopkins, 2004. Biographical information was obtained from Jackie Broome's deposition (reference: GBR/0014/BRME 5/3) and the website of the "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography".