“My great grandad was killed on a ship,” she explained, “My gran told me about it years ago. She died last year. I wished I’d understood more.”

The story was, her Great grandad had died when the ship he served on, sank. All she could remember was the ship was called the Jervis something or other and that one of her uncles was named Jervis.

A bit of research uncovered that a cruise liner commandeered for World War Two (1939 -1945) called The Jervis Bay was protecting a convoy with a crew mainly made up of Royal Navy Reservists. It was armed with agéd World War One (1914-18) guns. The convoy had the misfortune to come into contact with the German Warship Scheer.

The Captain of the Jervis Bay, Capt. Feegan had a decision to make, play for time with the Scheer to enable the convoy to scatter, thus saving as many lives(and whatever cargo) as possible or, attempt to escape with the convoy. The captain chose to play for time.

The men on board The Jervis Bay would have known they did not stand a chance, that they were facing overwhelming odds. They engaged with the Scheer and The Jervis Bay was sunk. Surprisingly, there were a small number of survivors.

The Crew and the ship have been remembered in various locations around the world.


0 thoughts on “HE WAS KILLED ON A SHIP

  1. Not my granny, the granny of the young woman who said this,was the daughter of one of the heroes. The-great Granny brought up 4 children, her granny was one of them. They were hard times.

  2. Yes it was insane courage, and the best that could be said for the surviving families at the time was, their menfolk were all heroes. Sadly, it didn’t put food on the table for their children. This young woman’s granny was herself, one of four children.

    The current descendants of this particular crewman, knew a little bit about great-grandad but hadn’t pieced it all together. I gave the young woman two pieces of information I had researched together with a list of those who died that day, including her great-grandfather, and a list of those who survived. She was very touched by the written word and commented that it was a wonder there were any survivors. Her next aim was to share the information with her father. She was then going to put the papers away with her personal treasures for her own family to have access to when they can understand it.

    She has a family history to be very proud of.

  3. I am glad you gave me the title of the book Munzly, I should like to read it. I’ll try and get hold of the book.

    It seems I didn’t make it very clear. This particular crewman who died, was in no way is related to me. My interest came from the comment a young woman made to me, out of the blue, when we were talking about some other people. It is her family history and you are absolutely right, she has an ancestor to be very proud of, and I told her so, when I gave her the details of the research I had done, again, generated by her comment. (See my reply to Foxwriter).

  4. Wow, interesting stuff.

    My great-grannie was a dancer in Paris. I can never remember if she was with the Folies Begere or in the Moulin Rouge, and have never bothered to find out, although it does interest me.

  5. You should have a go at looking for her. If you know gt-gran’s name, if your mum can help with info etc, you’ll be on the first rung of the ladder. Folies Begere or Moulin Rouge shouldn’t be difficult, they are well known pointers.

  6. They say “We stand on the shoulders of giants” but a story like that really brings it home. I know the government recently suggested that 60 years should be the official time of remembrance but I can’t help hearing the words “lest we forget”…

  7. Yes indeed, and “lest we forget” applies to many, many significant events in this world.

    It saddened me at the time, that the young woman who mentioned the vague outline of the story to me, really knew very little of her very important family history, yet there was a fragment in her mind that seemed to engage her. Her family have much to be proud of. All the guys on that cruiser were heroes, even, as someone commented, it was insane heroism. Nevertheless, knowing the odds, they performed their task to the best of their ability.

    Thanks for calling by.

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