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Stoker 1st Class K/31954 Thomas Herbert MATTHEWS

Royal Navy, aboard HMS Strongbow
Killed in Action, North Sea, 70 Miles from Lerwick, Shetland, 17th October 1917

  • Commemorated: Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Portsmouth, Hants. Panel 26
  • Awarded: Not yet established
  • Son of William Matthews of Nuneaton
  • NNWFHS Memorial: Nuneaton WW1 Other Regiments

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    The Sinking of HMS Strongbow

    On 16 October 1917, HMS Strongbow joined a westbound convoy of 12 merchant ships from Norway. The escort consisted of Strongbow, the destroyer Mary Rose and two naval trawlers. In the morning of 17 October, the convoy was attacked by two German light cruisers about 70 miles (110 km) east of Lerwick. Strongbow sighted two unknown ships at 06:00, in poor visibility, and believing them to be Royal Navy cruisers, challenged them with recognition signals. Strongbow, receiving inadequate responses, had not yet cleared for action when the two German cruisers opened fire at a range of about 3,000 yards (2,700 m). Strongbow quickly received heavy damage and was immobilised, and after ensuring that all confidential papers had been destroyed, the captain ordered the surviving crew to abandon ship. Forty-six of Strongbow's crew were killed in the attack.

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