Monday, September 29, 2008

death of my father

RootsWeb's WorldConnect Project: WATKINS LAPHAM updated 2007: "# Name: Alfred Henry (David) Watkins
# Sex: M
# ALIA: /David/
# Birth: 17 AUG 1907 in Usk Monmouthshire 1
# Death: 24 SEP 1942 in HMS Somali"


HMS Somali was torpedoed on the 20th of September, 1942 while escorting Convoy QP14 homeward bound from Archangel to the U.K. She was towed 420 miles by HMS Ashanti but broke in two on the night of the 24th of September with the loss of 81 of the 100 who had volunteered to try to save their ship.

HMS Somali, destroyer

U-Boote, Kontakt zu Freunden

U-Boote, Kontakt zu Freunden: "U703 1941 Indieststellung St├╝lkenwerft
Hamburg,"



BBC - WW2 People's War - Protecting the Russian Convoy: "Vernon 'Nobby' Clarke was born in Ilkeston, Derbyshire on 24th July 1917, and was working as a spinner, before he joined the Royal Navy in 1939.

After initial training, he was drafted to HMRT Brigand. after a few months he was then drafted to HMS Somali, and along with other Tribal Class Destroyers - was intrumental in the protection of Russian Convoys. He served on Somali and Ashanti from 1940 to 1942, until the Somali was sunk in September 1942 following a torpedo attack from U703. HMS Ashanti took Somali in tow for 3 days before she broke her tow and sank.

This theatre of war was often described as one of the most hazardous during WW2, not only having to deal with constant submarine attacks and air attacks for most of the convoys passaage, but also having to cope with freezing tmerpatures and mountainous seas. There was also the constant threat of Germany's major warships, including 'Tirpitz'."

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