World War II Medal

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This is a service award for William Tate who was a stoker on the 'Royal Oak' which was torpedoed in 1939. Tate came on the ship's deck after the first torpedo, and he and the others were ordered below decks. Then, the second torpedo struck, and the ship sunk at its mooring in Scapa Flow. William was badly burned by the steam which was escaping from the engine room, yet struggled out of a porthole and was picked up by a small boat. He was in hospital for two weeks before he died. His parents managed to visit him with money raised by workers at Pickersgill's Shipyard, Southwick. William Tate is not on the memorial list at Scapa Flow, as he died at Invergordon.

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