1918-2008: Ninety Years of Remembrance

Soldier Record

Edwin Cole

Contributed by: Peter Reginald Cole, on 2008-11-11

No portrait available
First Name Edwin
Surname Cole
Year of Birth 1893
Year of Death Unknown
Regiment Royal Navy
Place of Wartime Residence Homerton, Clapton, Greater London

Edwin's Story

He was my Great uncle. He served in the Royal Navy on the Botha, damaged 21st March 1918, English Channel in Strait of Dover, off the Flanders coast (c 51'15N, 02'E) - damaged by ramming, then torpedoed in error by French destroyer Capitaine Mehl. Light forces action off Flanders. Nine German destroyers, six large torpedo boats, and four small "A-class" TB's of the Flanders Flotilla sailed to attack the coast between Dunkirk and Nieuport on the night of the 20th/21st. British monitor Terror opened fire, and destroyers Botha and Morris, and the French Capitaine Mehl, Bouclier and Magon sortied from Dunkirk. Other Allied ships taking part included British monitors General Crauford and M-25, destroyers Matchless, Myngs, North Star, and Swift, and the French Oriflamme. In the confused night action that followed, Botha opened fire, rammed and sank German torpedo boat "A-19", but was then mistaken for a German ship and torpedoed by Capitaine Mehl. The Frenchman then in company with sister ship Bouclier sank the German "A-7" with gunfire and torpedoes.

Edwin served as a sick berth attendant and was mentioned in despatches in this battle, as reported in the London Gazette June 21st 1918.

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