Supply convoy heroes remembered at Chatham

Image caption,
Standard bearers lower their flags during a memorial service for the Jervis Bay sailors

The families of heroic sailors who died when their ship came under German attack in World War II have gathered to remember them 70 years on.

About 180 people were at The Chatham Historic Dockyard in Kent to pay tribute to 186 crewman and the captain who died on board HMS Jervis Bay.

The lightly-armed cruiser sank after taking the full force of a surprise German attack on 5 November, 1940.

She was escorting a supply convoy from Canada to the UK, which escaped.

Posthumous VC

The ship's captain and crew knew they were no match for the German battleship Admiral Scheer but drew its fire to save 38 ships in the convoy and the lives of hundreds of merchant seamen.

Capt Edward Fegen was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross for "challenging hopeless odds and giving his life to save those it was his duty to protect".

The names of the crew are listed on the Naval War Memorial in Chatham.

A large scale model of the ship and factual displays about the vessel were also unveiled in the newly-restored No 1 Smithery building at the dockyard to mark Friday's event.

A spokeswoman for The Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust said it was attended by relatives of the sailors who survived the onslaught.

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