Portsmouth man’s bid to make memorial of doomed destroyer sunk in tragic accident

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AN APPEAL is being launched to pay tribute to sailors killed in a tragic accident at the start Second World War.

HMS Duchess sank in the Irish Sea on December 12, 1939, after she was accidentally rammed in thick fog by the battleship she was escorting, HMS Barham.

More than 130 sailors died in the tragedy, with just 25 of the ship’s company surviving the sinking.

Now, aspiring author Richard Jones, of Portsmouth, is appealing for information about those who had relatives serving aboard the doomed destroyer.

Mr Jones is hoping to speak people in the city to find out more details about the tragedy as he has struggled to find information on it.

He also aims to create a memorial to those killed. Mr Jones said: ‘My research has been going on for several years and I have had no luck in finding relatives. As a naval city this would be a potential gold mine of forgotten stories that would bring the history of this ship to light.’

Those with details can email newsdesk@thenews.co.uk