Sailors pay tribute to battleship sunk in war

SAILORS from a Portsmouth warship took time out of their navigational training to pay respects to their fallen comrades.

Sunday, 4th March 2018, 7:52 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th March 2018, 8:54 pm

HMS Westminster stopped at Scapa Flow to mark the sinking of HMS Royal Oak almost 80 years ago.

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The Jutland veteran had been anchored in Scapa Flow when, in October 1939, German submarine U-47 slipped into harbour and torpedoed her.

It took a matter of minutes for the battleship to sink, taking 833 of her crew – many of them boy seamen – down with her.

Westminster spent several hours at anchor near the wreck. Commander Simon Kelly, Westminster’s captain, said: ‘Having had the great honour of previously serving with the Naval Diving Unit responsible for the laying of a White Ensign every year on the wreck of HMS Royal Oak, it has been an absolute privilege to return to Scapa Flow in command of Westminster to hold a service to remember the 833 sailors who lost their lives far from home.’