November 1. Castlerock link to major naval battle off Chile. Roll of Honour

Today’s Roll of Honour is dominated by the loss of navy men in the Battle of Coronel in WW1 who are remembered in the Falklands Cathedral. Gervase Bruce from Castlerock was only 15 years old. Andrew Mulholland of Ballywalter played cricket for Eton and Oxford. A member of MCC, and a former NI Horse officer, he died serving with the Irish Guards at Ypres. In WW2 RAF men from Ballymena, Lurgan and Portadown are remembered at Malta, Alamein and Runnymeade.


  1. The background to von Spee’s squadron being off the coast of South America is that the Imperial Japanese Army had attacked the German colony of Tsingtau (now Qingdao) and laid seige to it. German civilians were evacuated and von Spee was ordered to take his squadron back to Germany to join the main fleet. The squadron had been based at Tsingtau. Of course, it never reached home.
    Included in the force besieging Tsingtau was 2nd Bn South Wales Borderers; the UK and Japan had signed a pact at Lansdowne House in London in 1902 creating an alliance between the two countries that lasted until 1922. That alliance was unpopular in the USA and in France, but it prevented France entering the Russo-Japanese War on Russia’s side lest that should provoke war with Britain.
    Among German civilians evacuated from Tsingtau was a child named Fritz-Julius Lemp. As a young man Lemp joined the German navy and volunteered for the submarine service of the Kriegsmarine. On 3 September 1939 Lemp, commanding U-30, sank the Donaldson Line’s ‘Athenia’ off the NW coast of Ireland. At the time the garrison battalion in Londonderry’s Ebrington Barracks was the 2nd Bn South Wales Borderers.


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