January 17. Ship losses and Colditz. Roll of Honour

John Carr of the Royal Naval Air Service was lost on a ship taking him to a new post in Trinidad. He is remembered at Rockport School and North of Ireland Yacht Club. George Jackson a RN airman was also lost in this ship. He is remembered on St Jude’s Parish, Belfast, WM. On this day in 1942 the destroyer HMS Matabele (Photo) was torpedoed by German submarine off the Kola Peninsula while on convoy escort duty. She sank very quickly. There were only two survivors from her 238 crew. Charles Kelly from Killyleagh, James Lynas from Magheramourne, Patrick McIlroy from Carrickfergus and Robert Warden from Newtownards were lost. Also on this day Sir Ivan Ewart’s saga of war service took a dramatic turn. The HMS Caroline reservist had been appointed to the command of Motor Torpedo Boat, MTB 47. On 17/01/1942 this came under German fire and, in the ensuing explosions he lost an eye and severely injured his right arm. He was later captured by the Germans and sent to Colditz Castle. Several weeks before his death our veteran travelled to Germany to meet with an officer who had participated in the attack upon his MTB.

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