Royal Oak visits 2012

with thanks to Agnes for the photos and captions

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Andrew Wallace, nephew of Rear Admiral Henry Blagrove who was 52 when H.M.S. Royal Oak was sunk.
Ann Kellett, niece of William John Merrifield, who although registered at time of death as being 20 years old he had in fact lied and at the time of his death he was actually 17, instead of being an Able Seaman he should have been a Boy Sailor.

Today Monday May21st, the Carribean Princess brought two of our visitors to our shores, Jill Patience & Allan Searle came in by tender from the Liner berthed in Kirkwall Bay. Jill's uncle, Leading Supply Assistant Frank Sims survived the sinking of H.M.S. Royal Oak, however his cousin William Sims was lost onboard H.M.S. Hood which sailed from Scapa Flow on 22nd May 1941 and was lost on 24th May 1941......A wreath was laid by Allan in memory of the two Sims gentlemen.
Fortunately for the other couple Mike & Betty Winfield who were due to leave Orkney yesterday, they let Malcolm Johnston at the Royal British Legion Kirkwall know about there connection with H.M.S. Royal Oak so they postponed leaving until this afternoon so they could pay respects to Mike's uncle who was 15 year old Boy Bugler Aubrey John Priestley.
I held a small service for the families over the wreck of H.M.S. Royal Oak.
From left to right, Jill Patience, Betty Winfield, Mike Winfield, Allan Searle, Agnes McBarron & Malcolm Johnston

Today we visited the wrecksite of H.M.S. Royal Oak to reunite a family, Frances, Donna & Raymond's uncle was 16 year old Boy Seaman Raymond Arthur Barnfather.
The picture shows from left to right Carolyn Hoe, Frances Hoe, Donna Regan, Raymond Barnfather, Sally Barnfather & Martyn Hoe.

The first picture shows Marine John (Jack) Albert Pennell, who was 18 years old when he was lost. (the second picture shows his niece who gave me this picture)

Today, 2nd July 2012, I managed to get Susan & Colin Mann over the wreck to pay her respects to her uncle, Marine John Albert Pennell. Susan had previously visited Orkney with her father, Jack's brother, but he found the experience of the visit too emotional and never managed over the wreck so Susan promised her father before he passed away that she would make the journey on his behalf.
On wednesday 1st of August 2012 I arranged a trip over the wreck, huge thanks to the crew of the Scapa Pioneer for looking after the group so well. Huge thanks to Robbie at Orkney Marine Services for getting the family slotted in during an exceptionally busy week. From left to right - Linda Thorne (wife of Chris); Jane Paige; Chris Thorne (nephew of L. F. Thorne who went down with Royal Oak - known as Frank Thorne or Muggy at School); John David Paige (Uncle to Chris Thorne, went to school with Frank Thorne at Bognor Regis and WWII Veteran of the D-Day Landings).

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