HOME OF THE LADY DENMAN - Local history isn't always about the big story - the everyday story of life in the early development of the region can be a fascinating, entertaining and educational journey.

7 July 2014

Highest award for the captain of the ship named Jervis Bay.

BOOKLET FOR PASSENGERS TSS Jervis bay launched in 1922 and sunk on 5 November 1940 by the German pocket battleship Admiral Scheer.
She started life as a British Liner owned and operated by the Aberdeen & Commonwealth Line to take immigrants to Australia. The company named all their ship after bays and she was named after our bay here.
After such a luxurious start to her career, I’m sure she had no idea what lay ahead for this beautiful ship.


Some of the beautiful illustrations from the vessels dining menu’s and books when she carried passengers before the war. Ref links below

She steers another course, the outbreak of war.
Later she was taken over by the Royal Navy in August 1939, on the outbreak of the Second World War and hastily armed with seven 1898-vintage 6 in (150 mm) guns and two 3 in (76 mm) guns. She was initially assigned to the South Atlantic station as an armed merchant ship before becoming a convoy escort in May 1940.

The outbreak of war – Heroic sea battle. – HMS Jervis Bay.
Admiral_Scheer_in_GibraltarWhile on duty as sole escort of 37 merchant ships travelling between Canada and Britain she encountered the German Warship Admiral Scheer.

Knowing his ship was vastly outgunned by the German cruiser the captain of the Jervis Bay Edward Fegan ordered the convoy to scatter set a course straight at the German warship to draw it’s fire. Completely outgunned and out ranged, Captain Fegan and his crew fought on until the ship was well ablaze and sunk into the Atlantic. Captain Fegan was killed when the bridge received a direct hit and went down with his ship along with 187 of his crew, later a neutral Swedish ship amongst the convoy turned around and rescued 65 survivors.

Through Captain Fegans actions many of the ships in the convoy managed to escape saving hundreds of lives.


Unequal contest - You can clearly see the the difference between the two ships.
Victoria Cross

Captain Fegen was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross as a result of this action. The citation for the Victoria Cross reads "Valour in challenging hopeless odds and giving his life to save the many ships it was his duty to protect.
Captain Fegan received the VC, but his crew followed and fought on despite insurmountable opposition and deserved to be recognized for their courage and sacrifice and received the respect from the nation.
The full and amazing story and pictures  of this heroic battle, follow the links below 

An amazing image of the TSS Jervis Bay passing under the Harbour Bridge.


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