Daily Event for January 2, 2014

The men who served in the 10th Cruiser Squadron in the Great War served under terrible conditions. They fought terrible storms, freezing cold and the Germans. And they did all this in second class ships. Many were converted merchantmen, but a number of older warships were also assigned to the squadron. It was their job to stop and search any ship which could be carrying contraband or even German agents. Over the course of the war they stopped thousands of ships and confiscated untold tons of contraband material.

On Jan. 1, 1915 HMS Hilary was towing a Norwegian barque named Marietta toward Kirkwall. The ship had been bound from Drammen, Norway for Brazil carrying cement when she was dismasted in a storm. Men from HMS Hilary were put aboard the struggling ship, but she was in bad shape.

At 0115 on January 2, 1915 there was no use in continuing to try and save the ship, she was leaking to badly. Lifeboats were put over the side and the ship was abandoned. Sadly one of the boats capsized before it could be recovered drowning eleven of the Norwegian crew and two men from Hilary (Sub-Lt. Oswald E. Miles, RNR and Signalman Frank Scott, RN). Only six men were picked up after Marietta went down near Fair Isle.
© 2014 Michael W. Pocock