The tragic sinking of HMS Barham

During the Second World War, South African Navy personnel – known at the time as the “South African Naval Forces” (SANF) were seconded to serve on ships in the Royal Navy. 

Nothing drives home the peril of serving on a fighting ship harder than this footage of the sinking of the HMS Barham, it is simply jaw dropping. Made even more poignant for us if you consider we are witnessing the loss of the following South African naval personnel in this tragedy.

BAKER, Dennis E W, Ordinary Seaman, 68617 (SANF)
GLENN, Paul V, Ordinary Seaman, 68906 (SANF)
HAYES, Richard T, Ordinary Seaman, 68499 (SANF)
MORRIS, Cyril D, Ordinary Seaman, 68932 (SANF)
UNSWORTH, Owen P (also known as R K Jevon), Ordinary Seaman, 69089 (SANF)
WHYMARK, Vivian G, Ordinary Seaman, 69024 (SANF)

It is our duty as South African veterans never to let selective history and the mist of time obscure the brave contributions of our countrymen during this war, it is our our duty as South African Legion to continually educate and keep this memory alive. 

HMS Barham was a Queen Elizabeth-class battleship of the Royal Navy She was sunk during the Second World War on 25 November 1941 by the German submarine U-331north of and off the coast of Sidi Barrani, Egypt.

Prior to this HMS Barham visited Durban, South Africa, in June 1941 for extensive repairs at the Victoria Graving Dock. The repairs where due to damage sustained in the Crete bombing. She sailed from Durban on the 31st July 1941.

Story for the South African Legion by Peter Dickens


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