H.M.S. Niger

Ernest William Dearson

Rank.  Petty Officer Stoker.  Royal Navy.
Unit Text.  H.M.S. Niger.
Killed in Action.  6 July 1942.
Husband of.  Kathleen Dearson, of Benfleet.  Essex.

27 June 1942.
Location.  Murmansk on the extreme north western part of Russia.

H.M.S. Niger sailed for the UK with a convoy of 35 ships.  On 5 July the bad weather reduced visilbility to one mile and also caused a navigation error.  H.M.S. Niger strayed into an allied minefield off Iceland and at 22.40 hours she hit one of the mines, exploded and sank.  The Commanding Officer, 8 Officers and 140 ratings perished.

Of the ratings lost, five were from Essex, including one from Billericay.

Douglas Adams Fletcher.  Service No. D/JX 293595.
Rank.  Ordinary Coder.
Son of.  Archibald and Julia Florence Fletcher, of Billericay.  Essex

In just one day the minefield claimed six ships from the convoy, five were sunk.

H.M.S. Niger. WW1.

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  • The postcard features a WW1 ship. Having searched the stock of postcard dealers throughout the world for a WW2 card, this WW1 card was the only one available. It was therefore uploaded to give an indication of the type.

    By Ronnie Pigram (17/12/2011)
  • I am curious about the postcard. The ship has ram bows jutting forwards from the stem, characteristic of ships built before 1st World War. Photographs I have seen of Halcyon Class minesweepers have the normal swept back bows. Is this really the HMS Niger launched in 1936 or an earlier one?

    By David Layzell (16/12/2011)

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