H.M.S. Niger

Ernest William Dearson

ERNEST WILLIAM DEARSON . Service No. C/K 64567.
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.
Unknown

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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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