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.