the war began, the Borough and adjoining districts seem to have
had representatives at almost every major encounter with the
enemynot excluding Narvik. When H.M.S. Eclipse, a destroyer
of 1,375 tons, went with the flotilla which followed H.M.S.
Warspite into the fjord where seven German destroyers were sunk,
almost the whole crew were Liverpool men. One of them was Petty
Officer Murray, of 6 Rydal-street, Litherland; another, Seaman
George Newnes of 21, Corinthian-street, Seaforth.
The grand moral of the British seaman
compared with that of the Nazi was well illustrated in interviews
with the men.
Although the greater part of the crew were young men.
said Petty Officer Murray. they faced the fight with
the same determination with which they had been waiting it,
while escorting convoys. When Jerry's bombers appeared on our
side of the Fleet they were met with such a barrage of anti-aircraft
fire that they didn't have much of an opportunity to do anything.
One of them dropped five or six bombs around the Eclipse,
however, one scoring a direct hit, blowing up the engine-room.
That was allwe were all too busy with our own jobs to
notice anything else.
Petty Officer Murray is a range-taker,
is twenty five years old, and has been in the Navy for some
8½ years. He previously lived in Brook Vale, Waterloo,
and is an old Beach Road School boy. During the last war, in
which his father served on the Highflyer, first
British boat to bring in a prize-ship, his brother lost his
life when a minesweeper he was aboard went down on the Dogger
Asked what impressed him most on arriving
home at London. Mr Murray produced a copy of the menu headed
English Club, where the crew had been entertained
after being congratulated by Mr Churchill: Tomato soup;
fillet of sole; roast lamb; mint sauce; new potatoes; green
peas; fruit salad, cream; cheese, biscuits; coffee.
Seaman George Newnes, of Seaforth, has
been on the Eclipse since December as a range-finder,
has been three years in the Naval Reserve, and formerly was
in the merchant service with the Cunard boats. He comes from
a family which has given many years of devoted service to the
country; father, brother and sisters all either serving or being
connected with the Forces in some way. two are in the Navy,
three in the Army, and one in the Air Force.
the German bomber attack on the Eclipse, fatalities
were suffered and George was hit by a piece of shrapnel,
I got laid out, as he decribed being hit, the engine-room
had been hit and the destroyer lost all power. Most of the crew
were transferred to the cruiser H.M.S. York, and Captain Clark,
the First Lieutenant and twenty men stayed aboard the stricken
ship when it was taken under tow, arriving safely back to port.
Both sailors heard a German broadcast
from Berlin whilst returning to port aboard the York, stating
that H.M.S. York had been sunk, both men laughed when relating
this incident and are waiting for another show.
Murray and Seaman Newnes both survived the war
HMS Eclipse was sunk by a mine in the Bay of Kalymnos, Southern Aegean Sea, Greece
- 24th October 1943