HMS Narborough – sunk 12 January 1918
HMS Narborough was an Admiralty M-class destroyer built for the Royal Navy during the First World War. She was wrecked after running aground in 1918.
The Admiralty M class were improved and faster versions of the preceding Laforey-class destroyer. The ships’ complement was 76 officers and ratings.
The ships were armed with three single QF 4-inch (102mm) Mark IV guns and two QF 1.5-pounder (37 mm) anti-aircraft guns. These latter guns were later replaced by a pair of QF 2-pounder (40 mm) “pom-pom” anti-aircraft guns. The ships were also fitted with two above water twin mounts for 21-inch (533 mm) torpedoes.
Narborough was ordered under the Fourth War Programme in February 1915 and built by John Brown & Company at Clydeside. The ship was laid down in May, launched on 20 November 1916 and completed in April 1916. On 12 January 1918, she and her sister ship, HMS Opal, were wrecked on the cliffs at Hesta Rock, just to the north of Windwick Bay, South Ronaldsay. Only one sailor survived; 188 were killed. Most of the casualties were never found and are commemorated on the Portsmouth Memorial
Among those lost on the two ships were
Able Seaman Harry Lewis Bayton who lost two brothers in the war
Lieutenant John Gould Nicolas who was awarded the DSC
Ordinary Seaman Francis Wallace McCheyne who lost three brothers in the war
Sub-Lieutenant Eric Oloff de Wet who was awarded the DSC and Mid in the war. His father also served in the Royal Navy being mentioned in despatches and he received the C.B.E. in 1919.