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SS Bayano 1915 - 20 RMs lost

Updated: Mar 30

11th March 1915

SS Bayano, armed merchant cruiser, torpedoed and sunk by U.27 in North Channel.

HMS Bayano, built in 1913, was originally a banana boat for the Elders & Fyffes line. At the outbreak of World War I it was drafted into the Royal Navy on 21 November 1914 as an armed merchant auxiliary cruiser.

On 11 March 1915, it was torpedoed by SM U-27 and sank within minutes killing around 200 of its crew. Twenty-six survivors were pulled from the water.

Once in the Royal Navy she was part of the 10th Cruiser Squadron. The Admiralty had begun to use experimental indicator nets to counter German submarines. Indicator nets were made from strong thin wires, draped from the surface of the sea and kept buoyant with kapok, small buoys or glass globes. Sections of the net were held together with clips which (in theory) would part when the section was hit by a submerged submarine. The net would wrap around the vessel and indicate its presence via a buoy being pulled along the surface of the sea. The Admiralty established 21 net barrages, one of which was in the North Channel.

In the North Channel, HMS Bayano had reduced speed to avoid passing the net line in the dark en route to Liverpool for coaling. At 05:15 on 11 March 1915, the ship was attacked by the German submarine SM U-27 about 10 nmi (12 mi; 19 km) west of Corsewall Lighthouse, Corsewall Point, Galloway, Scotland. The auxiliary cruiser sank in five minutes. Most of the crew was asleep and only 26 men survived to be rescued by the British steamer Castlereagh.

Bayano's Lieutenant Commander Guy described Carr on the bridge, standing without fear waving goodbye while shouting "Good luck to you boys" before the ship disappeared under the waves. [1]

20 Royal Marines were killed:

ABSALOM, George H, Private, RMLI (RFR B 1120), 10079 (Po):

ARCHER, Arthur, Private, RMLI, 16725 (Po):

ATKINSON, Thomas, Private, RMLI, 16352 (Po):

BAILEY, Albert C, Private, RMLI, 17189 (Po):

BAIN, Alexander G, Private, RMLI (RFR B 1024), 7542 (Po):

BURRIDGE, Albert H, Bugler, RMLI, 16789 (Po):

CHANT, John F C, Private, RMLI (RFR B 873), 9061 (Po):

FOX, William J, Private, RMLI (RFR B 438), 4246 (Po):

FRAMPTON, James G, Private, RMLI, 16702 (Po):

GILBERT, Charles, Private, RMLI (RFR B 732), 5703 (Po):

HILL, Ernest A, Private, RMLI (RFR B 508), 8407 (Po):

HOOK, Walter G, Private, RMLI, 17190 (Po):

HUBBARD, Frederick F, Sergeant, RMLI (RFR A 784), 12012 (Po):

JEWER, Henry J B, Private, RMLI, 13442 (Po):

JONES, Stephen J J, Private, RMLI (RFR B 645), 8978 (Po):

KING, Arthur G, Sergeant, RMLI (RFR A 741), 5237 (Po):

LLOYD, Walter J, Corporal, RMLI (RFR A 690), 4669 (Po):

REES, Alfred, Private, RMLI (RFR A 546), 6396 (Po):

STERN, Wallis, Lance Corporal, RMLI (RFR A 861), 6156 (Po):

SUMMERS, James H, Private, RMLI, 16698 (Po)

References/ Further Reading

[1] Wikipedia - HMS Bayano (1913)

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