Saturday, 5 November 2011

Seaman James Anderson - Behind the Name

We have not posted a ‘Behind the name’ post for a while so in the week leading up to Remembrance Day we are going to pick a few names from Scottish war memorials to highlight. If you happen to be standing in front of one of these names next Friday (11th) or Sunday (13th) then you will know a little bit more about why that person is commemorated.

The small village of Thrumster in Caithness on the Pentland Firth has an obelisk for a war memorial. After the First World War it was erected as an estate memorial but by the time it had come to add the Second World War names it was for the community.

The first name on the list of Second World War names is the only sailor listed. He is Seaman J Anderson R.N.V.R.

He is this man.

Initials: J
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Seaman
Regiment/Service: Royal Naval Reserve
Unit Text: H.M.S. Jervis Bay
Age: 27
Date of Death: 05/11/1940
Service No: C/X 10533
Additional information: Son of Donald Anderson and Martha Foster Anderson (nee McKellar); husband of Ellen Anderson, of Thrumster, Caithness-shire.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: 40, 1.

The ship he served and died on, on this day in November 1940 was the 'Jervis Bay'. We covered it as an 'On this Day' last year.

Seaman Anderson's ship was pulverised by the German battleship 'Admiral Scheer' to allow the convoy it was protecting to scatter and escape from the Germans. It was a costly act of self-sacrifice which earned the Captain of the 'Jervis Bay' a Victoria Cross but saved many valuable merchant ships and seamen.

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