Mudcat Café message #3947566 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #164792   Message #3947566
Posted By: GUEST,Observer
02-Sep-18 - 02:11 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Jarvis Bay?/Jervis Bay
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Jarvis bay
Jervis Bay

Thirty-eight vessels with food for you,
Thirty-eight vessels that must get through.
Atlantic dawn, and dusk of day,
And a shell screamed over the Jervis Bay.

Thirty-eight vessels full steam ahead
Off with their needed cargoes sped.
But over there, where the warship lay,
Guns ablaze went the Jervis Bay.

That was the end her captain knew.
Fegen knew it and all his crew,
For the time they bought the price to pay
Was the blazing wreck of the Jervis Bay.

The above was published in the Liverpool Echo during the early days of World War II, shortly after the events described below took place.

The 37 freighters and tankers of Convoy HX84 were seven days out of Halifax, Nova Scotia - halfway home but still in mid-Atlantic - when the pocket battleship Admiral Scheer was sighted on the horizon. The convoy's sole escort, an ancient converted cargo ship armed with obsolete guns, turned to meet her.
What followed was one of the most heroic actions of the Second World War, as the crew of HMS Jervis Bay prepared for a battle that could have only one outcome. Outgunned, and with no hope of survival, they sailed head-on for the German ship, feebly returning the broadsides of her 11-inch guns.
Crippled and sinking, the Jervis Bay held the Admiral Scheer at bay, allowing the convoy to disperse into a winter storm. All but nine ships escaped. More than 190 of the 256 Jervis Bay crew died.