HMS Royal Oak ships' bell, Kirkwall Cathedral, Orkney.

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Roy Pledger on June 16, 2013

In 1939 the Royal Navy battleship, HMS Royal Oak was moored in Scapa Flow and on 14 October she was sunk in a night time attack by a German U-boat which had entered this natural harbour between the mainland and Lamb Holm island. 833 lives were lost and the sunken battleship is a designated war grave marked by a buoy next to Scapa Beach where there is a Memorial Garden. Although the shallow eastern passage into Scapa Flow had been protected by sunken block ships and anti-submarine nets the U-boat was able to navigate around them at high tide and escaped the same way. As a war grave, the remains of the Royal Oak are protected by a ‘cage’ and diver’s are forbidden to trespass. However a diver did recover the ship’s bell and after a period of time he handed the bell over to the authorities and it is now preserved in Kirkwall Cathedral as a memorial

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on June 16, 2013
  • Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works
    by Roy Pledger
    • Camera: SONY DSC-W170
    • Taken on 2013/06/04 12:09:46
    • Exposure: 0.017s (1/60)
    • Focal Length: 5.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/3.300
    • ISO Speed: ISO1600
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash