This poem was donated by the family of Len Scott and the original is stored in the Dock Cottage. I have tidied the last line to make sure the SS Beaverford is remembered – another lightly armed Merchant ship that took on the pocket battleship Admiral Scheer to give the convoy time to disperse. The Beaverford was lost with all hands.

The uncle of one of our members, Capt. Roger Francis, was lost in this action. Tellingly, no gallantry award was made the Beaverford or her Master – she was registered as a Merchant, not a Royal Navy vessel.


Thirty eight ships with food for you,

Thirty eight ships that must get through

Atlantic calm and the dusk of day

And a shell screamed over the Jervis Bay


Thirty eight ships full steam ahead

Off with their precious cargoes sped

But over to where the warship lay

Guns ablaze went the Jervis Bay


This was the end, her Captain knew

Fegan knew it and all her crew

Buying minutes with lives to pay

Lord they were men on the Jervis Bay


Pounded, shattered, smashed and lame

Fighting on with decks aflame

She sank with the sun at the death of day

And a gun still spoke from the Jervis Bay


Thirty eight ships with food for you

Thirty four ships came safely through

But the finest ships that docked that day

Were the Beaverford and, the Jervis Bay


By: Dick Dewsknap, HMS Shropshire, 1940.


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