Killed In Action

"Best Mates"...James Anderson & William Oag



Click to enlarge18 members of the crew of the HMS Jervis Bay came from the small village of Caithness in the far north of Scotland.

Two of those were James Anderson (right) and his best friend since childhood, William Oag (left).

William's son Jim remembers his father and James Anderson setting off by railway at the outbreak of war to report for naval duty in Portsmouth.

He can also vividly recall hearing of the sinking of the Jervis Bay on the wireless the day after the disaster.

"There was a lot of worry as it was known there were a lot of men from the area serving on the ship," Jim said.

William and James had been operating the same gun as it came under fire from the German raider. James was killed in action.

William escaped the sinking largely unscathed, though he was suffering from hypothermia from the time he was in the water. He returned to serve for the rest of the war, reverting to his peacetime job as a fisherman before his untimely death from a heart attack in 1955.

"Best mates" in life, in service, and now here. Their friendship shall live as long as we remember.