Website Tells Story of Heroic Jervis Bay
By Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon Times Globe staff writer
As Reported in the "Evening Times-Globe", Wed. Nov.5, 1997
The New Brunswick Community College Saint John
campus will be helping people around the world to recognize the contributions
of some local veterans.
Using the latest in technology, Computer Programming Technology instructor Joe
Marriott has developed a website for the Jervis Bay Legion, Branch No. 53.
It will be officially launched tonight in honour of the 57th anniversary of the
sinking of the HMS Jervis Bay, which was sunk by a German ship while it
escorted a convoy of ships through the North Atlantic during the Second World
"I'm pleased to be able to do a memorial to the veterans," said Mr.
Marriott, who has worked on the website during his spare time since last
summer. "I think it's something we should definitely not forget. "
The site is a complete virtual tour of the Ross Memorial Park, which was
created by a handful of Legion members about six years ago. It includes
photographs of all the monuments at the Victoria Street park and a historical
explanation about their significance.
"It's something I would like to share with the world," said Mr.
Marriott, a self professed history buff who was inspired by the impressive
monuments and the amount of work done by the Legion members.
Mr. Marriott, whose father was in the military and is a past president of a
Legion branch in Nova Scotia, also listed links where additional information
can be found on the Internet.
J.C.(Sonny) Thomas, past president of Branch No. 53, is excited about the site.
"I didn't know Joe was going to do it up that big", said Mr. Thomas,
who first met Mr. Marriott in the park last summer. "I'm very impressed
with it and I've been telling people about it. "
The launch of the website will be tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Jervis Bay
Legion, Branch 53, following a wreath-laying ceremony with surviving crew
member Bob Squires at Ross Memorial Park around 7 p. m.
The British merchant ship Jervis Bay had been in dry dock in Saint John in
1940. But it left after a refit as an armed merchant ship to help escort the
convoy to Britain. Encountered by the Admiral Scheer, a German convoy raider,
the Jervis Bay managed to save all but three of the other 38 ships in the
convoy by diverting the enemy away before it was shelled and sunk by the
Scheer. Of 255 crew members of the jervis Bay, only 65 survived.
Bob Squires, survivor of HMS Jervis Bay, lays a wreath on behalf of ship and
Wally Joyce, President RCL#53, layed the wreath on behalf of the Legion. Here,
he watches Sonny Thomas, RCL#53 lay the wreath on behalf of the Main Brace
Fred Cobhan lays the wreath on behalf of the Merchant Navy Association.
The HMS Jervis Bay Memorial.
Rev. Ernest Lake reads the prayer while Capt. Charles Stark, Merchant Navy,
Following the cermony at Ross Memorial Park, the official launching ceremony of
this website was conducted at RCL Branch #53. Pictured here is Rev. Lake and
J.E.Marriott, Instructor of Computer Programming Technology, NBCC-SJ, Website
"Eternal God and Father of us all, we praise your Holy Name for the
victory you gave us in the world wide struggle for liberty and freedom in the
Second World War.
We remember our gallant comrades aboard His Majesty's A.M.C. Jervis Bay who
turned their converted freighter toward the enemy despite the tremendous odds
in both size of vessel and firepower - not counting the cost, but daring to
shield their convoy with human courage and prayerful trust that their effort
would help the convoy elude the Nazi pocket battleship Admiral Scheer.
With thankful remembrance we give tribute to Captain E.S. Fogarty Fegen and
crew members of the Jervis Bay who paid the supreme sacrifice. We also remember
with gratitude the armed freighter Beaverford and the full complement of
Captain Hugh Pettigrew and crew who took up the struggle and held the German
battleship for a further five hours but at 10:45 sank with all hands.
Finally, Father we thank you that the Swedish freighter Stureholm braved the
rescue of 65 survivors from the Jervis Bay of whom Robert Squires is an
honoured member of our Legion Branch. Amen."
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