WW2 Channel Island Funeral

Discussion in 'General' started by Smudger Jnr, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Whilst reading Charles Cruickshank's book, 'The German Occupation of the Channel Islands' I saw that there was a very large Funeral that took place.

    About 5000 Islanders attended the funerals of Royal Navy personnel, whose bodies had been washed ashore from HMS Charybdis and HMS Limbourne.

    The deaths were as a result of "Operation Tunnel".

    On the night of 23/24 October 1943 six destroyers led by the light cruiser HMS Charybdis.

    The radar on board picked up E-Boats at a range of 9000 yards, but before she could engage, two torpedoes hit her and she sank.

    Out of the ships compliment of 569, 30 officers and 432 ratings were lost.

    The destroyer HMS Limbourne was disabled by a torpedo and had to be sunk later. One officer and 41 ratings lost their lives.

    Forty-one bodies were washed ashore on the Islands beaches.
    Twenty-one in Guernsey, twenty-nine in Jersey and one in Sark.
    With over 100 more being washed ashore in France.

    The Islanders made a point of showing the German authorities where their sympathies and true feelings lay.

    HMS Charybdis, AA Cruiser,X Loss and Commemoration

    Operation Tunnel the story of Charybdis & Limbourne

    HMS Charybdis The loss of and discovery of the wreck

  2. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    HMS CHARYBDIS (October 23, 1943)

    British Dido class Cruiser sunk 40 nautical miles northeast of Brittany, France, by two German- torpedo boats, the T-23 and T-27 of the 4th Torpedo Boat Flotilla commanded by Korvettenkapitan Franz Kohlauf. The Charybdis was part of Force 28 patrolling the Channel off the French coast (Operation Tunnel). Hit by two torpedoes on the port side, the cruiser was soon engulfed in flames and started sinking deeply by the stern. A total of 464 men lost their lives including her commander, Captain Voelcker. There were 107 survivors. One of her escort destroyers, HMS Limbourne, badly damaged, had to be scuttled. Forty of her 125 crew were lost. (A number of US soldiers were on board the Limbourne, all were lost; why the G.I.s were there has never been established) None of the bodies were ever recovered. Eighteen of the seamen, whose bodies were recovered from the sea after the sinking of the Charybdis, lie buried in the cemetery at St Peters Port on the island of Guernsey and many more at St. Brieuc in France. In 1992, the wreck of the Charybdis was found by a French team of explorers and in 2001 a British team surveyed the wreck. She lies on her port side, her back broken, at a depth of 83 metres. A year later they found the wreck of the Limbourne about five miles from the Charybdis, and positive identification was made by photographing the ships bell.
  3. Capt.Sensible

    Capt.Sensible Well-Known Member

  4. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Note that in the Channel Islands after the war,the dead in the elaborate German graves were transferred to the Ossuaire at Huisnes sur Mer.Still a popular location for Germans to remember their dead.
  5. boyley

    boyley Junior Member

    This is my first post so here goes the wrecks of both shipshave been discovered and dived on ,both were treated with the greatest respect by the divers.If you put the name of the ship and add dive to it in google you should be able to watch a short film of the dive.I was interested in HMS Limbourne because my Uncle was killed during Operation Tunnel he was only eighteen and it was painful for my dad to talk about his brother i only discovered about him after my dad passed away .One errie fact about Hms Limbourne it was sunk One Year to the very day it was Commissioned
    Best Wishes
    Fred O'Boyle
  6. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    Hello and welcome to the forum.

    Thank you for that additional information.


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