HMY Rosabelle sunk by the U374

HMS Rosabelle
A/S Patrol yacht
515 tons
Completed: 1901 - Ramage & Ferguson Ltd, Leith
Leith
Date of attack: 11 Dec, 1941

The photo above was taken in WW1 when the Rosabelle was pressed into Navy service, she was again pressed into service in WW2 and was sent to Gibraltar where she was to provide harbour patrol duties, an essential function given the large number of U boats in the area and the strategic importance of Gibraltar to the Med convoys and the survival of Malta

At 04.21 hours on 11 Dec, 1941, the HMS Lady Shirley was hit by one torpedo from U-374, exploded and sank with all hands. The HMS Rosabelle tried to find the U-boat, but was also torpedoed at 04.42 hours and sank. The U374 was in turn sunk the following year by a submarine, HMS Unbeaten on the 12th Jan 1944.

Off the 33 Oficers and ratings on board 22 were killed and 11 survived.

Amongst those who died was Ordinary Seaman Hugh Whitehead from Newtongrange.

He is commemorated on the Lowestoft Naval Memorial and on the War Memorial in Newtongrange Welfare Park,