Survivor of U-boat attack is laid to rest in sunken battleship in which 800 of his comrades died





A war veteran who survived a terrifying U-boat attack that killed more than 800 has had his dying wish granted as his ashes were laid to rest in the sunken ship.

Royal Navy divers placed the wooden casket containing the remains of Flight Sergeant Fernleigh Judge in the hull of HMS Royal Oak, which lies 90ft beneath the waves of Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands.

The 29,000-tonne dreadnought went down after being struck by a salvo of torpedoes which scored three perfect hits on the night of October 14, 1939.

It was the first battleship to be lost in the Second World War.

A German U-boat under the command of Gunther Prien had managed to penetrate Scapa Flow, evading the defensive 'block ships' that had been sunk to prevent submarines entering the body of water.

Three torpedoes from the U47 struck Royal Oak, which exploded, rolled over and sank within 13 minutes.

In all, 833 of the crew died immediately or succumbed later to their injuries. Just 375 men survived.

Mr Judge, then just 19, managed to scramble overboard along with 100 other survivors before being rescued.

The veteran, of Peterborough, Cambs, had been desperate to return to the islands to pay final tribute to his fallen comrades when he died from thrombosis aged 88 in May.

Friend and neighbour Patrick Lyons arranged for him to be laid to rest with his ship.



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