Roll Of Honour

 Ordinary Seaman Malcolm Percival HOLLETT P/JX194550

The following letter was sent by O/S (Ordinary Seaman) Malcolm P. HOLLETT, R.N, to his sister, describing his escape from HMS JAVELIN after she had been torpedoed. The ship was towed back to port in England by two ocean going tugs.

“Two tin fish (better knows as torpedoes) struck us, one stuck in the bow and the other in the stern of the JAVELIN. I was in the shell room, which was in the bottom portion of the destroyer, at the time the tin fish went through the ship about twelve (12) feet from where I was standing. I was fourth away from the escape hatch by which were to leave the area. I was the last person to get up, but before the others in the shell room got up, the pressure of the water was so great coming through the escape hatch, it was impossible to get through. We stayed there until the shell room flooded full, and as there were no lights, we thought the ship was going down. I was practically all in and I was going to take my last breath and saying to myself, “here goes nothing” when the fellow seaman in front of me moved forward. I said to myself he must be going somewhere, so with what strength I had left, which wasn’t much, I managed to drag myself through the escape hatch only to be faced with a fire burning in the next compartment. I managed to get by the fire and through a smaller escape hatch and got to a ladder which got me up to the deck of the ship safe and sound, Thanks to God Almighty.

I can tell you it was a queer sensation when one is faced with the fact that one must die, but when all is said and done, it is just another memory. I never heard from Enos Darby (another sailor on the JAVELIN also from Burin, NF) after we were tin fished, but I was told he was safe however he had a broken leg. An injury didn’t matter much then.

There were sixty-two (62) deaths in all and a lot of sailors injured. I had planned to go to Ireland with a friend on my next leave, but he was killed on the destroyer. There were seven (7) sailors from our mess killed. I noticed that my watch had stopped three minutes after the explosion when I was in the shell room and my life was spinning on a pinpoint.

I then went on survival leave, but was not feeling too well and I report to sick bay and ended up in hospital. It too was bombed and I was then transferred to Hasler Royal Navy Hospital.”

On January 16, 1941 Ordinary Seaman Malcolm P. HOLLETT passed away at Hasler Hospital at the age of twenty-three (23) years. He was buried at Hasler Cemetery in Gosport, England.

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