Lt James Kennedy OBE (Mil) RNR

Abandon Ship!This was the order that Lt James Kennedy, commander of the HM Whaler 'Blackwhale' had to give on the night of 3rd January 1918 after his convoy escort ship hit a mine off East Fife Ness at the position shown on the map.James wasn't on watch at the time.  According to the official report on the incident carried out by the Admiralty, at 3:45 AM after a course change ordered by the convoy force commander, Office of the Watch James Nair (2nd Hand) spotted: ... a  black object right under his port bow.  An explosion immediately followed, resulting in the fore part being submerged and in her eventually sinking, after remaining afloat for about two and a half hours.Twelve men lost their lives.  Of these two are known to have been drowned from the raft.  The other ten were watch below engine room ratings, and it appears they were asleep on their mess-deck at the time.  As this mess-deck is right forward and in the immediate…


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