Irresistible force

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Your recent feature in your four-part series about the ill-fated conflict during the First World War in the Gallipoli campaign, made passing reference to the sinking, by mines, of HMS Irresistible and HMS Ocean.

My grandfather, George Herbert Hart, was a naval gunner onboard Irresistible. The force of the explosion jammed his gun-turret door and only by brute force did the crew manage to escape when the order came to abandon ship.

At this point, as my grandfather would later recount, they had been drilled to put on life preservers and, if they could not reach a lifeboat, to throw the wooden decking cover over the side to give them something to which to cling. They followed orders and dropped it overboard, and watched it plunge to the bottom of the ocean.

Needless to say he survived the 1914-18 war or I would not be here to recount his tale. To my grandad – an ordinary man in extraordinary times – and all of the millions of ordinary people of his generation, be assured we will remember you 100 years on.

Howard Hart

Dovecot Road