I am appealing to Scarborians for information about their ancestors who may have been in ‘The Live Bait Squadron’, the 7th Cruiser Squadron, a blockading force of the Royal Navy during the First World War.
Their job was to close the English Channel to German shipping. They patrolled an area of the North Sea known as the ‘Broad Fourteens’ in support of vessels guarding the Northern entrance to the Channel. The squadron came to public attention when on September 22, 1914, three of the cruisers were sunk by one German submarine while on patrol. Approximately 1,450 sailors were killed and there was a public outcry at the losses. The incident eroded confidence in the government and damaged the reputation of the Royal Navy at a time when many countries were still considering which side they might support in the war.
I have written a book and created a website dedicated to one of the largest naval disasters in world history and to the memory of its victims. My aim for the centenary in 2014 is to trace as many relatives of the men on the cruisers as possible and to pay tribute to their ancestors. I hope you can help me in this? Please contact Henk van der Linden, from Holland, on H.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre