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Tragedy in the Gareloch

The raising of the K13
Looking across the Gareloch to Shandon where the K13 sank

“Shortly after midnight I was roused by a messenger at the door telling me to report to the yard immediately. I had no idea what was wrong or why I was wanted and the man could not tell me. Hurrying to the yard, I was given the fatal news but was warned to keep it a secret. A rescue party was collected, two shipwrights, two riggers and three labourers. The pick of the best men in the shipyard…”

The ‘fatal news’ that awaited Tom Dey that winter’s night was of the sinking of the submarine K13. Thomas Grant Dey, my grandfather, kept a journal throughout his working life and it contains a first-hand account of the dreadful events of Monday 29th January 1917 and the tense days that followed. (Passages in italics are from his diary).

Robbed Scotland of so much potential, talent and ability for the sake of what was essentially an upper-class ‘game’.

In 1917, 35-year-old Tom Dey was Assistant Foreman Shipwright on warship construction at that most prestigious of yards, Fairfield in Govan. Imperial Britain was mired in a murderous and pointless war with Imperial Germany, a brutal war that decimated a whole generation of young men and robbed Scotland of so much potential, talent and ability for the sake of what was essentially an upper-class ‘game’.

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About iScot Magazine

iScot Magazine October 2017 The one with the Printed circuit board in the shape of Scotland.