Shotley Royal Naval Cemetery - Shotley Gate, Wednesday 1st August 2018
The eighth HMS Worcester (D96, later I96), was a Modified W-class destroyer of the British Royal Navy that saw service in World War II.
In January 1941, Worcester transferred to the16th Destroyer Flotilla at Harwich for more North Sea convoy escort and patrol work.
Worcester continued these escort and patrol duties without significant incident until February 1942, when her flotilla was put on alert for the possibility that the German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen would attempt a breakout from Brest in German-occupied France to move to port in Germany. On the 12th February 1942 the the German ships were indeed steaming to Germany via the English Channel, Strait of Dover, and North Sea in what was to become known as the "Channel Dash." The British ships were ordered to attack the German naval force. During her unsuccessful torpedo attack, Worcester was hit by 11-inch (280-mm) shells from the battlecruisers and 8-inch (203-mm) shells from Prinz Eugen, Suffering 26 killed or mortally wounded and 45 injured. Most of the dead are buried side by side here the at Shotley Naval Cemetery, opposite Worcester's Harwich moorings. The German gunfire inflicted severe structural damage on Worcester, starting fires, flooding her No. 1 boiler room, and causing her to go dead in the water. Her surviving crew managed to put out her fires, get back underway, and proceed to Parkeston Quay (Harwich) for repairs without the aid of tugs.