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The following images are reproduced by kind permission of the Imperial War Museum Photograph Archive
and may not be used without prior consent.

HMS "OPAL" HMS "NARBOROUGH" HMS "OPAL", "OPHELIA", "OPPORTUNE" and "ORACLE" HMS "OPAL" at full speed, Jutland. HMS "OPAL" at full speed

Frederick James Rotchell - posthumous war medals - courtesy of Tim Rotchell (great nephew)

The following images of the Portsmouth War Memorial have been kindly provided by
Terry and Mary Roberts (niece of Frederick James Rotchell).

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The following images have been kindly provided by Brian Budge:

HMS Opal's gun - restored by Willy Budge and donated to the Lyness Museum, and

HMS Opal's lifebelt ("Kisbee ring")  - donated to the Lyness Museum by Mr. George Esson,

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The following images of HMS Opal's deck guns at Lyness have been kindly provided by Tony Gilbert


The following image is of Lt. Edmond Mansel Bowly, the commanding officer
onboard HMS Narborough.

Thanks to the kindness of Mr S Barker, this photograph has now been returned
to Mr T Jackson - a descendant of Lt Bowly.

The following image is of Lt Cmdr Charles Caesar de Merindol Malan,
commanding officer of HMS Opal.

The image was researched by Terry Roberts and is included here thanks to the kindness of
Alexandra Blake, a descendant of Lt Cmdr Malan.

The following images of Sidney Button (J/70188 Ordinary Seaman, HMS Narborough)
have been provided by his great-grandson, Ben Rollason and appear here with the kind permission of his family.

The photograph of Sidney in his railway uniform, was taken when he worked as a porter on the Ashby & Nuneaton Railway.
The studio photograph is of Sidney and his wife Dora.
I've been contacted by Sidney's Great Niece (June Banwell) and the war memorial can be found in the grounds of St Andrew's Church, Barton Bendish, Norfolk.

The following images of Frederick George Irwin (280003 Chief Stoker, HMS Opal)
have been provided by his great-granddaughter, Su Mackadam and appear here with her kind permission.

Left to right: Frederick George Irwin with 'Little Bob' on his knee, 'Nana' at the back, 'Bert' in front, 'Nan' and 'Fred'.


Frederick's last letter to his family, written on the 2nd January 1918 - 10 days before he died.


My Dear Wife,

Your welcome letter to hand, glad to learn that you was well in yourself, also the boys. I hope Nana is much better, it’s sad to know that such a little thing like her to suffer as she does and I must say it upsets me to read about her but still I look forward to the time when she will improve. As regards Xmas, well Nan, I can’t say much for it, in fact it was Xmas by name only, nothing out of the way coming off, but thank God these days to be alive, but we have been quite busy to take any notice of it. I am sending you on a quid. I am also sending one on to Jack ---------.
You will soon be getting your extra 3/6 a week anyhow, you will get all the back pay from the ----- of ------- when it does come off. I am making you out another 4/- a week besides this so it will help you to get our things. As regards to the -------- nothing doing in that line up to the time of writing, but it will all come along in good time. I hope little Bob had a pleasant birthday. I have not been able to send him anything in fact I have not been able to get any post cards for Nan no shops where we are.
So you had a good time at Xmas, well I expect it is the same with everyone more or less, but wait till we get free we will make up for these times.
What has Bob been doing to his eye, he seems always to be in trouble. So you all had an Xmas ----- from London, well they have not wrote me a line but still I expect they are busy. I had a very nice card from Taff. I also received your and the children Xmas card. Thanks very much. Sorry I can’t send something similar. Mr Gill was quite pleased with your kind thoughts of him and thanks you and the sender very much bow wow. You say it’s cold down home and so it is here mate, but must try and stick it. So you want me home again, well I’ve only just left you. What I can see of it you would have me always home if you could. I only wish it was so anyhow. I expect it will be during this year at least, I sincerely hope so. Well this is all for this time my Dear, so I will conclude with my best of love and wishes to you my Dear Nan also the same to my Dear Children, Nana, Fred, Bert and Bob wishing you all a bright and peaceful new year and good health with it,

I remain
Yours Sincerely,
Dad xxxxxxxxxx

Thanks very much for cards and papers,

Good night, God bless you all xxxxxxxxxxxx

The following images and short biography of Eric Woodward Carver (J/27911 Able Seaman) have been provided by his Great Niece, Helen Bowes and have been reproduced here with her kind permission.


Eric was born on the 22 December 1897 in Geddling, Nottinghamshire. He was the son of Edward Stephen Carver and Ellen Carver (nee Woodward).

Eric’s navy career started at HMS Ganges on 8 October 1913 to 29 May 1914, as Boy Second Class (he was 15/16 years old).

According to the military history recorded on the Nottinghamshire County Council Roll of Honour, Eric joined HMS Opal on 26 September 1917. He was 20 years old.

A view of the wreck site and the memorial to the crews of HMS Opal and Narborough, at Windwick Bay, South Ronaldsay.

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