HMS EXMOUTH - HMS Exmouth 1940 Assocation


HMS Exmouth 1940 Association

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You have reached the website of the HMS Exmouth 1940 Association located at, and HMS Exmouth was a World War II Flotilla Leader E-Type British destroyer built at Portsmouth in 1934 and one of the first maritime casualties of WWII. HMS Exmouth was sunk by a U-boat, U22 in the Moray Firth, off Wick, Caithness on 21st January 1940, with the loss of the entire crew of 189 lives. It is believed the HMS Exmouth's magazine exploded when hit by a torpedo. A few bodies were washed up in the bay of Wick shortly afterwards, but most were lost within the ship. The wreck of HMS Exmouth was not located until 2001. The divers who located the wreck said that the grave of the majority of the officers and ratings of HMS Exmouth had become an underwater garden of 'stunning beauty'. The discovery was the result of a three-year underwater quest by the European Technical Dive Centre, backed by the Ministry of Defence and some of the relatives of those who died. The wreck has now been declared a protected war grave under UK legislation. Subsequent to the discovery of the wreck, the HMS Exmouth 1940 Association was formed, with the objectives of participating in commemorative events and erecting a plaque with the names of all who died, in Wick Old Parish Church. The latter was accomplished in August 2005. This website contains further information about HMS Exmouth, her crew, and details of the sinking. It also contains records of the commemorative events participated in by the HMS Exmouth 1940 Association, including the memorial service at sea held above the wreck in 2001, and the erection of the plaque in Wick Old Parish Church in 2005. There is also a list of relevant external links, including references to memorials of HMS Exmouth crewmen maintained by other sites. The crew of HMS Exmouth are also listed on the Portsmouth War Memorial maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The HMS Exmouth 1940 Association is always interested in ascertaining details of relatives of crew who may not yet be aware of the discovery of the wreck, the existence of the association or the existence of the plaque of remembrance. Only the relatives of a minority of the crew have so far been traced.