Belfast Telegraph

Service marks centenary of HMS Drake's sinking by U-boat off Rathlin

By Staff Reporter

The niece of a sailor who lost his life when HMS Drake was sunk by a U-boat's torpedo 100 years ago yesterday paid tribute to him at a memorial service.

The cruiser went down in Church Bay off Rathlin Island on October 2, 1917 with 18 lives lost. A service to remember those who died took place at Ballycastle War Memorial yesterday.

Among those attending was Margaret Patterson. Her uncle James Patterson, an engine room artificer, was lost in the attack.

She said: "It's very emotional to be here on the exact anniversary. Over the weekend I visited Rathlin Island for the first time, where everyone was so kind and welcoming.

"I visited the school to see their model of HMS Drake, and the whole visit has been hugely important to me.

"The buoy which marks the wreck is the only one in the area. It's very significant for the island and serves as a reminder to everyone about what happened."

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