Monday, 13 November 2017

Lieutenant-Commander Ralph Michael Mack

I have many, many relatives who served in the armed forces. My late Dad did his National Service and was a radar operator in the RAF. Joined up in 1950, was posted to a station on the Norfolk Coast, and duly met my Mum!

Dad's Dad, Arthur Thomas Dawson, was in the Royal Navy and saw active service in both World Wars. Was on shore leave when his ship, HMS Exmouth, was torpedoed and went down with all hands in Moray Firth, January 1940.

Nearly all of Dad's siblings – my uncles and aunts – were in the war or served just afterwards. My Uncle Bill was in the Royal Engineers at Normandy and later liberated Belsen.

My Mum's father, my Grandad, Wilfred John Mack, was with the Norfolk Regiment in WW1. He was wounded at Gallipoli in 1915 and later served in Palestine.

Was with my Mum yesterday, looking at on old family tree, and found this ancestor – Lieutenant-Commander Ralph Michael Mack. Was skipper of destroyer HMS Tornado (pictured), killed when his ship went down after hitting a German mine in the North Sea in December 1917, almost a hundred years ago.

It was quite poignant discovering this on Remembrance Sunday.