1st Minelaying Squadron and HMS Port Napier

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Reference WMO/275935


Station Road

Kyle of Lochalsh

IV40 8AE


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Status: On original site
Type: Freestanding
Location: External
Setting: Roadside
Description: Other
  • Metal Metal (any)
  • First World War (1914-1918)
About the memorial: Decommissioned mine on rectangular base with attached associated brass plaque. Kyle of Lochalsh was initially PORT B in World War Two, then renamed PORT ZA and finally renamed H.M.S. TRELAWNEY. Also commemorates the grounding and explosion on H.M.S. PORT NAPIER on 26 November 1940 with fortunately no loss of life. The memorial is outside Kyle of Lochalsh Woollens at the junction of Station Road and Main Street
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THIS MINE COMMEMORATED THE OFFICERS AND MEN OF THE 1ST MINELAYING SQUADRON/BASED AT KYLE OF LOCHLASH DURING WORLD WAR II/Unveiled by Councillor William Fulton /During a gale on 26th November 1940 while at anchor in the Kyle of Lochalsh HMS Port/Napier dragged her anchors and fouled those of a nearby collier causing both to drift into/shallow water undamaged. Although part of the First Minelaying Squadron based at Kyle of/Lochalsh, she was never to see active service. The ship was loaded with over 500 mines/similar to this one and 6000 rounds of ammunition. On the following day, volunteers returned/to drop the mines over the stem into the water. As the operation was being completed a fire/was reported in the engine room. This was extremely dangerous, as an explosion would have/devastated the whole area. Local inhabitants were hastily evacuated and all ships in the/harbour sailed. Shortly after there was an enormous flash followed by an explosion which blew/out the innards of the ship. Although the engine room had exploded, the mines themselves/had not blown. When the smoke cleared, the ship was seen to be settling on her side where/she remained with the port plating just visible at low tide. Fortunately no lives were lost.//In 1962 the mines were removed by the Royal Navy in an extraordinary salvage operation. [Left hand side of base of plaque]-All donations to Erskine Hospital/Registered Charity Number SC 006609/Established 1916 [Right hand side of base of plaque]-ERSKINE HOSPITAL/Caring for ex-Service men and women in Scotland


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