Sunday Express: "Terrible Fate Of The Boy Sailors"

Last Dawn by David Turner The Royal Oak Tragedy at Scapa Flow. Argyll Publishing, Glendaruel. 2008. 160 pp, 106 half tones, 5 line drawings, 3 tables.

ISBN 9781906134136 [paperback] £7.99

1. The ROYAL OAK sinking was a great tragedy and has been the subject of many tomes but the wise at RR should ignore the Express article’s opening sentence:

<<We reveal the tragic story of the young seamen who died in one of our worst Second World War naval disasters and moved Winston Churchill to tears.>>

This is no ‘revelation’ - Under it’s present title this (slim) book was published in January 2008 - But it was first published in Sept 2004 by Melrose Books, Ely, under the title The Ultimate Sacrifice. (80 pages) ISBN: 978 0 9548480 1 9

2. For a more independent and critical review see:

Last Dawn

<<…..With regard to 'Boys' I really hoped that Turner would deal with this subject in some depth but he allots only twelve pages of which eight are illustrations and or reproductions of letters. How can this be what the book's publicity calls

'...a dramatic and moving reassessment of the biggest loss of boy sailors in a single Royal Navy event in World War II…..'.>>

3. I have not used it but I see that there is a Free Download available at:

Last Dawn - The Royal Oak Tragedy at Scapa Flow free download - free download online.

Last edited:


War Hero
Book Reviewer
Some of the survivors arrived at RNB in Portsmouth without having had anything to eat or drink during the entire journey.
Some of them were in a train crash enroute! Or possibly the train was bombed, can't remember which. Either way, Royal Oak is hardly unknown. Unlike many other incidents in which numerous young sailors/officers were killed
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