Stoker 1st Class Alexander Johnston

Stoker 1st Class Alexander L, Johnston, Royal Navy. He was lost at sea aboard H.M.S “Barham” on 25th November 1941, aged 22. He was the son of Robert and Agnes Johnston of Burnmouth and is Commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. H.M.S. “Barham” was a Queen Elizabeth super dreadnought built by John Brown & Co. of Clydebank and launched in 31st December 1914. She took part in the Battle of Jutland in 1916 and in 1941 she was part of Admiral Cunningham’s Mediterranean fleet. In March 1941 she participated in the Battle of Cape Matapan and helped sink an Italian Heavy Cruiser and a Destroyer. She was sunk by torpedoes from U-331 near Sollum off the Egyptian coast  with the loss of 862 crew. The ship blew up spectacularly and it seemed miraculous that 395 men survived. U-331 was sunk by Fleet Air Arm Aircraft from H.M.S. Formidable on 17th November 1942.

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