1914-15 TRIO & MEMORIAL PLAQUE TO, MIDSHIPMAN REGINALD ALEXANDER COTTER.R.N.R.
At 5.30am on the 1st of March 1917 HMS “Pheasant”, under command of Lieutenant Hubert William Douglas Griffith RN, left her moorings at Scapa Flow for the “Hoy Patrol”, the protection of the western part of the anchorage. They were patrolling some eighty five miles off Hoy when she struck a floating mine. At 6.10am two trawlers who were nearby reported an explosion with black smoke being observed to their north west. One of the trawlers, the “Grouse”, set off to find the source of the blast which was thought to have occurred some two to five miles from their position but when they arrived in the area they found nothing. An hour later a routine trawler sweep for mines found the body of Midshipman Reginald Alexander Cotter RNR of HMS Pheasant floating in two lifebelts and they brought his body on board. Another body sank out of reach of the trawler’s crew before it could be recovered. The entire crew of eighty nine officers and men had been lost during the sinking.
A subsequent inquiry found that the most likely cause of the loss of the ship was due to a British mine, which had drifted free from the Whiten Bank Field
He is buried in the Lyness Royal Naval Cemtery on Orkney.
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