James Kirwan, RS2 No 424737, from Clogherhead, Co Louth

HMS Carmania action with Cap Trafalgar 1914

According to his CR10 card, James Kirwan was born in Clogher (clogherhead), Co Louth on 14 March 1891.

Like many local fishermen he joined the Royal Naval Reserve in 1910 and served with them for twenty five years. In August 1914 a group of around fifteen Clogherhead fishermen, who were also naval reservists, were fishing out of Peterhead on the east coast of Scotland when war was declared. They were called up and sent to Liverpool where the Cunard liner Carmania was being converted to an armed merchant cruiser. Around 100 men from the Royal Marines and Royal Naval Reserve joined the ship to provide the gun crews.

On 14 September 1914 HMS Carmania intercepted the German armed merchant cruiser Cap Trafalgar off the coast of Brazil and sank her after an engagement which lasted two hours.

After the war, James Kirwan, served worldwide in the British Merchant Marine. His final term in the Royal Naval Reserve expired in 1935.

view his record on the database

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