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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Herbert Russel Knight

In memory of:

Leading Seaman Herbert Russel Knight

April 16, 1945

Halifax Harbour

Military Service

Service Number:







Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve


H.M.C.S. Esquimalt

Additional Information

Son of Thory and Linnie Knight, of Leamington, Ontario; husband of Louise Knight, of Leamington, Ontario.

Commemorated on Page 531 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information


Ontario, Canada

Grave Reference:

Family Plot.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

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  • Newspaper Clipping– The Toronto Star, May 10, page 2
  • H.M.C.S. Esquimalt– HMCS ESQUIMALT was operating with its sister ship HMCS SARNIA just off the east of coast near Halifax when, at 6:20 in the morning of 16 April 1945, it was struck by a torpedo from a German submarine and sank so quickly it could not send out a distress call...Her seaboat was smashed and two of her six carley floats were useless, so those who could scramble from the fast-sinking vessel crowded into the four remaining floats.  Many died in the first two hours while comrades watched helplessly.  All were close to death.  On one float, five of six men survived but on another only 12 out of 20 were alive when rescue came...As men died, their bodies were slipped overboard so that survivors in the water could get aboard the float. [The torpedo, designed to inflict severe damage on larger vessels, destroyed the small mine sweeper.]
A Halifax despatch said this was the second time within a few months that daring German raiders made their way through navy patrols to come practically within gunshot range of the port.  In May, after the war with Germany had ended, a despatch said patrols would continue as an untold number of U-boats still were lurking in the North Atlantic and their fanatical commanders could strike one last blow before their fuel and food ran out.  The commanding officer of U-190 surrendered to corvettes HMCS THORLOCK and VICTORIAVILLE on the 12th.
[From the page dedicated to AS Donald White in the book Gananoque Remembers authored by Bill Beswetherick and Geraldine Chase.]

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