History & Learning

Convoys Remembered

Roland Cundall

Roland Cundall

ROLAND CUNDALL 1920 to 1942

Service Number D/KX 132285

Died 17/01/1942 – Aged 21

H.M.S. Matabele

Royal Navy

Roland was a Stoker 2nd Class in the Royal Navy. He served on H.M.S. Matabele.

Roland died when he was 21 years old, on Saturday 17 January 1942.


At 22.21 hours on 17 January 1942 HMS Matabele (G 26) (Cdr A.C. Stanford, DSC, RN), escorting convoy PQ-8, was hit by one torpedo from U-454 in the stern, which caused her magazines to blow up and the ship sank within two minutes off Kola Inlet.

The survivors were unable to release the Carley floats because they were frozen in their lashings and had to jump overboard. Some of them were killed when the depth charges of the sinking destroyer detonated, but the most died of hypothermia in the icy water before they could be rescued.

Only two of the four men picked up by HMS Harrier (J 71) survived.

The U-boat had reported an earlier hit on a destroyer at 18.54 hours and a previous shot that missed. All attacks were probably against the same destroyer. (Source Uboat.net entry, HMS Matabele).

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