Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Captain John R. Wedgwood & the Prinz Eitel Friedrich

On the 20 Feb 1915,  My great uncle, Capt. John Robert Wedgwood  of Whitby, was master of the SS Willerby  off the coast of Brazil when his ship was approached by the Prinz Eitel Friedrich, a German auxillary cruiser which ordered the SS Willerby to stop. Capt Wedgwood ignored the order and tried to escape but eventually stopped when he realised the German ship was in a position to ram him. As the German passed astern of the  SS Willerby, Capt Wedgwood realised he had to chance to ram the German!, Ordering the engines reversed at full speed he shouted to the engineer, "Giver her hell", "Give her hell as hard as we can go it!" 

There is also a large article in the Whitby Gazette, 1st April 1915

Captain Wedgwood owned a house at the far end of Mayfield Rd (4 Lane Ends) Whitby - He called it the Willerby after his ship.  The house is still there.

To find out what happened next , here is the link to the New York "Times, March 12th 1915:-

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