Mercantile Marine casualty pair. Pointer. Southampton. Killed when UC66 torpedoed HMHS Asturias. March 1917.


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Medals correctly named Henry W Pointer

Henry lived at 49 Alfred Street, Southampton.

On 20th March 1917, having unloaded over 1,000 troops at Avonmouth, HMHS Asturias was en route to Southampton, with all lights burning and the Red Cross markings clearly lit. In spite of this she was attacked by the German submarine UC-66. Badly damaged by a torpedo, the captain managed to beach his vessel near Bolt Head. Thirty-one aboard had been killed in the attack, with a further 12 missing. After inspection she was declared a total loss. However, later the government bought the wreck and salvaged her, and she was used as a floating ammunition hulk at Plymouth Harbour.

Asturias had beached off Salcombe, Devon, beneath the cliff on Great Eelstone Rock, upon a combination of sand and rock. In the following days, the secretary of the Admiralty announced that
eleven military personnel had been lost along with twenty members of the crew. An additional eleven of those on board were still unaccounted for including one female staff nurse and a stewardess.

Medals are on original silk ribbons.

There are loads of newspaper reports online detailing the incident.


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