WWI/WWII Royal Marine Long Service group. Rayment. Assisted at the Halifax Explosion 1917, survived torpedo WWI. Battle of Ceylon WWII, 1944.


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Correctly named PO19560 LCV Rayment RMLI


Leonard Charles Victor Rayment was born to William and Clara in April 1899. 

In 1911, we find the family with Leonard at school, living at 12 Parkstone Road, Wood Street, Walthamstow.

Leonard enlisted underage into the Royal Marine Light Infantry on 31/07/1916. Although not discharged, he commenced his training at Deal.

His first posting after training was to the steam liner Calgarian which was requisitioned by the Royal Navy and converted to an Armed Merchant Cruiser.

Having boarded her in September 1917, he was on the crossing to Halifax, Canada, and arrived on the 8th of December 1917 and was there to assist with the Halifax Explosion.

On the morning of 6 December 1917 the French cargo ship SS Mont-Blanc collided with the Norwegian vessel SS Imo in the harbour of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Mont-Blanc, laden with high explosives, caught fire and exploded, devastating the Richmond district of Halifax. At least 1,782 people were killed, largely in Halifax and Dartmouth, by the blast, debris, fires, or collapsed buildings, and an estimated 9,000 others were injured. The blast was the largest human-made explosion at the time. It released the equivalent energy of roughly 2.9 kilotons of TNT.

When she arrived on 8 December she landed a search party, and the next day she embarked “29 refugees”. On 10 December a party of one officer and 30 ratings from Calgarian attended Picton, which was still on fire. A party from Calgarian attended Picton again on 11 December. On 21 December Calgarian left Halifax for Liverpool.

The Calgarian Loss.

On 15 February 1918 Calgarian left Halifax with Convoy HS29. On arrival in Home Waters she left HS29, escorted by the destroyers Beagle and Moresby. They reached the North Channel and were in sight of Convoy OB50 when U-19 hit her with three torpedoes.

The sloops Anchusa and Rosemary detached from OB50: Anchusa trying to depth charge U-19 and Rosemary taking Calgarian in tow. However, the hawser broke, and Calgarian sank north of Rathlin Island, Ireland, with the loss of 49 men.
Please see photos for the loss of the Calgarian.

He married Susan Brennan in 1931.

He was to serve on a few ship throughout the following years and was with HMS Warspite in 1932 when he was awarded his LSGC.

Being pensioned  in April 1938, he was recalled and back in service by September 1938.

He was posted to HMS Kongoni, a landship/Royal Navy hospital in Durban, South Africa in January 1942 and remained there until April 1944 when he was posted to HMS Lanka, Trimcomalee, Ceylon. He arrived at Trimcomalee in the thick of action as the Japanese had launched Operation C, otherwise known as the Indian Ocean Raid or Battle of Ceylon on the 31st of March 1944. HMS Hermes and Vampire were lost.

Although a success for the Japanese, the raid was not exploited and an invasion never came as they were to turn they’re attention back to the east.

He was to remain until December 1944 then was in passage back to the UK until January 1945. He was discharged in September 1945.

Leonard died in 1965.

WWI/WWII Royal Marine Long Service group. Rayment. Assisted at the Halifax Explosion 1917, survived torpedo WWI. Battle of Ceylon WWII, 1944.

Availability: 1 in stock

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