The Sunderland sailors who served during an epic sea battle in the Second World War

They served in one of the famous battles of the Second World War
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A group of heroic Sunderland men were pictured 80 years ago this month - reflecting on the part they played in a piece of world history.

They were part of the crew of HMS Norfolk and had returned to port after the epic battle with the German warship Scharnhorst.

Three of the Sunderland sailors pictured back in port in January 1944.Three of the Sunderland sailors pictured back in port in January 1944.
Three of the Sunderland sailors pictured back in port in January 1944.
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Leading Seaman George Wilson of Warwick Street; Leading Seaman Childs of Balmoral Terrace, Grangetown; A B William Kirton of Hood Street; and A B Bell of Princess Street were in the Echo headlines.

History in the making

Norfolk had served throughout the Second World War and was part of the convoy which was involved in the sinking of the Scharnhorst on Boxing Day in 1943.

Gunners of HMS Norfolk raise a cheer for the cameraman on their return to port after the Scharnhorst battle.Gunners of HMS Norfolk raise a cheer for the cameraman on their return to port after the Scharnhorst battle.
Gunners of HMS Norfolk raise a cheer for the cameraman on their return to port after the Scharnhorst battle.

The Scharnhorst was the lead ship in her category and was fired upon by ships including Norfolk during the Battle of the North Cape.

Norfolk was herself damaged in the exchange before Scharnhorst was sunk later by other British vessels.

Back home in Sunderland

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It was a significant event as it took out the last of the German capital ships.

Back home in Sunderland in 1944, people were trying to live as normal a life as possible during an era of rationing and after years of air raids.

The Sunderland Echo came out as normal and brought the latest news of the war as well as adverts for the local shoppers.

On sale in Binns

Shopping bags were selling for 4 shillings and fourpence, and rug yarn was nine shillings and ten pence. Binns - which had itself been damaged in air raids in 1941 - was selling the latest fabrics such as tweeds for 7s 6d, and blazer flannel for 5s 5d.

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