Farmer's Weekly

The convoy that saved Malta

Edward Syfret was born at Newlands in Cape Town in 1889 and educated at Diocesan College (Bishops). He arrived at Dartmouth in England for training as a midshipman during the 1904 intake. Upon completion of the two-year course, he was posted to his first ship.

This was the period during which the world balance of sea power swung in favour of Britain. In 1906, the largest battleship built up until then, HMS Dreadnought, was launched from Portsmouth. Displacing 21 060t, she could outgun any ship in the world and the word ‘Dreadnought’ came to signify an entire class of large battleships.

Midshipman Syfret specialised in gunnery and was aboard HMS during the Battle of Dogger Bank against and HMS , and by the end of the war had reached the rank of lieutenant commander, with accolades from his commanding officers for his dedication to duty while under enemy fire.

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