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The Invergordon Archive

HMS Natal
The Invergordon Archive
HMS Natal

Picture of HMS Natal which sunk in the Cromarty Firth in 1915
Picture added on 27 January 2004
My father used to talk about the Natal and said that its remains could be seen at low tide. I don't know if this is true but when the ship blew up suddenly on Hogmanay 1915 the result (depending on which source you consult) was the death of 405/421 people. I have heard that a children's party was taking place on board......it seems certain that civilians were among the victims. The ship is still in the firth and is designated as a war grave by the MOD.
Added by Bill Geddes on 10 January 2005
Have a look at picture #8 for an image of the upturned hull.
Added by Malcolm McKean on 12 January 2005
The upturned hull of HMS Natal was visible. There is a picture of her on the Cromarty sister site to this one.
Added by MM on 12 January 2005
My mother, who is now 96, remembered her grandfather getting up from his sick bed in his long nightshirt and bare feet standing outside to see the commotion caused by the explosion. She also said there was a civil reception on board at the time.
Added by Tangie Thomas on 27 November 2005
Hello Bill, I also heard the story about the children's party onboard. I understood the wreck was removed when the smelter dock was being put in. I think the wreck buoy was also removed.
Added by Eddie Trotter on 29 November 2005
My father, who died 13 years ago, used to work on the boats in Invergordon. When he died, we found portholes and other pieces of brass that were from boats. Apparently a friend of his was involved with the recovery of the Natal and some of the things we found are from the Natal. How would I find out what parts they are?
Anonymous comment added on 20 April 2007
My uncle William Alexander Russell died in the explosion on the HMS Natal aged 20 years. I find this web site very interesting.
Added by Mrs Joy Dyer Nee Russell on 04 January 2008
Reading these articles are of great interest. When I was stationed at Invergordon during 1946-48 with the R.A.F Marine Craft Unit we used to go to Cromarty on some of our days off. We always finished up in a little cafe down by the harbour where we were well looked after by the lady proprietor. Am I right in saying that after the Natal disaster the people of Cromarty would not eat fish caught in Cromarty Firth for a number of years? I feel sure that is what we were told.
Added by Rex Statham. on 12 April 2009
A long time ago I was reading a book about the loss of HMS Natal and if I remember correctly there was talk about the explosion being caused by sabotage.
There was a similar incident around this time when a battleship HMS Bulwark was destroyed by an internal explosion at Sheerness.
Added by Rex Statham. on 15 April 2009
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The Natal - Warship destroyed by an explosion off Invergordon during WW1

H.M.S. NatalNatal graves at Rosskeen CemeteryGuy Titley's MemorialThe Wreck of HMS NatalHMS NatalHMS Natal and Cantilever crane at Barrow.The upturned hull of HMS Natal - c1916