LOOKING BACK - March 27 edition

Part of the memorial scroll
Part of the memorial scroll

Sailor William Conopo who died on the HMS Queen Mary

We have quite an unusual looking back piece this week - which will be of special interest to anyone with the surname Conopo.

The Memorial Scroll - which I’ve photographed so you all can all see exactly what it says - was brought in to us by David Conopo on behalf of the large Conopo family in Kilsby.

The sailor was William Conopo, who died on the HMS Queen Mary when it exploded in the Battle of Jutland on May 31, 1916. He was one of 1,275 crew aboard and only 18 survived.
William was David’s father’s brother and also came from Kilsby.
The wooden plaque was discovered in a roof by a builder and reunited with his relatives. It would have been issued by the king and sent as a memorial of a brave life given for others in the Great War. No doubt they are a treasured possession in many families. 
David has been researching the ship and its sinking and has found that it was in action from the outbreak of war in 1914, having been launched at Palmer’s Shipbuilding Ltd in Jarrow-on-Tyne on May 20, 1912.
The ship was hit on its third sortie, when it put to sea with the rest of the Battle Cruiser Fleet to intercept and neutralise the German High Seas Fleet.

The wreck of the Queen Mary was discovered in 1991 and it is understood to have been left as a ‘protected place’. 

****** Now that our reception has closed, if you have a picture for Memory Lane, please give me a call on (01788) 539975 just to make sure I’m in the office before you bring it in. I’ll copy it while you wait. Zoe ******