Jack Foreman Mantle [1917-1940]
Victoria CrossPossibly the most intense action that Portland Harbour saw during its years as a Royal Naval base occurred in the early days of World War 2 when HMS Foylebank was set upon and sunk by squadrons of German Stuka dive bombers. The action lasted a mere 8 minutes. During that time 176 of the 300 man crew were killed and only 40 survivors remained uninjured. One of those killed was Leading Seaman Jack Mantle who continued to serve his gun though many times wounded. Jack Mantle was awarded the Victoria Cross, the only VC ever to have been awarded for an action in the United Kingdom

The following details are given in the London Gazette of 4th September, 1940:- Leading Seaman Jack Foreman Mantle was in charge of the starboard pom-pom when H.M.S. Foylebank was attacked by enemy aircraft on 4th July, 1940. Early in the action his left leg was shattered by a bomb, but he went on firing his gun, with hand gear only, for the ship's electric power had failed. He suffered several further wounds but his great courage bore him up until the end of the fight, when he fell by the gun he had so valiantly served.

Jack Mantle was the son of Lisle John Foreman Mantle and Jeannie May Mantle, of Southampton and is buried in the Church of England Portion of the Royal Naval Cemetery on Portland. Grave 672.

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