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Tom Crean and the mystery of Sierra Leone

Shortly after his return from Endurance, Crean was specially promoted to Acting Boatswain on 27th December 1916 for his services on the TransAntarctic Expedition with Shackleton.
Naval records confirm that, after the New Year, he was aboard the flagship of the North Atlantic cruiser fleet, HMS King Alfred, and left the ship at Sierra Leone on the 14th February 1917.

On this date, Crean’s record states that he was ledgered to the shore-based HMS Pembroke at Chatham but his services were clearly needed elsewhere. Why his time aboard King Alfred is not documented remains a mystery but the busy port of Freetown, Sierra Leone where he disembarked the ship, was an important naval outpost in the battle for sea supremacy during the war, and it’s possible that Crean’s services as boatswain were employed on vessels protecting merchant ships which were being targeted by German U-Boats as they attempted to cross the Atlantic.

Shortly after his disembarkation at Sierra Leone, he returned to Ireland

To read Tom Crean’s full story, the book can be purchased at the following link.

Biography of Tom Crean – Crean – The Extraordinary Life of an Irish Hero