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Thursday, 1 June, 2000, 13:51 GMT 14:51 UK
Lancastria in pictures
Young crewman Frank Clements saw the sinking of the Lancastria from onboard the navy destroyer, the Highlander.

As a keen amateur photographer he had taken pictures of the troops being loaded onto the ship and watched in horror as she went down.

His pictures tell the tragic story of the Lancastria and are the only photographs of the stricken vessel's final moments.

Battle-weary troops wait on the docks at Saint-Nazaire

They were loaded onto navy destroyers to be ferried to the giant troopship HMT Lancastria

An estimated 6000 servicemen, plus a number of civilian woman and children were taken onboard

Boats like the HMS Highlander loaded people onto the Lancastria until it was overflowing

At 1400hrs the anchored Lancastria, seen here in the background, was attacked by enemy aircraft

At 1557 she was struck by bombs below the waterline which ruptured the boat's fuel tanks

Those who managed to escape overboard were engulfed by huge quantities of leaking fuel oil

Others were burnt as the oil was ignited by flares from the few lifeboats. By 1615hrs the boat had sunk

Rescue boats picked up survivors under fire from enemy aircraft

Exhausted and covered in oil, many were loaded onto ships bound for the UK

Of the estimated 6,000 people on board the Lancastria, less than half survived


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