Page last updated at 11:15 GMT, Saturday, 2 January 2010

Trawler war rescue commemorated

William Pillar
William Pillar and his crew rescued 71 sailors, but more than 500 perished

A Blue Plaque has been unveiled in a Devon fishing port to commemorate a dramatic rescue at sea during WWI.

On 1 January 1915, the crew of the Brixham trawler Provident saved 71 sailors from HMS Formidable after she was torpedoed by a German U-boat.

The Brixham skipper was William Pillar, who sailed with William Carter, John Clarke and Dan Taylor.

The crew was presented with the Albert Medal for gallantry by King George V at Buckingham Palace.

Despite Provident's efforts, more than 500 of HMS Formidable's sailors lost their lives.

The English Heritage blue plaque is a permanent sign installed in a public place to serve as a historical marker and commemorate a link between the location and a famous person or event.



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