HMCS MARGARET BROOKE 431
Harry DeWolf Class Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessel
HMCS MARGARET BROOKE was named after LCdr Margaret Brooke, Nursing Sister, RCN, decorated for gallantry during the Second World War. The actions followed the torpedoing and subsequent sinking of the Newfoundland ferry SS Caribou on October 14, 1942, in the Cabot Strait off Newfoundland.
On October 14, 1942, during a crossing of the Cabot Strait off the coast of Newfoundland, the ferry SS Caribou was torpedoed by the German submarine U-69. The ferry sank in five minutes. Fighting for her own survival, Lieutenant-Commander Brooke (who was a Sub-Lieutenant at the time) did everything humanly possible to save the life of her colleague and friend, Nursing Sister Sub-Lieutenant Agnes Wilkie, while both women clung to ropes on a capsized lifeboat. In spite of LCdr Brooke’s heroic efforts to hang on to her with one arm, her friend succumbed to the frigid water.
For this selfless act, LCdr Brooke was named a Member (Military Division) of the Order of the British Empire.
“I am amazed that my actions as a survivor of the sinking of the SS Caribou led the Royal Canadian Navy to my door,” said LCdr Brooke. “I was honoured to learn during a telephone conversation with the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of National Defence, on April 10, 2015, that a new Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ship will carry my name and be known as Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Margaret Brooke.”
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