The Attack

On the evening of 22nd April 1918 a fleet of 76 vessels carrying 1700 men crossed the Channel. HMS Vindictive led the way commanded by Capt Alfred Carpenter.

Vindictive was towing the passenger ferries Iris and Daffodil, commandeered from the River Mersey to carry the Royal Marines contingent for the assault on the Mole.

Smoke screens, a relatively new invention, were laid in front of the Mole by fast patrol boats.

But the wind suddenly changed and the German shore batteries opened fire on Vindictive at close range killing many of the officers and badly damaging most of the special landing ramps.

Having reached the Mole Capt Carpenter had difficulty keeping Vindictive alongside and she started to drift away.

Lt Cmdr Harold Campbell commanding the ferry boat Daffodil quickly realised the situation and manoeuvred his vessel to push Vindictive back against the Mole.