ONE of only seven remaining survivors of a Second World War ship has been honoured.

Albert Martin, 91, of Paprills, Lee Chapel South, was on board HMS Penelope 70 years ago on February 18 when she was torpedoed.

Ten minutes later the ship sunk with the loss of 417 lives – 206 men were rescued.

Albert worked in the cordite handling room sending shells and charges up to the gun crews.

He said: “The work was hard, but you got used to it. It was always very hot and the corporal in charge would lock the door in case of flooding, so there was no way out.”

Fortunately, on the day of the sinking, Albert had been transferred to a different area.

Seventy years on, members of the HMS Penelope Association have honoured Albert with a commemorative book with the ship’s battles and the names of those who lost their lives. He was also handed a set of ship cufflinks by fellow association member Andrew Tween, from Maldon.

Albert joined the Royal Marines in 1940 aged 18 before joining the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service for 19 years throughout the Cold War.