He was a cook on the TSS The Queen, working on the night she met a group of German torpedo boat destroyers.
The Queen was originally the first turbine cross channel steamer, and therefore fast. She could cross the channel in less than an hour. She had been taken over from the South Eastern and Chatham Railway by the Admiralty and used as a troop carrier. On the night she sank, she was returning from Boulogne with mail, having disembarked the troops. Around 11pm, she was intercepted by German destroyers returning from a raid. She was surrounded, boarded by the Germans and her papers taken. The crew were sent into the life boats and the ship sunk, either by torpedoes or gunfire. She drifted for a while and finally sank off the South Goodwins.
The explosions were heard in Folkestone and the people had an anxious wait to know the outcome. The crew’s boats rowed to the Warren, but Lewis later died from the scalds he had received, according to some reports, although the 19th Canadian War Diary, of the time, stationed at West Sandling, says he was injured while launching the life boats.
He was the only son of Timothy and Emily Dilnot, of 18 Alexandra Street, born in 1895 and aged 21 when he died. He was awarded the Mercantile Marine Medal.
Image from www.saltwoodkent.co.uk
Researched and written by Carole Moody