Cross Hills woman tells story of tragic Keighley sailor ancestor

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Dorothy Reithermann with a picture of her great uncle Ernest Stanley Cubiss Dorothy Reithermann with a picture of her great uncle Ernest Stanley Cubiss

A moving story of how a tragic Keighley sailor’s wedding ring was found on the seabed nearly 90 years after he drowned has been told as part of a First World War commemoration.

Stanley Cubiss was among more than 180 men who perished when the destroyer Opal sank during a ferocious storm off Orkney in January 1918.

The 25-year-old engine room artificer, a veteran of the Battle of Jutland, had been married for just two years.

And it was in 2007 that an amateur diver exploring Scottish coastal waters discovered the gold wedding ring Stanley had received from his sweetheart, Florence.

The love token – inscribed ‘To Stanley from Flo, 6 March 1916’ – was traced back to a family member, who donated it to the Scapa Flow Visitor Centre and Museum for public display alongside other artefacts from the tragedy.

Stanley was the great uncle of Cross Hills woman Dorothy Reithermann, who recounted the story during a poppy planting ceremony at Kildwick war memorial.

Children from the village primary school joined members of St Andrew’s Church at the event.

“There was an invitation to share family stories relating to the war and I thought people would be interested to hear this,” said Mrs Reithermann, 67, a retired podiatrist.

“It is a fascinating story and I think it’s good to collate this kind of information so that we have a record.”

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