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Two charged in theft from sunken World War I warship

The property came from the HMS Hermes, sunk in the English Channel in 1914.

By Ed Adamczyk
Two charged in theft from sunken World War I warship
Two men were charged with the theft of artifacts from the HMS Hermes, sunk in the English Channel by a German submarine in 1914, at the start of World War I. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy National Museum of Naval Aviation

Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Two men were charged with taking artifacts from a British warship sunk in the English Channel by a German submarine in World War I.

John Blight, 57, and Nigel Ingram, 56, both British citizens, were charged with three counts of failing to disclose found items to the Receiver of Wreck, the government agency responsible for salvage. Ingram was also charged with possession of $20,000 of "criminal property."

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They were arraigned in a court in Margate, Kent.

The items were not identified in court papers but came from the HMS Hermes, a British warship sunk in October 1914, at the start of the war, in the Strait of Dover, the narrowest section of the English Channel between England and France. The ship was sunk of the coast of Calais, France, and was fitted to carry sea planes, making it Britain's first prototype aircraft carrier. The wreck is regarded as a protected site because 44 people aboard the ship died in the sinking. A 1986 law forbids removal of any material on such protected sites.

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