2nd Bn East Yorkshire Regiment aboard ss Sambut on 6th june 1944

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by martin75, Jan 28, 2020.

  1. martin75

    martin75 Member


    the Liberty Ship Sambut was sunk by coastal artillery in the Dover Straits on 6th june 1944.
    According embarkation roll, 1 officer and 12 NCO's and men of the 2nd Bn East Yorkshire Regiment were on board. The names of 7 members of this unit are noted as missing on 6th june 1944 :

    4341823 Lce Sergeant James Leonard KAY
    5784163 Lce Corporal George GENTRY
    4543007 Lce Corporal Harry MASSEY
    4347758 Private Raymond COUPLAND
    4351323 Private Henry FREEMAN
    4350883 Private Harry JOHNSON
    4343272 Private George SIMPSON

    Can someone tell me if some of these men were aboard Sambut and lost with this ship.

    Thanks in advance for your help


  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

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  3. martin75

    martin75 Member

    Thanks, unfortunately, I did not find an answer in the various posts on the forum.
  4. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Have you checked out this file at the NA?
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  5. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    Quote from book I have about one troop of an LAA Battery, 92 LAA Regt that was on board when it was hit.

    "The Liberty Ship was carrying 562 Troops from 28 different units, 63 Crew plus vehicles, large quantities of ammunition and high explosives.

    Tree miles off Dover, it was hit by two 16 inch shells filed from German gun batteries 20 miles away at Calais. 45 minutes later, the Master gave orders to abandon Ship."

    From the book "True Loyals" by Tom McCarthy (TMAC - member of this forum).

    Another book is available "The Ships that Won the War by Peter Elphick".
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
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  6. martin75

    martin75 Member

    Yes Tim, I have the National Archives documents to which you refer. Inside, there is an embarkation roll mentionning 487 troops on board from 25 units ; it seems incomplete as 2 officers and 7 men from n°102 RAF Beach Flight, 2 men from n°50 RAF Beach BalloonFlight and 2 men from n°52 RAF Beach BalloonFlight were also on board ; that would give a total 500 passengers from 28 differents units ; there were also 63 crewmembers. There is also a list of 14 missing passengers .; 14 passengers are buried at the St.James Cemetary at Dover, 1 at Hawkinge Cemetary, 1 at Bootle Cemetary and 3 at Brookwood Military Cemetary.
    A document mentions 3 missing from the 2nd Bn East Yorkshire Regiment on 6th june (Massey, Freeman and Coupland) but specifies that there is nothing to certify that they were on board the Sambut ; 7 names of this unit are mentioned on the Bayeux memorial for 6th june and I wonder if some of them were on board the Sambut.
    Many documents seem to mention 130 killed or missing among the embarked troops but I wonder about this figure which seems very exaggerated.
    Regarding the book "True Loyals" it actually provides very precise details concerning the contingent of the 92nd L.A.A. Regiment on board the Sambut.
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  7. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    Sergeant Kay is the only one of the men with a reference to missing at sea in the casaulty list.
    KAY James Leonard.png
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  8. tmac

    tmac Senior Member

    As Rob says (above), Peter Elphick's book gives the total on board the Sambut as 562 troops and 63 crew. Elphick puts the death toll at 136 – 130 soldiers, plus six of the Sambut crew. I don't know if the figure is exaggerated, but can't think why it should be. The two explosions killed many men who were waiting in queues for meals, or trapped below deck. Blazing fuel and ammunition added to the chaos and men died after jumping overboard. The location of the Sambut wreck is well identified at about 150ft down off Dover and as far as I know is a protected war grave.
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  9. martin75

    martin75 Member

    In his interrogation, the Master of the Sambut, Mark Willis, did indicate 562 invasion troops on board; there were 63 crew; he also gives 2 killed, 4 wounded and 1 missing among the crew and around 150 (corrected in 130) killed among the passengers.
    For the crew, I have found 3 killed : 2nd Engineer James Davie, 3rd Engineer John Robertson and Seaman Frederick William Chase, and 1 missing Seaman Leslie Norman Perry (D.E.M.S. Gunner).
    What surprises me is that by accumulating the losses for the on-board units, we only arrive between 40 and 50 killed or missing.The difference with 130 seems considerable.
    You will find attached the embarkation roll.
    To come back to 2nd Bn East Yorkshire Regiment, 2 men killed on 6th june 1944 are buried at Southampton : Sgt Eric Ibbetson (4342710) and Private T H Turner (4546640) ; can someone tell me the cause and place of their death ?

    Attached Files:

  10. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    This from Ancestry confirms the 3 x merchant men that died


    Also found for Chase

    Have you tried contacting Hugh MacLean he may be able to find out more from the ships identity number on the card - I dont know if he can but perhaps an avenue worth pursuing

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
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  11. Arty

    Arty Member


    Sgt Eric Ibbetson 4342710 was killed prior to disembarking from HMS Glenearn on 06June - by the accidental discharge of sten gun. Hence he was interred at Hollybrook Cemetery in Southampton.

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  12. martin75

    martin75 Member

    All my thanks for your help!

  13. jez taylor

    jez taylor New Member

    hi. I have just found out that Private George Simpson 4343272 was my Great Uncle. My Grandads brother.

    Attached Files:

  14. jez taylor

    jez taylor New Member

    Pt George Simpson

    Attached Files:

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