DEMS gunner losses

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by Steve49, Jul 5, 2021.

  1. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    I've been trying to identify DEMS gunner casualties with Allied merchant ship losses. I know in the absence of most war dairies it's a thankless task, but wonder if anybody can confirm these two losses.

    Wednesday 5th June 1940
    GREGORY, Wilfred, Private, Manchester Regt, 3531701, killed
    LANGRIDGE, Frederick, Lance Corporal, Manchester Regt, 3531708, killed

    Considering they were both killed on the same date from the same unit, I've assumed that they were lost on the same vessel. If that assumption is correct I've only got two UK shipping losses on the 5th June;

    Capable (216t)- Mined off Horsehand Fort, Spithead
    Stancor (798t)- Sunk by U37 in the Atlantic.

    As far as I can see, all onboard Stancor survived the sinking of, so I'm inclined to think they were lost with Capable (which had five crew killed). Any ideas whether I'm correct?

    Regards,

    Steve
     
  2. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    Were they definitely DEMS gunners? I thought DEMS were all RA or RN
     
  3. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    Yes they were DEMS gunners. As far as I can see the British Army DEMS gunners didn't settle down under the Royal Artillery until some time in 1941.

    For example I've got

    HANDISIDES, Stanley A, Private, 4757902, York and Lancaster Regt- Lost after sinking of S.S. Agnete Maersk on 24th March 1941.

    and

    CHALMERS, Duncan W, Fusilier, 3129365, Royal Scots Fusiliers- Lost after sinking of M/V Ahamo on 8th April 1941

    Regards

    Steve
     
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  4. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Did you check CWGC
    CWGC shows both as DEMS gunners and states MV Capable as their vessel

    LANCE CORPORAL FREDERICK LANGRIDGE
    Service Number: 3531708
    Regiment & Unit/Ship
    Manchester Regiment

    D.E.M.S. Personnel. M.V. Capable. 2/9th Bn.

    Date of Death
    Died 05 June 1940

    Age 23 years old

    Buried or commemorated at
    PLYMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL

    Panel 44, Column 2.

    United Kingdom

    PRIVATE WILFRED GREGORY
    Service Number: 3531701
    Regiment & Unit/Ship
    Manchester Regiment

    D.E.M.S. Personnel. M.V. Capable. 2/9th Bn.



    Date of Death
    Died 05 June 1940

    Age 19 years old

    Buried or commemorated at
    PLYMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL

    Panel 98.

    United Kingdom


    • Country of ServiceUnited Kingdom
    • Additional InfoSon of Joseph Gregory, and of Doris Gregory, of Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2021
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  5. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    Thanks, for that.

    Yeah I got their names off CWGC website when I did a search for DEMS gunners, but I only got as Manchester Regt, on Plymouth Memorial, with no battalion or ship details. I guess they must have been updated since then.

    On a similar subject any ideas about

    7th Btn, Seaforth Highlanders; killed on 20th September 1940.

    SCOTT, George A L R, Private, Army, 3245598, killed
    STEPHENS, Robert A H, Lance Corporal, Army, 2821602, killed

    Just checked CWGC and it lists no ship for them. Possible ship losses are Commissaire Ramel, City of Simla, Baron Blythswood or Empire Adventure.
     
  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    UK, Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945
    Name: George Scott
    Given Initials: G A L R
    Rank: Private
    Death Date: 20 Sep 1940
    Number: 3245598
    Birth Place: Hamilton
    Residence: Hamilton
    Regiment at Enlistment: Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)
    Branch at Enlistment: Infantry
    Theatre of War: At sea
    Regiment at Death: Seaforth Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs, Duke of Albany's)
    Branch at Death: Infantry



    UK, Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945
    Name: Robert Stephens
    Given Initials: R A H
    Rank: Lance Corporal
    Death Date: 20 Sep 1940
    Number: 2821602
    Birth Place: Canada
    Residence: Inverness
    Regiment at Enlistment: Seaforth Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs, Duke of Albany's)
    Branch at Enlistment: Infantry
    Theatre of War: At sea
    Regiment at Death: Seaforth Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs, Duke of Albany's)
    Branch at Death: Infantry


    TD


    Private George Archibald Lyon Ross Scott...
    Service No: 3245598
    Age: 19
    Regiment/Service: Seaforth Highlanders, D.E.M.S. Personnel, 7th Bn.
    Son of William and Alexina Scott, of Hamilton, Lanarkshire.
    Ancestry shows that there is an obituary for him which I cant access
    U.S., Newspapers.com Obituary Index, 1800s-current
    George Lyon Scott


    His names may help further research
    Name: Robert Alexander Hendry Stephens
    Gender: Male
    Age: 19
    Birth Date: abt 1921
    Death Date: 20 Sep 1940

    Lance Corporal Robert Alexander Hendry Stephens...
    Service No: 2821602
    Age: 19
    Regiment/Service: Seaforth Highlanders, 7th Bn. Defensive Equiped Merchant Ships Personnel.
    Son of Arthur Henry Stephens, and of Isabella Stephens, of Hampstead, London.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2021
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  7. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    What a coincidence as I was looking through my DEMS database today.
    DEMS army gunners are quite difficult to research. My money is on them being among the 4 DEMS gunners lost from the Dutch TRITO - two naval gunners are known but the other two are not. But...I try not to do guesswork - you need a crew list or the maritime card from the MOD.
    Regards
    Hugh
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2021
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  8. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

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  9. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    Interesting thread and always good to learn something new
     
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  10. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    No TD - that is just the ship's movement card there are no personnel on there - only only one way to go - crew list or the maritime card from the MOD.
    By the way two RN gunners are known -
    O'CONNELL, William, Act/Able Seaman, D/JX 198432, (President III, O/P), MPK
    O'NEILL, James, Act/Able Seaman, D/JX 198441, (President III, O/P), MPK
    .
    Regards
    Hugh
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2021
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  11. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Casualty Details | CWGC
    PRIVATE
    GEORGE ARCHIBALD LYON ROSS SCOTT
    Service Number: 3245598
    Regiment & Unit/Ship
    Seaforth Highlanders
    D.E.M.S. Personnel. 7th Bn.
    Date of Death
    Died 20 September 1940
    Age 19 years old
    Buried or commemorated at
    PLYMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL
    Panel 44, Column 2.
    United Kingdom
    Country of Service
    United Kingdom


    His CWGC record states he was DEMS

    Casualty Details | CWGC
    LANCE CORPORAL
    ROBERT ALEXANDER HENDRY STEPHENS
    Service Number: 2821602
    Regiment & Unit/Ship
    Seaforth Highlanders
    7th Bn. Defensive Equiped Merchant Ships Personnel.
    Date of Death
    Died 20 September 1940
    Age 19 years old


    William O'Connell
    UK, British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960
    Name: William O'Connell
    Event: Death
    Birth Date: 29 Sep 1920
    Birth Place: Liverpool, Lancs
    Death Date: 20 Sep 1940
    Death Age: 19
    44994_adm_104_135-0075 (2).jpg
    Record above states SS Trito

    Name: James O'Neill
    Event: Death
    Birth Date: 20 Sep 1921
    Birth Place: Liverpool, Lancs
    Death Date: 20 Sep 1940
    Death Age: 19
    44994_adm_104_135-0084 (2).jpg
    Record states Trito


    TD
     
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  12. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    Hi Hugh,

    Thanks yeah I had the two RN gunners on Trito. Lloyd's losses says 21 crew killed and 3 survived after that sinking, but I'd not been able to confirm if the gunners were included in the 21 lost. With only seventeen crew listed by wrecksite.eu, I guess that would give a strong indication that two Army gunners could have been lost with Trito.

    Looking again at my loss lists;

    Commissaire Ramel- 3 OR crew killed (listed by CWGC, Lloyds says 3 crew lost)
    Empire Adventure- 5 Officers and 16 OR crew killed (listed by CWGC, Lloyds says 21 crew lost)
    New Sevilla- 1 Officer and 1 OR crew killed (listed by CWGC and Lloyds says 2 crew lost)
    City of Simla- Possibly 2 OR crew killed (CWGC lists one on 17th and one on 21st, Lloyds says 1 crew and 2 passengers lost, but CAB66/12 says five killed)

    So that would remove the first three ships as options and probably cancel out the fourth, leaving only Trito.

    Regards

    Steve
     
  13. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    DEMS gunners were mainly provided by the Royal Navy and the Maritime Regiment of the Royal Artillery but there were some other army regiments that did this duty and about 50 or so were killed aboard ships.
    Regards
    Hugh
     
  14. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Steve,
    CAB 66/12 is correct 3 crew members dead plus 2 passengers = 5 in total.
    Regards
    Hugh
     
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  15. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    Hi Hugh,

    From CWGC I had identified;

    Boy Wahib Kahn [Listed on 21/9/40]
    Tindal Abdul Rahman [Listed on 17/9/40]

    Do you know who the third crew member was?

    Regards,

    Steve
     
  16. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Sorry for the late reply Steve - I had to re-check my sources. The correct answer is the two crew you have already identified. Problem arose with Tindal Abul Rahman being listed twice. The first time in the Sept 1940 list with a spelling mistake in surname and then being listed again in the October list along with Wahib Kahn. So for your records 2 x crew and 2 x passengers lost = 4.
    Sorry for the confusion.
    Regards
    Hugh
     
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  17. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    Hi Hugh,

    Don't worry, it's no problem, thanks for the information.

    Regards,

    Steve
     
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  18. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    Gents,

    Any info on the following?

    Wednesday 11th September 1940
    HAYSTEAD, Reginald G, Private, 6th Btn Royal Norfolk Regt, 5772254, killed

    I have an unidentified gunner lost onboard Norwegian ship Eli on the 10th, so he might be this man.

    Regards,

    Steve
     
  19. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Hi Steve - I have R.G. Haystead lost aboard the Norwegian ELI.
    Regards
    Hugh
     
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  20. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    Hi Hugh,

    Thanks for that.

    Regards

    Steve
     

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