DEMS gunner losses

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

  1. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    Thursday 6th February 1941
    BRIMICOMBE, George F, Private, Army, 6101787 (Queen's Royal Regt (West Surrey)), killed [PlyM]
    RIDDLE, Wilfred H, Private, Army, 6102539 (Queen's Royal Regt (West Surrey)), killed [PlyM]

    Not too clear which ship they could have been lost on. Possibly lost on Angularity in the Thames Estuary, but that's pure speculation on my part in the absence of any other possible incident/loss.

    Lloyds says 2 crew lost and 'some' prisoners, whilst the book 'Schnellboote says 8 killed. For the record, CWGC identifies 6 crew as being lost with the sinking.
     
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Die Schnellboot-Seite - s-Boats in the Kriegsmarine - Channel 1941 - UK
    January and February 1941 were marked by heavy winter gales, so that the boats could only come to six sorties. On 07.01.1941 "S 101" could sink the British freighter "H.H.Petersen" (975 BRT). On 06.02.1941 "S 30" sank the British freighter "Angularity" (501 BRT)

    No mention of numbers killed


    Force H, February 1941
    British steamer ANGULARITY (501grt) was sunk by German S.30 off the east coast between Ipswich and Newcastle
    One of the crew were picked up by the S-boat and taken prisoner. Two crew were lost

    Seems to be the only Merchant vessel sunk that day

    TD

    An interesting document - worth a read - U-boat Archive - S-38 - Interrogation Report
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2021
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  3. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

     
  4. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    I can't give you a 100% answer here as I do not have all the evidence. Initially, Brimicombe and Riddle were thought to have been taken as prisoners of war which was later changed to killed in action on that date. So I would at this stage suggest that the best fit is ANGULARITY. All the 6 merchant crew are as already stated (6) + 2 gunners. I think 'Schnellboote' has it correct.
    Regards
    Hugh
     
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  5. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    Hi Gents,

    Back from work, so I thought I'd continue working through my list of unassigned DEMS gunners.

    Wednesday 19th February 1941

    2/7th Btn, Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)
    COTTON, Leslie, Corporal, Army, 4612306, killed
    HIGHAM, James, Private, Army, 4618948, killed

    The Queen's Royal Regt (West Surrey)
    LUCAS, Mostyn R, Private, Army, 6098461, killed
    MANSFIELD, Thomas, Private, Army, 6098466, Killed

    There are no obvious ship losses with missing gunners on this date.
    Possibly two were lost onboard SS Algarve, though Lloyd's says 27 crew missing and CWGC list 27 crew as being killed.
    Possibly two were lost onboard Memphis after the sinking of Norwegian Benjamin Franklin, though Lloyd's says 29 lost from Benjamin Franklin and website warsailors.com lists 29 crew as being killed.

    Any ideas or thoughts?

    Regards,

    Steve
     
  6. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Hi Steve,

    From my database, I have Cpl Leslie Cotton as being lost aboard ALGARVE in 1941. I don't have data on Pte James Higham but as they were lost on the same day and from the same regiment it is more than likely they were the two-man AA gunners assigned to the ship. Prior to the formation of the Maritime Regiment RA, the army supplied 2-man Light Machine Gun teams to coasters around the UK.
    Some of the sources are quite poor for recording the gunners. All the sources I have seen suggest all hands were lost - 27 crew are accounted for in the Deaths at Sea Register but cruically no gunners. The gunners may have gone aboard prior to sailing and the logbook would have gone down with the ship. It is to be hoped that the shoreside copy may show the full crew including the gunners but there is no guarantee. The file at Kew is BT 381/1696.

    I have no data on Lucas and Mansfield, again probably a 2-man Light Machine Gun team from the Queen's Royal Regiment lost together on the same ship. I am reluctant to speculate on the ship as all the sources so far do not name them. I am continually searching out those facts.

    Regards
    Hugh
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2021
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  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Royal Navy casualties, killed and died, February 1941

    19 February 1941
    DEMS, 2/7 Btn, Duke of Wellington's Regt
    COTTON, Leslie, Corporal, Army, 4612306, killed
    HIGHAM, James, Private, Army, 4618948, killed

    DEMS, Queen's Royal Regt
    LUCAS, Mostyn R, Private, Army, 6098461, killed

    Ho ships designated as usual


    Pvt Thomas Frederick Mansfield (unknown-1941) -...
    Service No: 6098466
    Age: 24
    Regiment/Service: The Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey), D.E.M.S. Personnel.
    Son of William James Mansfield and Hannah Eliza Mansfield, of Kidbrooke, London.

    TD
     
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  8. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

     
  9. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    No problem - if you do go and get that document would you mind keeping me updated with your findings? If you need any further links to the crew agreements of suspected ships - let me know I will give the references if you wish.
    Regards
    Hugh
     
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  10. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    Gents,

    Friday 14th March 1941

    DEMS, Gloucestershire Regt
    HALE, Ernest W, Private, Army, 5187924, killed [PlyM]
    WORBY, William, Private, Army, 5187992, killed [PlyM]

    Lloyd's lists Artemisa as being lost with 1 crew and 1 gunner. The crew member is listed by CWGC, but I've no details on the gunner, so he could have been one of the men above.
    On the same day Lloyd's has for Stanleigh with 16 crew and 1 gunner lost. I've identified the sixteen crew and have two RN gunners as possibly lost due to the sinking (Able Seaman Armstrong and Able Seaman Pope). AB Pope is buried at Barrow, so it's possible he died ashore from his injuries and maybe Lloyd's didn't note this, but Lloyd's says that the ship had only one gunner onboard at the time of loss, so could one of them been lost on a different ship?

    Regards,

    Steve
     
  11. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    I can confirm 100% from primary sources that WJ Pope and JJ Armstrong were the RN gunners killed aboard STANLEIGH.

    This confirmation leaves me not so sure about Hale and Worby. I have Worby on my database as being lost aboard STANLEIGH too but no data on Hale. This makes me wonder if this entry in my database is incorrect as I would be reasonably sure that Hale and Worby [Gloucestershire Regt] were operating as a 2-man light machine gun team possibly aboard a coaster. Not all the entries in my database were researched by me so I am loathed to commit to something that may be incorrect. Some more work to do on Worby and Hale I think.

    Regards
    Hugh
     
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  12. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    Hi Hugh,

    Thanks for confirming the RN gunners were onboard Stanleigh.

    Yes I agree it stands to reason that the two Gloucestershire Regiment men would be a team. I see Lloyd's says Artemisia had four gunners embarked, of whom one was lost, so a strong possibility for them being part of that detachment, but again in the absence of confirmation, it goes down on the needs further work list.

    Regards

    Steve
     
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  13. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    Gents,

    Saturday 15th March 1941
    HAYLER, John M, Gunner, RA, 1512189 (4 Maritime Regt, RA), killed [PlyM]

    As far as I can see Gnr Hayler as the unfortunate distinction of being the first Maritime Regiment gunner to be lost at sea. I think there is a strong possibility that he was lost after Athelfoam was intercepted by Scharnhorst. Lloyd's says 1 crew and 1 gunner lost and 38 crew and 7 gunners POW. CWGC identifies the lost crew member, plus another two who died after being taken prisoner.

    Any ideas?

    Regards,

    Steve
     
  14. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Steve,
    I can confirm his loss aboard ATHELFOAM. I have no Maritime Regiment gunners lost prior to this date so I would concur he was the first lost at sea from the regiment.
    Regards
    Hugh
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2021
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  15. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    Gents,

    Sunday 16th March 1941

    ROSS, James, Private, Army, 3194748 (King's Own Scottish Borderers), killed [PlyM]
    WOOD, Walter C, Private, Army, 3194807 (King's Own Scottish Borderers), killed [PlyM]

    CHANDLER, Stuart S, Lance Corporal, Army, 5879753 (Northamptonshire Regt), killed [PlyM]

    A complicated day with Gneisenau and Scharnhorst sinking numerous ships in the Atlantic.

    One may have been lost with the sinking of Chilean Reefer, Lloyds says 7 crew and 2 gunners lost. I've identified one naval gunner (AB Erskine RFR) and the seven crew.

    Rio Dorado Lloyds says 39 crew lost (I've identified 38 crew and 1 RN gunner). Demeterton and Empire Industry are listed as all crew saved (as POW's) (which is confirmed by CWGC), so unlikely their gunners would have been killed.

    Any ideas?

    Regards,

    Steve
     
  16. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Steve,
    I can confirm

    CHANDLER, Stuart S, Lance Corporal, Army, 5879753, age 33, Northamptonshire Regt, killed 16 March 1941 (CHILEAN REEFER).

    No further information in my database with regard the two from the KOSB.
    Regards
    Hugh
     
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  17. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member


    Hi Hugh,

    Thanks for the confirmation of L/Cpl Chandler.

    Looking at my records regarding the KOSB gunners I see I'd overlooked one more possibility, that of the Dutch ship Mangkai. Lloyds only says of the loss '75 crew, some prisoner', but the book Shipping Company losses says 36 killed and 9 prisoner and a Dutch Merchant Navy website also says 36 killed. Assuming their dates of death are correct, the KOSB pair loss could well be associated with this sinking, as it seems to be the only other ship lost on this day with heavy casualties. Another one for the further research required pile, but a strong possibility.

    Regards,

    Steve
     
  18. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Hi Steve,
    Yes, I had MANGKAI on my radar and wrote to the Dutch archives with a hope of getting the crew list - that and a few others but no joy. A Dutch website gives the casualties as 29 Chinese, 6 Dutch and 1 Javanese but the book should be kept open on MANGKAI.
    Regards
    Hugh
     
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  19. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    Indeed yes, I know from past experience that the Dutch merchant navy losses website generally only refers to crew losses and doesn't make reference to embarked gunners. Curious to wonder where Lloyd's got the figure of 75 crew from.

    Regards

    Steve
     
  20. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    Gents,

    Friday 21st March 1941


    COOPER, Kenneth G, Private, Army, 5730952 (Dorsetshire Regt), killed [PlyM]

    No obvious ship loss to place Pte Cooper. Clan Ogilivy (on 20th) and Millisle (on 21st) had RN/RM gunner losses and the gunners on London II and Jhelum are listed by Lloyd's as having survived, even if the latter was interned in Senegal.

    Regards,

    Steve
     

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