DEMS gunner losses

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

  1. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    Thursday 26th June 1941
    NUGENT, James J, Lance Sergeant, RA (1/1 Maritime Regt), 3532948, killed [PoM]

    Probably killed when Malaya II was lost.

    There are various conflicting casualty reports for this sinking; Lloyd's says 39 lost and 6 survived, book 'No higher purpose says 43 killed, whilst book 'Darkest before dawn says 41 killed and uboat.net says 39 crew and 4 gunners lost (but only list 42 losses) and 6 survived. CWGC records 39 crew and 2 RN gunners lost with this sinking and uboat.net lists Gnr O'Reilly (also from 1/1/ Maritime Regt) as being lost. So there is a strong probability that L/Sgt Nugent is the missing 43rd casualty.

    Any ideas?

    Regards,

    Steve
     
  2. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    The R.A. D.E.M.S. were

    NUGENT, James Gunner 28 1/1 Maritime AA Regiment RA - MALAYA II
    O'RIELLY, Patrick Andrew Gunner 1/1 Maritime AA Regiment RA - MALAYA II

    AB Manning and AB Sharp being the RN D.E.M.S. killed.

    Regards
    Hugh
     
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  3. CL1

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

  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  5. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    I think the problem especially with regard to RA, D.E.M.S. which makes them particulary difficult to research is the fact that not many resources name the ship the gunner was serving in.
    Regards
    Hugh
     
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  6. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    From my files - 4th Officer Pembelton in his report to the Admiralty states the total complement was 49 broken down as per the below:
    MALAYA.JPG
    Only naval gunner Sharp is mentioned in the report. Hopefully you can read the whole report which I have attached in two sections.

    Regards
    Hugh
     

    Attached Files:

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  7. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    Saturday 28th June 1941

    O'SULLIVAN, Gerard M, Gunner, RA (3/2 Maritime Regt), 6147455, killed
    SIMMONS, George E, Gunner, RA (3/2 Maritime Regt), 6147493, killed

    Two DEMS gunner losses on the same day would seem to indicate a shipping loss, but I'm struggling to identify an associated ship lost on the 28th. Auris and Barrhill were sunk, but in each case the gunners killed appear to have been one RN gunner lost on each. Finnish ship Pluto was also sunk on this date with the loss of three onboard, but these seem to have been crewmembers. Any ideas?

    Regards,

    Steve
     
  8. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Hi Steve,
    I have not seen the sources that suggest an RN gunner was lost on AURIS but it is incorrect.

    AURIS (tanker). GRT 8030. Built 1935

    28.6.41: Torpedoed and sunk by Italian submarine LEONARDO DA VINCI (Calda), in the Atlantic E. of Madeira, in position 34.27N 11.57W while sailing independently on Admiralty service on a voyage from Trinidad to Gibraltar, with a cargo of 11493 tons of Admiralty fuel oil. The Master, Capt. Norman Redvers Reed, 26 crew and 5 gunners were rescued by HM Destroyer FARNDALE 1050/40 (L.70) (Cdr S.H. Carlill) and landed at Gibraltar. 32 crew were lost. Source: (British and Commonwealth Merchant Ship Losses to Axis Submarines 1939 – 1945 by Alan J. Tennent)

    There were in fact 34 killed and Tennent’s book fails to account for gunners’ O’Sullivan and Simmons.

    O'SULLIVAN, Gunner, GERARD MICHAEL, 6147455, 3/2 Maritime Regt., Royal Artillery. (SS AURIS) 28 June 1941. Age 25. Son of Michael and Nora O'Sullivan, of Rotherhithe, London. Panel 61, Column 3.
    SIMMONS, Gunner, GEORGE EDWIN, 6147493, 3/2 Maritime Regt., Royal Artillery. (SS AURIS) 28 June 1941. Age 26. Panel 61, Column 3.

    Regards
    Hugh
     
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  9. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    Hi Hugh.

    Thanks for that regarding the Maritime Regiment gunners.

    From CWGC I have 8 Officers and 23 OR crew lost with Auris. Lloyd's lists 32 lost (but I had included the RN gunner as the 32nd)

    The RN gunner I have was from CWGC, which records the following casualty;

    Able Seaman, CLENTON, Harry, 23 D/JX191060, RN H.M.S. President III (M.V. Auris), PLYMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL

    Regards,

    Steve
     
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  10. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Checked my sources again and see AB Clenton - I have just bought a new pair of glasses - may have to return them :)
    Two army and one RN were the military losses and 31 MN seamen.

    Regards
    Hugh
     
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  11. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    Hi Hugh,

    Ah those pesky new glasses!

    Thanks for the confirmation regarding AB Clenton.

    Regards,

    Steve
     
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  12. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    29th June 1941

    WALKER, William, Gunner, RA (3 Maritime Regt), 3393162 [TYNEMOUTH (PRESTON) CEMETERY]

    Not clear if Gnr Walker was killed in a hostile incident or by an accident/illness.

    If a hostile cause, as far as I can see the only possible ship would be S.S. Silverlaurel, which was damaged in an air raid at Hull. Any ideas?

    Regards,

    Steve
     
  13. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Gunner Walker died ashore as a result of an accident - circumstances at this stage not known.
    Regards
    Hugh
     
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  14. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    Hi Hugh,

    Thanks for that information regarding Gunner Walker.

    Going back to June 1940, have you identified any gunner casualties lost with Albuera, when that ship was sunk by an S-boot on 24th June? All the references I've seen say 7 missing from 35 (including 2 gunners onboard), but I can only identify 5 crew losses. To add to my confusion mercantile Merope is credited with recovering 29 survivors...

    Regards,

    Steve
     
  15. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Hi Steve,
    I have been through all of my sources both on and off-line and I can only come up with the 5 MN crew who died. I also see the sources that say two gunners lost.
    The survivor's report would probably indicate if gunners were aboard and possibly any casualties to them and of course the 'Red Copy' crew agreement within the ship's official logbook files held at TNA Kew.
    Regards
    Hugh
     
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  16. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    Hi Hugh,

    Thanks for looking. Looking at CWGC I couldn't see any likely Army DEMS gunners for the day.

    I've added Alburea to my TNA research list in the hope of finding a definitive answer.

    Regards,

    Steve
     
  17. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Going back to earlier postings. Have done more work on this one, I can confirm that Pte. John H. Morgan was one of three D.E.M.S. gunners lost on ss CREEMUIR on 11.11.1940. You will note both the army gunners have the incorrect date of death recorded as 12 November 1940. Also Pte. John H. Morgan is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial but Pte. John Long is commemorated on the Brookwood Memorial.

    LONG, John, P, Private, Army, 2046388, 7th Bn King’s Own Royal Regt, age 23, killed 12 November 1940 (CREEMUIR).
    MORGAN, John H, Private, Army, 3713783, King's Own Royal Regt, age 22, killed 12 November 1940 (CREEMUIR).

    The third gunner was TURNER, James, Able Seaman RN, C/J 115423, age 31, killed 11 November 1940 HMS PRESIDENT III (CREEMUIR)

    Regards
    Hugh
     
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  18. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Just to back up Hughs post

    UK, Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945
    Name: William Walker
    Given Initials: W
    Rank: Gunner
    Death Date: 29 Jun 1941
    Number: 3393162
    Birth Place: Manchester
    Residence: Rochdale
    Branch at Enlistment: Royal Artillery
    Theatre of War: United Kingdom
    Regiment at Death: Royal Artillery
    Branch at Death: Royal Artillery

    Theatre of War normally reads 'at sea' if lost onboard a ship, so 'United Kingdom' suggests he was ashore

    Casualty Details | CWGC
    Shows I believe he was buried so assume a body was available for this to happen
     
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  19. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    Hi Hugh,

    Presently at work with dodgy internet access and just seen your post.

    Thanks for that information. I had seen Pte Long on the Brookwood Memorial, but hadn't made the connection with him having a DEMS role.

    Regards,

    Steve
     
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  20. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    UK, Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945
    Name: John Long
    Given Initials: J P OD
    Rank: Private
    Death Date: 12 Nov 1940
    Number: 2046388
    Birth Place: Newcastle-on-Tyne
    Residence: Newcastle-on-Tyne
    Regiment at Enlistment: Royal Engineers
    Branch at Enlistment: Infantry
    Theatre of War: At sea
    Regiment at Death: King's Own Royal Regiment (Lancaster)
    Branch at Death: Infantry


    Name: John Morgan
    Given Initials: J H
    Rank: Private
    Death Date: 12 Nov 1940
    Number: 3713783
    Birth Place: Liverpool
    Residence: Liverpool
    Branch at Enlistment: Infantry
    Theatre of War: At sea
    Regiment at Death: King's Own Royal Regiment (Lancaster)
    Branch at Death: Infantry
     
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