g/father. Engineer Ship S S Sagamore torpedoed 3/3/18,rescued 12/3/18 Landed CapeTown S.A. 6/4/18.

Discussion in 'Prewar' started by Kenneth Berry, Oct 22, 2018.

  1. Kenneth Berry

    Kenneth Berry Member

    After being taken to Hospital in Capetown 6th April 1918. All 7 survivors had amputations on their legs. From both feet being removed to having both legs removed. My g/father was 3rd Engineer Thomas Edward Lunt. in charge of one lifeboat with 17 survivors. Only 7 men had survived when rescued by the S S Deucalion. Blue Funnel Line. Sagamore owners Diamond Shipping line "later" Furness Withy bought Diamond shipping.From Being sunk to rescue the one life boat had drifted in the consistently bad weather. Sunk 150 miles due west of Fasnet Rock and rescued in the South Atlantic. After getting aboard the Deucalion it was 6th April 1918 before the 7 survivors disembarked at CapeTown. Admitted to the New Somerset Hospital. All had lower leg parts or whole legs removed.
    I am emailing you that you might be able to help me find out how long before and how they got back to the United Kingdom. Then my G/father had numerous more operations from 1920 to January 1922. This was on a card from veterans help. Which just had his name, ships name and operation dates. They emailed me that they didn't have any more information. Unfortunately my g/dad/ didn't cope very well with his injuries. He became an alcoholic and very abusive over the years. My mum was his eldest daughter with 2 sisters and 4 brothers.My Nana his wife died in 1934 of a broken heart my mother always said. Hi other children by the start of WW2 had moved into my mum, & dads and my G/dads paternal house. I was 7 1939.. I got to know him a bit he had told my mum he was off the bottle. The British Legion Had installed an Anderson Air Raid shelter in the garden for him. He was a bit frightened in the air raids being in the shelter.My Mum, Cyril his youngest son about 15 and myself 10 the week the blitzes stated the Air Raid All Clear had gone about 4am. So everyone went back into the hose and to bed. Mum had us all up by 8am. Cyril; had to clean the shelter out I had to tidy and do the dishes. Mum was just going to the Broadway Norris Green in Liverpool for shopping. I could hear Lunty as everone called him making a racket up stairs as he had a lot of trouble putting his legs on. Then had to use two walking sticks as he couldn't walk without them. He made a terrible noise coming down the stairs and came into the kitchen. He propped himself against the bench and started to hit me with his walking sticks and knocked me down. I was crying and shouting for help. I wet myself and that made him really wild. I only remember Cyril running into the Kitchen and pushing his dad over. At the same time the neighbour a man from next door came in and took Lunty'y walking sticks and threw them out the back door.The man said, Lunty you are a tyrant your beating your grandson, youve ruined your family and your wife died because of you. My mum arrived back and she startyed on him. Telling Cyril and I to pack up as we were going home. with her. She told her dad, Reg was away on a Convoy Uncle gordon would come from manchester.I did get to know him when i played football in Liverpool "B' "A" and reserves 1949 - 1951June. How he got to games other than thumbing a ride amazed me. After a game he would always wait for me by the team bus and tell me how I had gone. Then alwaysthe last Question. Bit short this week lad could i borrow a couple of bob."B team i got 15/- so he got 7/6. "A' team i got 2 pound 10/-, so he got One pound. Reserves I Got $pound 10/- He still got a pound.Tom Bush and Jimmy Mc Innes asked me afte about the 4the game he came to was he my g/dad who had lost his legs in WW1. I said"Yes". Jimmy Mc Innes told me there was always a lift back to the pool. G/dad was made up Always got off at The Greyhound Pub East Lancs Road. Last weekend of June 1951 was my last game for the reserves at Wigan as on the Sunday i was heady to Paisley Scotla d to Babcock & Wilcox Hostel for Student and Graduates Engineering Apprentices. To Study and Main Woks experience. I had to tell my g/dad and he was quite upset. Then I asked him why he had been so cruel and nasty to everyone. I could feel his anger starting to show in his face. I just said. g/dad I do love you don't try to hit me .I was just on 6ft 5 in tal and 14 stone at this stage. He cooled down and smiled you have no idea what i have been through since the Sagamore.. I told him I dd understand to a point what you had experienced but to know how you feel would be a lie. He then just said. "Kenneth since the first morning after the Sagamore was sunk and i had to put the 2nd greaser who had died during the night and i had taken all his clothes off except his underpants and then had to put him over the side of our life boat. Every night i go to bed and I see their frozen faces starring back at me plus the pain. He just said, I have a friend in Wigan and i am going to see him now and tell him all about you and how i Love you too. he turned and walked away same as Re g his son in the Navy never turned around and waved just kept walking till out of sight. He died when i was at sea. Have a photo of his grave in Anfield Cemetery. no head stone, I understand that. i would like one for him though but at 86 a little awkward to say the least. hope you may be able to help. Yours sincerely Ken Berry
  2. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Hi and welcome.
    There is a specialised WW1 site The Great War forum which may have better expertise in answering your questions.
    Obviously a very traumatic incident ut can we clear some things up, before you go any further?
    Are you sure of the ship?

    Six merchant ships and one U.S. Navy tug have been named Sagamore.
    Lake Feodora, renamed Sagamore 1926 – 1934, U.S. propeller, steamer, Official No. 219574. Wrecked in 1934.
    Kenordoc, U.S. barge, Official No. 157506 . Named David Z. Norton 1898 – 1904. Named Sagamore 1904 – 1947. Named Kenordoc 1945 – 1956. Scrapped 1956.
    SS Sagamore (1892), U.S. whaleback barge, Official No. 57932. Sank after a collision in 1901.
    SS Sagamore, a British cargo ship sunk in 1917 by U-49 (or U69 see below).
    Sagamore, U.S. steam yacht, rebuilt as a freight propeller, Official No. 116211. Ultimate disposition unknown.
    Sagamore, U.S. Navy tug. Named Sagamore 1944 – 1948. Renamed John E. McAllister 1948 – 1955. Scrapped 1955.
    Sagamore, U.S. cargo built 1996

    SS Sagamore was the only British built whaleback freighter. She was built in 1893, in Sunderland, England by the William Doxford & Sons shipyard; she was built under license from Scottish-American Captain Alexander McDougall (1845–1923). Whalebacks had a rather unique design. They had an unusual cylindrical, cigar shaped hull that when fully loaded resembled the back of the whale, hence the name. Their hulls were built of heavy steel plates double-riveted to steel angle frames. They were the predecessors of the Doxford turret deck ships of the late 19th and early 20th century, just like whalebacks they had a rounded hull, but unlike whalebacks they had a conventional bow, stern and superstructure. A total of 44 whaleback vessels were constructed from 1888 to 1898, with most of them (except for two) operating in the Great Lakes.
    The Sagamore was refused entry to England because of her unusual design. She was owned by the Belgian American Maritime Co (which was restyled the Belgian Maritime Trading Co SA). In 1896 she was sold again to Cogneti Schiaffino of Genoa, Italy and renamed Solideo in 1911. She was renamed again as Ilva in 1916 and finally purchased by A Piaggio of Genoa in 1916. She was sailing between Genoa and Barry Roads when she was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic off the coast of Spain on 4 May 1917 by UC-69. There were no casualties.

    Also, my nautical knowledge is not great but the Fastnet Rock is of the southern coast of Ireland and would need to have drifted more than 150 miles to reach the South Atlantic.

    3 March List of shipwrecks: 3 March 1918
    Ship Country Description
    Countess United Kingdom The vessel foundered in the English Channel off Deal, Kent. Her crew were rescued by the Deal Lifeboat.
    Diamond United Kingdom The vessel foundered in the English Channel off Deal. Her crew were rescued by the Deal Lifeboat.
    Eliza and Alice United Kingdom The vessel foundered in the English Channel off Deal. Her crew were rescued by the Deal Lifeboat.
    Navator United Kingdom The vessel foundered in the English Channel off Deal. Her crew were rescued by the Deal Lifeboat.
    Nikolaus Schoke Imperial German Navy World War I: The Ditmar Koel-class Vorpostenboot was sunk by mines off Terschelling.
    Romeo United Kingdom World War I: The refrigerated cargo ship was torpedoed and sunk in the Irish Sea 11 nautical miles (20 km) north west of Peel, Isle of Man (52°22′N 4°52′W) by SM U-102 ( Imperial German Navy) with the loss of 26 of her 29 crew. The survivors were rescued by Ardgavel (United Kingdom) and HMS Kilgobnet ( Royal Navy).

    Those are the only ships sunk or otherwise lost that I could easily find.

    Almost 10 years ago you posted on https://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showthread.php?t=1222&page=3 referring to the Deucalion NOT being sunk in 1917, but you now use the date as in 1918. Was this loss in 1917, but apparently NO casualties. perhaps it was the long voyage adrift in the Atlantic that caused the casualties?
    There are 52 casualties from the SS Sagamore commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial for Merchant Navy casualties.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018
  3. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Hi Ken,
    SAGAMORE official number 102059 was sunk by U-49 on 3 March 1917. The ship that Kevin refers to was renamed IIVA and sunk 4 May 1917 so is a red herring.
    The official logbook for DEUCALION official number 113433 for the year 1917 - the ship which rescued your grandfather - should be held at Kew in piece BT 99/3325
    Best obtained by visit to Kew or via a researcher. Hope that helps.
    ozzy16, Owen, CL1 and 1 other person like this.
  4. Kenneth Berry

    Kenneth Berry Member

    Hi, I have the pages of the Deucalion log book.concerning the Sagamore 7 crew survivors. Good job the Deucalion had a Doctor on Board as he saved their lives. And by the time they got to Capetown their health had staballised and were fit enough for all the amputations. Also have the crew agreement prior to sailing from Liverpool 26th January 1917.
    The name Sagamore is quite famous as it was one of the roosevelts estates think. The Whale Back Hull was a dodge to get cheaper cargo rates.. The huge Barge the Americans built named Sagamore was towed across the Atlantic and was sunk by a U-boat. just before it got to the Bristol channel. If you would like copies of crews agreement and log book let me know..Best Regards Ken B
  5. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Hi Ken,
    Could you send me those documents please and I will take a look. I will send you a private messsge with my email address
  6. Kenneth Berry

    Kenneth Berry Member

    Hi,TD, Hugh, Kevin, Sorry about my mix up it was 1917. Having a few Senior moments.Not to often I am hoping. The Whale Back was an astute move to save money on Freight charges. Very smart Captain he found a way around he thought but the British ship owners had the freight charges tied up. I can remember egg pulp from NZ and Australia to UK it had to be held in the refrigerated Holds at 22 F plus or minus 3 degrees. Packed in 4 gallon Square tin plated mild steel. on the Hauraki we could would carry at least a couple of hundred thousand back to Britain every trip. Just woken a redundant memory cell The Whale Back S S Sagamore i have a photo of her in UK. will have a look for tomorrow. Regards Ken B.
  7. Kenneth Berry

    Kenneth Berry Member

    Sorry I blew it again it was 1918. Have to go and have a check up with doc. regards Ken.
  8. Kenneth Berry

    Kenneth Berry Member

    Hi Hugh, Would you send a pm to me with your home address I will have to send the Log Book pages first.The copies from Kew.. Were all huge prints so i have halved each page and the Log book pages have come out great. My computer Canon Printer has a glitch and is using the Utilities Mode. Which makes it a little slower. Not to worry. Best Regards Ken.
  9. Kenneth Berry

    Kenneth Berry Member

    Hi Hugh, Think I named you Ian in the Documents I sent at 5-00 pm. Have to call it another Senior Moment. Had to send them air Mail. Probably take 5-6 days. I am still tying to get my proper email going. Their are a few extra pages. Would you like copies of all. Parliament tried to halve his pension cut by half.. Newspaper cuttings. Various stories. Photo of S S Sagamore and U-49 also sent. He was a very successful U-Boat Kapitan.
    Hugh MacLean likes this.
  10. Kenneth Berry

    Kenneth Berry Member

    Hi Hugh, Well the Crews Agreement, should be well on its way by now. With other bits and pieces. We are really having hot weather again 31c today. The humidity wasn't very enjoyable. It comes here direct across the ditch from OZ. nor' - westerly. Its a blessing no fires north of Melbourne or Adelaide. We used to get a lot of smoke even in Wellington and Christchurch. Even the smell of eucalyphtus. Have just been in touch may have mentioned that Ancestry was bought out by an Irish crowd.they seem to have sorted their problems out and hopefully mine. They are offering me some free months on World Wide Membership. but i am holding off. Last July they Sold the De Luxe Family Tree Disc package. to my daughter. It was a Birthday present. They must have forgotten the date they cancelled their agreement with Family Tree. It as a couple of months after they had cancelled their contract. Anyway thats all of my rambling Best Regards Ken B..
  11. Kenneth Berry

    Kenneth Berry Member

    Hi Hugh, Just thought keep the Sagamore copies for yourself. Or if you have any rellies from get in touch with you, let them have them. Or just recycle. Thanks Regards Ken.
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  12. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Documents arrived safe and sound Ken - thanks! I will look over them and see what I can come up with.
    Roy Martin likes this.
  13. Kenneth Berry

    Kenneth Berry Member

    Goodnight from me but a Good Morning to you Hugh.
    Have Just thought if you have to pay for any information let me know. Will have to send a bank Cheque if that's OK with You. Only just thought of it. Sorry. Looks like you are getting some lovely weather as we are. But chills down quite a lot of a night.
    The vine yards are all getting bumper grapes in Quality and Quantity. Makes me feel out of it all 1/2 a glass a day is max for me now. Definitly almost torturous. Well Night Night and God Bless to You and Yours Ken B
  14. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Hello Ken,

    I am sorry it has been a while before I could get back to you – my apologies.

    First of all thank you for sending me the documents you have researched and I wanted to tell you what a great effort you have put in on this research. What an interesting story and a terrible ordeal for those including your grandfather who survived the sinking but had to endure the open boat journey prior to rescue by DEUCALION.

    Many of the photocopies were not great quality and difficult to read but I think I got most of it.

    The DEUCALION’s master made the decision to continue on his voyage to Cape Town after picking up the survivors who were all in a terrible state who knows what would have happened if he had turned back and was able to land them in the UK. Would they have had to have their lower limbs amputated?

    You asked if it was possible to find out when your grandfather and the others were repatriated back home. I am afraid to date I have not been able to find out despite searching in the usual places; however, I do have a friend of mine having a look in case I have missed something. I will let you know if anything transpires with that search.

    I doubt, however, that you are going to find out much more than you already know – the written accounts given by your grandfather and 2 others of the crew are a great source of information that together with the ship’s official logbook and crew agreement is testament to the great danger our merchant seamen had to endure - this ordeal being repeated over and over for many of the sinking’s.

    I have found an id photo of your grandfather which would have been taken around 1918.

    He joined SAGAMORE in January 1917 and his previous ship was ROSE LEA which was also torpedoed and sunk in 1917.


    Thomas Edward Lunt.

  15. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Note to Kenneth Berry if you are reading this thread.
    Please read your emails from the forum admin email address.
    You asked for your email address to be edited to the correct one. Done.
    You asked for a new password . Done.
    You should be able to Log In to the forum but only if you use the new updated details.
    I can't do anymore to help .
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  16. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Got your latest message to the admin email address.
    Check your junk/spam folders for my many replies.
    I've also emailed you on my own private one.

    Please reply to one of them .
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