M.V. Scottish Prince casualties 31/5/41?

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Steve49, Sep 11, 2021.

  1. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    Gents,

    M.V. Scottish Prince was damaged after an air attack on 26th April 1941. It appears to have been at Alexandria on undergoing repairs on 31st May 1941 when CWGC lists four lost crew.

    Second Officer ROBERT ALLAN FINLAYSON
    Apprentice JOHANS ARNOLDUS CARSTENS
    Carpenter ALBERT CARTER
    Able Seaman RICHARD HAMILTON

    Any idea the cause of these deaths?

    Regards,

    Steve
     
  2. CL1

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

    Their vessel was in port undergoing repairs and two members of the crew were engaged in removing plugs from the bulkhead of the port deep tank, when both suddenly collapsed, having been overcome by unsuspected gas which had generated from damaged cargo in the hold. The Second Officer, Mr. Robert Allan Finlayson, observing the occurrence and realising the immediate need for assistance, promptly fastened his shirt around his nose and mouth and, with Able Seaman Richard Hamilton, entered the tank with a rope in an attempt to save the two men. This brave action on the part of Second Officer Finlayson and Able Seaman Hamilton unfortunately cost them their lives. Mr. Finlayson was just able to make the rope fast around the body of one of the men before he himself collapsed and died. Able Seaman Hamilton, who had immediately followed him, did not reach the bottom of the tank but collapsed off the ladder when about half way down.
    Robert A Finlayson AM -
     
    Hugh MacLean, timuk and Steve49 like this.
  3. CL1

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

    Casualty Details | CWGC

    Additional Citation note

    An extract from "The London Gazette" dated 16th Jan 1942 records the following: "The King has been graciously pleased to make the posthumous award of the Decoration of the Albert Medal for Gallantry in Saving Life at Sea in recognition of the gallantry displayed by Second Officer Robert Allan Finlayson and Able Seaman Richard Hamilton in the following circumstances.

    Their vessel was in port undergoing repairs and two members of the crew were engaged in removing plugs from the bulkhead of the port deep tank, when both suddenly collapsed, having been overcome by unsuspected gas which had generated from damaged cargo in the hold. The Second Officer, Mr. Robert Allan Finlayson, observing the occurrence and realising the immediate need for assistance, promptly fastened his shirt around his nose and mouth and, with Able Seaman Richard Hamilton, entered the tank with a rope in an attempt to save the two men. This brave action on the part of Second Officer Finlayson and Able Seaman Hamilton unfortunately cost them their lives. Mr. Finlayson was just able to make the rope fast around the body of one of the men before he himself collapsed and died. Able Seaman Hamilton, who had immediately followed him, did not reach the bottom of the tank but collapsed off the ladder when about half way down. Although they must have known the very great risk they ran in entering the tank, Second Officer Finlayson and Able Seaman Hamilton completely disregarded their personal safety in their gallant endeavour to save the lives of their shipmates."

    SECOND OFFICER ROBERT ALLAN FINLAYSON
    Regiment & Unit/Ship
    Merchant Navy

    M.V. Scottish Prince (London)

    Date of Death
    Died 31 May 1941

    Age 25 years old

    Buried or commemorated at
    ALEXANDRIA (CHATBY) BRITISH PROTESTANT CEMETERY

    Grave 983.

    Egypt


    • Country of Service United Kingdom
    • Awards Albert Medal
      • Additional InfoSon of Charles and Christina Russell Finlayson, of Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire.
      • Personal InscriptionPOSTHUMOUSLY AWARDED THE ALBERT MEDAL FOR ATTEMPTING TO RESCUE HIS SHIPMATES
     
  4. CL1

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

    Hugh MacLean, timuk and Steve49 like this.
  5. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    Hi,

    Thanks for that information, I wondered if it had been a dockyard incident.

    A tragic event showing the dangers of entering a space that hasn't been properly ventilated... Sadly it still happens from time to time in this day and age. Despite the knowing the real danger, it's difficult to wait for safety equipment, before rushing in save a shipmate. Sadly as in this case, the effort normally results in more casualties rather than a successful rescue.

    Regards,

    Steve
     

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