Merchant Navy War Grave Photos for reference

Discussion in 'War Grave Photographs' started by CL1, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. CL1

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

    Merchant Navy War Grave Photos for reference

    please post
    thank you
     
  2. Philip Reinders

    Philip Reinders Very Senior Member

    [​IMG]

    Becklingen War Cemetery
     
  3. CL1

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

    Steward JAMES ARMSTRONG

    S.S. Panama (Liverpool), Merchant Navy
    who died
    on 15 April 1945

    Remembered with honour
    READING (HENLEY ROAD) CEMETERY
     

    Attached Files:

  4. CL1

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

    Boatswain JOHN GEORGE GRAHAM

    S.S. Camberwell (London), Merchant Navy
    who died age 48
    on 18 May 1942
    Son of James and Mary Jane Graham; husband of Elizabeth Hannah Graham, of Hylton.
    Remembered with honour
    SUNDERLAND (BISHOPWEARMOUTH) CEMETERY
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Philip Reinders

    Philip Reinders Very Senior Member

    [​IMG]

    Vlaardingen
     
  6. CL1

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

    Steward JAMES RUDOLF MEINDOK

    S.S. Taara (Liverpool), Merchant Navy
    who died age 23
    on 06 August 1941

    Remembered with honour
    CITY OF WESTMINSTER (PADDINGTON) CEMETERY, MILL HILL
     

    Attached Files:

  7. CL1

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

    Master THOMAS MEINDOK

    S.S. Taara (Liverpool), Merchant Navy
    who died age 37
    on 06 August 1941

    Remembered with honour
    CITY OF WESTMINSTER (PADDINGTON) CEMETERY, MILL HILL
     

    Attached Files:

  8. CL1

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

    Able Seaman NORMAN JEFFREY

    S.S. Dartmouth Park (Montreal)., Merchant Navy
    who died age 35
    on 21 August 1945
    Son of Alexander and Ethel E. Jeffrey; husband of Susan Jeffrey, of Harlington.
    Remembered with honour
    HARLINGTON (ST. MARY) CHURCH CEMETERY

    upload_2019-8-4_17-19-31.png
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
  9. CL1

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

    Second Engineer Officer OWEN F.H. GILBERT

    S.S. Pitwines (London)., Merchant Navy
    who died age 22
    on 08 November 1940
    King's Commendation for Brave Conduct. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Horace Gilbert; husband of Ethel Gilbert, of Grindon, Sunderland. Awarded Lloyd's War Medal.
    Remembered with honour
    SUNDERLAND (BISHOPWEARMOUTH) CEMETERY
     

    Attached Files:

  10. CL1

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

    Able Seaman RONALD GEORGE AGAR

    S.S. Royal Crown (Newcastle)., Merchant Navy
    who died age 20
    on 30 January 1940
    Son of Arthur Ernest and Ann Hannah Agar, of Sunderland.
    Remembered with honour
    SUNDERLAND (BISHOPWEARMOUTH) CEMETERY
     

    Attached Files:

  11. CL1

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

    Able Seaman SIDNEY POWELL

    M.V. Highland Monarch (Belfast), Merchant Navy
    who died age 25
    on 29 July 1944
    Son of Harry and Lucy Powell, of North Kensington, London.
    Remembered with honour
    SOUTH MIMMS (ST. GILES) CHURCHYARD
     

    Attached Files:

  12. CL1

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

    Chief Officer WILLIAM EDGECOMBE

    S.S. Halo (London)., Merchant Navy
    who died age 32
    on 21 March 1941
    Son of William and Lily Edgecombe, of Folkestone, Kent; husband of Hilda Edgecombe, of Sunderland.
    Remembered with honour
    SUNDERLAND (BISHOPWEARMOUTH) CEMETERY
     

    Attached Files:

  13. CL1

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

    Galley Boy WILLIAM HENRY MORRIS

    S.S. Essex Lance (London)., Merchant Navy
    who died age 20
    on 14 March 1941
    Son of Henry Hunter Morris and Ethel May Morris, of Grangetown. Sunderland.
    Remembered with honour
    SUNDERLAND (BISHOPWEARMOUTH) CEMETERY
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Billy McGee

    Billy McGee Senior Member

    In 2010 I had a book published "They Shall Grow Not Old...." dedicated to over 500 boys age 16 and under who died in service of the Merchant Navy during WWII. Around twenty of these boys are buried in various cemeteries around the world.

    Details below:

    JOSSE, Deck Hand, KENNETH, S.S. Logician (Liverpool). Merchant Navy. 16th May 1941. Age 16, of 212 Kingsheath Ave, Liverpool. Commemorated Special Memorial. Suda Bay War Cemetery.

    Cargo ship Logician, 5,993grt, (T&J Harrison) had been discharging her cargo of munitions and tanks alongside at Suda Bay, Crete when the port was attacked by German bombers. The ship was damaged on the 14th May and again on the 16th, killing five of her crew of which two of the bodies were never found. The ship was finally sunk after another attack on the 25th. The survivors many of them wounded were placed in a make shift hospital while the others were evacuated by landing craft. Those in hospital were eventually taken as prisoners of war when Crete fell.

    WELHAM, Steward's Boy, ERNEST, S.S. Ashbury (Glasgow). Merchant Navy. 8th January 1945. Age 16. Son of N. Welham and Doris Welham, of 12 Front St, Carlin How. Buried Skelton & Brotton (Brotton) Cemetery. Sec. E. Row O. Grave 5. (Ernest Welham was on his first trip to sea and had been onboard just over three months when lost. He was one week away from his 17th birthday)

    Cargo ship Ashbury, 3,901grt (Capper, Alexander Shipping Co.) had left Loch Ewe in ballast in Convoy on the 6th January 1945 and was to proceed for much needed repairs on the ships condenser to a yard on the River Tyne. Carrying only 345ton of stone colliery refuse for ballast, with her prop part out of the water, along with the her troublesome condenser, and a severe force nine gale blowing, the ship was soon straggling behind the main Convoy. The Ashbury sent out a distress signal, which was answered by the Frigate HMCS Ste. Therese, who made several failed attempts to pass a line to hapless ship. After loosing contact with the Ashbury nothing, more was seen until a man on coastguard duty at Melness reported seeing a light from a raft or boat in the Kyle of Tongue. Soon after bodies were beginning to wash up on the shore. The Ashbury had run aground and foundered on the 8th January near Black Rocks, Talmine Skerries, with the loss of all forty-two men onboard. Twenty-six bodies were recovered from the shoreline.

    WATSON, Engineers' Boy, THOMAS, S.S. Bialystok (Poland). Merchant Navy. 16th June 1944. Age 14, of 9 Cavendish St. Glasgow. Buried Bone War Cemetery. Plot VIII. Row F. Grave 9.

    Cargo ship Bialystok, 7,173grt, (Polish Gov. Gydnia-America Shipping Lines Ltd) On the 16th June 1944 the body of the young Engineers Boy was found drowned in Bone Harbour. The circumstances of his death are unknown. Although not recorded as an official casualty of WWII, his grave is looked after by the CWGC.

    STEED, Galley Boy, RAYMOND VICTOR, S.S. Empire Morn (Barrow-in-Furness). Merchant Navy. 26th April 1943. Age 14. Son of Mr Wilfred & Mrs Alice Steed (Nee Bright) of 20 Christchurch Road, Newport, Monmouthshire. Buried Ben M’Sik Cemetery. Plot 59A. Row 1. Grave 1. Raymond Steed was born Monday 1st October 1928 at 2 Kimberley Terrace, Malpas, St. Mellons Rd and was at the time youngest recorded service death of WWII who died age 14 years & 207 days.

    Raymond’s official service record (CRS10) shows he joined the Merchant Navy Reserve Pool (MNRP) 29th December 1942, just two months after his 14th birthday, joining his first ship as a Stewards Boy, at Newport the same day. The ship being the former Royal Mail Line 15,620grt SS Atlantis, which had been converted into a Hospital Ship in 1939. He left this ship 13th March 1943. After taking his leave Raymond joined the Empire Morn at Newport on 4th April 1943.

    Catapult Aircraft Merchant Ship Empire Morn, 7,092grt, (MOWT, Headlam & Son-Whitby) had loaded with a cargo of naval, military and RAF equipment for Casablanca & Gibraltar left Milford Haven sailing to the Barry Roads anchorage while awaiting to join up with the combined 69 ship Convoy OS-46/KMS-13, which sailed from Liverpool on 15th April 1943. On 24th April the convoy split into two and continued to their individual ports of call. On the evening of Monday 26th April at 9.45pm an explosion rocks the ship followed by a secondary explosion in the ships magazine seriously damaging the stern of the ship and blowing out a greater portion of the crew accommodation. At 10.05pm the Captain decides to temporarily abandon his ship until daybreak to assess the situation further. A thorough search and head count reveals twenty-one men are missing before the ships lifeboats are finally launched. The following morning at 5.30am the ships Captain, all his Officers and three crew members re-board the ship and assisted in working the vessel into Casablanca with the assistance of the salvage tug USN Cherokee. On 28th April at 2.30pm during a further search through the wreckage of the crew accommodation the remains of two crewmembers were found and extricated and immediately recognised as that of Raymond Steed and John W. Gardener, an 18-year-old Ordinary Seaman. Identity papers found on both the bodies confirmed with out doubt who they were and it was stated that both had been killed instantly in the explosions. The remains of the other nineteen men killed were never found, either being blown overboard or incinerated. On 29th April 1943 at 2.00pm the bodies of Raymond & John were laid to rest at the Ben M’Sik Cemetery about six kilometres from Casablanca town centre, which lies between the main road to Marrakech and the road known as Oulad Zianc. Present at the service was the Captain, all Officers and surviving crew who could be spared from duty. German records show that the Empire Morn had detonated a mine laid earlier on 10th April 1943 off Casablanca by U-117.

    DIXON, Deck Boy, THOMAS CRUICKSHANKS, S.S. Empire Wave (Sunderland). Merchant Navy. 18th October 1941. Age 15. Son of John Dixon, and of Ann Cooper Dixon, of Sunderland, Co. Durham. Buried Reykjavik (Fossvogur) Cemetery Plot C38. Grave 12. Thomas’s father John Dixon was the ships Bosun and also perished.

    Cargo ship Empire Wave, 7,463grt, (MOWT, Barr Crombie & Co.) had sailed in ballast from Sunderland and joined up with the Halifax, Nova Scotia bound 49 ship Convoy ON-19 which sailed from Liverpool. The Empire Wave was fitted as a CAM ship (Catapult Armed Merchantman), which could launch a single fighter aircraft to help protect ships in the Convoy from enemy attack. On the 2nd October 1941 500 miles East of Cape Farewell the ship was torpedoed by U-562 and sank in position 59’ 08N 32’ 56W. The Captain, nineteen crew, six DEMS gunners and nine RAF personnel were lost. Twenty-three crew, six gunners and two RAF personnel were spotted by a an American flying boat and picked up after fourteen days adrift by the Icelandic trawler Surprise and landed in Patrick’s Fjord, Iceland. They were later transferred to the US Destroyer USS Meredith and taken to Reykjavik. A number of survivors had to have limbs amputated due to frostbite that had turned gangrenous. The ships Chief Officer who had been in charge of the lifeboat was later awarded the MBE.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Billy McGee

    Billy McGee Senior Member

    Part II

    DRURY, Deck Boy, FRED, S.S. Empire Success (London). Merchant Navy. 8th December 1940. Age 16. Son of Joseph Harrison Drury and Elma Jane Drury, of Hessle. Buried Haltemprice (Hessle) Cemetery. 51. Plot 4. Grave 5.

    Cargo ship Empire Success, 5,988grt, (MOWT) loaded with a general cargo for Hull via Aberdeen sailed from Freetown in the Liverpool bound 39 ship Convoy SL-47 which departed Freetown on the 10th September 1940 and arrived safely on the 28th, while the Empire Success continued on to Aberdeen. On the 30th September, five miles off Peterhead, Aberdeenshire the ship was attacked by German bombers and although not seriously damaged there were a number of seriously wounded crew onboard when the ship eventually arrived in port. Four of the crew including the Captain would eventually die from their injuries.

    NUTT, Mess Room Boy, PATRICK MERVYN, D/S Freidig (Norway) Merchant Navy. 7th February 1944. Age 16. Born Christchurch, New Zealand. Last known address, c/o PO Box 5, Transvaal. Buried Thurso (Mount Vernon) Cemetery. Sec.E.Grave33. (CWGC record his age as 17, though the Deaths at Sea Register give date of birth as 7th August 1927, which made him 16 when lost)

    Cargo ship D/S Freidig, 1,203grt, (Tollak Johan Skogland, Haugesund) had loaded a cargo of Rye at Aberdeen for Liverpool via Loch Ewe and joined up with the 15 ship coastal Convoy EN-342, which departed Methil on the 5th February 1944. The Freidig departed Aberdeen on the early morning of the 6th February and it was noted the ship was listing slightly. The convoy encountered a severe storm and later that same day the Freidig’s boiler sprang a leak and her cargo began to shift. The following morning of the 7th the ship was struggling to hold course and her list had increased to 10° to port, when her ice box broke free fracturing a deck pipe, which the crew desperately tried to plug up using mattresses, but this became almost impossible as huge seas broke over the after deck. With her list increasing rapidly the ship began to take on more seas over her stern until her aft hatch was forced open and the sea in poured in relentlessly. Seeing the ships plight the Captain ordered his ship abandoned and the port boat with about eight of her crew on board was lowered successfully and rowed away from the ship. The men launching the starboard boat were finding it more difficult where upon a number of heavy seas tore the boat away empty. Fourteen men then scrambled to launch the two life-rafts from the boat and aft decks when a mountainous sea enveloped the midship section washing all the men overboard and as the engine room began to flood the ship finally sank by the stern about 15 miles North of Cape Wrath near Strathie Point. Eight men managed to scramble onboard one of the rafts, with two eventually transferring over to a smaller raft found drifting by. These were the only two men eventually picked up alive after drifting for twenty eight hours. Another two survivors in a lifeboat were spotted near land, but the sea took them before they could be reached. The Thurso Lifeboat found five men dead on a raft and recovered them, the bodies having to be extricated from each other as their arms and legs were entwined, having huddled together for protection.

    EVANS, Boy, HUGH RICHARD, A.D.C. 527 (United Kingdom). Merchant Navy. 8th January 1946. Age 16. Son of Martha Evans, of Bangor. Buried Bangor (Glanadda) Cemetery. West old ground. Grave 637.

    A.D.C. 527 (Armaments Disposal Craft) had been en route from Silloth to Cairnryan carrying surplus ammunition to the Beaufort Dyke dumping grounds, a chasm midway between County Down and the South-West coast of Scotland. This trench was about seven miles long, two miles wide and 144 fathoms at its deepest point and was considered to be an ideal dumping ground for nearly two million tons of surplus ammunition and explosives. On the 8th January 1946 A.D.C. 527 blew up and disappeared after her cargo accidentally detonated, killing twelve crew. Nine bodies were eventually washed ashore.

    FORBES, Galley Boy, PETER, M.V. Buesten (Norway). Merchant Navy. 9th April 1941. Age 16. Son of Angus and Jessie Forbes, of Edinburgh. Buried Dartmouth (Long Cross) Cemetery. Sec. G. Grave 331.

    Tanker Buesten, 5,187grt, (Tønsbergs Rederi-A/S) had loaded a cargo of kerosene and benzine at Baytown, Texas for Southampton and joined up with the 34 ship Convoy HX-115 sailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia on the 17th March 1941 and arriving safely at the Belfast Lough. There the ship joined up with the coastal 7 ship Convoy BB-3 arriving at Milford Haven on the 5th April. On the 9th April on the final leg of her journey, the convoy in which Beusten was sailing was attacked by German HE-111 aircraft four miles from Berry Head. After several failed attacks the Beusten was eventually hit and caught fire engulfing most of the ships compliment and killing twenty-eight onboard. The remaining seven survivors managed to launch a motor lifeboat and navigated the boat through the burning sea to safer waters where they were picked up by a passing naval escort. The Norwegian Captain who survived this ordeal was killed a week later during an air raid on London.

    ANDERSON, Steward's Boy, JAMES BURNET, S.S. Induna (Glasgow). Merchant Navy. 3rd April 1942. Age 16. Son of Johnstone and Elizabeth Slight Anderson, of Edinburgh. Buried Murmansk Russian Cemetery extension. South side. Grave 14.

    Cargo ship Induna, 5,086grt, (Maclay & McIntyre) loaded with war materials and cased petrol at New York for the Russian port of Murmansk left Sydney, Cape Breton in the 35 ship Convoy SC-63 on the 3rd January 1942. 10 days out the after being hampered by severe storm, which forced ten ships to return to port, the Induna left the convoy and set course for Iceland where the ship would join up with the 21 ship Convoy PQ-13, sailing from Reykjavik on the 20th March. Three days later as the temperature dropped the convoy encountered a full arctic gale and during the evening of the 25th March, the Induna became detached from the convoy and as daylight approached, the ship was sailing all alone. Later on during the day, the ship encountered several more ships from the scattered remnants of PQ-13. By the 28th March, the weather subsided and apart from the occasional snow squall, the weather remained fairly clear. By the evening, the Induna had entered an ice field and took the escort vessel HMS Silja in tow who was running short of fuel as well as taking onboard sixteen survivors picked up from the SS Ballot by the escort ship. By the 29th, the weather once again blew up and the towline to the escort vessel parted and the Induna lost touch with the ship and had no choice to battle onto Murmansk. On the morning of the 30th March in rough seas North-East of the Kola Inlet a torpedo from U-376 detonated in number five hold containing the cased petrol and blew up setting the ship ablaze. The order to abandon ship was given and the lifeboats were launched as the ship settled by the stern. U-376 then fired a second torpedo which detonated in number 4 hold and the ship started to sink stern first with the bow rising high into the air the ship plummeted to the depths in position 70’ 55N 37’ 18N. The two lifeboats became separated and for four days, the survivors battled the seas in temperatures as low as –10 degrees, a number dying along the way and their bodies being committed to the deep. Finally, a Russian minesweeper found both lifeboats and the men finally arrived at Murmansk on the 3rd April where a number of men died from severe frostbite. Other survivors had to have limbs amputated without anaesthetic.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Billy McGee

    Billy McGee Senior Member

    Part III

    LEE, Cabin Boy, ERIC, S.S. San Gaspar (London). Merchant Navy. 18th July 1942. Age 16, of 18 Hermitage Grove, Bootle, Liverpool. Buried Port of Spain (St. James) Western portion. Collective grave 47.

    WILBOURN, Cadet, PETER JOHN, S.S. San Gasper (London). Merchant Navy. 18th July 1942. Age 16. Son of Henry Charles and Grace Marie Wilbourn, of Ware, Hertfordshire. Buried Port of Spain (St. James) Military Cemetery. Western portion. Collective grave 47.

    Tanker San Gaspar, 12,910grt, (Eagle Oil & Shipping Co Ltd) had loaded a cargo of fuel oil and aviation spirit at Curacao for Freetown and had been sailing independently. On the 18th July 1942 38 miles East of Trinidad in position 10’ 30N 60’ 27W the tanker was torpedoed and damaged by U-575. After catching fire the ship was ordered abandoned and most of the crew got away though many were suffering from serious burns. The Captain and eight men were trapped by the flames and could not reach the boat deck and were forced to jump overboard. After eleven hours in the water these men were sighted by a seaplane, which dropped two dinghies, and these men were later found by one of the ships lifeboats and all landed ashore the following day. In total ten men died. Three bodies were never found while the other seven died from their injuries after landing ashore. The ship was later salvaged and taken in tow to Trinidad four days later and eventually towed to Mobile, Alabama for permanent repairs before being put back in service. The ships Captain, Donald Blyth who lost his artificial leg, which was damaged in the explosion, was later awarded the OBE & Lloyd’s War Medal for bravery at sea. He would die in 1945 from injuries related to the attack on his ship and was buried with full war grave status.

    MARRITT, Apprentice, PETER WILLIAM, S.S. Chulmleigh (London). Merchant Navy. 22nd November 1942. Age 16. Son of Isaac and Charlotte Marritt, of Hornsea, Yorkshire. Buried Tromso Cemetery. Plot A. Grave 3.

    POUNDER, Apprentice, WILLIAM, S.S. Chulmleigh (London). Merchant Navy. 28th November 1942. Age 16. Son of William and Minnie Pounder, of Hull. Buried Tromso Cemetery. Section D. Grave 1.

    Cargo ship Chulmleigh, 5,445grt (W.J. Tatem Ltd) had been sailing from Philadelphia to Archangel with a cargo of government stores. On the 5th November 1942, the unescorted Chulmleigh was bombed and damaged by a German JU-88 aircraft of II./KG 30 (based at Banak, North Cape) and beached at South Cape, Spitzbergen. At 15.58 hours on the 6th November, U-625 torpedoed the stranded Chulmleigh and shelled her using her deck gun. Later the wreck was again bombed by a lone German JU-88. Captain Daniel William Marley, surviving crew and DEMS gunners landed on an isolated part of Spitzbergen and were not found and rescued until 4th January 1943 by troops from the local garrison at Barentsburg. By then nineteen of the original survivors had died from frostbite and hunger. The eight remaining survivors eventually boarded the British cruisers HMS Bermuda and HMS Cumberland and landed at Thurso on 16th May 1943. The Chulmleigh was just one of many ships sailing independently & unescorted as part of Operation FB to supply Russia. The ships Officers were given a £100 bonus and the crew £50 in advance as the operation was given a high risk, which was proved correct later as less than 50% of Operation FB got through (One British Merchant Seaman stated the FB stood for "Foolish Bastard" for volunteering).

    NOYES, Galley Boy, LEON KEITH, S.S. Cressdene (London). Merchant Navy. 24th May 1941. Age 16. Son of William and Dorothy Noyes, of Trowbridge, Wiltshire. Buried Swansea (Morriston) Cemetery. Sec. K. Grave 132.

    Cargo ship Cressdene, 4,270grt (Cressdene Shipping Co Ltd) left Newport on the 23rd May 1941, arriving at Swansea the following day after being bombed and machine gunned by German bombers in the Mumbles Roads. Although the ship was only slightly damaged, the young Galley Boy was killed in the attack and his body landed ashore at Swansea.

    OSTRICH, Mess Room Boy, JOHN, S.S. Margo (Cardiff). Merchant Navy. 8th March 1941. Age 14. Son of Louis and Nancy Ostrich, of 1 Ryder St.Canton, Cardiff. Buried Penzance Cemetery. Sec. F. New Extension. Block 14. Grave 16.

    Cargo ship Margo, 1,412grt, (MOWT, P. MacCallum & Sons Ltd). On the afternoon of the 8th March 1941 sailing in the English Channel the Margo came under attack from three German aircraft which proceeded to rake the ship with machine gun, cannon fire and bombs. Although no bombs hit the Margo, the ship was violently shaken by the concussion of the near misses and her hull and superstructure were pierced by cannon and machine gun fire. With the Margo's own small defences, she returned fire and in the process hit one of the aircraft, which was subsequently seen to break off the attack and black smoke was observed coming from the starboard engine. The remaining aircraft continued their attacks for several more minutes before they disappeared over the horizon. While assessing the ships damage, it was found that four-crew had suffered various injuries and the young Mess Room Boy lay dead. A course was then set for Penzance to land the wounded and dead ashore.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. Billy McGee

    Billy McGee Senior Member

    Part IV.

    POWELL, Boy, ARTHUR ERNEST, S.S. Empress of Britain (London). Merchant Navy. 26th October 1940. Age 16. Son of Elizabeth Powell, of Swaythling, Southampton. Buried Greenock Cemetery. Sec. CC. Plot C. Grave 976A.

    Troopship Empress of Britain, 42,348grt (Canadian Pacific Ltd) had been sailing independently on government service from Egypt & Cape Town with a cargo of government stores, sugar and 224 military personnel and their families. On the 26th October 1940 70 miles West of Aran Island, County Donegal the ship is attacked by a German Focke-Wulf 200 Condor aircraft and set on fire in position 54’ 53N 10’ 49W. The Polish destroyer Burza and naval tug Cape Arcona arrive on scene to take the ship in tow and were later relieved by the Admiralty tugs Marauder & Thames. Two days later while under tow to the Clyde U-32 who had been stalking the ship for the past twenty four hours fired off a salvo of three torpedoes of which two hit the Empress and sank her in position 55’ 16N 09’ 50W. Twenty passengers had been killed in the first attack and the remaining had abandoned ship having been picked up by a naval escort along with a majority of the crew. Twenty-five crew were also lost.


    FERRIE, Third Radio Officer, GEORGE, M.V. Hughli (London). Merchant Navy. 3rd December 1943. Age 16. Son of Peter Aitken Ferrie and Annie Ferrie, of Glasgow. Buried Calcutta (Bhowanipore) Cemetery. Plot L. Grave 124B.

    Cargo ship Hughli, 6,589grt (James Nourse Ltd) On the 29th October 1943 the ships young Third Radio Officer was admitted to hospital suffering from Dengue Fever. Unfortunately he never recovered and died in December 1943. He was buried ashore with full war grave status.

    CRICHTON, Boy, DOUGLAS STEWART, S.S. North Devon (Newcastle-on-Tyne). Merchant Navy. 7th July 1941. Age 16. (Recorded as 17 years old by CWGC. Family member states true age as 16.)

    EARNSHAW, Boy, REGINALD, S.S. North Devon (Newcastle-on-Tyne). Merchant Navy. 6th July 1941. Age 14. Son of Dorothy Earnshaw. Buried Comely Bank Cemetery, Section P. Grave Space 440.

    Cargo ship North Devon, 3,658grt, (North Shipping Co. Ltd) On the 5th July 1941 the ship left Ipswich in ballast for the Tyne and joined up with the 82 ship coastal convoy EC-42. On the evening of the 5th at 21.30 (GMT) the convoy was attacked by a number of German bombers. Four bombs which were all near misses exploded close by North Devon fracturing the ships main steam lines causing the ship to stop dead in the water. At 00.30 (GMT) on the 6th July another enemy aircraft attacked the North Devon with machine gun fire while releasing another three bombs which again were all near misses. An hour later the HM Trawler "Neil Mackay" arrived to offer assistance and towed the ship towards the Humber. Mean while it was discovered that six of the crew including young Reginald, whose body was found in the Engineers alleyway had been killed, while others would die from their injuries, all scalded to death after the main steam line had burst in the first attack. The following day the ship docked at Immingham and the bodies of two crewmembers were taken ashore, with one other being found the following day and brought ashore. Reginald Earnshaw was recorded as being just fifteen years old, but was actually only fourteen.

    Reginald Earnshaw was commemorated on Tower Hill Memorial on Panel 74, which records all those who have no grave but the sea. Back in 2005 my attention was drawn to the fate of a young Reginald as one of the survivors from the attack named Alfred Tubbs who was serving as a DEMS gunner at the time remembers the body of Reginald being taken ashore at Immingham. The first thing to do was to trace a copy of the ships Log Book & Survivors Report for 1941 held at Kew, which was obtained by a contact of mine Mr. Roger Griffiths. Next a simple application with the General Register Office for a death certificate was made and within a week I had an official copy of his death certificate recorded at Cleethorpes reference 7a 1170., which proved his body had been landed ashore and examined as to be given a death certificate. The next phase was to find out where he was buried. A check of all burials in Grimsby and Cleethorpes for this period drew a blank so contact was made in Reginald's last place of abode in Edinburgh, which revealed he was buried in Edinburgh's Comely Bank Cemetery, Section P Grave Space 440. (Details from Edinburgh City Council Phone No 0131 664 4314 Morton Hall Edinburgh) and was unmarked. A temporary cross baring his details was added and all documents were forwarded to the CWGC. Finally in 2008 our combined effort and findings were officially accepted by the CWGC. On Monday the 6rh July 2009, in a ceremony 68 years to the day of his death an official CWGC headstone was finally mounted on Reginald’s grave. There was also some confusion of Reginald’s age. The ships Log Book has his date of birth as 5th February 1926 in Dewsbury and his death certificate has him aged about 15. Only problem being there was no birth registered at Dewsbury for a Reginald Earnshaw in 1926, but there was one registered in Dewsbury in the March quarter 1927 in Volume 9b page 864. Having obtained a copy of the birth certificate, I can verify he was born the 5th February 1927, so the Log Book shows an error of exactly one year to the day, which made him 14 years 152days old when he was killed. At present Raymond Steed, 14 years 207 days is recorded as the youngest service war death from WWII. Another twist in the tale revealed that the bodies of two other seamen commemorated on Tower Hill from the North Devon were also landed ashore. One of the men Reginald Mitchell has been found to be buried in Piershill Cemetery in Edinburgh and Commission is in the process of producing a headstone to mark his grave. The other Douglas Crichton has his death registered in Grimsby. The CWGC inform me his body was cremated. His last known address was 2 Henderson Row, Edinburgh.

    MOORE, Cabin Boy, GEORGE THOMPSON, S.S. Laurent Meeus (Belgium) Merchant Navy. 21st June 1944. Age 16, of Belfast. Buried Dely Ibrahim War Cemetery. Plot 4 Row A Grave 12.

    Page ten of the Deaths at Sea Register for July 1944 states young George T. Moore was murdered at Algiers while serving on the Belgian tanker Laurent Meeus. The circumstances surrounding his death are unknown. He is one of twenty-two Merchant Seamen buried at the Dely Ibrahim War Cemetery who are recorded as non war dead whose graves are looked after by the Commonwealth War Graves.

    HYDE, Apprentice, EDWARD BRIGGS, S.S. Peterton (Newcastle-on-Tyne). Merchant Navy. 16th November 1942. Age 15, of Cullercoats, North Shields. Buried Freetown (King Tom) Cemetery Plot 7. Row E. Grave 5.

    Cargo ship Peterton, 5,221grt, (R. Chapman & Sons) had been sailing independently from The UK to Buenos Aries with a cargo of coal after dispersing from the 21 ship Convoy OG-89. On the 17th September 1942, 278 miles North-West of the Cape Verde Islands in position 18’ 45N 29’ 15W the ship was torpedoed by U-109 and after capsizing the ship sank by the bow along with seven crew. The U-boat then came along side the lifeboats and took the ships Captain prisoner and left the remainder to their fate. Twelve survivors were rescued by the cargo ship Empire Whimbrel and landed at Buenos Aries. Twenty survivors spent forty nine days adrift in an open boat, the last six days with no food and only a few ounces of rain water to spare when they were found by the naval trawler HMS Canna who landed them at Freetown. Unfortunately the young 15 year old apprentice died in hospital nearly nine weeks after the sinking from Bronchial Pneumonia.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Billy McGee

    Billy McGee Senior Member

    Part V.

    HARRIS, Galley Boy, RONALD JAMES, S.S. Empire Osborne. Merchant Navy. 2nd March 1945. Age 16, of 11 St. Teilo Ave. Barry, Glamorgan. Buried Ste Marie Cemetery. Sec. K. Grave 132. Div. 67. Row L. Grave 7. (Both the Deaths at Sea Register and CWGC record Ronald as age 16, though his headstone was marked age 17)

    Cargo ship Empire Osborne, 2,906grt, (MOWT, R.W. Jones & Co.) While at Le Harve the young Galley Boy died from a perforated appendix. He is buried ashore and recorded as non war dead, though his grave is attended and looked after by the CWGC.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. Billy McGee

    Billy McGee Senior Member

    Father & Son buried together Wallsend (Holy Cross) Cemetery.

    DODDS, Mess Room Boy, NORMAN CASEY, S.S. Greyfriars (Newcastle-on-Tyne). Merchant Navy. 11th January 1941. Age 17. Son of Fireman Thomas Dodds, M.N. (died on service 11th January, 1941) and of Mary Dodds, of Howdon-on-Tyne. Sec. 19. Gen. Joint Grave 465.

    DODDS, Fireman, THOMAS, S.S. Greyfriars (Newcastle-on-Tyne). Merchant Navy. 11th January 1941. Age 46. Husband of Mary Dodds, of Howdon-on-Tyne. His son, Norman Casey Dodds, also died on service. Sec. 9. Gen. Joint Grave 465.

    Cargo ship Greyfriars, 1,142grt, (E.R. Newbigin) had been sailing in ballast from Portsmouth to Blyth in the 44 ship coastal Convoy FN-380. On the 11th January 1941 the ship was attacked and damaged by German aircraft off the Humber killing five crew.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Billy McGee

    Billy McGee Senior Member

    CRACKLES, Master, HENRY, M.V. Beal (Newcastle-on-Tyne). Merchant Navy. 19th August 1940. Age 45. Son of George and Sydonia Crackles; husband of Florence May Crackles, of Middlesbrough. Buried Linthorpe Road Cemetery. Sec. C. Grave 12621.


    Cargo ship Beal, 504grt, (Tyne-Tees SS Co.) At 11.50pm on the 12th August 1940, Captain Henry Crackles and three crewmembers were injured by a bomb which exploded while being fired from the ships Holman Projector. This was a crude form of mortar, which propelled a hand grenade using compressed air or steam at low flying attacking enemy aircraft. After receiving first aid on board the ship the four men were taken to hospital on arrival at Middlesbrough. Captain Crackles was to die of his wounds one week later. He is buried in a family grave and does not have a CWGC headstone, thoughe still has full war grave status.
     

    Attached Files:

Share This Page