Naval Nursing Sister casualty - SS Aguila

Discussion in 'The Women of WW2' started by Tonym, May 22, 2010.

  1. Tonym

    Tonym WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    The S.S. Aguila was torpedoed and sunk off the West Coast of Ireland on 19th August 1941. 145 of the 161 crew and passengers went down with the ship. 21 of them were Wrens and one Nursing Sister of the QARNNS.

    I have a record of the 21 Wrens who died but am unable to identify the Naval Nursing Sister can anybody help please?

    Grateful for any assistance.

    Tony
     
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    This is the only one listed killed on that day but a different ship:

    001 GRIBBLE K E - HMS CORMORANT 19/08/1941 QUEEN ALEXANDRA'S ROYAL NAVAL NURSING SERVICE.

    CWGC :: Casualty Details
     
  3. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Hello Drew,
    You are correct. She was aboard AGUILA.
    Regards
    Hugh
     
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Cheers Hugh,

    Is Cormorant a shore base then?

    Andy
     
  5. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    HMS Cormorant was the name of the Royal Naval Base at Gibraltar.
    Regards
    Hugh
     
  6. Tonym

    Tonym WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Thanks all

    Well done

    Tony
     
  7. Sue Light

    Sue Light Member

    From 'Queen Alexandra's Royal Naval Nursing Service' by Kathleen Harland:

    'Trooping was no pleasure cruise.' These words by a Sister who had experienced a long passage on a troopship would probably be fervently echoed by many colleagues. Conditions on board were frequently cramped and crowded, long detours were required for safety reasons whilst always there was the ever present danger of mines and submarines. A tragic incident occurred early in the war, in August 1941, when the SS Aguila was torpedoed five days out from Liverpool with twenty one WRNS on board and one QARNNS Sister, Kate Ellen Gribble who has sometimes been mistakenly included in the number of WRNS. A lifeboat, the Aguila Wren, named in their memory, was lauched in 1952 at Aberystwyth. After service there, it was not broken up, as is customary, but was handed over to the Scunthorpe Sea Cadet Corp, by whom it is still used.

    Sue
     
  8. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    A good book is "Beyond the Call of Duty" by Brian James Crabb. The loss of British Commonwealth Mercantile and Service Women at Sea during the Second World War.
    If anyone needs a look up let me know.
    Regards
    Hugh
     
  9. Tonym

    Tonym WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Sue

    Things obviously moved on since Kathleen Harland's book. The following is an extract from the details added to my unfortunate ladies profiles from information picked up from various sources.


    "As a tribute to the memory of the Wrens a Lifeboat was built and launched 0n 28th June 1952 and named Aguila Wren. During her service at Aberystwyth, Wales, 1951-1964 she saved 14 lives and at Redcar, North Yorkshire,1965-1972 she saved a further 28 lives. She was eventually replaced by a new boat on 22nd November 1972.

    . There was some concern about the future of Aguila Wren as she was in fact a war memorial so, to avoid her being sold off for use as a fishing boat, Commander Peter Sturdee of RNLI Head Office arranged for her to be sold to the Sea Cadets as a training vessel for Naval Ratings and Wrens and was formerly handed over to Scunthorpe Sea Cadets on 20th May 1973 where she spent 20 years of valuable service, before becoming a diving boat at Tyne Dock.
    However in 2004 she was found in a poor condition by the son of one of the lifeboats former Redcar shore crew and she was placed in storage. Subsequently in January 2006 she was moved to a specialist firm if lifeboat restorers under the sponsorship of P&O Ferries also the National Historic Ships. The official voice for historic vessels in the UK provided a grant of £2,000 towards the restoration of Aguila Wren."

    Restoration is reported due for completion in 2011. If anybody has any further news will be grateful for details

    Tony
     
  10. Sue Light

    Sue Light Member

    Tony

    Yes, obviously more since then. The book was published undated, but I think it was about 1990/91, so twenty years have passed since then (and it only seems like yesterday :eek: )

    Sue
     
  11. Tonym

    Tonym WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Sue

    When you get to my age time passes so quick everything was yesterday!!!

    Tony
     
  12. vianalky

    vianalky Junior Member

    :rolleyes: Newie to the forum (in fact only joined yesterday) i have a picture of the New recently dedicated "Aquila Wren" memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas Staffs.
    Which i'm having difficulty in loading into this text message (i guess i'll have to read more as its currently on my desktop!) but please look at my photos at Picasa Web Albums - vianalky - NMA 24th WRNS...
    there are lots more photos available to see at
    Picasa Web Albums - vianalky
    Please feel free to look and take what you want, i enjoy taking the pictures and making available to ANYONE.
    OK went into "advance" and found a way to put the one photo, i think?
     

    Attached Files:

  13. CL1

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

  14. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Cecilly Monica Bruce Benjamin in the UK and Ireland, Find A Grave Index, 1300s-Current
    Name: Cecilly Monica Bruce Benjamin
    Birth Date: 1920
    Birth Place: Islington, London Borough of Islington, Greater London, England
    Death Date: 19 Aug 1941
    Cemetery: Plymouth Naval Memorial
    Burial or Cremation Place: Plymouth, Plymouth Unitary Authority, Devon, England
    Has Bio?: Y

    https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/36001356

    UK, British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960
    Name: Cecilly Monica Bruce Benjamin
    Event: Death
    Birth Date: 13 Apr 1921
    Death Date: 19 Aug 1941
    Death Age: 20
    44994_adm_104_127-0272.jpg

    England, Andrews Newspaper Index Cards, 1790-1976
    Name: Cecilly Monica Bruce Benjamin
    Father's name: E M Benjamin
    Publication Date: Aug 1941
    31031_A100014-00340.jpg

    TD
     
    ozzy16, CL1 and Hugh MacLean like this.
  15. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Chief Wren Phyllis Bacon in the UK and Ireland, Find A Grave Index, 1300s-Current
    Name: Chief Wren Phyllis Bacon
    Death Date: 19 Aug 1941
    Cemetery: Plymouth Naval Memorial
    Burial or Cremation Place: Plymouth, Plymouth Unitary Authority, Devon, England
    Has Bio?: Y

    https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/13286199

    UK, British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960
    Name: Phyllis Bacon
    Event: Death
    Birth Date: 24 Mar 1920
    Birth Place: Not Recorded
    Death Date: 19 Aug 1941
    Death Age: 21
    44994_adm_104_127-0139.jpg

    England, Andrews Newspaper Index Cards, 1790-1976
    Name: Phyllis Bacon
    Father's name: Harold Bacon
    Death Date: Aug 1941
    31031_A100006-00894.jpg

    England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1916-2007
    Name: Phyllis Bacon
    Registration Date: 1920
    Registration district: Bucklow
    Inferred County: Cheshire
    Re-registration Year: 1920
    Mother's Maiden Name: Ingleby
    Volume Number: 8a
    Page Number: 317

    On the basis that her fathers address is Cheshire

    TD

    England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1973-1995
    Name: Phyllis Bacon
    Death Date: 19 Aug 1941
    Death Place: Cheshire, England
    Probate Date: 12 Oct 1942
    Registry: Manchester, Chester, England
    32858_625988_3360-00090.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
    ozzy16, CL1 and Hugh MacLean like this.

Share This Page