Sailing Vessel Penang 1940

Discussion in 'Non-Commemorated War Dead' started by Billy McGee, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. Billy McGee

    Billy McGee Senior Member

    Sailing ship Penang, 2,019grt, (Gustaf Erikson, Mariehamn, Finland) sailed independently from Port Victoria, Australia bound for Queenstown, Co. Cork via Stenhouse Bay, Australia with a cargo of grain departing Stenhouse Bay on the 2nd July 1940. The ship and her eighteen man crew were never heard from again and the vessel was only recorded as missing/untraced nine month later on the 26th March 1941 and a Joint Arbitration Committee considered her a “war loss” A report made by the Master of another sailing ship the Abraham Rydberg reported he had heard the ship had been bombed and sunk, but no confirmation was ever received. Records from U-140 state that on the 8th December 1940 about 65 nautical miles West of Co. Donegal the U-boat intercepted a three masted sailing vessel and observed how the ship capsized and sank after thirty minutes after being hit by one torpedo in position 55’ 25N 10’ 15W. The U-boat initially reported the ship to be the Finnish ship Lawhill, but was later confirmed as the Penang.

    The Tower Hill Memorial in London commemorates the name of one Australian Merchant Navy casualty from the Penang named below, but some information I have recently received indicates there was a British woman in her crew named Winnifred Eileen Lloyd who worked on the ship as a sail-maker. Unfortunately she has been overlooked for commemoration if the case be true.

    MELHUISH, Ordinary Seaman, MURRAY FRANCIS, S.S. Penang (Mariehamn, Finland). Australian Merchant Navy. 1st July 1941. Son of Mr. and Mrs. V. E. Melhuish, of Glenside, South Australia. Commemorated Tower Hill Memorial Panel 130.

    I have recently been in touch with the Maritime Museum in Finland and believe they have some official documentation to back up this case for official commemoration for her.
    Penang Crew List.jpg
  2. CL1

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

    Pannel 130 with Penang


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  3. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    I guess they were too close to shore to risk using deck gun. Some of the crew might have survived if they had.
  4. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

  5. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

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  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  7. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

  8. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    Sorry, I meant close enough for land based airplanes to attack.
  9. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    I suspect that might be in reality 'within known patrol areas for land based aircraft'.
  10. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    Winnifred Lloyd features in 11 ancestry trees, they may have extra sources. One labeled "Lloyd Family Tree" is private, so I can't see what they have on her.

    Her probable admon record shows her as of The Other House, West Street, Rye, died at sea on or since 6th Feb 1941. Administration to her mother Aileen Rosalind LLoyd.

    Rye is just inland from the south coast & there is another maritime connection, as her brother died of wounds incurred in the Zeebrugge Raid in 1918 for which action he was awarded a bar to his DSC.

    Wednesday 24 July 1918, Dundee Courier, Angus, Scotland (image courtesey of Ancestry)

    Attached Files:

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  11. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Windjammers were originally large fast square rigged sailing ships of 3 masts or more. Steel hulled was not a necessary qualification although for practical reasons they probably would be. Today even large schooner rigged ships get called windjammers although some purists would object.

    For a good account of life aboard one read The Brassbounder a semu autobiographical novel by Captain Sir David William Bone published in 1921. My copy belonged to a Gt Uncle who served on one about the same time but free e copies can be found on the Internet
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  12. Billy McGee

    Billy McGee Senior Member

    I have been contacted by the Åland Maritime Museum in Finland and they have supplied copies of the official report in to the loss of the Penang, naming Winnifred Lloyd as being on board at the time of her loss. The documents are in Swedish, but someone I have contact with is going to translate fro me.
  13. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    She seems an interesting lady
    Lloyd was born at Exning near Newmarket, the daughter of Charles Patteson Lloyd, an officer in The Buffs (East Kent Regiment), and Aileen Rosa Lloyd (née Merry). Her birth was registered during the first quarter of 1898. The family later lived at Woodcote near Reading. During the 1930s Lloyd was at sea on sailing vessels in the grain trade owned by Gustaf Erikson of Finland. This was initially as a passenger and later as a crew member. She was a sailmaker on the three-masted steel barque PENANG ex ALBERT RICKMERS (1905), when this vessel was torpedoed and lost with all hands off Ireland on 8 December 1940. Her brother Maurice Charles Humphrey Lloyd was an officer in the Royal Navy and died after being severely wounded during the attacks on Zeebrugge and Ostend in April 1918.

    Journals of Miss Winifred Lloyd aboard HERZOGIN CECILIE, S V VIKING AND OLIVEBANK January 1935 - May 1938 (JOD/94)
    Journal of Miss Winifred Lloyd aboard HERZOGIN CECILIE, January 1935 - May 1935. (JOD/94/1)
    Journal of Miss Winifred Lloyd aboard HERZOGIN CECILIE, May 1935 - June 1935. (JOD/94/2)
    Journal of Miss Winifred Lloyd aboard S. V. VIKING, 1936. (JOD/94/3)
    Journal of Miss Winifred Lloyd aboard OLIVEBANK, 1936. (JOD/94/4)
    Journal of Miss Winifred Lloyd aboard OLIVEBANK, 1937. (JOD/94/5)
    Journal of Miss Winifred Lloyd aboard OLIVEBANK, 1937 - 1938. (JOD/94/6)
    Journal of Miss Winifred Lloyd aboard OLIVEBANK, March 1938 - October 1938. (JOD/94/7)

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  14. Billy McGee

    Billy McGee Senior Member

    Just in from CWGC:

    Dear Mr McGee

    Thank you for your enquiry and documentation regarding Miss Winnifred Lloyd who died while serving on the SV Penang and is is not currently commemorated by the CWGC. Please accept my apologies for the delay in reply.

    I can confirm that this has been logged in our internal tracking system and the reference is Case 10552.

    The evidence you have supplied will now be reviewed to ascertain if this can be progressed further and as soon as this is completed I will let you know.

    In the meantime if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

    Kind regards,

    Lisa Simmonds
    CWGC Commemorations

    Commonwealth War Graves Commission
    2 Marlow Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 7DX, United Kingdom
    Tel: +44 1628 507200 | Website:
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  15. Billy McGee

    Billy McGee Senior Member

    Case rejected for inclusion on Tower Hill: Email below from Commemoration Team:

    On 20 November 2020 at 15:20 CWGC Enquiry Support Team <> wrote:

    Dear Mr McGee

    Further to my email of 12/10/20.

    I can confirm that the case for Winifred Lloyd has now been reviewed.

    The evidence provided supports that Ms Lloyd was aboard the Penang when it was torpedoed and sunk. Probate details on the Ancestry website support this as the date and the circumstance of death is consistent. However, although the Penang was lost due to enemy action, it was a Finnish registered ship and therefore sadly she is not eligible for commemoration.

    To qualify under the CWGC Merchant Navy criteria, the ship must have been British/Commonwealth, however if it was allied or neutral a casualty will only be eligible if there is evidence that they were a Commonwealth registered Merchant sailor.

    For reference, please find below a link to our current eligibility policy which can be found on our website:

    Despite this, there are grounds for her to be commemorated as Civilian War Dead as the evidence confirms that she was a Commonwealth national who died due to enemy action. A new case has therefore been created for her possible inclusion in the Civilian War Dead roll of honour and I will let you know the outcome of this once an adjudication has been made.

    Thank you for contacting us regarding this casualty and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

    Kind regards,

    Lisa Simmonds
    CWGC Commemorations
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  16. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

  17. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    I know it is not directly relevant but I have long been intrigued by the intrepid women who sailed on these ships. Towards the end of this clip, there are pictures of the Master's wife on the wreck of the Herzogen Cecille. Tugs Haul In Vain

    I can't find out anything about this lady.

  18. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    Thinking some more about Winifred Lloyd, I think the CWGC decision is nonsense; I was going to say bollocks, but that is not appropriate for a lady. She was a British seafarer, sailing on an Allied ship, which was believed to have been sunk by enemy action. They rightly commemorate the cabin boy, and Ms Lloyd deserves the same treatment.
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  19. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron


    The Penang was a Finnish registered ship on a voyage to a neutral nation, Ireland and cannot be considered as 'sailing on an Allied ship'. Finland joined Nazi Germany in waging war on the USSR, signing an armistice with the UK and USSR in September 1944 and changed sides in March 1945.
  20. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member


    This is one of the few things I know a little bit about! When the Penang sailed from Australia in July 1940 she was an Allied ship, why else would the British, French and Poles land in Norway in May 1940 to 'so-called' relieve Finland? It was not until August 1940 that the Finns were left with no choice but to throw their lot in with the Germans following the Winter War. And, as I pointed out above, what is good for the Australian Mess Boy, should have been good for the British Sailmaker. As for her intended port of destination, it could well be that she was 'Queenstown for orders'. In the grain trade, where I spent several years, it was quite common to sail to somewhere 'for orders'. Post-war 'Falmouth for orders' could well have meant that you ended up in Hamburg or elsewhere. And as someone pointed out above, what was she doing north of Ireland, if she was destined for Cork?
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