SS Nerissa, 30th April 1941

Discussion in 'All Anniversaries' started by Pat Atkins, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. Pat Atkins

    Pat Atkins Patron Patron

    In memory of the 207 passengers and crew of the troopship SS Nerissa who died when she was torpedoed and sunk by U-552 at 2230 GMT on 30th April 1941.

    She was approaching the British Isles after crossing the Atlantic alone and unescorted from Halifax and St John's when a torpedo struck on the starboard side, followed by two more; she sank very quickly after that. On board were the crew, a number of US airmen, many military personnel (mostly Canadian), and some civilians including the Lomas family of Joseph, Elizabeth and their three little children, and Donald Drew of Quebec, who was 15. The second and third torpedoes flung the Lomas family from their lifeboat into the water; two stewardesses, Florence Jones and Hilda Lynch, gave up their lifebelts (and in doing so, their lives) for two of the children but none of the civilians survived. Terence Lomas, aged 6, was helped onto a raft, but sadly slipped off it some time during the night.

    One of those killed in the loss of the Nerissa was a relative of mine, R152016 Sydney Thaiss Atkins from London. Aged 26 he was a Merchant Navy steward, as was his twin brother Lesley who survived the war (they're pictured below).


    Syd & Les Atkins 1935 (both MN stewards; Syd drowned SS Nerissa 1941).jpg
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  2. CL1

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

    Panel from my photo collection Tower Hill Memorial.

    Steward ATKINS, SYDNEY

    Died 30/04/1941

    Aged 26

    S.S. Nerissa (Hamilton, Bermuda)
    Merchant Navy

    Son of Alice Atkins; nephew of Mr. W. G. Atkins, of Kennington, London.


    upload_2018-4-30_14-24-37.png upload_2018-4-30_14-24-48.png upload_2018-4-30_14-25-4.png upload_2018-4-30_14-25-15.png
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  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    UK, Merchant Seamen Deaths, 1939 -1953
    Name: Sydney Atkins
    Age: 26
    Birth Date: abt 1915
    Birth Place: London, England
    Death Date: 30 Apr 1941
    Death Place: At Sea
    Mother: Alice

    I suspect you already have this but I thought I would post it for others

  4. Pat Atkins

    Pat Atkins Patron Patron

    Thanks to you both - much appreciated. In fact I haven't done any real research into Sydney and his brother, though Hugh Maclean (of this parish) has been very helpful with documents too. Until a few years ago I was entirely unaware of the sinking of the Nerissa.
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  5. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Sydney T. Atkins – Asst Steward. Dis.A – R152016. b. 17.4.1914, London. d. 30.4.1941 – missing supposed drowned. NERISSA.

    146025 – OTRANTO – 12.2.1937.
    164493 – ORION – 1.10.1938
    141866 – ORMONDE – 29.5.1940
    147369 – NERISSA – date of engagement unknown – see last Crew Agreement for sign on.

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