SS TABER PARK - sunk 13/03/1945 - Info Please

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by The Cooler King, Nov 25, 2017.

  1. The Cooler King

    The Cooler King Elite Member

    Hi I would be grateful for any info on the ship:-


    She was sunk following an engagement with a U-Boat in the North Sea.

    Also would anyone have an image of plaque Chatham - 80, 2..... Ralph Kilshaw Please

    Many thanks in Anticipation :)
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

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  3. graeme

    graeme Senior Member


    2,878 tons

    Canadian merchantman

    built 1944 by the Foundation Maritime Limited of Pictou, Nova Scotia, Canada

    J.J. Parsons was Captain

    Voyage from the Tyne to London with coal, part of Convoy FS1753

    sunk by mine or german submarine off Aldeburgh near Great Yarmouth

    24 crew and 4 gunners lost

    32 on board

    possibly sunk by a midget submarineKU-5 (a Seehund)

    I have the below picture, not sure if it was from Ramacal's thread or not. If so credit to Ramacal,



    Attached Files:

  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    German Midget submarine operations - U-boat Operations -
    Seehund (Type XXVII)
    Summary of operation for March 1945.
    29 (twentynine) sorties. - results:3 (three) ships totalling 5,267 tons sunk - these were 2,878 ton Taber Park on 13 March off Southwold, 833 ton Jim on 30 March south-east of Orfordness and the 1,556 ton Nelands on 26 March off the North Foreland.
    2 (two) sank by MTBs
    1 (one) sank by HMS Torrington
    3 claimed by aircraft.
    1 sank by HMS Puffin
    2 unknown.
    HMS Puffin rammed the Seehund which caused the torpedoes to explode and Puffin was so badly damaged that she was not repaired.

    Seehund (Seal) - Midget Submarines - German U-boats of WWII - Kriegsmarine -

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  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    UK, British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960
    Name: Ralph Kilshaw
    Event: Death
    Birth Date: 13 Aug 1913
    Birth Place: St. Helens, Lancs.
    Death Date: 13 Mar 1945
    Death Age: 31

    CK - it seems that your man was Royal Navy serving aboard a Merchant vessel for some reason



  6. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    The link to the Chatham memorial posts was repaired a while ago?

    I'll post a copy of Panel 80 and an enlarged image for the name. (shortly)

    PANEL 80.JPG

    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
  7. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    TD, he was a RN DEMS gunner there were 4 DEMS confirmed deaths and 24 merchant seamen. I have an unconfirmed death aboard that I cannot find any positive proof. H. Clifton b.1916 supposed to be armed forces according to my copy of the Deaths at Sea Register but I cannot find him on the CWGC or MN deaths.

    ASHTON, Able Seaman, CHARLES, S.S. Taber Park (Montreal).
    AUDFROID, Donkeyman, DOUGLAS JOSEPH, S.S. Taber Park (Montreal).
    BEGG, Able Seaman, WALTER DICK, S.S. Taber Park (Montreal).
    CLEGG, Radio Officer, JOHN ROWLAND, S.S. Taber Park (Montreal).
    COX, Fireman and Trimmer, JOHN FRANCIS, S.S. Taber Park (Montreal).
    CRAMMON, Cabin Boy, WALTER JUNNER, S.S. Taber Park (Montreal).
    DENNIS, Second Officer, IAN CRAWFORD, S.S. Taber Park (Montreal).
    DIXON, Able Seaman, SIDNEY, S.S. Taber Park (Montreal).
    FREEMAN, Donkeyman, JOHN WILLIAM, S.S. Taber Park (Montreal).
    GRANT, Boy, FRASER, S.S. Taber Park (Montreal).
    HARRISON, Able Seaman, CYRIL, S.S. Taber Park (Montreal).
    IRVING, Fireman and Trimmer, SIDNEY HEDLEY, S.S. Taber Park (Montreal).
    JOLLY, Second Engineer Officer, DOUGLAS KERR, S.S. Taber Park (Montreal).
    KANE, Fireman and Trimmer, RICHARD, S.S. Taber Park (Montreal).
    McDONALD, Junior Ordinary Seaman, THOMAS, S.S. Taber Park (Montreal).
    PHILPOT, Fireman and Trimmer, JOSEPH, S.S. Taber Park (Montreal).
    PIESSE, Chief Steward, JOSEPH, S.S. Taber Park (Montreal).
    RANEE, Cook, LESLIE MATHSALL, S.S. Taber Park (Montreal).
    RECK, Fireman and Trimmer, JOHN, S.S. Taber Park (Montreal).
    RUTHERFORD, Third Engineer Officer, FREDERICK EDGAR, S.S. Taber Park (Montreal).
    RUTTER, Fireman and Trimmer, WILLIAM, S.S. Taber Park (Montreal).
    SOUTAR, Boatswain, GEORGE ROBERT, S.S. Taber Park (Montreal).
    THOMPSON, Chief Engineer Officer, WILLIAM MACKIE, S.S. Taber Park (Montreal).
    THOMSON, Ordinary Seaman, JAMES, S.S. Taber Park (Montreal).

    DEMS Gunners

    KILSHAW, Leading Seaman, RALPH, C/JX 249688. S.S. Taber Park. Royal Navy.
    ALTHORPE, Able Seaman, ERNEST EDWARD, P/JX 335901. H.M.S. President III. Royal Navy.
    CHAPE, John Wilkinson, Gunner, 3 Maritime Regiment RA.
    WHETTON, Charles Henry, Gunner, 3 Maritime Regiment RA.
    CLIFTON H. born Smethwick 1916?

  8. The Cooler King

    The Cooler King Elite Member

    You have come up Trumps again, many thanks indeed :)
  9. Jaap Vermeer

    Jaap Vermeer Active Member

    Admiralty War Diaries

    Attached Files:

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  10. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Just for anyone looking in on this thread.
    Jaap's attachment shows there were 32 crew but only 3 survivors including the master J.J. Parsons. Official records suggest there were 24 merchant seamen killed and 4 DEMS gunners, total = 28.
    The Deaths at Sea Register does not show DEMS gunner Althorpe listed but does show another DEMS gunner - H. Clifton who does not appear as an armed forces casualty or a merchant seaman casualty on any memorials.
    The conclusion must be that the DAS register is wrong (not for the first time) or there is an un-commemorated casualty from that ship.
    The ship's official logbook should include the crew list including a casualties and deaths list and the 3 survivors. The logbook should be held at Kew in piece BT 381/3728.
    I will continue to check my sources.

    * added DAS Register for Clifton.


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
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  11. JamieSuds

    JamieSuds New Member

    Hello everyone,

    I'm new to the site and looking for some help. My Great Grandad was Second Engineer Douglas Kerr Jolly. I was wondering if there were any pictures of the SS Taber Park and a picture or the co ordinates of where she was sunk.

    Just going by a story I was told when I was younger by my Great Grandma, whilst at sea (location unknown) the ship came under attack by a German fighter plane, the plane was shot down I believe by my Great Grandfather whilst he was on deck on his break.
    The Pilot survived and some of the crew rescued him and brought him on board. The chef cooked the Pilot a meal and went to feed him, in return the Pilot spat in the Chefs face and my Grandfather hit him.
    My Grandfather was summoned to the Captains office expecting some form of disciplinary action taken against him but the Captain said "Well done Jolly, I would of done the same". Anyone have any other stories they were told?

    Any response at all is appreciated though!

  12. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  13. Lordred

    Lordred New Member

    Hi cooler king. Ralph Kilshaw was my grandfather.Why do you need information about him?
  14. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

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  15. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

    30 Chamberlain Street, St Helens, Lancashire
    Ralph Kilshaw 13 Aug 1913 Boiler Scaler Heavy Worker
    Annie Kilshaw 29 Sep 1914 Unpaid Domestic Duties
    Sorry, this record is officially closed.
    Sorry, this record is officially closed.
    Sorry, this record is officially closed.
  16. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Thanks for that Tim. I forgot to check Billy's list. I note he is shown as a merchant seaman but the DAS Register shows him as armed forces.
    I don't see him commemorated by the CWGC on the Halifax Memorial. I will give Billy a call.

  17. The Cooler King

    The Cooler King Elite Member

    Thanks again - much appreciated :)
  18. ToriaR

    ToriaR New Member

    Hello, My maternal grandfather was Charles Henry Whetton, who was a Royal Artillery gunner with 3 Maritime Regiment who died serving on board the SS Taber Park one week after his 25th birthday.

    The SS Taber Park was sunk off the coast of Norfolk by a German midget submarine en route from Newcastle upon Tyne to London in convoy FS 1753, co-ordinates 52.22N 01.53E.

    I'd be grateful for any more information myself, as that's about all I know. My mother was only 2 when he was killed and he never saw her before he died. He and my grandmother weren't actually married, and he was killed before he could return home and marry her. My grandmother married in the 1950s and my mother's biological father was never spoken of and she never asked - something she now regrets now that my grandmother has passed away. We don't have any photos of him and it would mean the world to have one, but any information at all about him would be wonderful to have.
  19. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Toria

    Welcome -

    UK, Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945
    Name: Charles Whetton
    Given Initials: C H
    Rank: Gunner
    Death Date: 13 Mar 1945
    Number: 5050295
    Birth Place: Burton-on-Trent
    Residence: Burton-on-Trent
    Regiment at Enlistment: North Staffordshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’)
    Branch at Enlistment: Royal Artillery
    Theatre of War: At sea
    Regiment at Death: Royal Artillery
    Branch at Death: Royal Artillery

    He was known as a DEMS gunner onboard a merchant ship. There are several family trees for him on Ancestry

    Charles Henry Whetton
    BIRTH 6 MARCH 1920 • Burton Upon Trent, Staffordshire, England
    DEATH 13 MARCH 1945 • At sea 52.22N 01.53E

    I will send you a personal conversation

  20. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Hello Toria and welcome,

    CH Whetton was serving as a Defensively Equipped Merchant Ships (DEMS) gunner aboard TABER PARK when he lost his life at sea.
    During the war Merchant Navy casualties were high and there was a need to provide defensive armament aboard a lot of those ships. The manpower came from mostly the Royal Navy but they were already pretty stretched and could not provide enough men so the Maritime Regiments were created to help with shortages. There were also some other army regiments involved and also merchant seaman gunners who would assist the military at the guns. The DEMS gunners were paid a nominal sum by the shipping companies and they wore civilian clothing whilst ashore. They were also classed as members of the crew of the ship and as such there are ways to search previous service aboard any Merchant Navy ships. My first advice to you would be to obtain his full service record and hopefully he may still have a surviving maritime card which would list the ships he served in (be aware that many of those cards have not survived). There are other ways to find out though using Merchant Navy records and should you wish to go down that route I can certainly advise you how to go about it. But first, I would advise the service record route if you wish to research this man.
    In 1939, at the beginning of the war, he was serving in the North Staffordshire Regiment.

    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
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