SS Taberg

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Mike Goldsworthy, Oct 22, 2019.

  1. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    I knew this would happen but it doesn't make it any easier to accept. I have already tried looking for any surviving records with a request made to PsyWar.Org to check some files at Kew and that, as expected, drew a blank. The highlighted piece below is mine.

    Our merchant seamen got a raw deal when they served and sadly some of those who died in service have no grave, memorial or recognition from their own nation.

    Dear Mr MacLean
    Thank you for your emails regarding the three British men who died on the S.S Taberg. I apologise for the delay in my reply.
    We weren’t as clear as we could have been in our initial response to you. The advice you received was correct and to be eligible for commemoration, sailors of the Commonwealth Merchant Navy must have died while signed on for a voyage, either as a result of enemy action, while detained by the enemy, or due to the increased risks of being at sea during war time.

    What we did not make clear was that as the S.S Taberg was a Swedish ship, and therefore neutral, to be eligible the casualties must have been Commonwealth registered merchant sailors. We would need evidence to support this. We have undertaken some research and haven’t been able to find that evidence, however, if you are able to locate this we would then be happy to consider the case.

    In the event evidence can’t be located, there could be an option to commemorate them as civilians, which means their names would be added to the Civilian Roll of Honour. To commemorate the men as civilians we would require their death certificates. Without these we could consider commemorating them as civilians based on the crew list you provided but we would need the original correspondence from the Swedish Archives to verify the origins of the document.

    I understand this may not be the response you were hoping for. Please be assured that our intention is simply to be thorough and consistent in how we assess cases so that we can be as fair as possible.

    Apologies again for the delay and any initial confusion.
    timuk and Roy Martin like this.
  2. Good morning Hugh.
    As you warned, it seems that you have hit a brick wall.
    I will do some work this end to see if there is any possibility of finding / getting Tommy's death certificate but unfortunately after all these years, I don't hold out much hope.
    In the interim, as before, I would just like (on behalf of myself and all Tommy's family) to thank you for everything you have done for us.

    Kindest regards

    timuk, Roy Martin and Hugh MacLean like this.
  3. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Thank you Mike - it will be difficult now but I will keep looking for leads. Anything you can come up with will help. Maybe family members of the other seamen who died may eventually find their way here too and be able to help.
    I understand the CWGC position because they have explained it many times to me. We know those men died serving their country but unfortunately the country does not know about their sacrifice and that is a tragedy.
    timuk and Roy Martin like this.
  4. Thank you Hugh


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