401 July 20 2010 at 13:54:53|
Full Name: Harry Nurse Magnani
Home Town?: Oss The Netherlands
Message Text: I am trying to find information on Herbert Nurse (my father) of British Guiania who was boxer, joined the Merchant Navy in WW2 and died soon after.
I have a death certificate for a Fitzherbert Nurse, fireman, who died in Rio de Janeiro in 1941, but do not know if it is the same person. My father was married to Betty Nurse, nee Donald, who disappeared.
Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you, Harry Magnani
402 July 18 2010 at 23:57:45
Full Name: Dante Carrillo
Home Town?: Lima, Peru
Message Text: I'm looking for information about the SS REINA DEL MAR, a PSNC ship on which I had the fortune of sailing from Lima, Peru to Plymouth in march 1959.
I came back to Peru on the same ship march 1962.
I know it was built by Harland & Wolff, Belfast.
403 July 15 2010 at 15:46:25
Full Name: Elizabeth Kane
Home Town?: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Message Text: My father, Willard Kane, was a Merchant Seaman and worked on the 'Headline' boats among others. He came ashore to work for Harland and Wolff, Belfast. He never talked much to his children about his time in the Merchant Marine. I recently found a letter which he wrote while on the SS Third. Can anyone help with information about this ship. I would be very grateful for your help.
404 July 15 2010 at 07:36:48
Full Name: Sue Newman
Home Town?: Ashburton, New Zealand
Message Text: I'm keen to contact anyone who may have been a crew member on a ship docked in Wellington, New ZEaland over January and February period 1950
405 July 08 2010 at 09:55:39
Full Name: Billy McGee
Home Town?: Stockton-on-Tees
Message Text: RE: Portugal request.
If you take a walk through the Lisbon (St. George) Cemetery you will come across three graves of British Merchant Seamen with the ships name Avila Star inscribed on their headstones, the only three British recorded Merchant Navy graves commemorated by the CWGC in Portugal.
German U-boat grid references state that 127 ships were torpedoed and sunk by U-boats around the Azores and the coast of Portugal & Spain and a further 13 damaged during WWII.
Refrigerated passenger cargo ship Avila Star, 14,443grt (Blue Star Line) built on the Clyde in Scotland in 1927. A modern ship of its day, built for the South American run accommodating 161 first class passengers and capable of making 16 knots. At the beginning of the war the Avila Star continued her trade routed around South America and the Cape Verde Islands returning to the United Kingdom several times during 1940. A fast ship of its day Avila Star made most of her crossings sailing independently using a zig zagging pattern set up by the Admiralty to evade U-boat attacks. Her crossings continued relentlessly throughout 1941 and 1942 supplying Britain with much needed frozen meat from Buenos Aries. On the 6th July 1942 her luck would run out.
On the 12th June 1942 loaded with her precious cargo of frozen meat as well as 30 passengers including 10 women and two survivors from a previous sinking returning home as Distressed British Seamen, the ship sailed from Buenos Aries with a short stop off ad Montevideo, sailing for Freetown off the coast of West Africa. After an uneventful crossing the ship sailed from Freetown on the 28th June for her final destination of the port of Liverpool.
As evening fell on the night of the 5th July the ship rolled in an increasing swell as she steamed in a clear starlit night some ninety miles East of San Miguel. Continuing her zigzagging and showing no lights the ship entered an area well known for U-boat activity. The ship Master, Captain John Fisher had been drilling his crew and passengers daily in the event of an attack and with clear skies above, his thoughts must of being one of apprehension. In fact the Avila Star's fate had already been written.
Kapitänleutnant Adalbert Schnee in command of U-201 on her sixth patrol, who had already accounted for the loss twenty Merchant ships, fifteen of them British since 1940 had been stalking the Avila Star for several hours. On the 6th July 1942 at 00.36 (Central European Time) the ship was hit by a spread of two torpedoes on the starboard side and immediately began to take on a heavy list. The order to abandon ship was given and several boats were prepared for launching. As the boats were being launched a third torpedo was fired but failed to detonate. A final coup de grâce detonated some twenty minutes later directly under one of the lifeboats being launched, killing many of the occupants. An hour after the first attack Avila Star rolled over and disappeared beneath the waves.
Five lifeboats were successfully launched, with three being found the following day by the Portuguese Destroyer Lima and landed at Ponta Delgada, Azores. One other lifeboat was found twenty days later by the Portuguese Sloop Pedro Nunes, who had been alerted after the boat had been sighted earlier by Portuguese aircraft, but unfortunately a number of the occupants had succumbed to exposure and injuries received in the attack. One other would die of his injuries shortly after being picked up and a further three would die in hospital after being landed at Lisbon. The fifth lifeboat and its occupants were never seen again. In total 43 crew and 14 passengers perished.
Commemorated on Tower Hill Memorial Panel 12
ARMSTRONG, Steward, JOHN BOLTON, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 5th July 1942.
BENBOW, Shop Assistant, GLADYS MARY, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 5th July 1942. Age 36. Daughter of Arnold and Matilda Jane Benbow; niece of Mr. E. J. Allkins, of Mortlake, Surrey.
BRANDIE, Chief Refrigerator Engineer, WILLIAM, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 21st July 1942. Age 39.
BROWN, Cooks Boy, RICHARD, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 25th July 1942. Age 17. Son of Thomas and Annie Brown, of Everton, Liverpool.
CALLAWAY, Assistant Steward, ROBERT, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 5th July 1942. Age 30.
CAMPBELL, Quartermaster, JOHN, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 5th July 1942. Age 23.
CARTWRIGHT, Assistant Steward, JAMES, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 22nd July 1942. Age 27. Son of Samuel and Emily Cartwright, of South Lambeth, London. His brother, C.Q.M.S. Samuel Cartwright, died in the United Kingdom.
CONNOR, Steward's Boy, SYDNEY JAMES, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 20th July 1942. Age 17. Son of Sydney James Connor, and of Clara Connor, of Aigburth, Liverpool.
CUNNINGHAM, Fireman, HENRY, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 5th July 1942. Age 43. Husband of C. Cunningham, of Bootle, Lancashire.
CURRELL, Able Seaman, JAMES WALTER, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 5th July 1942. Age 28. Son of Ernest William and Kate Currell; husband of Maude Elizabeth Currell, of Dunstable, Bedfordshire.
DOWDALL, Donkeyman, HENRY, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 5th July 1942. Age 27. Son of Henry and Jane Dowdall, of Liverpool.
DUGGIN, Able Seaman, GEORGE, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 5th July 1942. Age 34. Son of Frederick and Elizabeth Duggin; husband of May Beatrice Duggin, of Ilford, Essex.
EATON, Boy, JAMES, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 5th July 1942. Age 17.
FISHER, Master, JOHN, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 5th July 1942. Age 61. Son of John and Catherine Fisher; husband of Dorothy H. Fisher, of Ashingdon, Essex.
FITZSIMMONS, Fireman, JAMES, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 5th July 1942. Age 28. Husband of Margaret Fitzsimmons, of Orrell, Lancashire.
HARRISON, Assistant Steward, JOHN WALTER, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 5th July 1942. Age 19.
INGHAM, Assistant Steward, RONALD JAMES, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 5th July 1942. Age 19. Son of Peter and Harriet Ingham, of Liverpool.
JACKSON, Storekeeper, RICHARD H., S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 6th July 1942. Age 54.
MASSOUDA HABID JOSEPH, Fourth Engineer Officer, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 5th July 1942. Age 29.
MAULINI, Chief Cook, PIETRO, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 5th July 1942. Age 44. Son of Antonio and Giuseppina Maulini; husband of Margherita Angela Maulini, of Shirley, Southampton.
MONOD, Assistant Steward, ERNEST, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 21st July 1942. Age 31.
MOORHEAD, Fireman, JOHN JAMES, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 5th July 1942. Age 43.
McINDOE, Assistant Cook, DONALD, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 22nd July 1942. Age 21. Son of W. and Nellie McIndoe, of Litherland, Lancashire.
NORTH, Steward and Silverman, ARTHUR, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 5th July 1942. Age 55. Son of George William and Emma North; husband of Rosina Clara May North, of Southampton.
NORTON, Carpenter, RICHARD HENRY, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 5th July 1942. Age 24. Son of John James and Annie Elizabeth Norton, of Topsham, Devon.
OWEN, Junior Engineer Officer, JOHN RICHARD, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 5th July 1942. Age 20. Son of John and Mary Owen.
REID, Chief Officer, ROBERT, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 5th July 1942. Age 27. Son of Ch. Engr. Robert Reid, lost in S.S. Tuskar (Glasgow) 6th September, 1917, and Margaret Reid, of Glasgow.
ROACHE, Fireman, PATRICK JOHN, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 5th July 1942. Age 21. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick J. Roache, of Liverpool.
ROWAN, Stewardess, MARY ELIZABETH, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 5th July 1942. Age 50. Daughter of Luke and Mary Rowan.
SHARKEY, Greaser, EDWARD, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 5th July 1942. Age 39. Son of Edward and Louisa Sharkey; husband of Margaret Sharkey, of Knotty Ash, Liverpool.
STANLEY, Steward, FREDERICK JOHN, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 22nd July 1942. Age 29. Husband of G. W. Stanley, of Liverpool.
TEANEY, Greaser, MONS, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 5th July 1942. Age 27. Son of Arthur and Margaret Teaney; husband of Bridget Teaney, of Bootle, Lancashire.
TIMMIS, Assistant Steward, WILFRED, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 5th July 1942. Age 17. Son of Edwin Samuel and Ethel Timmis, of Lupset, Yorkshire.
TURTON, Quartermaster, ROY, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 5th July 1942. Age 31. Son of Olga H. Helm, of Cleveleys, Lancashire.
VENNILS, Steward, SIDNEY, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 5th July 1942. Age 44. Son of Harry Vennils and of Helen Vennils (nee Price); nephew of Mrs. B. H. Price, of Streatham.
VINE, Boatswain's Mate, ERNEST LEONARD, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 5th July 1942. Age 27.
WALTON, Printer, FRANK JOSEPH, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 6th July 1942. Age 53.
WATTS, Cadet, CLYDE ALEXANDER, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 5th July 1942. Age 18. Son of Thomas Charles and Grace Brown Watts, of Kenton, Middlesex.
WESTON, Purser, HAROLD EDWARD PRICE, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 5th July 1942. Age 25. Son of Richard Henry and Elizabeth Kezia Weston, of Birkenhead.
Buried Lisbon (St. George) British Churchyard
CLARKE, Assistant Steward, WILLIAM BOROSTON, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 25th July 1942. Age 28. Son of William and Sophie Grace Clarke, of Liverpool; husband of Anne Clarke, of Tue Brook, Liverpool. Plot 1. Grave 33.
ELLIS, Donkeyman, CHARLES PETER, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 29th July 1942. Age 52. Son of Charles and Mary Ann Ellis; husband of Rachel Mary Ellis, of Portmadoc, Carnarvonshire. Plot J1. 2nd Row. Grave 28.
GIRDLER, Third Engineer, RAYMOND ERNEST, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 28th July 1942. Age 19. Son of Henry Ernest and Kate Lilian Girdler, of Battersea, London. Plot J1. Front Row. Grave 27.
Buried Ponta Delgada British Protestant Churchyard
BLACK, Boy, DONALD, S.S. Avila Star (London). Merchant Navy. 17th July 1942. Age 17. Son of Duncan and Eliza Jane Black, of Walton, Liverpool.
BEERE, JOHN FRANCIS. Special Constable. Son of John and Mary Beere, of 106 Blake Street, Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire; husband of Dorothy Beere, of 6 Hill Road, Barrow-in-Furness.
CUSHING, FRANCIS HABELT. Son of Charles A. and Beatrice Cushing, of 28 Floss Lane, Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire; husband of Jenny Cushing, of 5 Andover Street, Barrow-in-Furness
DODS, AMELIA FLORENCE, of 22 Gerard Road, Barnes, Surrey. Widow of Thomas Dods.
FLORENCE, JAMES, of Talleres Gorton Perez, F.C.C.A., Prov. Santa Fe, Argentina. Son of Elizabeth Florence, of 2 Craigie Loaning, Aberdeen, Scotland; husband of Emily Nollval Florence. Died in lifeboat before rescue, following the sinking by enemy submarine in the Atlantic of the S.S. "Avila Star" on 5 July 1942, east of the Azores.
FRAZER, RONALD. Son of John Frazer and Helen Frazer (nee Mcdonald), of Estancia La Colmena, Puerto San Julian (Patagonia), Santa Cruz, Argentina.
FRAZER, THELMA NORAH. Daughter of John and Helen Frazer, of Estancia La Colmena, Puerto San Julian (Patagonia), Santa Cruz, Argentina.
GAHAN, LAWRENCE FRANCIS. Died in lifeboat before rescue, following the sinking by enemy submarine in the Atlantic of the S.S. "Avila Star" on 5 July 1942, east of the Azores.
GIBSON, ALICE AMELIA, of 8 King's Gardens, Hove, Sussex. Daughter of the late Alexander and Isabella Tait Donaldson, of 4 Salisbury Road, Edinburgh; widow of Ernest Gibson.
GREIG, JOHN PHILIP, of War Coppice House, Caterham, Surrey. Son of Stuart D. and Eveline Greig.
HENDERSON, JOHN HENRY
JORDAN, IRIS MABEL, of Pasco Colon 476, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Daughter of Joseph and Mabel Annie Jordan.
PATTERSON, WILLIAM ROBERT DUNCAN. Son of James Patterson, of Mata Grande, San Julian, Argentine, and of the late Elizabeth Patterson.
SUTTON, PHYLLIS EDITH. Daughter of Edith Maude Sutton, of Navarro 4145, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and of the late Harry William Sutton.
406 July 05 2010 at 22:25:07
Full Name: robert hughes
Home Town?: was liverpool now brisbane
Message Text: Does anyone know the whereabouts of a Dennis Bradman born in brixam about 1925 .He was a purser on (I believe)the Nova Scotia
407 July 05 2010 at 19:53:32
Full Name: Andrew Stevens
Home Town?: derbyshire
Message Text: I am looking for info on my farther Norman Stevens who I think served about 1960 to 69 ish .Any info would be of interest. THANKYOU...
408 July 05 2010 at 17:59:18
Full Name: Carlos Guerreiro
Home Town?: Portugal
Message Text: I'm a portuguese journalist searching for storiers about WWII in my Country.
Merchant ships crossed the portuguese sea to England or Gibraltar and had to face german submarines and aircraft. Others were able to stay for a couple of days in Lisbon Harbour.
I'm searching for those stories. They are to be included in a new book I'm preparing about that period in Portugal.
409 July 02 2010 at 07:56:48
Full Name: Charles Lovelace.
Home Town?: Liphook.
Message Text: Congratulations on belated recognition. It is a national disgrace that it took so long and reflects adversely on the uncaring, arrogant and inefficient MoD.
As a former Royal Marine, born before WW2, I salute you and commend you to; www.nationaldefencemedal.webs.com
410 July 01 2010 at 13:41:23
Full Name: John Elvin
Home Town?: Bourne Lincs
Message Text: I was with Stricks from Cadet to Chief Officer. Joined in 1950 & went ashore in 1960.
Any old shipmates that pick this up. Please get in touch
Thanks John Elvin
411 July 01 2010 at 12:07:32
Full Name: alan williams
Home Town?: newcastle on tyne
Message Text: I am trying to trace as to where i can find out about the ships i sailed on from 1944 ti 1948 I would like to look at the log books as to where we sailed and members of the ships crew. One i am interesterd in was the MV.LOWLANDER RUN BY PORT LINE.She sailed from newcastle and journeyed out to australia via new york panama canal and tahiti.
412 July 01 2010 at 11:31:51
Full Name: Philip Algar
Home Town?: Exeter
Message Text: I am the author of GOODBYE OLD CHAP, A life at sea in peace and war. This book is based on my father, Captain Stanley Algar, of Shell and I have used his diaries dating back to 1912. He was captured in the South Atlantic and spent four years in a German POW camp where he maintained day to day diaries.
This is a story of an ordinary man in an extraordinary century and reveals much of what it was like to be in shipping in the first half of the last century. To put his story into context, I have added substantial research. MY ROYALTIES WILL BE GIVEN TO THE RED CROSS, without whose food parcels my father and many other POWs might have starved.
The book is available from Peak Publish (www.peakplatform.com) at £9.99. The ISBN number is 978-1-907219-04-7
413 June 20 2010 at 15:45:38
Full Name: Peter Robinson
Home Town?: Belvedere, Kent
Message Text: I have been trying to trace the crews of the RFA ships that went south during the Falklands Conflict of 1982, as the official lists do not appear to exist anymore.
I have had some sucess in this project, but need help from members of the MNA. If you, or anyone you know served on an RFA ship involved in the Falklands, could I ask if you would drop me a line so that the data base can be updated, and hopefully Ican complete this project in time for the 30th anniversary.
Thnk you all.
414 June 19 2010 at 12:54:51
Full Name: Billy McGee
Home Town?: Stockton-on-Tees
Message Text: RE: Garthpool query.
There are some Crew Agreements covering 1914-1929 for this barque at Kew in file BT 100/298/11. Link below will take you to the page to order an pay for.
415 June 19 2010 at 12:37:30
Full Name: Billy McGee
Home Town?: Stockton-on-Tees
Message Text: RE: Port Wellington query
The Port Wellington’s last Crew Agreements are held at The National Archives at Kew under the ships Official No.147589 in file BT 381/856 By using the link below, you will be directed the site and find instructions on how to order and purchase copies. Make sure you only ask for the last Crew Agreements before the ship was lost
Looking through Merchant Navy PoW lists I have for the Port Wellington, I cannot find anyone by the name of EDGAR WYNDHAM having been held at the Merchant Navy PoW camp Milag Nord from this ship.
416 June 18 2010 at 19:09:59
Full Name: mrs.elizabeth gray
Home Town?: dundee
Message Text: searching for any info on alex "sandy" gray. served on hms suffolk as stoker 1939 onwards.family history for great grandson. many thanks x
417 June 18 2010 at 15:36:22
Full Name: jennifer thompson
Home Town?: Australia
Message Text: Am starting to research my maternal step-grandfather Harold Slade Gidley, whom family stories say was master of a ship which was sunk off Salonika toward the end of or just after WW1. He is said to have been working for White|Star line.
Can anyone assist by directing my enquiries?
418 June 18 2010 at 02:59:14
Full Name: Michael Keith CECIL
Home Town?: Colbert, WA, USA
Message Text: Gents,
I'm seeking some assistance please. Where would I locate a crew list for those aboard the Port Wellington when it was captured and sunk by Pinguin in December 1940? Was an EDGAR WYNDHAM stil serving aboard at that time? Needed for a research project on a group of Aust soldiers from WW1. Thanks Mike
419 June 16 2010 at 18:50:34
Full Name: Jessica Stella Fox
Message Text: Dear Sir/Madam,
I am researching the story of the Garthpool, wrecked on the 11th of November 1929 off the Cape Verde Islands. I understand it flew the Red Ensign (or Duster) and was the last to do so.
My research involves looking into the whole story of the wrecking, from leaving Hull to the crew returning home as Distressed British Seamen.
I am also looking into the story behind each of the crew members, who they were and where they came from.
I already have found lots of information through internet and database searches, I have lots of photos too; there's always more to discover and add to the story.
Any information or help towards my research would be most appreciated.
I look forward to hearing from you,
Jessica S Fox
420 June 15 2010 at 14:47:17
Full Name: Robin Chandler
Home Town?: Clevedon, North Somerset
Message Text: My late father CLEMENT LESLIE CHANDLER (1896 - 1957)told us kids stories of his time with Union Castle in 1914/1918 war. A book "The Union Castle Company and the War" has gone missing. It was published by the company and given to all staff.
My father was a Cadet (deck), a teenager at the time. Two of his ships were sunk under him, but I do not know their names. He survived many days in lifeboats, in Irish Sea and North Sea (I think). It's a long shot, but does anyone remember CLEMENT LESLIE CHANDLER? If so, would be grateful for email contact. Thank you. I was too young and frivolous to appreciate him before his untimely death.
421 June 10 2010 at 11:47:14
Full Name: Martin R Crowe
Home Town?: Wirral, Merseyside
Message Text: Researching Captain Lawrence Averiez McDonald 1872 to 1953(SS Bedouin and James Chambers & Co.)and his sons Lawrence Arthur 1905 to 1994 and David 1916 to 2006 Alfred Holt & Co Blue Funnel Line
422 June 10 2010 at 10:27:02
Full Name: Billy McGee
Home Town?: Stockton-on-Tees
Message Text: RE: James Heatley query.
James Heatley, age 34 was believed to have drowned between the 21/22 January 1948. He is recorded as living in Glenavy, Co. Antrim.
Fair Head, 1,020grt built in 1937 ON 165246. Originally named Aboyne, the ship was renamed Fair Head in 1947. Renamed several times the ship was destroyed by fire in June 1963.
Her 1948 Log Book & Crew Agreements are held at The National Archives at Kew in file BT 99/7431 under the ships Official No. 165246. Due to new charges now in place at Kew, it will cost you a minimum of £45.00 to obtain the relevant Log Book entries, unless you can visit Kew in person.
423 June 07 2010 at 17:36:31
Full Name: Carol Appleyard
Home Town?: Hartlepool
Message Text: Enjoyed the site, wonder if anyone could help me? My granda James Joseph Heatley b 1911, was drowned at Antwerp in 1948, he was serving on board "The Fairhead", I have a copy of his seamans packet and his death certificate, I would like to know if there is any info available on the Fairhead and whether it is possible to access the ships log for the time granda was killed? I would be grateful for any help
424 June 06 2010 at 15:53:26
Full Name: Jane Emes
Message Text: I'm looking for information about my father: Ronald Douglas Emes, that served in the Merchant Navy during WW2. I know he was in Hong Kong at one ppoint and that one ship he was on was torpedoed near Trinidad/Tobago. Thankyou.
425 June 05 2010 at 20:22:31
Full Name: William Edward Eric Lake
Home Town?: Coleraine
Message Text: Discharge Book Number R662192, joined first ship mv Sylvafield, Hunting & Son Limitede Newcastle upon Tyne. Finished career forty five years later as Marine Safety and Training Superintendent with OSG Ship Management UK Limited, Newcastle upon Tyne.
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