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Post Info TOPIC: SS Stockport


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SS Stockport
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The following is the story of the SS Stockport taken from "The Stockport Express". I think a truly remarkable story of courage.


The Hazel Grove Branch of the Royal Naval Association is holding it's annual memorial service for her on the 15Th Mar. 2009 with a Church service at Norbury Parish church at 1230 (muster outside church at 1200).  On completion of church service, parade will march to the branch HQ ( Conservative Club) for refreshments.

I will be attending with the MNA Runcorn Branch, but wearing the PWSTS TIE & Badge. If anyone would care to join us they would be most welcome to march under the Runcorn Branch Banner.

Glancon

Very sorry got the date wrong, it is the 15 March 2009.

Gallant crew remembered


Victoria Morley
27/ 2/2008

MANY a man alive today owes his life to the SS Stockport and the gallant crew who gave their own lives in an endeavour to save others.


The selfless nature of their job meant the 64-man crew lived on borrowed time and their final hour came 55 years ago this week.


The SS Stockport, which had been chartered from the Admiralty and used as a hospital rescue ship, disappeared in the North Atlantic sea, on February 25, 1943, while cruising with convoy ON 166.


During her short career, she saved more lives than any other vessel in service - on one voyage she saved more than seven torpedoed ships in one day.


The excellent team spirit shown by her crew reflected in their work and was tragically reinforced when the courageous men went down with the ship on that fateful night.


Records state that she was sunk by German U boat U604, while picking up survivors in the dark Atlantic - the eerie fire from explosions being the only light around.


Two torpedoes hit her bow and neither her, or her crew, were ever seen again.


Before her loss, on February 25, 1943, the 30-year-old Stockport had saved hundreds of survivors from torpedoed vessels - including 350 from ships lost in attacks on convoy SC107 in October 1942.


The Stockport had also been in action the previous August with the destroyer Viscount to locate and drive away the German Veilchem from the edges of convoy ON 122.


It was at this stage of her career she would be tested to her limits and her crew undergo their most dangerous rescue mission to date.


Survivors from seven boats were rescued in less than 24 hours but the task was one of sorrow and loss as they watched the convoy fall victim to the hungry German pack.


Captain Fea, SS Stockports proud captain, was devastated by the destruction that he and his crew had witnessed.


He said at the time: "From this time, submarines were incessant. It seemed to me just a succession of ships being torpedoed and sinking, and a constant stream of survivors coming on board to be cared for.


"The sights we saw were heart-breaking. Two steamers, names unknown, were blown to pieces before our eyes, and there were no survivors.


"Rescue work is very slow even in good conditions and in many instances I spent several hours cruising to scattered groups of men."


The Stockport rescued 200 men that day - breaking records and making sure their survivors would live to see tomorrow.


On another occasion in August, she had observed that a ship had been torpedoed on the starboard wing of the convoy. She proceeded to the scene, and within 20 minutes of the explosion had commenced picking up 40 survivors from the Latvian SS Katvaldis.


While engaged in the above operation, a further signal was received that another ship had been torpedoed.


The brave crew went back into the dangerous waters, but thick black fog set in and they were advised to rejoin the convoy.


Its peacetime job had been to ferry holiday makers across to Holland for the London North Eastern Railway, but the 1,600 tonne ship, with a top speed of 13 knots, was finally sought out by Hitlers U-boat fleet.


Despite claims that the SS Stockport was a struggling ship, out of its depths in a war dominated by younger more powerful ships, it was one of the most valiant and professional ships in the Royal Navy, and the spirit of its brave men alone helped carry it through the turbulent waters of war.


Probably the saddest document linked to the SS Stockport is the war diary of Captain Holstring, master of the German U-boat, that would send her men to their death. The lives of 64 of the finest men in naval history merits only a few lines in the U604s log book.


Commander Horst Holstring wrote: "Independent ship, course 260 degrees, speed 11 knots. Turned hard A-starboard on attack course. Fired fan of four torpedoes. Two hits. Ship sunk 47 2in 34 05w. Ship was single funnel, two deck passenger superstructure. After two hits and internal explosion sank in three minutes. Proceeding on course 245 degrees low speed pursuing convoy."



-- Edited by glancon at 09:20, 2009-02-25

-- Edited by glancon at 09:27, 2009-02-25

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ALLAN, Baker, JOHN NELSON, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 25. Son of John N. Allan, and of C. Allan, of Biggar, Lanarkshire.

BUTLER, Second Radio Officer, RICHARD, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 23rd February 1943. Age 24

CAMERON, Third Radio Officer, KENNETH WILLIAM ROLAND, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 19.

CLARK, Carpenter, JOHN, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 29. Son of John and Catherine Clark; husband of Hughina Clark, of Ruaig, Isle of Tiree.

DONALDSON, Fireman and Trimmer, DAVID, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 21.

DONNELLY, Fourth Engineer Officer, PETER ANTHONY, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 22. Son of Matthew and E. Donnelly, of Glasgow. 

EARNSHAW, Chief Officer, HERBERT KING, M B E, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 33. Husband of Madge R. Earnshaw, of Hull.

FEA, Master, THOMAS ERNEST, O B E, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 40. Son of Mr. and Mrs. James E. Fea; husband of Phyllis Fea, of Shenfield, Essex. 

FINLEY, Cabin Boy, RONALD, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 19. Son of Gordon Finley, and of Florence Finley, of North Cheam, Surrey.

GUY, Chief Steward, JOHN WILLIAM, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 47. Son of Thomas Francis Guy and Minnie Laurie Guy. 

HAMER, Fireman and Trimmer, GORDON LLEWELYN, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 18. Son of Mrs. E. Hamer, of Beaufort, Monmouthshire. 

HOOPER, Able Seaman, HENRY GEORGE, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 28.

HUTCHISON, Cabin Boy, ROBERT ANDREW, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 17. Son of Lewis and Mary McRobert Hutchison, of Closeburn, Dumfriesshire. 

INKSTER, Second Engineer Officer, EDGAR JAMES, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 26. Son of James G. and Florence E. Inkster, of Moreton, Cheshire. 

JACKSON, Steward, CHRISTOPHER, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 29. Son of Edmund and Jean Jackson; husband of Madge Jackson, of Cambridge.

JACKSON, Fireman and Trimmer, ROBERT, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 22. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Francis Jackson, of Dublin, Irish Republic; husband of Dorothy Jackson, of Northwich, Cheshire.

JACOB, Third Officer, KENNETH FRANK, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 21. Son of William Edwin and Gladys Ethel Jacob, of Coulsdon, Surrey. 

KENNY, Fireman and Trimmer, RICHARD CHRISTOPHER, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 30. Son of James and Clare Kenny; husband of Mary C. Kenny, of Rothesay, Bute. 

KERR, Able Seaman, ALEXANDER, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 2nd November 1942. Age 59.

KINCHIN, Second Officer, THOMAS COOPER, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 27.

LISTER, Galley Boy, WILLIAM, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 18.

LIVINGSTONE, Second Radio Officer, ALISTAIR MCMURDO, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 22. King's Commendation for Brave Conduct. Son of John Cameron Livingstone and Agnes Livingstone, of Glasgow. 

MACDONALD, Able Seaman, ALEXANDER, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 23rd February 1943. Age 31. Son of Malcolm and Annie Macdonald.  

MACDONALD, Sailor, MALCOLM, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 18. Son of Nicolina Macdonald, of Vatersay, Isle of Barra.

MACLEAN, Third Radio Officer, HUGH, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 22. .

MARTIN, Able Seaman, HENRY, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 23. Son of Henry and Janet Nelson Martin, of Oatlands, Glasgow. 

MacLEOD, Sailor, MURDO, B E M, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 39. Son of Roderick and Cathrine MacLeod. 

McALLAN, Fireman and Trimmer, WILLIAM PATERSON, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 22. Son of George and Agnes McAllan, of Peterculter, Aberdeenshire. 

McCARTHY, Greaser, JAMES, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 41.

McDONALD, Fireman and Trimmer, COLIN FRANCIS, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 19. Son of James S. and Elizabeth McDonald, of Glasgow.  

McGEOWN, Fireman and Trimmer, JOHN, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 23.

McHUGH, Able Seaman, FRANCIS, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 31.

PARTON, Chief Engineer Officer, BERTRAM ANDERSON, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 56. King's Commendation for Brave Conduct. Husband of H. Parton, of Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire. 

PRING, Fireman and Trimmer, GEORGE THOMAS, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 38.

PURNELL, Fireman and Trimmer, COURTNEY THOMAS, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 19. Son of Godfrey James Purnell and Annie Ellen Purnell, of Cross Keys, Monmouthshire.

PURVIS, Cook, JAMES, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 30. Husband of Florence Winsome Purvis.

RAITT, Fireman and Trimmer, THOMAS, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 22. Son of William and Catherine Raitt, of Old Monkland, Lanarkshire. 

RICHARDS, Sailor, HERBERT, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 22. Son of Thomas and Ada Richards; husband of Jane Richards, of Bellshill, Lanarkshire. 

ROBERTSON, Third Engineer Officer, GEORGE NOBLE, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 32. Son of Peter and Isabella Robertson, of Cruden Bay, Aberdeenshire. 

ROONEY, Cabin Boy, RICHARD JOHN, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 17. Son of Thomas and Frances Rooney, of Eastwood, Renfrewshire. 

ROWSE, Boatswain, ERIC WILLIAM, B E M, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 44. Son of Walter and Sarah Ann Rowse; husband of Doris A. Rowse, of Hull. 

SLATER, Sailor, GEORGE, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 26. Son of Alexander and Isabella Slater, of Port Gordon, Banffshire. 

SMITH, Able Seaman, DONALD, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 30. Son of Donald and Georgina Smith; husband of Janet L. Smith, of Wick, Caithnesshire. 

SOUTHERN, Able Seaman, GEORGE, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 57. Son of George and Eliza Southern. 

SPENCER, Greaser, HERBERT JOSEPH, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 57. Husband of Olga Spencer, of Marsh Chapel, Lincolnshire. 

SUTHERLAND, Able Seaman, JAMES FLEET, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 28.

THOMAS, Sailor, LLEWELYN GREY, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 20. Son of William Grey Thomas, and Sarah Elinor Thomas. 

TURRELL, Donkeyman, JAMES ALBERT, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 29. Husband of Maud Elizabeth Turrell, of Grimsby, Lincolnshire. 

WALKER, First Radio Officer, ARCHIBALD HALLIDAY SMITH, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 42.

WESTGATE, Fireman and Trimmer, HENRY ARTHUR, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 23rd February 1943. Age 27. Son of William John and Louisa Emme Westgate, of Northolt, Middlesex 

WHITE, Fireman and Trimmer, FREDERICK ALBERT, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 23rd February 1943. Age 19. Son of Frederick and Mary Ann White, of Finchley, Middlesex. 

YONGE, First Radio Officer, ARTHUR GEORGE TWINING, S.S. Stockport (Grimsby). Merchant Navy. 25th February 1943. Age 27.

DEMS & Naval Staff

ANGUS, Able Seaman, JAMES, C/JX 335608, S.S. Stockport, Royal Navy. 25 February 1943. Age 20. Son of James and Marion Angus, of Giffnock, Glasgow.

ASHTON, Able Seaman, COLIN, C/JX 255376, S.S. Stockport, Royal Navy. 25 February 1943. Age 29. Son of Harold and Hannah Ashton, of Chorley, Lancashire.

CATON, Able Seaman, CHARLES, P/JX 249527. H.M.S. President III. Royal Navy. (lost in S.S. Stockport). 25th February 1943. Age 27. Son of William and Hannah Caton; husband of Beryl Caton, of St. Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex. 

CRAWFORD, Able Seaman, HUGH HENDERSON, D/JX 334028. H.M.S. President III. Royal Navy. lost in S.S. Stockport. 25th February 1943. Age 25. Son of John and Elizebeth Crawford, of Glasgow. 

DOUGLAS, Surgeon Lieutenant, NEIL ARCHIBALD, MBE. Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. (H.M.S. Spartiate) Age 28.  Son of James and Elizabeth Douglas; husband of Margaret Sutherland Douglas, of Arbroath, Angus. M.B., Ch.B.

ECCLES, Sick Berth Attendant, STANLEY, D/MX 84592. H.M.S. President III. Royal Navy. lost in S.S. Stockport. 25th February 1943. Age 21. Son of John Charles Lay**** Eccles and Jessie Eccles, of Bradford, Yorkshire. 

FAIRBAIRN, Leading Seaman, JOSEPH LEE, C/JX 217994, S.S. Stockport, Royal Navy. 25 February 1943. Age 26. Son of Thomas and Mary Fairbairn, of Morpeth, Northumberland.

HELME, Sick Berth Attendant, ERNEST, B E M, D/SBR/X 7405. H.M.S. President III . Royal Naval Auxiliary Sick Berth Reserve. 25th February 1943. Age 25. Son of James and Mary Emma Helme, of Manchester; husband of Isabella Helme, of Gorton, Manchester. 

LAWSON, Convoy Signalman, WILLIAM PETER, C/JX 186262, S.S. Stockport, Royal Navy. 25 February 1943. Age 24. Son of Albert G. and Elisibeth M. Lawson, of Dundee.

MARSTON, Able Seaman, THOMAS, C/JX 393628, S.S. Stockport, Royal Navy. 25 February 1943. Age 25. Son of George and Ellen Marston; husband of Ada Marston, of Upper Norwood, London.

STAPLES, Able Seaman, JOSEPH NORMAN, C/JX 247874. H.M.S. President III. Royal Navy. lost in S.S. Stockport. 25th February 1943. Age 28. Son of Herbert Henry and Catherine Staples, of Stretford, Lancashire. 

STILL, Able Seaman, WILLIAM HENRY, C/JX 393605. H.M.S. President III. Royal Navy. lost in S.S. Stockport. 25th February 1943. Age 19. Son of Alfred and Daisy Eliza Still, of Harrow Weald, Middlesex. 

WASTELL, Convoy Ordinary Signalman, THOMAS ARTHUR, C/JX 269909. H.M.S. President III. Royal Navy. lost in S.S. Stockport. 25th February 1943. Age 20. Son of Sidney Francis and Hilda Mary Wastell, of Swansea, Glamorgan. 



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Thanks Billy for your input. It brings home the poignancy of this important day.

Interestingly it would appear that remarkably, the Master and several of the crew already held honours like OBE,MBE and BEM prior to this tradegy.

Glancon


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 god/bless the lot of them. from all of the shipmates of the (merchant/navy).xxxxxx.

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