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Introduction

Warlaby was a steam cargo ship completed in 1926 for Ropner Shipping Company Ltd. just before the Great Depression. She was named after a village in North Yorkshire in accordance with Ropner's naming convention. From very early in WW2 she was in service carrying cargo in convoys and in 1941 was the victim of an attack by a German raider whilst sailing in a convoy without a Royal Naval escort.

The ship was drawn to my attention by Charlie Fearn whose father Charles Fearn was one of the casualties. Only three of the crew survived.

Warlaby
Warlaby. The date and location are not known. [1]

Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo ship
Registered owners, managers and operators Ropner Shipping Co. Ltd.
Builders W. Gray & Co. Ltd
Yard West Hartlepool
Country UK
Yard number 981
Registry Lloyd's Register
Official number 86151
Call sign GMXS
Classification society N/K
Gross tonnage 4,896
Net tonnage 3,013
Length 390.1 ft
Overall Length 402.3 ft
Breadth 55 ft
Depth 26.5 ft
Draught N/K
Engines Triple expansion steam engine with cylinder bore 25 1/8" 40", 71" and Cylinder stroke: 48"
Engine builders CenMar Eng. Works Ltd.
Works West Harlepool
Country UK
Boilers 3 single boilers operating at 180 psi
Power 139 NHP
Propulsion Single Screw
Speed 10 knots
Cargo capacity N/K
Crew N/K

Additional Construction Information

The Lloyds Register entry for Warlaby for 1938-39 has the following additional information about her:

  • 1 steel deck
  • Fitted with radio direction finding
Warlaby
Warlaby. The date and location are not known. [3]

Career Highlights

Date Event
8 January 1926 Keel laid down
18 January 1927 Launched
February 1927 Completed
12 February 1941 Sunk by Enemy action

Service Pre WW2

I have been unable to find any specific information about the use of Warlby before the war other than that she was engaged in the 'tramping' trade.

Service in WW2

Warlaby took part in a number of convoys according to information shown in the table below which is provided courtesy of Convoyweb - see External Ref. #4, and was sunk whilst in convoy SL 64S.

Departure Convoy/Independent Arrival
Freetown, Sep 21, 1939 SL.2 (Freetown - Liverpool) Liverpool, Oct 7, 1939
Methil, Nov 4, 1939 ON.1/1 (Methil - Norwegian Waters) Norwegian Waters, Nov 7, 1939
Norwegian Waters, Dec 21, 1939 HN.5 (Norwegian Waters - Methil) Methil, Dec 24, 1939
Methil, Feb 17, 1940 ON.14/1 (Methil - Norwegian Waters) Norwegian Waters, Feb 22, 1940
Norwegian Waters, Mar 7, 1940 HN.17 (Norwegian Waters - Methil) Methil, Mar 10, 1940
Verdon, Apr 15, 1940 49.XS ( - ) Casablanca, Apr 21, 1940
Gibraltar, May 4, 1940 HG.29F (Gibraltar - Liverpool) Liverpool, May 13, 1940
Tyne, Jun 14, 1940 FS.195 (Tyne - Southend) Southend, Jun 16, 1940
Southend, Jun 19, 1940 OA.171G (Southend - to OG 34)
OG.34 (to AT SEA - Gibraltar) Gibraltar, Jul 3, 1940
Aden, Sep 4, 1940 BN.4 (Bombay - Suez) Suez, Sep 11, 1940
Suez, Oct 20, 1940 BS.7 (Suez - Dispersed)
Port Sudan, Nov 7, 1940 BS.7A (Port Sudan - Aden) Aden, Nov 11, 1940
Freetown, Jan 30, 1941 SLS.64 (Freetown - Dispersed)

Loss of Warlaby

Warlaby sailed in convoy SLS.64 which departed Freetown on 30 January 1941. More information about this convoy can be found on the Warsailors website - External Ref. #6. The convoy departed without a naval escort and was intercepted by the German raider Admiral Hipper which basically ran riot. The highlights of this disaster are below:

The Commodore for the convoy was Captain Murray of Warlaby and the vice-Commodore the captain of Margot.

The vessels in the convoy were:

Nationality Vessels
UK Margot, Shrewsbury, Warlaby, Westbury, Empire Energy, Clunepark, Blairatholl, Nailsea Lass, Volturno, Lornaston, Derrynane, Oswestry Grange
Norway Borgestad, Bur
Greece Anna Mazaraki, Perseus, Polyktor, Kalliopi

At 06:05 Margot sighted a warship. It was the Admiral Hipper and she opened fire at 06:25 - with her first target being Shrewsbury. She eventually sank or damaged 9 out of the 18 ships in the convoy as in the table below:

Vessel Impact
Shrewsbury Sunk with the loss of 20 lives
Warlaby Sunk with the loss of 36 lives including one gunner. Captain Murray was killed on the bridge.
Derrynane Sunk with the loss of all hands - 36 lives including one gunner.
Westbury Sunk with the loss of 5 lives
Perseus Sunk with the loss of 14 lives
Borgestad Sunk with the loss of all hands - 31 lives
Lornaston Damaged
Oswestry Grange Sunk with the loss of 5 lives
Clunepark Damaged

Warlaby was en route from Alexandria to Oban with a cargo consisting of 4,457 tons of meal, 2,827 tons of cotton seed and 125 tons of oilcake.

Admiral Hipper didn't have it all her own way - Derrynane, Borgestad and Lornaston had all opened fire on her but paid the price; Borgestad is believed to have hit the control tower.

The following account of the fate of the convoy and Warlaby in particular is an extract from Beware Raiders! - External Ref. #83.

Even by the standards of 1941, SLS 64 was a Cinderella of a convoy. Consisting of twenty-one merchant ships, mainly old coal-burning tramps, many of whom would be barely able to maintain the designated convoy speed of 8 knots, they carried between them some 120,000 tons of cargo for British ports. Ahead of them lay 3,000 miles of extremely hostile ocean, an ocean at this time of the year torn by violent storms, and in its upper reaches infested by marauding U-boats, while overhead Focke-Wulfs, sagging under the weight of their bomb load, patrolled the leaden skies in search of soft targets. And, it now seemed, for much of this long passage SLS.64 was to brave these hazards without a single escort.

At the convoy conference on the previous evening aboard the Edinburgh Castle, an ex-First World War armed merchant cruiser acting as the Royal Navy's base ship, the news had been broken by the Senior Naval Officer. It was customary for one of the seven armed merchant cruisers making up the Freetown Escort Force to accompany a north-bound convoy until it was abreast the Straits of Gibraltar, where it would be met by destroyers of North Atlantic Command, and later by destroyers of Western Approaches Command. Regrettably, the SNO explained, the Freetown Escort Force was presently stretched beyond its limits and SLS.64 must go it alone - at least until a rendezvous was made off the Azores with the Gibraltar-UK convoy HG.53. There was, however, little cause for concern, the SNO hastened to assure the merchant captains and senior officers present. Admiralty reports indicated that Dönitz had moved at least thirty of his U-boats into the Mediterranean, leaving only a token force in the North Atlantic. Of the German capital ships, the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were believed to be still in dry dock in Kiel, the Admiral Hipper was still in Brest licking her wounds following her abortive strike on WS.5A, while the Admiral Scheer was in the South Atlantic heading for the Indian Ocean. This, or so the theory was, left the seas clear for SLS.64 to sail northwards unmolested.

Appointed Commodore ship for SLS.64 was the 4,876-ton Warlaby, a 14-year-old coal-burning steamer owned by Ropner's of Hartlepool, the archetypal British tramp homeward bound from Alexandria with 7,000 tons of cotton seed. Having a top speed of 11 knots, the Warlaby was one of the faster ships of the convoy, which was possibly her only qualification to be leader of the pack. As senior ship, the Warlaby would have been expected to carry an experienced convoy commodore, usually a retired naval officer of flag rank, and a staff of half a dozen Royal Navy signallers. But such was the parlous state of Britain's fleet in 1941 that the mantle of Commodore fell on the shoulders of the Warlaby's master, Captain Septimus Murray. With the help of two Royal Navy signallers and a thick folio of Admiralty instructions, much of which he would never find the time to read, Murray was expected to lead and hold together a motley pack of tramps without even as much as an armed trawler in attendance. His confidence was not bolstered when he learned that, following the convoy conference, one of the masters had called at a local watering hole for a drink or two on the way back to his ship and left his briefcase in the bar. The briefcase, containing full details of the convoy's makeup and movements, disappeared; stolen by a common thief, perhaps, but Murray feared its contents might already be on their way to Berlin via Dakar.

As the sun came up over the Loma Mountains to the east, the Warlaby led the way out of the anchorage, closely followed by the Nailsea Lass, ten months out from home and carrying jute from India. Then came the Glasgow-registered Lornaston sagging under a full cargo of iron ore, the 4,542-ton Shrewsbury loaded with wheat and linseed, the Blairatholl with mineral concentrates, and so on; twenty-one ships, fourteen British, three Norwegians and four Greeks. One by one they brought home their anchors and manoeuvred into line. Bringing up the rear was Kaye, Son & Company's Margot commanded by Captain Ivor Price, and carrying a cargo of cotton and cotton seed. Price had been designated Vice-Commodore and authorized to take over from Murray, should anything happen to the Warlaby.

The heavily-laden merchantmen moved slowly down the long reach of Freetown harbour, passing close to the 26,000-ton battle-cruiser HMS Renown, moored in the outer anchorage. With her grey-painted hull spotless and her white canvas awnings stretched taut, the big warship offered a stark contrast to the rust-streaked tramps, their salt-caked funnels belching black smoke. Inevitably, the rumour flew around the convoy that the Renown was also going north and would cover them on the passage home with her 15-inch guns. It was, of course, only a rumour. Anything as mundane as convoy escort duty did not figure in HMS Renown's plans. She was on station at Freetown to protect the South Atlantic trade routes, ready to put to sea should any of the German Navy's capital ships threaten.

Working up to 7 knots, the Warlaby led the way past Cape Sierra Leone, its red and white painted lighthouse flanked by clumps of tall coconut palms, past Carpenter Rock with its skeletal remains of an Elder Dempster ship that had cut one corner too many, and around onto a westerly course for the Fairway Buoy. Once past the buoy and feeling the long swells of the open Atlantic, the ships began the laborious process of forming up into six columns abreast for the voyage home. Captain Murray's orders to the other masters were brief and to the point: 'Ships to be 2 cables apart, stem to stem, columns to be 3 cables apart by day and 5 cables by night. Convoy speed 8 knots. Keep closed up'. In the absence of an escort, there was little else he could say. The Greeks and Norwegians were unarmed, while the Bntish ships mounted 1914-18 vintage guns manned by men more used to splicing ropes or firing furnaces. Convoy speed was set at 8 knots, a speed which all ships had declared they could comfortably maintain. But Murray knew well that there were some amongst the ruddy-faced, pipe-smoking individuals who had attended the conference aboard the Edinburgh Castle who were supreme optimists. In more ways than one, this promised to be a voyage to sort the wheat out from the chaff.

Twelve hours later the convoy was off the coast of French Guinea and, having adjusted to the peculiarities of its various members, was making orderly progress in six columns abreast. Column 1 was led by the Margot (vice-commodore); column 2 by the Shrewsbury, Captain A. Armstrong; Column 3 by the Warlaby, column 4 by the Westbury, Captain William Embleton; Column 5 by the Borgestad, Captain Lars Grotness; and Column 6 by the Empire Energy, an ex-Italian ship under the control of the Ministry of Shipping. It was a dark, sultry night, with the smell of woodsmoke and rotting vegetation coming off the land. The sea was calm, mirror-like, the darkened ships gliding across it betrayed only by the phosphorescence of their wakes. In less fraught times the balmy night would have been enjoyed by those keeping watch above decks, but tonight nerves were on edge. Men spoke in whispers, and from time to time the long frothing trail left by a frolicking porpoises set up the cry of Torpedo! Each ship of the convoy was preoccupied with its own survival, and no one saw the Nailsea Lass go.

The Nailsea Lass, a 1917-built steamer of 4,289 tons owned by Evans Reid, a company formed in the early 1930s to manage ships of Cardiff shipowners ruined by the depression years, was stationed immediately astern of the Warlaby. Commanded by 3S-year-old Captain Thomas Bradford, she was bound from India to Liverpool with 6,200 tons of jute and other produce. In the lean days before the war the Nailsea Lass, along with many of her kind, had worked the cross-trades of the world with little or no time for maintenance, and in 1941 was a tired old ship unlikely to make 8 knots even with a fair wind. After two months in the fecund waters of the Indian coast, her bottom was heavily fouled with weed and barnacles, and, although her engineers did their best to coax a few extra revs out of their elderly machinery, she could not maintain convoy speed. She fell further and further astern until, by midnight, she had lost contact with SLS.64 altogether. Tom Bradford was forced to accept that he must continue the voyage alone. This he did philosophically, consoling himself with the knowledge that the convoy had not offered much in the way of protection, other than that found in numbers. At least he would from now on be free to make his own decisions. The first of these came in the early hours of the next morning.

At 0400 on the 31st, Chief Officer Alfred Hodder, who had just taken over the watch on the bridge of the Nailsea Lass, heard a report from the oncoming helmsman that he had found the deck in the region of No.3 hatch 'very hot' as he passed the hatch on the way to the bridge. Mindful of the tendency of jute cargoes to spontaneous combustion, Hodder immediately informed Captain Bradford. No.3 hatch covers were taken off and it was seen that bags of coconut shell charcoal stowed in the tween deck were glowing red-hot. Bradford's first action was to stop the ship to decrease the draught, then the hoses were run out, but it was well into mid-morning before the fire was brought under control and finally extinguished. By this time any chance the Nailsea Lass might have had of catching up with the convoy had gone.

And as SLS.64, now reduced to twenty ships sailing in mutual support, made its way slowly to the north with the Nailsea Lass limping along behind out of sight, German naval forces were gathering in its path. Behind the breakwaters of Brest, the Admiral Hipper had steam up with orders to put to sea on 1 February. Early that morning, right on schedule, the now familiar RAF reconnaissance aircraft flew over and reported back to the Admiralty that the German cruiser was still at her berth. Meisel waited until the plane was out of sight and then slipped out of harbour. His instructions from Admirai Raeder were make full speed to a position 1,000 miles west of Cape Finisterre, refuel from a waiting tanker and then remain on station to await developments.

On 6 February, seven days out of Freetown, still without escort and, miraculously still unmolested, SLS.64 was some 270 miles south-west of the Canary Islands and only four days steaming away from her rendezvous with Convoy HG.53. Two more ships had fallen out on the way, the Empire Energy and the Dartford on 1 February, both with engine trouble. Now, in strong North-East Trades encountered north of the Cape Verde Islands, it was the turn of the Gairsoppa. The 5,237-ton Gairsoppa, a 22-year-old coal burner of the British India Steam Navigation Company under the command of Captain Gerald Hyland, was heavily loaded with pig iron from India, and also had on board silver ingots worth £600,000 - about £14 million in today's money. Battling against strong head winds and seas, her coal consumption rocketed and she was soon in danger of emptying her bunkers. The situation became so serious that Hyland calculated even to reach the nearest UK port he would have to reduce speed to 5 knots. And so, at dusk on 6 February, having informed the Commodore, the Gairsoppa fell out of the convoy and prepared to make her own way home. Bearing in mind he had a fortune in silver bullion in his charge.

At noon on the 11th the convoy was midway between Madeira and the Azores and making a course of 008 degrees at 7 knots. The Warlaby had dropped astern with an engine problem, and in her absence the Vice-Commodore, Captain Ivor Price in the Margot, had temporarily taken charge. He was on the bridge when a large ocean liner was sighted overtaking the convoy on its port quarter. Price identified her as an ex-Union Castle liner of the Cape run, but now carrying 6-inch guns and obviously an AMC. The word went round the convoy that this was the escort they had been waiting for, but when the Margot challenged her by flag and lamp, the other ship did not answer. Sensing danger, Price, a shrewd North Walian, called for an emergency turn of 40 degrees to starboard and, as one by one the ships sheered away from the stranger, she followed them around and closed to within 3 miles, still refusing to identify herself. Alarm bells rang, guns' crews closed up, and for the next forty-five minutes the convoy and the unidentified armed liner sailed on parallel courses, but not communicating. It was a tense situation that might easily have ended in a shoot-out, needing only one of the largely inexperienced merchant ships' guns crews to open fire. The situation was defused when the stranger suddenly made off to the west at speed. Her identity was never established, but Ivor Price was adamant that she was ex-Union Castle. It is known that the Caernarvon Castle and Pretoria Castle, both AMCs, were in the area at the time, so Price was probably right.

After the excitement of the afternoon the convoy slowly settled down again, although the Warlaby did not return to her position at the head of Column 3 until late that evening. An hour later Second Officer G.E. Turner of the Oswestry Grange and Third Officer D. McLean of the Blairatholl both heard the drone of an aircraft flying overhead. Neither officer thought this incident worth reporting to the Commodore at the time, which was regrettable. The sky was clear, the moon full and the visibility good, and it is probable that the convoy had been spotted by a low-flying Focke-Wulf from l/KG 40, searching on orders from Admiral Dönitz.

The weather deteriorated rapidly overnight and by the early hours of the 12th it was blowing hard from the west-north-west, with a rough sea and heavy swell running on the beam. If any progress was to be made, a northerly course must he held, and the deep-laden ships, beam-on to the weather, suffered badly. Rolling drunkenly and down to 6 knots, barely steerage way, they struggled hard to maintain some semblance of order in their ranks. The West Hartlepool tramp Ainderby and the Greek-flag Polyktor, another First World War veteran, were already straggling astern.

The rendezvous with HG.53 was scheduled for 0700 that morning and at the first hint of dawn the murky horizon was being eagerly searched by dozens of pairs of binoculars. First Radio Officer John Cave was on the bridge of the Margot:

'I was on the bridge with the Mate on the 4 to 8 watch. The radio officers used to do quite a lot of bridge signalling. I had "AM", the flag signal for "Welcome", bent on the halyard ready, and all I had to do was to pull the halyard to break it out.

'Promptly, at the expected time of 7 o'cloek, the Mate shouted that he could make out one of the escorts. It was fortunate for us that the Commodore carried a Naval signalling crew, and beat us to it, for I can still see the forward guns of that "escort" turning towards the convoy.'

The Margot being the leading ship of the port column, Cave and her chief officer, D.J. Morris, were first to sight the Hipper. Maintaining the element of surprise, Wilhelm Meisel had brought the cruiser in from the dark side of the horizon, aiming to pass ahead of the convoy from west to east. He opened fire as soon as the slow-moving merchantmen came into sight. His first shells were aimed at the Shrewsbury, head ship of Column 2. The Shrewsbury, owned by the Alexander Shipping Company, a subsidiary of Houlder Brothers, was nearing the end of a long voyage from the River Plate. Third Officer C.D. Simms was off watch:

'I was in bed at the time and when I came out of my room I saw the cruiser about four points on our starboard bow firing at us, at a distance of 3000-4000 yards. She was firing with her main armament forward, but I do not know if she was using her after guns. There were twin guns in the turret, working independently. She seemed to be firing in threes at five or six minute intervals. The cruiser was sailing up and down at a speed of about 12 knots. It had a monoplane aft. Her funnel was streamlined with the fore end built up to protect the bridge from smoke. The Gunner and Chief Engineer were on deck at the time and at first they thought it was one of our own ships as we were expecting to rendezvous.

'The first shot from the enemy cruiser hit us, smashing our funnel and port lifeboat. When I got on deck they were lowering the starboard jolly boat. The forward raft was got away and I was sent to get a raft over from the gun platform. This I did and called for anybody to come and get on it, and the 3rd Engineer, 4th Engineer and an Army gunner got away from the ship on this raft.'

The Hipper's gunners made short work of the Shrewsbury, pounding the 4,500-ton ship ruthlessly. She received six direct hits in quick succession, some below the waterline, and was finished off with a torpedo, which broke her back and sent her to the bottom. Twenty of the Shrewsbury's crew of thirty-nine lost their lives, eighteen of them in the only lifeboat to get away, callously blown out of the water as it pulled away from the sinking ship. Simms was among the lucky survivors, spending thirty-six hours adrift on the raft before being picked up by the Royal Navy.

Having despatched the Shrewsbury and most of her crew, Meisel then turned his guns on the Warlaby. Caught broadside on as she steered away from her attacker, the Warlaby took the full weight of a salvo of eight shells. This brought down her fore-mast, demolished her bridge, her funnel and engine-room casing. All her lifeboats were shot away and a number of fires started. Chief Officer J.G. Evans had the watch on the bridge of the Commodore's ship:

'... the lookout reported a naval craft approaching from the westward. I was on the bridge on watch and at once called the Master. He came on the bridge with the Yeoman of Signals who tried to make out the nationality of the ship but it was too dark to recognise the ensign she was flying. She came steaming on ahead of the second column, then, without warning or signal to heave to, she opened fire. My captain, being the Commodore, immediately hoisted a signal for the convoy to disperse but the enemy shot it down at once. The enemy continued to shell us unmercifully. The Captain ordered me to go down to the W/T Operator and get him to send a message as quickly as possible. I did so, then returned to the bridge. Then I went amidships where most of the crew had gathered, and we put a raft overboard. Two men jumped over and got on to it, but no one else would leave. I told them they would have to jump as by now all the boats had been shattered and it was impossible for the ship to last much longer. The men still refused to jump; we had to keep dodging the shells as, whenever the enemy saw a cluster of men, they fired in that direction, pumping away with pom-pom and everything they had. I put another raft over the side large enough for twenty men, but again they refused to jump, then I put a net over for twelve men. The shelling had caused a fire in No.2 hold and No.4 hold, the ship took a heavy list to port and turned right round. Soon after this, as the ship started to roll over, I saw the Captain still on the bridge with the 2nd Mate, then a shell struck the bridge and that was the last I saw of both of them.

'At 0830 the ship went down, throwing the crew into the water; I was the last to leave the ship. Some of the men got away on rafts, the rest were swimming about amongst the wreckage, but I do not know how many were still alive after the shelling, and I could not recognise anyone in that light. I managed to cling on to a piece of wreckage, then the raider steamed slowly through the struggling groups of survivors and passed near me, but no attempt was made to rescue anyone."

After three hours in the water, Evans came across an empty liferaft and clambered aboard. He was rescued in the afternoon of the next day by the ocean boarding vessel HMS Camito, which had come out from Gibraltar. Only two other men survived the sinking of the Warlaby, her cook, G.R. Thomas, and Able Seaman C.W. Brown. Captain Murray, eight of his officers and twenty-seven ratings perished.

Murray's last signal to the convoy, "T-4" hoisted at the yardarm, was an order to scatter and run to the south. Most ships followed the Warlaby's example and turned to starboard under full helm, but some could not escape the devastating fury of the Hipper's 8-inch guns. At the head of Column 4, the 4,712-ton Westbury, out of the same Houlder Brothers' stable as the Shrewsbury, was hit repeatedly and set on fire as she sheered away from the danger. A torpedo finished her off and she sank.

Roll of Honour

Merchant Navy Losses

The table below lists the Merchant Seamen lost when Warlaby was sunk and is derived from the Tower Hill memorial and the Commonwealth War Grave Commission's database.

Surname Forenames D.O.D. Rank Cemetery/Memorial Grave Ref. Additional Information
Abdul Mohamed 12/02/1941 Fireman and Trimmer Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 44
Anderson James Gerald 12/02/1941 Fireman and Trimmer Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 24
Bambro George 12/02/1941 Third Officer Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 25. Husband of Catherine M. Bambro, of Whitley Bay, Northumberland.
Black Arthur 12/02/1941 Able Seaman Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 25
Blackbourn Frederick 12/02/1941 Second Officer Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 28. Son of Fredrick and Jennie Blackbourn, of Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire.
Boland Joseph Patrick 12/02/1941 Steward Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 27
Brannan Thomas 12/02/1941 Fireman and Trimmer Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 26. Son of James and Charlotte Brannan.
Bray George Frederick 12/02/1941 Fireman and Trimmer Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 36. Son of Thomas Jackson Bray and Gavilla Bray, of Halling, Yorkshire.
Brooks J 12/02/1941 Donkeyman Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 38
Brown Robert 12/02/1941 Second Engineer Officer Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 42
Copland George 12/02/1941 Third Engineer Officer Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 28. Son of George and Hellen Copland, of Northfield, Aberdeen.
Davison Ronald 12/02/1941 Second Radio Officer Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 18. Son of Robert Davison, and of Catherine E. Davison, of Chester-Le-Street, Co. Durham.
Fearn Charles 12/02/1941 Able Seaman Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 36. Son of Charles and Elizabeth Fearn.
Fitzmaurice Stanley Alan Robin 12/02/1941 Fireman and Trimmer Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 34. Husband of Sanchia Fitzmaurice, of Sloane Square, London.
Gillen James 12/02/1941 Fourth Engineer Officer Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 41. Son of James and Mary Gillen; Husband of Amy Gillen, of Swinefleet, Yorkshire.
Gilmour John 12/02/1941 Galley Boy Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 17. Son of Thomas and Annie Reid Gilmour, of Barrow-In-Furness, Lancashire.
Gray Vivian 12/02/1941 Sailor Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 25
Hayes Joseph 12/02/1941 Deck Hand Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 48
Hedditch Francis Tom 12/02/1941 Mess Room Boy Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 20. Son of Mr. and Mrs. F. T. Hedditch, of Port Mulgrave, Yorkshire.
Holborow Ulrick Ratcliffe 12/02/1941 Able Seaman Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 36
Hunter Arthur 12/02/1941 Carpenter Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 23
Jackson Sydney 12/02/1941 Donkeyman Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 26
Mitchelson Storey 12/02/1941 Cabin Boy Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 18. Son of Storey and Hannah Lizzie Mitchelson, of North Shields, Northumberland.
Murray Septimus Howard 12/02/1941 Master Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 35. Son of John William and Frances Annie Murray; Husband of Lily Osborne Murray, of Carrshields, Northumberland.
Neville George Arthur 12/02/1941 Deck Boy Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 18. Son of Mr. and Mrs. S. J. Neville, of Hornchurch, Essex.
Nicholson Stanley George 12/02/1941 First Radio Officer Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 21. Son of George William and Florence May Nicholson.
Obad Mosseleh 12/02/1941 Fireman and Trimmer Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 47
Rawes George James 12/02/1941 Deck Boy Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 17. Son of Reginald and Jessie Rawes, of King's Cross, London.
Roberts John William Cowell 12/02/1941 Fireman and Trimmer Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 29
Rocha John 12/02/1941 Able Seaman Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 53
Sahlman Arthur 12/02/1941 Boatswain Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 47. Son of Henry Bernard Sahlman and Mary Sahlman; Husband of Eleanor Carlisle Sahlman, of Wallsend, Northumberland.
Sanderson Percy George 12/02/1941 Chief Engineer Officer Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 55. Son of John and Sarah Sanderson; Husband of Annie Sanderson, of Linthorpe, Middlesbrough, Yorkshire. Formerly Lieut.-Comdr., R.N. His Son George Charles Peter Also Fell.
Smith William 12/02/1941 Donkeyman Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 47
Thompson Frederick 12/02/1941 Fireman and Trimmer Tower Hill Memorial Panel 116. Age 32. Son of Ellen Thompson; Husband of L. Thompson, of Leeds, Yorkshire.
Wheatley James Smith 12/02/1941 Deck Boy Tower Hill Memorial Panel 117. Age 20. Son of James Smith Wheatley and May Elizabeth Wheatley, of North Shields. Northumberland.
Yeardsley Robert William 12/02/1941 Fireman and Trimmer Tower Hill Memorial Panel 117. Age 31

Royal Navy Losses

Surname Forenames D.O.D. Rank Cemetery/Memorial Grave Ref. Additional Information
Batcheler Charles 12/02/1941 Chief Yeoman of Signals Chatham Naval Memorial Panel 45 column 2 Age 44. Mr. Batcheler was a member of the Royal Navy. Son of Charles Henry and Ellen Batcheler; husband of Julia Emily Batcheler, of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.
Grace George Samuel 12/02/1941 Signalman Plymouth Naval Memorial Panel 61, column 3 Age 30. Mr. Grace was a member of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. Son of Peter and Frances E. Grace, of Liverpool.
Tower Hill Memorial Tower Hill Memorial
These are photos of the panel on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission memorial at Tower Hill commemorating Warlaby.[2]
Poppies

Image Credits

  1. By courtesy of Hartlepool History Now and Then Website
  2. From the Benjidog Tower Hill Memorial Website
  3. By courtesy of Billy McGee