Herbert Currell, SS North Britain
November 1, 2012
I am emailing about my uncle who was part of the SS North Britian crew in the second world war. The person I am inquiring about is my great uncle his name is Herbert Currell I found some info but not a lot regarding him or any
Any information about Herbert would be much appreciated,
A picture of SS North Britain
North Britain, steamship
List of Naval personnel killed. The fact that your Uncle was carried on the Books of President 111 ( a shore base ) indicates he was a Defence of Merchant Ship's Gunner (DEMS )
They manned the armament in Merchant Ships.
BAXTER, Major A, Act/Able Seaman (DEMS), P/JX 289562, (President III, O/P), MPK
CULLEN, William, Act/Able Seaman (DEMS), D/JX 392862, (President III, O/P), MPK
CURRELL, Herbert, Act/Able Seaman (DEMS), P/JX 313937, (President III, O/P), MPK
FOSTER, Thomas W, Act/Able Seaman (DEMS), D/JX 392854, (President III, O/P), MPK
NEWCOMBE, James T, Act/Leading Seaman (DEMS), D/JX 248812, (President III, O/P), MPK
THE LOSS OF SS NORTH BRITAIN"
The ship was torpedoed at about midnight on the 4th May 1943 and went down in 4 minutes. The Captain almost immediately gave orders to abandon ship but after returning to his quarters for the ship's papers was never seen again. Having been hit at the aft end of the ship apparently began to sink rapidly by the stern and all members of the crew living in the poop quarters and not on watch, were unable to get out in time with the exception of M.C. Chapman who was the only man who escaped from this part of the ship.
These quarters were used by the sailors, firemen, donkeymen, carpenter, bosun and naval gunners,efforts were made by the remaining crew who were on watch and the rest of the crew who were midship and on the bridge to launch the boats, but many had to jump into the sea and swim to wreckage and rafts. It can be stated clearly that at least one boat got away because Mr Beaven 3rd radio officer was picked up by it after having jumped from the bridge boat deck into the sea. This boat was waterlogged and contained about 12 men of whom 4 died of exposure, the remainder being picked up by a Naval trawler after repeated attempts in heavy seas, the Third Officer Mr. A. Hansen was seen on a raft with 2 men who were presumably picked up by the same trawler.".......a letter of confirmation of my Dad's death was received 18th of April 1944, he was 28 years old in 1943 and I was 3 years old ........