William Turner was a merchant seaman, a steward on this SS Ramillies and he was lost presumed drowned on 8th May 1941

Hi Mac,
Saw your e-mail from Bryan Spence regarding Edward Spence who was a gunner on the ss Ramilles. My grandfather, William Turner was a merchant seaman, a steward on this ship and he was lost presumed drowned on 8th May 1941. We have been to Tower Hill to see the memorial plaque dedicated to the merchant seamen in the 1st and 2nd world wars. He is listed on panel 86 which shows all those who were lost on the Ramilles. The first on the list is W. Macey who was the Master.

We have been trying to get a list of the survivors who we believe landed in Canada.  So far we have had no success.  According to my aunt there is a book detailing the life of the ss Ramilles, but we do not know the title and would be grateful if you could cast any light upon any of this.

Yours truly, 
Judith Proctor (Mrs)


Thank you for your letter, I have not been able to find any details of the crew from SS Ramilles who were picked up, nor can I unearth anything about a book written on her. Some brief details of U-97 who was responsible for sinking Ramilles are listed. She received her own comeuppance through an  
Australian Hudson Aircraft on the 16th. of June in 1943.
Sorry I am of little help to you.
Best wishes,
Laid down  27 Sep, 1939  Germaniawerft, Kiel
Commissioned  28 Sep, 1940  Kptlt. Udo Heilmann
28 Sep, 1940 - May, 1942    Udo Heilmann
May, 1942 - 15 Oct, 1942    Friedrich Bürgel
2 Feb, 1943 - 16 Jun, 1943    Kptlt. Hans-Georg Trox
Career  13 patrols  28 Sep, 1940 - 31 Jan, 1941  7. Flottille (training)
1 Feb, 1941 - 31 Oct, 1941  7. Flottille (front boat)
1 Nov, 1941 - 30 Apr, 1942  23. Flottille (front boat)
1 May, 1942 - 16 Jun, 1943  29. Flottille (front boat)
Successes  15 ships sunk for a total of 64.404 GRT
1 auxiliary warship sunk for a total of 6.833 GRT
1 ship damaged for a total of 9.718 GRT
Fate  Sunk on 16 June, 1943 in Mediterranean, west of Haifa in position 33.00N, 34.00E by depth charges from an Australian Hudson aircraft (Sqdn 459/T). 27 dead and 21 survivors.

Hi Mac,

Many thanks for your reply to my e-mail.

Do you know whether Bryan Spence who was looking for information regarding Edward Spence, has now got a list of those lost when the Ramillies was torpeoed in 1941. If he doesn't, then I could send you the list along with photos of the memorial grave site.

Yours sincerely,
Judith Proctor.


I would be grateful to have your list of those who died in the Ramilles torpedoing, and your photo.

We would put them up on AHOY, and I would also send them to Bryan.

Thanks for your interest.

Best wishes,

Thank you for that, I noticed on the Panel from the Tower Hill Memorial that the ship's name is listed as Ramillies.

The previous information I had found spelt it as Ramilles.

So off I went to try and find out which one is right, I knew her builders were William Gray and Company at Hartlepool.

Looking for the list of all the ships they built I found her at this URL: http://portcities.hartlepool.gov.uk/server.php?change=YardBookDisplay&minNum=925&maxNum=1025&curPage=7 

The proper spelling is Ramillies, and her Yard Number was 989, and the ship was built for Roath SS Company Limited, to be launched on the 13th. of July 1927. If you click on the URL it will bring up the name Ramillies, and the 4 pictures on the right will give you the 4 entries from her Ship's Particulars Book.

You can Email each page to yourself, then print them out if you wish.

I was wrong in saying the spelling was Ramilles, sorry for that, but there was also a Royal Navy Battleship with the name HMS Ramillies, by chance in 1940, Prince Phillip was a Midshipman serving in her when the ship came to Sydney, I was then a Cadet Midshipman in the Royal Australian Navy in HMAS Australia, and it was the first time I met him, then as Crown Prince Phillip of Greece and Denmark.

I did not meet him again until the 1954 Royal Tour of Australia with her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, I had advanced to be a Lieutenant Commander, and was part of the Royal Guard mounted for the Queen. Through his marriage to the Queen , he was now an Admiral.

But then I don't suppose you wanted to know all of that.
Best wishes. 

Hi Mac,

Hope the attached photos are useful.

The names on the panel (86) are as follows:   Macey   W. (Master) , Adams  L.,  Ahmed   A.M.,  Ahmed  H.,  Ali  L (served as McIntyre  L.,  Atkinson  C.,  Bonner J. A.,  Brown  J.,  Byers  R. E.,  Cassmin  M.,  Gentile  F.,  Hamlett  C. W.,  Hassan  M., Hooton  E.,  James  A. W.,  McKeith  T.,  Numa  H. E. C.,  Pedersen  B.,  Ramon  A.,  Smith  N. E.,  Sorensen  E.,  Taylor  J.,  Thomas  D. J.,  Thomas  F. J.,  Turner W.

Yours sincerely, 
Judith Proctor.      

Hi Mac,
Many thanks for putting me in touch with Bryan Spence.
He is going to post me the information on the Ramillies.  It was kind of you to do this for me and I am very grateful to you.
My husband and myself think your site is very good and of interest to so many people around the world.  This is very worthwhile work and hopefully gives you satisfaction, solving some of the many mysteries there are surrounding what went on in wartime.
If we find out anything more, we will be in touch.  Meanwhile, many thanks.
Kind regards,
Judith Proctor.


back to letters index


This site was created as a resource for educational use and the promotion of historical awareness. All rights of publicity of the individuals named herein are expressly reserved, and, should be respected consistent with the reverence in which this memorial site was established.

Copyright© 1984/2014 Mackenzie J. Gregory All rights reserved