The Voltaire Pages

As part of my trilogy about Armed Raiders in WW1, WW2, and the American Civil War I covered the action in WW2, and subsequent sinking of the British Armed Merchant Cruiser HMS Voltaire by the German Armed Merchant Raider Thor.

Over the past two years or so, we have had a good deal of comment about Voltaire, from relatives who had parents or grandparents in her, seeking information about them on board the Armed Merchant Cruiser, or their time as a Prisoner of War in camps in Germany.

One of Voltaire's  crew, Roger Coward, published a book about his sinking, and his POW experiences, called "Sailors in Cages." Post war Roger was a partner in a Bath Auctioneer and Estate Company for many years, but has died some time ago.

In some cases AHOY acts as a Post Office, trying to bring two interested parties together, so they may exchange information pertaining to some one who served in Voltaire. Given the level of interest raised in the ship, her action with Thor, demise, and the surviving crew members captivity in German POW camps, we have decided to consolidate all the Voltaire messages into a major subject on our AHOY Mac's Web Pages site called:


We have listed the messages, starting in the date order received, so that anyone interested may scroll through the list to follow the thread with its many different facets.

Articles and pictures from Mac's Log.

Thor, First Cruise - Marauders of the Sea, German Armed Merchant Ships During W.W. 2
Published 28 April 2003; Updated 23 March 2008  

Photo album - Marauders of the Sea, German Armed Merchant Ships During W.W. 2
Published 31 May 2002; Updated 24 November 2004  

Photo Album index - Marauders of the Sea, German Armed Merchant Ships During W.W. 2
Published 31 May 2002; Updated 24 November 2004  

Letters and other correspondence

Gnr FW Sutton, HMS Voltaire
Published 03 March 2013; Updated 03 March 2013

J A P Blackburn, HMS Voltaire
Published 17 February 2013; Updated 17 February 2013

Bernard Eades mentioned in the book Sailors In Cages
Published 17 February 2013; Updated 17 February 2013

Prayer Book Scans, Father in law was Canteen Manager with NAAFI on HMS Voltaire, POW in Germany
Published 27 January 2013; Updated 27 January 2013

Albert Ransome, my father, HMS Voltaire
Published 19 January 2013; Updated 19 January 2013

HMS Voltaire, Stanley J. Oliver, poignant letter to his mother from Bill Ransome
Published 25 November 2012; Updated 13 January 2013

16mm film footage of SS Voltaire 2
Published 25 November 2012; Updated 13 February 2013

Phillip Roy Skeats, HMS Voltaire
Published 19 November 2012; Updated 19 November 2012

Lt Richard John Wood (Jacky), killed in H.M.S. Voltaire?
Published 20 October 2011; Updated 21 October 2011

Alber Baker sailed on the Voltaire (and Pictures of Funeral at Sea)
Published 08 April 2011; Updated 08 April 2011

Edward Lancaster (known as Scotty), on the Voltaire when it was sunk
Published 01 April 2011; Updated 03 March 2013

Raymond (Ben) Currie on Afric Star which was sunk in the south Atlantic in 1941
Published 30 November 2010; Updated 30 November 2010

William Palmer: survived the sinking of HMS Voltaire. Pictures from the Voltaire and Marlag u Milag Nord POW camp
Published 23 October 2010; Updated 23 October 2010

Tom Smith, Voltaire POW imprisoned at Marlag und Milag Nord
Published 21 September 2010; Updated 21 September 2010

Lt. W B Jackson of HMS Voltaire, who died of wounds received during the sinking of the ship
Published 09 June 2010; Updated 09 June 2010

John Fearnley HMS Voltaire, POW
Published 29 May 2010; Updated 29 May 2010

Patrick Rooney survived the sinking of the Voltaire
Published 23 February 2010; Updated 23 February 2010

George F Crowe, killed ain HMS Voltaire
Published 11 February 2010; Updated 11 February 2010

Painting of HMS Voltaire by William Palmer who survived the sinking
Published 14 November 2009; Updated 14 November 2009

Royal Oak sinking/Voltaire


Published 23 October 2009; Updated 23 October 2009

H J Dukem, served in HMS Voltaire
Published 17 October 2009; Updated 18 October 2009

Times newspaper page dated 21/08/1941 announcing the the "Roll of Honour" of HMS Voltaire
Published 05 October 2009; Updated 05 October 2009

Alfred William HAZELL, was an Able Seaman on the Voltaire when it down
Published 03 October 2009; Updated 03 October 2009

Roger Coward HMS Voltaire
Published 20 September 2009; Updated 20 September 2009

C. Miller Fisher, the doctor on board the Voltaire. He spent more than 3 years at Marlag und Milag nord
Published 30 August 2009; Updated 30 August 2009

Hugh Wathew Taggart, R.N.R. died from Voltaire
Published 02 August 2009; Updated 02 August 2009

David McLean survived the sinking of the HMS Voltaire
Published 25 July 2009; Updated 25 July 2009

Leonard Edgar Charles Chapman, ordinary seaman, lost in sinking of Voltaire
Published 24 May 2009; Updated 24 May 2009

T Price, Ordinary Seaman lost his life in sinking of Voltaire
Published 18 November 2008; Updated 18 November 2008

Jim Reilly sailor in Voltaire
Published 05 March 2008; Updated 05 March 2008

W.D. Puttock, Acting Petty Officer, HMS Voltaire
Published 02 March 2008; Updated 02 March 2008

Phil Skeats was on Voltaire when attacked by Thor in 1941, taken POW
Published 30 November 2007; Updated 30 November 2007

Albert Ransome survived the Voltaire sinking and spent the remaining war years in a prison camp in Germany
Published 30 November 2007; Updated 30 November 2007

Les(lie) George Williams was a steward or second steward on Voltaire
Published 16 June 2007; Updated 16 June 2007

George Tidbury survived the sinking of Voltaire, prisoner in Germany till the end of the war
Published 13 May 2007; Updated 13 May 2007

Marlag un milag nord - survivors of Voltaire who wound up incarcerated there
Published 14 April 2007; Updated 14 April 2007

George F Crowe served on the Voltaire and was killed during the action on 4th April
Published 23 March 2007; Updated 25 March 2007

Len Hiller served on the Voltaire and became a POW
Published 21 March 2007; Updated 22 January 2009

David Alexander Ross, from Shandwick, Rosshire served on Voltaire
Published 30 November 2006; Updated 14 February 2007

Albert John Knott, Able seaman and rangefinder lost on Voltaire
Published 26 November 2006; Updated 26 November 2006

Searching for information and pictures for documentary about the British at Stalag VIIIB
Published 03 October 2006; Updated 03 October 2006

William Musgrave who was sadly killed when Voltaire was torpedoed
Published 25 August 2006; Updated 25 August 2006

W. C. Bowles killed whilst serving on the HMS Voltaire 09th April 1941
Published 22 August 2006; Updated 31 August 2006

B.BATESON Assistant Steward NAP (MN) who served on HMS Voltaire
Published 14 July 2006; Updated 14 July 2006

Chief Petty Officer Mc Neir in Voltaire?
Published 14 June 2006; Updated 14 June 2006

George F Crowe served on the Voltaire and was killed during the action on 4th April
Published 15 April 2006; Updated 21 March 2007

Anthony Murray, a 'donkeyman' (stoker) in HMS Voltaire
Published 04 March 2006; Updated 04 March 2006

Was Voltaire, like so many AMC's, just outgunned/outranged?
Published 19 February 2006; Updated 19 February 2006

Tony Parsons a pilot who ditched in the North Sea to finally wind up in the same POW camp as the Voltaire survivors
Published 11 January 2006; Updated 20 January 2007

HMS Voltaire Roll Of Honor
Published 09 January 2006; Updated 20 November 2006

Lt Cdr William Davies, killed on HMS Voltaire in April 1941
Published 31 October 2005; Updated 31 October 2005

David McLean, survived H.M.S. Voltaire, spent the rest of the war in a prisoner of war camp - Stalag VIIIb
Published 31 October 2005; Updated 25 July 2009

David McLean survivor of H.M.S. Voltaire, spent the rest of the war in a prisoner of war camp - Stalag VIIIb
Published 12 October 2005; Updated 12 October 2005

William Palmer survived the sinking of HMS Voltaire to spend the rest of the war in a POW camp in Germany
Published 26 September 2005; Updated 23 October 2010

Sidney Murphy was a Chief Petty Officer, AMS Voltaire
Published 13 September 2005; Updated 13 September 2005

Voltaire 1 was sunk by the German Armed Merchant Raider Moewe in WW1
Published 26 March 2005; Updated 28 March 2005

W C Middleton sailed in Voltaire
Published 13 March 2005; Updated 13 March 2005

Publishers of the book SAILORS in CAGES?
Published 28 February 2005; Updated 28 February 2005

Arthur Barnard of Gosport, England lost on Voltaire
Published 30 January 2005; Updated 04 March 2007

Emmanuel Pickstock served in HMS Voltaire
Published 15 January 2005; Updated 15 January 2005

Harold Evans, was an Officer on HMS Voltaire
Published 12 January 2005; Updated 16 January 2005

Identifying pictures of Voltaire crew
Published 09 January 2005; Updated 09 January 2005

Norman "Nobby" Hayes was on the Voltaire
Published 17 December 2004; Updated 27 December 2004

Photos from Graeme Dodds whose Grandfather was in Voltaire
Published 01 December 2004; Updated 08 April 2011

Grandfather, Robert Lawson, served in the Voltaire
Published 25 November 2004; Updated 04 March 2007

Voltaire Chief Petty Officer George Stamp in the book "Sailors in Cages"
Published 20 November 2004; Updated 24 November 2004

Killed on the Voltaire
Published 15 June 2004; Updated 04 March 2007

Harold BARNETT who apparently served on the Voltaire as a seaman in 1923
Published 06 June 2004; Updated 01 February 2005

Grandfather George Devine served on the Voltaire
Published 16 May 2004; Updated 25 November 2004

Grandfather, Sidney Murphy, was the Gunnery Officer of the Voltaire
Published 07 February 2004; Updated 25 November 2004

Voltaire - father, Robert Lawson, served in her
Published 04 November 2003; Updated 04 March 2007

Other Voltaire Sites

Sarah's Site and to her pages about Harold Barnett and his service in Voltaire

Prince of Wales Sea Training School's World War 2 Memorial Plaque contains the name of Leading Seaman Joseph Alexander Tweedie from HMS Voltaire. 

Lamport & Holts' T.S.S. "Voltaire" 2



Painting of HMS Voltaire by William Palmer
Painting of HMS Voltaire by William Palmer who survived the sinking


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