Ormskirk Advertiser

Trio of ocean-go­ing souls who lost their lives pur­su­ing Al­lied vic­tory

- Incidents · Mining · Industries · Egypt · Ireland · Royal Navy · Royal Navy · Glasgow · Durban · South Africa · Africa · Leonardo da Vinci · Leonardo da Vinci · Cape Town · Canadian Pacific Railway · Mersa Matruh · Cromer · Liverpool · Richard Turner · Ormskirk · Takoradi · Leonardo da Vinci · Palmas · Canadian Pacific Limited

OP­ER­A­TION M.A.G. One was the name given to the mine clear­ance of the Mersa Ma­truh ap­proaches north of Egypt.

The Four­teenth Minesweep­ing Flotilla, con­sist­ing of HMS Cromer, HMS Cro­marty, and HMS Bos­ton, re­ported hav­ing swept up 46 mines dur­ing the day in the vicin­ity of Mersa Ma­truh.

HMS Cromer (se­nior of­fi­cer, Four­teenth Minesweep­ing Flotilla) struck at mine at 17.15 on Nov 9, 1944 and blew up in po­si­tion 31-26.8N, 27-16E. Cro­marty and Bos­ton picked up four of­fi­cers and 32 rat­ings (nine of which were se­ri­ously wounded). The Com­mand­ing Of­fi­cer was amongst those miss­ing. It would ap­pear that Cromer struck a mine which was slow­ing sink­ing just be­low the sur­face.

Able Sea­man Thomas Gil­bert Bros­nan, born Feb 1905, is recorded on the St Annes Catholic Church War Me­mo­rial.

His par­ents came over from Ire­land in the early 1900s and his fa­ther ran a pub on Stan­ley Road, Kirk­dale.

In 1939 Thomas lived in Boo­tle with his wid­owed mother and his older sis­ter Mary who was a school teacher.

He was a tram con­duc­tor work­ing out of the Kirk­dale tram ter­mi­nal in Liver­pool.

Thomas joined the Royal Navy at the out­break of the war and served on HMS Cromer and died aged 39 when the ship was lost. He never mar­ried.

Off Dun­cansby Head dur­ing the night of July 16, Imo­gen col­lided with the light cruiser Glas­gow in thick fog whilst bound for Scapa Flow.

She was badly dam­aged, caught fire, and sank.

Glas­gow res­cued 10 of­fi­cers and 125 en­listed men, but 19 men were killed in the col­li­sion.

Amongst the 19 killed was Lead­ing Stoker Richard Turner, son of Wil­liam Joseph Turner (died 1925) and

Anne Turner nee Chis­nall (died 1964).

Richard was born in Orm­skirk on Jan­uary 20, 1913.

His fa­ther was the ten­ant of the Snigs Foot around the time of Richard’s birth.

Richard is re­mem­bered on the St Annes Catholic Church Me­mo­rial and the Chatham Naval Me­mo­rial.

On March 13, 1943, while en route from Dur­ban, South Africa to Tako­radi car­ry­ing Ital­ian prison­ers of war, the RMS Em­press of Canada was tor­pe­doed and sunk by Ital­ian sub­ma­rine Leonardo da Vinci, ap­prox­i­mately 400 miles (640 km) south of Cape Pal­mas off the coast of Africa.

Of the ap­prox­i­mate 1,800 peo­ple on board, 392 died.

She was owned by the Cana­dian Pa­cific Rail­way Com­pany. Many of the crew and pas­sen­gers, in­clud­ing dozens of nurses, were adrift in lifeboats and on makeshift rafts for four or five days be­fore it was found.

Many men gave up their places in the boats to the nurses and fe­male pas­sen­gers who were strug­gling in the wa­ter.

A young doc­tor swam amongst the in­jured who were be­ing sur­rounded by sharks but he him­self was even­tu­ally taken un­der by the sharks.

The Ital­ian POWs were lost on the ship as their cabins were locked and they could not es­cape.

Amongst the crew was Able Sea­man Bernard Joseph Wright who was lost on that night, March 13, 1943 aged 20 years.

Bernard was the son of Thomas and Cather­ine Wright of Orm­skirk.

He is re­mem­bered on the St Annes

 ??  ?? Above, the me­mo­rial bears the names of all men fea­tured – Able Sea­man Thomas Bros­nan died on HMS Cromer, above right
Above, the me­mo­rial bears the names of all men fea­tured – Able Sea­man Thomas Bros­nan died on HMS Cromer, above right
 ??  ?? Crew­men aboard Em­press of Canada, in­set; among those to per­ish when it was tor­pe­doed on March 13, 1943 was Able Sea­man Bernard Joseph Wright
Crew­men aboard Em­press of Canada, in­set; among those to per­ish when it was tor­pe­doed on March 13, 1943 was Able Sea­man Bernard Joseph Wright
 ??  ?? HMS Imo­gen: Lead­ing Stoker Richard Turner was one of 19 men killed in a tragic col­li­sion with a light cruiser in heavy fog off Dun­cansby Head in Scot­land
HMS Imo­gen: Lead­ing Stoker Richard Turner was one of 19 men killed in a tragic col­li­sion with a light cruiser in heavy fog off Dun­cansby Head in Scot­land
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK