Unmarked Samtampa Grave

Billy1963
31st August 2009, 14:55
I recently found the unmarked grave of one of the Samtampa crew buried in Durham Road Cemetery, a young seaman named Joseph Croft age 19. After researching his service file from records obtained at Kew, I found he was born 18th March 1928 and his last place of abode was 23 Ashbourne Road, Stockton-on-Tees. He first went to sea in May 1944 just after his 16th Birthday and was involved in carrying supplies in to the Seine Bay in support of the D-Day Landings on board the Merchant ship SS Baron Tweedwood. He also saw active service in the Atlantic & Mediterranean. In an old Gazette article regarding the loss of the Samtampa his Mother is quoted as saying "I thought he would give it up after the war but 'it was in his blood" The Samtampa was his fifth peace time voyage and he died some five weeks after his 19th Birthday. With information from the Tees Valley Indexes, I believe his Father was a Mr. Tom D. Croft who married a Miss Jessie Ferguson in 1921 and Joseph was possibly born a twin, his twin being named Ralph E. Croft and he possibly had an elder Brother named Ralph. Joseph's Father is recorded as passing away in 1933 and his Mother remarried a Mr. Joseph Wood in 1936. This is backed up on part of his service record as next of kin is recorded as Jessie Wood. Jessie Wood died in 1965.

I am trying to trace if there are any relatives of Joseph Croft still living in the area as I wish to seek permission to have a headstone placed on his final resting place in relation to the Samtampa tragedy. This will be a follow up to the two memorial plaques I had commissioned in 2007. Part funding will come from excess donations from a recent project I under took for the restoration of a grave of a WWI Master awarded the DSC.

http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/2008/02/28/time-to-salute-a-hero-of-the-sea-84229-20532375/

chadburn
31st August 2009, 15:17
billie 1963. I do not know anything about this particular lad, but well done in regards to the Samtampa, I had a drive over to the Kirkleatham Museum for the model exhibition and had a look at the Samtampa memorial in the main building.

Billy1963
16th October 2009, 21:45
Received a phone call today after an article I wrote two months ago, appeared in tonights Evening Gazette regarding tracing Joseph's relatives. Joseph had a twin brother named Ralph and he is still with us. His daughter phoned me and gave me a contact number so I will speak to him soon. Also had a phone call from another relative and friend telling me Joseph nearly missed the ship and this person got Joseph a taxi to get him to the ship in time for sailing (fate)

Billy1963
19th October 2009, 16:51
Went to visit Joseph's twin Ralph yesterday and he wrote me a letter for the council giving me permission to mount a headstone for his brother.

As usual nothing comes simple in these matters. I went to the council offices this morning and was informed that unfortunately the family do not own the plot and it is reserved only. As the plot is only reserved a permanent mounting is not allowed unless the plot itself is purchased from the council at a cost of £350.00 on a fifty year lease.

JoK
20th October 2009, 02:16
What will they do, dig him up? What a bunch of asses!

Thats another Story
20th October 2009, 08:56
Talk About Rest In Peace?

archway
3rd November 2009, 16:11
Don't know anything about Joseph Croft but your message brought back old memories, my best friend at the time, Peter Ferns was a cadet on the Samtampa when she was lost, Pete was only 16 at the time probably the youngest member of the crew. We lived in the same street in Wallasey and Pete was buried in Allerton cemetry Liverpool. I was sailing as EDH on another Sam boat at that time,the Samois. The Samtampa was a terrible tragedy, an RNLI lifeboat lost with all hands as well. Archway.

Old Janner
4th November 2009, 01:01
Talk About Rest In Peace?

Typical council ruling, "Job's worth" I agree JOK, asseholes.

Billy, can you appeal ? maybe some one on the council has a heart.

JoK
4th November 2009, 03:18
Print this thread off and give it to them.
Southends of Northbound Jacks!

Hugh MacLean
5th November 2009, 19:15
Billy1963 is unable to reply to this thread but he has asked me to let you know that all is in hand - hopefully we can have a successful conclusion.
Admin, maybe best if you could close this thread please?
Regards

K urgess
5th November 2009, 19:40
I don't see what closing the thread will achieve.
If there is any further development then it should go in here.

Hugh MacLean
5th November 2009, 19:49
OK, but like I said, Billy cannot reply to these postings.
Regards

Ian Walker
1st January 2010, 21:35
I don't see what closing the thread will achieve.
If there is any further development then it should go in here.

This really is a most disgusting reply from a moderator, Billy McGee posted this thread with all the will in the world to help others understand the sinking of the Santapa and alll who died.
Billy is a most respected member of a number of MN sites,and will go out of his way to help anybody. If you ban members then you should also delete their posts instead of living off them.
Ian,

non descript
1st January 2010, 23:17
This really is a most disgusting reply from a moderator,...Ian,

Ian,
A somewhat curious first posting by you… maybe you have overlooked the guidelines which contains these points:

• Remember: treat others as you would expect to be treated yourself.
• Please do not post messages containing personal attacks. We encourage healthy debate but not slanging matches. There is a difference between disagreeing with an opinion and a personal attack, so please think before you post. So 'play the post, not the poster'.

Normally folk on here count to five before launching into an attack, but them maybe you have been counting since you joined way back in 2006?

benjidog
1st January 2010, 23:40
This really is a most disgusting reply from a moderator, Billy McGee posted this thread with all the will in the world to help others understand the sinking of the Santapa and alll who died.
Billy is a most respected member of a number of MN sites,and will go out of his way to help anybody. If you ban members then you should also delete their posts instead of living off them.
Ian,

Ian,

Nobody has questioned Billy McGee's purpose in posting this thread and his good work has been praised in the past by myself amongst others. We do not remove posts when someone has been banned or left the site of their own volition as it makes nonsense of the threads.

It is sound advice to consult a doctor before discontinuing medication.

viking
3rd January 2010, 20:16
on the rocks near where the santampa was wrecked is a plaque to the crew and lifeboat crew

Hugh MacLean
13th March 2010, 16:05
Below is a photo of the headstone of Joseph Croft - ss SAMTAMPA.
Thanks to Billy McGee, all the issues were resolved successfully and Joseph Croft now has a fitting memorial.

Photo courtesy of Billy McGee.

Lest We Forget.

Regards

JoK
13th March 2010, 16:12
great job

Billieboy
13th March 2010, 17:49
Nice one Billy, there aren't many of us left, that can still smell the crude in the air that terrible night!

Roger Griffiths
13th March 2010, 22:04
As always.
Actions speak louder than words.


regards
Roger

Lest we forget.

louise woodgate
4th January 2012, 21:41
Dear Billy and all those who have some interest in this thred.

My Grandfather Ralph Croft was Joseph's twin mentioned above. Ralph died earlier this week and I have been researching a few things for his funeral. I just want to say thank you for your project and all of your hard work to ensure that the headstone was marked and their deaths were recognise.

Hugh MacLean
4th January 2012, 21:49
Dear Louise,
Thank you for letting us know of your sad loss. My condolences to all your family at this time. I will ensure that Billy McGee is made aware.

Regards
Hugh

R58484956
5th January 2012, 10:45
Greetings Louise and a warm welcome to SN. Sincere condolences to your family. Bon voyage

Roger Griffiths
10th January 2012, 23:12
Sadly Joseph's twin brother Ralph died suddenly on the 3rd Janauary 2012 and his funeral will take place tomorrow. He will be buried in the same cemetery as his brother. info from Billy McGee.

Lest we Forget

trotterdotpom
12th January 2012, 13:08
I hadn't seen this thread before. Many folk will be aware of the sterling work done by Billy McGee and he has come up trumps again. I don't know the circumstances of Billy's departure from SN, but the two Moderators who have posted on this thread, Benjidog and Marconisahib, both baled out themselves in order to start a rival site.

To Louise Woodgate, condolences for the loss of your Grandfather. The brothers are together again.

John T.

Hugh MacLean
12th January 2012, 17:52
Thankfully Billy continues his good work elsewhere but it's a pity SN is not a part of it anymore.
Regards
Hugh

Roger Griffiths
13th January 2012, 00:38
I hadn't seen this thread before. Many folk will be aware of the sterling work done by Billy McGee and he has come up trumps again. I don't know the circumstances of Billy's departure from SN, but the two Moderators who have posted on this thread, Benjidog and Marconisahib, both baled out themselves in order to start a rival site.

To Louise Woodgate, condolences for the loss of your Grandfather. The brothers are together again.

John T.

John T,
Billy McGee was recently awarded the Merchant Navy Medal and has been appointed as the Official Archivist for The Merchant Association.
His wealth of knowledge and comitment to, the remembrance of those who sailed with the British Merchant Navy, 1939-1945 is beyond comparison.
As Hugh states "it's a pity SN is not a part of it anymore."
Could you enquire as to Billy McGee's status on this forum.

Thanks and regards
Roger.

zhenglanfeng
8th March 2012, 13:39
louise
My condolences go to all your family

lanfeng

Erimus
3rd May 2012, 21:20
For those who have access to the Middlesbrough Evening Gazette there is a good article, by Lindsey Sampson, in the Remember When slot this evening on the Double Disaster at Sea.....However, I have been unable to get a reference from their 'Gazette Live' website to put a link on SN.....



geoff

BUT there are links there, if of interest,..from 2007/2008 if you put the ships name into the Search Box on the Gazette Live site