Mersington Court

27th August 2012, 18:56
Extremely interesting to read the history of the 'Mersington Court'. My Grandfather, Captain James Goodall Donald OBE was the Master of this vessel when it was taken at Narvik on 15th April 1940. As the article correctly states, the crews from the ships, including my Gradfather were eventually 'set free' and entered Sweden but there were high losses on the journey from the very severe weather conditions. I am uncertain what my Grandfather did in Sweden for the months that followed but he was part of the Kvarstad Ships convoy which broke out of Gothenburg on 1st April 1942, heading for the UK. He was the British Master of the D/S Charente which I believe was the first ship in the convoy to leave the port. However, the Germans were in wait and my Grandfather skuttled the Charente with explosives (all the Masters of the convoy ships must have had these orders) to avoid the Germans gaining possession of the cargo. He then spent the rest of the war in the Milag Nord prisoner of war camp in Germany.

My Grandfather prior to the war was Master of the Sinnington Court which survived the war years undertaking many convoys.

Via passenger lists I have found that my Grandfather at 20 years old was perhaps a 'cadet' on a ship called the 'Highland Pride' of the Nelson Line. Also, circa 1952 he was Master of a ship called the 'Inagua'. Other than this I have no further information about his career. He died in 1973 when I was seven years old. From my research I am very, very proud of my Grandfather but I have many, many questions but unfortunately..........