SS Abderpool - Ships Nostalgia
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SS Abderpool

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  #1  
Old 20th July 2014, 17:10
Peter Karpinski Peter Karpinski is offline  
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SS Abderpool

Has anyone come across a British collier possibly called SS Abderpool - I say possibly because this may not be the correct name, and I have found nothing under it via Google, and it is not in Lloyd's Register. I am Interested in it because it is the ship that evacuated Polish soldiers from La Rochelle in June 1940, amongst whom was my father. The Abderpool is given as the name of the ship in his General's account of the war, "Freely I Served", by Major General Stanislaw Sosabowski. The Abderpool brought them to Plymouth on 22 June 1940. I suspect that due to war time conditions, the name may have been misremembered.

I would be grateful to hear if anyone has come across such a ship, or can suggest how I might be able to identify it, and find out any information about it and its war-time service.

Thanks, Peter Karpinski
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  #2  
Old 20th July 2014, 18:18
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Hugh MacLean Hugh MacLean is offline
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Hello Peter and welcome,
The ship was the 'ALDERPOOL' and her captain was Tom Valentine Frank who was decorated with the Polish Military Cross for the withdrawal of Polish forces from France in 1940.

Regards
Hugh
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  #3  
Old 20th July 2014, 18:50
Peter Karpinski Peter Karpinski is offline  
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SS Alderpool

That is brilliant - thank you very much, I wasn't expecting an answer so swiftly. The Alderpool certainly seems to be the right ship!

Many thanks, Peter Karpinski
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  #4  
Old 21st July 2014, 08:02
n. liddell (sparks) n. liddell (sparks) is offline  
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Greetings Peter - picture of Alderpool at www.photoship.co.uk BV
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  #5  
Old 21st July 2014, 12:17
Peter Karpinski Peter Karpinski is offline  
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SS Alderpool

Many thanks. There are also some at the IWM website showing what it was like during the evacuation in June 1940. I have also found out that less than a year later the Alderpool was sunk by a U-boat in April 1941, but all the crew were rescued. I am indebted to Ships Nostagia for giving me the right name of the ship.

Regards, Peter Karpinski
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  #6  
Old 21st July 2014, 21:37
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Hugh MacLean Hugh MacLean is offline
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A quote of mine on another site: http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/1530...-awards/page-2 #34

Captain Tom Valentine Frank was the master of "ALDERPOOL" official number 161994 when in June 1940 he embarked Polish troops from the port of La Pallice, La Rochelle (under fire) back to the UK. He, along with other Merchant Navy seamen from other ships, were awarded the Polish Cross of Valor (Krzyz Waleczych) by the President of the Polish Republic.

On 3 April 1941, Ropner's cargo ship "ALDERPOOL" was torpedoed and damaged by U-46 (Endrass). The ship was abandoned and finished off by U-73 (Helmut Rosenbaum). There were no casualties among the crew.

Sadly, Tom Valentine Frank lost his life while serving as the master of another of Ropner's cargo ships: ss "ASHBY" official number 139249. She was torpedoed and sunk by U-43 (Wolfgang Luth) on 30th November 1941. Along with Captain Frank, eleven of the crew and five gunners were also lost.

Lest we forget.

Regards
Hugh
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Last edited by Hugh MacLean; 22nd July 2014 at 15:03.. Reason: Removed reference to Dunkirk and Captain T.V. Frank as master of ALDERPOOL when sunk.
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  #7  
Old 21st July 2014, 21:54
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Brilliant, as always, Hugh - well done yet again
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  #8  
Old 21st July 2014, 22:30
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Hugh MacLean Hugh MacLean is offline
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Thank you Angus.

Regards
Hugh
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  #9  
Old 22nd July 2014, 10:57
Peter Karpinski Peter Karpinski is offline  
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SS Alderpool

Many thanks for this, Hugh.
However I think the port the Polish troops were evacuated from on 19 June 1940 was La Rochelle, as part of Operation Aerial, which took place after the Dunkirk evacuation (27 May - 4 June).

Regards, Peter
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  #10  
Old 22nd July 2014, 13:08
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Hugh MacLean Hugh MacLean is offline
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Thanks Peter, yes, 'ALDERPOOL' sailed from the port of La Pallice in La Rochelle on 19th June arriving Plymouth 22 June.

Regards
Hugh
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  #11  
Old 22nd July 2014, 14:27
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Roger Griffiths Roger Griffiths is offline  
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Hello Hugh,
Excellent research as always.
Just one point. You state, together with all other sources, that when ALDERPOOL was sunk, her master was Tom Valentine Frank.
However, her survivors report says her captain was A G Phelps Mead or am I missing something?

Any Ideas?

regards
Roger
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File Type: jpg 2000 1040.jpg (80.2 KB, 15 views)
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  #12  
Old 22nd July 2014, 14:42
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Hugh MacLean Hugh MacLean is offline
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Hello Roger,
You are quite right. The initial quote that I made on the other site was dated 2009. As we know Tennent's book does have some mistakes and this was, I believe, the primary research tool used in U-boat.net site. I believe this to be a mistake in Tennent's research and copied over to u-boat. Thanks for pointing it out and I will amend the piece above and on the other site.

Regards
Hugh
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Last edited by Hugh MacLean; 22nd July 2014 at 15:09..
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  #13  
Old 22nd January 2017, 04:54
AntonioMorawski AntonioMorawski is offline  
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Photo from the deck

Peter,

My own father's trajectory paralleled that of Sosabowski. I have just recently read Sosabowski's memoir. I was looking for a photo of the Abderpool (Alderpool) that would confirm that the one I have of men on the of deck of a ship was that of the Alderpool in transit from La Rochelle to the UK. I think it is a match. Please find said photo attached. I have more photos of those men who formed the First Polish Parachute Brigade in Scotland.
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  #14  
Old 24th January 2017, 20:06
Peter Karpinski Peter Karpinski is offline  
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SS Alderpool

Hi

Thanks; our fathers probably knew each other then, as mine was one of Sosabowski's intelligence officers. I have some photos of the Alderpool trip similar to yours and what look like from early days in Scotland. I shall be scanning them for the museum in Driel at some point. I don't think my father took the photos. One of these days I'm meaning to visit the Sikorski Museum to see if they can identify them or have any more.

Regards, Peter Karpinski
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