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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just thought I'd hang this Franco - English pun on you all today.

I am still looking for details of the cir***stances of the sinking of the South American Saint Lines St. Essylt in the Med in July '43. I've already visited the U-boat net sites and can tell you the colour of the U-boats captain's eyes but so far have not been able to find anyone who took part in either the abandon or the picking up of the 300 + swimmers. The vessle is mentioned in a Canadian army historical report on operation Husky - the Sicily landings so I'm assuming for the moment that the troops carried were Canadian. I'd like to confirm this so I can aim my research. Is there any way of finding out which vessle carried what?
 

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I responded to your other request with details, but I have a survivors report, I will dig it out and see what it says regarding troops on board.
 

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Ive been wracking my memory for ages over this one as your original posting rang a bell or two. In a the mid 70s I worked for a London Tug Co. and the Engineer Super. was a chap called Ralph Brown. He was bald as a coot and had a thing about tanning the top of his head at regular intervals. The story was...though he never talked about it....that he'd been a junior enginneer in an S. American S. line ship that had been torpedoed in the Med on the way to Sicily. Apparently Ralph had had to swim for it and as a result of getting covered in oil lost his hair which never regrew. Ralph died a few years ago but I was wondering if his son David had more details as to the cir***stances of the sinking. David Brown is I believe is the Operations Manager for a tug company based at Gravesend in Kent. Not entirely sure how much use this piece is to you unless its all an incredible coincidence!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Paedrig, Baltic Wal,

Great news. It may just be an incredible coincidence. The old man was an engineer and would have been a junior at that time. I would really like to find out if they worked together! Another coincidence - my Mother's maiden name was Brown!
Many thanks in advance also to Baltic Wal - look forward to hearing from you. I see we sail under the same flag.......
 

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Report of the Master, Captain S Diggins says that there were 322 Military personnel, excluding the 12 Naval and 12 Army gunners. Casualties were an assistant steward, an Army Gunner, one RAF Personnel and one Canadian Soldier, names not provided. The report also commends two Canadian soldiers from the RCA, gives there numbers but no indication of the regiment. Will look in my CWG book on the Halifax Memorial to see if there is a name. Does include some army personnel who were lost at sea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Many thanks for your info. I'm a little slow on the uptake. I didn't make the connection with the name of Captain Diggins. He was the captain of the St. Merriel which I referred to elsewhere on this site. Here is a photo of a Lloyd's Silver Medal award ceremony. I guess this must have been on board ship - St. Merriel? The five people in the larger picture must be 5 of the 7 recipients of the award with Howard de Walden in the centre. According to a newspaper article the recipients were Senior 3rd Engineer Emmerson, Chief Officer Rees, Chief Engineer McKay, Engineer Holmes, Electrician Doncaster, Junior 3rd Engineer Green and Capt. S. Diggins. In the larger picture from left to right - Green, Diggins, De Walden, the three unidentified. There seem to be additional personalities in the picture of the larger group taken at the same ceremony. left to right - Military man, Diggins, 2 unknowns, de Walden (wearing glasses looks older) unkown, gent with glasses from larger picture, smiling gent from larger picture, unknown - not the stout gent in the larger picture - no medal ribbons, Green. Can anyone help identify the unkowns?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Paedrig,

Just to repeat te substance of our PM for the benefit of others. Thanks to your help I was able to get in touch with David Brown, Port Manager for Adsteam at Sheereness. It turns out his father was on the St. Essylt (2) and not the one that went down in the Med. If anyone out there has even the slightest bit of info on the cir***stances of the sinking - Personnel, Weather conditions, Troops or equipment onboard I'd be very grateful.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wal,

Thanks for keeping me up to date. It's been kind of you to look these details out so, whenever you can is great........
 
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