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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good morning all,
I am a daughter of a young man who served as a steward on the Vindicatrix during ww2, training at Sharpeness.
My dads recollection was his boat was torpedoed by a U-boat after peace was declared and it was heading back to Germany, I think in English channel. There were not many survivors him being one of them. He had a mate that also survived called Robert (Bob) Reynolds.
I am trying to locate photos of dad Kenneth Hobbs or anyone who has memories of dad.
He was signedmober to a boys home by his mum in 1932 so after doing a trade and reaching 16yrs old his foster home was no longer an option, so he joined the merchant navy.
Dad is well and turning 95 in December. I am tracing his family history for him so he can have a sense of who his family were. I have visited Sharpness and traced all the young men's foot steps. Very sobering.
You may contact me at [email protected].
A grateful heart for reading my piece.

Premium Member
12,032 Posts
Hello Kerrie,

I think we have the right ship... AVONDALE PARK. Only a few vessels we sunch during the period. Was you Dad in this vessel or the Norwegian. Does your Dad still have of his Seaman's Discharge Book & do***ents?


SS Avondale Park
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General characteristics
NameAvondale Park
  • Canadian Government (1943)
  • Ministry of War Transport (1944)
  • Park Steamship Co Ltd (1943)
  • Witherington & Everett (1944)
Port of registryUnited Kingdom Montreal
BuilderPictou Shipyard, Foundation Maritime Ltd
LaunchedFebruary 1944
CompletedMay 1944
  • Code Letters VDDN
  • ICS Victor.svgICS Delta.svgICS Delta.svgICS November.svg
  • UK Official Number 175378
FateTorpedoed and sunk, 7 May 1945
Length315 ft 5 in (96.14 m)
Beam46 ft 5 in (14.15 m)
Depth22 ft 9 in (6.93 m)
Installed powerTriple expansion steam engine
PropulsionScrew propellor
Crew34, plus 4 DEMS gunners
Avondale Park was a 2,872 GRT cargo ship which was built by Pictou Shipyard at Pictou, Nova Scotia in 1944. She was the last merchant ship to be sunk by Germany in the Second World War, on 7 May 1945, the day of German surrender. She was built as merchant steamship constructed for Canada’s Merchant Navy in 1944 as part of Canada's Park ship program.
The ship was built by Foundation Maritime Limited's Pictou Shipyard in Pictou, Nova Scotia. She was launched in February 1944,[2] and completed in May 1944.[3]
The ship was 315 feet 5 inches (96.14 m) long, with a beam of 46 feet 5 inches (14.15 m) and a depth of 22 feet 9 inches (6.93 m). She had a GRT of 2,878 and a NRT of 1,653.[3]
She was propelled by a triple expansion steam engine which had cylinders 20 inches (51 cm), 31 inches (79 cm) and 55 inches (140 cm) diameter by 39 inches (99 cm) stroke. The engine was built by Canada Iron Foundries, Three Rivers, Quebec.[3]

A Typical cargo Park ship. Launch of SS Ashby Park at the Pictou Shipyard in 1944
Avondale Park was built for the Canadian Government and operated by the Park Steamship Co Ltd. The United Kingdom Official Number 175378 and code letters VDDN were allocated. Her port of registry was Montreal, under the British flag.[3] She was later chartered by the Ministry of War Transport, who placed her under the management of Witherington & Etheridge, Newcastle upon Tyne.[2]
Avondale Park was a member of Convoy EN 491, which departed Hull on 6 May 1945 bound for Belfast via Methil. On 7 May 1945, the convoy was attacked by U-2336 and two ships were sunk, Sneland I and Avondale Park, which became the last British merchant ship to be sunk during the Second World War.[2] The sinking, at just after 23:00 on 7 May 1945, was in the last hours of the Second World War in Europe, with the official surrender taking place at 23:01 on 8 May 1945.[4] Avondale Park sank at 56°05′N 02°32′WCoordinates:
56°05′N 02°32′W. Two of the 38 crew were lost.[2] A signal had been sent to the U-boats on 4 May 1945 ordering them to surrender but U-2336 did not receive the signal.[5]
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