View Full Version : MV Empire Stanley

Keith at Tregenna
20th February 2011, 05:28 PM
Strangely have much info on the MV Empire Stanley , but seeking the last part a list of survivors.

I would imagine that if anyone has the full crew list, one way is to deduct all names of those lost?

All help appreciated.


Empire Stanley was a 6,942 GRT CAM ship which was built by Greenock Dockyard Co Ltd, Greenock. Launched on 15 July 1941 and completed in September 1941. Torpedoed on 17 August 1943 and sunk by U-197 south of Madagascar (27░08′S 48░15′E27.133░S 48.25░E).

Empire Stanley MV was a British Cargo Motor Vessel of 6,942 tons built in 1941 by Greenock Dockyard Co. Ltd for the MOWT and managed by Furness Withy & Co. On the 17th August 1943 when on route from LOURENCO MARQUES & DURBAN for ADEN & BEIRUT carrying a cargo of 8,890 tons of coal she was torpedoed by German submarine U-197 and sunk S of Madegascar. 25 persons lost from a total crew of 54

Crew Members Lost When M.V. Empire Stanley Torpedoed

Arthur John Pilditch MBE 41 years of age Master
Husband of Florence May Pilditch of Hope Cove, Devon

Sydney James Wheatley 55 years of age 2nd Engineer
Husband of Florence A. Wheatley of Bristol

John Edward Snelling 21 years of age Junior Engineer
Son of Samuel George & Esther Alice Snelling

John Alexander Haughton 30 years of age Donkeyman

John McLachlan 36 years of age Chief Steward
Son of Donald & Christina McLachlan

Thomas Schofield 21 years of age Assistant Steward
Son of Thomas & Jane Schofield of Salford, Lancashire

Denis Giles 17 years of age Assistant Steward

Kenneth James Dumble 15 years of age Galley Boy
Son of William George Dumble & Elsie May Dumble of Portishead, Somerset

Walter Robert Powell 17 years of age Cabin Boy
Son of Walter & Elizabeth Powell of Handsworth Wood, Birmingham

Ian Campbell Stephen 21 years of age 2nd Radio Officer
Son of J. C. Stephen & Mary E. J. Stephen of Colinton, Edinburgh, Scotland

Richard George Whitfield 20 years of age 3rd Radio Officer
Son of Ernest Cooke Whitfield & Hilda Whitfield of Leeds, Yorkshire

William Henry Ross Bailey 18 years of age Radio Officer
Son of William Ross Bailey & Susie Bailey of South Shore, Blackpool, Lancashire

Frederick Bruce Tindale 18 years of age Cadet

Charles Renwick 20 years of age Able Seaman
Son of James & Elizabeth Renwick of Edinburgh, Scotland

Henry William Carmichael Wood 25 years of age Able Seaman
Son of Henry Alfred & Eva Emily Wood of Eltham, Taranaki, New Zealand

John Fraser 54 years of age Able Seaman

Cyril Thomas 36 years of age Able Seaman

William Orlando England 22 years of age Able Seaman
Son of Mrs. L. England of Barry Docks, Barry, Glamorgan

John Bernard McCarthy 22 years of age Sailor
Son of Jeremiah and Jane McCarthy & husband of Violet McCarthy, of Barry, Glamorgan

Donald Parfitt 19 years of age Dayman

John Henry Arnold 26 years of age Dayman
Son of Arthur Richard Arnold & Florence Elizabeth Arnold of Barry, Glamorgan

Actually with the maths I have only 21, 25 persons lost from a total crew of 54

Without double checking all prior to posting this answer may lie with the RN recorded:

Empire Stanley, steamship

17 August 1943

KENYON, Frederick, Gunner, RA, 3388351, (6 Maritime Regt, RA, O/P), killed

LEAPER, Stanley V, Act/Able Seaman (DEMS), P/JX 335427, (President III, O/P), MPK

RENWICK, Charles, Act/Able Seaman (DEMS), C/JX 320457, (President III, O/P), MPK

ROWLAND, William F, Act/Leading Seaman (DEMS), P/JX 217520, (President III, O/P), MPK

TASKER, Ernest, Act/Able Seaman (DEMS), P/JX 268455, (President III, O/P), MPK

BOEHLER, Stanley W, Stoker, V 36704 (RCNVR), killed

I will of course look at both lists provided and compare etc, but as I seek help will post as is.

Again the request is for the hopefully known survivors.



20th February 2011, 06:09 PM
Hello Keith,
It is easier to get a list of casualties than it is to get a list of the survivors. So just for information, if anyone is visiting Kew in the near future and is so inclined they could look in the following file for the last crew agreement: BT 381/2672.


20th February 2011, 06:22 PM
One of the survivors was John Ernest Kemp, Chief Radio Officer who was awarded a Commendation gazetted 2 May 1944 - For services when the ship was torpedoed and sunk.


Keith at Tregenna
20th February 2011, 06:53 PM
The request for info is from relatives of and regarding:

John Bernard McCarthy 22 years of age Sailor

Son of Jeremiah and Jane McCarthy & husband of Violet McCarthy, of Barry, Glamorgan

Initially thought possibly he may not be a casualty and had survived, apparently the inquirer has the list of those lost and is aware, without more contact, can only hazzard a guess they wish to have all details.

Hopefully we can point them in the right direction and remember:

John Bernard McCarthy 22 years of age Sailor.

With the many.



Allan Ebbrell
26th April 2012, 12:45 PM
Hi Keith,

My wife's father James (Jim) Martin was an Empire Stanley survivor. He was an Army gunner from the Maritime Regiment R.A. and was (we think) picked up by the Socotra on 20/08/1943 and taken to Bombay. I am working on a project on the subject which I am willing to share if interested. I have attached a copy of a postcard that he gave to my wife many years ago. The writing on the back reads:- To Jim, What-a-day, 20/08/43, Eric. There is also the word "Durban" in one corner and we have assumed it was taken there on or around 13/08/1943 before the sinking.

Allan Ebbrell

Nelson Every
25th June 2019, 11:22 AM
Hi Allan,

My Uncle Henry Wood was one who did not survive. I have been searching unsuccessfully for a photo of the Empire Stanley. Do you have one?
Also, there has been a story that my Uncle and another seaman were picked up by the U-boat. Do you know if your father in law ever spoke about this?
I am interested in any info you may have,
Regards Nelson

Ian Malcolm
26th June 2019, 09:37 AM

EMPIRE STANLEY (Captain A.J. Pilditch). Bound for Beirut from Lourenšo Marques, sailed independently from Durban on 13 August, 1943. Torpedoed and sunk by U.197 (KrvKpt. Robert Bartels) at 3.50pm on the 17th when in position 27║08║S 48║15║E. Twenty picked up by the Socotra and landed at landed at Bombay on the 27th. Nine picked up by the corvette HMS Thyme (Lt. H. Roach) and landed at Durban on the 29th.