View Full Version : "The Sinking Of The Kenbane Head"

25th April 2014, 08:31 PM
PLAY IT AGAIN SAM retrospective still on iplayer - up until Sunday and well worth a watch.

The Sinking Of The Kenbane Head

Keith at Tregenna
25th April 2014, 10:28 PM
Cannot thank you enough. K

Ian Malcolm
26th April 2014, 08:08 AM

The following is an extract from my book SHIPPING COMPANY LOSSES OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR.

FRESNO CITY (1). (Captain R.A. Lawson). In Convoy HX.84 which sailed from Halifax on 28 October, 1940, bound for the UK. The Convoy was intercepted by the German pocket battleship Admiral Scheer (Kapitän zur See Theodor Krancke) at 4.30pm on 5 November and she sank 7 ships, including the Fresno City. One man, Mr. D.R.H. Smith, died, and she sank the next day in position 51º47´N 33º29´W. Survivors picked up the next day by the Gloucester City and landed at St. John’s NF.

Other ships in Convoy HX.84 sunk by the Scheer on the same day.

Maidan. See under BROCKLEBANK LINE. Beaverford. See under CANADIAN PACIFIC. Kenbane Head (Captain T.F. Milner). Twenty-three died. Mopan. See under ELDERS AND FYFFES. Trewellard (Captain L. Daniel). Sixteen died. Twenty-five picked up by the Gloucester City. HMS Jervis Bay. See under SHAW SAVILL & ALBION. Other ships were damaged, including the San Demetrio. See under Maidan.



26th April 2014, 10:50 AM
From "The Sea is Their Grave"

Cargo ship Kenbane Head, 5,225grt, (Ulster SS Co. Ltd) loaded with a general cargo at Montreal and Sydney Nova Scotia for Belfast and Dublin joined the 38 ship Convoy HX-84, which departed Halifax, Nova Scotia on the 28th October 1940. On the 5th November, South-East of Cape Farewell the convoy was forced to scatter after being intercepted by the German Pocket Battleship Admiral Scheer. The Kenbane Head was met by the full force of the Sheer’s guns as the first three rounds from her main armament penetrated the ship’s cargo holds. This was followed by a second salvo striking the engine room, blowing off the funnel and destroying the gun platform on the stern. With the ship well ablaze and twenty-four men dead the Kenbane Head, settling by the stern was ordered abandoned and the ship finally sank in position 52’ 26N 32’ 34W. On the evening of the 5th November the British Merchant ship Gloucester City, which had dispersed from the outward bound Convoy OB-237 on the 2nd November had been listening to the unfolding nightmare after picking up a distress message from one of the stricken ships, stating they were under attack. Unperturbed the Master ordered all the steam they could muster and ploughing through storm force ten winds and heavy seas raced to the convoys last known position. Thirty seven hours later the ship arrived on a scene of utter devastation, with wreckage and lifeboats spread over a 15 mile radius. Gloucester City slowly maneuvered amongst the wreckage picking up the survivors from four of the sunken ships including the twenty-four survivors from the Kenbane Head and eventually landed them at St. John, New Brunswick.