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Thread: RMS Newfoundland

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    Default RMS Newfoundland

    For book research, I would like to get information about the RMS Newfoundland, a mail/passenger steam ship that crossed from Liverpool to Halifax during the Battle of the Atlantic. On August 16, 1940, it was caught in the middle of a U-boat attack that sank the Clan Macphee and other merchant vessels. I would love to get a physical description of Newfoundland's interior -- its sister ship was the Nova Scotia -- and also to know what happened to RMS Newfoundland's captain, James W. Murphy. Family lore has it that he was disciplined for breaking the OB-197 convoy, but I can't find any evidence of it. Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

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    Default Re: RMS Newfoundland

    Hi Cindy
    Hope that at some stage we can assist with info you are looking for
    Gald you joined Enjoy the site
    Here is just a snippet to start but you may already have it!??

    HMHS Newfoundland - Wikipedia

    1940s to 1960s – FROM BOSTON TO LIVERPOOL – THE SS NOVA SCOTIA and SS NEWFOUNDLAND. | THE PAST AND NOW | News, Travel & Social History (cruiselinehistory.com)
    Last edited by Doc Vernon; 17th July 2021 at 10:22 PM.
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    R697530

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    Default Re: RMS Newfoundland

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Vernon View Post
    Hi Cindy
    Hope that at some stage we can assist with info you are looking for
    Gald you joined Enjoy the site
    Here is just a snippet to start but you may already have it!??

    HMHS Newfoundland - Wikipedia

    1940s to 1960s FROM BOSTON TO LIVERPOOL THE SS NOVA SCOTIA and SS NEWFOUNDLAND. | THE PAST AND NOW | News, Travel & Social History (cruiselinehistory.com)
    Thanks so much, Doc, and yes, you're correct, I do have that information (but appreciate your sending it). I would love to describe the interior of the Newfoundland in August 1940 so readers could picture it. It was a steamer/passenger liner/mail ship/wounded-troop-mover of 400 feet in length, but I don't know what it's safe to assume about it. My other challenge is in finding out the fate of the captain, James W. Murphy. Wondering if anyone can suggest an archive or experts who might know where to look.

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    Default Re: RMS Newfoundland

    May assist ??

    Crew lists for official number 147312 1940


    147312; 147314; 147317; 147319 | The National Archives

    Of some interest perhaps ?

    ISTG Vol 8 - SS Newfoundland (immigrantships.net)

    Well one thing Cindy Capt. Murphy did not die at Sea , as i have checked that , through Deaths at Sea and through the Convoy database with both Ship name and his Name !
    Do we know where he was Born at all?? Was he English or Canadian ??
    Last edited by Doc Vernon; 19th July 2021 at 09:29 PM.
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    Default Re: RMS Newfoundland

    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy Handler View Post
    For book research, I would like to get information about the RMS Newfoundland, a mail/passenger steam ship that crossed from Liverpool to Halifax during the Battle of the Atlantic. On August 16, 1940, it was caught in the middle of a U-boat attack that sank the Clan Macphee and other merchant vessels. I would love to get a physical description of Newfoundland's interior -- its sister ship was the Nova Scotia -- and also to know what happened to RMS Newfoundland's captain, James W. Murphy. Family lore has it that he was disciplined for breaking the OB-197 convoy, but I can't find any evidence of it. Thanks in advance for any help you can give.
    I suggest you try the following :
    https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/
    I recall seeing a model of the "Nova Scotia" there, she was as sister ship. The museum is very well equipped with all manner of Canadian Marine information.
    The curator is very helpful.

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    Default Re: RMS Newfoundland

    Hi, Would like to suggest trying Memorial University of St John's Newfoundland as they have archives related to shipping & crew lists going back many years.

    https://mha.mun.ca/mha/holdings/crewlist.php

    Hope this will will help in some way, good look.

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    Default Re: RMS Newfoundland

    Thank you! This is a great suggestion, and I'll try it. I'm also curious if there was a protocol about convoys that operated between Britain and Canada during the Battle of the Atlantic -- specifically, if ships were supposed to assist other ships that had been injured in a U-boat attack. I've been told that when OB-197 was attacked mid-day on August 16, 1940, survivors were visible in the water, and that the Capt. of the Newfoundland, James W. Murphy, decided not to try to save anyone -- he had women and children aboard-- and to speed away from the convoy west to safety. Aug. 16, 1940, was the date when they were four days out and the convoy was to have dispersed anyway, but I wonder if the Allies were supposed to obey universal rules of engagement that involved trying to save survivors first?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thank you! I will try this.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thank you -- I wish I had details of his life, but I don't know anything about him. I did find another name associated with the ship once it got to Newfoundland, so maybe this suggests that Murphy was British?

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    Default Re: RMS Newfoundland

    Thank you so much for the info from the National Archives! It's tremendously helpful, and dispels a lot of misconceptions that we had -- that my husband's family were the only German refugees, that Capt. Murphy didn't stay on the boat to Boston, etc. So beneficial to our story! Many thanks.

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