Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: Mess room boy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Kernersville NC
    Thanks (Given)
    Thanks (Received)
    Likes (Given)
    Likes (Received)

    Default Mess room boy


    Richard Norris, mess room boy,
    Did his bit for victory.
    He sailed aboard the GYPSUM QUEEN,
    To keep his country free.

    A fine young man of sixteen years,
    Said goodbye to loved ones dear.
    Setting out to a seaman's life,
    On the waters, far and near.

    He took his place among the crew,
    On the ocean tempest tossed.
    His name was added to the list.
    Of those whose lives were lost.

    Does anyone remain today,
    To claim him as their own.
    Who misses such a fine young man.
    Long gone from friends and home.

    So if you need a hero friend,
    Say a thank you of you please.
    Remember Richard Norris, . Who died for you and me.

    Ian Adrian Millar

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Thanks (Given)
    Thanks (Received)
    Likes (Given)
    Likes (Received)

    Post Re: Mess room boy

    With hopefully kind permission of our Senior Member Mr.Billy McGee from his excellent,poignant book 'They Shall Grow Not Old'.I would like to quote an extract about young Richard Norris.

    September 1941

    British,Allied and neutral merchant shipping lost this month totalled 81 ships of 273,329 grt,61 of them British .795 Merchant Seamen killed,along with 125 DEMS Gunners and Naval staff.

    NORRIS,Mess Room Boy,RICHARD,ss GYPSUM QUEEN (Middlesbrough).Merchant Navy,10th September 1941.Age 16.Son of John and Winifred Norris.of Allerton,Lancashire.

    Cargo ship Gypsum Queen 3,915 grt(Gypsum Packet Co;Ltd) had loaded a cargo of Sulphur at New Orleans for Glasgow and sailed to Sydney,Cape Breton to join up with the 65 ship ConvoySC- 42 destined for Liverpool,which sailed on the 30th August,1941.On the 10th September 1941 in position 12'27N,64'04W,south of Cape Farewell after enduring over a week in heavy seas and gales as the weather began to moderate a member of the Gypsum Queen's guncrew spotted a surfaced U-Boat off the ship's starboard beam only 300 yards away.The U-Boat was U82 who had just recently torpedoed a tanker,which could be seen fiercely burning in the distance less than a mile from the Gypsum Queen's position.
    As the U-Boat swung away from the merchant ship a torpedo was fired from the stern tube and detonated squarely in the ship's engine room.The ship sank so quickly those lucky enough to be near the only surviving lifeboat merely stepped into it as the keel touched the sea and drifted away.Those still on board as the ship began to slip beneath the sea could only hurl themselves over the side and swim away in desperation and now found themselves surrounded by burning oil patches from the burning tanker.The Norwegian ship s.s.Vestland

    which had to hurriedly alter course to avoid a collision with the Gypsum Queen then steamed around the area plucking the twenty-six survivors from the sea.
    Nine crew and one gunner were killed.

    Poppy 2 (2).gif

  3. Thanks j.sabourn, Bill Morrison thanked for this post
  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Thanks (Given)
    Thanks (Received)
    Likes (Given)
    Likes (Received)

    Default Re: Mess room boy

    For those living in the Perth WA or Fremantle area. Have received the following from the AMSA of Western Australia....
    I have pleasure in inviting you to the 2022 Allied Merchant Navy Memorial Service which will be held at the
    Associations Monument Hill , Fremantle on Saturday 3 September 2022 .. Muster at 10.45 am for an 11 am service
    Anyone wishing to lay a wreath during the service is welcome . Please convey this invitation to your colleagues who may be interested for whom I do not have an email address .

    Job done
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 15th August 2022 at 12:25 PM.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts