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Thread: Arandora Star

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    Default Arandora Star

    Via: The History of Wales

    On 2nd July 1940, 800 people were drowned when the Arandora Star was torpedoed off the Irish coast by a German U-Boat. Among the 1200 internees aboard, being deported to Canada were over 100 Welsh-Italians who had settled in Wales decades earlier.

    In early June 1940, immediately Italy entered the Second World War, all Italian males in Britain who held a passport and were aged between 18 and 70 years were arrested and forced to leave their homes or workplaces with immediate effect. They were to be indefinitely interned under orders from the British War Cabinet. Subsequent reports from the Red Cross and other organisations reveal that these internees were badly treated by the British authorities. They were imprisoned in inhumane surroundings, without access to sufficient food, without adequate sanitation or medical care and more than 700 Italian internees were transported to Liverpool, where they were herded aboard the former cruise liner, the Arandora Star, along with some 450 German and Austrian internees and Prisoners of War who were all to be shipped to Newfoundland in Canada.
    The first Welsh national memorial to the victims of the Arandora Star debacle was unveiled at a ceremony in Cardiff’s Metropolitan Cathedral of St David in Charles Street, Cardiff on 2nd July 2010. The memorial is a collaboration between the Welsh-Italian artist, Susanna Ciccotti, from Swansea and the world-renowned stone carver from Ammanford, Ieuan Rees.

    A STAR.jpg
    "Our veterans did not forget about us .... Let's not forget about them." From Michael Levesque

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    Default Re: Arandora Star

    In the 1930s to 1940 my local Italian Ice Cream man, Mr Manfredi, who used to stop outside our house with his donkey and two wheel cart, selling his Ice cream, suddenly disappeared. He actually looked like Adolf Hitler with the same shaped moustache,
    he didn't reappear until after 1945.
    He was interned on the Isle of Man.His sons now have the business, which is quite large. They were amazed that I knew their Father from the 1930s.
    Brian

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    Default Re: Arandora Star

    Extracted from my book, SHIPPING COMPANY LOSSES OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR.

    ARANDORA STAR (Captain E.W. Moulton). Bound for St. John’s, Newfoundland, sailed independently from Liverpool at about 4am on 1 July, 1940 with 1673 people on board – 174 crew, 200 guards, 479 German male internees, 86 German prisoners of war and 734 Italian male internees. Torpedoed in the engine room by U.47 (Kplt. Günther Prien), using her last remaining torpedo, at 6.15am on the 2nd, and sank at 7.20am, in position 56°´30N 10°38´W. The ship’s SSSS transmission was received by Malin Head radio station and an RAF Coastal Command Sunderland flying boat arrived at about 9.30am to drop first-aid appliances and cigarettes in watertight bags. And the aircraft remained until the Canadian destroyer HMCS St. Laurent (Cdr. H.G. de Wolf) arrived at about 1pm. Eight hundred and sixty eight people were rescued by the destroyer from 10 overcrowded lifeboats, rafts and from the oily water in which many died. The master, 54 crew, 37 guards, 470 Italians and 243 Germans died – a total of 805. Captain Otto Burfeind, an internee and master from the captured German ship Adolph Woermann, lost his life by remaining on board to help in the evacuation. The survivors were landed at Greenock, where several of the Italians had lived before internment.

    The death toll of the Arandora Star was increased because she was overcrowded, hadn’t enough lifeboats, and barbed wire, placed to keep the internees in check, prevented access to the lifeboats. Captain Moulton had protested vehemently on these aspects before the ship sailed, but his protests were to no avail. It may also have been the case that there was an insufficient number of lifejackets, as many did not have one. In addition to this, some rafts couldn’t be launched because they were secured by wire which required a special tool to loosen it and which couldn’t always be found.
    Last edited by Ian Malcolm; 2nd July 2019 at 12:14 PM.

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    Default Re: Arandora Star

    Thanks Ian, interesting.

    Keith.
    "Our veterans did not forget about us .... Let's not forget about them." From Michael Levesque

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