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Thread: Hello - looking for family history

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    Default Hello - looking for family history

    I've no personal connections with the navy (served in the RN section in the school CCF, but never saw a ship ) but I'm researching my mother's family, Jones, who came from Liverpool, and had quite a long connection with the sea.
    In the 19th century they were shipbrokers and merchants, and there is a suspicion that one, John Jones, was involved in the slave trade and also supplying ships to trade with the US Confederacy.
    My great grandfather Alfred Ernest Jones was a chief steward with Ellerman Lines, and his ship, the "City of Khios" was seized by the Turks in Smyrna harbour at the outbreak of WWI. The ship was one of three scuttled at the entrance to the harbour in 1915 to hinder allied action in association with the Dardanelles campaign, and the crew were interned in Turkey for the duration of the war. I've no idea how to research his career before then or afterwards. Family anecdote says he served on sailing ships initially.

    His son Cyrus Jones, my grandfather, enlisted in the RN in 1916, trained on HMS Victory, then afloat on "active" service at Portsmouth, and served in MTBs in the war, I think patrolling on the Rhine after the Armistice. He then became a school master.

    His brother Alfred Ernest Jones, my great uncle, served on Yeoward Brothers and then Ellerman Lines merchant ships, becoming a Master and then retiring as Dockmaster at Gladstone Docks, Liverpool.
    Again, I'd love to know more about his career.

    His son, Norman Hardcastle Jones, was Chief Steward on the "Oporto" and was lost when the ship was torpedoed off Portugal by a U-boat in WWII.


    I'd love to know more about the ships they sailed on, to fill out the family history a bit.
    All I know about the first AE Jones is that he was a practical joker who often brought back exotic animals from abroad and let them loose in the house.
    The monkey swung about on the curtains and light fittings and had to be sent to a zoo, and the parrot imitated my great grandmother's voice and shouted instructions to tradesmen, mostly "Not today, please" or "The joint was a bit tough !"

    Many thanks if anyone can offer any help or advice.

    Cliff Pope

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Hello - looking for family history

    Welcome to the site Cliff.
    I'm sure info will be forth coming
    Enjoy
    Ron the batcave

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    Default Re: Hello - looking for family history

    hi
    just a thought for you, have you looked into Trevor Jones leading Liverpool figure and a ships chandlers, so there was always a connection with the sea, maybe a offshoot of your family
    tom

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    Default Re: Hello - looking for family history

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

    OPORTO (Captain F. Bird, ex-Estrellano). Bound for Seville, from London, and in Convoy OS.44 (Outward Southend, Liverpool to Freetown) which left on 6 March, 1943. Torpedoed and sunk by U.107 (Kptlt. Harald Gelhaus) at 5.30am on the 13th in position 4245N 1331W. Forty-three, including Captain Bird, died. Four picked up by the corvette HMS Spiraea (Lt. A.H. Pierce), transferred to the corvette HMS Gentian (T/A/LtCdr. E.W.C. Dempster) and landed at Gibraltar.

    Other ships sunk in Convoy OS.44 – all by U.107
    Clan Alpine. See under CLAN LINE.
    Marcella (Captain R. Downie). All 44 died.
    Sembilangan (Captain P.M. Leguit) (Dutch). Cargo of ammunition exploded. Eight-six died. 4th Engineer blown overboard and picked up by HMS Spiraea.
    (Djambi (Dutch). In collision with the Silver Beech on the 13th and sank. All picked up by the sloop HMS Fleetwood. (Cdr. W.B. Piggott).

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    Default Re: Hello - looking for family history

    Cargo ship, Oporto, 2,352grt (Ellerman & Papayanni Lines Ltd) loaded a cargo of copper sulphate, mail and seed potatoes for Seville sailing from Liverpool on the 6th March 1943 in the Freetown bound 49 ship Convoy OS-44. On the 12th March 1943 South-West of Cape Finisterre the ship was struck by one torpedo in the engine room from U-107. The explosion caused both the ships boilers to explode and the ship broke in half and sank within one minute in position 42’ 45N 13’ 31W with the loss of thirty-six crewmembers and seven gunners. Only four survivors were found alive a few hours later, three had made it onto a raft, which had broke free and one other was found floating amongst the wreckage and rescued by the Corvette HMS Spiraea and transferred to the Corvette HMS Gentian and landed at Gibraltar.

    JONES, Chief Steward, NORMAN HARDCASTLE, S.S. Oporto (Liverpool). Merchant Navy. 13th March 1943. Age 36. Husband of Isabel Jones, of Bootle, Lancashire. Commemorated Tower Hill Memorial. Panel 76.

    Oporto_43.jpg
    "Across the seas where the great waves grow, there are no fields for the poppies to grow, but its a place where Seamen sleep, died for their country, for you and for peace" (Billy McGee 2011)

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    Default Re: Hello - looking for family history

    Hi Clifff

    My grandad, George Vernon, was also on the S.S. Oporto when it was hit by a U-boat. Guess you have already googled and found most of the information -

    SS Oporto was carrying a cargo of 1500 tons of copper sulphate, 413 tons of seed potatoes and mail from Liverpool to Seville. At 05.30 hours on March 13 1943, she was torpedoed by U-107 in position 42.45N, 13.31W. Only four crew members were picked up by the HMS Spiraea, transferred to HMS Gentian (K 90) and landed at Gibraltar. The master and thirty-six crew members are commemorated on Tower Hill Panel 76. Only two of the seven gunners are known.


    Good luck with the rest of your search.

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    Default Re: Hello - looking for family history

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Malcolm View Post
    Extracted from my book SHIPPING COMPANY LOSSES OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR.

    OPORTO (Captain F. Bird, ex-Estrellano). Bound for Seville, from London, and in Convoy OS.44 (Outward Southend, Liverpool to Freetown) which left on 6 March, 1943. Torpedoed and sunk by U.107 (Kptlt. Harald Gelhaus) at 5.30am on the 13th in position 4245N 1331W. Forty-three, including Captain Bird, died. Four picked up by the corvette HMS Spiraea (Lt. A.H. Pierce), transferred to the corvette HMS Gentian (T/A/LtCdr. E.W.C. Dempster) and landed at Gibraltar.

    Other ships sunk in Convoy OS.44 – all by U.107
    Clan Alpine. See under CLAN LINE.
    Marcella (Captain R. Downie). All 44 died.
    Sembilangan (Captain P.M. Leguit) (Dutch). Cargo of ammunition exploded. Eight-six died. 4th Engineer blown overboard and picked up by HMS Spiraea.
    (Djambi (Dutch). In collision with the Silver Beech on the 13th and sank. All picked up by the sloop HMS Fleetwood. (Cdr. W.B. Piggott).
    Thanks for the extra info - I should have read the replies before responding myself. I am interested in the four survivors, is there any information or sources I can check out?

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    Default Re: Hello - looking for family history

    Quote Originally Posted by DeepSea View Post
    Cargo ship, Oporto, 2,352grt (Ellerman & Papayanni Lines Ltd) loaded a cargo of copper sulphate, mail and seed potatoes for Seville sailing from Liverpool on the 6th March 1943 in the Freetown bound 49 ship Convoy OS-44. On the 12th March 1943 South-West of Cape Finisterre the ship was struck by one torpedo in the engine room from U-107. The explosion caused both the ships boilers to explode and the ship broke in half and sank within one minute in position 42’ 45N 13’ 31W with the loss of thirty-six crewmembers and seven gunners. Only four survivors were found alive a few hours later, three had made it onto a raft, which had broke free and one other was found floating amongst the wreckage and rescued by the Corvette HMS Spiraea and transferred to the Corvette HMS Gentian and landed at Gibraltar.

    JONES, Chief Steward, NORMAN HARDCASTLE, S.S. Oporto (Liverpool). Merchant Navy. 13th March 1943. Age 36. Husband of Isabel Jones, of Bootle, Lancashire. Commemorated Tower Hill Memorial. Panel 76.

    Oporto_43.jpg
    Thank you DeepSea, classic newbie error of responding without reading the other replies first. My grandad George Vernon was also on the S.S. Oporto. Thank you also for the information you provided to the British-merchant-navy.co.uk site, I found it very informative.

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