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I have a story to share how do I upload it?
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If you send me an email with the details I will review and upload to an appropriate page.
Gallery almost complete
More images added from Heydon Buchanan
Fantastic clear photos and well detailed naritive well done all
Thanks for your feedback Fraser.
My great-aunt, Maggie Irving, was a Queen Alexandra Nurse and family lore states that she was torpedoed (and survived) in both WWI and WWII. I’d love to establish if she was on the SS Strathallan. If anybody can help with a passenger list (or any other information), that would be fantastic.
My late grandmother, Gartley Barbara Hamilton Holt (nee Watters), from Stirling was also in the Queen Alexandra. Your Great Aunt’s name rings a bell in my memory, I will ask my mother, I think they may have been good friends if I recall.
Well presented with fantastic photographs. First class web site for all to enjoy
Just seen the website. Excellent.
Thanks for your kind comments Bill.
Could you share the website through Social Media if you use.
Please send me your snail mail address.
from Colin Pattrick
6 Northumberland Avenue
Southend on Sea
01702 600857 (Please follow phone instructions to by pass my SPAM Filter )
You will see in the gallery I have posted photos of the Strathallan that belonged to my late father-in-law Paul Earl when he was working for Bath Cabinet Makers Ltd.
I’ve just encountered the new site, and I must say you’ve done a fantastic job…again! Now, I’ll peruse the site and enjoy it afresh. Your work is admirable. Best, Heydon
Thanks for your comments. Although the new website is launched I have still so much to complete. There are still many many more stories to add and I will update when my time permits. If I have missed any of the information that you have sent previously just let me know and I will complete asap. Les
I was very interested to visit this website as I subsequently learned that my Uncle was one of the troops on this transport who abandoned ship after it was that. He died some years ago and I never had the opportunity to discuss his experiences with him. Like many he never discussed his war experience as frond crew in the airforce in North Africa.
I was very interested to visit this website as I subsequently learned that my Uncle was one of the troops on this transport who abandoned ship after it was hit. He died some years ago and I never had the opportunity to discuss his experiences with him. Like many he never discussed his war experience as ground crew in the airforce in North Africa.
This is a fascinating web site. My mother, 1st Lt. Antonia “Netta” Bunes, was an American Army nurse who survived the sinking. She often spoke of the event. She passed many years ago, and I wish I had written her accounts which are now vague memories. Thank you for your good work here, and thanks to all whose efforts helped the Allies to victory.
Hi, I read your comment here on The Strathallan site. My Aunt was Second Lieutenant Helen C. Baniak. Outside of a story in the local Troy, NY newspaper, I know little about her story. I am trying to find out more about why she was on that troop ship and any information that you could share p, I would greatly appreciate. Thank you. Thomas Baniak
I today visited Selwyn Jones’s widow and family in Cardiff (Margaret is now 93, in good form & still totally in control mentally)
I am Selwyn’s nephew & Margaret informed me of your website so I was fascinated to read his (& other) account of the sinking of the Strathalan.
My father John Rees Jones was Selwyn’s slightly older brother who had a similar experience.
John was a radio officer in the merchant navy and was returning from a trip having carried fighter fuel to Russia on the SS Dabchick, but just before arriving at at Liverpool (I think?) my father fell on deck & broke his wrist.
In a letter to Selwyn, John bemoaned his bad luck but a replacement radio officer was found and a few days later they set sail across the Atlantic only to be torpedoed shortly after with all hands lost.
I often think about the bravery of the Merchant Navy men who were initially virtually unprotected & pro-rata suffered many more fatalities than the armed forces & if my father hadn’t suffered his broken wrist, I & my son wouldn’t be in existence now!
Many thanks for keeping all of this forgotten history alive.
John Rees Jones
ps My family & I would obviously be delighted to hear from anyone who remembers my dear uncle Selwyn who had a lovely sense of humour & was a really self-deprecating person.
This is an impressive commerorative website to all those involved when the Strathallan was hit. Many thanks!
A wonderful site which brings to life the stories told to me by my late grandad Joseph Roy Millington, possibly a Leading Aircraftman at the time. He wrote a short piece about his experiences on the night the SS Strathallan was torpedoed and it matches perfectly with the information you have here.
Thanks for visiting the Strathallan site Jo. Glad the stories matched and thanks you for your kind comments.
Love the website. My father David Gryffydd
Jones (April 18th 1923) was one of the survivors. Thank-you for keeping the site going-it is really appreciated
My mother Mary Parker was a QA sister on the Strathallan. She died in 1989, but often talked about her adventure. She never learnt to swim and says she was in the water, going down for the last time and feeling only great sadness that her mother would learn of her death, when her friend Molly stuck a foot under her and bobbed her up again, She was rescued, covered in oil and had to wear mens clothes. She nursed throughout the campaign in North Africa and Italy. She met and married my father RAMC CMS Bert Tubby who stayed on as a regular soldier until the 1960s.
I wonder if the Molly my mother spoke of was Molly Skynn – who became Molly Smith as in the early 60s we went to Scotland to visit Molly and her family?
I have some photos and also a letter 21st January 1943 from H. C. Turnbull, Acting Matron, Monsall Hospital in Manchester, passing on a message from Miss Orchardson, Mary’s Matron in the army to “re-assure you that Mary is alright and behaved in a very heroic manner…Mary was in the water for some time but came up smiling. They are in West Africa somewhere …the nruses are wearing soldiers battle dress and forage caps …she is living in a tent in a fig orchard.
My late grandmother, Gartley Barbara Holt (nee Watters) was a Sister in the QAIMNS and was a passenger and survivor of the torpedo attack. I will get more information but she hailed from Stirling and was in her early 30s at the time of the sinking. She had recently married Major Henry Walter ‘Jim’ Holt of the Prince of Wales West Yorkshire Regiment who was stationed in India at the time of the sinking.
Barbara never learned to swim. She made it into a lifeboat with several other nurses and a couple of seamen. They were picked up after a couple of days by a British destroyer.
She didn’t talk much about the incident, she was planning on attending the last reunion in the early noughties but a fall hospitalised her and she passed away in 2005.
After WW2 she ran a nursing home in Bournemouth before retiring to first, Filey and then to Scarborough. Jim Holt died in 1974. They had separated some years before hand, Jim fought the Japanese during Slim’s offensive down the Burmese peninsular and it was a particularly vicious campaign which took its toll on him, made it difficult for him to adjust.
She had three daughters: Rosemary (my mother), and Pauline & Jennifer (twins). She had seven grandkids and knew a great grandson before she passed away.
Did you ever manage to get any more information from your Gran to post here ?
A very informative read, thank you. My grandfather Rowland Frederick Pattrick (Tony) was a survivor on the Strathallan when it was torpedoed. He passed away 4 years ago. He told us of many stories and he wrote a book too. My father Colin Pattrick is very informed. A few years ago probably 14 we held a Strathallan reunion in Greenwich at the Maritime Museum.
This is a remarkable website. Commodore John Wacher CBE RD RNR was a Cadet in Strathallan and in charge of a lifeboat, which was launched with nurses on board. A ladies man, he loved to relate the tale, during our quiet moments of reflection, on the bridge of Chusan, when I was his First Officer.
Thank you for your comments. Would love to hear more.
Really interesting and informative website and my thanks to those who spend the time to ensure these events are not forgotten for future generations. I have a direct family link to the SS Strathallan as my father was on the vessel for Op Torch (RAF 500 Sqn) and the next time I’m up visiting (yes – he’s now 95!) I need to dig out his diary as he has references of being dive bombed by stukas whilst on deck. He was subsequently based in Blida and other bases in Algiers. I don’t suppose there’s a P&O passenger list for the Torch landings?
Thanks for your comments Alan. It would be good to get diary extracts from your fathers diary to upload to the website. I am afraid I do not have a passenger list for the Torch landings.
Once again many thanks
James Worrall 5835036 2 Para was a survivor from the Strathallan, and mentions this episode in recordings i have
Would you mind transcribing James Worrall’s recollections about the Strathallan and posting them here ?
very nice website, I found it while reading the story of kay summersby morgan (a secret love affair), but I didn’t find her story back in your eyewitness reports.
My father and my uncle were both on the Strathallan when it was torpedoed. My father was called Matthew Hill Rankine. He was a boy soldier at Beachley Camp in Chepstow, and had just turned 18 when he was posted to North Africa. He was with my uncle, Hugh Liddle. Oddly enough, my husband’s best man’s mother was a nurse on that voyage too. I only discovered this after my father died (in 1989).
My father, James Miller, then 30 years old (1912-1992) was on board. He did not care to relate much of his wartime experience. He did mention the Strathallan episode, though. He went to on to fight in Italy and north Africa and greatly admired Field Marshall Montgomery. He completed 25 years’ service in the army and retired from his position of Commander (RAOC) in Hong Kong in 1962.
I am trying to get information about the US Army nurses that were aboard the Strathallan. She was Second Lieutenant Helen C. Baniak. Any information about the US Army Nurses will be greatly appreciated. Thank you !
Whitaker was on this ship…or one like it. The Story goes, that a man from England (last name Whitaker) came to Trinidad and had a baby boy. He put that baby in an orphanage and returned back to England.
Have photos &c of 1938 Port Moresby cruise but fairly personal. Would anyone like to see?
My father, Sapper Joseph Swain, was on board SS Strathallan when she was torpedoed. He would never talk about the experience up until he died at the age of 71. The oil that he ingested whilst he was in the water virtually destroyed his lungs and he suffered ill healtgh for the rest of his life.
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