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Have you a story to share or would like more info?

Get in touch by using the ‘Leave a reply box. I will respond as soon as possible. Or direct to me email address.

Further help on research for relatives/friends can be found by writing to the addresses below.

Ministry of Defence
Admiralty Library
3-5 Great Scotland Yard
LONDON SWTA 2WH
Tel: 010 218 5446 (Direct Line)
Fax: 010 218 9000
Switchboard: 010 218 8210

The Keeper
Lloyds Marine Collection
Guildhall Library
Aldermanbury
London
EC2P 2EJ

The Public Records Office
Ruskin Avenue
Kew
Surrey
TW9 4DU

Information re Guns fitted to ships

Naval Armament Depot
Priddy’s Head
Gosport
Hants

Les

11 Comments

  1. My father, Philip McGhee, was a young army 2nd Lieutenant (2nd Lothian and Borders Horse) aboard the Strathallan en route to Oran . I am well versed with his story about the torpedoing and his subsequent exploits. I would like to include his recollection on the site please. I also have an officially released photograph of the ship after it had been torpedoed with smoke billowing from it. He marked an X at the place where he jumped overboard. He wrote a message on the reverse side of the photo and sent it home to my Grandfather. It is now in my possession. The photo was taken from the Destroyer ‘Lightning’ which picked my father up from the water. According to my father, the Lightning was lost some weeks after his rescue. The Lothians fought in the Tunisia campaign and were ultimately destroyed whilst holding the pass at the Battle of Kasserine. My father then joined the Queen’s Own 7th Hussars and landed at Salerno for the commencement of the Italy campaign. Can you please advise. Thank you!

    • Of course I will include your story on the website. Just email:les@thestrathallan.com with the information and photo (if you wish to include)

  2. Hi Les

    I recently found out that my Father, Victor Harry Bradbury Royal Corp of Signals, was onboard the Strathallan. My Father, who died in1979 , once mentioned that he had been on a troop ship that had been torpedoed. on the way to N.Africa. Reading thru his diary recently he had written that he sailed from Scotland and was off Gibraltar just before Xmas. When they sailed he said it was very rough and lots of people were seasick. I googled troop ships torpedoed off N.Africa in 1942 and the Strathallan came up.
    I worked at the Post Office with my Father in the late 1960’s and one of his work colleagues, who had been in the RN during the war, jokingly said he had saved my Dad’s life when he had rescued him at sea. All makes sense now. I have looked at the crew/passenger list but my Father’s name is not on it? Is there a definitive list anywhere?
    Hope this is of some interest to you. Your web site is excellent and I enjoyed reading all the info.
    Best Wishes
    John

  3. The Strathallan appears to have made her last regular voyage out to Australia just after being requisitioned. My great-aunt joined her at Malta on 27th February 1940 and travelled out to Sydney via Bombay, Colombo, Adelaide and Port Philip, arriving in Sydney early on 27th March. Very much a normal passage: ‘quite a lot of passengers’ she recorded in her diary, deck quoits, dinner at Captain Biggs’s table, cocktail parties etc. Only one scare when the ship came to a stop and all the lights went out on 17th March, about halfway between Colombo and Adelaide, due to a dynamo problem, but it was rectified and the voyage continued without incident. ‘It has been a wonderful passage, calm all the way’ my aunt wrote on arrival in Sydney. Not a bad end to Strathallan’s career as a P & O liner. Presumably she was then converted to a troopship ready to bring Australian troops back to North Africa. The Queen Mary and Mauretania were both in Sydney in April on the same mission.

  4. Anyone from 90 Tele OP Section 2nd Air Formation Signals still around ??We were aboard, r
    Regretfully lost one of our members. I recall , after further trip from Oran to .Maislon Carreethe kindly NCO who had arrived safetly there previously giving me and my mate some French francs to purchases some oranges from a nearby vendor. Really kind. One small aside…..recall George Formby {one of the first from ENSA} giving a show Maison Carree The applause was tremendous and I still recall the sight of George standing there with the tears rolling down his cheeks.
    My kindest regards to any of 90 Tele Op section ….and any of Strathallan viewers.
    Mac

  5. Anyone from 90 Tele OP Section 2nd Air Formation Signals still around ??We were aboard, r
    Regretfully lost one of our members. I recall , after further trip from Oran to .Maislon Carreethe kindly NCO who had arrived safetly there previously giving me and my mate some French francs to purchases some oranges from a nearby vendor. Really kind. One small aside…..recall George Formby {one of the first from ENSA} giving a show Maison Carree The applause was tremendous and I still recall the sight of George standing there with the tears rolling down his cheeks.
    My kindest regards to any of 90 Tele Op section ….and any of Strathallan viewers.
    Mac ONLY AWARE OF POSTING THIS ONCE…….CAN DO NO MORE..SORRY ..CHEERS

  6. Hi I think I may have a berthing card for the last trip out of the Strathallan.
    It was my grandfathers I think he was a Warrant Officer in the royal engineers.
    On the front of the card it says W.O Preen.E First Class deck B Cabin 2 Berth 2.
    On the back he has written Souvenir of the trip out.
    Then I think it says torpedoed lucky to be alive 21st Nov 1942.

  7. My father was Ernest Percy Cockerill born 2l.11.1913 regimental number 2198392 reached the rank of corporal Royal engineers. I heard the story of the Strathallan from him as a young girl after he returned to civilian life. He had left UK on this ship but I cannot find any passenger lists so I cannot verify this story. He did lighten the story by telling me his Christmas lunch that year was bully beef. Reading about the Strathallan has proved most interesting. Thank you

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