Remembering Today 03/11/40 Able Seaman Edward John Lewis D/J92462 HMS Laurentic

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by PGWKATIE, Nov 3, 2014.


    PGWKATIE Member

    Edward John Lewis was killed when the armed merchant cruiser HMS Laurentic was attacked by U-99 in the North Atlantic. The Laurentic and Patroclus had answered the distress calls of the Casanare, which had already been struck by U-99, and were both subsequently torpedoed and sunk.

    A degree of mystery surrounds his death. A shipmate wrote subsequently and said that Edward had been on a lifeboat ready to evacuate but got off to go and find the ship's dog, and was later killed. It is a very odd thing to say, and whether there is any truth in this, we will never know. Sadly, it seems Edward was in a reserved occupation as a fireman in London, and I understand he had only been due to serve at sea for three months.

    Remembering Edward John Lewis today and all those who perished alongside him.
    CL1 likes this.
  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  3. Bernard85

    Bernard85 WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    good day pgwkatie,yesterday today.03/11/40. able seaman.edward john lewis d/j92462 age 38 H.M.S.LAURENTIC.may he rest in peace,regards bernard85 :poppy: :poppy:

    PGWKATIE Member

    Thank you so much for your kind thoughts Bernard85. I must admit to looking to the stars yesterday night and telling him we hadn't forgotten him! Best wishes to you.
  5. pp.b

    pp.b New Member

    Thank you for taking the time and trouble to complete this entry. It's very poignant for me as Edward Lewis was my grandfather. I still have his medals from both the First and Second World Wars, together with his service bible and a faded newspaper account of the sinking. His medals from the first war are complete with their ribbons while his medals from the second war are still in mint condition wrapped in grease-proof paper as they arrived in he post.

    Edward had joined the Royal Navy as a 16 year old boy-sailor in 1918 and remained in the Service after the war had finished. He left at some point in the 1930's to marry my grandmother and take up a job with the London Fire Brigade. From what I know of him he had had a hard life, having been born in the workhouse at Ross-on-Wye and sent to work in a brewery as a laborer when still very young. Perhaps the navy was his way of escape?

    As a child I was told the story of how he left the life boat to rescue the ship's dog. So it may well be true.

    He left behind my grandmother as a young widow (she never remarried) and my mother - his only child - who was four years old. My mother still remembers him fondly and I know she still mourns him.

    Thank you again.

    Philip Burke.
    amberdog45, Peter Clare and Owen like this.
  6. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    Hi Philip, glad you've found the website. Have you applied for your grandfathers service records? In the meantime I found this file at The National Archives. When my uncle was killed by a u boat in '41 I managed to find two merchant seaman captains witness reports on the sinking of his ship. You might find something similar with a bit of research. Was your granddads ship part of a convoy?

    Edit: added link
  7. pp.b

    pp.b New Member


    Thank you - that's very useful. I haven't applied for his service records yet but I certainly shall. I believe that his ship was part of a convoy so there may well be accounts of the sinking that i haven't read.

    Thanks again for the attached files.



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