Ships Embarcation Rolls from Dunkirk

Discussion in '1940' started by MongoUK, Aug 15, 2017.

  1. MongoUK

    MongoUK Junior Member

    Hi all,

    To clarify, would anyone have made lists for those who were being evacuated from Dunkirk?

    I believe that my step-granddad was one of the handful of survivors of the S.S. Abukir sinking on the 28th May 1940, but am trying to find documented evidence (if possible) of him boarding.

    I have been to the National Archives and have tried to look within the GHQ Liaison Regt histories (he was 12th Lancers > No. 3 British Air Mission > Phantom) but have struggled to find any official documentation on the ship? I assume that I may not be looking in the right place, if there are such lists?

    Thanks for any pointers.
  2. idler

    idler GeneralList

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  3. MongoUK

    MongoUK Junior Member

    Wondeful. I've seen the files from the investigation of the sinking at TNA, but there's a couple of discrepancies in details and opinions, hoping that generically, people may have stumbled over records in other less obvious locations.

    Thanks for the heads up.
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    The file I have a copy of is the WO 361 File from the Missing Men series. Did you look in this one?
  5. MongoUK

    MongoUK Junior Member

    I assume so, 361/3 for the Abukir.

    Wondered whether there would have been any lists of initial boarding from the ship itself, I realise unlikely due to being sunk, or from the Grenade or Greyhound at landing in Dover.
  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

  7. MongoUK

    MongoUK Junior Member

    Ok thanks, I need to go back at least a few times anyway. Have a couple of ideas for odd locations to have a look.

    That and the fact that it would now appear my step grandad was in "K" squadron GHQ in Africa and I didn't picture half of their war diary haha!
  8. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Not from the Merchant Navy side unfortunately. Best bet is army records.
  9. MongoUK

    MongoUK Junior Member

    Ok thanks Hugh.
  10. Stormy Petrel

    Stormy Petrel Member

    I'm looking for Thomas Taylor (Gunner RA) who may have been part of the13 Salvage Unit, Aux Mil, Pioneer Corps who boarded the SS Abukir at Ostend on that fateful night of 27 May 1940. Listed on the Dunkirk Memorial. Does anyone have any suggestions?
  11. MongoUK

    MongoUK Junior Member

    Hi Stormy,

    There's a reference to T Taylor RA, attached, from the Losses Aboard SS Abukir file at the National Archives, that stated that he was last seen on board the ship, which would suggest that he was never recovered/later found I'm afraid.

    Attached Files:

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  12. Stormy Petrel

    Stormy Petrel Member

    Hi Mongo, Brilliant! You nailed it! That was his service number. He was my uncle. All we knew (from my Dad) was that his brother was torpedoed leaving (what he thought was Dunkirk). You have just resolved a long standing family mystery and we are all ever so grateful. What a great website - only joined a couple days ago. Stormy Petrel, incidentally, was my Dad’s nickname in the navy. He sailed with Montserrat on Corvettes amongst other theatres. Thanks mate!
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  13. MongoUK

    MongoUK Junior Member

    Glad to help. I thought my grandad was a survivor of it, but it appears he left via the Bray dunes.

    It's a fascinating story of the Abukir, being dive bombed by Stukas, attempting to ram the u boat, missing torpedoes, before finally being sunk.

    Such a shame the lives lost on it though, nuns schoolkids etc
  14. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member


    Statement of SS Aboukir's Master - Extracted from The Epic of Dunkirk by E Keble Chatterton.




    My father was one of the lucky ones to escape board SS Killarney.

    Hope this helps

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  15. Stormy Petrel

    Stormy Petrel Member

    Hadn't seen that - many thanks!
  16. Stormy Petrel

    Stormy Petrel Member

    There is this as well from The Pioneer the magazine of the Royal Pioneer Corps Association, October Issue 2012: It contains quite a few names that may be of interest to people

    13 Salvage Unit Statement by 945509 Gunner Stein L, 13 Salvage Unit, 36 Castle St, Shrewsbury – 23 Jun 41 Although the information which I am able to give is only second-hand, I feel that if further enquiries are made the fate of my comrades will be proved beyond doubt. 1. I Gunner Stein of No 13 Salvage Unit served with this unit in France, from which only 15 men returned safely to England. The rest of the men of the Unit were on the cargo boat Abukur which was torpedoed and sunk after leaving Ostend harbour. Thirteen other men and myself were taken off the Abukur and transferred to the Marquis in order to guard a number of German prisoners being escorted to England. On arriving back in England we learned the tragic news that all but one of our men on the Abukur had been drowned, and it was from this man we learned the fate of our comrades. This man – a Pte Williams of the Pioneer Corps has since been transferred to another Salvage Unit, as far as I know it is No 2 Salvage Unit situated in Hertford, Herts. His version of the tragic loss is as follows: “Two hours after leaving OSTEND harbour the Abukuyr was intercepted by a U-Boat and after a torpedo had struck her she went down in a few minutes. All our men except me were down in the hold, consequently they had little if any chance at all, as they were all apparently asleep in the hold when I left a few minutes before to go on the upper deck to go to the lavatory” The under mentioned men were on the ill-fated boat (all 13 Salvage Unit): 13011126 Pte BOYLE P 13011135 Pte DICKSON R 13011143 Pte GALLAGHER J 13011158 Pte LIDDLE JW 13011029 Pte PERKINS A 13011172 Pte SMITH RWP 13007926 Pte TAWSE J 13009068 Pte WATERSON WS 13011173 Pte WHELLANDS AP 13007988 Pte WIGNALL T 13011102 Pte WRIGHT T 2. Concerning Lt HARRIS, being OC of No 13 Salvage Unit and since you have no mention of him on your lists, I feel bound to add that he was on the ill-fated ship Abukur. 3. Concerning 13011129 Pte CLEMENTS D, on your list of missing personnel you will notice that you have placed him under 110 Coy, whereas he was in the No 13 Salvage Unit. He was also on the ship Abukur (Ed note: The Abukir was torpedoed and sunk in the North Sea by motor torpedo boat S-34 Kriegsmarine with the loss of 205 of the 231 people on board. The survivors were rescued by HMS Codrington, HMS Jaguar and HMS Javelin),
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  17. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Just for general info

    UK, Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945
    Name: Thomas Taylor
    Given Initials: T
    Rank: Gunner
    Death Date: 28 May 1940
    Number: 911020
    Birth Place: Manchester
    Residence: Manchester
    Regiment at Enlistment: Royal Artillery
    Branch at Enlistment: Royal Artillery
    Theatre of War: France and Belgium Campaign, 1939/40
    Regiment at Death: Royal Artillery
    Branch at Death: Royal Artillery

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