Fourah Bay at Sea, c1968
Keith Roberts has passed this on:
"My grandfather, Chief Engineer
J Roberts, served for the Elder Dempster line during WW2.
He sailed with Master J J Smith on a ship that was sunk in 1940 off the Nigerian / Cameroon coast. It was rescued and recommissioned by the chief after a period in Lagos Docks.
All grandad's records went missing long time ago. There was a book written about the incident called :- "The ship that came back from the dead". Author ??? Master / crewman ??
If possible I would like to trace the name of the ship concerned, its history before and after the event, the ISDN or where copy of book lies and also records of grandads other ships in the war.
I know he was torpedoed on more than one occasion. His home address was 228 Rimrose Road Bootle during the war.
Any help you can give would be gratefully received."
If anyone can help then please contact Keith Roberts direct .
Peter Moore emailed recently:
Heard about the Fourah Bay site from Jim Tunmore
, an ex Ocean Fleet cadet now a pilot at the LNG terminal
in Dampier West Australia.
I am retiring after 48 years at sea, have just obtained a computer at home and have started to investigate the internet, yours was the first site visited! I noted the request from Keith Roberts re the ship sunk and recommissioned and attached is a story of the Sangara which could be the one he is looking for.
I am forwarding a copy to both of you. to Sangara text
My first vessel with Elder Dempsters, the MV. Mary Kingsley,
around 4000 GRT?, built during the 1920's, had a jumbo derrick that
because of the age of the vessel had been down graded to 50 ton (originally
80 ton?). She carried a lot of heavy lifts in her day. If anyone
has a photograph of the Mary Kingsley I should be very grateful for
My last vessel, the SS. Northwest Sandpiper, is an Australian flagged LNG carrier of 105,010 GRT, built in 1993 to carry LNG from West Australia to Japan. A vast difference in a 70 year time span of shipbuilding.
I left EDs before the Fourah Bay was built, however I did serve as
senior cadet on the original cadet ship, the Obuasi in 1956, I
wonder if you have had any contacts from personnel of that ship?
Best regards, Peter Moore. Peter Moore
Jim Pottinger got in touch:
"I served my engineering App. in Scotts' of Greenock 1952-57, then Brocklebanks, and am researching history of company and ships.Any interesting anecdotes about this ship or any Scotts' ED ship would be of great interest to fill out the "dry" bits."
Thanks Jim Pottinger
4) Dave Scragg wrote:
I wonder if you could post this on your ED page, which I have just discovered to my glee. I would like to find out any information on my father John Scragg who was a third officer with Elder Dempster during WW2. I believe he spent time on the 'Mattawin' (?) and the 'Starling' and was torpedoed twice in his time. He died 6 years ago before I really got to know him, although he's been around all my life. Any help would be grateful.
And a contact from NZ:
Was going through some of the information about EDs and saw the note about Snowbow"s videos especially No 9 "Mersey Bound" The shot showing the "Ikeja Palm " leaving Apapa wharf has the NPA pilot with a beard and smoking a pipe. That pilot is Joe Moffat [me] former ED apprentice, 3/O, 2/O, and C/O 1948 to 1958. I was very surprised to see myself only for about three seconds. Was in the NPA 1958 to 1963 when we emigrated to New Zealand. Have recently been in touch with Derek Bailey and am now an associate of Elders of Elders. It is good to see the interest in the old company. When you get a chance to see the video you will know that the pilot on the "Ikeja Palm" is an ex --EDs man.
Regards Joe Moffat, Rangiora,
A.Jinadus sent in the following, has anyone any information?
As a 5 year old, back in December 1970, I travelled back to Lagos on mv Aureol, via Las Palmas. I have limited memories of the trip. Can anyone help me fill in the blanks?
Old passenger manifests, photos, anecdotes etc would all be appreciated. Thank you
from Peter Moore. email@example.com
I served with EDs as Cadet and 3/Mate from 1952 to 1959.
In 1957/58 I spent a year as 3/Mate on a ship called
the MV. Sangara. From my discharge book the ship's
official number was 166270, NRT 2328.64, NHP 1170.
The ship was built pre-war and had a German MAN engine, rather a unique version as on one voyage we broke down and were towed back to Las Palmas , in the Canary Islands, by one of the ‘Paddy Henderson’ ‘K’ vessels. We spent two-three weeks alongside the breakwater at Las Palmas waiting for specially made engine parts to arrive.
The ship had a twist in it and I remember that looking from the monkey island the foremast leaned to port and the aft mast to stbd. The story on board was that the ship had been sunk during the war and developed the twist while resting on the bottom. My father was working in Accra on the Gold Coast (now Ghana) at the time and he passed on a story from a long time resident that during WW2 the Sangara was sunk in shallow water off the Gold Coast, she lay on the bottom with the accommodation above water.
After the war ended two mining engineers from the Ashanti gold mines bought the salvage rights and raised money to finance the operation by selling the cargo. In the cargo was a substantial amount of bolts of cloth and sealed tins of cigarettes. The cloth was so tightly wound that after removing the first few layers it was found in good condition and because of wartime shortages was readily saleable. The cigarette tins, although without labels and slightly rusted, were still airtight, the cigarettes were OK and sold on the streets as 'Sangara' cigarettes. The money raised along with the sale of other cargo enabled the engineers to refloat the ship and sell it back to EDs.
I don't know how true the above story is but it could be the ship you are looking for as during my time with EDs I did not hear of any similar story about another vessel. It is possible that after the vessel was refloated it was taken to Lagos for repairs sufficient to get her back in service or to the UK for more extensive repairs and that your grandfather was involved in.
page produced by George Lang
last update was on 29th September 2010