You are not logged in.
SS Anslem in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

The Wartime Memories Project

- SS Anslem during the Second World War -


Ships of WW2 Index
skip to content


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to accept cookies.


If you enjoy this site

please consider making a donation.




    Site Home

    WW2 Home

    Add Stories

    WW2 Search

 WW2 Features

    Airfields of WW2

    Allied Forces

    British Army

    Royal Air Force

    Royal Navy

    Axis Forces

    Home Front

    Prisoners of War

    Secrets of WWII

    Allied Ships

    Women at War

    Those Who Served

    Day-by-Day

    Library

    The Great War

 Submissions

    How to add Memories

    Add Stories

    Time Capsule

    TWMP on Facebook

    Can you Answer?

    Printable Form



    Children's Bookshop

 FAQ's

    Your Family History

    Volunteering

    Contact us

    News

    Bookshop

    About

    Links







World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII

SS Anslem




If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.



Those known to have sailed in

SS Anslem

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Burrows George Frederick Thomas. Sergeant (d.5th July 1941)
  • Haylock John.
  • Hepher Cyril Frank.
  • Holland . (d.5th July 1941)
  • Marten Wilfred.
  • Parry Thomas Raymond .
  • Pugh Herbert Cecil. Sqd. Ldr. Rev. (d.5th Jul 1941)
  • Shaw Eric Hendry. Sgt.
  • Smith Nathan. Cpl.
  • Thompson George William.
  • Ward John. Bsn.
  • Watson Alfred.
  • Watson Alfred.
  • Woods Charles Lewis. LAC. (d.5th Jul 1941)

The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

The Wartime Memories Project is the original WW1 and WW2 commemoration website.

Announcements

  • To commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE Day, we are launching a new feature, Second World War Day by Day and also a new Library to allow access to records which have previously been held in our offline archive.
  • Looking for help with Family History Research?   Please read our Family History FAQ's
  • The Wartime Memories Project is run by volunteers and this website is funded by donations from our visitors. If the information here has been helpful or you have enjoyed reaching the stories please conside making a donation, no matter how small, would be much appreciated, annually we need to raise enough funds to pay for our web hosting or this site will vanish from the web. In these difficult times current donations are falling far short of this target.
    If you enjoy this site

    please consider making a donation.

  • We are also looking for volunteers to help with the website. We currently have a huge backlog of submissions which need to be edited for display online, if you have a good standard of written English, an interest in the two World Wars and a little time to spare online we would appreciate your help. For more information please see our page on Volunteering.

Research your own Family History.

Mar 2017 - Please note we currently have a large backlog of submitted material, our volunteers are working through this as quickly as possible and all names, stories and photos will be added to the site. If you have already submitted a story to the site and your UID reference number is higher than 230777, your information is still in the queue, please do not resubmit without contacting us first.

      

We are aware of the issue with missing images, this is due to the redesign of the website, images will reappear as soon as the new version of the page is completed, thank you for your patience.

We are now on Facebook. Like this page to receive our updates.

If you have a general question please post it on our Facebook page.



Wanted: Digital copies of Group photographs, Scrapbooks, Autograph books, photo albums, newspaper clippings, letters, postcards and ephemera relating to WW2. We would like to obtain digital copies of any documents or photographs relating to WW2 you may have at home.

If you have any unwanted photographs, documents or items from the First or Second World War, please do not destroy them. The Wartime Memories Project will give them a good home and ensure that they are used for educational purposes. Please get in touch for the postal address, do not sent them to our PO Box as packages are not accepted. World War 1 One ww1 wwII greatwar great
Did you know? We also have a section on The Great War. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.






George William Thompson 84 Sqd.

My late Father George William Thompson, Royal Air Force was on-board the ss Aslem when she was sunk. Thankfully he was rescued after several hours in the water, I will always remember my Father saying that he was full of praise for the bravery of The Reverend Pugh tendering to the injured Airman who were trapped in the sinking ship. Dad always insisted on wearing his life jacket when on-board, he was ordered by a senior officer (no name though) to take it off & pass it him, Dad refused to do this & thus saved his life when the torpedo struck. I have seen a photo of my Mother, taken in his cabin, that is now at the bottom of the Atlantic having gone down in the Anselm.

Thankfully Dad survived 1939 45 after serving in 84, 101, 109 & 2nd TAF from the beginning of the war, prior to that had served with the RAF in Iraq & Egypt (84 Sqd.) flying in such delights as Westland Wapitis & the Vickers Virginia transport.

I believe there is a plaque, statue & bust of the Rev Pugh commemorating his bravery & sacrifice, does anyone know where this is please? Any info would be appreciated.

Ann Jones



John Haylock SS Anslem

My father, John Haylock, was on the SS Anslem when it was torpedoed and sunk. He was one of those trying to 'persuade' the Revd Pugh not to go back down into the hold. Dad was overcome with emotion when he saw the pictures and was reading from this site. He always thought this episode had been thoroughly 'swept under the carpet'.

Jill Dighton



Sergeant George Frederick Thomas Burrows (d.5th July 1941)

My father, Sergeant George Frederick Thomas Burrows, R.A.S.C. had been in France in the BEF and managed to get home on one of the little ships at Dunkirk. I would love to know who rescued him. After a convalescent, he was sent out to Africa, not sure quite where they intended to land. His ship was the HMS Anselm and he was one who didn't get off. I was about 6 years old at the time with 'ovaltiney' sisters of 4 and 2 and Mum expecting a baby in the November as Dad was killed in July

He was the sun in my sky and it took me over 60 years to be healed of the grief I felt at his death. This being through my Christian faith and a loving counsellor. War doesn't end with the peace treaty, as I and many others can testify.

I have a Liverpool Echo report of the incident and Padre Cedric Pugh, who, eventually received his well earned medal. It took my local councillors 50 years to get our lost loved ones names put on a monument.I also have many photos of Dad and one of Mum that he carried with him all through the BEF and Dunkirk. Also a small cutting about someone who was rescued from the Anselm. I am not very good with the computer but would be very willing to get good copies if anyone cared to have one.

Sincerely and thanks for the site. I will try and send a donation but am now an OAP and it isn't financially easy in this 'land fit for heroes'.

Maureen Bessie Bentley



Thomas Raymond Parry

My father served in the Royal Marines during the Second World War. He was Thomas Raymond Parry. He travelled on the SS Anselm and told me the story of the lowering of Padre Pugh into the hold. He was also aboard 'The Hood'.

Sarah White



Wilfred Marten

My father Wilfred Marten was on board the SS Anselm and has always had great admiration for the actions of the padre Cecil Pugh, he mentioned how he helped the erks when the stair case had been blown up, as far as my father knows the ship was still moving along as the 'padre' was consoling the men.

My father was on the first deck down only because on arrival in Liverpool they asked for volunteers to man the machine guns he thinks the may have been browning's. As he had done some shooting at Blackpool on training and was a member of the rifle club. All bullets having gone through the same hole at a hundred yards.

Wilfreds hammock was attached to the stair well so he was knocked out of bed by the explosion. Somebody pulled my father up from the first deck down to the main deck, he does not know the name of the man who lowered the rope and does not know what became of him? They had been told that it was safe enough to undress so he was only in undergarments, no boots and airforce trousers. My father and one other man went around throwing ropes into the hold, and could hear them shouting. After first affixing the ropes to anything fixed atop. He also let rafts down and threw them into the sea. The deck of the ship at this time was empty except maybe for two others helping the best they could. The front of the ship started to go down and LAC W Marten (butch) moved to the stern, got to the railings and got ready to jump in. It was just getting daylight. he jumped in and went a long way down and then swam for the light and looked for something to hold on to. He floated around for an hours or so with only a small Naval float which kept him up.

An officer who had removed his epaulette's and any notification of rank started to order my father to row. After being picked up by a rowing boat 'butch' looked near deaths door and was exhausted, a kindly naval rating possibly a petty officer came to his aid and suggested that if he did not shut his mouth he would go over the side. My father had been in the water for a few hours and he was treated very well by the ratings that picked him up, he was in no fit state to row a boat.

He was taken to the Starwort and climbed with help the netting. When on the boat they were treated like Lords. He was given rum and got rid of the sea water. He thinks that he was taken to Flora bay. He still does not know where he was bound for but this site has given me some information to act on. The following day 150 approximately of RAF personnel were sent to Bo. He would like to hear from anyone aboard.

Jeffrey Marten



Bsn. John Ward SS Anslem

My grandfather Jack Ward was bosun on the Anselm and he would always relate the tale to us all about the fact that his pay was stopped as soon as the lifeboats hit the water !

Peter Cunningham-Ward



Alfred "Taff" Watson SS Anselm

My grandad, Mr Alfred Watson, Taff as he was known at sea , was the Anslem when it was sunk and survived for 18 days in a lifeboat without any food or water. He hardly spoke about this as it upset him deeply although there was an article in the Barnsley Chronicle which gave some information on the torment they all went through.

If any one has any information or pictures of the SS Anselm or of my grandfather please contact me I would be ever grateful.

Claire Watson



Alfred "Taff" Watson SS Anselm

My granddad Alfred Watson was aboard the SS Anselm on the 5th of July 1941 when it was hit by German U-boat U-96. If anyone has any pictures or story's I would love to hear from you.

Claire Watson



Cyril Frank Hepher 95 Squadon

My Dad was a survivor from the torpedo attack and sinking of the SS Anselm on 5th July 1941. He was rescued by the ship Cathay. He did not tell us much about the event. However, he did say he was very lucky as he was below in the hold with the RAF personnel and as it was very sticky he went on deck for some fresh air and it whilst he was on deck the ship was torpedoed. His overriding memory was that of a young man on the deck who had his head removed by a whiplash effect from a rope on the deck, he saw him decapitated, I do not know who the lad was but I do know Dad had bad dreams about seeing it happen. Dad then jumped overboard and thankfully was rescued.

Ann Munn



Sgt. Eric Hendry Shaw

My father, Eric Shaw, was on the SS Anselm when it was sunk. He was a sergeant in the Royal Air Force, aged 20. He jumped off the ship as it was going down and after 20 minutes in the water he was picked up by British survey vessel HMS Challenger, and later transferred to HMS Cathay which took survivors to Freetown, Sierra Leone. Eric was based there until January 1943.

During his time in the RAF Eric kept a diary which includes a detailed and vivid account of the sinking of Anselm, including events leading up to the sea journey and also the following 18 months when he was in Sierra Leone. He does mention some of his pals from that time, but only by first name or nickname. He was artistically inclined, and his diary is illustrated with many drawings of the events, people and places he has written about. I am the present custodian of the diary which is being kept as a family heirloom. I am in the process of transcribing it into MS Word format, and scanning the illustrations. When I have completed this, I will make it available to anyone who may be interested in having a copy.

Brian Shaw



Cpl. Nathan Smith

My Father, Nathan Smith was a passenger on the Anselm troopship, on his way to Freetown, as a Corporal in the RAF when it was torpedoed on the 5th July 1941, the day after his 21st Birthday. He recalls that himself and two others made for the stern of the ship as it sank very quickly and the bows went down. As they hung from the rail, my father counted to three and they all let go, my father did not see either of the men again. After some time in the water where he supported another comrade who couldn't swim, they were rescued by the Challenger or the Starwort and transferred to HMS Cathay which landed them at Freetown.

My father went on to serve in Africa for a further year before being transferred to the Far East where he served until 1946. Today very much alive with prompting he recalls many memories including the story of how he met my mother. After many weeks of travelling on foot they finally arrived in Kuala Lumpur, where in true British tradition they found a bar. Being renowned for his ability to sing and play the piano, the men with him demanded he give them a song. So before he even had a beer, my father sat down at the piano and played and sang Donkey Serenade and so won my mother's heart. My mother's name was Winifred Mary Bowers nee Horsley. She was working in the NAAFI. My mother and father were married for 61 years and have three daughters. My Mother died four years ago. My father is still a non active member of City of Glasgow 602 Squadron.

Frances Wright



Holland (d.5th July 1941)

My uncle was lost at sea on 5th July 1941. He was in the troopship SS Anselm sunk by U96. The Anselm had 98 crew and 1,210 troops - of these 4 crew and 250 troops were lost. My uncle was going to Canada via Freetown for pilot training. If anyone has lost relatives on the Anselm, contact me and I can give them more details and a photo of the SS Anselm.

Darrell Holland







Recomended Reading.

Available at discounted prices.







Links

















    The Wartime Memories Project is a non profit organisation run by volunteers.

    This website is paid for out of our own pockets, library subscriptions and from donations made by visitors. The popularity of the site means that it is far exceeding available resources.

    If you are enjoying the site, please consider making a donation, however small to help with the costs of keeping the site running.



    Hosted by:

    The Wartime Memories Project Website

    is archived for preservation by the British Library





    Website Copyright MCMXCIX - MMXVII
    - All Rights Reserved