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SS Maplecourt in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- SS Maplecourt during the Second World War -

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SS Maplecourt

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

Those known to have sailed in

SS Maplecourt

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Riddle Wilfred Harold. Pte. (d.6th Feb 1941)

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Pte. Wilfred Harold Riddle Queen's Royal Regiment West Surrey (d.6th Feb 1941)

Wilf Riddle was my uncle and he was born in 1918, one of twins. The other twin, Leslie, died shortly after birth. The twins were allegedly the result of an affair that their mother had during the War while her husband was away.

He joined the army on 27th July 1940 and was a Private in the Queens Royal Regiment (West Surrey) - regimental number 6102539. He was part of a D.E.M.S. (Defensively Equipped Merchant Ship) unit serving on board the S.S. Maplecourt, a Canadian ship owned by the United Towing and Salvage Company Ltd. It was in a convoy on a voyage from Montreal to Liverpool with a cargo which included 1540 tonnes of steel for the war effort. The ship left Halifax, Nova Scotia on 22nd January 1941.

At 1600 on 6th February, 1941, the Maplecourt made an SSSS (a radio signal meaning 'I have been torpedoed by a submarine') call in position 55.39N/15.56W. 1 hour and 32 minutes later, the Maplecourt was officially stated as sunk. At 1741, the Harvester escort ship was told to detach a portion of the escort to hunt for the submarine. There was one other soldier belonging to the D.E.M.S. personnel killed on board and he was George F Brimicombe, Private, Queens Royal Regiment (West Surrey) - regimental number 611787 and also a John A Lockhart who was an Ordinary Seaman in the Royal Canadian Volunteer Reserve. The crew of the SS Maplecourt numbered 37. There were no survivors. The U-boat that fired the torpedo was U-107, captained by Gunter Hessler, who had married Ursula, the daughter of Admiral Karl Donitz, in November 1937.

Jan Spall

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