Elder Dempster Lines " Alfred Jones "

Fisherman, Merchant vessels, Emigrant ships etc.

Moderator: Global Moderators

Post Reply
malki
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:47 pm
Location: Liverpool

Elder Dempster Lines " Alfred Jones "

Post by malki » Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:37 pm

Hi all

I've just discovered from the Merchant Crewmen files now available on Find My Past that a great uncle of mine was an AB during World War Two. From his C.R.2 card ( Dis. A No. R176651 ) I can see that on 31st December 1940 he signed on to ship No. 162322 " Alfred Jones ". This is the last entry on the card.

I've now found out that the " Alfred Jones " was sunk by U Boat U-107 off the coast of Sierra Leone on 01st June 1941. According to one website there were 14 crew and passengers lost but I can't find any names of the dead. I cannot find a death certificate on either Scotlands People ( he was a native of Aberdeen ) or Find My Past for him at all.

Do any of you know where I can get a hold of info on the sinking to prove, one way or the other, whether or not he was on board and, if so, did he survive?

Thanks
malki
A few hours were thereafter pleasantly spent with song and sentiment.

LesleyB
Posts: 8184
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 12:18 am
Location: Scotland

Re: Elder Dempster Lines " Alfred Jones "

Post by LesleyB » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:16 pm

Hi Malki
http://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?37176
says:
Alfred Jones MV was a British Motor Cargo Vessel of 4,022 tons built in 1930 by Harland & Wolff Ltd, Govan, Yard No 868 for the British & African Steam Navigation Company, Edinburgh (Elder Dempster). Engines by H&W/B&W were a oil engine, 4 SCSA 8 cyl. 652 NHP giving 12.5 Knots. On the 1st June 1941 when on route from ELLESMERE PORT and the RIVER MERSEY for FREETOWN and BATHURST carr ying a cargo oif REF Aircraft, lorries and 180 tons of steel she was torpoedoed and sunk by German submarine U-107 off West coast of Africa with the loss of 2 lives.
http://www.uboat.net/allies/merchants/962.html
says:
At 14.09 hours on 1 Jun, 1941, the Alfred Jones (Master Harold Harding), the ship of the convoy commodore from the dispersed convoy OB-320, was hit by three torpedoes from U-107 and sank within 30 minutes 140 miles west-southwest of Freetown. 14 crew members were lost. The master, the commodore (Vice-Admiral G.T.C.P. Swabey, CB, DSO, RN), six naval staff members, 38 crew members, four gunners and 12 passengers were picked up by HMS Marguerite (K 54) (LtCdr A.N. Blundell, RNR) and landed at Freetown.
- so quite a difference there...

And on the same site there is a list of 5 people who were on board
http://www.uboat.net/allies/merchants/c ... ip962.html
Branson, Cecil Robert Peter Charles, RN 17 Passenger Alfred Jones, Orcades
Harding, Harold, Merchant Navy Master Alfred Jones
McDaniel, Hugh Alphonsus, Merchant Navy 30 Fourth Engineer Officer Alfred Jones +
Swabey, G.T.C.P., RN Vice-Admiral Alfred Jones
Utting, Robert, Merchant Navy 16 Deck Boy Alfred Jones +

- what was the name you were looking for?
Have you searched on CWGC site for a death? http://www.cwgc.org/debt_of_honour.asp?menuid=14

Have you tried a search of newspapers online e.g. Glasgow Herald or the Scotsman?

Best wishes
Lesley

malki
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:47 pm
Location: Liverpool

Re: Elder Dempster Lines " Alfred Jones "

Post by malki » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:32 pm

Hi LesleyB - wow, that was quick; thanks for the interest. The guy I'm looking for is John Watson, born in Aberdeen in 1880. According to the C.R. 2 form I've found, dated 12th December 1938, the ships he signed on to were:-

147934 Carlbeath; registered in Glasgow 1924
160599 Tilsington Court; registered in London 1928 - 19th January 1939
160254 City of Dieppe; registered in Glasgow 1929 - 6th July 1940
162322 Alfred Jones; registered in Liverpool 1930 - 31st December 1940 ( from where the ship sailed to West Africa and where I now live!!!! ).

I knew he was a seafarer from marriage and census returns up to 1911 but had no idea he was still at sea at almost 60 years of age. I haven't tried the newspaper route yet - but thanks for the idea.

malki
A few hours were thereafter pleasantly spent with song and sentiment.

Currie
Posts: 3753
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:20 am
Location: Australia

Re: Elder Dempster Lines " Alfred Jones "

Post by Currie » Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:12 am

Hello Malki,

The names of any Merchant Navy personnel who died when the Alfred Jones was sunk should be on the Tower Hill Memorial underneath the name of the ship. It’s on Panel 5 according to CWGC.

You’ll find a photograph of that part of the panel with the 14 names here. John Watson isn’t among them. It seems that some lost their lives in a bombing incident the previous October. http://www.benjidog.co.uk/Tower%20Hill/ ... iance.html

All the best,
Alan

LesleyB
Posts: 8184
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 12:18 am
Location: Scotland

Re: Elder Dempster Lines " Alfred Jones "

Post by LesleyB » Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:21 pm

Hi Alan & Malki

Interesting link, thanks Alan, as it confirms there were 14 deaths in total but it seems they did not all occur due to the same incident, so that begins to make sense of the two quotes I posted above.
Alfred Jones
She was a motor cargo ship that was bombed by a German aircraft on 27 October 1940 at position 56° 00’ N 12° 08’ W but not lost. She was subsequently sunk on 1 June 1941 at position 08° N 15° W by a torpedo fired by U-107. Most but not all lives were lost in the earlier event based on checks made on a sample of names against the CWGC database.
Best wishes
Lesley

malki
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:47 pm
Location: Liverpool

Re: Elder Dempster Lines " Alfred Jones "

Post by malki » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:49 pm

Hi Alan

Thanks for the link - and confirmation that only two possible losses were sustained from the sinking. It seems, therefore, that John Watson ( if he was aboard ) made it home. What's the chances of finding lists of crew members for any particular voyage?

malki
A few hours were thereafter pleasantly spent with song and sentiment.

Currie
Posts: 3753
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:20 am
Location: Australia

Re: Elder Dempster Lines " Alfred Jones "

Post by Currie » Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:43 pm

Hello Lesley,

It looks like uboat.net just took the numbers from the Tower Hill list. The Tower Hill site is a work in progress and should be very useful. I think we’ve had requests for people to take photos of various panels there. That’s the first time I’d seen it I and only stumbled across it when I was about to give up the chase.

Hello Malki,

The ship Carlbeath has been discussed previously on this forum.
viewtopic.php?f=35&t=10680&p=115663&hil ... ath#p81711

There’s info about seaman’s records on this National Archives page. Try the WW1 and WW2 medal searches and the other searches available there. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/reco ... er1917.htm

All the best,
Alan

Hugh MacLean
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 10:36 pm
Location: Fort William, Scotland
Contact:

Re: Elder Dempster Lines " Alfred Jones "

Post by Hugh MacLean » Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:52 pm

Hello Malki,
If you wish to find out if he was aboard 'ALFRED JONES' when she was torpedoed and lost, you need to consult her last crew agreement which should be held at the National Archives, Kew. Crew agreements are held in block under the ship's official number. The crew agreement for 'ALFRED JONES', if it has survived, will be in BT 381/1577 - link here: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/cata ... 381%2F1577.
Regards
Hugh

malki
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:47 pm
Location: Liverpool

Re: Elder Dempster Lines " Alfred Jones "

Post by malki » Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:33 pm

Hi Hugh

Thanks for the insight into how I might go about proving one way or the other if he was aboard "Alfred Jones". The chances of me being able to vist Kew are slim to say the least - do you know of a researcher who might do this on my behalf for a reasonable fee?

malki
A few hours were thereafter pleasantly spent with song and sentiment.

Post Reply