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The British passenger/cargoship Eumaeus was torpedoed and shelled by Italian submarine Comandante Cappellini and sank 118 miles W of Cape Sierra Leone.The records of Lloyds list 23 British fallen and 63 survivors, but the war log of the Cappellini clearly describes a "swarming" of troops getting away from the ship. In fact, this was a troop transport ship directed to Egypt.That is, at least, the version of the Italians. Maybe the Captain wanted to 'look good' ? If it had indeed been carrying troops, they would have been armed and could easily have opened fire on the submarine, even if only to keep the decks clear? This image above shows her on the River Mersey on a date unknown, after leaving Wallasey Docks.
email: Feb 2014:
Regarding the sinking of SS Eumaeus, it was indeed a troop carrier as my father, Stanley Marcel Guttridge, was one of the survivors spending 12 hours in shark infested waters watching his friends being taken. He only survived because he returned to his bunk to retrieve a picture of my mum (very romantic) and put his jumper on which protected him from the sun as others ended up suffering terrible heatstroke. There is a letter in the Daily Mirror in the 1960’s (I’m not sure my Dad still has the clipping) from a radio operator who first picked up the distress call. Apparently he had been reading a ‘penny dreadful’ and had not shut his radio off at the correct time and although saving numerous lives was reprimanded. I will try and find the clipping and give you more information. Dad is 92 and still going strong. Kind regards Stella Hunt (nee Guttridge)
This is a painting of the action by the artist David Thorp of www.battlefields-art.com
Looking for images of old ships? Try http://www.photoship.co.uk/