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#1026721 - 2nd Dec 2016 11:38pm HMT Lancastria
granny Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Jun 2011
Posts: 14667
Loc: Wirral

I have just watched Amanda Holden on 'Who Do You Think You Are' . You may not like her, but part of her story goes back to WWII and what her grandfather lived through. Extremely interesting and a terribly sad affair, that was more or less kept quiet due to the times. That part starts att approx. 36 mins into the programme and her grandfather was working at Smithdown Hospital, Liverpool before he joined the war.

I have never heard the story of HMT Lancastria before or this tragic event , and it is really harrowing when we think about what those poor souls endured against the enemy for all of us.

I am assuming you can watch it from here through the link, and its available for 28 days.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b084jxgx/who-do-you-think-you-are-series-13-2-amanda-holden
_________________________
Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.
~Chief Seattle

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#1026725 - 3rd Dec 2016 7:51am Re: HMT Lancastria [Re: granny]
casper Online   content
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Registered: 13th May 2012
Posts: 1369
Loc: wallasey
Thank you for the link granny, I knew of the sinking of
HMT Lancastria but not in much detail, the Germans had a similar loss with the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff which I believe had the biggest loss of life through maritime operations during WW2.

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#1026729 - 3rd Dec 2016 9:13am Re: HMT Lancastria [Re: granny]
joney Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 29th Apr 2012
Posts: 150
Loc: france

Living here in France, my wife and I often go on holiday to a small port called Pornic just up the coast past St Nazaire. Seeing a sign for war graves we decided to visit the local cemetery and were surprised by seeing so many British graves till we realised that they were from the Lancastria. I found out later that a local woman who was not happy with the fact that little effort was being made by the authorities to retrieve the bodies, gathered together family and friends and set off with a horse and cart and retrieved the bodies from the shoreline which she listed and buried in a nearby field. The bodies were after the war reburied by the war graves commission. An interesting fact that came out of my visit was before we left the cemetery we looked in the book of condolences and saw an entry from somebody named Featherstone from the Wirral. As I had been at school with a lad called Featherstone the next time I was back on the Wirral i made some enquiries and found out it was the wife of the guy I went to school with. It's a small world.

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#1026731 - 3rd Dec 2016 9:37am Re: HMT Lancastria [Re: joney]
casper Online   content
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Registered: 13th May 2012
Posts: 1369
Loc: wallasey
Thank you for the information joney, this is what wiki is about.

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#1026736 - 3rd Dec 2016 1:03pm Re: HMT Lancastria [Re: granny]
cools Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 16th Aug 2013
Posts: 1956
Loc: Wirral
That's very interesting and sad information you pass on joney completes the tragic story. As Amanda said strange more lives lost than Titanic but not known about in contrast to the Titanic. Her grandfather who survived this ended up killing himself,sad indeed. I love this programme , last week Danny Dyer who shocked everybody by being related to royalty last person in world you would think as can't say two words without swearing but there you go.

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#1026742 - 3rd Dec 2016 2:06pm Re: HMT Lancastria [Re: joney]
granny Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Jun 2011
Posts: 14667
Loc: Wirral
Originally Posted By: joney

Living here in France, my wife and I often go on holiday to a small port called Pornic just up the coast past St Nazaire. Seeing a sign for war graves we decided to visit the local cemetery and were surprised by seeing so many British graves till we realised that they were from the Lancastria. I found out later that a local woman who was not happy with the fact that little effort was being made by the authorities to retrieve the bodies, gathered together family and friends and set off with a horse and cart and retrieved the bodies from the shoreline which she listed and buried in a nearby field. The bodies were after the war reburied by the war graves commission. An interesting fact that came out of my visit was before we left the cemetery we looked in the book of condolences and saw an entry from somebody named Featherstone from the Wirral. As I had been at school with a lad called Featherstone the next time I was back on the Wirral i made some enquiries and found out it was the wife of the guy I went to school with. It's a small world.


Joney, what an interesting post and how amazing to have found your particular school friend. I wonder if anyone else will see this and also have know young Featherstone, it's not a particularly common name I would have thought. Well done and thanks.

There is also quit a bit of it's History on Wikipedia and various attempts and successes to have fitting memorials to the victims.
_________________________
Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.
~Chief Seattle

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#1026780 - 5th Dec 2016 2:50pm Re: HMT Lancastria [Re: granny]
joney Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 29th Apr 2012
Posts: 150
Loc: france
At the risk of being boring here is some more information. As i was leaving Pornic cemetery I was stopped by an old french man who asked was I English and had I been to visit the war graves. He then said that as a child he had seen the bodies along the shoreline It was him that told me the story about the woman with the horse and cart who removed them. At a later date I spotted a sign in a village a few miles away pointing to war graves and when we looked there were six or seven more graves of men from the Lancastria, if you think about it there must be many more such places along that strip of coast. In Pornic there must be best part of a hundred.

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#1026781 - 5th Dec 2016 3:14pm Re: HMT Lancastria [Re: joney]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7936
Loc: tranmere
_________________________
God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.

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#1026782 - 5th Dec 2016 3:25pm Re: HMT Lancastria [Re: granny]
cools Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 16th Aug 2013
Posts: 1956
Loc: Wirral
Not boring at all Joney its good to hear these facts from the locals as sad as they are. Just read the report that Bert put up seeing all their names really brings it home.Trapped in the hull so many,the terror must have been unimaginable. Glad its been brought to everyone's attention a very sad war tragedy.

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#1026849 - 8th Dec 2016 11:15am Re: HMT Lancastria [Re: granny]
tomcat77 Offline
Newbeee

Registered: 11th Jun 2010
Posts: 12
Loc: moreton
My father was aboard the Lancastria and had the good fortune to survive ,he was one of the troops being evacuated from France.After returning to blighty to recover he embarked on a ship (The Empress of Asia )visiting Halifax -Nova Scotia ,Jacksonville USA,Trinidad and Tobago,Cape Town,Bombay,before the ship was attacked and sank in Indonesian waters.He had the good fortune to survive after being in shark infested waters for 8 hours (despite being a non swimmer relying on the old mae west).
After being recovered from the water he was taken to Changi hospital (Singapore )for medical treatement.When fit he rejoined his unit taking on the Japanese force on the Malaysian penninsula,when shot in the Knee and captured following hospital treatement he spent the next three and a half years a prisoner of war on the Burma railway.When liberated at the weight of 6 stones he was cared for (in the huts)at Clatterbridge and made a good recovery,raised a family and worked till the age of 60 ,living to the age of 82.He had bouts of Malaria for many years after coming home and had suffered with a plethora of tropical diseases whilst incarcerated,indeed he was recalled to the Liverpool School of Tropical Medecine a few years before he died when it was found many prisoners and indeed my father had returned with a parasite (Strogyloides)it had been active in them all that time.I can only imagine how hard it was dealing with the physical and mental ordeal there generation suffered, they were certainly made of stout heart.

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#1026852 - 8th Dec 2016 4:59pm Re: HMT Lancastria [Re: granny]
cools Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 16th Aug 2013
Posts: 1956
Loc: Wirral
Oh wow Tomcat what a strong and courageous man your father was. He certainly cheated death and was a true survivor. Can't imagine the pain he went through mentally as well as physically, as you say made of strong stuff. Don't think many people these days would come through it.Thanks for telling his heroic story.

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#1026879 - 9th Dec 2016 2:59pm Re: HMT Lancastria [Re: granny]
venice Offline

Forum Master

Registered: 21st Jul 2011
Posts: 2803
Loc: Wirral
Great thread/posts to read. Thanks.

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#1027034 - 12th Dec 2016 10:44pm Re: HMT Lancastria [Re: granny]
granny Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Jun 2011
Posts: 14667
Loc: Wirral
Absolutely amazed at these relative stories from so far back in time, plus the link Bert posted.
We really have no idea what these courageous fellows lived through. The older we become, because of the testimonies of those who had, or experienced any connections to those who suffered such atrocities , it looms and becomes so much more reality from personal accounts. Thanks for your input.
_________________________
Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.
~Chief Seattle

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#1038355 - 1st Jun 2017 7:58am Re: HMT Lancastria [Re: granny]
Longnails Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12th Jun 2010
Posts: 169
Loc: Wirral
Thanks to all above for the most interesting posts.
Regards

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