The Bower & Collier Family History

Research by Colin Bower

The Sinking of the SS Britannia

The Missing Page

Dr Das Gupta survived the sinking and was in the same lifeboat as my Dad. His daughter sent me 2 pages her father had kept safe. One is a page of a menu which bears the name and address of the Baroness who is attributed as persuading the Captain of the Cabo de Hornos to keep looking for survivors ( It appears the Baroness' former home may now be a hotel in Perpignan):

Baroness Des Pres
Villa Des Pres
Perpignan
France

The other is a revelation. I had assumed that my Dad had shown great intiative in getting the survivors to sign a menu and then this other menu turns up (albeit just the right-hand page of the menu)! It is a shame that we do not have the missing page.

Findings

An examination oif the contents produces the following findings

1. Dr Das Gupta appears to have written in the top left hand corner: Lifeboat No 3 withe word "formerly" written underneath.

2. Dr Das Gupta has written at the top: S.S, "B" sunk by G.R. on 25th March 1941 at about 7 a.m.. Rescued by Cabo de Hornos on 29th at 9.30 p.m. and added his signature in the top right corner.

3. There are approx. 40 signatures. 3 cannot be read. 35 are in both menus.

4. The exciting finds are the 2 people who did not sign Dad's menu John Leach, "Lucky Leach" mentioned in Jack Arkinstall's account, and unlucky Alfred Warren bitten by the shark (though the first name does not look like Alfred). \This would suggest that this menu was signed later than Dad's.

5. Having 2 signatures to look at, the spelling of Alden, Arkinstall and Gales are confirmed, with one possible chnage (?) Hume insteed of (?) Huire. One unreadable name could be Smith or  Faith.

6. Reading left to right and then coming down the page the names appear to be:

List of Survivors

1.Das Gupta
2.Rowlandson
3.B. Lees
4.S. Mynott
5.Naim Barzel
6.Winfield
7.Cox
8.Cannot read
9.N.C. Patel
10.John Rhodes
11.(?)Faith or Smith
12.A.Davidson
13.Alf Ewings R.N.
14.Alfred Warren (New)
15.S Spurgeon, Commander
16.E.N. Thatcham
17.P.Jarvis
18.E.I.Gale
19.D.Jenkins
20.(?)Hume (amended)
21.E. Daltrey
22.F.Lansley
23.F.Ashman
24.J.H.Leach (new)
25.W.Brookes RAF
26.W.J.Heath
27.E. Cane
28.Wm. Leitch
29.J.Arkinstall
30.Daviud Burge
31.C.Steuart
32.R.Noyce
33.A.Wright
34.H.W.Alden
35.(?)Large
36.Cannot read
37.Charles Clark
38.F.Bower
39. Cannot read
40. D.MacDonald

 

Alphabetical List of Survivors

1.Alden
2.Arkenstall
3.Ashman
4.Barzel
5.Bower
6.Brookes
7.Burge
8.Cane
9.Clark
10.Cox
11.Daltrey
12.Das Gupta
13.Davidson
14.Ewings
15.Smith or Faith
16.Gale
17.Heath
18.Hume (Amended)
19.Jarvis
20.Jenkins
21.Lansley
22.Large
23.Leach (New)
24.Lees
25.Leitch
26.MacDonald
27.Mynott
28.Noyce
29.Patel
30.Rhodes
31.Rowlandson
32.Spurgeon
33.Steuart
34.Thatcham
35.Warren (New)
36.Winfield
37.Wright

plus 3 cannot read

Colin Bower
21 April 2019

Also see Dr Das Gupta's Account of the Sinking

 
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