The Bower & Collier Family History

Research by Colin Bower

Sinking of the SS Britannia 1941

OtherSurvivors' Accounts

Unfortunately, this part of the website includes texts and links to other texts where the authors have distinguised beween passengers and crew and included language that was often used at the time, e.g. reference to Indians and/or natives. Also some accounts of the sinking contain graphic detail of the ordeal that everyone onboard suffered in trying to survive.

I am sorry if any visitors to this part of the website find any of the content upsetting.

I had not spotted much reference to the Sinking of the S S Britannia on the web when I undertook the research for my father in 2002/3. Since then a lot has become available including :

SS Britannia.Org

A main source of information including Personal Stories and Press Reports

Personal Stories

Press Reports

Content about the Survivors picked up

Dad collected the signatures of those who were picked up by the Cabo de Hornos

Names Index

The following stories and accounts were collected piecemeal and I hope I will be forgiven for leaving them that way. At least I offer the following Names Imdex!

Jack Arkinstall (17. below)
Jack Arkinstall/Brian Pearce (3. below)
Terence Blank (8. below)
Donald Brown (14. below)
Thomas Caldwell/Jack Heard (10. below)
Snd Lt Cox/Lt Davidson/Lt Rowlandson (5. below)
Dr Das Gupta (15. below)
Marciano D'Sa (4. below)
Tom Dunn (16. below)
Clarice Gale (11. below)
Bill Lansley (18. below)
Ian McIntosh (6. below)
Dave Mathieson (7. below)
Nancy Miller (9. below)
Spencer Mynott (13. below)
Lt Rowlandson (19. below)
Tony Sangster (`12. below)
Mary Stewart (22. below)
Commander Stanley Sturgeon (1. below)
Alfred Warren (2. below)
Frank West (21. below)

Survivors from Lifeboat No 3 etc picked up by the Cabo de Hornos

Commander Stanley Sturgeon (1)

The distinguished Naval Officer who commanded the lifeboat

Alfred Warren (2)

Fullest account by any of the survivors, famously bitten by a shark

Brian Pearce and Jack Arkinsall and 2 Nursing Officers (3)

Reference to Jack Arkinstall by Melvyn Misquita

Marciano D'Sa (4)

Reference to Marciano D'Sa by Melvyn Misquita

2nd Lt. Cox, Sub Lt. Davidson and Lt. Rowlandson (5)

Article in The Illustrated London News dd 1 November 1941

A horrendous story of survival, on one of the rafts, from notes provided by 2nd Lt. Cox

Rescue from a raft per 2nd Lt. Cox

Survivors of Lifeboat No 7

Ian McIntosh (6)

Web-Site about Ian McIntosh

Dave Mathieson (7)

Extracts from Account by Dave Mathieson

Terence Blank (8)

Account by Terence Blank

Lifeboat No 5

Among the survivors were the ship's doctor Nancy Miller, Thomas Wilfred Caldwell and his pal Jack Heard.

The story of Nancy Miller is extraordinary (9):

The Story of Nancy Miller

(10) Thomas Caldwell gave his account and listed the 65 people in the lifeboat  by category of which 63 survved:

Thomas Caldwell's account

Other Survivors

*Article in The Illustrated London News dd 1 November 1941
2nd Lt. Cox, Sub Lt. Davidson and Lt. Rowlandson (20)

- A horrendous story of survival, on one of the rafts, from notes provided by 2nd Lt. Cox

Frank West (21)

Frank West gives his valuable account in his book Lifeboat Number 7

Mary Stewart (22)

In the book A Voyage Around My Mother, Eleanor Stewart writes about her mother Mary's experience on the Britannia.

Four other survivors are named in the book.

Mary Stewart)

Dad's Memorabilia

In his 1941 Diary and Notebook, Dad listed a number of other survivors:

1941 Diary


Awards Beyond the Call of Duty

Fifteen individuals on the Britannia received Awards:


Goan Survivors

Melvyn Misquita prepared a list of Goan Sailors who survived the Sinking:

Goan Sailors who survived

German Raiders of World War II

Four survivors from the Sinking are named in the book:

Four survivors mentioned in the book

Colin Bower
13 July 2023

Made with CityDesk