The Merchant Navy

Page 6 – Roll of Honour, 1939-45

The following roll lists the names of seafarers who died during the Second World War as a result of service on New Zealand merchant ships and New Zealanders (New Zealand-born seafarers or those who had lived in New Zealand) known to have lost their lives while sailing under the flags of other countries (mainly Britain). It currently contains 153 names.

The exact number of New Zealand Merchant Navy war deaths will probably never be known with certainty, as the recording of personal information, nationality, next-of-kin and service in the Merchant Navy was not as comprehensive as it was for the armed forces. Note that the roll does not include DEMS gunners, who were naval or army personnel serving aboard merchant ships, or former merchant seamen in naval service, such as members of the Royal Naval Reserve. If readers have additional names, corrections or comments please email: webqueries@mch.govt.nz

*NB: four of those listed below – Aherne, Creese, T.F.D. Lewis and Willmott – were Australians, but they are included here because they were serving on New Zealand vessels (the Hauraki, Kalingo and Limerick) at the time of their death or capture.

Abbreviations: AB = able seaman; asst = assistant; jnr = junior; OS = ordinary seaman; ref = refrigerating; RO = radio officer; USAT = United States Army Transport Service

NameAgeRank/
Rating
Date of Death/ Loss of Ship (DD/MM/YYYY)
Ship (UK-flagged unless stated)Place of Death/ Loss of ShipCause of Death/ Loss (German forces unless stated)
Aherne, William Robert Michael (Beau)*38asst steward12/09/1944ex-Hauraki (NZ)Singaporedied in Japanese captivity
Allen, Walter Baden40chief steward02/12/1940KavakNorth AtlanticU-101
Annetts, Gilbert Charles405th engineer13/08/1942WaimaramaMediterraneanair attack
Baines, William Peter44steward13/08/1942WaimaramaMediterraneanair attack
Balfour, Eric17trimmer20/03/1943Fort MumfordIndian OceanI-27 (Japanese submarine)
Beattie, Andrew Bernard19OS20/03/1943Fort MumfordIndian OceanI-27 (Japanese submarine)
Beckett, Albert John375th engineer16/01/1941ZealandicNorth AtlanticU-106
Bernard, Paul E.59fireman/trimmer19/10/1940SulacoNorth AtlanticU-124
Bick, C.40fireman29/03/1942HertfordNorth AtlanticU-571
Black, James Reginald Armstrong58chief engineer 29/06/1944AfghanistanAdendied in R.A.F. hospital
Bleeze, Charles Victor44donkeyman24/01/1942Empire WildebeesteNorth AtlanticU-106
Blithe, Jack Vernon23greaser15/02/1942Empire SpringNorth AtlanticU-576
Boraman, Edward Albert29fireman07/12/1942CeramicNorth AtlanticU-515
Bradley, William Dixon17mess boy09/12/1940AshcrestNorth AtlanticU-140
Bradnee, Philip Rowland312nd mate11/07/1942Port HunterCentral AtlanticU-582
Bradshaw, Ronald18asst cook16/04/1942Empire HowardArctic SeaU-403
Brew, John35AB16/02/1942SommeNorth AtlanticU-108
Brodie, William Henry305th engineer10/08/1945ex-Hauraki (NZ)Japandied in Japanese captivity
Brown, John Lilian31seaman04/03/1943Marietta EIndian OceanU-160
Budge, Lionel Gerald304th engineer06/02/1942OpawaNorth AtlanticU-106
Burke, Thomas Dennis15deck boy11/07/1942Port HunterCentral AtlanticU-582
Butler, Alexander Braid29steward17/05/1942Fort Qu'AppelleCentral AtlanticU-135
Byrne, Norman49AB20/02/1945USATburied in New Guinea 
Bysantson, William James57master05/12/1940Nimbin (Australia)Tasman SeaMine laid by Pinguin (raider)
Caine, Frank403rd engineer15/10/1941Vancouver Island (Canada)North AtlanticU-558
Caird, Leslie463rd engineer06/04/1942SinkiangIndian OceanJapanese air attack
Campbell, John Robert26donkeyman12/02/1941DerrynaneCentral AtlanticAdmiral Hipper (cruiser)
Carlyle, Evan Cameron21greaser15/07/1942Gloucester CastleSouth AtlanticMichel (raider)
Chadwick, Thurston66chief engineer24/12/1944USAT Small Ships Sectionburied in New Guinea 
Chitham, Lawrence Alfred25AB17/03/1943King GruffyddNorth AtlanticU-338
Clare, William Thomas23fireman28/10/1942Lt Col Lawrence O. Matthews (USAT tug)North Atlanticmarine casualty
Clayton, Kenneth Rowland24seaman16/01/1941OropesaNorth AtlanticU-96
Clegg, Douglas H.371st mate11/12/1940RotoruaNorth AtlanticU-96
Collins, John Armstrong29carpenter04/03/1943California StarNorth AtlanticU-515
Cooke, Kenneth20trimmer20/03/1943Fort MumfordIndian OceanI-27 (Japanese submarine)
Corcoran, James Joseph30fireman18/01/1943Kalingo (NZ)Tasman SeaI-21 (Japanese submarine)
Creese, Albert William* master31/08/1947ex-Hauraki (NZ)Melbourne, Australiaformer POW; death attributed to Japanese captivity
Cresswell, Douglas F.19OS28/08/1941OtaioNorth AtlanticU-558
Cumming, Peter Halcrow293rd engineer23/11/1942TilawaIndian OceanI-29 (Japanese submarine)
Cundy, Clive Lawrence (served as Benson)18asst steward03/05/1941Elstree GrangeLiverpoolair raid
Darroch, Ralph Harvey231st RO19/12/1940AmicusNorth AtlanticBagnolini (Italian submarine)
Dawson, Alexander Neil17apprentice21/11/1940Port BrisbaneIndian OceanPinguin (raider)
Dromgoole, John  13/09/1943Norlago (US)  
Dunn, Elliston Charles Grainger19apprentice23/11/1940TymericNorth AtlanticU-123
Excell, Ivan247th engineer16/01/1941ZealandicNorth AtlanticU-106
Fitness, Norman (served as William Beaver)25asst steward08/08/1940Upwey GrangeNorth AtlanticU-37
Forbes, John Alexander312nd ref. engineer18/03/1943Canadian StarNorth AtlanticU-221
Giles, Herbert Henry 56chief engineer04/06/1942Iron Crown (Australia)Tasman Sea    I-27 (Japanese submarine)
Glenie, William31fireman20/03/1943Fort MumfordIndian OceanI-27 (Japanese submarine)
Godfrey, John Lee45chief engineer23/07/1942GarmulaCentral AtlanticU-752
Gorman, Edward Allan19seaman06/10/1940British GeneralNorth AtlanticU-37
Grundy, Thomas43master15/07/1942Empire AttendantNorth AtlanticU-582
Hallett, Ernest Walter60wiper05/12/1940Nimbin (Australia)Tasman Seamine laid by Pinguin (raider)
Hamerton, Claude Stanley49chief engineer11/10/1940Port GisborneNorth AtlanticU-48
Hayward, Ian Cyril (served as Bell)22asst steward20/03/1943Fort MumfordIndian OceanI-27 (Japanese submarine)
Henley, Morris William Bartlett273rd engineer18/11/1942Tower GrangeCentral AtlanticU-154
Hicks, William John25fireman02/12/1942WallsendCentral AtlanticU-552
Holland, William45AB12/07/1945ex-Hauraki (NZ)Japandied in Japanese captivity
Holmes, Charles Edward54storekeeper07/12/1942CeramicNorth AtlanticU-515
Holthouse, Scrafton Le Gay58second officer30/11/1941Empire NewcomenNorth SeaS-52? (E-boat)
Hosford, Benjamin223rd mate28/12/1942Empire WagtailNorth AtlanticU-260
Hughes, John Lloyd272nd mate08/12/1940Komata (NZ)Nauru, PacificKomet (raider)
Hughes, Lewis57motorman27/02/1943ex-Hauraki (NZ)Japandied in Japanese captivity
Humphrey, Harold Edmond37steward19/02/1942Mununda (Australian hospital ship)Darwin, AustraliaJapanese air raid
James, Frederick John Martin273rd mate11/05/1944Edward D. Baker (US)buried in New Guinea 
Jordan, Richard Henry259th engineer16/01/1941ZealandicNorth AtlanticU-106
Kennedy, Rankin322nd engineer08/06/1942King LudIndian OceanI-10 (Japanese submarine)
Lane, Maurice Arthur247th engineer13/08/1942WaimaramaMediterraneanair attack
Larsen, Clifford Neil23jnr engineer18/12/1940Napier StarNorth AtlanticU-106
Lee, Henry36AB16/10/1941WC TeagleNorth AtlanticU-558
Lewer, Arthur Wilford cook30/01/1943Samuel Gompers (US)near New Caledonia, PacificI-10 (Japanese submarine)
Lewis, Roy261st RO16/10/1942Newton PineNorth AtlanticU-410
Lewis, Thomas Frederick David*61fireman18/01/1943Kalingo (NZ)Tasman SeaI-21 (Japanese submarine)
Limerick, James P. seaman21/11/1944USAT Small Ships Sectionburied in New Guinea 
Lindsay, George Henry246th engineer11/07/1942Port HunterCentral AtlanticU-582
Lynch, James264th engineer01/03/1942EssexMaltaair raid on port
McAlinden, William Desmond35greaser10/01/1943British DominionCentral AtlanticU-620
McAllen, William R.26steward01/01/1943Empire ShackletonNorth AtlanticU-435
McClure, Ernest40pumpman22/10/1941DarkdaleSouth AtlanticU-68
McCullough, Walter J.312nd engineer16/01/1941ZealandicNorth AtlanticU-106
Macdonald, Ian293rd mate13/08/1942WaimaramaMediterraneanair attack
McDonald, Roderick Neil Robert17deck boy11/07/1942Port HunterCentral AtlanticU-582
Mack, Thomas Allan381st mate08/12/1940Komata (NZ)Nauru, PacificKomet (raider)
McKenna, James65ref. greaser06/09/1942Tuscan StarCentral AtlanticU-109
McLean, Vere Alexander30jnr engineer01/02/1942Tacoma StarNorth AtlanticU-109
McNamara, Denys16deck boy30/04/1943Port VictorNorth AtlanticU-107
McPherson, Archibald49AB03/08/1942Dureenbee (Australia)Tasman SeaI-175 (Japanese submarine)
Macpherson, Donald59master24/04/1943Kowarra (Australia)Tasman SeaI-76 (Japanese submarine)
Marsh, Robert Gladstone56chief engineer01/02/1944Colborne (Canada)buried in Suez 
Marshall, Henry Hugh21fireman21/12/1942Oropos (Greece)North AtlanticU-621
Martin, Rangiamo Frank431st RO21/09/1941VancouverNorth Atlanticmine
Moller, Leslie John321st mate16/09/1941JedmoorNorth AtlanticU-98
Moloney, John Michael34greaser20/08/1940TurakinaTasman SeaOrion (raider)
Monk, William Archibald314th engineer29/07/1943Cornish CityIndian OceanU-177
Mowat, Alistair Richard314th engineer02/07/1940Arandora StarNorth AtlanticU-47
Mugford, Francis Milton18seaman16/12/1942ObserverCentral AtlanticU-176
Neaber, Oscar Albert551st mate10/06/1942 Ramsay  North AtlanticU-94
Neale, William G. trimmer    
Norman, Geoffrey (served as Poole)21trimmer28/01/1943Neva (Sweden)North AtlanticU-358
O'Brien, George39fireman05/12/1939NavasotaNorth AtlanticU-47
O'Brien, Raymond Harold20AB28/01/1941HomesideNorth Atlanticmarine casualty
Otterson, Charles Harry531st mate11/10/1943Jalabala (India)Indian OceanU-532
Panther, Cyril20OS07/12/1942CeramicNorth AtlanticU-515
Patton, William22seaman14/02/1942BielaNorth AtlanticU-98
Paynter, Ernest Frederick22jnr engineer09/10/1942OronsayAtlanticArchimede (Italian submarine)
Pendleton, William Mackey217th engineer07/11/1941NottinghamNorth AtlanticU-74
Phillips, Eric James25greaser20/05/1941British SecurityNorth AtlanticU-556
Pila, Alfred24cook05/06/1942Awatea (NZ)Glasgow illness (smallpox)
Pugh, Henry James20seaman03/02/1943CordeliaNorth AtlanticU-632
Reeves, Victor Albert23seaman26/11/1942BarberrysNorth AtlanticU-663
Rendle, John Mackay26purser09/12/1941Donerail (Panama)near Hawaii, PacificI-10 (Japanese submarine)
Ribbands, Henry Huia Craven29fireman/ trimmer11/07/1942Port HunterCentral AtlanticU-582
Rippon, Stanley274th engineer02/04/1943Melbourne StarCentral AtlanticU-129
Roberts, Jack Spencer21seaman28/04/1941CapuletNorth AtlanticU-201
Rose, Frederick William501st RO11/10/1940Port GisborneNorth AtlanticU-48
Rush, William Fenwick304th engineer26/04/1943Limerick (UK/NZ)Tasman SeaI-177 (Japanese submarine)
Scollay, John Robert48AB23/10/1945Alchiba (Holland)buried in Hull, UK 
Scott, Thomas64steward04/06/1942Iron Crown (Australia)Tasman SeaI-27 (Japanese submarine)
Shaw, David26electrician03/06/1942Awatea (NZ) Glasgowillness (smallpox)
Simmons, Hector Albert22AB22/10/1942Empire TurnstoneNorth AtlanticU-621
Sinclair, John Rose Thornton276th engineer07/11/1941NottinghamNorth AtlanticU-74
Skears, Will Chislett332nd RO25/03/1941Britannia Central AtlanticThor (raider)
Skinner, Major Bristow52master02/02/1942ex-Mareeba (Australia)North AtlanticCaptured by
Kormoran
(raider),
26/06/1941.
Lost on
 prison ship
Spreewald, 
mistakenly
sunk by U-333
Skitch, George William58chief engineer10/01/1942Baron ErskineNorth AtlanticU-701
Slade, Maxwell F.  09/02/1940Rodney Star  
Slane, Edward30fireman/ trimmer02/11/1941LarpoolNorth AtlanticU-208
Smith, John Kitchener26OS16/01/1941ZealandicNorth AtlanticU-106
Smith, Leslie26donkeyman28/05/1940AbukirEnglish ChannelS-34 (E-boat)
Snow, William David26greaser17/03/1943Coracero North AtlanticU-384
Stafford, Sidney Francis50RO03/06/1942Iron Chieftain (Australia)Tasman SeaI-24 (Japanese submarine)
Steere, Reginald Bateman401st mate08/02/1943Iron Knight (Australia)Tasman SeaI-21 (Japanese submarine)
Te Awa, Thomas 'Buster'22AB29/02/1944PalmaIndian OceanU-183
Thomas, Emrys Oliver52master02/12/1940Port WellingtonIndian OceanPinguin (raider)
Thompson, Dick Whinray222nd ref. engineer16/01/1941ZealandicNorth AtlanticU-106
Thomson, Albert31fireman/ trimmer11/07/1942Port HunterCentral AtlanticU-582
Todd, William Angus441st mate19/04/1944ex-Hauraki (NZ)Japandied in Japanese captivity
Townsend, Harold James oiler02/03/1943Meriwether Lewis (US)North AtlanticU-634
Trillo, Verdun274th mate18/03/1943Canadian StarNorth AtlanticU-221
Tye, Desmond Gladwyn244th engineer18/12/1940Napier StarNorth AtlanticU-100
Vanson, Herbert (son of Peter Vanson)19fireman02/12/1940Victor Ross
North AtlanticU-43
Vanson, Peter Johannes (father of Herbert Vanson)50AB05/12/1939NavasotaNorth AtlanticU-47
Walls, Edward Hugh15deck boy11/07/1942Port HunterCentral AtlanticU-582
Wass, Jack294th engineer07/12/1944SamsipRiver Scheldt, Belgiummine
Watson, James George58carpenter18/03/1943Canadian StarNorth AtlanticU-221
Watt, Alfred Colin273rd engineer14/01/1942CoimbraNorth AtlanticU-123
White, Selwyn283rd engineer02/04/1943Melbourne StarCentral AtlanticU-129
White-Parsons, Peter Nelson19apprentice16/01/1941ZealandicNorth AtlanticU-106
Williams, Hugh Hoskyn 49master01/01/1945ex-Henry Keswick (Hong Kong)captured in Philippines; buried in Hong Kongdied in Japanese captivity
Williams, Richard Stanley286th engineer07/12/1942CeramicNorth AtlanticU-515
Williamson, Ernest49chief steward13/09/1942Stone Street (Panama)North AtlanticU-594
Willmott, John Edgar* 3rd mate26/04/1943Limerick (UK/NZ)Tasman SeaI-177 (Japanese submarine)
Wood, Henry William Carmichael25AB17/08/1943Empire StanleyIndian OceanU-197
Yates, Leslie Francis24asst cook14/12/1939InverlaneNorth Atlanticmine

Sources: This list has been compiled from Marine Department records at Archives New Zealand, Wellington; the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database; the National War Memorial roll of honour; the Hall of Memories and Cenotaph database at the Auckland War Memorial Museum; and information kindly supplied by Billy McGee, Trevor Richards and others.

How to cite this page

'Roll of Honour, 1939-45', URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/war/the-merchant-navy/roll-of-honour, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 28-Mar-2017

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