Passengers of the Yorkshire

Liverpool Daily Post, Oct 24th 1939

H. G. VIVIAN, the New Zealand batsman and spin bowler was one of the passengers on the sunk Bibby Liner YORKSHIRE. He was a member of the last seasons, Sir Julian CAHN’S team and was expected to qualify for Leicestershire, he was returning home from New Zealand.

Liverpool Daily Post, Oct 25th 1939



Wives and mothers cried for joy, while happy children looked on at Lime St, Station, when about 60 survivors of the YORKSHIRE were reunited with their relatives.

Wives and mothers ran along the platform as the London train drew in and peered anxiously through the carriage windows, some lifted children on to piles of luggage, so they might better see their fathers and brothers.

They had travelled by cross-Channel steamer to this country.

Their welcome was profoundly affecting. Wives and mothers sobbed in the arms of their menfolk they had expected never to see again. Some survivors obviously shaken by the ordeal, almost broke down under the excitement.

Vivid accounts were given of the ordeal and many incidents of heroism.

Mr R. J. WASHINGTON of 178 Salisbury Rd, Everton, Chief Baker on the Yorkshire, told how his mate, Charles NUTBROWN of Kirkdale, sacrificed his life to save three children.

“I saw NUTBROWN taking three children down a Jacob’s ladder to the lifeboat, he was completely calm, perhaps he was thinking of his own six children. Unhappily the boat over turned and most were drowned, but his bravery deserves recognition.”

Mr WASHINGTON who has been at sea for 30yrs said he was in the galley when the first torpedo struck. "Up went the galley and the Baker’s shop." He said, "I was running along the alleyway to get my belt when we were struck again. The Chief Officer, Mr J. K. GEMMELL, lay flat on his face against the steep tilt of the ship, giving orders, "Go get in the boat", he cried, he was lost but played a hero’s part. He also paid tribute to the Chief Officer who he said was a "regular brick," who circled round in a motor-boat picking up everyone he saw.

We packed 52 in a boat sufficient for 44, and were adrift for about 7hrs.

Mr WASHINGTON has no great faith in the number 13, for it was Sept 13th the Yorkshire left port for England, Friday 13th a month later she sailed for an intermediate port in thick fog. The survivors arrived a platform 13 at Waterloo station and left for Liverpool from platform 13 at Euston station.

Another Liverpool survivor, Mr William PEARSON of Greystone Rd, Fazakerly, was asleep when the vessel was struck. He rushed on deck and found a woman crying out her child had fallen down the hatch, Mr PEARSON and another passenger got the child out and the former give the child his lifebelt, and after swimming for a short time were picked up by the ship’s boat.

A woman passenger the wife of Warrant Officer A. C. BARBER of the Army Educational Corps, on the YORKSHIRE, whose husband was drowned when the vessel went down, was lost overboard from the cross-Channel steamer which was bringing them back to England.

Mr Thomas CARROLL of Virginia Rd, New Brighton, one of the crew said there was no panic when the ship went down.

Mr David GEORGE, aged 59, of Martins Lane, Wallasey, night-watchman of the Yorkshire, was warmly embraced by his wife as he got off the train. He is an “Old contemptible.”

“I was awakened at 3.30pm by a terrible crash,” he said” and shortly afterwards there was another crash. We immediately went to the boat stations, 7 were lowered, one was crushed and another capsized. We were in the small boats for about 6hrs then were picked up by the INDEPENDENCE HALL.”

Mr W. G. SHEARER of Royston St, Liverpool, writer of the Yorkshire, said, “It was a nightmare, the Germans got the CITY OF MANDALAY shortly after 4pm, the INDEPENDENCE HALL was on the scene as the CITY OF MANDALAY sank.”

List of 33 passengers missing.

7 women, 10 children [4 of one family] and officers and men of the Navy, Army and Air Force are amongst the missing, there was 278 persons on board, 160 of which were crew.

There are 3 instances of a mother and two children missing. The list gives 4 children of a soldier and a married couple [an Army officer and his wife] and consists mainly of military men and their families homeward bound from the East.

Col W. L. E. REYNOLDS. M.C, R.A.M.C.


Capt W. F. BEER, Infantry

Squadron Leader P. THRIPP. R.A.F.

Warrant Officer A. C. BARBER. Army Education Corps.

Lance Corp A. E. BONE, Infantry

Lance Corp W. C. ALLOWAY, Armoured Corps

Pri J. BROWN-HILL, Infantry


Pri D. E. HANDY, Infantry

Comp Sgt Maj J. CLEMENTS, Infantry [who died of wounds and was buried at sea]

Chief Yoeman of Signals JONES. R.N.

Petty Officer Telegraphist CLARKE. R.N.

Chief Yoeman of Signals BUTLIN. R.N.V.R.

Mrs WADE wife of Lieut Col E. W. WADE. R.A.M.C. and two daughters

Mrs BEER wife of Capt F. W. BEER

4 children of Comp Sgt Major W. HARRIS Infantry

Mrs ARMSTRONG wife Comp Sgt Major H. ARMSTRONG, Infantry and two children

Mrs COLE wife of Sgt COLE. R.A.

Mrs BELL wife of Staff Sgt BELL. Military Engineering, service in the Indian Army and two children.






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