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Russian Arctic Convoys

Discussion in 'Military records' started by Leona5329, Apr 18, 2015.

  1. Leona5329

    Leona5329 LostCousins Member

    For the last 3 years I have been researching the Russian Arctic Convoys and then transcribing the memoirs of my father on PQ 15 and 18, and QP12 and 14. He was on HMS Ulster Queen and went to Russian and back four times in 1942. I have managed to get these memoirs published in a book called 'Through Ice and Fire: A Russian Arctic Convoy Diary 1942' by Fonthill Media. In an appendix I have added the names of the crew-mates he mentions aboard this vessel - only a few of the 350 but maybe someone else knew someone in their family on this ship at that time and will either find a reference to them, or just enjoy reading about their experiences on those treacherous voyages. Copies of the book can be purchased from Fonthill Media or Amazon by following this link which will benefit LostCousins.
     
  2. AnneC

    AnneC LostCousins Star

    My husband's grandfather was also on the Russian Convoys, according to family stories, but I have been unable to find him listed on any of the ships. The story goes that he did 4 trips (apparently 3 was usually the maximum, though I note that Leona's father also did 4 ), volunteering for the fourth to save a younger crew member from the task - he was 58 at the time! Although I have a copy of his merchant seaman's records, none of the ships he was on appeared in the Arctic Convoy lists, and "experts" in the field on various forums cannot find his name on any of the crew lists. Many members of the family can recall being told about these trips, and how the ordinary people in Murmansk reacted to the foreign sailors, but we can find no details about his trips...very frustrating!
     
  3. Leona5329

    Leona5329 LostCousins Member

    Hello AnneC - do you know the names of any of the ships he served on? I have a very good reference book and can check it if that would be of any help.
     
  4. AnneC

    AnneC LostCousins Star

    Thank you for offering to help, I appreciate it. The ships he was on were: Menin Ridge, Penolver, Justitia, Pencarrow, Grangepark, Fort Halkett and Clunepark.
     
  5. Leona5329

    Leona5329 LostCousins Member

    Yes - AnneC - having checked my 'bible' I can find no trace of these ships being on any Arctic Convoys. However, trawling further I have found out a few things - which you probably have also found...

    SS Menin Ridge sank Oct 1939 torpedoed by U-37 off SW Gibraltar; SS Penolver sank Oct 1943 after hitting a mine off St Johns, Nova Scotia and survivors were taken there; SS Justitia was torpedoed Nov 1940; SS Fort Halkett was torpedoed by U-185 off Brazil in Aug 1943; of SS Grangepark I can find no information. SS Clunepark survived the war and was scrapped in 1963. All I have found out about SS Pencarrow is that there is a True Lives story on the RACM site about a sailor called Edward Thompson - here is the link
    This is the project I was involved with when we took 40 veterans and their families to Loch Ewe to get their Arctic Star medals in 2013.

    Sorry not to have been able to supply any more positive information. It is so frustrating. A few people who told of Arctic convoy sailors in their families often discover it was actually Atlantic convoys they were on, but the fact that he mentioned Murmansk seems to refute this. A real mystery. Good luck in unravelling it some day!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 19, 2015
  6. AnneC

    AnneC LostCousins Star

    Thank you so much for looking. Yes, I did know about all the ship losses - Alfred Harrison Burlinson turned out to be very lucky as he survived through it all, and lived to the ripe old age of 91. I'll keep looking and perhaps find something one day. We have a handwritten account of his early life at sea which my husband has edited and added details of the ships - but unfortunately he didn't talk about the convoys.
     
  7. Leona5329

    Leona5329 LostCousins Member

    I shall try and read the book - us authors must stick together! Best wishes and good luck.
     
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1

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