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Call to honour city sailors lost at sea in war

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  • Call to honour city sailors lost at sea in war
    Call to honour city sailors lost at sea in war

    THERE are growing calls for the Limerick sailors who perished at sea in
    defying the Nazi blockade during the Emergency to be commemorated in
    their home port.
    While a monument stands at the Spokane Walk, Bishop's Quay, in
    remembrance of all the estuary seamen who were lost, it is not specific
    to wartime casualties and no names are inscribed there.
    In August 1940, the Kerry Head, which was owned by city ship brokers and
    stevedores Mullock and Sons, was the first Irish-registered ship to be
    attacked by the Germans.
    Though the coal boat survived this assault, it was not so fortunate in
    October when it was bombed by aircraft off the Cork coast, with the loss
    of all 12 crew.
    Five of the men on board came from Limerick city, including brothers
    George and James Naughton, from Hogan's Terrace in the Windmill off
    Henry Street.
    Their niece, Barbara McNaughton, who now lives in Brighton, can't recall
    much as she "was only a toddler" when the Kerry Head went down.
    "But I remember my Gran telling me of how devastating it was. She had
    four sons, two of whom were lost. You have to remember that it was a
    poor part of Limerick and my two uncles were important contributors at
    "Both of the boys wanted to go on the Kerry Head, but only one of them
    got a place. It was only when another sailor was forced to pull out that
    my other uncle got the call," she said.
    The family tragedy was compounded by the fact that George and James'
    sister, Josie, had been due to marry the chief engineer on the Kerry
    Head, William Davidson from Carrickfergus. None of the three ever
    returned and the Naughton family received just five shillings for their
    "I know that about 30 years ago my cousin fought hard to have their
    names put on a memorial but nothing came of it. It would be a lovely
    thing to have them honoured in Limerick," said Ms McNaughton.
    Supporting the call is Fr Joe Young, whose uncle Hector was on the Irish
    Pine in November 1942 when it was sunk by a U-boat. A total of 33
    merchant seamen were lost, including Hector Young and seven others from
    "One thing that struck me was the fact that my grandmother never had a
    place to go. There was no grave to go and pay the respects," said Fr
    "The bodies of the sailors were never recovered,
    their names are not inscribed in our city and that's a tragedy. There is
    a seaman's memorial at the back of Henry Street Garda station and I
    don't think it would take too much effort to have them commemorated
    there," he said.
    Historian Patrick J McNamara agrees that a simple commemorative plaque
    for those who died during the war effort should be placed by the
    existing monument.
    The Parteen author is currently finishing a book on the Limerick
    casualties, both civilian and military, of the Second World War.
    The title, appropriately, is Their Name Liveth For Evermore, which comes
    from a verse in the Book of Ecclesiastes.
    "Ireland, an island nation, was solely dependent on her small mercantile
    marine and fishing fleet to sustain her with the necessities of life
    during this turbulent period," said Mr McNamara.
    "It is worth recording that all these men were volunteers and the
    service in which they served was a civilian service. These were the men
    who manned the ships and supplied the country with food and fuel in
    those dark days. There was, however, a price to pay and 113 brave men in
    the mercantile marine and fishing fleet paid it," he said.
    Mr McNamara pointed out that while Irishmen who served with the British
    merchant navy were commemorated at Tower Hill in London, the Limerick
    men who died while employed with Irish shipping companies "should be
    commemorated in their home port".
    John Dundon, of Mullock and Sons, said the company "would be happy to be
    associated" with any attempt to have a plaque or memorial erected.
    "The Kerry Head was one of our ships and it was used mainly to bring
    coking coal from Cardiff to the old gasworks in Limerick. It was off the
    coast of Cork when it was bombed and all hands were lost," said Mr
    The original capital 'K' from the Kerry Head is still in Mullocks office
    in Limerick, having never left port on its final voyage.
    "The 'K' was knocked off when the ship was being turned out and it got
    caught up in the ropes. The story goes that it happened on what turned
    out to be its last fateful voyage," said Mr Dundon.

    Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

  • #2

    That link is specifically for Irismen killed in the British Merchant Service.

    Irish Pine Crew here


    Kerry Head

    Say NO to violence against Women

    Originally posted by hedgehog
    My favourite moment was when the
    Originally posted by hedgehog
    red headed old dear got a smack on her ginger head