Llandovery Castle (1914)
HMHS Llandovery Castle

Sept. 11, 2011

Jim Leonard (message #1) writes of the loss of his uncle aboard HMHS Llandovery Castle, sunk by U-86 in the Western Approaches, south west of Fastnet (Ireland) on June 27 1918. My maternal grandfather James Nicholson was the Quartermaster aboard the ship when, after sinking her, U boat 86 rammed and sank all but one lifeboat and crew aboard the U-boat shot and killed MN crew manning lifeboats, nurses as well as others floundering in the waters: only 24 survived.

I wish to join Jim in offering my respects to those brave souls and also ask that anyone who can help me (perhaps Jim as well) to learn of the names of those who survived and those who testified: there was a war crimes trial: and any records of newspaper reports, will be greatly appreciated. May I add that I am nearly 75, served in the RN after the war for 2 years of national service, mostly on anti-submarine exercises in those very waters - how ironic - but only found out about my grandfather one week ago while searching family records in Liverpool.

On Sunday 4 September 2011, a day before I found out about my grandfather's death in such horrific circumstances I attended the Merchant Navy Day service in Liverpool UK. As Llandovery Castle was assigned to Canada as a hospital ship, it was fitting, almost surreal that the keynote speech was given by Captain Harry Harsh Royal Canadian Navy - Reflections on the Battle of the Atlantic! A wonderful speech. My everlasting thanks to all who served and continue to do so in the quest for our freedom and of those who follow.

Don Parkes
New South Wales, Australia

Mar. 26, 2010

I found your website along with the fascinating information about the Llandovery Castle, attacked and sunk by a German U-boat on June 27, 1918. I was particularly impressed by the honour roll to all the brave souls who lost their lives. My relative, Arthur Vincent Leonard, a Canadian medical doctor, was one of those lost at sea on that terrible day. Thank you for the information, the images and the passion and dedication to maritime history so clearly illustrated by this tremendous website.

All the best,
Jim Leonard
Brampton, Ontario, Canada

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