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NEW ZEALAND DISASTERS AND TRAGEDIES
THE SINKING OF SS CHAKDINA
TORPEDOED IN THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA BY ENEMY ACTION WITH THE LOSS OF 89* NEW ZEALAND SOLDIERS
FRIDAY 5 DECEMBER 1941

Late in the afternoon of 5 December 1941 the SS Chakdina left Tobruk Harbour, Libya carrying approximately 380 wounded Allied soldiers, 100 German and Italian Prisoners of War and 120 crew. A number of other Allied soldiers also boarded the ship. They were to be transported back to Egypt. At least 123 New Zealanders were aboard the shop when it set sail.

Just after 9 pm an enemy plane released a torpedo, which exploded in one of the after holds of the Chakdina. She sank within three and a half minutes. There was very little chance of escape, except for those who were not wounded or only lightly wounded, and who were in a favourable position at the time.

OForty one of the New Zealanders aboard including a small number of the wounded were picked up by the destroyer HMS Farndale and the antisubmarine/minesweeper HMS Thorgrim. The Farndale took most of the survivors to Alexandria where on 7 December, the casualties were admitted to the detachment of 3 NZ General Hospital there. The Thorgrim took the survivors it had onboard to Mersa Matuh. The sinking of the Chakdina was the only major misfortune in the evacuation of New Zealand wounded during World War Two.

For further information see -
2nd New Zealand Divisional Artillery - The Sinking of the Chakdina
Medical Units of 2 NZEF in Middle East and Italy - Sinking of SS Chakdina
Australian Casualties of the SS Chakinda

Thank you to Brian Sims of Mansfield Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire and Robert Loughnan for their help with the above information and for the names of those killed in the sinking of the SS Chakdina. Those killed are remembered on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt.

SURNAME FORENAMES RANK SERVICE NO CODE - SEE BELOW NEXT OF KIN REGIMENT UNIT AGE
AIMERS Jack Bertram Lieutenant 63197 ** Son of Walter Nelson Aimers and Constance Trevar Aimers, of Rongotai, Wellington, New Zealand. New Zealand Artillery 14 Lt. A.A. Regt. 26
ANDERSON Norman Sergeant 3213 ** Son of Gustaf Edward and Georgina Anderson, of Middlesbrough, Yorkshire, England. New Zealand Infantry H.Q.Div. Defence and Employment Platoon. 28
ANDREWS William Keith L/Bombardier 61081 ** Son of William Alfred and Annie Letitia Andrews, of Nelson, New Zealand; husband of Mavis Annie Andrews. New Zealand Artillery 4 Field Regt 41
BAOUMGREN John Bidwell Private 7291 * Son of Albert Baoumgren and of Gertrude Sarah Baoumgren (nee Heginbotham), of Kaiwarawara, Wellington, New Zealand. New Zealand Medical Corps 4 Field Amb. 25
BLACKMAN Douglas Arnold Corporal 23542 ** Born 14 Jun 1912. Probate at Archives NZ - Wellington New Zealand Infantry 24th Bn. 29
BOOTH Jack Gunner 25493 ** Son of Samuel Booth and of Alice Booth (nee Mills), of Bradford, Yorkshire, England. New Zealand Artillery - 36
BROWN Charles Henry Gunner 25505 ** Son of Charles Henry and Marion Sarah Brown, of Dannevirke, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand; husband of Myra Rose Brown, of Dannevirke. New Zealand Artillery 6 Field Regt. 36
BRUNTON Alan George Private 29506 * Born 30 Aug 1910. Probate at Archives NZ - Wellington New Zealand Infantry 18th Bn. 31
BUCHANAN Malcolm James Sergeant 60066 ** Son of John and Bertha Jessie Buchanan, of Waverley, New South Wales, Australia; husband of Margaret Buchanan, of Mount Roskill, Auckland, New Zealand. Awarded Military Medal New Zealand Artillery 4 Field Regt 28
BUNN Ronald D'Arcy Corporal 23909 ** Son of Ernest and Jessie McFarlane Bunn, of Paparangi, Wanganui, Wellington, New Zealand. New Zealand Infantry H.Q. Coy., 24th Bn. 23
BURNETT James Otterson 2/Lieutenant 34082 ** Son of James Edmund Maurice Burnett and of Kathleen Burnett (nee Otterson), of Karori, Wellington, New Zealand. New Zealand Artillery 4 Field Regt 24
BURNS Wadlow Neiafu Campbell Private 7848 ** Son of Robert Nelson Burns and of Ada May Burns (nee Marchant), of Brown's Bay, Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand Machine Gun Battalion 27th (Machine Gun) N.Z. Bn. 27
CAMERON Colin Driver 26456 ** Son of Ewen Stewart Cameron and of Sarah Cameron (nee Renton), of Te Kuiti, Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand Army Service Corps - 22
CHILD Phillip Private 29884 ** Son of Garnet Eric and Ethel Mary Child, of Maungakaramea, Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand Infantry 24th Bn. 30
CHRISP Arnold Dickson Gunner 20140 ** Son of Capt. Arthur Dawson Chrisp and Emma Margaret Chrisp, of Gisborne, Auckland, New Zealand; husband of Josephine Elizabeth Chrisp, of Raumati Beach, Wellington, New Zealand. New Zealand Artillery 7 Anti Tank Regt. 37
COOPER Douglas Isbister Private 13262 * Born 09 Nov 1917. Probate at Archives NZ - Wellington New Zealand Medical Corps - 24
CURSONS Thomas James Gunner 29113 * Son of Thomas Henry and Laura Christina Cursons, of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand. New Zealand Artillery 7 Anti Tank Regt. 22
CURTIS James Leonard Private 14434 * Son of William Leonard Curtis and of Anna Townsend Curtis (nee Holland). New Zealand Infantry 18th Bn. 37
CUTHBERTSON Henry Francis Sergeant 1789 * Son of Robert Cuthbertson and of Helen Cuthbertson (nee Peterson), of Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand; husband of Margaret Alice Cuthbertson, of Dunedin. New Zealand Artillery 4 Field Regt 37
DARLING John Temple Private 8504 ** Son of John and Elizabeth Darling, of Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. New Zealand Infantry 20th Bn 31
DAY Alfred Private 23012 ** Son of Sidney and Lucy Matilda Day; husband of M. E. Day, of Eden Terrace, Auckland City, New Zealand. New Zealand Infantry 24th Bn. 30
DICKENS Bruce Gerard Gunner 24484 ** Son of Alfred Dickens and of Teresa Dickens (nee Green), of Wellington City, New Zealand. New Zealand Artillery 6 Field Regt. 23
DICKSON Charles John Private 17371 ** Son of Charles Miller Dickson and Isabell Frances Dickson, of Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand. New Zealand Infantry - 22
DOLAMORE John Bruce Sergeant 20206 ** Born 01 Feb 1915. Probate at Archives NZ - Wellington New Zealand Artillery 5 Field Regt. 26
FEENEY John Captain 4538 ** Son of John and M. Feeney, of Glasgow, Scotland; husband of of Eileen E. Feeney, of Westmere, Wellington, New Zealand. New Zealand Corps of Signals 2 Div. Sigs. 36
FLETCHER Leicester Charles Clarke Gunner 61234 * Son of Alfred Ernest and Elizabeth D. Fletcher, of St. Albans, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand. New Zealand Artillery 5 Field Regt. 23
GALE John William Hunter Private 16604 ** Son of Joseph Hopkinson Gale and Benjamina Gale, of Linwood, Canterbury, New Zealand. New Zealand Infantry 20th Bn 22
GERRARD Jack Lloyd Gunner 1605 ** Son of Herbert J. and Florence Gerrard, of Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand Artillery 4 Field Regt 28
HAIGH Alan Raymond Gunner 28943 * Son of Ernest Haigh and of Mabel Dorothy Haigh (nee Greathead), of Te Puke, Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand Artillery 6 Field Regt. 27
HALSEY Henry Gunner 61292 * Husband of Annie J. Halsey, of Green Island, Otago, New Zealand. New Zealand Artillery 14 Lt. A.A. Regt. 29
HEERDEGEN Frederick Basil Gunner 61207 * Son of Frederick Heerdegen and of Alice Mary Heerdegen (nee Mayo), of Mangaweka, Wellington, New Zealand. New Zealand Artillery 14 Lt. A.A. Regt. 40
HENDERSON Dugald Cameron Private 14222 * Son of John and Margaret Henderson, of Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand. New Zealand Infantry H.Q. Coy., 26th Bn. 29
HENDERSON Thomas William Driver 40876 * Son of John William David and Elena Henderson, of Clareville, Wellington, New Zealand; husband of Hazel Mildred Henderson, of Eketahuna, Wellington. New Zealand Army Service Corps - 23
HUNSLEY Russell Stratton Gunner 29180 * Son of William Stratton Hunsley and Mary B. Hunsley, of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand. New Zealand Artillery 6 Field Regt. 26
JENSEN Andrew Edward Private 63170 ? Son of Anders Clemmen Jensen and of Ruth Jensen (nee Dunning); husband of Frances Lyla Jensen, of Morrinsville, Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand Infantry 21st Bn. 25
JOHNSON John Alfred Private 24104 * Son of Walter and Mary Johnson, of Te Aroha, Auckland, New Zealand; husband of Lorna Patricia Johnson, of Sandringham, Auckland. New Zealand Infantry 24th Bn. 23
JOHNSTON James Armistice Private 44648 * Son of James Johnston and of Caroline Johnston (nee Purcell), of Ponsonby, Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand Medical Corps 4 Field Amb 23
KELMAN Raharuhi Raymond Private 15518 ?? Son of Robert and Ellen Kelman, of Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. New Zealand Infantry - 36
KILGOUR James Gordon Gunner 25648 * Son of James and Lily E. T. Kilgour, of Roxburgh, Otago, New Zealand. New Zealand Artillery 6 Field Regt. 23
KNOPWOOD Ernest Llewellyn L/Corporal 33115 * Son of James Robert and Anne Knopwood, of Gisborne, Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand Provost Corps - 26
KNOX William Andrew Major 20018 * Son of William Andrew Knox and of Jessie Amelia Knox (nee Stanley), of Herne Bay, Auckland, New Zealand. Served throughout 1914/18 War; Mentioned in Despatches; Commissioned in the Field. October 1916. New Zealand Artillery Div. Ord. Field Park. 48
LAMBIE Frank Thomas Private 22088 * Son of Andrew Lambie and of Grace Lambie (nee Appleby), of Morrinsville, Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand Infantry 21st Bn. 23
LARSEN Leonard Howard Corporal 35511 * Son of Anders A. and Johanne Kristiane Larsen, of Raetihi, Wellington, New Zealand. New Zealand Infantry - 25
LEE Gordon Wilfred Private 40363 * Son of James and Elizabeth Lee, of Hastings, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. New Zealand Medical Corps 4 Field Amb. 27
LEUTY John Thomas Private 60295 * Son of Edgar Mawson Leuty and Alice Leuty, of Titirangi, Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand Infantry - 22
LISTER Albert James Gunner 24617 * Son of Peter James Lister and Elizabeth Lister, of Wairoa, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. New Zealand Artillery 6 Field Regt. 30
LOGAN Harold John Gunner 24620 * Son of John Archer Logan and Mary Elizabeth Logan, of Silverstream, Wellington, New Zealand. New Zealand Artillery 6 Field Regt. 22
LOVEJOY Rudolph James Private 34034 * Son of Mrs. P. E. Knight, of Weber, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. New Zealand Infantry 19th Bn. 36
LUDEMAN Henry John L/Sergeant 1520 * Son of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel George Ludemann, of Masterton, Wellington, New Zealand. New Zealand Artillery 4 Field Regt 28
MACARTY John McEwan L/Corporal 17710 * Son of Edwin Stewart Macarty and of Lilian Hannah Macarty (nee McEwan), of Manchester, England; husband of Lilian Macarty, of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. New Zealand Infantry - 30
MACE Neville Private 62837 ? Son of Gwendoline M. MacE, of New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand. New Zealand Infantry - 25
MADDEN Stanley Jorden Private 30168 * Born 11 Jan 1917. Probate at Archives NZ - Wellington New Zealand Medical Corps 5 Field Amb 24
MALIN Walter Raymond Henry WO1 5845 ? Born 22 Dec 1916. Probate at Archives NZ - Wellington New Zealand Provost Corps Div. Provost Coy. 24
McCONNELL Spencer Allan Stuart Private 29778 * Son of George McConnell, and of Pearl McConnell (nee Harris), of Riponui, Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand Infantry 18th Bn. 23
McKAY Brian Private 20088 ? Son of Henry McKay and of Mabel Priscilla McKay (nee Kirk), of Hastings, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand; husband of Joyce V. McKay, of Ponsonby, Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand Infantry 21st Bn. 23
McLEAY Kenneth Andrew Sergeant 20235 * Son of Kenneth and Mary Eliza McLeay, of Napier, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. New Zealand Artillery 5 Field Regt. 23
McNAMARA Neil Joseph Private 37120 * Born 28 May 1919. Probate at Archives NZ - Wellington New Zealand Medical Corps 4 Field Amb 22
McNAMARA Walter Private 2957 * Son of Patrick McNamara and of Sarah McNamara (nee Hennessy), of Auckland City, New Zealand New Zealand Infantry 18th Bn. 29
MITCHELL Andrew Albert James Private 62125 ? Son of Hugh and Catherine Mary Mitchell, of Auckland City, New Zealand. New Zealand Infantry 21st Bn. 24
MORRISSEY Michael Private 14492 * Son of Martin Morrissey and of Maren Morrissey, of Dannevirke, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. New Zealand Infantry 18th Bn. 31
O'CONNOR Hector Victor Private 29414 * Son of John and Jane Ellen O'Connor. New Zealand Infantry 24th Bn. 30
PAORA Waihora Private 25970 ? Son of Paona and Kawhena Paora, of Wainui, Canterbury, New Zealand; husband of Kate Paora, of Wainui. New Zealand Infantry 28th (Maori) Bn. 24
PERRY Robert Samuel Signalman 33322 * Son of F. W. Perry and of Ida Margaret Perry (nee Crutchley), of Johnsonville, Wellington City, New Zealand. New Zealand Corps of Signals - 22
PETERSEN Frank Knight Gunner 24708 ** Son of Christian Edward and Emily Petersen, of Palmerston, Otago, New Zealand. New Zealand Artillery 6 Field Regt. 24
PRESTON Victor Michael Private 37596 * Son of Herbert Henry and Gladys Victoria Preston, of Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. New Zealand Machine Gun Battalion 27th (Machine Gun) N.Z. Bn. 22
PRITCHARD William Gunner 17852 * Son of William Charles Pritchard and of Josephine Marjorie Pritchard (nee McGinn), of Ashburton, Canterbury, New Zealand; husband of Edith Ivy Pritchard, of Ashburton. New Zealand Artillery 7 Anti Tank Regt. 26
RAE William Private 17117 * Son of John Rae and of Agnes Rae (nee Hastings), of Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland. New Zealand Infantry - 22
RAMSEY Charles Harold Private 2712 * Son of Harold Vivian and Bessie Jane Ramsey, of Taheke, Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand Infantry 18th Bn. 27
REID John Henry Gunner 63747 * Son of John Henry Reid and of Fanny Harriet Reid (nee Carey), of Kokonga, Otago, New Zealand. New Zealand Artillery 6 Field Regt. 31
RICHARDS George Sapper 36395 * Son of Charles and Sophie Richards, of Wanganui, Wellington, New Zealand. New Zealand Engineers 6 Field Coy. 28
RUDDICK Percy Edward Private 24272 * Son of Robert and Agnes Isabelle Ruddick, of Taneatua, Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand Infantry 24th Bn. 23
RUTHERFORD Frederick Duncan 2/Lieutenant 11749 * Son of Leslie Ashin Rutherford and Lucy Margaret Rutherford, of Hawarden, Canterbury, New Zealand. New Zealand Infantry 25th Bn. 29
SCOTT Kenneth Alexander Gunner 36046 * Son of Alexander and Lottie Mayfield Scott, of Wellington, New Zealand. New Zealand Artillery 5 Field Regt. 31
SEYMOUR Henry Frank Gunner 25797 * Son of Charles Henry Seymour and of A. A. R. Seymour (nee Ingram), of Whangara (north of Gisborne), East Coast, New Zealand; husband of Barbara H. Seymour, of Tolaga Bay, Auckland. New Zealand Artillery 4 Field Regt 32
SHILLING Robert Douglas L/Corporal 21467 * Son of James Augustus and Marie Magdalene Shilling, of Manunui, Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand Infantry 21st Bn. 23
SKUDDER John Cheeseman Private 36477 ? Born 04 Aug 1918. Probate at Archives NZ - Wellington New Zealand Machine Gun Battalion 27th (Machine Gun) N.Z. Bn. 23
SMEATON Clarence Raymond Private 62844 * Son of Ivan Graham Smeaton and Isabel Georgina Mary Smeaton, of Eketahuna, Wellington, New Zealand. New Zealand Infantry 21st Bn. 23
STANLEY Joseph Allan Trooper 17667 * Son of Herbert Andrew and Clara Emily Stanley, of Te Aroha, Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand Armoured Corps - 26
STEPHENSON Henry Private 16923 * Son of Duncan McLaren Stephenson and Ellen Stephenson; husband of Ruby Stephenson, of Anderson's Bay, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. New Zealand Infantry 18th Bn. 25
STIMPSON Harry Benjamin Gunner 61859 * Son of Benjamin John and Hedwig Elizabeth Stimpson; husband of Florence Anza Irene Stimpson, of Huntly, Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand Artillery 6 Field Regt. 25
SUNLEY William Harold Private 2732 * Son of Harry and Mary Jane Sunley, of Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand Infantry 18th Bn. 35
TEMM Carl Albert Private 21477 ? Son of William Carl Frederick Temm and of Ivy Vivian Temm (nee Woolley), of Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand Infantry 21st Bn. 23
THOMPSON Robert Private 25404 * Son of Robert and Ruth Alice Thompson, of Felling, Co. Durham, England. New Zealand Infantry 24th Bn. 35
WALDEN Arthur Leslie Private 2018 * Son of John Elliott Walden and Harriet Priscilla Walden, of Wellington, New Zealand; husband of Catherine Murray Walden, of Te Kuiti, Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand Infantry 18th Bn. 24
WALKER James Robert Private 14455 * Son of Alfred Boyton Walker and of Annabella Walker (nee Carmichael), of Hawera, Taranaki, New Zealand. New Zealand Infantry 18th Bn. 23
WALLACE Hugh Sinclair Private 28353 * Son of William Sinclair Wallace and Violet Helena Wallace, of Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand Infantry 24th Bn. 28
WARE Percival Raymond Private 6725 ? Son of William John and Annie Mary Ware, of Napier, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. New Zealand Infantry 22nd Bn. 34
WILSON John Ivan Bombardier 60163 * Son of Albert and Ruby Ireine Wilson, of Wellington, New Zealand. New Zealand Artillery 14 Lt. A.A. Regt. 22
WILSON Raymond Stein Bombardier 60065 * Son of John Stein Wilson and of Nellie Isabel Wilson (nee Hutchinson), Whangarei, Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand Artillery 6 Field Regt. 23

* - Lost on Chakdina - File WO 361/131 UK Archives
** - Lost on Chakdina and included on CWGC records
*? - Not in WO 361/131 but listed by CWGC as lost on Chakdina
? - Not in WO 361/131 but remembered on Alamein Memorial with Date of Death as 5 December 1941.
Total 74 known to have been lost on Chakdina with 15 possibles.


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