A Dunkirk Survivor And Her Mystery Casualties



Dear Sirs, Following your recent excellent features on aspects of the Dunkirk evacuation I thought your readers might be interested in a sad story relating to the subsequent fate of one of the evacuation vessels which is linked to the graves of two unknown sailors buried in Whickham (Garden House) Cemetery, Co. Durham.

In May 1940 the SS Malines, along with SS St. Denis, was sent to Rotterdam to evacuate British civilians under heavy bombing attacks from the advancing Germans. While the St.Denis was scuttled, and against all the odds, Malines made it out and down-river under the command of Captain Mallory, reaching Tilbury with 178 on board.

Impressed for the Dunkirk evacuation, she made two trips and rescued 1,500 troops including survivors from HMS Grafton. Then, in June 1940, she took part in evacuations from Cherbourg, Guernsey and Jersey before being formally requisition by the Admiralty and re-named HMS Malines.

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