|THE SINKING OF S. S. MEREL 8 December 1939
SOUTH, Charles Henry. Boatswain, S.S. Merel (London), Merchant Navy. 8 December 1939: Age 58.
Husband of Charlotte South, of Tollesbury, Essex. The 1901 census shows Charles Henry South aged 19 Essex born & living at Tollesbury working as a Mariner. Unfortunately we have little on the man himself but more on the ship.
He was lost while serving on the cargo ship S.S. MEREL during a voyage from Le Havre for London. The MEREL ran into a minefield and struck a mine near the Gull Light Vessel and sank off Ramsgate and broke in two. She was built by Ayrshire Dockyard Irvine: and was 1088 tons built in 1925 for General Steam Navigation Company.
The German Destroyers WILHELM HEIDKAMP, HANS LÜDEMANN, HERMANN KÜNNE and KARL GALSTER laid a minefield on the night of the 17th October 1939 and again a second mine barrage on the night of 12th / 13th November 1939 in the area around Thames estuary.
Ships which were sunk by this mine barrage: - British MV BLANCHE (13th Nov), SS PONZANO (13th Nov), SS MATRA (13th Nov), SS WOODTOWN (15th Nov), SS HOOKWOOD (23rd Nov), SS RUBISLAW (28th Nov), SS SHEAF CREST (30th Nov), SS DALRYAN (1st Dec), MV SAN CALISTO (2nd Dec), SS MEREL (8th Dec). Italian SS
GRAZIA (19th Nov) Dutch SS SPAARNDAM (27th Nov) Greek SS PARALOS (6th Dec) Swedish SS URSUS (15th Dec)
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Memorial: Tower Hill Memorial Panel.