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In Memory of Ordinary Seaman JOHN ANTHONY CANVIN P/JX 518526, H.M.S. Chanticleer., Royal Navy who died age 18 on 18 November 1943 Son of Albert William George Canvin, and of Ethel May Canvin, of Watford, Hertfordshire. He was buried at sea somewhere off the Azores

Vigil antibus Non Dormientibus: 'To watchers not to sleepers'
HMS Chanticleer Motto
At 15.24 hours on 18 Nov 1943, HMS Chanticleer (U 05) (LtCdr R.H. Bristowe, DSO, RN) was struck by a Gnat from U-515 near the combined convoy MKS-30/SL-139 about 250 miles east-northeast of San Miguel, Azores. The sloop was towed to Ponta Delgado, where she was declared a total loss. In December 1943 the hulk was towed to Horta by HMS Salveda,and used as a base ship called the Lusitania II for RN personnel. In 1946 it was sold for scrap and broken up at Lisbon.
To anybody that has information - photos etc, please contact me and i will put them onto the website, this page is to all the brave men that served on HMS Chanticleer

HMS Chanticleer

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This is the only crew photo I have ever found from H.M.S. Chanticleer, and I still have not found which person is John Anthony Canvin. He died at the very young age of 18, whilst on duties off the Azores, they were protecting a convoy. The convoy SL 139 was sailing between the UK and the south Atlantic, whilst MKS 30 sailed between the UK and the Med. They were together on the Gibraltar homeward route. The convoys strength was 66 merchant ships with 19 escorts, whilst the Kriegsmarine had 29 U-boats hunting them. HMS Chanticleer was of the Modified Black Swan class and was built by WM Denny in Dumbarton Scotland. The torpedo damage was massive and it took the ships stern completely off, with the total loss of 28 lives. After the damage the ship was rescued by the vessel RFA Salveda, this was a ocean salvage vessel, it towed Chanticleer back to Horta Azores. Whilst there it was classed as a total loss, and was renamed the Lusitania II on the 31st December whilst hulked and then used as a store ship, it was scrapped in 1946.

U-Boat U-515

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U-515 was commissioned 21st Feb 1942 and was a type IXC submarine and had a good war record before it met its fate, it sunk 22 ships in total with a total tonnage of over 140 thousand. On the all time record list for tonnage it stands at number 18, and took part in a total of 7 patrols. U-515 left St Nazaire on the 9th November 1943 and did not return to Lorient until the 14th January 1944, a 67 day convoy. Inbetween the dates of the 16th and the 22nd Nov it was part of the Wolfpack Schill 1, that consisted of a total of 8 U-Boats. The first action the U-Boat experienced was HMS Chanticleer and in the process numerous uk ships attacked U-515, the commander made his escape to the Canary islands where he camouflaged the boat and made repairs. After repairs were completed U-515 sailed all the way down to Africa, off the coasts of Togo, Ghana & Cote D'lvoire, "the Gold Coast" where it sunk three British merchantman in total. The first was the British ship Kingswood 17th December, Phemius 20th Dec and finally the Dumana on christmas eve. There were a total of 62 fatalities on the merchantmen and the last ship Dumana turned into a dramatic rescue.

The Sinking of U-515

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Werner Henke Captain of U-515 (picture left) was awarded the iron cross 1st class as well as several other top decorations. The U-Boats threat in the north & Mid Atlantic was reducing, due to air power, and it was this that led to the demise of U-515. Sunk at 1510hrs on 9 April, 1944 in the mid-Atlantic north of Madeira, Portugal, in position 34.35N, 19.18W, by rockets from 4 Avenger and Wildcat aircraft (VC-58) of the US escort carrier USS Guadalcanal and depth charges from the US destroyer escorts USS Pope, USS Pillsbury, USS Chatelain and USS Flaherty. 16 dead and 44 survivors. The Captain and crew were taken by the americans to Ford Hunt park Virginia as prisoners of war, he died on the 15th June 1944 It was reported that he simply started to climb the perimeter fence around the camp, he was warned by the guards to get down, he ignored all warnings and as a result he was fatally shot. It is believed he chose this method as the other alternative would be a possible war trial, Henke is buried in the solders cemetery Ft Gerorge G. Meade maryland. On the 18th July Admiral Donitz issued the following order to his U-Boat crews.
(Commander Kapitänleutnant Werner H e n k e , recipient of the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves to the Iron Cross, was killed during an attempt to escape from captivity. We have lost one of our best. He combined reckless daring with prudence and outstanding tactical ability. He proved himself against convoys, independent merchantmen and warships, and sinking 26 ships for a total of 166,000 tons, one cruiser and one destroyer. We strike the colors for a man of iron and a brave fighter, who was an inspiring example to his crew, and for a good comrade. The struggle against the enemy, in which he was killed, will continue.)
Admiral Karl Donitz

U-515 Sinks

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The full 28 lives lost aboard HMS Chanticleer

 AYLWIN, William C, Able Seaman, P/JX 307419, killed
 BOWMAN, Arthur C, Able Seaman, P/JX 298540, killed
 BRADFORD, Walter A, Able Seaman, P/JX 383695, killed
 BURTON, James A, Able Seaman, P/JX 252164, killed
 BUTLIN, John, Assistant Cook (O), P/MX 572134, killed
 CANVIN, John A, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 518526, killed
 CARSON, Francis W, Ty/Sub Lieutenant (E), RCNVR, killed
 COLTART, Robert J, Stoker 2c, P/KX 142768, killed
 DEEKES, Stephen T, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 430511, killed
 ELSTON, William W, Petty Officer, P/JX 145563, killed
 GRAY, Joseph, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 381607, killed
 HUMBER, Donald E B, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 389649, killed
 JONES, Sidney, Able Seaman, P/JX 195661, killed
 KAY, Thomas, Leading Seaman, P/JX 134089, killed

Our Messages

 KELLY, Leonard T, Able Seaman, P/JX 160126, killed
 LEWIS, Robert H, Canteen Assistant, C/NX 2460, killed
 MARLOR, Norman F T, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 519746, killed
MARSH, Frederick G, Act/Petty Officer, P/JX 145537, killed

 PROCTOR, George H, Canteen Manager, C/NX 201, killed
 ROWLAND, James H, Cook (O), P/MX 110581, killed
 SICKELMORE, Edward S, Leading Seaman, P/J 51857, killed
 SMITH, William, Able Seaman, P/JX 240203, killed
 STABLES, Roy, Assistant Steward, P/LX 576724, killed
 STERRICK, Alexander S, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 396623, killed
 SWAN, Ronald C, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 553417, killed
 THURLOW, Rowland J, Gunner, MPK
 WALLACE, Sydney H, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 391581, killed
 WHITE, Stanley, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 395593, killed
Many thanks to Elaine Downing for emailing me this letter that was sent to the crew thanking them and paying respect to their fallen comrades from Lt. Comander R. H. Bristowe. Shame he spelt my relatives name incorrectly however there was a War on.


To our gallant friends who fell that day,
There was Humber, Carvin, Aylwin and Gray,
and Manor, Swan, Jones and White.
For their sacrifice let us continue the fight.
The memory of them in our hearts never cease,
With Gods good Grace may they rest in peace.

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To Download the full PDF please click this link.

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Lt. Comander R H Bristowe 1906 -1978
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Some great pictures below from Mr Andrew Wallace.
The Pictures show a navy issue Purse that was recovered from the sea also a Hatband, the navy did not include the name of the ship in Wartime. Both the items belonged to Ordinary Seaman Sydney Wallace (service No P/JX 391581) he also lost his life during the attack
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In Memory of Sidney Jones, Able Seaman also Killed 18th November
Some new pictures sent in showing a Christmas card from the ship and also a Photo of Sidney and Crew-mates
We shall remember them"

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A Christmas Card from the Ship

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Many thanks to Sidney Jones family members that contacted me, you have been a great help in documenting this tragic loss of life.

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Joseph Gray, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 381607, killed

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Many thanks to Donna for sending in a picture of her great Uncle Joseph Gray he was from Glasgow Scotland. He was one of the brave lads that lost their lives on that fateful day, he was only 19 years of age. His name is clearly mentioned in the poem that was penned by the Lt. Comander R. H. Bristowe above along with the rest of his crewmates K.I.A, I have also been sent a scan of the Telegram Joseph's parents received stating he had been killed in action, it is with the greatest respect I show it below, many thanks to the family for allowing me to display this.

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