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Person Details
03 Jul 1894
Lenton Nottingham
He was the son of Joseph, a grocer, and Elizabeth Simpson, 34, Gregory Street, Old Lenton, Nottingham. He was the brother of Clarice, Arthur, Joseph, Constance and Frederick Simpson.
In 1911 Harold worked in the family grocery shop.
27 May 1917
1439092 - CWGC Website
Torpedoed with SS “Wayfarer” and rescued, then drowned when H. T. “Leasowe Castle” was torpedoed and sunk off Alexandria with the loss of 83 officers and men on 27th May 1918. The Warwickshire Yeomanry and South Notts Hussars had just been converted to a M.G. Bn* and were on board the ship, the Leasowe Castle, together with the Bucks and Berks M.G.Bn, a Company of Machine Gunners and a number of attached Officers and Details. * The Bn was later re-numbered 100th Bn M.G.C. and joined 4th Army on the 19 August 1918. Col.Cheape (WY) was O.C.Troops, and Capt Drake (WY) was Ship's adjutant - both lost their lives in the sinking of the Leasowe Castle. The Convoy was 6 transports, accompanied by Destroyers, Trawlers, Aeroplanes and a captive Kite Balloon. The Japanese Destroyer 'R', together with H.M Sloops 'Lily' & 'Ladybird,' and two other un-named ships rescued many both on board and in the water. UB 51 torpedoed the Leasowe Castle. LEASOWE CASTLE Shipping Controller (Union-Castle Mail S.S. Co.); 1915; Cammell Laird; 9,737 tons; 488-5x58-2x32-9'; 1,759 n.h.p.; 14 knots; quadruple-expansion engines. The Union-Castle liner Leasowe Castle was built to the order of Greek owners as the Vasilissa Sophia, but never delivered to them. She was taken over by the British government in 1917. Soon after going into service she was torpedoed off Gibraltar on April 20th, 1917. but managed to reach port and effect repairs. On May 27th, 1918. she was in convoy from Egypt to Marseilles when she was torpedoed and sunk 104 miles W. by N. % N. of Alexandria. On this occasion she was carrying some 3,000 troops, and was under command of Capt. E. J. Holl. Ninety-two persons, including the captain, were killed. The Regiment like others had the misfortune to be torpedoed on the way out in the Transport Wayfarer on 10th April 1915 60 miles N.W. of the Scillies and again some years later when the Leasowe Castle was torpedoed on 27th May 1918. The Wayfarer had 6 Officers and 189 O.R.s and 763 horses and mules onboard. Fortunately help was at hand and the vessel was got in tow with the result that only 3 WY men lost their lives and 760 animals were landed safely in Queenstown, Ireland. The Leasowe Castle was torpedoed at 12.25am on the 27th May - the after part of the ship gave way at 2am and sank rapidy by the stern, the bows rearing straight on end. The Lily had a narrow escape as the hawsers connecting her to the sinking ship were cut with an axe in the nick of time, otherwise the loss of life might well have been even greater. “Friday the 7th May Such a glorious day, with nothing to indicate the awful tragedy about to be enacted within a few short miles of the shore. That morning I felt so much better that I went with my sister to see the “Wayfarer”, a very large transport ship that had been torpedoed a few weeks before and had only got in after great difficulty and the loss of seven men. Curious to say all the horses on board (of which it was full) were landed safely though half the side of the ship was torn away and it was still half full of water when I saw it, and the iron deck like a switchback railway. Part of the iron plating from the bottom had been torn off and lay in the upper deck where it had been blown to by the force of the explosion.” Amy Fitzgerald, 1915.
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