Capt Herbert Harold Rose

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Master

Regiment/Service: Merchant Navy

Unit Text: S.S. Gloucester Castle (London)

Age: 59

Date of Death: 15/07/1942

Additional information: Husband of G. H. Rose, of Otterbourne, Hampshire.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 52. Memorial: TOWER HILL MEMORIAL

Captain Rose was Master of the S.S. "Gloucester Castle".   At the outbreak of war the "Gloucester Castle" was swinging round the anchor off Netley (Southampton Water) in 'reserve', the first step to the breakers when she was brought out of retirement.   She sailed from Birkenhead at noon on the 21st. June 1942 for Cape Town and the South African coast.   There were just twelve passengers, families of Simon's Town dockyard workers.

At approximately 1900 hrs on Wednesday 15th of July when some 1300 miles from Freetown and half way to Ascension Island she was struck by a shell from the German armed merchant cruiser "Michel".  This first shell struck the ship just below the bridge on the starboard side, very likely killing the master who's cabin would have been in that location.   The "Michel"s gunnery was deadly accurate and within a few minutes the "Gloucester Castle" was struck several more times and in less than ten minutes the ship had sunk with great loss of life.

From 'The Union-Castle Chronicle" by Marischal Murray


(replies will be forwarded to sender)

E-mail from Jane Marshall, 9th June 2010

Hello - I'm researching family member Herbert Harold Rose (born 1883), Masters Certificate 002629, Seaman's discharge 933931, who was killed 15.7.1942 aboard 'Gloucester Castle'.

With his many absences from home and uncertain family life, he is proving difficult to trace, and I wonder if you have any information in your records regarding his career and family, particularly regarding his parents and any siblings. I have some information on wife Grace Hannah Rose, but not for example the Otterbourne address quoted in his death notice.

I would be most grateful for any help you can give. Kind regards, Jane Marshall


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