Fireman and Trimmer
SS Troutpool (West Hartlepool), Merchant Navy
Died as a result of enemy action on Saturday 20 July 1940 (aged 46)
Bangor Cemetery, Newtownards Road, Bangor, Co. Down (Section 5 X Grave 23 B)
Described in the Register of Deceased Seamen as a British Arab, Shief Ahmed was born in 1894 in Aden, Yemen and he was the husband of Margaret Ahmed of 6 McAlpine Street, Glasgow. He was 5 feet 4 inches tall with brown eyes, black hair and a swarthy complexion and during the Second World War he served in the Merchant Navy as a Fireman and Trimmer aboard the SS Troutpool. Owned by the Pool Shipping Company, the SS Troutpool was built in 1927 by William Gray and Company Ltd., West Hartlepool and in 1940 she was on a voyage from Rosario in Argentina to Great Britain with a cargo of grain when she sank in Belfast Lough after being struck by a magnetic mine.
The SS Troutpool had put into Belfast Lough for degaussing – a process involving the passing of an electric current through a cable round the ship’s hull (designed to reduce the possibility of magnetic mines in the sea being attracted by the ship’s hull). After re-starting her engines, the SS Troutpool was struck by two mines around 2.00 pm on 20 July 1940 and sank about a mile off the coast near Bangor. Eleven crew members were killed in the explosions. At low tide the superstructure was visible and, because it was a hazard to shipping, the wreckage was dispersed with explosives. At the time it was speculated that the mines which sank the SS Troutpool were laid by a long range Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor aircraft known to have been operating in the area.
Fireman and Trimmer Shief Ahmed was buried in Bangor Cemetery, as was Thomas Smith Beckett who was the Ship’s Carpenter aboard SS Troutpool. Three unidentified sailors from SS Troutpool were buried in Movilla Cemetery, Newtownards – one on 1 August 1940, another on 24 August 1940 and the third on 26 August 1940. Able Seaman John McGrath from the SS Troutpool whose body was never recovered is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial in London.
There is an inscription on Shief Ahmed’s headstone in Bangor Cemetery:
A TOKEN OF LOVE
OF ONE WE WILL NEVER FORGET
Fireman and Trimmer Shief Ahmed was 46 years old when he died.