Corbett, James McMurtry

Corbett, James McMurtry (Jimmy)

Third Radio Officer

SS British Venture (London), Merchant Navy

Died as a result of enemy action on Thursday 24 June 1943 (aged 22)

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Tower Hill Memorial, London, England (Panel 21)

Bangor and District War Memorial

Hamilton Road Presbyterian Church, Bangor


James McMurtry Corbett’s birth was registered in the first quarter of 1921 in Newtownards and he was the sixth son of Thomas Henry and Margaret Anne Corbett (nee Robinson) who lived in Portallo Street, Belfast, then at 67 Weir Street, Belfast and later at 97 Victoria Road, Bangor.  Thomas Henry Corbett worked as a clerk and then as a meter inspector and he and Margaret Robinson were married on 16 September 1897 in Rosemary Street Presbyterian Church, Belfast.  Thomas Henry Corbett, a minor from 69 Langford Street, Belfast was a son of James Corbett, a farmer.  Margaret Anne Robinson, a minor from 14 Carlton Street, Belfast was a daughter of David Robinson, a labourer.

Thomas Henry and Margaret Anne Corbett (nee Robinson) had at least fourteen children:

David Robinson (born 10 September 1898 at 12 Carlton Street, Belfast)

Thomas Dennison (born 9 April 1900 at 19 Portallo Street, Belfast)

Robert Henry Parsons (born 12 August 1901 at 18 Portallo Street, Belfast)

Grace (born 17 October 1903 at 1 Bingham Street, Bangor; died of tubercular meningitis 16 March 1907 in Victoria Road, Bangor)

Wilhelmina Anna (born 3 August 1905)

Thomasina (born 5 September 1907 at 97 Victoria Road, Bangor)

Harriet Norah Margaret Wright (born 16 September 1909 at 97 Victoria Road, Bangor)

Grace (born 10 September 1911 at 97 Victoria Road, Bangor)

Annie (born 8 December 1913 at 97 Victoria Road, Bangor)

Elizabeth Weir (born 9 June 1915 at 97 Victoria Road, Bangor)

Albert Magee (born 13 August 1917 at 97 Victoria Road, Bangor)

George (born 23 October 1918)

James McMurtry (born 1920/21)

Male Child

During the Second World War James McMurtry Corbett served with the Merchant Navy aboard the British Steam Tanker SS British Venture.  This ship was built in 1930 by Lithgows Ltd., Port Glasgow for the British Tanker Company and on 24 June 1943 she was torpedoed by the Japanese submarine I-27 in the Indian Ocean, about 300 miles south of Reunion Island.  She was not in convoy and more than 40 men were killed.  Initially Jimmy Corbett (aged 22) was posted as missing as a result of enemy action and about one month later his death by drowning was officially presumed.

In the 17 July 1943 edition of the County Down Spectator there were death notices from his family (father, mother, brothers, sisters, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, aunt and uncle) and also from the manager and staff of Belfast Co-operative Society.  The family notice contained the text:

A perfect son, a unique brother

Third Radio Officer James McMurtry Corbett is commemorated on Bangor and District War Memorial and in Hamilton Road Presbyterian Church, Bangor.

It was reported in the Press that his younger brother was serving with the RAF.