White, James

White, James

Able Seaman

SS San Gerardo (London), Merchant Navy

Died as the result of enemy action on Tuesday 31 March 1942 (aged 19)

No known grave

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Tower Hill Memorial, London, England (Panel 92)

Kircubbin Parish Church of Ireland Church (Holy Trinity)

BIOGRAPHY

James White was born on 23 February 1923 in Gransha, Kircubbin and he was a son of William and Mary Jane White (nee Drysdale) who were married on 30 April 1909 in Ardkeen Parish Church of Ireland Church (Christ Church).  William White (aged 22), a labourer from Gransha, Kircubbin was a son of Adam White, a labourer.  Mary Jane Drysdale (aged 19) from Ratallagh was a daughter of Robert Drysdale, a fisherman.

William and Mary Jane White (nee Drysdale) had at least five children:

Adam (born 21 April 1910 in Gransha, Kircubbin)

Sarah Jane (born 22 January 1912 in Gransha, Kircubbin)

William (born 5 October 1918 in Gransha, Kircubbin)

Annabella (born 26 November 1920 in Gransha, Kircubbin)

James (born 23 February 1923 in Gransha, Kircubbin)

James White went to sea in April 1938 (aged 15) and he worked as a Deck Hand aboard the Royal Mail Motor Vessel (RMMV) Winchester Castle which was built by Harland and Wolff and operated by the Union-Castle Mail Steamship Company.

During the Second World War Able Seaman James White served with the Merchant Navy aboard the British tanker SS San Gerardo.  This ship was built in 1922 by Palmer’s Shipbuilding and Iron Company Ltd., Newcastle-upon-Tyne and owned by the Eagle Oil and Shipping Company, London.  On 31 March 1942 she was some 700 miles off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and not in convoy when she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-71.

Able Seaman James White was one of around 50 men who died, and his death was reported in the 5 September 1942 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle under the headline Kircubbin Seaman Killed.

Able Seaman James White was 19 when he died, and he is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial in London and in Kircubbin Parish Church of Ireland Church (Holy Trinity).