John Harry Morgan MN died with the infamous sinking of the Collier, Empire Lake off Madagascar in 1943

October 13, 2009

Hello Mac,

I happened across your site "Ahoy".  My Brother, (whom I never knew being born in 1945), was John Harry Morgan MN who died with the infamous sinking of the Collier, Empire Lake off Madagascar in 1943. I and his brother Sid (84), who grew up with John, would be very interested in "any" details you may be able to point us in regarding the Empire Lake.

see "George Wormald, lost in sinking Empire Lake 15 July 1943 - Looking for survivors."

Mac, your site provides a great deal for the comfort of remaining family members and I wish to say "Thank You" from the bottom of my heart. As I said, I never knew John, but ever since the age of seven, when I came to realize and understand the loss of an unknown sibling, I have always felt an affinity with him. Because of him I joined the Ramsgate (Kent) Sea Cadets, at that time with a dream of joining the RN; due to a childhood loss of an eye, it was not to be although I did later manage to fenagle my way into the Royal Army Medical Corp. Never-the-less, I went on to become a P/O Bandmaster and Seamanship Instructor and hopefully contributed to both the RN and the MN via that route.

I have attached two pictures of John. The group picture was taken in 1941 in New York City at the restaurant owned by the retired World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Jack Dempsey.  Jack has his arm over John's shoulder.

Regretably I have no details as to whom the remaining matelots are.  I hope the pictures are of interest,

Appreciatively  yours,
Capt. George Morgan RAMC (Retd)

Hello George,

Thank you for your nice comments about AHOY, a joint project with my Web Master Terry Kearns from Atlanta Georgia, I do the writing and research and Terry knocks it into shape for the world to find if they happen to locate our site.

We are grateful for your feedback, and it is our pleasure to help families in our small way.

Your brother is recorded on the MN Tower Hill Memorial in London on Panel 42.

In Memory of

S.S. Empire Lake (West Hartlepool), Merchant Navy
who died age 19 on 15 July 1943
Son of George and Ethel Morgan, of Broadstairs, Kent.
Remembered with honour

Commemorated in perpetuity by
the Commonwealth War Graves Commission



A little about U-181 that sank SS Empire Lake, uboat U-181:

Type IXD2
Laid down 15 Mar, 1941 AG Weser, Bremen
Commissioned 9 May, 1942 Kptlt. Wolfgang L th (Knights Cross)
Commanders 9 May, 1942 - 31 Oct, 1943   KrvKpt. Wolfgang L
th (Knights Cross)
1 Nov, 1943 - 8 May, 1945   Kpt. Kurt Freiwald

Career 4 patrols 9 May, 1942 - 30 Sep, 1942  4. Flottille
1 Oct, 1942 - 31 Oct, 1942  10. Flottille (front boat)
1 Nov, 1942 - 30 Sep, 1944  12. Flottille (front boat)
1 Oct, 1944 - 8 May, 1945  33. Flottille (front boat)

Successes 27 ships sunk for a total of 138,779 tons

Fate Taken over by Japan in May 1945 and became the
Japanese submarine
I 501 on 15 July 1945.


August 24, 2010

Dear Mac,

Firstly, a belated Happy Birthday.

I had not been to your site for some time, but I noticed on your site that the brother of John Harry Morgan, late of the Empire Lake, had written asking for any information that could be given about the ship. I unfortunately changed my email address without informing you and wonder if someone might have attempted to contact me.

see "John Harry Morgan MN died with the infamous sinking of the Collier, Empire Lake off Madagascar in 1943"

I have the following details of John Harry Morgan, aged 19, birthplace - Minster. Last place of abode, 80, Mayfiels (or Mayfield) Gardens, London W 7.

His previous ship before Empire Lake was the Scandia. On another sheet I have his  last place of abode as, 11, Crawford Road, Broadstairs, Kent. I have his signature and would be delighted to pass on a copy of this, I did this
recently for the nephew of John Flint, a South African, also lost on E. Lake.

I am always excited to make contact with other relations from the crew, I have made quite a few now including the daughter of the Master of the ship.

Thanks for all the help you have given so far.

Best wishes,
Bill Wormald

Hello Bill,

Nice to hear from you again, and my thanks for the extra informaion about John Harry Morgan, which we will post on AHOY.

Best wishes,

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