Joseph Stanyer killed on SS Empire Newcomen?

March 28, 2009


I noticed whilst doing a search for the SS Empire Newcomen that you had responded to a Rebecca Dill re her Great Grandfather (John Kinnersley, SS Empire Newcomen) who had been killed on this ship when it was torpedoed on 30th Nov 1941. My Great Uncle Joseph Stanyer was also killed on this ship. Do you have any more detail regarding this ship or the incident that caused its sinking,

Kind regards, 
Matthew Ball


I would have expected to find your Great Uncle listed on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site at Tower Hill, but the only Stanyer listed, is John a 20 year old steward who was killed in 1943.

I do not have any further information on the torpedo boat that sank the ship.

Best wishes, 

March 30, 2009
Hi Mac,
Thanks for responding to my email. For some reason Joseph Stanyer's name appears on the Plymouth Naval Memorial in Devon, Panel 48, Column 2. My brother got some info from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission some time ago, and it stated 'Joseph Stanyer, Able Seaman D/JX 227096. HMS President 111 (lost in SS Empire Newcomen), Royal Navy who died on Sunday 30th November 1941'

What does that mean, any ideas? And why would he be commemorated in Plymouth, but others at Tower Hill

Kind regards,

ps I was after a picture of the SS Empire Newcomen. Would you happen to know where I could get one from?


The reason that Joseph appears on the Plymouth Naval Memorial is that he was a sailor in the Royal Navy and not a Merchant Sailor, who appear on the Tower Hill Memorial in London.

On the CWGC site I was searching for a Merchant Navy Stanyer.

The fact that he was listed at HMS President 111 ( it was a London shore establishment that carried the pay accounts for all Defensively Equipped Merchant Ship gunners who manned the armament in merchant ships. )

Here are his details from the CWGC site:

Casualty Details
Initials:  J
Nationality:  United Kingdom
Rank:  Able Seaman
Regiment/Service:  Royal Navy
Unit Text:  H.M.S. President III
Date of Death:  30/11/1941
Service No:  D/JX 227096
Casualty Type:  Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference:  Panel 48, Column 2.
Plymouth Naval Memorial Panel 48 see Column 2:



Regret I am unable to find a picture of the ship.

                    Tonnage  lngth  Beam **    Completed
Newcomen  2840  315  46  11  1941  MOWT
30.11.41 Torpedoed and sunk by E-Boat off Cromer, Norfolk.
** Builder Willam Gray & Company Limited West Hartlepool.
The Ministry of War Transport controlled the ship, they gave all their ships the preface Empire, then the ship's name.


Mac, that's brilliant,

Many thanks, Matt

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