Victor Cooke Robinson served as 2nd Engineer on the Bengore Head

October 26, 2009

I was extremely interested to read the account of the sinking of the Bengore Head on the 9 May 1941.

My late father – Victor Cooke Robinson served as 2nd Engineer on the Bengore Head.  My brother has the original record for our father of his records book ‘Continuous Certificate of Discharge’ covering his service in the Merchant Navy  from 1934 up until he left the service in 1949 (I have a photo copy).

From these records we found out that he was on the Benmore Head which left Belfast on the 26th April 1941, then the next entry was 09.05.1941 followed by the description of the voyage ‘sunk by enemy action’.

I have been trying for some time to pick up something relating to this sinking and now have found your article.   Is there any way to find out more about what happened to my father and the rest of the crew!!   How did he get back home to Belfast!!

We were indeed thankful that he survived this ‘sinking.  Dad did not talk much about the war, all my brother and I ever remember him saying was that some of the ships he served on had been sunk and ‘all hands lost’ and he had survived a ‘sinking’. His log book certainly confirmed what he had told us and a wonderful reminder to my brother and I of that part of his life. We only got access to all this information on the death of our mother about 2 years ago when we were going through her personal things.

My father returned to Belfast and then travelled to Dublin to marry mother on the 2 June 1941 - I arrived some 9 months later, followed by my brother 11 months later. I have the telegram sent to Dad on board the Empire Cougar, as he was at sea when I was born. He would appear to have come home (Belfast) just after 20 April 1942 and then returned to serve on the Fanad Head on the 23 June 1942. I actually have a photo of me as a small child taken on the Fanad Head - well how do I know - they have me standing beside a life belt and the name of the ship was on it.

Anyway I digress, any assistance to find out more about this traumatic part of our father’s life would be of interest.

Thank you.

Yvonne (nee Robinson) Russell



In all 5 ships carried the name of Bengore Head, in WW1 Bengore Head 3 was sunk.  your ship was Bengore 4.
Bengore Head (3)  1884  1917 torpedoed and sunk.  Tons2,584
Bengore Head (4)  1922  1941 torpedoed and sunk.  Tons2,609


Convoy battles OB-318 Liverpool - Outward (North America) (North Atlantic) 7 May 1941 - 10 May 1941 from Uboat.net


October 27, 2009

Thank you very much for all the information given in your e-mail. I have also been 'surfing' the internet looking for info on the Bengore Head since I sent you my e-mail. Yes I had known that it was Bengore Head (4).

It would indeed be good to find out which ship rescued my father as I see that the survivors were picked up by
two vessels. One went to Sydney - this has intrigued me very much - did the ships go via the top of Canada as
normal procedure to travel to Australia? Why travel so far before landing these survivors, surely they could
have taken them to a nearer Port!! The other ship took survivors to Reykjavik, could my father have been on
this ship as he was back in Ireland to marry my mother by the 2 June. Unanswered questions as to what happened to him after the sinking of the ship. Always knew by his occupation (2nd Engineer) he was not in the best part of the boat if attacked and we learn that the 3rd Engineer was killed. 

I have been very moved to read the various accounts of this event which occurred in my father's life and can well appreciate why he never talked about it, as one of the articles I read in your e-mail by one of the other ships - they saw the survivors in the water but could not stop to pick them up - was my father one of these!!

Thank you.



By the time scale it would seem that HMS Aubrieta was the rescue ship for your Father, but I cannot find how he got back to Ireland, in time to marry your Mother on June 2.

Best wishes,

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