Born: 26th September 1921, Ipswich.
Died: 2nd October 1942; age: 21; MPK.
Residence: 140, Kemball Street, Ipswich.
Rank: Marine; Service Number: CH/X2744.
Regiment: H.M.S. ‘Curacoa’.
Relatives Notified & Address: Son of John Lowe & Florence May Love, of Ipswich.
Father: John Love, born 1891, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, a Labourer.
Mother: Florence May Love (nee Mose), born November 1897, Devonport, Devon.
Probate to John Love – a Labourer.
H.M.S. ‘Curacoa’ 2nd October 1942.
H.M.S. ‘Curacoa’ was a C-class light cruiser. Built by Harland & Wolff, Belfast ordered April 1916, laid down July 1916. Launched 5th May 1917 from Pembroke Dock. Commissioned 18th February 1918. In 1939, she became a training ship, before she was converted to anti- aircraft cruiser August 1939 – April 1940. During the Second World War the ocean liner R.M.S. ‘Queen Mary’ was used as a troopship regularly crossing the Atlantic, normally without an escort, relying on her speed to evade the U-boats. As she came closer to Scotland on the 2nd October 1942, carrying 10,000 American and Canadian troops to Britain, H.M.S. ‘Curacoa’ joined her to provide anti-aircraft into Greenock. Both ships were on a standard zigzagging course, when they found themselves on a collision course the ‘Queen Mary’ sliced H.M.S. ‘Curacoa’ in two. Separated she takes 6 minutes to sink. 338 of her crew are lost. 26 survived, including the Commander – Captain John Wilfred Boutwood, RN. The Queen Mary with a 40 foot gash in her bow did not stop to pick up survivors.
Did H.M.S. ‘Curacoa’ steer a fatal course towards R.M.S. ‘Queen Mary’ or was the ‘Queen Mary’ to blame?