Family images courtesy of Nicola.

Born: 1917, Ipswich.

Died: 13th June 1940; age: 22; missing presumed drowned, at sea off Saint Valery en Caux, France.

Residence: ‘Merley’ 12, Fonnereau Road, Ipswich.

Occupation: Mechanical Engineer’s Draughtsman.


Rank: 4th Engineer Officer.

Regiment: Merchant Navy, S.S. Train, Ferry No. 2 (London). 145207.


Memorial Reference:

Panel 109.

Tower Hill Memorial,



Father: Cyril Catchpole, born November 1884, 12, Orwell Place, Ipswich.

Mother: Frances Josephina Catchpole (nee Sutcliffe), born November 1893, in Clapham, London.

Douglas with his mother Frances, also known as Betty.


Nathaniel Catchpole Mayor of Ipswich 1889-1890

The Catchpole’s were a wealthy, brewing family. In 1855, Douglas’s great great uncle, Nathaniel Catchpole took over the Unicorn Brewery, at Foundation Street, Ipswich from Ashton Blogg. In 1918, the family changed the name from Catchpole & Co. to Unicorn Brewery Co. Ltd. and continued brewing at the premises in Foundation Street. In 1923, the brewery and 56 public houses were taken over by Tollemache’s Brewery and Cobbold & Co. until 1923. Douglas’s father, Cyril moved into the vacant premises to continue a mineral water, lemonade, ginger beer, cider and cordial bottling plant that he had taken over from another Ipswich family firm of Talbot & Co. Ltd. During the Second World War Cyril was awarded the franchise for selling Pepsi Cola to all the American personnel based in Suffolk.

More information can be seen here  –


Mayors of Ipswich:

Douglas’s great great uncle, Nathaniel Catchpole was Mayor 1889 – 1890.

His grandfather William John Catchpole was Mayor from 1902 – 1903.

His father, Cyril Catchpole was Mayor from 1950 – 1951.


Douglas was educated at Ipswich School and Uppingham School, Rutland.


Probate to Cyril Catchpole – Company Director.


Douglas is also remembered on the Ipswich School Chapel war memorial and The Library war memorial, at Uppingham School.


13th June 1940

S.S. ‘Train Ferry No. 2’ a 2,678 grt ferry was built for the British Army, by Armstrong W.G. & Whitworth Co. Ltd., Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, in the Lowe Walker yard. Launched on the 12th September 1917. S.S. ‘Train Ferry No. 2’ and her sister ships – No. 1 and No. 3 were the first vessels to offer regular transport between the U.K. and Europe for rail freight vehicles and could also be used for road transport. They were designed to help alleviate the congestion, inefficiencies and delays brought about by the bottleneck system at the Channel ports during World War One.  S.S. ‘Train Ferry No. 2 was requisitioned by the Royal Navy in September 1939 for the transportation of military traffic to and from Calais. In June 1940 she helped to assist in the evacuation of troops from the small fishing port at Saint-Valery-en-Caux, Haute-Normandie, France. On the 13th June 1940, S.S. ‘Train Ferry No. 2’ was damaged by German shore gun batteries, she was beached and abandoned off Saint-Valery-en-Caux. 14 crew members were lost.

One Comment

  • I have sent you an email with photos of Douglas for your website. Thank you for very complete information about him. He was my uncle although we never met.


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