Peter is remembered on the war memorial at Christchurch Park, Ipswich.
Born: 1919, Ipswich.
Died on or since: 12th February 1944; age: 25; lost at sea – S.S. ‘Khedive Ismail’ (London) Troopship torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. At the time Peter was in charge of organising a concert and was below decks holding a rehearsal.
Residence: Alton House, 24, Tuddenham Road, Ipswich.
Occupation: Optician – F.S.M.C. The Fellowship in Optometry of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers.
Rank: Captain; Service Number: 165480.
Regiment: Royal Artillery, attached to 301 Field Artillery, East African Artillery.
Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Charles William & Edith Olive Croydon. F.S.M.C., FREEMAN OF THE CITY OF LONDON
Father: Charles William Croydon, born July 1868, Ipswich – died February 1926, Ipswich. Apprenticed to Jacobs, of Hatton Garden, London. A Watchmaker, Clock Maker, Jeweller and Shopkeeper at the Ipswich branch of Croydon’s & Sons. A Fellow of the British Horological Institute.
Mother: Edith Olive Croydon (nee Smyth), born August 1877, Ipswich.
Peter’s father, Charles William Croydon was the eldest son of Charles Harry Edward Croydon, born 1847, Ipswich. At the age of 14, Charles Harry began serving as an apprentice to jeweller, John Warne, earning 1 shilling a week. A typical apprenticeship lasted 7 years, but by 1865, at the age of 18, Charles left John Warne and set himself up as a watch maker, at Hatton Court, Tavern Street, Ipswich. Later as the business grew, Charles Harry moved to 50 – 52, Tavern Street. With his three sons Croydon’s & Sons became manufacturers of jewellery, watch and clock makers, engravers, electroplaters and gilders, diamond and pearl setters and opticians. Later in the 1930’s with the widening of Tavern Street between Upper Brook Street and St. Lawrence Street, Croydon’s premises became 54 – 56, Tavern Street. They also had shops and workshops at Felixstowe, Suffolk and Colchester, Essex.
Peter was a recipient of the Freedom of the City of London.
Probate to Edith Olive Croydon – widowed mother.
12th February 1944
The S.S.’Khedive Ismail’ was formerly named the S.S.’Aconcagua’ (after the mountain). The turbine steamship was built by Scotts Shipbuilding & Engineering Company, of Greenock on the Firth of Clyde, Scotland, in 1922, for the Chilean Compañía Sud Americana de Vapores. As an ocean liner between Valparaizo – Panama – New York. In 1935, the S.S. ‘Aconcagua’ was bought by the Mail Steamship and Graving Dock Company, of Alexandria, Egypt and re-named S.S.’Khedive Ismail’ after Isma’il Pasha. In 1940, she was requisitioned by the British Ministry of War Transport and converted into a troopship.
On the 6th February 1944, S.S.’Khedive Ismail’ (Captain Roderick William Macaulay Whiteman) was one of the five troop transport ships of Convey KR8, accompanied by a heavy cruiser, and two destroyers. With African troops and British military personnel, including Wrens and nursing sisters on board S.S.’Khedive Ismail’ departed from Kilindini Harbour, Mombasa, Kenya on her way to Colombo, Ceylon. Early in the afternoon of the 12th February in the One and a Half Degree Channel, south-west of the Maldives, S.S.’Khedive Ismail’ was torpedoed twice by the Japanese B1 type submarine I-27 (Lt.-Cdr. Toshiaki Fukumura). She broke into two and quickly sank. 1,297 people lost their lives.
Photograph courtesy of Kit.