Ships hit by U-boats

City of Benares

British Steam passenger ship

Photo courtesy of the Allen Collection

NameCity of Benares
Type:Steam passenger ship
Tonnage11,081 tons
Completed1936 - Barclay, Curle & Co, Whiteinch, Glasgow 
OwnerEllerman Lines Ltd, London 
Date of attack18 Sep 1940Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-48 (Heinrich Bleichrodt)
Position56° 43'N, 21° 15'W - Grid AL 2966
Complement407 (260 dead and 147 survivors).
RouteLiverpool (13 Sep) - Quebec - Montreal 
Cargo191 passengers 
History Completed in October 1936 
Notes on event

At 00.01 hours on 18 Sep 1940 the City of Benares (Master Landles Nicoll) in convoy OB-213 was hit in the stern by one torpedo from U-48 and sank after 30 minutes 253 miles west-southwest of Rockall. The ship had been missed by two torpedoes at 23.45 hours on 17 September. She was the ship of convoy commodore (Rear Admiral E.J.G. Mackinnon, DSO, RN) and the first ship in the center column. 15 minutes after the hit, the vessel was abandoned, encountering difficulties with lowering the boats on the weather side of the ship. HMS Hurricane (H 06) (LtCdr H.C. Simms, RN) picked up 105 survivors and landed them at Greenock. 42 survivors were adrift for eight days, then picked up by the HMS Anthony (H 40) (LtCdr N.J.V. Thew, RN) and landed at Greenock. The master, the commodore, three staff members, 121 crew members and 134 passengers were lost.

The City of Benares carried 90 evacuated children, which had been on their way to Canada to escape the German air attacks on Britain. 77 of them lost their lifes. After this incident, no more children were sent overseas.

On boardWe have details of 266 people who were on board

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Media links

Children of the Benares

Barker, Ralph

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