The City Of Benares

Derek Bech

Member
Jun 29, 2007
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Dear Mike,
The book by Ralph Barker "Children of the Benares" was one of the first full accounts on the sinking of the 'City of Benares'. I knew Ralph fairly well and he made a very detailed research when writing his book and the details are correct. He has always maintained contact with 'the children' and attended our three Memorial Services held in London.

The most recent book "Miracles on the Water" written by Tom Nagorski covers the event in more detail. Like Ralph, Tom visited each of us 'children' to obtain more information. His book is very well written and is also a true testimony. Tom also maintains contact with all of us. As I have said previously Tom's great uncle was one of the survivors who was in Boat 12 which was 8 days adrift before rescue. The story of Boat 12 and how they survived is told fully in his book. Much of this information was unknown to me until I read the book - 65 years after the event !!!
I am aware of yet another book being published later in August 2007. This will also feature some of the events of the sinking of the 'City of Benares'. I will post these details when I know more.

Derek Bech
 

Derek Bech

Member
Jun 29, 2007
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I now have the details of the new book I mentioned before. The title of the book is "YOUNG VOICES" and is written by Lyn Smith in association with the Imperial War Museum in London. It is published by Penguin Viking Books. (web page www.penguin.com).

The book uses the personal accounts made for the Imperial War Museum by over a hundred children who suffered great hardship and loss during WW2. Some accounts are most remarkable and distressing. There is mention of the 'City of Benares' from some of us survivors.

The book is worth reading as it opens up many untold stories.....

Derek
 
T

Tessa Purvis

Guest
Hi

I would also like to know some information of the survivors that were adrift in boat 12. My grandfather(George Purvis) was one of the men on that boat.

If anyone could help, would be greatly appreciated.

tessa.purvis@gmail.com

Thanks
 

Amanda Lewis

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Jun 1, 2013
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Hello. I am not sure if anyone is still following this thread. I am writing to you on September 17, 2014, the 74th anniversary of the sinking of The City of Benares.
For anyone who is interested, I have written an historical fiction for young people called, simply "September 17: A Novel". It is a fictionalized account of the disaster, told from the perspective of 3 of the children who survived. Any of you who are interested in passing the story on to young people might find the book useful. The main characters are Ken Sparks, Bess Walder and Sonia Bech, but there are many adults who also come into the story, most of whom have been mentioned on this thread.
The book has been published in Canada (where I live) and in the United States. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book goes to the charity Save the Children. It is available through Amazon.
You can also find out more on my web site at Amanda West Lewis
Thinking of you and all of the children who were lost that day.
Amanda Lewis
 
Aug 16, 2016
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Susan, I would love to talk with you about your grandfather's memories. I think Miracles on the Water does a good job of describing his role on Lifeboat 12, but if you have more memories I would love to hear them. (I am working on a book about this incident. Please email me at DeborahHeiligman@gmail.com
 

Peter Miles

Member
Sep 12, 2018
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I was one of the survivors as listed. We were rescued by HMS Hurricane.
The following books have been written about the sinking of 'City of Benares'
1) Children of the Benares by Ralph Barker (published in 1987)
2) Children of the Doomed Voyage by Janet Menzies (published in 2006)
3) Miracles on the Water by Tom Nagorski (published in 2007)
All accounts are well writen and acurate.
In case anyone is interested I have in my possession the complete passenger/crew list for the last voyage. This was given to me by Ralph Barker and which was part of his research for his book.
Hello Derek,
I know your post goes back 11 years, but I'm wondering whether you still have the complete passenger list of the SS City of Benares sunk on 18th September.
I am researching the life of Stanley T Johnson, whom I've found on a passenger list. I know he survived, but I can't find his name on any list of survivors. I need to be certain that he was actually aboard the ship!.
Thanks,
Peter
 
Aug 16, 2016
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Peter,
I am working on a children's book about this incident. I am sorry to report that Derek is no longer alive. He died in 2016. I visited his sister Sonia and another survivor this past summer. I have found a ship's manifest on Ancestry.com. His name is on it. Tried to attach it here. Let me know if you can see it.
Best,
Deborah Heiligman
www.DeborahHeiligman.com

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Peter Miles

Member
Sep 12, 2018
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Hi Deborah,
I'm so sorry to hear that Derek passed away, and I'm very grateful that you have stepped in.
Yes, I can see the ship's manifest - many thanks!
Do you think that means Stanley T Johnson actually boarded the ship?
As mentioned, there are list of survivors (albeit incomplete) in the internet, and I have yet to find his name on it.
All the best for youyr book! Sounds like a great project.
Kind regards,
Peter
peter@consultmiles.com
 
Aug 16, 2016
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Do you want to send me the link to the list you found? I have seen mostly lists of people who died, not survivors. They are sometimes mislabeled as survivors. I think his name on that manifest most likely means that he did survive. You can email me directly if you want--through my website or my name at gmail.
 

Peter Miles

Member
Sep 12, 2018
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Does anyone know anything at all about the ship City Of Benares, torpedoed during WWII while evacutaing children from Britain during the blitz?
Hi,
I'm putting out another call to members to help me find a complete list of the paying passengers who survived, in particular one Stanley T(homas) Johnson.
He appears on the list of passenger embarking in Liverpool, and died in 1967. But to know whether he actually sailed, I need to see him on a lsit of survivors.
Replies much appreciated.
Peter