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This page contains the records of the person you have selected. Information has been verified and a signature gained from the living next of kin.

All data is offered in good faith. Should you feel any information is inaccurate or incomplete or perhaps you have extra information which could be included please contact info@safn.org.uk


Name John Redpath Curtis.
Nick Name Jackie Curtis.
Last Known Address Fawn Road, Ford Estate, Sunderland.
Family Circumstances Jackie was the Son of Margaret Curtis, and stepson of Martin Carabine, of Sunderland.

Unit of Service Merchant Navy.     S.S. North Britain.
Number and Rank Cook
Date & Place of Death 5th May 1943. 300 Miles South Cape Farewell. Mid Atlantic Ocean.
Grave Location
(if known)
S.S. North Britain, Atlantic Ocean. .
Where Commemorated
(if known)

Commonwealth War Graves Commemorative Roll.

Tower Hill Memorial. London. Panel 74.


Details of any Medals, conflict, training or operations which the deceased had participated in during service.

Jackie joined the Merchant Navy as a teenager. He sailed the Atlantic during the war from 1939 to until his death in 1943..


Other general information. online links, images etc.

The S.S. North Britain was torpedoed by U-707. The ship sank in 4 minutes. The S.S, Northern Britain was part of a large Convoy called ON5 and had joined the convoy after leaving the Clyde.



                          Below is a link to more detail about the S.S. Northern Britain.                                                                                   

Click on here;   Details of S.S. North Britain and the wreck location.


The link below gives a facinating insight to Convoy ON5 which became

the turning point of the Battle Of The Atlantic.




Below is more detail regarding the loss of the ship from the son of one of the crew who died.



The ship was torpedoed at about midnight on the 4th May 1943 and went down in 4 minutes. The Captain almost immediately gave orders to abandon ship but after returning to his quarters for the ship's papers was never seen again. Having been hit at the aft end of the ship apparently began to sink rapidly by the stern and all members of the crew living in the poop quarters and not on watch, were unable to get out in time with the exception of M.C. Chapman who was the only man who escaped from this part of the ship.

These quarters were used by the sailors, firemen, donkeymen, carpenter, bosun and naval gunners,efforts were made by the remaining crew who were on watch and the rest of the crew who were midship and on the bridge to launch the boats, but many had to jump into the sea and swim to wreckage and rafts. It can be stated clearly that at least one boat got away because Mr Beaven 3rd radio officer was picked up by it after having jumped from the bridge boat deck into the sea. This boat was waterlogged and contained about 12 men of whom 4 died of exposure, the remainder being picked up by a Naval trawler after repeated attempts in heavy seas, the Third Officer Mr. A. Hansen was seen on a raft with 2 men who were presuably picked up by the same trawler.".......a letter of confirmation of my Dad's death was received 18th of April 1944, he was 28 years old in 1943 and I was 3 years old.
Yours Faithfully,
  Bryan James Newcombe .




Below is Jackies Commonwealth War Graves Certificate.




















All data is offered in good faith. Should you feel any information is inaccurate or incomplete please contact sunderlandafn@gmail.com