A World War Two Atlantic Convoy Casualty Group awarded to 6th Engineer Officer Thomas William Hartley, Merchant Navy, Killed in Action 25th September 1942 when S.S. Boston, of Convoy RB-1, was torpedoed by U-126 comprising, 1939-45 Star, Atlantic Star, 1939-45 War Medal, Ministry of Transport Condolence/Bestowal slip (Thomas William Hartley), card box of issue addred to his father Haydon Hartley, as issued.
Thomas William Hartley, the son of Heydon Hartley was born in 1908 in Leeds. He was the 6th Engineer Officer on the S.S. Boston, Eastern Ships Company of Boston/Ministry of War Transport managed by Coast Lines. She was part of a “one-off” Convoy designated RB-1 which sailed from Halifax Nova Scotia on the 16th September 1942. S.S. Boston was the Commodore’s ship. The Convoy consisted of 8 ships with two escorts H.M.S.Veteran and Vanoc. AT16.37 hours on the 25th September U-126 fired a spread of four torpedoes at convoy RB-1 about 610 miles east-southeast of Cape Farewell and claimed the sinking of a passenger ship of the Viceroy of India type (19,000 grt) with three hits. In fact, the ship hit was the Boston (Master Robert Smith Cook Young) her high superstructure and twin funnels led Schultz to overestimate the size of his target. She sank turning over within seven minutes after being hit by two torpedoes on the port side through the forefoot and aft in the engine room. The master, 52 crew members, three convoy signalmen and ten gunners (the ship was armed with one 12pdr and four machine guns) had abandoned ship quickly in four lifeboats and rafts in moderate weather with a heavy swell. The British steam merchant New Bedford acted as rescue vessel and tried to pick up the survivors, but had difficulties to take them aboard due to her peculiar shape. When lowering one of her own boats it was caught underneath the belting and capsized, tipping the chief officer H.F.W. Kaye into the sea. She then rejoined convoy after having rescued only two crew members. The chief officer of New Bedford and 47 survivors, including the master of Boston, were picked up by HMS Veteran (LtCdr T.H. Gardwood, RN) which was sunk the next day by U-404 (von Bülow) with all hands.
In total 3 Merchant Ships and one Escort were sunk before Convoy RB-1 arrived in the UK on the 26th September.
Thomas Hartley is commemorated on Panel 18 of the Tower Hill Memorial he was 34 years old. Sold with copy Convoy information, copy Record of Death of Merchant Seaman and original photograph of his name on the memorial. And copy photograph of S.S. Boston.