History & Learning

Convoys Remembered

Kenneth Greenwell

Merchant Navy

Kenneth Greenwell, Fourth Engineer Officer (Merchant Navy), died on 11th November 1942 aged 30 aboard SS Goolistan.

The Goolistan had a crew of 52, there were no survirors. Kenneth left behind a widow, Doris and his memorial is at Tower Hill Memorial, London.

Kenneth wrote this poem.

In God’s Care

We’re in God’s care wherever we may be,

Anchored in port or on the troubled sea,

With God aboard we need not fear at all,

Whatever storms arise, or fate befall.


The peace He gives no trouble can assail,

Against His presence nothing can prevail,

How grand! If we the sailor’s faith would share,

And sail life’s sea forever in God’s care.


It seems that some of the crew of the Goolistan did make it onto the lifeboats but were left adrift in the freezing waters and did not survive.

The following information is from uboat.net

“At 00.56 hours on 23 Nov, 1942, the unescorted Goolistan (Master William Thomson), a straggler from station #53 in convoy QP-15, was hit by one of two torpedoes from U-625 between Bear Island and Spitzbergen.”

“The explosion set the cargo on fire and the crew began to abandon ship when she settled slowly. At 01.45 hours, the burning vessel sank after being hit underneath the bridge by a coup de grâce at 01.18 hours.”

“The Germans questioned the occupants of the lifeboats and were told that the master had remained aboard when they asked for him. However, the survivors were never found, the master, 41 crew members and ten gunners were lost.”

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