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WW1 Merchant Marine Loss SS Ancona ?

Sun Mar 23, 2008 1:16 am

I have just discovered that both my Great Grandfather Robert Nye, and his brother Henry Nye, who were Stewards in the Merchant Marine during WW1, are listed on the CWGC Tower Hill Memorial. I had been told that Robert died in a Torpedo attack but did not know it was on the GSN ship SS Heron on 30 Sept 1917. Henry was the surprise! He is listed as killed on SS Ancona (london) 27 May 1917. However, I am having great difficulty tracing the Ancona.

I have found an SS Ancona torpedoed off Sardinia on 7 November 1915, but it was an Italian ship heading from Naples to the USA. How would Henry have been working on an Italian Passenger and Cargo Ship if he was London born and bred? Or could there be another Ancona registered after the sinking in 1915, which was then sunk in 1917? Could he have survived the sinking in 1915, been captured and died 2 years later, giving the discrepancy on the memorial?

I have checked The Ships List, The Mariners Mailing List (which gives WW1 Merchant Marine losses but no Ancona mentioned), the Newcastle University Global Ship Number site, and Googled until my fingers are sore checking various articles from all sorts of sources, but I am really stumped....

Can anyone help me please?

RE: WW1 Merchant Marine Loss SS Ancona ?

Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:16 pm

I do not know anything about SS Ancona but think we may share the same Great Grandfather Robert Nye. Have sent E Mail to you & hope you contact me.[:)]

RE: WW1 Merchant Marine Loss SS Ancona ?

Wed Apr 30, 2008 6:46 am

To find out about the Ancona, join this Mariners Mailing List - they helped me find details of a ship I was interested in:

Actually you have to subscribe to the list first - here are the instructions to do that here:


Cheers, FHA

RE: WW1 Merchant Marine Loss SS Ancona ?

Sun May 04, 2008 12:13 am

Thank you for the tip. I have joined the List and posted my message.

Will let you know if I get a reply.


RE: WW1 Merchant Marine Loss SS Ancona ?

Sun May 04, 2008 6:16 pm

Well thanks for the tip. Within hours I got the following reply:

'The ANCONA was a 1,245 gross ton cargo ship, built 1898 for the Leith, Hull
& Hamburg Steam Packet Co., Leith In 1911 she was sold to J. Hall & Co,
London. On 27th May 1917 she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine
UC.70 while 110 miles SW from Ushant on voyage Falmouth to Lisbon and
Spanish ports with general cargo. There were no survivors.'

If I find anymore marine mysteries I know what to do.

Also I have found a long lost relative in the process.

Thanks everyone.


RE: WW1 Merchant Marine Loss SS Ancona ?

Sun May 04, 2008 6:33 pm

I saw you get your info because I subscribe to the Mariners list myself and I too was amazed how quickly you received a reply. These mailing lists tend to be the Cinderellas of the Family History World - not many people know about them!

If anyone on here has Norfolk relatives, I can recommend a Norfolk Mailing List too.

Glad my tip helped! [:)]

Cheers, FHA

RE: WW1 Merchant Marine Loss SS Ancona ?

Sun May 04, 2008 8:46 pm

Dear FHA

Excellent, I have a Gathercole family line connection with Norfolk so would love the address please?

Have just about exhausted Ancestry, FreeBMD, and the IGI and was about to try to find out about Parish Records and doing it the old fashioned way, so it may help.


RE: WW1 Merchant Marine Loss SS Ancona ?

Sun May 04, 2008 9:03 pm

Hi Hazel,

Have you tried FreeREG? There are over 2,000,000 Norfolk transcriptions on there for baptisms, marriages and burials.


Here are the instructions for joining the Norfolk Mailing List. I belong to that. When you join just introduce yourself and list the main Norfolk surnames you are researching and the areas they originated or lived in at Norfolk. As with the Mariners list you have to subscribe first.


There is also the Norfolk Baptism Project which is here. Baptisms from 1813 - 1880 in the Norfolk area only:


Hope these help! [:)]

Good luck!

Cheers, FHA

RE: WW1 Merchant Marine Loss SS Ancona ?

Sun Sep 07, 2008 1:13 am

found an ss ancona previously called arabic or bremen with roland line
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