Sinking of “City of Benares”

Everyone knows about the evacuation of children from the UK’s cities to the countryside where they would be safe from the air raids and the falling bombs.

What is not very well known is that some children were sent across the Atlantic to the safety of Canada, out of reach of any enemy aircraft. The never made it.

Very few aircraft could fly across the Atlantic so they had to sail in a ship to Canada were German and Italian submarines (U-boats) hunted ships to sink to stop the UK being supplied with goods and materials to keep the UK fighting the war.

The “City of Benares was” sailed from Liverpool in North West England on 13th September 1940 carrying 100 children.

City of Benares
Image from Wikipedia

On the night of 17th/18th September 1940, the ship was spotted by a submarine which fired torpedoes.

U52, an identical submarine to U48 that sank the “City of Benares”

As the ship sank, passengers and crew escaped into the lifeboats. 24 hours later, the Royal Navy ship HMS Hurricane found the survivors. Of 100 children, 80 had died in the sinking or from cold in the lifeboats. There were 407 people on board, of which 260 died.

The Royal Navy destroyer HMS Hurricane which rescued the survivors

The Wikipedia article is here