Fourth Engineer Officer, S.S. Shuntien
Died 23 Dec 1941
Commemorated at Tower Hill Memorial
Robert was born on 29 November 1919 in Poland to Samuel and Bertha. The family then moved to Flat 2, 86 Hanyang Road, Shanghai in China where Robert was employed by the China Navigation Company. He served on board the S.S. Shuntien, which was being used as a prison ship, as a 4th Engineer Officer.
During the Western Desert Campaign the S.S. Shuntien left Tobruk in Cyrenaica, eastern Libya as a member of Convoy TA 5 bound for Alexandria in Egypt. She was carrying between 800 and 1,000 Italian and German prisoners of war, guarded by more than 40 soldiers of the Durham Light Infantry (DLI). At about 19.02 hours on the evening of 23 December 1941 the Type VIIC German submarine U-559 torpedoed the Shuntien blowing off her stern. Her bow rose in the air and she sank within five minutes without having been able to launch any of her lifeboats. A convoy escort, the Flower-class corvette H.M.S. Salvia, rescued 46 of the 72 ship’s officers and men and an unknown number of her prisoners.