Kenneth Basil Michael Geller

Second Radio Officer, S.S. Vestfold
Died 17 Jan 1943
Commemorated at Tower Hill Memorial
Age 18

Kenneth was born on 13 March 1924 in Hackney, London to Jacob (John) and Polish mother Fanny nee Herson and he had one older sister Barbara. Their father worked as a ladies mantle and costume manufacturer.

Kenneth was a second radio officer on S.S. Vestfold, a former whale factory ship, which was in convoy with HX-222 and carrying three British landing craft HMS LCT-2239, HMS LCT-2267 and HMS LCT-2344 on the deck.

At 16.00 hours on 17 Jan 1943 the Vestfold was torpedoed by U-268 on the south west coast of Iceland. She was abandoned by the crew and passengers while the engines were still running. Before the ship sank she ran uncontrolled in circles and almost collided with the British rescue ship Rathlin which picked up the 56 survivors and landed them at Liverpool. Nineteen people died including Kenneth.

Courtesy Gavin Freedman
Jewish Chronicle 12 Feb 1943