Joseph Hamwee

Second Radio Officer, S.S. Boston
Died 25 Sep 1942
Commemorated at Tower Hill Memorial and Urmston Jewish Cemetery
Age 25


Joseph was born on 18 July 1917 in Manchester, Lancashire to Syrian parents Raphael and Rachel nee Pinto and he had three siblings, Abraham, Cecil and Rena. Both the Hamwee and Pinto families were shipping agents who originated from Aleppo in Syria.

In August 1939, Raphael died and his family were found on the 1939 Register later that year living at 4 Wilmslow Road, Didsbury. Joseph is listed as working as a manager in the cotton trade and a Special Constable. His brother Abraham was a solicitor and Cecil a transport clerk. It is not known when Joseph joined the Merchant Navy. On 10 August 1942, he was onboard the S.S. Queen Mary as a passenger ans listed as a radio operator. The ship left Gourock to travel to New York.

Joseph was a second radio operator on S.S. Boston which was travelling from New York to Boston, then Halifax and arrived at St. John’s on 21 September. The ship was then en route to Londonderry carrying a cargo of ballast. At 16.37 hours on 25 Sep 1942, U-216 fired a spread of four torpedoes at convoy RB-1 about 610 miles east-southeast of Cape Farewell. The Boston was hit by two torpedoes and sank within seven minutes killing sixty-six people on board. There were only two survivors.

Joseph is commemorated on his father Raphael’s headstone at Urmston Jewish Cemetery