Red Duster



S.S. Canonesa

Convoy HX72

The 'Happy Time'

Schepke & U-100

Merchant Seamen

Tom Purnell

Memorial :
The Men Who Died


Books & Movies





What's New!
(This Page)



What's New

February 2001

October 2000

August 2000

June 2000

  • Books by Bagnasco, Halford, Scalia and Sebag-Montefiore added to Battle of the Atlantic Bookstore. Videos now available through, and

April 2000

  • The substantially expanded Battle of the Atlantic Bookstore now features large numbers of books available through The video section of the store will soon feature titles from and, as well as

February 2000

  • Have added some new sites to the Links page, including to a fascinating site about Harry Tate's Navy and to some information about the recent Compensation package agreed for Merchant Seamen in Canada. With regard to this latter issue I've also added to my site an interesting letter from Dennis Crosby.
  • An interesting article by Cliff McMullen about Defensively Equipped Merchant Ships has been added.

January 2000

  • Happy New Year! This month I'm spending a lot of time updating the Battle of the Atlantic Bookstore pages, in particular by making it possible to purchase books through Canadian online booksellers This I hope will be of particular use to the many Canadian visitors to my site, but also to other visitors interested in books only available in Canada.

December 1999

November 1999

  • In a substantial expansion over 65 books and 8 videos have been added to the Battle of the Atlantic Bookstore. Over 235 books and 24 video titles can now be purchased online, with all commission being donated to the Royal National Lifeboat Institute.

September 1999

August 1999

July 1999

  • I have recently come across an excellent book specifically about Convoy HX72. Written by David O'Brien it is called The First Convoy to Die. To my knowledge it is not available to buy outside of Canada, but can be purchased through Canadian online bookshop This link will take you straight to their page for this book. I recommend this to anybody interested in the Battle of the Atlantic.
  • Added books by Gardner, Hogel, Syrett, Clayton & Winn and Wiggins to the Battle of the Atlantic Bookstore.

March 1999

  • Substantially expanded Battle of the Atlantic Bookstore, including by adding Rohwer's updated Axis Submarine Successes, 1939-45, Showell's U-boats in Camera, 1939-45, and Mulligan's study of U-boat crews (Neither Sharks nor Wolves).
  • Added a Battle of the Atlantic site from Veterans Affairs Canada to the Links page.

February 1999

  • A new Resources & Contacts section has been added, which brings together a number of useful addresses, links and suggested resources for those researching the Battle of the Atlantic.
  • Added a new page to the Gallery (HX72 people) which commemorates Donald Cameron, 4th Engineer, SS Baron Blythswood. Also added links to a family home page devoted to Donald and his brother, Gordon, also killed during the war.
  • Added books by Hutson, Kutta, Marsh & Almond, Vaeth, Van der Vat, Veigele, Watts & Watts, Williams and Wood, together with several new videos, to the Battle of the Atlantic Bookstore.
  • On February 2nd the site was featured as Cool Site of the Day at Cool Sites UK.

January 1999

  • The site was selected as a Pick of 1998, and the best site reviewed in April 1998, by Yahoo UK & Ireland. Click here to read their comments.
  • Added book by Smith on the Enigma codebreakers to the Battle of the Atlantic Bookstore.

December 1998

  • Added a new Art & Posters section to the Gallery, which now features 31 images.
  • Added a new page, which reproduces a fascinating first hand account of a U-boat attack on Convoy SC107. The account was written by a chaplain who was aboard HMCS Restigouche during the attack.
  • Added books by Chewning, Darlington & McKee and German, and the video Victory at Sea to the Battle of the Atlantic Bookstore.

November 1998

  • Added a Video section (featuring, amongst others, Das Boot - The Director's Cut and The Cruel Sea) to the Battle of the Atlantic Bookstore.
  • Added books by Collingwood, Franks & Zimmerman, Gambon, Gyles & Stobart, Hague, Haskell, Ireland, Poolman, Roskill, Saunders, Sharpe & White to the Battle of the Atlantic Bookstore.
  • Added the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's site (see below) and a fine site about the merchant navy training ship T.S. Vindicatrix to the Links page.
  • As you may have noticed I have transferred the site from Geocities to a new server, thereby putting an end to all those annoying pop-up boxes. The new address of this site is Please amend your bookmarks!
  • Made a number of textual and design changes to all the pages describing the attack on Convoy HX72, incorporating some new information. Also I have at last added footnotes and references to each page, something I'd put off for months.
  • Readers looking for information about people killed during the two world wars can now search the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's Debt of Honour Register.

October 1998

  • Further expanded the Battle of the Atlantic Bookstore. Online bookstore Bookpages has been taken over by Amazon, and relaunched as This has broadened the range of discounted books available. Why not take a look! And remember all books bought from Amazon as a result of you accessing their stores from Battle of the Atlantic Bookstore will raise money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institute.

September 1998

August 1998

  • A new Gallery section, currently featuring 25 photographs, has been added. Includes photos of the Canonesa (some taken in 1940), of my grandfather, of the Tower Hill Memorial, of Joachim Schepke and of U-100.
  • A number of minor design and hyperlink improvements have been made, to make browsing the site a bit easier.
  • Added the Royal Navy Submarine Museum site to the Links page.
  • Upgraded this What's New page to also act as a noticeboard for latest news and requests for help. The first three notices below were sent to me by Bernard de Neumann.
  • A "Merchant Navy Convoy" is to be launched in October at the National Memorial Arboretum, in Alrewas, Staffordshire, UK. It comprises over 2,500 trees laid out in CONVOY formation, one tree for each ship lost during WWII. The 'Convoy' has been organised by the Merchant Navy Welfare Board, who can be contacted for further information at 19-21, Lancaster Gate, London W2 3LN, UK.
  • Attempts continue to get the British Government to designate an official "Merchant Navy Day" to commemorate the MN's great and largely unrecognised contribution during WWII. British readers might wish to lend their support to this campaign by writing to their local Member of Parliament.
  • Bernard de Neumann is involved in gathering data on naval war memorials in the UK, to update the book on this subject by Saunders. Please contact Bernard at if you have any info.

July 1998

  • Three sites added to the Links page; Stories of a Merchant Sailor, the Imperial War Museum, and the Naval Museum of Manitoba.

June 1998

  • A photograph of U-100 has been placed on the U-100 page.
  • Added new book by Showell to the Battle of the Atlantic Bookstore.
  • Added two new sites on the U.S. Merchant Marine to the Merchant Seamen section of the Links page. Also added Paul Mitchell's site with its interesting convoy pictures. Can you help him identify the ships?

May 1998

  • A brief biography of, and tribute to, my grandfather Tom Purnell has been added to the site.
  • Added fine sites from The Marine Society and Secrets of War to the Links page.
  • Added new Front Page.
  • Added a photo of the S.S. Canonesa to the Canonesa page.
  • Added six new books to the Battle of the Atlantic Bookstore, including Convoy : Merchant Sailors at War 1939-45 by Kaplan and Currie, together with books by Burn, Harbron, Miller, Niestle and Rohwer.

April 1998

  • Added a Memorial section, which lists the names of the 116 allied merchant seamen who died in the attack on Convoy HX72.
  • This site was chosen as a 'Pick of the Week' by Yahoo UK & Ireland for April 13th-19th. The site was described as "unmissable", "a comprehensive and quite wonderful site", and "a brilliant examination of one of war's forgotten battles". You can read Yahoo's full description of the site by clicking here.

March 1998

  • Substantially amended and expanded the Convoy HX72 page. More detail is provided on the fates of those ships which survived the attack on HX72, and I have included more accurate casualty figures in the table of those ships sunk and damaged in the convoy. I have become increasingly aware that many published sources contain inaccurate casualty numbers. According to the UK Registry of Shipping and Seamen's list of all wartime casuualties 116 men perished in the attack on Convoy HX72. I have also made appropriate changes to casualty references on the pages describing the U-boat attacks.
  • Updated the Acknowledgments page.
  • Compressed images on a large number of pages to improve loading times.

February 1998

  • Inserted a small photo of H.M.S. Jervis Bay into one of the pages dealing with the Attack on Convoy HX72, and also created a Jervis Bay page with a full-size version of the photo (which was taken from the Canonesa by Peter Tingey in September 1940), some brief details about the ship and a link to a Jervis Bay memorial site.
  • Added a link to the British Ships site on the Links page.
  • Added several new books to the redesigned and restructured Battle of the Atlantic Bookstore.

January 1998

  • Redesigned most pages, adding new title graphics and generally tidying up the site's appearance.
  • Added a photograph of a convoy assembling in Halifax harbour to the Convoy System page. Thanks to Maureen Venzi of the A Tribute to the Merchant Seamen of World War II site for this image.
  • Added a new Web Rings page, featuring WW2 Ring, the History Ring and NavRing.
  • Added several new links to the Links page, including An Unofficial History of the Royal Canadian Navy, Merchant Navy Veterans, the Merchant Navy Association, American Merchant Marine Veterans and A Tribute to the Merchant Seamen of World War II.

December 1997

  • Restructured the U-100 page, to which are attached two excellent photos (one of which is new to this site) provided by Juergen Schlemm of U-boat net.

November 1997

October 1997