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Durham County Record Office: the official archive service for County Durham and Darlington

VE Day not forgotten by one Spennymoor family

Part of an online exhibition from Durham County Record Office commemorating the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe on 8 May 1945

 
Soldiers from B Company, 9th Battalion Durham Light Infantry in Kangaroo armoured carrier, Germany, late March 1945 (D/DLI Acc: 10050)

On 17 May 1945, the 'Auckland Chronicle' reported the news that merchant seaman George Anderson had been killed, when his ship was torpedoed.

The Auckland Chronicle, 17 May 1945, page 6 Spennymoor Sailor (D/WP 4/84)
Born in Tudhoe Colliery, George first went to sea aged twenty-one and was serving as Chief Engineer on the Canadian-built coastal steamer 'Avondale Park', when it was torpedoed in the Firth of Forth just before midnight on 7 May 1945 and two of the crew were killed. She was the last British merchant ship sunk by a German U-boat during the Second World War. 

George Anderson left a widow, Ivy, and two children Pamela, aged three years and Celia, just six months old.

Pamela Harper and Celia Turnbull at the unveiling of a memorial plaque to the Avondale Park at Anstruther on the north shore of the Firth of Forth. The Northern Echo, 12 May 2015

Pamela Harper and Celia Turnbull at the unveiling of a memorial plaque to the 'Avondale Park' at Anstruther on the north shore of the Firth of Forth.
The Northern Echo, 12 May 2015.

Auckland Chronicle, 17 May 1945, page 6 (D/WP 4/84)

Images © reproduced with kind permission of Newsquest Media Group Ltd.

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