The Gandia Crew

Some of the Gandia Crew. Charles Ceuppens is front row centre. I think that the man to his left is Albert Swartwaeger. I would welcome any information regarding the identity of the others.

James Kenny was aged 18 at the time of his death. He was the son of Joseph and Mary Ann Kenny of Aigburth in Liverpool. He had two brothers, Joe and Eddy who served in the army during the war. James is pictured here wearing his merchant navy badge.

Thanks to Jim Kenny for the photo.

The following two pictures were kindly supplied by Mr. Bob Noterman, whose maternal grandfather had one younger brother, Albert Jacobs. He was 4th machinist on the Gandia, and 24 years old when he died.

Bob Writes: “My family had limited information, and one way or another the family always thought that the Gandia was sunk by a Japanese submarine, obviously wrong. As Belgium was occupied by the Germans in 1942, the occupying forces that came to bring the bad news to the Jacobs family, blamed the sinking of the Gandia on the Japanese. It wasn’t until we found your website that we found out it had been a German u-boat”.

The following three sketches are by the Gandia’s chief engineer Leon Cnops. Unfortunately we do not have a photo of Mr. Cnops himself. However, I think the inclusion of the sketches are a tribute to him. They have been very kindly supplied by Mr. Malcolm Clark, whose late mother owned the originals. The inscriptions on the back of the sketches have the title of the sketch, the date, and the words ‘S/S Gandia’.We know that Paula Wright, Mr. Clark’s mother, who was an ambulance driver during the war, attended an art school in Wallasey, possibly the Wallasey Art School in Central Park. We surmise therefore that perhaps she met Leon Cnops there when he was on shore leave. Perhaps the other two subjects also attended the school. I had surmised that they were possibly members of Leon Cnops’ family, however Leon Cnops grandson Yann Els has been in touch to confirm that they are not.

The following, pictured left to right after being landed in Portugal after rescue by the Joa Corte Real are: Petrus Michielsen, Albert Vanders (both killed later in the war), A.J.Hubert, and Albert Swartwaeger with his arm still wrapped in bandages after his skin was removed with boiling water to stop the progress of gangrene.

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