Jack Hurtley Thompson is my 1st cousin 1x removed. His parents are Alfred Clark Thompson and Rhoda Hurtley. Our common ancestors are James Hurtley and Ellen Paley – my great grandparents.
Jack was born in Cononley, West Yorkshire and his birth is registered in the June quarter of 1921.
Jack joined the Merchant Navy and was serving on the British motor tanker Arthur F Corwin as a 5th Engineer when it was sunk on 13 February 1941.
The Arthur F Corwin was part of Convoy HX106 sailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Liverpool, England. Forty one merchant ships departed Halifax on 30 January 1941 – they were escorted by a series of armed military vessels at various times during the journey.
According to reports on the Internet the Arthur F Corwin was a straggler from the convoy. It was attacked and damaged by two torpedoes from U-boat U-103 at 16.25 hours on 13 February 1941. The U-boat then left the burning tanker in a sinking condition southeast of Iceland.
At 19.50 hours the same day, U-96 came across the stricken wreck of Arthur F Corwin, which was still afloat, and sank her with two further torpedoes.
There were no survivors.
I can’t even begin to imagine what it must have been like for Jack and all his crew mates.
Jack is commemorated on the Cononley War Memorial and also on the Tower Hill Memorial, near Tower Bridge in London.