Swansea and Port Talbot Docks History

The Loss of the ss Port Hunter

Once again, the Eastside of Swansea loses one of its young sons as a result of a U Boat attack.

The following letter and telegram were sent to us by Mr. Graham Jones, an Eastside boy and former Merchant Navy man, the nephew of Cyril Griffiths Jones, a refrigeration greaser who lost his life on the Port Hunter.

To have seen the approach or heard the dreaded knock on the door from the telegram boy must have been one of the worst experiences of all.




Cyril Jones

SS Port Hunter

Cargo Liner
Built by Workman, Clarke & Co.
Completed: 1922
Length: 500 ft 6 in
Beam: 60 ft 4 in
Service speed: 14 knots
8,437 tons gross

The fourth vessel to bear that name.

Nationality: British

The ss Port Hunter was proceeding in convoy to Auckland New Zealand carrying general cargo including ammunition and depth charges. At 0900 GMT she received orders to leave the convoy and proceed alone to Durban to pick up fuel, and then carry on to Auckland. About 2345 on the 11th of July 1942 U Boat 582, lying in wait for a target, fired a torpedo and the ss Port Hunter was struck in No.2 hatch on the port side. The ammunition and depth charges exploded and, listing badly to port, she sank in less than 2 minutes, with a total crew of 71, plus 14 gunners and 5 passengers. Seven of the crew were from New Zealand and two of the passengers were women. This was the biggest loss of life from any ship of the Port Line, and only three crew members survived -  D.J.Mclennan (Carpenter), G. Fairbrother (Refrigeration Greaser) and J. Patterson (Storekeeper). They were lucky to be on the upper deck when the torpedo struck, and were found by HMS Rother clinging onto floating debris. All that remained of the ss Port Hunter was a patch of oil and the debris that the three crew members had clung on to.

The Master Captain J.B. Bradley was on the Port Dennison when she was lost in 1940, and it was the fourth time G. Fairbrother had survived a torpedo attack.


In Memory of Refrigeration Greaser

Cyril Griffiths Jones

ss Port Hunter (London). Merchant Navy who died on the 11th of July 1942 Age 21

Son of William John and Hannah Jones

Remembered with Honour

Tower Hill Memorial

Convoy OS.33    Liverpool to  Durban



 To see the memorial click the link below to open The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Website  

click here to see the Memorial

To return to the page use the left hand arrow on the browser

Below are links to the Convoy Site for more information

U Boat 582       seventy-one crew members        Cruising Order

On the 5th of October 1942 an American Catalina aircraft piloted by G.F. Swanson sunk  U Boat 582 with Depth Charges.
 Position South West of Iceland 58-52 North 21-42 West. There were no survivors.



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