40RM Commando - HMS Queen Emma

On 17th July 1943 HMS Queen Emma was in Augusta Harbour Sicily with 40 Royal Marine Commando on board when there was a bombing raid on the harbour. This caused numerous casualties and damage on board when concussion and shrapnel from a bomb caused a box of grenades to go off on the mess deck. 

Entry from the 40 RM Commando war diary

(Source: National Archive file ref ADM 202 / 87)

15 July 1943

1300hrs -arrive SYRACUSE harbour
1500hrs disembark Syracuse

16 July 1943

1200hrs - Cdo embark - Force11  M.V Queen Emma
1400hrs - sail from Syracuse harbour
1600hrs  - arrive Augusta harbour
1800hrs  - Cdo informed operation cancelled

17 July 1943 

0200hrs - Air attacks on harbour start
0210hrs - M.V Queen Emma suffered near miss; concussion and shrapnel from bomb caused a box of grenades to go off on the mess deck occupied by B and P troops, many casualties occurring. Capt. Stiebel and Surg Lt Cmdr Pryde killed , 13 OR's killed and 58 wounded.

The CWGC record 11 names as being from  40RM Commando. This list includes the name of Captain Ford however it is highly likely that Captain Ford was actually attached to 41RM Commando [see record]. Captain Ford is also unusually not mentioned alongside the names of the two officers in the 40RM Cdo. War Diary entry above for 17th July.
That entry additionally records 13 OR's as killed. There are three Marines listed by unit on the CWGC database simply as Queen Emma. This would be correct if they were part of the crew of the ship. However as can be seen there is a difference to the number of OR's killed as per the War Diary entry, and those OR's recorded as 40RM Cdo by the CWGC. We have included those names here and hope the details can be confirmed or otherwise in the future.


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