An Old Coathamian – Not Forgotten

Laurence William DOVE

Junior Engineer Officer, Merchant Navy;
S.S. ‘Calchas’.

Died 21 April 1941, aged 20 years.

Commemorated on the Merchant Navy Tower Hill Memorial,
London, Panel 22.

In the afternoon of 21 April 1941 the unescorted cargo ship S.S. ‘Calchas’, 10,305 tons, of Liverpool, which was carrying to Britain much-needed foodstuffs from Australia, was torpedoed and sunk in the mid-Atlantic by the German submarine U-107. Of those on board the sinking ship, 89 managed to escape in lifeboats and, after many days adrift on the ocean, made land; but the remaining 24, including Junior Engineer Officer Dove, went down with the ship.

The Tower Hill Memorial in London records the names of the many thousands of merchant seamen and those of the fishing fleet who lost their lives in the two World Wars and whose only grave is the sea.

Laurence William Dove was the son of Thomas Henry Dove and Ethel Dove of Marske-by-the Sea. His father was an electrician. He entered Coatham School in January 1933 aged twelve, joining Ingham’s House, in Form IIIA. He was in the same form as Alderman (q.v.). He was a fee-paying day boy, and, in the school year 1935-1936, was in Form IIIC. He appears to have left school in July 1936, but not before helping his house win the school’s boxing championship in April 1936 by beating his opponent in the 6-6½ stone category. He was described on that occasion as “quite the best of the junior boxers on this evening’s form”. He was first listed on the School’s Roll of Honour in July 1942. His parents lived in Fountain Terrace, Marske-by-the Sea, at the time of his death.