An Old Coathamian – Not Forgotten


Apprentice, Merchant Navy;
S.S. ‘Baron Kinnaird’.

Died 11 March 1943, aged 17 years.

Commemorated on the Merchant Navy Tower Hill Memorial,
London, Panel 14.

He was the youngest Old Coathamian to lose his life on war duty in the Second World War. On the evening of 11 March 1943 the cargo ship in which he was serving, the 3,355-ton S.S. ‘Baron Kinnaird’ of Ardrossan, was torpedoed and sunk in the North Atlantic. The ship had become a straggler from a convoy en route from Britain to the West Indies and became an easy target for the German submarine U-621. There were no survivors from the ship’s 44-strong complement.

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.

Bruce Beresford was the son of Thomas and Margaret Ann Beresford of Redcar. He joined Coatham School as a fee-paying day boy in September 1937. He was then aged eleven and he joined School House, in Form IIC. His older brother, who was also in the school at that time, similarly later served in the Merchant Navy. Bruce was still in school in 1941-42, then in Form 5L, studying Spanish and German as his optional subjects. He will have left school in July 1942. He was first listed on the School’s Roll of Honour in December 1943.