Chief Engineer Officer PERCY PATTISON 1884 – 1941

Chief Engineer Officer Percy Pattison, Merchant Navy, S.S. Tweed died 9 May 1941 as a result of wounds received by enemy action and is buried in Evenwood Cemetery.[1]  He was 56 years old, born at West Hartlepool and was married to Kate [nee Welsh] of Evenwood and they had 3 children.

Family Details

 Percy Pattison was born 17 December 1884,[2] at West Hartlepool, the son of Thomas and Isabella.  There were at least 7 children, Richard, Walter, Thomas, John, Elizabeth, Percy & Sidney.  In 1891, the family lived at Rosebank, Gardeners House, Elwick Road, West Hartlepool.  Thomas worked as a gardener.[3]  By 1901, the family lived at Tunstall Manor Lodge, West Hartlepool, Thomas was still employed as a gardener.  Percy now 17 years old was an apprentice engineer.[4]  By 1911, Thomas and Isabella still lived at Tunstall Manor with 32 years old son (widower) Thomas and his son, 5 years old Walter.  John and Elizabeth were at home.  There were 3 lodgers, all single men and gardeners.  Percy was not at home.  [5]  Percy served in the Merchant Navy (No. of Identity Certificate 102618 District A No.398566) and was a 1st Engineer, 1st Class (4691).  He may have served aboard, the “Lexington” between 1919 and 1921.[6]

In 1928, Percy Pattison married Kate Welsh of Evenwood.[7]  They had 3 children:[8]

  • Lily born 19 January 1928 [9]
  • Thomas born 1929
  • John born 1934/5

1939:  Catherine [Kate] and 3 children lived at 12 Manor Street, Evenwood.[10]

1941:  Percy Pattison died aged 56.[11]  A note on his Registration Card states that, “Killed by enemy action 9.5.41 Ex Tweed.”

1969:  Kate died 4 February aged 72

1983:  Lily died 29 April aged 55.[12]

Percy Pattison’s Registration Card

Merchant Navy Seaman’s Registration Card dated 6 December 1926

SS Tweed (London)

 This vessel was built in 1926 by Dunlop, Bremner & Co. Ltd. At Port Glasgow and was owned by Cornelis A. Lensen of London.  She was 2,697 tons.  She was formerly named “Quercus”.  SS Tweed formed part of convoy OG-57 which set off from Liverpool bound for Pepel, a port in Sierra Leone important for the shipping of bulk iron ore.  She was carrying ballast.

On 8 April 1941 at 12.25 hours, SS Tweed, under the captaincy of Master Henry Fellingham, dispersed from convoy OG-57 south west of Freetown off the North African Atlantic Coast.  She was hit underneath the bridge by one torpedo from U-124 (Kapitänleutnant Georg-Wilhelm Shulz).  A second torpedo missed but the vessel sank by the bow at 12.30 hours.  Three crew members were lost out of the crew of 31.  The U-boat surfaced after the attack, approached a capsized lifeboat and took 10 men aboard for questioning.  While the life boat was turned upright, the German doctor took care of an injured crew member and they were allowed to re-board the life boat.  The master, 25 crew members and 2 gunners in the life boat made land fall at Conarky, French Guiana.

U-124 crew and survivors of SS Tweed

 The following account is provided by an internet source:

 “After Tweed went down, U-124 surfaced and sailed to a group of survivors who were hanging on a damaged lifeboat turned downside up. The crew of the sub took the survivors on board and repaired the lifeboat, while the wounded survivors received medical attention, one of them suffering from dislocated shoulder and broken leg so Dr. Goder had to treat these wounds on deck before they could part making the Captain Schulz very nervous as the sub was in danger of being detected. The survivors were given some food, water and cigarettes.

After the war Tweed’s 3rd officer (I don’t know if the rank is correct) Baker, was looking for the captain of a sub that had an Edelweiss painted on the conning tower (U-124). It took him sixteen years after the sinking to find him.  He told Captain Schulz that one of the survivors had died and it took 14 days for the rest to reach land.” [13]

 Whether Dr. Goder treated Percy Pattison or another casualty of the attack is unknown. The attack on SS Tweed took place 8 April 1941 and Chief Engineer Percy Pattison died 9 May 1941.  Percy was transported back to Britain but eventually succumbed to his wounds.


U-124 was responsible for the following “successes”:

  • 46 ships sunk for a total of 219,862 GRT
  • 2 warships …………………………5,775 tons
  • 4 ships damaged ………..…….30,067 GRT

U-124 “Edelweiss”

U-124 was finally sunk 2 April 1943, west of Oporto, Portugal by depth charges from the British corvette HMS Stonecrop and the British sloop HMS Black Swan.  All hands, 53 men were lost.

Kapitänleutnant Georg-Wilhelm Shulz (1906 – 1986)

On 27 September, 1935 Georg-Wilhelm Shulz joined the U-boat arm, making him one of those officers who received a solid pre-war training. In January 1939 he got his first command, and with U-10.  He completed two short patrols in the autumn of 1939. After the usual “Baubelehrung” he commissioned U-64 on 16 Dec, 1939. Her first patrol took place in Norwegian waters in April 1940, but the boat was sunk on 13 April, 1940 by bombs from a British aircraft. Kptlt. Schulz was among the 40 survivors. Two months later Schulz commissioned U-124, also a Type IXB. He achieved notable success on his fourth patrol, when he sank 11 ships for a total of 52,379 tons and damaged two more. Schulz left the boat in September 1941.  Schulz became the commander of the 6th Flotilla, first in Danzig, then in St. Nazaire. In October 1943, the newly promoted Korvettenkapitän Schulz was attached to the Staff of the ‘FdU Ausbildungsflottillen’ (Commander Training flotillas) in Gotenhafen.  Here he was the AI (first admiral staff officer) and was also the leader of the “Erprobungsgruppe U-Boote” (U-boat testing group), where the new types (XXI and XXIII) were tested. On 22 April, 1945 he became the last commander of the 25th Flotilla.  His record was 19 ships sunk (89,886 tons) and 1 ship damaged (3,900 tons).

The Merchant Navy Memorial

The Tower Hill Memorial commemorates men and women of the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets who died in both World Wars and who have no known grave.  It stands on the south side of the garden of Trinity Square, London, close to The Tower of London.  The World War II memorial takes the form of a semi-circular sunken garden located behind the corridor, to its north. It contains the names of 24,000 British seamen and 50 Australian seamen, listed on the walls of the sunken garden. In the centre of the garden is a pool of bronze, engraved with a compass pointing north. The WWI memorial was designed by Edwin Lutyens and the WWII memorial by Edward Maufe. There are 35,805 casualties commemorated.  The main inscription, located in between the two columns, reads:


Burial: Evenwood Cemetery

Percy Pattison is buried in Evenwood Cemetery at Row 10 Grave 50.

Percy Pattison is not named on the original War Memorial located in Evenwood Cemetery but is recorded on the new War Memorial at Newholme Crescent, Evenwood.

The late Nancy Bell from Wellgarth [formerly of Alexandra Terrace] and the late Kenneth Hamilton Fairfield [formerly Evenwood Gate and Copeland Row] both remembered the Pattison family living at Manor Street.  Nancy recalls that Lily attended Bishop Auckland Girls Grammar School and was noticeable since she wore a different school uniform.  Possibly, at one time, she attended school at Hartlepool [her father’s home town] and since money was tight, needed to continue to wear that uniform.


[1] Commonwealth War Graves Commission

[2] Merchant Navy Seaman’s Registration Card dated 6 December 1926

[3] 1891 census

[4] 1901 census

[5] 1911 census

[6] Merchant Navy Seaman’s Registration Card dated 6 December 1926

[7] England & Wales Marriage Index 1928Q2 Auckland.  Catherine [Kate] Eleanor Welsh was born 4 August 1896 [7] at Evenwood, the daughter of James Walker Welsh (tailor & farmer) and Sarah Welsh who lived at West View, Evenwood.  In 1901, her brothers were Robert aged 22, William aged 12, Edward Watson aged 11 and George Cecil, 1 years old.  Her sisters were Esther Lilian aged 19 and Margaret aged 3 years.  They lived next door to Thomas Briggs, the school master.[7]  By 1911, the family lived at Wackerfield.  Her father, James, is recorded as a farmer and 21 years old Watson as “working on the farm”.  William aged 22 was a coal miner.  Maggie aged 18, Kate aged 14 and George aged 11 were at home.[7]

[8] England & Wales Birth Index 1916-2007 Auckland various pages

[9] 1939 Register

[10] 1939 Register

[11] England & Wales Death Index 1941 Q2 South West Durham

[12] Evenwood Cemetery Family Headstone Details



“Grey Wolf, Grey Sea” E. Blanchard Gasaway