Chief Officer Leslie James Brice (3424)

He was a student at EC for just one year 1918-19 at the age of 14, his father John being a fruit merchant.

Certificate of competency for Merchant shipping in 1925

The list of ships that are known that he served on are:

Tyne to New York on Port Caroline on 6 Nov 1928 as 3rd Officer

London to New York on Port Napier on 24 Jul 1930 as 3rd Officer

London to New York on Port Hobart on 1 Jul 1932 age 27

London to New York on Port Wyndham on 25 Apr 1938 as 2nd Officer height 5’5”

In the war he served on HMS Venomous (a torpedo boat destroyer) and later was on HMS Port Hunter en route from Liverpool to Durban to Aukland on 1st July 1942 with a general cargo including ammunition and depth charges and a motor launch as deck cargo. Of the 91 on board only 3 survived.

At 01.47 hours on 12 July 1942 the Port Hunter (Master John Bentham Bradley), dispersed from convoy OS-33 at 11.00 hours on 11 July, was struck on the port side in #2 hold by one of two torpedoes from U-582 about 370 miles west-southwest of Madeira. The ship had been missed by a first spread of two torpedoes at 01.15 hours. The torpedo ignited the cargo of ammunition and the vessel disappeared after several heavy detonations, which were seen as flashes at the horizon by other ships of the dispersed convoy. A lot of debris was blown into the air and hailed down on the nearby U-boat, forcing it to dive immediately. In the meantime, the ship listed heavily to port and sank within two minutes. The motor launch HMNZS ML-1090 was lost with the vessel. When the U-boat surfaced again after 20 minutes, only burning fuel oil and wreckage were spotted at the sinking position. At daylight, the Germans examined U-582 and discovered that the net deflector had been torn away when hit by a side plate of the steamer, which was found on deck together with parts of guns and ammunition and an anchor chain hanging over both sides. The falling debris had ruptured the deck at several places and opened leaks in a fuel tank, causing a trail of oil for a while.

The master, 68 crew members, 14 gunners and five passengers were lost. Three crew members sleeping on deck had been blown into the water and clung to wreckage of the motor launch until they were picked up at about 08.30 hours by HMS Rother (K 224) (Cdr R.V.E. Case, DSC and Bar, RD, RNR) after being spotted by the British steam merchant City of Windsor from the same convoy.

Port Hunter

He married Marie Brown of Penarth, Glamorgan in 1935 and is remembered at the Tower Hill Memorial, London.

Sgt Gordon Francis James Bruce (3971)

He was at EC from 1930 to 1936 and joined the 156th Battalion Parachute Regiment AAC at the beginning of the war. The College record of those killed during the war has his death as 1941 but it is in fact 1944.

He died on 20th January 1944 aged 24 and is buried at Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Gelderland, Netherlands. He was the son of Gordon and Elise M. Bruce and husband of Margaret G. Bruce of Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.

He left for Arnhem from Saltby airfield. According to the book ‘From Arnhem to Delhi’ (page 132), about the 156th Battalion, Lieutenant Kenyon-Bell spoke to Sergeant Bruce to make sure he understood that prisoners were to be taken. Bruce’s parents were Channel Islanders and had been under German occupation since 1940. It was well known that in Bruce’s view the only good German was a dead one. 

From the same book (pages 193, 194, 195 & 196: On Wednesday 20th September 156th Battalion was on the retreat from Wolfheze and was trying to reach Oosterbeek. They advanced on the Breede Laan when German machine-gun fire stopped the advance. Colonel Des Voeux ordered Major Geoffrey Powell to attack on the right flank and to try to take the Germans from the rear. Their objective was to capture the area where the Breede Laan joined the main Utrechtseweg. Powell’s force numbered about 80 in total. They moved through the trees and down a steep slope towards the houses lining the east side of the Wolfhezerweg. 

At about 0800 hrs Powell and his men were halfway to their objective, when from the west two German MG42 machine-guns opened up, supported by mortars. More MG42’s joined in, seven or eight in total. 

This action was taking place about 300 yards from the junction of Wolfhezerweg and Utrechtseweg, a position that had been held by C-Company 1st Border until their withdrawal to Koude Herberg crossroads during the night. Unfortunately for the 156th, it was now enemy-occupied. Sergeant Bruce died during this action. He died from a machine-gun burst to the stomach. 

After he died Bruce was buried beside Zonneheuvelweg in Oosterbeek. He was later reburied at the Airborne Cemetery in Oosterbeek.  

In the weeks following D-Day, German troops began retreating en masse, as Allied forces advanced across France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. By September 1944, however, the overstretched Allies were approaching formidable German defences along the Siegfried Line, which had held strong since World War II began.

British Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery came up with a daring plan to bypass the Siegfried Line by crossing the lower part of the Rhine River, liberating and driving into the industrial heartland of northern Germany.

Code-named Market Garden, the offensive called for three Allied airborne divisions (the “Market” part of the operation) to drop by parachute and glider into the Netherlands, seizing key territory and bridges so that ground forces (the “Garden”) could cross the Rhine.

But controversial decisions and unfavourable circumstances began stacking up from the start of Operation Market Garden. Despite their heroic efforts, the Allied forces ultimately failed to achieve their objectives—and sustained devastating losses in the process.

British Landing Zones Were Too Far from Arnhem

On the morning of September 17, 1944, three divisions of the First Allied Airborne Army—the U.S. 101st and 82nd Airborne and the British 1st Airborne—began flying from bases in England across the North Sea to the Netherlands. The 101st Airborne was tasked with capturing Eindhoven, as well as several bridges over the canals and rivers north of that town, while the 82nd Airborne was ordered to capture territory around Nijmegen, including a key bridge over the River Waal. Some 10,000 British and Polish troops of the British 1st Airborne (nicknamed the “Red Devils”) had the most difficult task: capturing and holding the northernmost bridge over the lower Rhine at Arnhem. German anti-aircraft defences around Arnhem itself were thought to be too strong, and the troops were dropped up to eight miles away, despite warnings from some Allied planners that a small “coup de main” party should land on the bridge itself.

Only a single battalion of the 1st Airborne (fewer than 800 men) managed to reach the Arnhem bridge, while the Germans forced the rest into a pocket near the village of Oosterbeek, several miles away.


The Allies Had Too Few Transport Aircraft

Due to limited numbers of transport aircraft, the British forces at Arnhem had to be dropped into the Netherlands over three days, rather than all at once, lessening the possibility of surprise as well as the impact of the attack. 

While many troops from the 1st British Airborne were dropped by parachute and gliders on the afternoon of the first day (September 17), the 4th Parachute Brigade and the rest of the glider troops didn’t arrive until the following day, and the Polish brigade was still more delayed.

 Bad Weather Hampered Landings

Dense fog in England on the second day of the operation, as well as thick, low clouds over the battlegrounds in the Netherlands, hampered the transport of troops, as well as supplies. The supplies would have been crucial to the survival of British forces fighting to hold Arnhem Bridge,

 Radio Communications Failed

To make matters even worse, the wooded landscape and the separation between the different British battalions meant many of their radios stopped working. These failures broke down communication and made it difficult for the 1st Airborne Division and its commander, Major-General Robert “Roy” Urquhart, to coordinate the attack on Arnhem.

According to historian Antony Beevor, Urquhart’s signals officers had anticipated problems with their radios before the operation, and Urquhart himself had expressed serious doubts about Operation Market Garden, reportedly calling it a “suicide operation” just two days before Allied planes left for the Netherlands.

 Allied Ground Troops Advanced Slowly

By the end of the first day of Operation Market Garden, the 2nd Battalion of the 1st British Airborne, commanded by Lt. Col. John Frost, had reached the north end of Arnhem bridge and fortified themselves within nearby homes, preparing to hold the bridge on their own until the arrival of relief ground troops. 

But the ground relief column, led by XXX Corps, had run into its own problems: The road toward Arnhem was narrow, only wide enough for two vehicles, and German infantry men wielding Panzerfaust anti-tank weapons picked off the nine lead British tanks right at the start of their advance. Allied ground troops managed to advance only seven miles by the end of the first day.

On the second day (September 18) they covered 20 miles and caught up with U.S. troops near Eindhoven, which the 101st Airborne had managed to liberate from German control. Though they fought their way across the Waal by September 20, they were still eight long miles away from helping their desperate British comrades at Arnhem

 Role of SS Panzer Divisions

Before Operation Market Garden even started, Allied intelligence got reports that two well-equipped German SS Panzer (tank) divisions were in the area around Arnhem. But commanders of the operation, including Lt. Gen. Frederick “Boy” Browning, decided the operation should go ahead anyway—a risk that turned into a disaster for Allied troops at Arnhem.

The slow advance of the XXX Corps gave Germany time to strengthen its defences, confront the advancing ground troops at Nijmegen, and subject the lone British battalion at Arnhem to a crippling onslaught, which they resisted fiercely before submitting on the fifth day of the battle. With the main objective of the operation lost, more than 3,000 British troops dug in at Oosterbeek until September 25, when they were forced to begin evacuating across the Rhine.


In the summer of 1944, the Allies launched a daring airborne operation to secure the River Rhine crossings and advance into northern Germany. Although it ultimately failed to achieve its objectives, the determination and courage shown by the airborne troops and the units that assisted them made Market Garden one of the Second World War’s (1939-45) most famous battles.

In the summer of 1944 General Bernard Law Montgomery came up with an ambitious scheme to cross the River Rhine and advance deep into northern Germany and shorten the war.

Codenamed ‘Market Garden’, his plan involved the seizure of key bridges in the Netherlands by the 101st and 82nd US Airborne Divisions, and 1st British Airborne Division who would land by parachute and glider.

Then the British 30 Corps could advance over the bridges and cross the Rhine and its tributaries. The bridges were at Eindhoven, around 20 kilometres (13 miles) from the start line, Nijmegen, 85 kilometres (53 miles), and Arnhem, 100 kilometres (62 miles) away, as well as two smaller bridges at Veghel and Grave that lay between Eindhoven and Nijmegen.

If successful, the plan would liberate the Netherlands, outflank Germany’s formidable frontier defences, the Siegfried Line, and make possible an armoured drive into the Ruhr, Germany’s industrial heartland.

On 17 September the airborne divisions landed. Eventually all the bridges were captured in what was one of the largest airborne operations in history.

The plan failed largely because of 30 Corps’ inability to reach the furthest bridge at Arnhem before German forces overwhelmed the British defenders. Allied intelligence had failed to detect the presence of German tanks, including elements of two SS Panzer divisions.

Around 10,000 men from Major-General Roy Urquhart’s 1st British Airborne Division and the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade landed at Arnhem. But their landing zones were 11 kilometres (seven miles) from the bridge at Arnhem. Only one battalion reached the objective while the remaining soldiers were squeezed into a pocket at Oosterbeek to the west.

Apart from a few anti-tank guns and howitzers, modified to fit inside gliders, the lightly armed airborne troops had few heavy weapons with which to resist tanks.

We have had a very heavy shelling this morning, September 23rd and now the situation is serious. The shelling is hellish. We have been holding out for a week now. The men are tired, weary and food is becoming scarce, and to make matters worse, we are having heavy rain. If we are not relieved soon, then the men will just drop from sheer exhaustion’.

Although units of 30 Corps captured Nijmegen bridge in conjunction with the US 82nd Airborne Division, they could not reach the furthest bridge at Arnhem. Much of its advance was along a single narrow causeway, which was vulnerable to traffic jams and German counter-attacks.

In some places the advance was hindered by marshes that prevented off-road movement. Throughout the battle the Germans also showed a remarkable ability to put together scratch battle groups that fought to delay the armoured columns.

Operations were also hampered by a shortage of transport aircraft. The airborne troops were flown into the Netherlands in three lifts rather than all together.

Arnhem’s wooded landscape severely restricted the range of wireless sets, so communication failures also reduced the chance of success. Thick fog in England and low clouds over the battle zone hampered both resupply and the air-lifting of reinforcements.

On 24-25 September about 2,100 troops from 1st Airborne Division were ferried back across the Rhine. Another 7,500 were either dead or made prisoners of war.

The crossing of the Rhine and the capture of Germany’s industrial heartland were delayed for six months. Now, the Allies would have to fight their way into the Reich on a broad front. There would be no quick victory.

A costly failure, Operation Market Garden remains a remarkable feat of arms. This is not because of its strategic ambition, but because of the determination and courage shown by Allied airborne troops and the units that tried to reach them.

It also led to the liberation of a large part of the Netherlands at a time when many Dutch people were close to starvation.

Cpl Basil Carey (3357)

He was at EC from 1915 to 1917, joining the RAF at the outbreak of war. He was the son of Conrad de Lisle Carey and Emmeline Adelaide Mary Blake. He was married to Margaret Ellen Russel Scott in Apr 1932 in Bridlington, Yorkshire. He died from illness contracted on service, although not stated what. He is buried at Pannal Churchyard, Knaresborough, Yorkshire.

Lt David Haversham Carey (4098)

He was at EC from 1934 to 1936. He joined the RN and was assigned to HMS Bonaventure HM Submarine XE 3. He was a Lieutenant but died aged 22 on 21st June 1945

He is commemorated at Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Hampshire Panel 88 Column 3

He was the son of Colonel Peter Dudley and Dorothy Madeleine Carey, Lymington, Hampshire.
The official account of the whole episode is:

Although the war in Europe was over in May 1945 the Japanese were still fighting tenaciously, defending the Malay Peninsula and Singapore. Lt Ian Fraser, commanding the midget submarine XE3, was ordered to attack the Japanese heavy cruiser Takao anchored in the Straits of Singapore. On 31 July, after a highly dangerous voyage through minefields, with great skill and courage he got his craft beneath the cruiser. Under enormous pressure, his diver James Magennis succeeded in attaching six limpet mines which detonated and sank the Takao. Both men were awarded the Victoria Cross.

Ian Fraser was born in Ealing, London in 1920 and attended Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe, where his family lived. He continued his education at the school ship HMS Conway and began his naval career in the Merchant Navy. At the outbreak of the Second World War he joined the Royal Navy and saw action on destroyers. He volunteered for submarine service in June 1943 and was appointed First Lieutenant of the H Class submarine HMS Sahib. Later that year he was awarded a DSC for “bravery and skill in successful submarine patrols”.

He then noticed a signal from the Admiralty asking for volunteers for “special and hazardous service”. Since he had recently married, he thought that the Navy would not send him on anything particularly dangerous. However, he soon found himself in command of XE3, an X-craft midget submarine. These submarines were 57ft long with a range of a thousand miles and could stay at sea for three weeks. They were equipped with two detachable tanks which held two tons of high explosives as well as six 200lb limpet mines. The X-craft was manned by four men.

After training, Fraser was sent up to Eddrachillis Bay in the north-west of Scotland where he joined the depot ship HMS Bonaventure, a former Clan liner that was equipped with very heavy derricks capable of lifting up to 27 tonnes out of the water. For six months Fraser and the other six X-crafts exercised throughout the Western Isles until Christmas 1944, when the Bonaventure and the X-craft crews were sent to the Far East.

The journey took some while and included a month in a rest camp in Hawaii before arriving in Australia. On VE Day Fraser was in Brisbane celebrating. But the war in the Far East was far from over.

He was sent out from Mon Repos Beach, Queensland, Australia on the Great Barrier Reef to practise cutting cables. There they waited for a diver to instruct them until Fraser said he would have a go at the cutting. But David Carey, who had volunteered with Fraser in 1943, decided he would tackle the task instead. However, he failed to surface, having been poisoned by pure oxygen as he had gone below the prescribed depth. Carey’s death was a great sadness for Fraser.

Fraser’s X-craft was then ordered to attack the Japanese heavy cruiser Takao at her moorings in the Johore Strait in Singapore. The Takao had its guns pointing up the Malay Peninsula where the British Army was advancing.

XE3 was towed 600 miles by a submarine to the entrance of the strait. An old British anti-submarine boom lay across the entrance but to Fraser’s amazement the gate was open. This left them 11 miles from their target. Fraser decided to leave the believed safe channel and enter the mined waters to avoid suspected hydrophone posts. Somewhat miraculously, they manoeuvred their way through, with Fraser, at times, sitting astride the midget sub, scanning ahead with binoculars.

About 400 yards from the target, Fraser raised the periscope and to his horror saw a Japanese liberty boat with about 40 soldiers on board only 10 feet away. He was to recall: “They were so close I could see their lips moving. We went deep immediately, but I will never know why they did not stop us.”

The X-craft scraped along the seabed but suddenly there was a large bang as they crashed into the side of the Takao which was almost aground fore and aft. However, at midships Fraser spotted a 15ft depression in which he squeezed XE3, but there they became stuck. It took 10 terrifying minutes straining at full power forward and back to free themselves.

Fraser withdrew a thousand yards and decided to make a second attack, this time under the Takao’s keel. When he looked through his periscope, he saw the hull was only a foot above his head and covered in thick weed and barnacles, which would make placing the limpet mines very difficult.

The X-craft diver, Acting Leading Seaman James Magennis, slipped out of the wet and dry chamber and for the next 30 minutes, with the knowledge that his breathing apparatus was leaking, chipped away at the thick layer of barnacles. Fraser and the other two men aboard waited anxiously watching him through the night periscope. After Magennis succeeded in placing the six mines, Fraser began to withdraw only to find that one of the limpet carriers which had been jettisoned would not release itself.

Magennis courageously volunteered to go out again and for a nerve-wracking seven minutes, as the Takao seemed to get closer to crushing them, he worked away with a heavy spanner.

As soon as the exhausted Magennis returned Fraser tried to get out from underneath the target: “For half an hour we went full speed astern and full ahead, with no success,” he recalled later. “I made a mental plan to abandon ship before the charges went off. But just as I was despairing, we felt a movement, and XE3 climbed out from under the ship. We were all exhausted. After that if was ‘Home James and don’t spare the horses’.”

Aerial photos showed that XE3 had been successful and that Takao had sunk. Six days later the Americans dropped a bomb on Hiroshima and then on Nagasaki on 9 August. The Second World War was over.

Fraser and Magennis went together to collect their Victoria Cross from King George V at Buckingham Palace. Part of Fraser’s citation for his VC reads: “The courage and determination of Lieutenant Ian Fraser are beyond all praise.”

After the war, Fraser and some friends acquired war surplus frogmen’s kit and set up a public show displaying frogmen’s techniques in a large aquarium tank in Belle Vue Zoo in Manchester. Using the show’s takings, with his younger brother Brian, he set up the commercial diving organisation Universal Divers Ltd, of which he was managing director from 1947 to 1965 and later chairman.

In 1957 he published an excellent autobiography, Frogman VC. The same year he was appointed Justice of the Peace for Wallasey, Merseyside.

David Carey is commemorated at the Portsmouth Naval Memorial

Lt Hugh Campbell Carey (4170)

He was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA and was on the ship Montcalm of the Canadian Pacific Line from Quebec to Southampton on 15 July 1935. The College state that he was at EC in 1935 but he could not have been there long. He signed upon 28 Nov 1940 in London and stated his profession was a diesel engineer. He was married to Aina Elina Junnikkala in Oregon on 5th Aug 1927 but she died 11 years later.

At 1700 on 17 July 1943 during an ‘O’ group with his brigade commanders, Major General Guy Simonds announced for the first time in Sicily that 1st Canadian Infantry Division would launch a two-brigade attack with all six battalions committed. The Three Rivers Tank Regiment and the divisional artillery would support the infantry. Simonds ordered Brigadier Howard Penhale, a portly Great War veteran artilleryman turned infantry commander, to punch 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade through Portella Grottacalda and continue along Highway 117 to Enna. Simultaneously Brigadier Howard Graham would outflank the Germans blocking the pass and road junction by striking cross-country towards Valguarnera with 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade, The two brigades, Simons said, would carry out ‘a well-supported attack in strength’.

Although the divisional plan described the attack as committing two brigades, they did not go together at the same time. Instead 3 CIB advanced at 2000 when Penhale passed the Royal 22e Regiment through the Carleton and York Regiment’s position a mile short of the entrance to the pass. The French-Canadian Permanent Force regiment moved towards combat well before I CIB’s battalions even cleared Piazza Armerina. In this brigade’s van was the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment, and its troops would not be positioned to begin their attack until 2139. In his instructions to Lt Col Paul Bernatchez, Penhale emphasized the need for a rapid advance to keep the Van Doos in contact with the Germans. To that end, the battalion would go forward aboard Bren carriers and trucks. During his ‘O’ group with the battalion company and platoon commanders, Bernatchez made no attempt to hide the fact he ‘did not much like this idea of going to meet the enemy in trucks.’ But as Lt Pierre-Ferdinand Potvin noted with a Gallic shrug, ‘Those are the orders.’

Bernatchez put Major Gilles Turcot’s ‘B’ Company out front with one section of Potvin’s No 11 Platoon loaded on carriers, under command of Lt Guy Vaugeois. All the other men in Turcot’s company would be in trucks, as would those of the other three rifle companies. The formation behind ‘B’ Company consisted of ‘A’ Company, and finally ‘D’ Company.’ It was a risky move, for the vehicles would be driving without headlights, relying on moonlight to illuminate the way. That same moonlight would also light them up for the Germans, while the sounds of the carriers and trucks must carry well ahead of their advance.

The Van Doos had stripped the tarpaulin off the trucks before setting off. Kneeling in the truck beds, the men scanned the darkness. Bren gunners trained their automatic weapons towards either side of the road. Advancing at six or seven mph, the column crept warily towards the pass.

At 2200 still well short of it, Vaugeois signalled a halt and reported that a large crater blocked the road. On one side of the road was a steep mountainside and on the other, a sheer cliff fell into a narrow ravine. Potvin and his platoon clawed their way up the mountainside and established a covering position beyond the crater, to cover the engineers called forward to repair the road. A platoon from the 4th Canadian Field Regiment, RCE was soon led to the scene by Lt Henri Chasse. The Van Doo officer insisted on inspecting the ground for booby traps or mines before giving permission for the engineers to begin work. As engineers and infantry worked shoulder to shoulder filling in the crater, the Germans blasted the area with a continuous bombardment that clearly indicated they were alert to the Canadian mechanized advance. A half-hour later the job was finished, but the enemy shelling had taken its toll on the engineers. Both the platoon commander, Lt Hugh Carey, and the regimental commander, Major Jim Blair, were hit by shrapnel, along with several other engineers. Blair was evacuated to the nearest casualty clearing station with severe wounds, but Carey died on the spot.

For the rest of the account see:

‘Operation Husky: the Canadian Invasion of Sicily July10 to August 7 1943’ by Mark Zuehike

He is buried at the Agira Canadian War Cemetery in Sicily.

Lt H C Carey 1918 – 1943

Lt Peter Vivian Carey (4097)

Son of an OE Peter Dudley Carey he was born in India and was at the College from 1934 to 1939 after which he joined RMC Sandhurst and was commissioned as 2nd Lt on 31.12.1939 as a regular officer after spending 121 days in the ranks prior to officer training. He joined 1/7 (first seventh) Duke of Wellington Regiment in Iceland and was posted to D Company in 1940. He was promoted to Lt on 1st Jul 1941. He is listed as having died at sea on 7th Dec 1942 on SS Ceramic which was torpedoed.

On 3 November 1942 Ceramic left Liverpool for Australia via Saint Helena and South Africa. She was carrying 377 passengers, 264 crew, 14 DEMS (defensively equipped merchant ship) gunners and 12,362 tons of cargo. 244 of the passengers were military or naval, including at least 145 British Army, 30 Royal Navy, 14 Royal Australian Navy and 12 Royal Marines. 30 of her British Army passengers were QAIMNS nursing sisters. The other 133 passengers were fare-paying civilians. 12 were children, the youngest being a one-year-old baby girl. Six were doctors, five of whom were South African. One passenger was Rudolph Dolmetsch (1906–42), classical musician and composer, then serving as Regimental Bandmaster with the Royal Artillery.

Ceramic sailed with Convoy ON 149 until it dispersed as scheduled in the North Atlantic. She then continued unescorted as planned. As on her previous departure in January, she first headed west of the Azores because of the threat of enemy attack.

At midnight on 6–7 December, in cold weather and rough seas in mid-Atlantic, U-515 hit Ceramic with a single torpedo. These were followed two or three minutes later by two more that hit Ceramic‘s engine room, stopping her engines and her electric lighting. The liner radioed a distress signal, which was received by the Emerald-class cruiser HMS Enterprise. The crippled liner stayed afloat and her complement abandoned ship in good order, launching about eight lifeboats all full of survivors.

The light cruiser HMS Enterprise received Ceramic’s distress signal

About three hours later U-515 fired two more torpedoes, which broke the ship’s back and sank her immediately. By now it was very stormy and raining. The heavy sea capsized some of the lifeboats and left many people struggling in the water. Those boats that were not capsized stayed afloat only by constant baling.

Next morning the BdU ordered U-515 to return to the position of the sinking to find out the ship’s destination. About noon the U-boat commander, Kapitanleutnant Werner Henke, decided to rescue the Ceramic’s skipper. In heavy seas, he sighted one of the lifeboats and its occupants waved to him. The storm was now almost Force 10 and almost swamping U-515‘s conning tower, so Henke ordered his crew to make do with the first survivor they could find. This turned out to be Sapper Eric Munday of the Royal Engineers, whom they rescued from the water and took prisoner aboard the submarine.

No other occupants of the lifeboats survived. The storm was too severe for neutral rescue ships from São Miguel Island in the Azores to put to sea. On 9 December the Portuguese Douro-class destroyer NRP Dão was sent to search for survivors, but found none. There were 656 lost of the people on board.

Munday was kept prisoner aboard U-515 for a month then sent to Stalag VIII-B in Upper Silesia, where he remained a prisoner of war until 1945.

Peter Carey is commemorated at the Brookwood Memorial, Surrey.