The Red Duster The Merchant Navy Crest

ss CITY OF CAIRO

A tribute to the British Merchant Navy - they also served!

The Ellerman Hall vessel ss CITY OF CAIRO torpedoed on 6th November 1942

Miss. Betty Birchman's Letter

Miss Elisabeth [Betty] Birchman, a survivor from ss CITY OF CAIRO, No.7 lifeboat, sent a letter to the Ellerman Hall Line on 21st April 1943.

In it she expresses her gratitude to the Hall Line and in particular to 2nd officer Leslie Boundy whom she credits for delivering them safely from their dreadful ordeal. The letter was forwarded to Mr. Boundy with the grateful thanks of the Ellerman Hall Line. Both letters are shown below.

I am very grateful to Mark Wardel, for permission to show it on this site.

THE ELLERMAN LINES

HALL LINE, LIMITED.

REGULAR SERVICES OF STEAMERS FROM LIVERPOOL, GLASGOW AND SOUTH WALES PORTS TO BOMBAY, PORT OKHA, BEDI BUNDER, KARACHI, MARMAGAO, MALABAR COAST, RED SEA, EAST AFRICA, SOUTH AFRICA AND MAURITIUS.

Tower Building,
Liverpool, 3rd May, 1943

Mr. Leslie Boundy,
Ivy Cottage,
West Ansty,
Nr. South Molton,
Devon.


Dear Sir,

We have pleasure in enclosing extract from a letter we have received from Miss Elizabeth A. Birchman, who was one of the survivors from the "CITY OF CAIRO" when that vessel was torpedoed and sunk.

You will observe that Miss Birchman speaks very highly of the ability you displayed in handling the lifeboat and your kindness to all the people in it, including herself.

We are very glad to have an Officer in our Company complimented in such terms, and we take this opportunity of thanking you ourselves for the valuable services you rendered on that unfortunate occasion.

Yours faithfully,


HALL LINE LIMITED


Extract from letter received by the Hall Line Ltd. Liverpool, from Miss E.A. Birchman, survivor ex the "CITY OF CAIRO", dated 21st April, 1943.


"As a survivor of the s.s. "CITY OF CAIRO" I would like to take this opportunity of expressing my grateful thanks to the Hall Line for all the kindness and consideration shown to me during my stay on the Island of St. Helena.

At the same time I should like to take this opportunity of trying to convey to you in some small measure, the outstanding display of navigation and valour shown by Mr. Leslie Boundy, 2nd Officer ex the "CITY OF CAIRO". Words can never express how much Mr. Boundy did for us during our dreadful ordeal.

I had (if such a term could be expressed) the "honour" to be in his lifeboat and I have never yet met a man with more sterling qualities – such steadfastness to duty and such consideration for others.

The morale of our lifeboat was excellent – thanks only to Mr. Boundy. Never once during all the 13 hazardous days did Mr. Boundy ever allow us to lose heart and it is thanks to his wonderful feat of seamanship that we sighted the Island before being picked up."


HALL LINE LTD

LIVERPOOL

3rd May, 1943.