Peter Fanning, RS2 No 435881

Interned Holland 1914-18

Captured by German raider in RMS Rangitane, November 1940

Lost with Irish Pine, 25 November 1942

According to his CR10 card, Peter Fanning was born in Ireland (actually Clogherhead, Co Louth) on 16 August 1887. In 1910 he joined the Royal Naval Reserve, like many local fishermen, and served with them until 1935. In August 1914 he was called up and joined the Benbow battalion of the Royal Naval Division. He was involved in the defence of Antwerp in October 1914 and subsequently interned in Groningen, Holland, until November 1918.

Between the wars he served in the British Merchant Marine worldwide. On 27 November 1940 he was a crew member of the RMS Rangitane which was intercepted and captured by German surface raiders 300 miles east of New Zealand. It is believed that he was released on to the island of Emiru, off New Guinea on condition that he did not return to work in the British Merchant Marine. He appears to have done this and joined the neutral Irish deep sea fleet which was set up in 1941 using whatever ships could be found. He was a member of the crew of the Irish Pine, sailing alone, when she was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic on 15 November 1942 with the loss of all thirty-three crew.

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