British Cemetery
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Page 2

Close-up of the graves of Corporal Thomas James Barwood, R.M. and Gunner Louis Grubb Cruickshank, R.A.

Close-up of the graves of Able Seaman James Trevor Frederick, R.N. of HMS Exeter, who died of wounds received in the Battle of the River Plate and Leading Stoker George William Henderson, R.N.

The graves to the right of the memorial.

Close-up of the graves of Captain Bernard J. L. Morton of SS Beckenham who died in a Buenos Aries hospital of cardiac failure, Chief Engineer Officer Thomas Henry Lindgreen and Able Seaman William Henry Jones, R.N.V.R.

Feb. 2, 2014

I came across your website this morning whilst researching information about a British Merchant Ship the SS Beckenham. Captain Bernard James Leo Morton who you mention in the article was the Captain of the Beckenham at the time of his death. He was my father, but he died when I was only 2 years old and I have no memory of him. In fact he only saw me once when I was six weeks old and as far as I know he went back to sea and never returned. The 12th February 2014 will be the 70th anniversary of his death. My mother brought the family up (I was the youngest of four) and now I am the only remaining member of the family.

In 2005 my wife and I had a holiday touring Argentina and took the opportunity to visit the grave in Chacarita. It was a very emotional moment for me as I had missed having a father all my life and hoped this event would bring some closure for me. As my immediate family have passed away more and more information about my father  has come into my possession and I have recently started to write a biography of his life. Sadly there are many questions I want to ask but there is no one left to answer them.

I have a diary he wrote about his life at sea which began in 1915. This unfortunately finishes around 1930.  I also have records of all his voyages up to the end of 1942 and records of the cargoes that the ships carried. One tiny bit of information in your article tells me that he died in a hospital in Buenos Aires. My mother never ever discussed his death but I understood that he died on the Beckenham and was taken into Buenos Aires for burial. I also have a vague memory of finding a newspaper cutting in a cupboard with a coffin on a gun carriage draped in the Union Jack being pulled by sailors in white uniform.

If you have any further information about my father or can advise me of any websites where I can research his ships and shipping movements I would be very grateful. You may be interested to know that that as an apprentice  he was torpedoed and them mined in the English Channel in 1917 and was rescued from the sea on both occasions. I can send you details of both incidents if you would like to read them. I look forward with great interest to your response.

Yours sincerely,
Gerald M. Morton

Close-ups of the graves of Electrical Artificer 4th Class Leslie Parsons, R.N. and Able Seaman Frank Benjamin Verral, R.N.
Photos courtesy of Patricio Vega
© 2009 Patricio Vega all rights reserved

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Page published Jan. 9, 2010