World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

                        Mary Allen 

The SS Benares - My life was saved by a clerical error

By actiondesksheffield

People in story: Mary Curran (now Allen)
Location of story: Garrowhill, near Glasgow
Background to story: Civilian


This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Norman Wigley of the BBC Radio Sheffield Action Desk on behalf of Mrs Mary Allen.

In 1940 I was 6 and my brother would have been 2½. I learned after the war that we should have been evacuated to relatives in Ontario, Canada on the SS Benares, but we were not allowed to go because there was something wrong with our visas. We had to stay at home in Garrowhill, near Glasgow, Scotland. The ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat and sunk, and it is very likely that if we had sailed we would not have survived.