SS Troutpool sunk in Bangor, Co. Down

SS Troutpool went down in Belfast Lough at the entrance to the harbour of Bangor, Co. Down on 20th July 1940 after activating 2 mines laid by the Luftwaffe.

A little after 1400hrs on 20th July 1940, SS Troutpool entered the harbour at Bangor, Co. Down. Owned by Pool Shipping Co. Ltd. of Hartlepool, UK, the steamer carried 7,908 tonnes of grain en route across the Atlantic from Rosario, Argentina to Glasgow, Scotland.

In Bangor, Co. Down, Captain Muitt received instruction that SS Troutpool was to undergo degaussing. This procedure helped ships prevent activating electronic mines. After degaussing, the crew started the ship’s engines and swung to adjust their compass. At 1352 hrs, an acoustically activated mine detonated tearing through the bow of the steamship. Minutes later, a second mine detonated to the aft of the ship. Before realising the attack was from pre-laid mines, the Royal Navy dispatched anti-Uboat patrols from Belfast and Larne, Co. Antrim.

There were many other ships in the bay at the time. Among them was a Dutch vessel MS Abbekerk. The crew had dropped anchor, awaiting room to dock when the explosion tore through SS Troutpool. All ships in the vicinity dropped lifeboats to help out in the wake of the sinking.

Of those on board, 11 crew members died and 2 have graves in Bangor New Cemetery, Bangor, Co. Down. A further 3 unknown members of the crew have graves in Movilla Cemetery, Newtownards, Co. Down.

Remembering the crew of SS Troutpool

Last NameFirst Name(s)RoleInformation
ConnellAlexanderBoyKilled aged 19 years old. Commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial.
AliAbdulFireman and TrimmerKilled aged 39 years old. Commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial.
MacDougallDonald AndrewOrdinary SeamanKilled aged 17 years old. Commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial.
McGrathJohnAble SeamanKilled aged 53 years old. Commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial.
AwledMohamedFireman and TrimmerKilled aged 40 years old. Commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial.
AhmedDemari SalehFireman and TrimmerKilled aged 41 years old. Commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial.
MurrayWilliam GeorgeOrdinary SeamanKilled aged 25 years old. Commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial.
AhmedShiefFireman and TrimmerKilled aged 40 years old. Buried in Bangor New Cemetery, Co. Down.
BeckettThomas SmithCarpenterKilled aged 32 years old. Buried in Bangor New Cemetery, Co. Down.
CalebMuckleleFireman and TrimmerKilled aged 43 years old. Commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial.
McNeillDonaldAble SeamanKilled aged 41 years old. Commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial.

The wreck of the 1927 William Gray and Co. built steamship lies near the entrance of Bangor Harbour, visible from the Eisenhower Pier. Authorities destroyed much of the wreck with explosives as it was dangerous to shipping in the area. The site is now popular with divers keen to explore a piece of World War Two history.

Shief Ahmed

Fireman and Trimmer

Merchant Navy Fireman and Trimmer Shief Ahmed died on board SS Troutpool when it went down in the entrance to Bangor Harbour, Co. Down on 20th July 1940.

Thomas Smith Beckett

Carpenter

Merchant Navy Carpenter Thomas Smith Beckett died on board SS Troutpool when it went down in the entrance to Bangor Harbour, Co. Down on 20th July 1940.