Engineer Officer - Merchant Navy - SS Ceramic
Albert John Cassingham was born on 18th February 1918 in Gravesend, Kent. His father was also Albert John Cassingham, a Fitter’s Assistant, and his mother was Emily (née Morris), who died in 1921. The first school that he attended was Holy Trinity School in Gravesend.
In 1929 Albert Cassingham joined The County School for Boys – now known as Gravesend Grammar School. The Head Master at that time was the Reverend Samuel Lister. The County School for Boys was located in Darnley Road, Gravesend close to the Railway Station. In 1938 the School moved to brand new premises in Church Walk, Milton, Gravesend opposite to Milton Church.
The School’s Admission Register lists Albert’s home address as 68 Kent Road, Gravesend. Whilst at the School, Albert was in Hill House.
In 1934 Albert left the School and joined the Merchant Navy, working as an Apprentice Engineer on the Orient Line. He worked his way up to Ninth Engineer Officer, joining the SS Ceramic, which was part of the White Star Line and was commissioned as a troop ship in 1940.
On 3rd November 1942 the SS Ceramic left Liverpool for Australia via Saint Helena and South Africa. On the 7th December the ship was hit by torpedoes from U boat U-515, in the Mid-Atlantic. Albert Cassingham was killed, age 24, there was only one survivor from 656 people on board. Albert is remembered at the Tower Hill Memorial Panel 25.
There are links below to Newspaper Clippings and Photographs from the Gravesend Grammar School Archives.
Also links to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website and a few other websites that might be of interest: