Items relating to Captain Edgar Wallace Moulton (1886-1940) and the final voyage of Arandora Star, Blue Star Line.



Photograph of Captain Moulton with his daughters in their/a garden. Letter (3 sheets of paper) written by Moulton to his daughters Win, Joan and Edna, 28 June 1940 from Liverpool before sailing on 1st July on Arandora Star, Blue Star Line. Moulton is lost when the vessel is sunk on 2nd July 1940. The vessel was carrying German and Italian internees and German prisoners-of -war with a military guard to Canada, along with the crew of 174. Of the total of 1673, 805 died. In his letter Moulton refers to the previous voyage when Arandora Star evacuated Polish troops and refugees from France. See also Captain Moulton's photograph album at PR/686. Transcript of letter: 28/06/1940 Dear Win. Joan. & Edna. I hope you are all getting on all right, and that no bombs have fallen near you. You must try to be brave. I expect you have the air Raid Shelter up by now and must have it fitted out with a few old blankets and old clothes and food ready to run to. A good plan to be would have the big thermos flask full of hot water and put it in every night, or perhaps a little spirit-stove so you could make some tea for when a bomb drops close it is quite a shock. The 2nd Office who was in water this morning at 1:30am. Saw the plane coming down the river where we were anchored. It was flying so low that being by itself he thought it was one of ours. He dropped his bomb though, which according to the 2nd officer fell 12 yards astern of us. The concession was terrific and we were literally shaken out of our beds. My first night in bed for 28 days. I allowed 2 fathers and 2 mothers and 2 children to have my bed on our way back from Southern France. They had been chased for days and had lost everything. We brought back 3,500 Polish troops and refugees and to move round you had to walk on bodies. A nice old dog was amongst them and the authorities want to destroy him, as it will cost 7/6 per week to keep him in quarantine for 6 months so the crew are going to give so much and save him. The old Germans gave it out twice on the radio that they had sunk us. It is marvelous how they seem to know our movements. We are all in for a very hard time thanks to the old fools that have had control of us, and there is only one thing for you to do and that is try and keep safe. Mam will decide what is the best for you all. I am enclosing 30 shillings. 10 shillings for you each as I know poor old Mam will be hard pressed for money with everything so dear. I am going to try and get on the phone with you tonight, and I have told Mam if she is going to stay in Bournemouth to keep the telephone going and cancel my instructions to them to cut it off. We sail Sunday night and goodness knows when we will be back. Take care of yourselves, and never be out after dark or in lonely places. Your loving Dad. Win xxxxxxxxx Joan xxxxxxxxx Edna xxxxxxxxx