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The First Fatal C Pro C Casualty Of WWII
by
Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) James D. (Jim) Lumsden

Coordinator, Canadian Provost Corps Virtual Association


Photo of LCol (retired) JD (Jim) Lumsden. It is if interest to note that Constable Charlie Johnstone of Number One Provost Company (RCMP) became the first fatal casualty when the SS Nerissa was torpedoed and sank as it approached Ireland. The ship Departed Halifax, NS on the 21 April 1941 and was torpedoed by U-Boat 552 on the 30 April 1941 at Lat. 57 - 57N / Long. 10 - 8W, or about 100 miles northwest of County Donegal, Ireland. There were 290 people onboard, including Canadians, British and American servicemen and civilians.

On the night of 30 April 41, the first of three torpedoes struck around 10:30 p.m., causing the deaths of 85 of the servicemen onboard, marking the first and only loss of Canadian troops on a trans-Atlantic crossing during the First or Second World Wars. The following members of the Canadian Provost Corps were onboard of the SS Nerissa when she was torpedoed:
  • CURRIE, Raymond Victor C30632 12502 X Pte., Canadian Provost Company, Canada
  • DENTON, Lewis Archer C30629 9512 X A/Cpl., Canadian Provost Company, Canada
  • KEELAN, Gerald Frederick B95405 13015 X Pte., Canadian Provost Company, Canada
  • JOHNSTONE, Charles James C30759 X 36 Cpl. Can. Provost Company England
  • MARA, John Hugh Francis C30758 X Pte., Canadian Provost Company, Canada
  • NICHOLAS, Alfred Roland C30760 X Pte., Canadian Provost Company, Canada
In all, a total of 207 souls were lost.



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