Guard of honour at funeral

THE Merchant Navy formed a guard of honour at the funeral of a woman whose father and brother were killed at sea while they worked on a hospital ship together.

THE Merchant Navy formed a guard of honour at the funeral of a woman whose father and brother were killed at sea while they worked on a hospital ship together.

Hilda Ludlow, 93, of Dovercourt, was hoping to attend the Merchant Navy Day parade and service held last weekend, but unfortunately she died on August 30.

Mrs Ludlow had wanted to wear the medals belonging to her father, Frederick Carter, to the parade. They were placed on her coffin throughout yesterday's

funeral service at Upper Dovercourt Methodist Church.

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Frederick and Hilda's brother Arthur were both merchant seamen. In 1944, they were serving on board the SS Amsterdam. The ship took part in the D-day landings, sailing to Omaha beach.

The following day, June 7, 1944, the ship was returning from France with 500 stretcher cases on board when it hit a mine and went down.

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There was a heavy loss of life, including Frederick and Arthur and 30 other Harwich crew members.

Frederick, who worked on LNER steamships during peacetime had also been involved in the First World War.

In April 1916 he was on board the SS Colchester, when it was captured by the Germans. The ship had been used under a different captain to ram German U-boats, along with the SS Brussels, damaging several boats, angering the Germans who were determined to catch them.

The crew, including Frederick, were taken to Zeebrugge and then spent the rest of the war as prisoners of war in the Brandenburg salt mines.

The SS Colchester was used by the German Navy and was sunk in the North Sea by the Royal Navy on September 27, 1916.

Mrs Ludlow's daughter, Jean Bragg, said: "My mother always felt some connection to the Merchant Navy."

Her only surviving brother, James, also served in the Merchant Navy, and attended the funeral in full uniform.

Mrs Ludlow was born in Bathside, Harwich. During the Second World War she supervised 60 people at a munitions factory in north London. She was the first woman to work in the factory in a role other than office administration.

Reading from a tribute prepared by Mrs Bragg, the Reverend Robert Gooch, said: "She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and sister and a good friend."

Mrs Ludlow and her family support the Harwich and District Merchant Navy Association and East Anglian Daily Times Forgotten Heroes Appeal to build a memorial to merchant seamen who lost their lives in the war, to be built in Harwich so that it can be seen from the sea.

Anyone who would like to make a donation to the appeal can send a cheque made payable to the East Anglian Daily Times to the EADT Forgotten Heroes appeal, Fairfax House, Causton Road, Colchester, CO1 1RJ, or pay it in directly to the HSBC bank in North Station Road, Colchester, account name Forgotten Heroes, sort code 401851, account number 01236660.

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