My great uncle Will (William Scholefield) was Chief Engineer on the SS Joseph Swann, an East Coast collier and wad torpedoed about 40 miles off Cromer by an S boat. There was only one survivor

His elder son Jack, also a Chief Engineer served in every theatre that the UK Merchant Navy saw action in except for the Arctic convoys (as far as we know) - Atlantic, Med (including Malta convoys and single ship dashes), Far East and the Pacific! He went on to become a Superintendent Engineer at a young age and died on his way home from Liverpool in the 1953 Clapham rail disaster

Billy, the younger son, was also on the East Coast colliers and he was torpedoed twice and survived. He spent the rest of his relatively short life trying to drink himself to death and eventually succeeding

I vaguely remember Billy but remember Auntie Nance, his and Jack's mother and Will's wife, much better. She was a happy old soul who turned up at our birthday parties and so on, always sitting with a smile on her face sipping a glass of sherry. They bred em tough in those days!