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ss Mohamed Ali el-Kebir



Background to this Site

The British-registered transport ss Mohamed Ali el-Kebir was torpedoed 250 miles west of Malin on 7th August 1940 by the German U-boat U-38. The ship sunk resulting in the loss of approximately 120 lives.

Some information about the ship, the circumstances of its loss and the fate of those onboard has been investigated by Mr Dick White of Stodday in Lancaster and published in the form of a brief monograph. This monograph forms the basis of these pages with the aim of making the story as widely known as possible and also with the hope that further information may come to light.

If you have anything to add to what is known already or you have any other comments on this event please get in contact on

Developing the information this web site contains has established a network of contacts throughout the world. However, the United Kingdom Data Protection Act prevents publishing details on the Internet. Anyone who wishes to be put in touch with any of the individuals mentioned here should email Phil Smith who will endeavour to make initial contact on their behalf.

This site is dedicated to the memory of Charles Edward Smith, a survivor of the sinking, who died on Friday 19 August 2011 aged 94. May he rest in piece.

Site Contents


 The Survivors

  The Ship

 Recollections of Friends and Families

  The Sinking

 Newspaper Reports

  Recollections and Records

 Kenneth King

  The Casualties

 Roll of Honour

Useful Links

  U-boat net

 National Archives
(formerly the Public Records Office)

 Commonwealth War Graves Commission


706 Artisan Works Company Royal Engineers

Many of the soldiers onboard the ss Mohamed Ali el-Kebir at the time of the sinking were from the 706 Artisan Works Company Royal Engineers. Jim Chenye of Aboyne in Scotland has written a short history of the unit which can be found by clicking here.

 ©Dick White 2001


Phil Smith