Wednesday, 24 February 2010
Goans on SS Britannia, March 1941
Asian seafarers' stories are seldom told in stories of shipping disasters, and almost never from their point of view. Such was the racism in recording news at that time that these men were often nameless and always faceless.
So it's good to find someone redressing that imbalance. In this case the focus is on the 39-plus Asian crew of Anchor Lines' SS Britannia, which was torpedoed on March 25 1941 off Dakar. Some escapees were 23 days reaching Brazil in a lifeboat.
Journalist Melvyn Misquita has set up a website, partly because his grand-uncle Constant Misquita (see picture) died on that ship. http://www.misquita.in/britannia/intro/html.
For me it works particularly well because Melvyn has retrieved so many photos of the men. He welcomes more information to augment this hidden history. Goan comments on his site can be found at http:firstname.lastname@example.org/msg02070.html.