Lot Archive


№ 1102


1 December 2004

Hammer Price:

Three: Lance-Corporal C. Snell, Bombay Defence Light Section, Royal Engineers

1914-15 Star (14693 Spr., R.E.); British War and Victory Medals (14693 Spr., R.E.) extremely fine (3) £100-140

Claude Snell was born and lived in Launceston and enlisted at Devonport. Serving with “H” Company R.E., he was attached to the Bombay Defence Light Section Royal Engineers when he was killed in action on 26 May 1918 when the troop ship Leasowe Castle was torpedoed and sunk by a submarine in the Mediterranean. His name is commemorated on the Chatby Memorial, Egypt.

The Union-Castle liner
Leasowe Castle, 9737 tons, was launched in 1915 and taken over by the British government in 1917. Soon after going into service she was torpedoed off Gibraltar on 20 April 1917 but managed to reach port and effect repairs. On 26 May 1917, as part of a convoy from Alexandria to Marseilles and carrying some 3,000 troops, she was torpedoed without warning by a submarine and sunk some 104 miles off Alexandria. Ninety-two souls were lost in the attack.