WW2 BEM To The Merchant Navy
BEM ( GRI ) ROBERT MARTIN
Robert Martin Chief Baker of the SS Cameronia was awarded the BEM in the London Gazette of the 4th of June 1943
War was declared in September 1939. Cameronia departed Glasgow on 5 September.During the voyage to New York, she rescued some of the survivors from Athenia, and was the first British ship to enter New York after war had been declared.Cameronia returned to the United Kingdom as part of Convoy HXF 1, which departed Halifax, Nova Scotia on 19 September 1939 and arrived at Liverpool on 29 September. Cameronia was bound for Glasgow. She made eleven unescorted round trips from Glasgow – New York in the period to December 1940, when she was requisitioned for use as a troopship. On 29 January 1941, Cameronia joined Convoy WS 5B at Freetown, Sierra Leone, sailing with the convoy to the Suez Canal, where she arrived on 3 March. Cameronia was a member of Convoy GA 10, which arrived at Alexandria, Egypt on 6 April 1941 On 23 March 1942, Cameronia departed the United Kingdom as a member of Convoy WS17, bound for Freetown. She departed Freetown on 11 April as part of Convoy WS17B bound for Cape Town, South Africa, arriving on 23 April. On 27 April, Cameronia departed Cape Town as part of Convoy WS 17 bound for Mombasa, Kenya, where she arrived on 8 May. On 10 May Cameronia departed Mombasa as part of Convoy WS 17BZ, arriving at Bombay, India on 19 May. On 29–30 May 1941 in company with the Glen Line's Glengyle 6,000 Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders were evacuated from Sphakia at the end of the Battle of Crete.
Cameronia served in the Mediterranean as a Landing Ship, Infantry during the war, taking part in the Allied invasion of French North Africa in November 1942. On 22 December 1942, Cameronia was hit by a torpedo dropped by a Junkers Ju 88 of III Gruppe, KG 26 off Algiers, Algeria. A 288 square feet (26.8 m2) hole was blown in Cameronia's side and 17 people were killed. U-565 also claimed to have damaged her. Cameronia managed to reach the port of Bougie, Algeria, from where she was escorted at 5 knots (9.3 km/h) to Algiers. She then sailed to Gibraltar where temporary repairs were carried out. Cameronia then sailed to Glasgow for permanent repairs. Repairs were completed in June 1943 and Cameronia was then returned to service.On 29 August 1943, Cameronia departed Gibraltar as part of Convoy MKF 22, which had departed from Port Said, Egypt on 19 August and arrived at the Clyde on 9 September.On 6 December 1943, Cameronia departed Oran, Algeria with members of the 21st General Hospital. They were landed at Naples, Italy on 21 December. Cameronia was the largest troopship that took part in Operation Overlord in June 1944. She served until the end of the war, when she was laid up
Medal with edge knock to surname otherwise in VF condition