Thank you to Michael Day for permission to use these photos. I was extremely moved to hear from Michael today (18th Feb ) that he had visited Tower Hill Memorial and taken a photo of the panels listing the names of the captain and crew of Dione II.
Patrick McEvoy was the youngest son of Charles McEvoy. Patrick was born in Aldbourne in 1915. Following the death of his parents, he and older brother Christopher went to live with their Aunt Mary (McEvoy nee Spencer Edwards) in Freshford, Somerset. Mary was the widow of Charles’ brother, Ambrose.
Just prior to the outbreak of the Second World War Patrick published a book, illustrated by Christopher, called ‘The Gorse and the Briar’.
A reviewer in the Rochdale Observer 7 January 1939 said
“The Christmas season has given me something I shall remember for a long time. It has given me a book which I shall treasure for its simplicity, its directness, its fascinating story, and last (but by no means least) for the clean wind which blows through the gorse and briar of its pages. Patrick McEvoy has the touch of a master, a better touch, I venture say, than the great Borrow himself, when it comes to dealing with gypsy life.”
In September, 1939, Patrick became a third engineer on a naval patrol boat; but he soon left this service to become a third engineer on merchant ships. It was while was serving in the Merchant Service that an enemy submarine attack brought his career to an end.
I recently discovered a website called uboat.net (https://uboat.net/) which details the events leading to the sinking of SS Dione on 4 February 1941. The account goes on to say that five crew members were picked up by the British steam merchant Flowergate and landed at Glasgow on 8 February 1941; sadly, Patrick was not among the survivors. His body was never recovered.
Patrick is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, which commemorates the men of the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets who have no grave but the sea. He and his brother Christopher, who was killed in action later in the war, are also remembered on the Freshford village war-memorial.