The Henwood Family
Phyllis Mildred (Henwood) Mathias
27 January 1911, in Vryheid, Natal,
Lewis Mathias on 9 October 1942, at
Caxton Hall, Westminster, London, England
Masseuse. Phyllis was S.C.M.M.G., L.E.T., M.E.
7 December 1942, aboard the S.S.
Ceramic when it was torpedoed west of the Azores.
Phyllis died aboard the S.S.
Ceramic when it was sunk in 1942
The Ceramic left Liverpool on 23
November 1942, bound for South Africa and Australia, carrying both Allied
troops and 378 civilian passengers. It was torpedoed by U-515 on the night
of 6 December 1942 in latitude 40 deg. 30 min. N., longitude 40 deg, 20 min.
W, west of the Azores in the Atlantic ocean. The Ceramic took about three
hours to sink, and everyone on board was evacuated to lifeboats. The
lifeboats drifted through a relatively calm night, and contact was made
between some of them at daybreak, but a terrible storm descended in the
morning and some of the lifeboats were swamped and capsized. Rescue vessels
were forced to turn back due to the storm. Of the 656 people on board the Ceramic, only one survived - Sapper
Eric Munday was pulled from the water by the U-boat for interrogation and
subsequently held as a P.O.W. The complete story of the Ceramic,
including interviews with Eric Munday and some of the U-boat crew has been
recorded in SS Ceramic - The Untold Story (Clare
Ceramic - The Untold Story (Clare Hardy, 2006)
MATHIAS PHYLLIS MILDRED S.C.M.M.G., L.E.T., M.E.
Occupation or Calling: Masseuse
Ticket No. 231 (Henwood)
Address in UK: Lamphey Court, Lamphey, Pembrokeshire.
Also: Highclere, Haverfordwest, Pembroke
Daughter of Alice Mildred Henwood, of Entabeni, Vryheid, Natal, South
Africa, and of the late Sidney Evelyn Henwood.
Wife of Wing Comdr. Lewis Mathias, R.A.F.
*Travelling with Mabel Burgess Nicholas, ticket no. 230.
Shipping Co. note: After this vessel sailed we were informed by the High
Comm. for S. Africa that this passenger booked in her maiden name (Henwood
- see No.142) but married Wing Comdr Mathias at Caxton Hall on the 9th
1942: Lamphey Court, Lamphey, Pembrokeshire, also Highclere, Haverfordwest,
Pembrokeshire (SS Ceramic - The Untold Story)
Sidney Evelyn Henwood
14 November 1883, in Howick, Natal
Catherine Thomas (Walsh) Henwood
White on 9 April 1910 in St Peter's Parish Church, Pietermaritzburg,
Sidney Evelyn Henwood is recorded as a bachelor, aged 26. He is a solicitor,
resident in Vryheid. Alice Mildred White is recorded as a spinster, aged 24,
resident in Maritzburg. The marriage was performed by R. Chastet de
Brinville, and witnessed by G. R. Hathorn and R. D. Barker.
17 January 1937, in Vryheid, Natal,
Main cemetery, Vryheid, Natal, South
Africa, with his wife. Their headstone reads:-
Headstone of Sidney Evelyn Henwood and
Alice Mildfred White in Main Cemetery, Vryheid
LOVING MEMORY OF
? 14 . 11 . 1883
? 17 . 1 . 1937
HELPED SO MANY
ERECTED BY A LOVED
LOVING MEMORY OF
(NEE ALICE MILDRED WHITE)
? 27 . 4 . 1885
M 6 . 4 . 1910
? 18 . 4 . 1979
GENTLY SHE LIVED
& GENTLY SHE DIED
AND LOVING FAMILY
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