Morgan, Hugh Hutchison


He was the eldest of three sons of the Right Reverend Edmund Robert Morgan MA (Coll. 1902-07), of Old Alresford, Hampshire. His father had a distinguished career: Archdeacon of Winchester (1936-1943), Suffragan Bishop of Southampton (1943-1951), and Bishop of Truro (1951-1960).   His mother was Isabel Charlotte Morgan, daughter of Joseph Jupp.   Morgan represented the fourth generation of his family to have attended Winchester.  He distinguished himself at school as a runner, and played a prominent part in winning Taylor Cup for his house. His best distance was the half-mile. He was in Sixth Book, a Commoner Prefect and Senior Prefect of his House. He attended Hertford College, Oxford (1935-37), and afterwards worked with Hawthorn Leslie & Co. Engineers, on Tyneside. In 1940 he became junior engineer of the British India Steam Navigation Company’s ship the “MV Domala”.

On Sunday 2nd March 1940 she was sailing from Antwerp having picked up 143 British Indians released by the German government and who were being repatriated, when she was bombed by a Heinkel He111 bomber off the Isle of Wight, in the first naval action in the Channel of the war.

A Dutch steamer, the “Jonge Willem”, came to her assistance but was herself bombed and machine-gunned by the same German aeroplane but without causing serious damage and she was able later to pick up survivors from the Domala.

One of the crew, Chief Officer W. Brawn, described the attack: “The first we saw of the bomber was when it came over with its navigation lights on and flying towards the land. No doubt that was a ruse adopted deliberately to deceive us. We never thought for a moment at that time that it was anything but a friendly patrol. The only precaution we took was to switch off our navigation lights. The machine went out of hearing towards land, and then she made a long curve and approached us aft. She flew over the length of the ship from aft to forward only about thirty to forty feet above the top of the vessel. She then bombed us…. The Heinkel scored three direct hits on the Domala, but a fourth bomb missed…”

The ship caught fire and beached in the Solent where a rescue mission was attempted by several British and Dutch ships who managed to rescue many of the passengers and crew although 108 out of 291 on board died.

Hugh Morgan was amongst those killed and missing, the first Winchester casualty of the Second World War.   He was twenty-two years old and is commemorated on panel 35 of the Tower Hill Memorial.

 

War: World War 2

  • Surname: Morgan
  • Forenames or initials: Hugh Hutchison
  • House: K
  • Years in School: 1930-1935
  • Rank: 4th Engineer
  • Regiment: Merchant Navy
  • Date of Birth: 24th March 1917
  • Date of Death: 2nd March 1940
  • How Died: Killed by enemy action
  • Location in War Cloister: Inner G1
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: Commemorated on Panel 35 of the Tower Hill Memorial