The Sinking Of The Lancastria



The sinking of the Lancastria in 1940 claimed the greatest number of victims in British maritime history. This programme hears from some of the survivors.


On the 17th of June 1940 thousands of British troops and airmen died as their troopship, the Lancastria, was sunk by German bombers.

Allan Little travels to the French port of St Nazaire on the 70th anniversary of Britain's worst maritime disaster, to tell the story.

We hear from survivors of the ship who miraculously survived the sinking and the chaos of the sea alight with spilled oil.

In particular we follow the story of Ft Lt Albert Hill, the last man off the ship, whose unpublished diary has come to light.

We also find out why, so many years after the story was suppressed by Churchill in the darkest days of the war, there is still a reluctance in England to acknowledge and commemorate the tragedy.

Producer: Susan Marling

A Just Radio production for BBC Radio 4.

From the French coast, Allan Little tells the story of Britain's worst maritime disaster.