Last survivor of sinking passenger ship in Portsmouth Harbour has died

This photo, taken several months before the sinking of the PS Portsdown, shows Samuel Jupe, second from the right, with the rest of his shipmates on board

This photo, taken several months before the sinking of the PS Portsdown, shows Samuel Jupe, second from the right, with the rest of his shipmates on board

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THE last survivor of the sinking of a passenger ship in Portsmouth Harbour has died at the age of 96.

Samuel Jupe was one of the few survivors of the sinking of Passenger Ship Portsdown, an Isle of Wight ferry which hit a German mine near Spitbank Fort, just outside Portsmouth Harbour in the middle of the night on September 20, 1941.

After a huge explosion, PS Portsdown broke in two and 23 crew and passengers were killed.

Mr Jupe, a young deck hand, had a miraculous escape.

He dived over the side and clung to a piece of wreckage, allowing him to swim to the stern and climb aboard.

He then helped launch lifeboats to save the remaining passengers and crew.

Kenneth Jupe, 70, Mr Jupe’s son, said: ‘He did not talk about it much but it definitely stayed with him.

‘We returned to the scene on one of the anniversaries and he said it brought back sad memories for him.

‘Obviously at the age he was he had made many friends on board and many must have died.

‘He was sad that day and he said “it still gets to me, even to this day”.

‘I think he was a very brave man for what he did.

‘He was a tough man – what happened on board PS Portsdown made him tough.’

After working for the Southern Railway ferry service, Mr Jupe was employed as a mate and then a master on several small coastal craft, working on behalf of the Ministry of Transport until the end of the war.

During that time he supplied the D-Day invasion fleet and forward fighting troops with ammunition and water while taking fire from enemy snipers.

After the war he spent most of his time working for the Westminster Dredging Company, which saw him operating all over the world, until he retired in 1982.

Mr Jupe and his wife Lillian Potter emigrated to Nanaimo, a city in British Columbia, Canada, in 1985 to be with their two sons and families.

Lillian died in November 1996.

Mr Jupe leaves behind his eldest son Kenneth and younger son Raymond, grandchildren Brian and Eric, Deborah and Darren, and six great-
grandchildren.

Samuel Jupe: Born December 18, 1917; died November 18, 2014.

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