They made the Ultimate Sacrifice
TANZEY, Daniel, OS, P/JX 358923, RN, MPK - 22 Feb 1943, HMCS WEYBURN - Son of John and Mary Elizabeth Tanzey, of Birkenhead, Cheshire.
Remembering Danny Tanzey: My father's elder brother, Daniel Tanzey (but known to everyone as Danny) lied about his age to join the Royal Navy. He was the eldest of 5. The story my father told me was that, after completing his training, he was waiting for a berth; apparently it was a sort of queue - something the British excel at! When it was his turn, it was HMCS WEYBURN. Next in the "queue" were 2 Canadian sailors and they apparently offered Danny a months wages if he would let one of them take the berth, but Danny refused. Obviously, the veracity of this is impossible to ascertain, but it would be reasonable for a man to want to serve in one of his own country's ships. In any event, Danny served on WEYBURN and the rest, as they say, is history. I was named for Danny and I have always tried to live as I hope he would have lived and respected the decisions he made.
(DT01) Portrait of Daniel Tanzey
(DT02) Daniel Tanzey's medals
(DT03) Newspaper article on the sinking of HMCS WEYBURN and the loss of 7 of her crew; and an article on the Royal Navy doctor who treated WEYBURN'S casualties while he himself had two broken legs.
(DT4) London Gazette issue that lists OS Tanzey as Mentioned in Despatches (posthumous)
(DT05-DT08) A personal letter from Lt Patrick S. Milsom to Danial Tanzey's mother detailing her son's actions that saved many of his shipmates, but cost him his life.
Courtesy of Danny Tanzey, nephew of Daniel Tanzey
Transcription of the letter from Lt Milsom to Mrs. Tanzey
C/O F.M.O Halifax N.S, April 1943
Dear Mrs Tanzey,
It is with mixed feelings of regret and pride that I write this - "regret" that your son was lost in the sinking of our ship, yet pride for the gallant manner in which he gave his life while working for the safety of others. I know that official admiralty announcements of casualties are brief and without detail. I felt, therefore, that you might be interested in what I could tell you.
You son joined us at Liverpool October last and was a well-mannered, reliable shipmate during our entire participation in the North African Naval campaign. In numerous air and submarine attack he performed his duties splendidly.
It was during our return voyage to England that we were sunk with the loss of our commanding officer & many of the ships company. As perhaps you may have read, when a naval ship goes down it's depth charges sometimes explode, claiming the lives of many survivors swimming in the water nearby.
Weyburn did not go under for nearly 15 minutes & in this time your son and I worked at top speed to make our depth charges safe. When this was done we abandoned - just at(sic) Weyburn slid under. There was a frightful explosion, caused, it is presumed by a mine. This shock took the lives of many men in the water about me, among them, I fear, your son. By some unexplainable chance I survived. It may ease your thoughts to know the end came instantly & without warning or pain.
Had your son abandoned when the order was given he would undoubtedly have been rescued. As it was he remained to secure the safety of his shipmates. He volunteered.
It is sad though inevitable that when ships go down some of us must go too. I share with you deep sorrow although I am proud that it was my privilege to serve with so gallant a shipmate - and above all, an Englishman.
P.S. Milsom Lieut. R.C.N.V.R.
Ships served in: