Did you know on the night of March 9, 1942, St. Lucia had a taste of war? The C.N.S. “Lady Nelson” and the “SS Umtata” were torpedoed when the German submarine U-161 courageously entered the Castries Harbour.

Numerous people got injured and lives were lost in a disaster which might not have occurred if the mild-screening regulations of the colony had been enforced. As a consequence of the incident, there was pilfering of cargo from one of the damaged ships, which resulted in the death of an innocent man.

Did you know the presence of enemy craft in Caribbean waters was again made known to St. Lucians on May 4, 1942 when survivors from a torpedoed ship arrived on the island in a small lifeboat?

Did you know on May 19, 1942 an American Consulate was opened in Castries? Then a fortnight later, two Red Cross ambulances were purchased in London with a gift of £650 from St. Lucia. On August 1, 1942, the local press published directions from government with regard to the steps that should be taken in the event that Castries was to be attacked by air or sea. Additionally, the Defense Food Production Control Order was cited; it was prescribed that all land owners were to plant and cultivate vegetables in a specified section of the land during each crop year.

Source: Outlines of St. Lucia’s History by Rev. Fr. Charles Jesse – 1994

This feature runs every Tuesday and Thursday. It is written by daughter of the soil Anselma Aimable, a former agricultural officer and former correspondent for Caribbean Net News, who has a deep interest in local culture and history. Send ideas and tips to [email protected]


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  1. Thanks for the info,my interest is piqued. Is that correct though?
    Who gained the ambulances?
    Who was the gift of 650 from? ( I know some will ask if I cannot read but I just find it a bit surprising that St.Lucia was able to offer this gift.


  2. yes i knew that. 20 were left dead and 19 nursing injuries. St.lucia also observed lights off period in which they were not supposed to have any lights on after sunset.


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