TILAWA 1942  

The Forgotten Tragedy  

Dedicated to the missing & surviving victims of the S.S. Tilawa tragedy

Officially acknowledge the tragedy, and memorialize the loss of 280 lives.


We would like to produce a movie and documentary to bring the story of S.S. Tilawa to the homes of many around the world and ensure this is no longer a forgotten tragedy. This is a story of the Indian people during the Second World War. Follow the journey of Hindus, Muslims, Christians, and others. We want to share with you many of these individual stories, their journey to Bombay, the voyage of Tilawa itself, the Japanese attack, the 2 days out at sea survival, the rescue mission, what happens when returning to India, and the aftermath of what this tragedy did to hundreds of Indian people.


S.S. Tilawa was a passenger cargo liner, owned by the British India Steam Navigation Company. It set sail from Ballard Pier, Bombay on November 20th 1942, bound for ports on the east coast of Africa, including Mombasa and Durban. In the early hours of the morning on November 23rd, in the Indian Ocean 930 miles NE of the Seychelles, the  Japanese I-29 Matsu submarine twice torpedoed S.S. Tilawa. The ship carried 222 crewmen, 4 gunners, and 732 passengers who were mostly Indian nationals. Of the 958 people on board, 252 passengers and 28 crew were lost. Thanks to HMS Birmingham and S.S. Carthage, 678 people were saved. In 2017, the ship was found on the seabed at a depth of about 3500 metres.


We require your help please, and funds for research, produce a script and treatment, produce a documentary and book to tell the Tilawa story, that can also become a movie. We want the funds to be nobly used to ensure Tilawa is prominently featured in the history books, and the story of the Indian people is told. There is a lot more to the Second World War than just Churchill, Hitler, Pearl Harbour and similar.


This is the Indian Titanic story. Please join us and be a part of something truly special in helping to bring closure to so many families around the world who still seek answers to many questions.


Mr. Emile Solanki

Founder of tilawa1942.com

Descendants of the drowned the late Mr. Nichhabhai Chibabhai Solanki