THE SUNDERLAND SITE - PAGE 061
SHIPBUILDERS - PAGE 16
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Corrections in any of the material which follows, however tiny, would be most welcome. And additions, of course!
JOHN LAING (1792), NORTH SANDS
JOHN AND DAVID LAING (1793/1796), NORTH SANDS
JOHN LAING (1796/1797), NORTH SANDS
JOHN AND PHILIP LAING (1797/1805), NORTH SANDS & (1804/1818) BRIDGE DOCK
JOHN & JAMES LAING (1816/c.1830), SOUTHWICK
PHILIP LAING (1818/1834), DEPTFORD
LAING & SIMEY (1834/1837), DEPTFORD
PHILIP LAING (c.1837/1843), DEPTFORD
JAMES LAING (became Sir James Laing in 1897) (1843/1898), DEPTFORD
SIR JAMES LAING AND SONS LIMITED (1898/1966), DEPTFORD (name is good per an 1899 share certificate)
OF NORTH SANDS (1792/1805), OF MONKWEARMOUTH, BRIDGE DOCK, JUST WEST OF THE IRON BRIDGE (1804/1818) THEN SOUTHWICK (1816/1830), THEN DEPTFORD, SUNDERLAND (1818/1966)
First a few images. Hover your mouse over each thumbnail to read the subject matter.
Note:- The token in the bottom row above is from an expired e-Bay listing - a 'mudlark' find on the Wear river bank. It dates from the period before Laing's was renamed & incorporated i.e. prior to 1897. We thank vendor 'tallyman' (his store') for its inclusion here.
Whatever data I now have in this section, will, almost certainly expand as new data is received. The increasing number of listings re Laing built vessels has already required a 2nd page - available here.
It would seem that the Laing shipbuilding story in Sunderland commences with two brothers. John Laing (c.1754-1829) and Philip Laing (c.1772-1854), quite a separation in birth dates! Both originated from Pittenweem, near St. Andrews, Fifeshire.
Philip (image at left) is of particular interest, (wife Sophia Lundy Laing). He is variously described as a yeoman farmer and ship-owner. He was, I read, in fact trained as a medical doctor & went to sea as a surgeon. A versatile fellow indeed!
Do note that the reference to Sunderland above is quite important - because the family was also extensively involved with shipbuilding in South Shields, a matter beyond the purposes or objectives of these 'Sunderland' pages.
John Laing (have not located an image of him) had a son named David, who had a short life indeed (c.1775-1796). Philip had two daughters (May & Anne) who are not relevant to this Sunderland shipbuilding story, & also a son James who is most relevant, (Jan. 11, 1823/Dec. 15, 1901, buried at Bishopwearmouth Cemetery).
In or about 1776, John was apprenticed at the North Sands yard of Mr. J. Wright, then the principal shipbuilder on North Sands.
In or about 1792, John went into business for himself at North Sands.
In 1793, David, his son, joined him in that business.
I hope that clearly sets the stage?
David died very soon thereafter (in 1796, at just age 21. I wonder why he died so young?). A year later, John & his brother Philip, joined forces, a partnership which survived through 1818. In 1804 they 'leased (or built)' a dry dock located on the N. bank of the River Wear (Monkwearmouth) beside & to the immediate west of the first iron bridge, then in course of construction, i.e. Bridge Dock. And in 1805 they left North Sands. Philip and John lived on Church Street, Monkwearmouth, near to the yard. A puzzle perhaps is that it is Philip Laing alone who is recorded in 1810 (here at page #586 - but for reasons unknown the entire 1852 The Nautical Magazine volume which was available for download is no longer so available) as then having a yard at Bridge Dock. The actual page can however be seen here.
When we read of such early days, I suspect that none of us, the webmaster included, understand how very tiny the early Sunderland shipbuilding enterprises truly were. And how the owners must have struggled to do what they did - working every daylight hour, at work both hard and physical, with a doubtful return when the vessel was sold, as hopefully it was. The Laings included. The webmaster has read an anecdotal reference to the Laing brothers, Philip and John, which illustrates the point. It is recorded here not in any way to disparage the Laings or to diminish in any way their amazing achievements. Rather to permit to a modern reader some understanding of the reality of the early days of Sunderland shipbuilding. The anecdote comes from a paper, written I think in the 1970s, by James A. Marr (known as Jimmy), who was in fact the Managing Director of 'Laing's'. Maybe not published but I do not know that is so. Hopefully soon the entire work may grace these pages. It now does, on site page - 160 - & it is interesting reading indeed. Anyway, so the story goes:-
Philip and John Laing were not very wealthy. They were both devout churchmen, but it was noticed that they never went to church together. If Philip went in the morning, John went at night. One day, the Priest asked John where his brother was, and it turned out that he was sitting at home in his shirt because they only possessed one pair of decent trousers between them.
The anecdote puts the early shipbuilder history into some perspective, I truly think.
I was interested to read (page #585, here, from that 1852 volume not now available for download) that John & Philip Laing 'were the first to introduce the novelty of a floating dock on our river. They purchased an old man-of-war, one of those "Leviathans," taken during the last war with the Dutch, and after cutting away all her superfluous timbers, converted her into a very useful floating dock for the repair of vessels.'
On May 12, 1818, the John & Philip Laing partnership ended. John, then 64 years of age, left the partnership & set up a shipbuilding business (1818/c1830) at Southwick with his son James. At a site previously 'tenanted' by William Havelock. That site would seem to be a site located on the north bank of River Wear roughly 600 yards east of the (later) Queen Alexandra Bridge. A site that was later occupied by John Candlish. Philip Laing continued on his own at Deptford, on the tip of the 'peninsula' of Deptford, upstream of the iron bridge & on the S. side of the river. At a site said to be next to Howard's yard but also said to have been previously occupied by Mr. Cook. Indeed, I understand that Philip built himself a house on the Deptford site, & lived there, perhaps in 'Deptford House'. James, in fact, was born there. The Deptford house was there until 1856, I read.
The University of Newcastle's 'Sine' project offers a print of the 'Laing' yard at Deptford in the period of 1825 to 1835. Here.
The vacated 'Bridge Dock' was later, it would seem, occupied by Mr. George Hall or maybe by Messrs Hall (in 1852, I think), & then by George Peverall, & later still (1880) by Robert Thompson & Sons.
In 1834, Philip went into partnership with Thomas B. (Boyes) Simey (1798/1871). The partnership was relatively short-lived, ending in c.1837. See here for a little more about Simey - but if you can tell us more, please do so. The business reverted to Philip.
In 1843, Philip's son James (married twice - 16 children, 10 girls & 6 boys, image at right) then just 20 years of age, took over his father's business at Deptford (his father was then 71 years of age).
What happened to his Southwick facility, I wonder? I think it was taken over by Mr. George Hall or Messrs. Hall. Can anyone clarify the matter?
James, it would seem, was the offspring of a second marriage for Philip? Since James's mother was Anne Jobling. James was Chairman of the River Wear Commission for 32 years & a Director of the Suez Canal Company. In the 1881 Census, I read that James was living at Thornhill Hall, Bishopwearmouth, with his wife, four sons, five daughters, & fourteen servants (14 more than I have! And probably 14 more than you have also!). He was knighted in 1897.
I read that 3 of his sons worked at the Deptford yard. Notable perhaps was son Hugh (1871/?) who built, in 1892, the first 'Laing' tanker.
I read also that James Laing was the very first Sunderland shipbuilder to build in iron.
The Deptford business was incorporated on Oct. 3, 1898 as 'Sir James Laing and Sons Limited'. A busy yard! Some 3,000 employees at that time.
James died soon afterwards (on Dec. 15, 1901, at his residence at Etal Manor, Northumberland, after an illness of a fortnight), & the yard incurred major losses in part due to either or probably both of i) the 1907 conversion contract re HMS Cyclops - that seemed to be a puzzle, but the page that caused me to say that is no longer available, or ii) the building of three 'Lloyd Sabaudo' ships (Re D'Italia, Regina D'Italia & Principe di Piemonte) at a loss.
A snippet of data thanks to Ron Stainton. A census in 1901 indicates that Bryan Laing, aged 25, an 'iron shipbuilder', was then living at Ford Hall along with his wife Eleanor, 4 domestic servants & a coachman. Bryan (1875/1941) was one of the many children of Sir James Laing (1823/1901), by his second marriage.
The most interesting image which follows, shows I believe the Sir James Laing & Sons Limited Deptford facilities early in the 20th century, I think around 1910. It comes however from the 1929 edition of 'Port of Sunderland', published by the River Wear Commissioners. The image appears here thanks to Tony Frost, who advises me that 'Laings' had in their history two dry docks, one of which (visible in the image) was opened on Jul. 19, 1860 (Queen Victoria being its first ship) & later filled in to make way for a fitting out quay (the dock gates apparently can be still seen to-day) and also (likely through 1818) a dry dock known as 'Cornhill' on the north bank of the river next to the Robert Thompson yard. 'Cornhill' dry dock continued to exist long after 1818 & is visible in an 1898 Ordnance Survey Map of Southwick Urban District. Roughly at bottom left of the image below.
A most interesting postcard image was provided to the webmaster in Aug. 2012. Which image you can see in black & white here and in its original sepia here. It depicted thousands of men (& some women) outside the Police Station & Magistrates Court in Sunderland, in an image which included an Empire Cinema poster with the date of Feb. 10, 1908 recorded upon it. The vendor indicated that it possibly related to a strike or protest meeting against unemployment as there was a depression in shipbuilding at that time. The vendor added that on Feb. 12, 1908, Sunderland Town Council cut off the electricity supply to the shipbuilding yard of Sir James Laing as it owed them over £2,000. Laing's was soon after declared bankrupt, creating more unemployment. And ... later that month, 300 soldiers were drafted into Sunderland at the request of the Town Council because of rioting. We thank 'northern_collectables' for that fine data, part of their e-Bay listing.
The above confirms what I had earlier read that the company had to stop operating in 1908 & had liabilities way in excess of its then assets. What was then proposed was that a new company be formed & that the creditors accept shares in lieu of their debts. Can anybody tell us what actually was later done? Was, in fact, a new company formed or was the existing company restructured? The 'new company' was also, I read, named 'Sir James Laing and Sons Limited.'
James Marr, [(1854/1932), later (1919) Sir James Marr, obituary etc.], an experienced shipbuilder who was Managing Director of Joseph L. Thompson & Sons Limited since 1901, in 1909 joined the company, & gradually restored its financial success. The yard, at about that time, had 5 building berths & a graving dock.
During WW1, the yard built 18 vessels, of combined 109,924 tons.
On Jun. 15, 1917, King George V & Queen Mary visited the 'Sir James Laing & Sons' shipyard, to support the yard's shipbuilding efforts during World War I. Some famous images of the visit resulted, particularly one of the King bending down to speak with a very young rivet heater or ‘paintpot lad’ - of about 8 years old - beside a furnace similar to that visible in the 'Joseph L. Thompson' yard image at left.
I find the data re the two 1917 'rivet heater' images to be confusing. One seems to be at the 'James Laing' yard & the other at the 'Joseph L. Thompson' yard. Have I recorded the detail correctly? One of the 'rivet heaters' was John Cassidy, I believe, but which of the 2 images shows him?
Next below is a fine (1930s? but read on) image, of the 'Robert Thompson & Sons Limited' shipyard in the foreground & of the 'Sir James Laing & Sons Limited' shipyard across the river with the Ayres Quay area behind it. A correspondent has suggested that the image, of 'Laing's Bend', dates to the 1930s, before Laings built their main berth launching downstream. 'Robert Thompson', went out of business in 1930, so the image may date, in fact, from even earlier. But .... Geoff Bethell, of New Zealand, advises that he has enlarged the image particularly in the centre top area where a bridge is faintly visible. Geoff indicates that he cannot spot any indication of another bridge behind the railway bridge. Which would adjust the image dating to the late 1920s at the latest - since from 1927 to 1929 the road bridge with its distinctive arch was being built to replace the previous road bridge that had no arch at all. Thanks, Geoff, for your interest & your diligence.
The image I show is not even, of the entire available image! Newcastle Libraries have kindly provided, on 'Flickr', a large series of images mainly Newcastle related. But this splendid image of Sunderland is included. Thanks so much Newcastle Libraries! You can see the whole set here & can see this particular image here. And can order a print via that page should you so wish.
The company struggled to survive the Depression.
Activity increased during WW2, a period when it became of paramount importance that the WW2 shipping losses be replaced.
Sunderland came under aerial attack by the Luftwaffe - four men killed in one air raid on the 'Laing' yard in 1940.
In 1942, it would seem that the facilities were expanded with the building of a new shipbuilding berth on the site that used to be occupied by the Ayre's Quay Bottle Company. A company of which Laing was the principal proprietor.
I note in passing that William B. (Bell) Marr (1881/?), the youngest son of Sir James Marr, was later Chairman of the company. And that Allan J. Marr, next generation perhaps, was its Managing Director. No dates re either roles.
The later history, though relatively recent, is to the webmaster a matter of some confusion. The following is what I think happened:- In 1954, the company became one of many subsidiaries of 'Sunderland Shipbuilding Dry Docks & Engineering Company Ltd.' which also included Thompson's and 'Sunderland Forge'. The name 'Sir James Laing and Sons Ltd.' therefore continued to exist. That name ceased to exist on Mar. 31, 1966, when Doxfords joined the group & the operating company became 'Doxford and Sunderland Shipbuilding and Engineering Company Limited'. Court Line took over the firm in 1971, renaming it 'Sunderland Shipbuilders Ltd.' – it soon collapsed, the yards being taken under Government control. In 1977, following the nationalisation of shipbuilding, Austin and Pickersgill Ltd. joined the Doxford, Thompson and Laing yards to become part of British Shipbuilders Ltd. And later the yards become part of 'North East Shipbuilders Ltd.' The venture was not a success, & did not last long.
I should indicate that the data in the previous paragraph may well prove to be in error. Dr. Buxton, who has researched the history most extensively, describes it quite differently in his article referred to below.
The very last vessel built at the 'Laing' yard was the Mitla, launched in 1985.
A quite complicated history!
Much of the above data comes from a fine George Taylor & Sarah Stoner article about 'Laings' that appeared in the Sunderland Echo of Nov. 7, 2006. The article is available here. With more data from here (the website of George H. Graham of Tulsa, Oklahoma). And from a most interesting article by Dr. Ian Buxton, now available on site here & also available here, (at pages 5 thru 11, or true pages 16 thru 22, in a 'pdf' file made available by the 'Maritime Information Association'). Dr. Buxton states what I had long suspected, that the various publications & WWW sites (including surely this one!), carry over errors, misprints & misinterpretations from one account to another. And with each telling of the story the data becomes increasingly accepted as the truth. I surely must be guilty of the offence, since access to original documents is just not possible from where I live, in far away Canada. Anyway, Dr. Buxton, has provided his interpretation of the total 'Laing' evidence at that link, to 'correct the record', if you will. In reading Dr. Buxton's words, the 'Laings', it would seem had shipbuilding yards on the Tyne also (that was news to me). And possibly, during the years of 1834/7, Philip may have run a shipyard at St. Aubin, Jersey, Channel Islands leaving the running of the Deptford yard to Simey - there was a Philip Laing who built 11 ships at Jersey. To add confusion, with each partnership, & there were a number of partnerships as the years passed by, a new numerical vessels build list was created, so there would be multiple vessels numbered #1 as an example. I invite you to read for yourself Dr. Buxton's 6 1/2 page text, an important contribution to the total 'Laing' history, & one which I have tried to introduce throughout the above text. And from the 'Laing' chapter in Norman L. Middlemiss's 'British Shipbuilding Yards', number 1 of 3 volumes, which covers the North-East. And there was, of course, additional data from many other lesser sources also.
Next, an atmospheric image of the end of the 'Laing' yard & 'Laing' shipbuilding history in Sunderland. A beautiful image indeed, available in a larger size here. I learn that it came from 'Changing Tide, The Final Years of Sunderland Shipbuilding', by Ray Nichols, published by Sunderland and Hartlepool Publishing in 1990. The view is looking up river with Southwick beyond. At right is Wear Hopper No 3 (or maybe #4), built (both of them) at the Joseph L. Thompson yard, awaiting slurry from Weamouth Colliery for dumping at sea, a daily sight not that many years ago. I have not sought permission to include the image here, but will remove it (if sadly) upon request.
I am advised also that there was a Laing shipbuilding business in Liverpool. Related to that of the Sunderland Laings? Or possibly a quite different Laing family? The detail is most similar.
The 'Baines' 1824 Liverpool Name Directory, records:
'Laing John & Philip & Co.', shipbuilders & smiths, located at 2 Gower st., in Liverpool, &
'Laing Philip', ship builder, residing (I think) at 4 South Hunter street.
The 'Baines' 1825 Liverpool Street Directory with Residents, records:
'Laing J. & P. and Co.' at 'GOWER STREET, 1, Cornhill', &
'Laing Philip' of 'HUNTER ST. S. 2, Hardman street'.
Is there a relationship with the Sunderland Laings? If you know, do please be in touch.
A summary history of the 'Laing' (yard & family) is available here.
Lists? Firstly there is, on site now, a 'Laing' build list from its earliest days in 1794 thru to the very end. Here. There is also, I read, a manuscript in the Tyne & Wear archives, which records details about the Philip Laing built vessels. ('Philip Laing's Ships Particulars Book' 'TWAS 1811/33/1'). Miramar's lists? 21 pages, (highest hull number on page). It used to be that you could click on the links that follow & get to the relevant Miramar page. But no longer! The new procedure must be to go to Miramar (here) & log in (you must be registered to view any page). And once you are logged in, return to this page & all the following links should work for you:- 33, 62, 90, 170, 200, 231, 263, 291, 323, 514, 545, 574, 605, 635, 669, 695, 724, 754, 785, 816, 838. The list continues re 'Doxford & Sunderland Shipbuilding and Engineering Co. Ltd. or maybe 'Group'' then to 'Doxford & Sunderland Ltd.' and then to 'Sunderland Shipbuilders Ltd.'
Names of just a few of the vessels constructed by the 'Laing' companies - added as I happen to spot references to them. In a table in build date sequence. And alphabetically within a year. But just a start! The first of 2 pages, the second being here.
Other vessels to be added in below when detail is available. La Chocra, La Pampa, Polly, Vishva Pankaj. For which I have even less data than for the ones listed below. And that data is limited enough! Many more probably via a Google search.
A wooden brig. Built for Captain Forster of Whitburn. The second 'Laing' built vessel. So far I have not located any significant detail or an image.
First ship with chain cables (rather than hempen rope). Referred to in 'Where Ships Are Born'.
A fully rigged ship. Its initial owner would seem to have been 'Laing & Co.' So built on speculation? Used in the tea trade.
A fully rigged ship. Per 1 (1830 wreck), 2 & 3 (177 passengers, 3rd group, & name list), 4 (5 ships, incl. Rockingham, driven ashore), 5 (1833 offer of sale of Rockingham hull, bottom of middle column), 6 (background data re Clarence & Rockingham). The webmaster has many editions of Lloyd's Register available, see left, but the captain & owner names are confusing. The vessel's initial owner would seem to have been 'J. Laing', so it would appear that it was built on speculation. By Sep. 10, 1819, the vessel was licenced for the 1819 season to serve 'The East India Company', & was then owned by 'H. Blanshard', likely of London. Its first Indian voyage was to Fort St. George, a military & trading fort built in 1644 at what later became Madras, now Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. The fort is still there today, all of these centuries later. The 1824/25 edition of Lloyd's Register records 'Waughn' as the vessel's then owner, & the vessel leaving London for Calcutta on Sep. 29, 1824 under the command of C. (Charles) Beech (or Beach). The 1826/27 edition of Lloyd's Register reports the name of 'Fotheringham' as both the owner & the captain. The vessel would seem to have traded for about 11 years from London to India, including to the ports of Bombay & Calcutta (today Mumbai & Kolkata). The 1830/31 edition of Lloyd's Register indicates the vessel trading between London & the Swan River Settlement, the settlement which later became the city of Perth in Western Australia, with Fremantle its port (Charles Fremantle, the Captain of HMS Challenger, declared the Swan River Colony for Britain on May 2, 1829). On Jan. 9, 1830 (I think), the vessel, chartered by Mr. Thomas Peel, cousin of British Prime Minister Robert Peel, left London for the Swan River Settlement, Captain Haliburton in command, with 177 passengers, a crew of 25 & a general cargo - to continue the establishment of the colony - the vessel chartered & financed by Solomon Levey. The vessel may then have been owned by a Captain Willet. It arrived safely, on May 13, 1830, & on the next day the passengers were landed. The vessel anchored at Cockburn Sound, Careening Bay, off Clarence. On May 20, 1830, a major gale from the north-west, a gale that lasted two days & nights, hit the coast. Rockingham along with 4 other vessels that had been moored at Gage's Roads & New Anchorage [Thames (also a ship), Emily Taylor & James (both brigs) & Bombay (a ketch)] were driven onto the beach, Rockingham being driven ashore broadside. A contributing factor may have been that Rockingham's capstan apparently broke. There was no loss of life, the ship was floated off & anchored at Garden Island. It was repaired & put out to sea. It soon returned, 'in a most leaky state', was surveyed & determined to be unseaworthy. It would appear to have later sunk, in Apl. 1831, at its Garden Island moorings. In Jan. 1833, the hulk of the ship was offered for sale by William Lamb, of Fremantle, along with 'chain cable & an anchor for a ship of 500 tons', likely gear from the Rockingham. The wreck is apparently still there today. The ship's passengers established the nearby settlement of Rockingham, a few miles to the south of Fremantle, presumably named after the ship. 'The Ship Rockingham' (7, 8), a 1980 17 page booklet written & most beautifully illustrated throughout by marine artist Ross H. Shardlow ('Shardlow'), covers the history of the ship & also of Clarence, one of Western Australia's first European settlements, dating from 1829/30. Shardlow also oil painted Rockingham being loaded for her final voyage. The City of Rockingham has a fine wooden model of the ship on display in its Administration building. Chris Mews advises (thanks Chris!) that his GGG grandfather Thomas W. Mews, a shipwright, was one of the passengers on that final voyage. Rodney Read, whose ancestor George Read was also aboard, has kindly provided images of his painting of Rockingham (at left) & of a second work seen here. Can you add anything? No.1898
634 & 720 (later 673) tons
A fully rigged 3-masted wooden ship, similar in appearance to a 'Blackwall Frigate' i.e. with imitation gun ports. That said, the vessel would seem to have had 4 guns on its 1843 voyage to Hobart. Per 1 (Duncan Dunbar history), 2 (convict passengers, 1843 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, i.e. Tasmania), 3 & 4 (1850 voyage to Lyttelton), 5 (2 images of 1850 Cressy arrival at Port Lyttelton ex 6 & 7), 8 (related colour image), 9 (extensive NZ archive materials re Cressy). The vessel is not Miramar listed. 130.0 ft. long, signal letters HBKQ. Built for Duncan Dunbar & Co., of London, for an intended voyage per Lloyd's Register to Hobart, then Van Diemen's Land, now Tasmania. On Apl. 30, 1843, the vessel left Plymouth on its maiden voyage, James Molison in command, with 296 convicts aboard, bound for Hobart, arriving there on Aug. 20, 1843, with 295 convicts, after a voyage of 112 days. A prominent passenger was Sir John Eardley-Wilmot, appointed the 6th Lieutenant Governor of Van Diemen's Land. He was landed at nearby? Lagoon Bay, the vessel having overshot the entrance to Storm Bay due to a navigational problem. Do read below about just one of those 296 convicts. The vessel left for Sydney, New South Wales, 'with troops & stores', went on to Guam in ballast & eventually returned to London. On May 10, 1847, the vessel left Plymouth for Adelaide, South Australia, with 278 emigrants. It arrived at Adelaide on Aug. 19, 1847 after a voyage of 97 days, & later left for Bombay. By 1846/47, the vessel had been rerigged as a barque, & likely was serving Barbados, West Indies. Later, in 1850, the vessel was one of 4 vessels engaged by 'The Canterbury Association' that carried passengers to New Zealand ('NZ') - the others being Charlotte-Jane, Randolph & Sir George Seymour. With Captain J. D. Bell in command, Cressy carried 'about 155 passengers', both colonists & emigrants, from Gravesend & Plymouth (left Sep. 7, 1850) to Port Lyttelton, NZ, for Canterbury, arriving on Dec. 27, 1850, 10/11 days later than the other three ships in part because her fore-top-mast 'had been badly sprung' S. of the Cape of Good Hope. Can anybody explain the many references to 'about 155 passengers'? 4 refers to the ship having landed 200 emigrants & 5 seems to list 219 names. Perhaps 155 was the number of adult passengers? The vessel returned to London in Dec. 1851, via Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) & Madras, (now Chennai), India. On Jan. 11 or 12, 1856, the vessel arrived at Sydney, ex Plymouth, with 264 'statute adult' emigrants, chiefly Irish agricultural workers. During the voyage, a sailor fell overboard from aloft & was lost. The vessel later (Feb. 17, 1856) left for Madras. On Jul. 13, 1857, a vessel named Cressy left England for Calcutta, India, with 238 troops to help quell the Sepoy mutinies (Indian Rebellion of 1857). A large number of ships (a total of 72) were, it would seem, commissioned by the East India Company to carry needed troops (27,452 men) to India, & the ship may very well have been 'our' Cressy, & not the 80 gun Navy ship of identical name. What later happened to the vessel? It would seem that the vessel, always named Cressy, continued to be owned by Duncan Dunbar to about 1860, mainly trading to India. The 1860/61 edition of Lloyd's Register records that the vessel had then been sold, to 'Castellain & Co.', of Liverpool - still trading to India. And the 1864/65 edition advises that the vessel had foundered.
This listing was advanced with the assistance of Tony Worman, of Elmswell, Suffolk, whose great great granduncle, Frederick Grimmer, was one of the 296 convicts sent to Hobart in 1843. Before being placed aboard Cressy, Frederick, just 19 years old, was imprisoned for about 13 months, along with many others, aboard HMS York, a hulk moored at Gosport, Hampshire. A sentence of 7 years, 13 months in a hulk, & a one-way ticket to Hobart, for his awful crime, which was, I am advised, stealing 14 lbs of copper! Thanks, Tony, for your welcome input. Can anybody provide detail as to the vessel's loss in or about 1863/4, or otherwise add to or correct the above? No.1881
543 (or 669) tons (561 in 1872/73)
A fully rigged ship, with imitation gun ports - which was reduced to a barque in 1854/55. Intended to be Abyssinia. But launched as Agincourt for Duncan Dunbar, of London. James Laing's first ship built after he took over the business in 1843. Referred to, as Agincourt, in 'Where Ships Are Born'. 1 (extensive details), 2 (1849 voyage to Australia), 3 (1855 voyage). The vessel made a number of voyages to Australia. Some notes re just a few of the many such voyages. On Jul. 5, 1844, Agincourt, Captain Neatby in command, left Woolwich, River Thames, for Norfolk Island ('NI'), Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) with about 225 convicts ex Millbank Penitentiary. 220 convicts were landed at NI on Nov. 9, 1844 (a number died during the passage & one escaped at Cape of Good Hope) & the ship left for Sydney, New South Wales on the 12th. It returned to NI where a number of members of the 99th & 58th Regiments tried to escape but were recaptured. On Jan. 23, 1845 the vessel departed for London, via Ceylon & Calcutta, India. On Oct. 10, 1849, the vessel left Plymouth for Adelaide, South Australia (arrived Feb. 1, 1850) with 261 passengers & emigrants. It left Hobart for San Francisco, U.S.A., on Apl. 21, 1850 under the command of Captain Cumberland. On Dec. 4, 1855, the vessel, Captain E. J. Pashley in command, again arrived at Adelaide ex Plymouth with 240 Irish emigrants. There were many additional voyages to Australia, it would seem every year thru 1860. Search at Trove Australia. In 1862/63, when Duncan Dunbar died, the vessel became owned by William Henry Haynes, initially of London & later of Liverpool. Signal letters HBKN. Lloyd's Registers record intended service to Aden, India, S. America, New Orleans & Spain in her later years. I cannot tell you what eventually happened to her. The vessel was still recorded in the Lloyd's Register of 1885/86 but was not recorded in the 1887/88 edition. 1 advises (thanks!) that in 1878 the vessel was sold to Spanish owners who continued to have her surveyed & registered in England - until 1885 after which her fate is unknown. Jason Naylor, of Brisbane, Australia, whose ancestors arrived aboard the vessel at Port Adelaide in Feb. 1850, seeks any kind of image of the vessel. You might contact the webmaster also if any site visitor has such an image or otherwise has anything to add.
7 Philip Laing
547 (or 459) tons
A barque, an emigrant ship. Per 1 (image of ship's arrival at Dunedin, New Zealand ('NZ') in 1848), 2 (a 1948 postage stamp), 3 (passenger list), 4 (model of Philip Laing ex the Otago Witness (5) of Oct. 1, 1902). Built for 'Laing & Ridley' of Liverpool. The ship was the 2nd ship to arrive at Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand ('NZ'), with immigrants. She left Greenock, Glasgow, Firth of Clyde, on Nov. 23, 1847, for NZ (via Milford Haven) & arrived at Port Chalmers, (Dunedin), on Apl. 15, 1848 with 243 immigrants aboard (but there are other reported numbers). Her Captain was A. J. Ellis, & the Rev. Dr. Burns was the leader of the emigrants, all Scots Free Churchman seeking a better life. And not therefore emigrating to avoid religious persecution. I have read that the passage took 112 days with 216 miles covered on her best day's run. And that the cost of passage varied from 35 to 60 guineas for cabin, 20 guineas for fore-cabin & 16 guineas for steerage passengers. That data from 'Sea Breezes' in early 1948. Her ship's bell, I read, was used to replace the cracked & broken bell of the local town church. There are many links to the above 1847 voyage but what happened to the vessel later on? I have seen a ref. to a Dec. 23, 1856 arrival at Wellington, NZ. And possibly to a NZ arrival in 1857. But later that that? Anything to add?
512 (or 500 or 485) tons
A 3 masted wooden barque, a 'convict' ship, for one voyage at least. Per 1 (data, 1849 'convict' voyage to Hobart), 2 (passenger (convict) list in report of Alexander Kilroy, the vessel's surgeon. But, a puzzle to me, the passenger list is no longer at that site & I cannot WWW find it anywhere else. I wonder why it was cut? If anybody has it, I'll add it in on site so it IS available), 3 (extensive detail re Belinda King, a 'convict', aboard because she killed a sheep 'with intent to steal same'), 4 & 5 (1855 wreck data). The vessel is not Miramar listed. The webmaster has some editions of Lloyd's Register available to him ex 'Google' books, see left. 117.0 ft. long. Built for 'Riddell & Co.' ('Riddell') of London, for service to Hobart, Tasmania. Riddell, were, it would seem, merchants, commission agents, dealers & chapmen & went bankrupt on Nov. 9, 1855. Per Lloyd's just one Captain, i.e. 'McPherson', it would seem during the 'Riddell' period of ownership. But apparently not. On Jun. 26, 1849, the vessel left Kingstown, Dublin, Ireland, under the command of James Connell, with 200 female convicts, 3 of whom died during the course of the 95 day voyage to Hobart, Tasmania, (Van Diemen's Land). The vessel arrived at Hobart on Sep. 29, 1849, with 197 convicts & 28 children. These were not convicts as we now understand the meaning of the word - their 'crimes' were petty indeed. In the 1855/56 edition of Lloyd's, 'McPherson & Co.' had become the vessel's owners with D. Lindsay the Captain. On Mar. 19, 1855, Captain Lindsay in command (McPherson the captain per 5), the vessel was at anchor, at Portland, SW Victoria, Australia, in process of loading a cargo of wool for Melbourne, also in the State of Victoria, & ultimately no doubt for London. A cable, presumably attached to the ship's anchor, parted in a south easterly gale & the vessel dragged its 2nd anchor. It was driven stern first onto a beach or reef, turned broadside & broke up. It is believed with no lives were lost in the disaster. Robin Mcilraith tells me (thanks Robin!) that the crew were, in fact, stranded for a month, then picked up by a small sailing ship & taken to Sydney where the crew was paid off. Constant, a similar sized (525 ton) barque, was also wrecked at Portland in the same gale. Anything to add?
742 & 916 (later 832) tons
A fully rigged 3-masted ship. Data about the vessel is confused, even the name which I have seen referred to as Mindon & even Mindoro. Minden, however, is correct. A fully rigged ship most briefly mentioned (one line in a table) in 'Blackwall Frigates' of 1922 by Basil Lubbock (1876/1944). 148.0 ft. long, with a lion figurehead. The webmaster has many editions of Lloyd's Register available to him almost entirely ex 'Google' books, see left. The webmaster does not pretend to be an expert on ships, most particularly about 'Blackwall Frigates'. He understands, however, that the earliest such ships had sides pierced with gun openings, so the vessels could become war ships if that proved necessary. He thinks however that the later vessels were constructed rather to look as though they were armed, to ward off pirates perhaps, but that the gun ports were in fact imitations. As would be likely re this ship. By all means correct me if I have that wrong. Per 1 (an 85 page, 'Kevin Norman' research paper about Minden & her 1851 voyage to Fremantle), 2 (50% down, what a fine page!). There was a website about the Duncan Dunbar family & ships - I had hoped that it would reactivate but it would not seem to have done so - it was here & here. The vessel was built, for approx. £12,681, for Duncan Dunbar whose vast fleet was engaged as 'troopships in the Crimean War, carrying convicts to Australia, emigrants to New Zealand & Australia, tea home from China & spices & many other things from India'. Her maiden voyage was to Calcutta, India, in 90 days, via the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, & that became her regular route. Along the way, Minden was chartered by The Admiralty for the carriage of convicts to Australia. Do be sure to access the extensive data at 1. And the additional data at 2 (Ward Swale), both about a Minden voyage as a convict ship which left Woolwich, London, on or about Jul. 4, 1851. The final departure for Fremantle, Western Australia, was from Plymouth, on Jul. 21, 1851, after picking up additional convicts at Portsmouth, Cowes, Portland & Plymouth, with a total of 302 convicts & 459 aboard all told including the crew & the pensioner guards. The vessel returned to London via Madras, India, & there were later voyages to Madras in the succeeding years. The vessel later voyaged from Liverpool to Melbourne, Australia, it would seem. 2 refers to an Apl. 26, 1856 voyage from Liverpool to Port Phillip, Melbourne, where it arrived on Jul. 14, 1856 with a total of 351 passengers. Were they passengers, I wonder? Or convicts? The vessel was sold, in 1863, to William O. (Ogsten) Young, of Cornhill, London, was sold again in 1868 to Edwin Fox, a merchant also of Cornhill, & in 1869 was sold to H. A. Bell of London. H. A. Bell was also the vessel's captain, I see. The last listing for the vessel in Lloyd's Registers is in the 1873/74 edition. I should note however, that the WWW site referred to above, i.e. the site that is no more, used to indicate that the vessel had in fact foundered, in 1889, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, while on a voyage from Quebec, Canada, to Cardiff, Wales. Can you add anything? A print or engraving of the vessel?
10 Vimeira (or Vimiera)
A fully rigged ship, built for the Australia trade. Per 1 (data re the launch is available here - thanks!), 2 (also the launch), 3 (image of vessel, 10th item down page). The vessel is not Miramar listed. Much confusion as to the vessel's name. It was registered as Vimeira & not as Vimiera. 165.0 ft. long, signal letters HFKR. Built for Duncan Dunbar & Sons. Sold 4 times, I think, per this (no longer operative but will hopefully soon be resurrected) page. i.e. 1863 to Gellatly, Sewell & Co., 1870 to 'J. & R. Grant', 1887 to 'T. Goldfinch', all three of London, & 1888 to 'N. Olsen', of Arendal, Norway. The Mercantile Navy List of 1870 records, however, Gellatly, Hankey, and Sewell, of London, as the vessel's owner while the 1880 edition reports John Grant, also of London. A fine image by George Schutze, a ship's captain & photographer, of Vimiera (the same ship?) is available via this page. Or from here. Anything you can add? B
First 'Laing' iron ship. A cargo ship. Per 1 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Built for Smith, Scurfield & Co., of London. Polish-born Józef Korzeniowski (later famous as writer Joseph Conrad) served as the ship's second mate from 1891-93. Can you add anything?
1321 (or 1167) tons
A clipper. 3 masts. An emigrant/cargo ship. Per A (e-Bay postcard, James Johnson), 1 (data), 2 (re wreck), 3 (no longer operative, but a site that hopefully will soon be resurrected), 4 (extensive data), 5 (image of Johnson, ex 6, 1/3rd down page), 7 (data, about 30% down, ex a talk (2006?) by Rear Admiral David Dunbar-Nasmith), 8 ('pdf' re wreck), 9 (rescue of Johnson). Said to be the largest ship then built in Sunderland. Built of English oak with decks of East India teak, at a cost of over £30,000. Built for Duncan Dunbar but initially requisitioned by the Royal Navy & used to transport troops to the Crimean War. The vessel's first trip to Australia was in 1856. She stayed at Sydney for 3 months before returning to London. Her second (& last) trip to Australia commenced on May 31, 1857 with 63 (or 64?) passengers (many of whom were prominent citizens of Sydney), a crew of 59 & a varied cargo that included dies for the colony's first postage stamps. Captain Green was in command. On Aug 21, 1857, in a gale & poor visibility, the vessel ran aground approaching Sydney Harbour. The vessel was turned as the breakers were seen ahead, but turned in fact closer to the cliffs. 1 says hit 'just to the south of The Gap on South Head.' Dunbar began to immediately break up. All aboard lost except for one - James Johnson, an able seaman, who was hurled from the deck onto a rocky ledge, climbed out of the reach of the waves & remained on the cliff face until being rescued 1 1/2 days later on Aug. 22 by Antonia Wollier or maybe by the diver Joseph Palmer (data varies, I read). 7 indicates 'an Icelandic (but see 9) youth in the crowd volunteered to be lowered down the cliffs on a rope and Johnson was hauled up. I am glad to say that the crowd were sufficiently moved to have a collection for the Icelandic lad and he went home with £10 or £11 in his pocket. (worth £400 at today's values).' An inquest was held - 'there may have been an error of judgement in the vessel being so close to the shore at night in such bad weather but they do not attach any blame to Captain Green or his officers for the loss of the "Dunbar".' Johnson became a lighthouse keeper near Newcastle & in 1866, as lifeboat coxswain, helped rescue the sole survivor from the wreck of Cawarra at Newcastle. He may have lived until as late as 1902. Anyway 121 died. Ship lost. Mass funeral held. List of passengers & crew is available. A dive site today, but little left to see, it would seem. The cliffs where she hit look brutal. A major disaster in Australian history - Australia's Titanic. Again from 7:- 'A funeral was held in Sydney for the dead. The Artillery band played the Dead March from Saul with fine effect. Shops were closed and streets were lined with silent, awestruck citizens.' Now Mark Twain (Samuel L. Clemens) would seem to have written a book entitled 'Following the Equator'. In it (at page 55) he seems to refer to the wreck of Dunbar though he names it the Duncan Dunbar. It surely looks like the same story. He writes, about Johnson 'He was a person with a practical turn of mind, and he hired a hall in Sydney and exhibited himself at sixpence a head till he exhausted the output of the gold fields for that year'. History is dull? Anything to add?
13 Black Diamond
A cargo ship. Per 1 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Built for J. Hughes et al, of London.
14 La Hogue
1331 (or 1321) tons
A 3-masted full-rigged wooden ship. Per 1 (extensive data), 2 (extensive data & 3 images), 3 (data), 4 (image). 226.0 ft. long, signal letters PLMR. The vessel was built for Duncan Dunbar (maybe Duncan Dunbar & Sons) for the Australia/New Zealand ('NZ') trade. A 'frigate' style ship which means, I read, that she had a white band painted down each side into which were painted imitation gun ports - to frighten off pirates in the China Seas. Featured in an 'Illustrated London News' article of Aug. 11, 1855 (text 1/3rd down 2). The vessel carried general cargo & emigrants to Australia/NZ & returned to U.K. with wool. The vessel was sold, in 1862, on the death of Duncan Dunbar. In 1863 it was owned, it would seem by Devitt & Moore, (or maybe by Devitt & Co.) of London. 3 says owned by Devitt & Co. from 1861 thru 1864. The vessel stayed on the Australia run until 1886 when it was sold to Thomas Hick, of London, for use in the Baltic timber trade. Later, at a date unknown to the webmaster, the vessel was sold to a Madeira coaling firm & used as a coal hulk at Funchal, Madeira. Maybe the vessel was run down & sunk by a steamship during WW1 (per 1), which seems unlikely however, since that same link also refers to the vessel being broken up in 1898, per Lubbock (who actually states 1897) in 'Blackwall Frigates'. Luc van Coolput has kindly provided data from the 1899/1900 edition of Lloyd's Register (at left) which states that the vessel was broken up in 1898, but also indicates that the vessel was then still registered in the name of 'T. Hick'. Can you add more data? We seem to be doing well with images.
A cargo ship. Per 1 (Board of Trade inquiry into 1876 grounding, ex 'Accounts and Papers', published 1876, a 'Google' book), 2 (Miramar, you now must be registered to access). The vessel was launched as Lowestoft. 176 ft. 8 in. long perpendicular to perpendicular, 345 net tons, signal letters LDFW. Built for J. V. Gooch & Co., of London, recorded as the owners in 1856/57 per Lloyd's Register at left. In the 1858/59 Lloyd's Register the vessel is recorded as Vulture. What a lovely name! (There would seem to have been another vessel of the name, a paddle steamer built in 1864 at Glasgow!) It may be that Charles Capper, of London, was the manager along the way. On Jan. 15, 1876, Vulture, a 'John Viret Gooch' owned vessel registered at London, George Caine in command, left Rouen, France, in ballast, bound for Cardiff, Wales, with a crew of 17 all told. By late Jan. 16, 1876, the vessel had passed both The Lizard & Hartland Light. On the morning of Jan. 17, 1876, the vessel ran aground on the W. end of Nash Sands. She was there for 3 hours, floated free but 'she struck heavily two or three times and the mainshaft broke'. At 7:15 a.m. she got off with canvas set, met a tug near Barry & was towed into Cardiff to effect repairs. The grounding was caused by navigational errors in the hazy conditions. In the 1878/79 thru 1883/84 Lloyd's Registers, J. V. Gooch, is said to still be the owner of Vulture. In the 1887/88 & 1889/1890 Lloyd's Registers, Vulture is stated to be owned by Capt. E. Jenkins of London. I have not read what later happened to the vessel. Do you happen to know?
A cargo ship. Per 1 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Mentioned in 'Where Ships Are Born'. Built for Bell & Co., of Sunderland. Just to get the name onto the site! Hopefully more in due course. Anything you can add?
17 Duncan Dunbar
1374 (or 1490) tons
A fully rigged, 3 masted, emigrant/cargo ship. Not a clipper ship. A composite ship, framing of oak, decking & mast of teak, & hull of iron. See 1 & 2 (essentially the same data), 3 (no longer operative, but a site that hopefully will soon be resurrected), 4 (the launch of Duncan Dunbar, a description of the scene), 5 (data, about 30% down, a talk (2006?) by Rear Admiral David Dunbar-Nasmith), 6 & 7 (1860 & 1862 voyages, passenger data etc.) 8 (a book re the wreck), 9 (San Marino ship stamp), 10, 11 & 12 (artworks), 13 (diary references re 1865 wreck), 14 (many pages re the Inquiry into the wreck of Duncan Dunbar). 260 ft. long, with a keel of 229 ft. 2 inches long. A 'frigate' style ship, with a white band painted down each side with imitation gun ports intended to ward off pirates. Built for Duncan Dunbar & Co. ('Sons'), of Limehouse, London. Now link 2 states that the vessel was built in 1853, which date should, I believe, rather be 1857. Dunbar, it would seem, was launched on Nov. 30, 1853, & Duncan Dunbar was launched on May 18, 1857. Named after Duncan Dunbar (1803/1862), then the owner of Duncan Dunbar & Co., or perhaps after his father of the same name (died 1825). The vessel was engaged in the passenger trade to Australia. It made some very fast passages but I have not read any detail. In an 1864 voyage from Sydney to the U.K., she carried 8,120 bales of wool, 891 casks of tallow, 300 cabin & 100 steerage passengers. The vessel was sold, in 1865 I believe, to Gellatly, Hankey & Sewell (Edward Gellatly, was an executor of the estate of Duncan Dunbar (died on Mar. 6, 1862) & previously had been shipping manager for Sons). On Aug. 28, 1865, under the command of Captain James B. (Banks) Swanson, (he owned 4/64 of the ship), the vessel left London, bound for Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, via Plymouth, Devon, with 70 passengers (mostly cabin) & a crew of 47, a total of 118 persons aboard all told, & a general cargo. On Oct. 7, 1865, the vessel ran aground, at 10:30 p.m. & at high tide, on the Las Roccas reef, (Brazilian), 128 miles off Cape San Roque on the coast of Brazil. At 33.45W/3.52S. There were insufficient boats for all aboard. Next morning, the Captain succeeded in reaching a low lying sand islet & with great difficulty, the ship constantly & violently rolling, everyone was safely landed there by boat & raft. On Oct. 11, 1865, the Captain left in an open lifeboat with 6 sailors & Mr. Galloway, a passenger, in an attempt to sail to Pernambuco, Brazil, to get assistance. After travelling 120 miles, he was rescued by American ship Hazard, (have also read Hayara, but Hazard seems to be correct) & taken to within 15 miles of Pernambuco. There, he procured the assistance of Oneida, (Royal Mail Steam Packet Co.), which came to the island & took all hands safely to Southampton, via Lisbon, except for the captain who remained in Pernambuco temporarily & returned to England on the next available ship. The survivors had spent 10 days on the vermin/land-crab/earwig infested islet, scantily dressed but in high temperatures, with water & stores salvaged from the wreck. Few personal belongings were saved. In 1870, Mercurius was wrecked at the same place. Few survived but those who did were helped by some iron tanks full of water, left by the Duncan Dunbar survivors. A print of Duncan Dunbar at Las Roccas was published in the Dec. 2, 1865 issue of Illustrated London News. A famous ship, painted by many artists. There was a Board of Trade Inquiry into the disaster which held the owners & the Captain to be free of blame. But much subsequent debate (difficult to understand) as to the evidence, particularly about the local currents. The Board of Trade Report & many pages of evidence are now at 14. Can you add anything? Michael Lohman advises, (thanks!) that i) his great grandfather, Hogar Frank ('Frank'), then 17, was aboard the vessel when it was wrecked. Frank later married & changed his name to Wilhelm Lohmann, ii) George Thornton (1819/1901), twice the Mayor of Sydney, was also aboard the ship that day, & iii) Edward P. Swain kept a detailed diary of the voyage. The diary exists but seems not to be WWW available. Michael continues to try to find the crew manifest of the Duncan Dunbar for that final voyage in 1865.
18 Gem of the South
824 (or 821) tons
Isles of the South
An immigrant ship, it would seem. From 1 (data 90% down), 2 & 3 (voyages to Australia), 4 (1874 voyage to New Zealand, 75% down). 175.0 ft. long, signal letters PSRD. Built for Cox & Co., of London. The vessel was launched as Gem of the South. Voyage May 26, 1862, Manila, Philippines, to Sydney, Australia, 24 crew. And Sep. 8, 1863 London to Sydney, 23 crew & total of 10 passengers, mostly cabin. Repaired in 1869. In 1870 the vessel was owned by R. J. Burrow of Kennington, Surrey. Voyage to Lyttelton, New Zealand, in 1874. Owned by J. Brodie in 1875? Then registered London. Certainly owned by John Brodie, jun. of London in 1880. Other modest WWW references to passengers. That's all the data I have so far found! I need to research the Lloyd's Registers to record what they say. More data would be welcomed.
846 (& 1108 after 1874) tons
A cargo ship. Per 1 (brief data), 2 (Temperley Line), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Owned by E. T. Gourley & Co., a partnership perhaps since 3 used to refer to G. I. Wallas & others, of Sunderland. Chartered by them in 1870 to 'Temperley Line' for 2 voyages. One of which was London, England, to Quebec, Canada, on Sep. 6, 1870. The vessel was lengthened in 1874 & became 76.6 metres long. Wrecked at 'Wrango', near Gothenburg, Sweden, on Oct. 2, 1875. That's all the data I have so far found! More data welcomed.
An iron cargo ship. From 1 (Aries, U.S. Naval history), 2 (Wikipedia page), 3 ($147,008.46, top line), 4 (court re 1863 capture, thru to p#202), 5 (image, capture at Bull's Bay), 6 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 198.0 ft. long, single screw, of a design (masts that hinged) & low profile most suitable for blockade running (American Civil War). Likely built by 'Laing' on speculation & soon bought by Frederic Peter Obicini, perhaps Spanish, of London. 1 states that it was built, hoping that the vessel 'would be purchased by persons planning to break the Union Navy's blockade of the South', & indicates that the vessel was later sold, 'sometime in 1863', to V. Malga & Cie., of Havana, Cuba. Which is strange, since the vessel is listed in Lloyd's Registers available to the webmaster thru 1869/70 with Obicini, the owner - but how that can that be so with the history which follows? Anyway, it would seem that the vessel sailed from Sunderland to Charleston, South Carolina, likely in late 1862, with an unknown (to webmaster) cargo, left Charleston with cotton for Puerto Rico & St. Thomas, & sailed for Charleston again via Gibara, near Havana, Cuba, with a varied cargo, largely originating in the 'New England & Middle States', that included cotton & clothing, boots & shoes, foodstuffs (butter, cheese & tea), nails, spikes, pig lead & cordage. It would seem that that voyage ended, on Mar. 28, 1863, when she was spotted, by Union gunboat Stettin, off Bull's Bay, South Carolina. Note that 1 says that she was rather carrying a cargo of whisky. Aries went aground, was captured as a prize, (in more ways than one if the cargo was whisky), was soon re-floated & taken to Boston where she 'was condemned' (whatever does that mean for such a new vessel?). She was purchased by the Union Navy on May 20, 1863, (for $147,008.46, but can that possibly be so? Perhaps it was the proceeds of the sale of the vessel & its cargo of whisky?), & became USS Aries. A couple of voyages carrying reinforcements to the south. On Aug. 27, 1863, carrying 100 men, including many ill men, back north, she encountered a hurricane off Cape Lookout, North Carolina, and, fighting the heavy seas, her engines failed. She survived the storm & was towed, eventually to Baltimore, Maryland, for repairs. The vessel was involved in the capture of Ceres, Antonio & Dare (which she burned), & assisted in the attack on Fort Fisher, Wilmington. See 1 for her life for the Union forces, a good portion of which seems to have been spent under repair! On Jun. 14, 1865, she was decommissioned, & on Aug. 1, 1865, was sold at a Boston public auction to 'Sprague, Soule & Co.', of Philadelphia - maybe owned by 'Boston & Philadelphia Steamship Co.'? Became SS Aries. I read that she later never changed her name & carried freight between Philadelphia & New England ports for a great many years. She was sold in 1908 for scrapping. Some mysteries within the above data. Can you add anything?
441 (or 566) tons
A cargo ship, soon especially fitted for the repair of undersea cables. From 1 (Amberwitch, 40% down & image), 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). The vessel was built for 'Charente Steamship Co. Ltd.' But sold to T. & J. Harrison, of Liverpool, it would appear. Her name was changed to Amberwitch in 1863 when the vessel was sold to the Royal Navy. The vessel was fitted out in 1864 for undersea cable repair work (rather than laying the cable), in the Persian Gulf. In particular, 'fitted with two cable tanks, two bow and stern sheaves as well as paying out and picking up gear.' In cable repair service on the Persian Gulf station until 1879 when replaced by Patrick Stewart. We thank Bill Burns of 1 for the image at thumbnail. Can you add anything?
488 (later 501) tons
A fully rigged ship later converted to a 3-masted iron barque. Per 1 (Miramar, you now must be registered to access). Built for Ord & Co., of Sunderland - the Mercantile Navy List of 1870 states the owner to be Robert Ord of Sunderland. In ? (by 1875) the vessel was sold to D. Fowler of London, and in ? (about 1877) was sold again, to E. Hagen & Co., of Hamburg, Germany, & renamed Emil Julius. In 1888, the vessel was sold to C. A. Beug, of Stralsund, Sweden. And in 1890 was sold to Johan Henrik Sylvander & partners, of Stromstad, Sweden & renamed Anna Sofia. While in the Pacific Ocean, in 1901, the vessel was damaged in a storm & sought refuge at Ancud, Chile, where she was condemned. She was, however, sold to H. Alv Haverbeck, of Valdivia, Chile, who repaired her & renamed her Los Canelos. In about 1916, she was converted into a barge. Can you add anything? No.1904
1137 (later 1138) tons
A wooden ship with iron beams. Per 1 (data), 2 (45% down), 3, 4 & 5 (images), 6 (1864 artwork as troopship), 7 (1882 Edouard Adam artwork), 8 (4th image, same ship, I think, though spelled there as Alambaugh), 9 (1875 voyage to Auckland), 10 & 11 (1883 re Carnatic rescue). 190.0 ft. long perpendicular to perpendicular, signal letters VNJG. In 1874/75, the Lloyd's registry data changed - became of 1138 tons & 193.0 ft. long. The webmaster has many editions of 'Lloyd's Register' thru 1889/90, available to him ex Google Books, (image at left). The vessel was built in 1863 for Dunbar & Co. (Duncan Dunbar), of London. for the India (Calcutta) & East Indies trade. In 1870 the Mercantile Navy List states that John S. A. Dunbar of London was the then owner. In 1875, the vessel carried 40 passengers to Auckland, New Zealand ('NZ'). The vessel was sold, in Aug. 1880, to John Herron, of Liverpool, (later J. Herron & Co.), & used as an emigrant ship to Australia & NZ. On Aug. 4, 1883, the vessel, then said to be a barque (incorrect per Lloyd's Registers) & under the command of Dugald McDonald, encountered a hard gale when off Port Elizabeth, South Africa, at 35S/25E. The vessel suffered considerable storm damage. At 9 a.m. that day they met Carnatic (an 871 ton barque built in 1867 by 'W. Pile, Hay & Co.' of Sunderland) flying distress signals. Carnatic had 3 ft. of water in her holds, her pumps had failed & she was in the process of sinking. Effecting an immediate rescue proved to be impossible due to the weather conditions & Alumbagh stood by. At 8 a.m. on Aug. 5, 1883, a ship's lifeboat was launched, commanded by J. Gunning, Alumbagh's Chief Officer, with a crew of 5. In 3 trips the boat saved all persons aboard Carnatic - 19 lives in all including the captain's wife. Carnatic sank soon thereafter; her survivors were landed 21 days later at St. Helena in the South Atlantic. The 'Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners Royal Benevolent Society' granted awards to, it would seem, all members of the boat's crew. The Board of Trade awarded a piece of plate to Captain McDonald. J. Gunning later became Alumbagh's Captain. Along the way the ship was chartered by New Zealand Shipping Co. The vessel was sold again, in 1889, to G. T. Soley and Company, of Liverpool. However the Mercantile Navy List for 1890 states that Robert K. Kelley of Liverpool was then the managing owner. And in Aug. 1892, while en route from Musquash (Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, Canada?) to Liverpool, the ship was abandoned in a hurricane. Link 2 says however 'In 1867 she sailed from New York and has not since been heard of.' That reference is troubling in view of the other data above. I believe, however, that my data is correct. Likely named after Alumbagh, a fort near Lucknow, India, prominent in the history of the Indian Mutiny of 1857. Can you add anything?
1615/1295 (or 1979) tons
An iron steamer. From 1 (data thanks to 'Bonsor' & Ted Finch), 2 (brief data), 3 (Temperley Line), 4 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Single screw, 3 masts, 284.4 ft. long perpendicular to perpendicular with clipper bow, speed of 10 knots, signal letters TVMW. Built for E. T. Gourlay, of Sunderland. In 1864 the vessel was chartered by them to 'British Colonial Steamship Company Limited' (after 1872 known as 'Temperley Line') for 1 voyage (Jul. 30, 1864) from London to Quebec, Canada. Similarly chartered in 1872 for 3 voyages. Two of which were London, England, to Quebec, Canada, in May & Jun. 1872 (but maybe were onwards to Montreal?). The vessel was sold in 1888, to W. H. Loveridge & Co. of West Hartlepool. And soon sold again, it would seem, - to R. Livingston & Co., also of West Hartlepool. The Mercantile Navy Lists of 1890 & 1900 state, however, the then managing owner to be William Livingston of West Hartlepool. It was scrapped at Genoa, Italy, in 1900, I read. That's all the data I have so far found! But beware! Miramar states that the vessel was 'wrecked on Colding Bank 9.11.65', which would mean 1865 I believe - data that I do not think can be correct. There were many vessels of the name. More data would be welcomed.
An iron barque that had a very long life indeed. From 1 (1904 grounding at Kaipara - data sources indicated), 2 & 3 (scuttled in 1925), 4 (image, Onyx, ex 'Trove' image at State Library of Victoria but I cannot successfully link to it), 5 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access. Miramar state that the vessel was built in 1865). 136.5 ft. long perpendicular to perpendicular, later 136.6 ft., signal letters WMDF. The webmaster has a number of editions of 'Lloyd's Register' thru 1889/90, available to him ex Google Books, (image at left), but the vessel was in full service for as many as 20 more years thru 1909. The barque was built for 'Wheatley & Co.', of Sunderland, for service to the Black Sea, likely coal outbound, returning with grain. In 1866/67 the owners became 'Wheatherly & Co.' & in 1867/68 'Weatherley' - all data corrections? The Mercantile Navy List of 1870 states Robert Weatherley of Sunderland. It later would seem to have traded to the Mediterranean & the West Indies & also between English ports & Australia & New Zealand. In 1874/75, 'R. Weatherley', of Sunderland, was the vessel's owner. By 1876/77, 'R. Sharp & Co.', also of Sunderland (or per the 1880 Mercantile Navy List Robert Sharp of Newcastle), had become the vessel's owners. The vessels initial captain was named 'Hatch', maybe (unless there were two captains named 'Hatch') 'W. Hatch', who served thru 1882/83 when the vessel was sold to 'W. R. Williams', of Wellington, New Zealand ('NZ'), with J. Simon assuming command. By 1885/86, R. Guthrie, of Dunedin, NZ, (or Henry Guthrie per the 1890 & 1900 Mercantile Navy Lists) was the vessel's owner with 'Hugh Paterson' taking over from J. Salmon as her captain. There are many hundreds of references to the vessel at 'PapersPast' & at 'Trove', far too many of them for me to be able to read them all. It would seem, however that the vessel was active in southern waters & for many years carried such varied cargoes as wheat, sugar, coal & coke - but most particularly many voyages carrying timber to Australia ex Kaipara, NZ. In late 1903, the vessel carried coal for use by Antarctic relief ships, from Westport, NZ, to Hobart, Tasmania. On or about Sep. 22, 1904, the vessel bound from Kaipara, NZ, for Melbourne, Australia, with 307,526 ft. of kauri pine, ran aground on the Lady Catherine Reef off Kaipara Heads. The vessel was refloated with the assistance of two tugs & apparently suffered no damage. The rest of the voyage was not without incident however - she had to survive major storms at sea which both damaged & delayed the vessel such that she had to put into Sydney to re-provision. It would seem that the vessel served thru 1909. On Oct. 17, 1909, the vessel left Dunedin/Port Chalmers for Wellington, both NZ, under tow by Haurato. At Wellington, the tow was taken over by Navua, which took the vessel to Auckland, NZ, there to become a coal hulk for 'Union Company' (The Union Steam Ship Co. of New Zealand Ltd. of Dunedin), & moored in the Auckland, harbour. In the summer of 1925, then 61 years old, the vessel was determined to be unsafe, & on Nov. 5, 1925, the ship was towed out to be scuttled off Cuvier Island, near Auckland. It would seem that the ship did not want to die - it was reported still afloat some days later, on Nov. 9, 1925. Somewhere along the way, Solomon Bryant was her captain. Can you add anything to this record? Another image perhaps? No.1901
985 (or 1426) tons
An iron steamer. From 1 (thanks Ted Finch!, the lower one), 2 (brief data), 3 (a 'pdf' file which references an 1870 to New Zealand passenger list), 4 (Temperley Line), 5 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Single screw, 3 masts, 235.0 later 274.8 ft. long perpendicular to perpendicular with clipper bow, speed of 10 knots, signal letters HFQT. Built for E. T. Gourlay, of Sunderland. The vessel was chartered, in 1866, to 'British Colonial Steamship Company Limited', (after 1872 known as 'Temperley Line'), for their London/Quebec/Montreal service. And chartered in 1867 to Hiller & Strauss for Antwerp to New York service. The vessel was returned to her owners after two voyages. At some point along the way, the vessel was owned by Fenwick & Co. of London, & in 1883/84 the vessel became owned by Tyzack & Branfoot, of Sunderland. Achilles was scrapped in 1903. That's all I have! More data would be welcomed.
27 City of Durham
29960 (I wonder why such a low number)
A cargo ship. From 1 (Inman Line, City of Durham), 2 (brief data), 3 (William Inman, at bottom), 4 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). WWW data is limited. The webmaster has, however, a number of 'Lloyd's Registers' available to him ex Google Books, (image at left), for what would appear to be City of Durham's entire life. From 1865/66, the vessel was registered in the name of 'W. Inman'. In a practical sense that may mean 'Liverpool, New York and Philadelphia Steamship Company', known as the Inman Line, after its remaining founder William Inman (1825/1881). A passenger (emigrant) line. Inman was an innovator, indeed. What was the vessel? An iron steamer, 201.1 ft. long perpendicular to perpendicular, signal letters KFJG. Until the 1878/79 Register, the vessel had it would seem only one captain - by the name of Phillips. 'Inman Line', in 1867-1870, gained the contract to serve the Queenstown, Ireland, to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, route. And the City of Durham was used as a 'feeder service' from Halifax to St. John's, Newfoundland relative to that route. Link 2 records a voyage from Liverpool to Halifax via Queenstown in 1871, but suggests the vessel was built in Glasgow (in error). In 1878, the vessel was sold to J. Edwards, of Liverpool. The Mercantile Navy List of 1880 states that Edward H. Clapper of Cardiff was the then owner. By the 1883/84 edition of Lloyd's Register, the vessel was owned by 'Capper, Alexander & Co.', of Cardiff, & the listing states that the vessel was then wrecked. On Aug. 25, 1883, while en route from Bilbao, Spain, to Cardiff, with a cargo of iron ore, the vessel was lost near 'Ile de Seine lighthouse'. 'Île de Sein' is, I learn, a French island in the Atlantic Ocean, off Finistère, roughly at the NW tip of Spain & noted for its dangerous waters. The captain was in default for neglecting the use of the lead & was reprimanded. I have not read the full circumstances. As per Inquiry #1934 (image at left), the vessel was then owned by 'M. Angel and others', probably of Cardiff. More data would be welcomed. And an image!
1035/829 (later 1038, 1210 & 1241) tons
A cargo ship. From 1 (Spanish page, extensive data, 4 vessel images plus), 2 (WWW English translation of link 1), 3 (Spanish page, Linea de Vapores Tintoré), 4 (WWW English translation of link 3), 5 (Compañía Trasmediterránea), 6 (service ex Liverpool), 7 ('uboat.net', Francoli sinking), 8 ('wrecksite.eu', Francoli sinking data), 9 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). The webmaster has a number of 'Lloyd's Registers' available to him thru 1889/90 ex Google Books, see left. Single screw, 2 masts, 236.5 ft. long perpendicular to perpendicular, speed of 11 knots, signal letters HMWJ. The vessel would appear to have had capacity for 108 passengers. Built for 'P. M. Tintoré & Co.', later, in 1877, 'Pablo Maria Tintoré y C.', a limited partnership, & in the early 1900s 'Linea de Vapores Tintoré', all of Barcelona, Spain. Tintoré provided a regular passenger & cargo service between Almeria & Alicante, Spain, & Oran, Algeria, but Francoli, it would seem, was used on the Liverpool to Barcelona route. In 1917, the vessel was transferred to 'Compañía Trasmediterránea S.A.', a newly formed (Nov. 25, 1916) Spanish company in which Tintoré had a majority interest. The other shareholders were i) Ferrer Peset Hermanos, ii) Sociedad Anónima de Navegación e Industria, iii) Compañía Valenciana de Vapores Correos de África. Don José Cabot was the vessel's captain, in 1916. Trasmediterránea provided service from Spain to the Balearic & Canary Islands, & to North Africa. At 1 p.m. on Oct. 1, 1918, Francoli was en route from Alicante (Mediterranean coast of Spain) to Sfax, Tunisia, with a cargo of sulfates (or maybe of esparto grass) & a crew of 26. I wonder who was her captain? The vessel was either under charter to or requisitioned by the Spanish Government. What happened that day? I am unable to tell you accurately since consistent data appears to be elusive. I have read that the vessel, suspected of carrying war materials, was stopped by UB-49, Oberleutnant zur See Adolf Ehrensberger in command, which did not await a boat sent or to be sent by Francoli with documentation to demonstrate that the vessel was Spanish & therefore neutral. UB-49 attacked Francoli with artillery, as many as 25 shells, 'off Cape Palos' (Cabo de Palos), Spain, causing the loss of steering, causing the vessel's boilers to explode & resulting in a fire. Francoli soon sank. I have however also read, in WWW available contemporary newspaper reports, that the vessel was sunk, without warning, by torpedo - in words attributed to the Francoli crew. And that the crew were permitted to take to life rafts & then the vessel was dispatched. Where did this happen? I have read at 36.42N/00.44W but that location is about 100 miles S. of Cape Palos & the newspaper references state 14 miles off the Cape, so I suspect that those co-ordinates are imperfect. The wreck, known to divers perhaps, as 'Candelero', I read, lies at 100 metres depth, at approximately 37.39N/00.32W, which is close indeed to the Cape. The entire crew was saved by Saint Servan, (a French steamer which attacked the submarine), & landed at Alicante. There must be more to the crew rescue since M. A. Levassor, Captain of Saint Servan, was awarded the silver medal of the Spanish Live Saving Society ('Sociedad Española de Salvamento de Náufragos') re the rescue. And, I have read also, that but for his efforts, the crew would have faced certain death. The vessel has not proved to be an easy vessel to list, in part due to the confusing & conflicting data & to the webmaster's inability in Spanish. Corrections to the above would be welcomed, as would additional data or images. Joaquin Tintore, of Spain, is researching the vessel - any additional data received by the webmaster will be forwarded to him. No.1853
An iron cargo ship, a collier. From 1 (data, Lumley), 2 (1870 wreck reference), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). WWW data re this vessel is most limited. 195 ft. 2 in. long perpendicular to perpendicular, single screw, signal letters HGVM. Now the webmaster has a few editions of Lloyd's Register available & the first reference he can spot there, to this vessel, is in the 1866/67 edition when the vessel is recorded in the name of 'Morton &', presumably Morton & Co., registered at Sunderland. The 'Laing' build list however, available here, indicates that the vessel was built for Lambton Collieries. I cannot explain the relationship between Lambton Collieries & 'Morton & Co.' or 'H. T. Morton & Co.', but it was surely very close indeed - they seem almost to be one & the same entity. The vessel would seem to have had just one Captain - Captain E. Edwards. I have found few meaningful WWW references to the vessel which probably carried coal from the northeast to the S. of England & to the continent. But I should mention that the 1873/74 edition of 'Lloyd's' notes (image at left) that the vessel was lost. Which agrees, in a way, with the 1874/75 edition of Lloyd's which reports H. T. Morton as the owner of a new Lumley, a 472 ton steamer built by 'Blumer' in 1872. I now see that Lumley was in fact lost on Jul. 21, 1870, when, en route to Bordeaux, France, the vessel 'struck on a reef near Alderney and became a total wreck'. An e-Bay builder's half model was described by the vendor as being. That's all I have! More data would be welcomed. And an image!
A 3-masted fully rigged ship, of composite construction. The last 'Laing' wooden ship. Not a lot of data for such a famous ship. Per 1 (low on page), 2 (data). 231 ft long. Built, of teak, for Devitt & Moore, of London, for the Australian cargo & passenger trade. Or maybe owned by them from 1868 only? A 'Blackwall frigate'. The ship's fastest trip from Sydney to U.K. was 79 days (Feb. 1/Apl. 21, 1876). In 1887, the vessel was sold to J. Simonsen, of Mandal, Norway. I have read that in 1888 the vessel was sold to O. P. Hegnander of Norway. That data is not, however, referenced at 1 or 2. May well have had other Norwegian owners. On Jan. 12, 1898, the vessel sailed from Sapelo, Galveston, Texas, for King's Lynn, Norfolk, U.K., with a cargo of pitch-pine. It disappeared en route. The 1st thumbnail image is of a print (31 x 19 cm. & 43 x 36 cm. overall) by 'The Insurance Company of North America', of an F. Tudgay 1879 artwork. Of the vessel off Sydney Heads. The 4th thumbnail is likely of the same print. I would welcome more data.
An iron cargo ship, a collier. Per 1 (image, Sherburn), 2 (image, Sherburn, in 'Mines de Lambton', an 1891 volume), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 187.0 ft. long perpendicular toperpendicular, signal letters HNBW. Sherburn? A village 3 1/2 miles E. of Durham. The webmaster has a number of 'Lloyd's Registers' available to him thru 1890/91 ex Google Books, see image at left. Built for H. T. Morton, of Biddick Hall, Sunderland, for whom the vessel would seem to have traded to Hamburg, Germany & then to France. H. T. Morton was long associated with Lambton Collieries ('Lambton'), indeed the 'Laing' build list on this site page indicates that the vessel was built for Lambton. In the 1866/67 edition, the owner's name was restyled as H. T. Morton & Co. I cannot tell you what finally happened to the vessel absent later editions of Lloyd's Register or any other data sources. Can you add anything?
1517 (or 1856) tons
An iron cargo ship. From 1 (Dacia), 2 (good looking page, stamps), 3 & 4 (both data), 5 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 243.4 ft. long perpendicular to perpendicular. Featured on no less than 3 postage stamps, indeed! (2 Jamaica & 1 St. Vincent). Laid down as Stella. But delivered to C. M. Norwood & Co. ('Norwood') as Dacia. The vessel was chartered by Norwood to 'British Colonial Steamship Company Limited', (after 1872 known as 'Temperley Line') for 4 voyages in 1869. It was sold, in 1870, to Sir Charles Tilston Bright (1832/1888, Knighted 1858), who cut her in two pieces, added a 40 ft. section, & strengthened her to accommodate a cable tank amidships & otherwise equip her for use as a cable laying ship. Conversion completed, (tonnage would have changed?), the vessel was sold to 'The India-Rubber, Gutta-Percha and Telegraph Works Company Limited', of Silvertown, London. In 1870/3 the vessel laid an extensive cable network in West Indies & west to Panama. An 1895 journal of Captain Basil C. Combe is here. The vessel worked on the Cadiz/Tenerife cable but also in the Pacific (Chile & Peru), in the Mediterranean extensively, on the west coast of Africa etc. The vessel was in cable service until Dec. 3, 1916 when it was torpedoed off Funchal, Madeira Islands, while 'in the process of diverting the German South American cable into Brest', France. An image of the attack is at 3. Anything you can add?
734 (or 741 or 773) tons
A 3-masted composite fully rigged ship, a wool clipper. Later a barque. Per 1 (Beltana, ex 'The Colonial Clippers' by Basil Lubbock, 2nd edition published 1921, an 'archive.org' book), 2 (The 1871 Court of Inquiry, ex 'Trove', Australia (3), 4 & 5 (fire in 1889), 6 (disabled in 1895), 7 & 8 (images), 9 (lawcase 1879), 10 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 172.5 ft. long perpendicular to perpendicular, signal letters JPGL, a fine & fast ship it would seem. The webmaster has a number of 'Lloyd's Registers' available to him thru 1889/90 ex Google Books, see left. Beltana? A small town, now a semi-ghost town, W. of Flinders Ranges, N. of Adelaide, South Australia, once noted for silver mining & possibly named after an aboriginal word meaning 'running water' or 'crossing of the waters'. The vessel was built for W. Stevens of London, for the Australian trade. The 1876/77 edition of Lloyd's Register records A. L. Elder and Co. ('Elder'), of London, as the then owner. Elder's vessels were engaged in the passenger & cargo trade between Britain & S. Australia, general cargo being carried to Port Adelaide & wool, grain & other products taken aboard for the return voyage. Do read Basil Lubbock's words about Beltana rounding the Horn under Captain Richard Angel ('Angel'). Now at first I thought that the vessel had a very short life - wrecked in 1871 at South Kangaroo Island, South Australia. But it would seem that that was not so. The ship, under the command of Captain Angel, did run aground on Aug. 20, 1871, en route from London. While significantly damaged it clearly later got off the reef - at Vivonne Bay, or maybe at Michies Reef, S. of Kangaroo Island, 70 miles SW of Adelaide, South Australia. The grounding was not reported by Captain Angel. The ship's cargo was landed & a cargo of wool was taken on at Port Augusta but the ship leaked so much it had to be taken to Port Adelaide for repairs. Basil Lubbock discreetly said 'Angel got his dismissal' - the truth is rather more interesting. A Court of Inquiry into the grounding commenced at Adelaide on Nov. 16, 1871. The cause of the grounding primarily related to the master being, for much of the voyage & at the time of the grounding, in a state of intoxication. The ship's log was largely fictitious & pages had been intentionally torn from it. Do read the summary at 2. Angel's captain's certificate was suspended for 2 years & chief officer Hayward's mate's certificate was suspended for 3 months. A Captain Blanche arrived to take over command, while the ship was still in dock at the time of the hearing for 'stripping and resheathing'. It clearly soon was ready for sea again. Lubbock refers to Beltana & Yatala leaving Adelaide together for London, on Dec. 18, 1871 & racing one another. It would seem that Yatala was way in front, but it did not win the 'race', rather Yatala was lost at Cap Griz-Nez, in France, on Mar. 27, 1872. At an unknown date before May 3, 1889, Beltana was lashed alongside Nelson, a steam tug, at Gravesend. Nelson came into collision with Hankow & a lawsuit resulted. I cannot tell you if Beltana was damaged in that collision. By the 1882/83 edition of Lloyd's Register, the vessel had been re-rigged as a barque. The ship is said to have been destroyed by fire at Lyttelton, New Zealand. But that is untrue also. On Nov. 22, 1889, Beltana left Port Augusta, bound for London, with a cargo of 4037 bales of wool. On Dec. 9/10, 1889, when near Antipodes Island, the cargo caught fire & Captain Henry Bright headed for Lyttleton, NZ, knowing the port was well equipped for such a situation. A tug brought the burning vessel into Lyttleton harbour, the wool having then been burning for 6 days. Despite major efforts including the use of chemicals, the fire was not quickly extinguished. Was that the end? It would seem not. The fire was put out on or about Dec. 21, 1889. I read that the cargo was worth £61,000 & damage to it was valued at £6,000 only. The ship suffered no material damage & repairs were not expected to exceed £125. The fire was caused, it is believed, by spontaneous combustion of the Merino wool, which may have been baled in a damp condition. On Oct. 31, 1894, the ship left Adelaide for London. It was involved in a collision in the English Channel (with which ship?) her stern 'being torn & smashed'. The ship was towed to Gravesend, River Thames, in late Feb. 1895. On Nov. 27, 1895, Captain Bright placed a current paper, a newspaper perhaps, into a sealed bottle & tossed it overboard. At 45.42S/147.30E, about 2,500 miles E. of NZ. It came ashore, about 21 months later, at Pitt Island, Chatham Islands, about 600 miles E. of NZ, on Aug. 23, 1897. On Feb. 16, 1897, the vessel arrived at London. What did later happen to her? Luc van Coolput, of Antwerp, has kindly provided the answer. Luc advises that in 1897 Elder sold the vessel to 'Vareta, Santos & Co.', of Oporto, Portugal, who renamed her Nova Sympathia. Her captain was 'José d'Oliva da Velha'. On Nov. 17, 1899, the vessel stranded at Caites, (Brazil, I believe) while en route from Cardiff to Pará, Brazil, with a cargo of coal. The vessel suffered major damage & she was abandoned in Dec. 1899 as a wreck. A watercolour of the vessel, painted by H. Percival (1868/1914), as was published in 'The Golden Age of Sail', by Frank C. Bowen, is now available at left. I read that 'Sailing Ships of the London River', 1940, also by Bowen, contains a history of the vessel & a diagram. A scan of the illustration & the Beltana text would be most welcome. Can you add to or correct the above?
An iron, schooner rigged, cargo ship, a collier. From 1 (Board of Trade inquiry into the 1876 collision with & sinking of John Pegg, ex 'Accounts and Papers', published 1876, a 'Google' book), 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Single screw, 196 ft. 9 in. long perpendicular to perpendicular, signal letters JDSW. Speed? Probably modest - of 8 or 8 1/2 knots perhaps. Built for Lambton Collieries, with H. T. Morton the manager. I need to have clarified the relationship between the Lambton Company & 'Morton' in view of the data which follows. On Feb. 16, 1876, Finchale, a vessel then said to be owned by Henry Thomas Morton & William Wylde, with Charles Mew ('Mew') in command, left London, in ballast, for Sunderland, with a crew of 17 all told. She discharged her pilot at Gravesend & proceeded down the Thames at her normal speed. Charles Kedgley ('Kedgley'), the mate, took command. Suddenly, soon after 7:00 p.m., a faint light was seen close to, & a collision could not be avoided. The vessel that they had hit sank. Finchale came back to the point of collision, launched her quarter boat, but no survivors were found thru daylight of the next morning - nor any wreckage of any sort. The next day, the Shoeburyness Coastguard picked up a boat with the name of John Pegg, & the name Richard Prichard painted on its inside - Richard was the Master of John Pegg, of Carnarvon, Wales. The Court attributed no blame to either Mew or Kedgley. I have only a few editions of Lloyd's register available, but Finchale was still recorded in the 1889/90 version, still owned by H. T. Morton & Co. I do not know what later happened to her. Can you add anything?
An iron cargo ship, clearly a collier. From 1 (Board of Trade inquiry into 1875 grounding, ex 'Accounts and Papers', published 1876, a 'Google' book), 2 ('pdf' file, 1886 wreck report), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Single screw, 194 ft 7 in. long perpendicular to perpendicular, (or 194 ft. 5 in.), speed of 8 or 8 1/2 knots, signal letters JKHN. Built at the cost of £13,200 for H. T. Morton & Co., of Sunderland. H. T. Morton was associated with Lambton Collieries, hence Captain Mohrke, her sole Captain it would essentially appear, is said in 1876 to have been in the service of the Lambton Company for 20 years. At 1:50 a.m. on Oct. 13, 1875, Kepier, a vessel then owned by Thomas Morton, of Durham, & John Straker, of Northumberland, registered at Sunderland, Carl Mohrke in command, left Sunderland, with 870 tons of coal, bound for Antwerp, Belgium, with a crew of 17 all told. At 6:20 a.m. that same day, the vessel ran aground on Whitby Rocks. The weather had been hazy but the vessel soon encountered thick fog. When the ship struck, the vessel was under the command of the boatswain, the Captain being below decks. 150 tons of coal were thrown overboard & with the help of a tug she was pulled off the rocks at 2:30 p.m. & taken into Hartlepool for repair. No lives were lost. The Board of Trade inquiry found the Master to be at fault for being absent from the deck, & suspended his certificate of competency for 3 months. It would seem, however, from reading the report, that the Master had left very clear instructions, which instructions were not carried out. Carl Mohrke lost his certificate again 9 years later when the vessel was lost. On this occasion, he was allowed a chief mate's certificate during the 3 month suspension & the Court acknowledged his lengthy good conduct. What happened? At 7:10 p.m. on Feb. 11, 1876, Kepier, then stated to be owned by Henry Thomas Morton and another, with Thomas Jowsey Reay, of Sunderland, the managing owner, left Sunderland with 828 tons of coal, bound for London, with a crew of 15 all told. That routing was the ship's regular route, having done it 45 or 50 times a year for 16 years. Soon after 3:10 a.m. on Feb. 12, 1876, the vessel went ashore at Thornwick Scar, 2 miles N. of Flamborough Head. Rockets were fired, & with the help of some fishermen, a portion of the cargo was jettisoned. When the tides rose, the water rose within the ship also, which broke its back & became a total loss. The weather en route had been hazy but had become thick fog. The Court was of the opinion that the cause of the grounding was the Captain's overconfidence as to his location, on a route travelled so many times before, & his lack of casting the lead. Such 'neglect of the lead' was considered to be unjustifiable. The ship was said to be worth £8,000 when she was lost, was insured for that amount but the cargo was not insured. Can you add anything?
An iron cargo ship. From 1, 2, 3, 4 (all data), 5 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Single screw, 2 masts, 245.2 ft. long perpendicular to perpendicular, speed of 10 knots, signal letters JVHT. Built for E. T. Gourlay of Sunderland who chartered her to Temperley Line in 1871. The vessel was purchased by 'Temperleys, Carter & Darke' in 1873. And engaged on the London/Quebec/Montreal service (via Plymouth) through 1883, when it was sold to Huntley, Berner & Co., of London. In 1884, the vessel was sold to Wycliffe Steamship Co. Ltd., also of London. The 1885/86 edition of Lloyd's Register notes that the vessel had had a collision. On Mar. 26, 1885, while en route from Milazzo, Sicily, to Rouen, France, with a wine & general cargo, the vessel was in collision with Indus in Havre Roads & sank. It would seem that no lives were likely lost. Is there anything you can add?
Small iron steamship. Speed 10 knots. From 1 (thanks to Ted Finch and 'Bonsor'), (data is repeated 2 & 3), 4 (data), 5 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). It would seem that the vessel was built on speculation & then sold to J. Morrison of Newcastle who chartered her to Temperley Line. Her maiden voyage (total of 2 only but 4 gives dates re 3 and 6 says 4) for Temperley was Aug. 18, 1870 London to Quebec and Montreal, Canada. Sold 1876 to Italian owners and renamed Maria Vittoria. 1900 renamed Jose Monteys. 1902 sold to Spanish interests & renamed Alesandria. 1903 renamed Josefina. Ownership changes along the way? 1908 became a coal hulk. Scrapped 1920. Need help!
1949 tons, (later 2607 tons)
A passenger ship. From 1 (data), 2 (page in Portugese, with modest image of painting of vessel by Benedicto Calixto), 3 (link 2 translated by Google), 4 [Hamburg South American Line, Bahia (1)], 5 (Hansa Line, Cremon), 6 [Hamburg America Line, Dalmatia (1)], 7 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 302.3 ft. long, 3 masts, speed of 10 knots. Capacity for 200 passengers, 40 in 1st Class and 160 in 3rd. Built for Hamburg South American Line (Hamburg Sudamerikanische D.G.) for service to Brazil, Argentina & Uraguay. 1886 or 1887 (have read both) sold to Hansa Line & in 1887 renamed Cremon. That year modified by addition of triple-expansion engines at Blohm & Voss, Hamburg. Used on the Hamburg/Quebec/Montreal service. In 1892, sold to Hamburg-America Line (HAPAG). In 1894 renamed Dalmatia. In 1897, sold to D. Fuhrmann of Albis, Germany. In 1900, sold to Raimondo Mollinari, small Italian ship-owners. Renamed Fides & used in the Mediterranean. In 1916, scrapped at Genoa, Italy. Can you add to or correct the above?
39 Ben Nevis
998 (later 1003) tons,
An iron cargo ship. Per 1 (Morrison Steamship, Ben Nevis), 2 [Hollandsche Stoomboot, Vreede (2)], 3 (modest data), 4 (North Sea, Vreede at page bottom), 5 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 232 ft. 7 in. long overall, signal letters LFWT. Built for J. Morrison, later J. Morrison & Son, of North Shields. On Sep. 18, 1883, while en route from Taganrog (Sea of Azov, Black Sea, Russia), to Trieste, Italy, with a cargo of wheat, the vessel stranded on Bielosarai Spit, Sea of Azov. Inquiry #2011 (left) determined that the grounding was caused by negligent navigation. No material damage, however. The vessel would seem to have been then owned by 'S. A. Morrison & others'. I read that in 1896/7 the vessel traded to Australia, but I can spot no references to the vessel at Trove, Australia. In 1899 the vessel was sold to 'North Eastern Shipping Co.' ('NE'), (G. Elsmie & Sons managers?), of Aberdeen, & in 1901 was sold again to 'Hollandsche Stoomboot Maatschappij', of Amsterdam, & renamed Vreede. On Aug. 20, 1903, the vessel, J. Parlevliet in command, en route from Antwerp, Belgium, to Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales, with a cargo of steel billets, nails & cement, was in collision with Spanish ship Luchana & sank. With no loss of life. Luchana was a Sunderland ship also, built as G. E. Wood by Joseph L. Thompson in 1873. But where did the collision happen? This site used to say that the collision was in the North Sea based upon the WWW references I had seen to that effect. But, thanks to Arie Jan de Lange's research of Dutch newspaper records, (image at left) we can advise that the vessel sank on the banks of a river & broke into pieces - so it could not have been in the North Sea. It is now clear that the collision occurred in the River Usk, a modest river which flows through the centre of Newport, Wales. How do I know that? The 2nd paragraph of the Dutch text at left (bottom image) so states, & also states that Vreede sank immediately. Can you add anything additional, an image perhaps?
A passenger/cargo ship that had a very short life. Per 1 (data, "Vapor Alegria", 40% down), 2 (wreck data, in Spanish, ex 3), 4 ex 3rd image of 5 (fine painting of Alegria), 6 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). The webmaster has a number of 'Lloyd's Registers' available to him thru 1885/86 ex Google Books, see left. Single screw, 2 masts, 231.5 ft. long (85.8 metres) perpendicular to perpendicular. A distinguished looking ship indeed. Built for 'P. Mª. Tintoré & Co.', later, in 1877, 'Pablo Maria Tintoré y C.ª', a limited partnership, of Barcelona, Spain ('Tintore'). Or maybe for 'Joaquín Mª Tintoré'. We thank the folks at 1 for their fine data re this vessel, most particularly the data & images provided at the foot of their page. Miramar advises us that on Nov. 25, 1875, the vessel, en route from Barcelona to San Juan, Puerto Rico, was wrecked on the reefs of Isla de las Cabras, at the entrance of the port of San Juan. 2 advises that 300 passengers & crew were saved, & refers to Cadrita, Puerto Rico, presumably where the vessel sank. Perhaps all aboard were saved by a Navy vessel? ('Los pasajeros y tripulantes, en número de 300, se han salvado, merced al auxilio y poderosos esfuerzos hechos por la marina.') A puzzle is that Lloyd's Register continued to list the vessel for another 11 years after 1875, though it should be noted, the listing data did not change for that entire period. Can you provide additional detail as to the 1875 sinking, or otherwise add to or correct the above. Another image? Joaquin Mª Tintoré, of Spain, is researching the vessel - any additional data received by the webmaster will be forwarded to him. In late Dec. 2012, 'Ernesto' was in touch respecting a ship part (image at left) found near Alegria's wreck site in Puerto Rico, seeking help as to exactly what he had found. The part is 12 in. in diameter, weighs about 7 lb. & is made of bronze. While at first glance it looks like the end plate of a boiler, two site supporters knowledgeable in such matters, believe that it is, in fact, a boss from the centre of the ship's steering wheel, hence the material & the engraved name. The name Alegria is better seen on the item in this 2nd image. Ernesto, we all thank you! Any additional thoughts on the matter would be welcomed. No.1854
2621 (later 2661) tons
An iron passenger/cargo vessel. Per 1 (Ryde Line), 2 (data, Kashgar), 3 [P&O, Kashgar (1)], 4 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 110.5 metres long, perpendicular to perpendicular, 362.5 ft., speed of 11 knots, two masts, with accommodation for 120 passengers, 80 in 1st Class & 40 in 2nd, signal letters MWQG. The webmaster has a number of 'Lloyd's Registers' available to him thru 1890/91 ex Google Books, see left. Now Miramar indicate that the vessel was completed on Jun. 6, 1874 & that the vessel is an 1874 vessel. And most other references also consider the vessel to be 1874. I have chosen to list the vessel as 1873, to reflect her lifetime of Lloyd's Register listings. Launched as Brabant, for John Ryde & Co., of London (which company had a contract with the Belgian Government, likely for the carriage of mail), for their Antwerp & Falmouth service to Rio, Buenos Ayres & other ports in South America. The vessel featured the Belgian coat of arms in its interior decoration. Due to declining passenger traffic, & while the vessel was being fitted out, it was sold, on Mar. 3, 1874, so I read, to Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co., also of London, & delivered to them as Kashgar. The vessel was engaged on the India (Bombay) & China service with a few voyages to Australia & New Zealand. In or about 1886, the vessel was converted to a cargo liner with accommodation for 8 passengers only. I wonder where that conversion was done? In 1889, the vessel was sold to F. L. Upton, of Kobe, Japan, (2 says F. H. Upton, of Shanghai, China), with no change of vessel name, & used on Far East services. On May 16, 1890, while en route from Mauritius to Kobe, Japan, via Saigon & Hong Kong, the vessel was damaged. So seriously damaged, in fact, that she was considered to be beyond repair & was broken up at Yokohama, Japan. I have not been able to read about the circumstances, the nature of the damage, her cargo at the time, the name of her captain, etc. etc. All I can see is that Lloyd's indicated that the vessel was 'wrecked', so it is likely that the vessel ran aground. Is it possible that you know the wreck detail? The National Archives, has many crew lists re the vessel, I see.
Hull 180 or 340
Nuestra Señora De Loreto
A cargo ship. Per 1 ('pdf' file, Court report re the 1882 collision & sinking of Mary Ann), 2 & 3 (Dafila, stranding in May 1886), 4 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 67.5 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, 221.5 ft., signal letters WSLV. The webmaster has a number of 'Lloyd's Registers' available to him thru 1890/91 ex Google Books - see left. Built for Porteous & Senior (or maybe Porteous & Senier), of London & registered there. By the 1876/77 edition of Lloyd's Register, the vessel was owned by James Laing, most likely but not necessarily the James Laing who built her. Became registered at Sunderland. On Feb. 19, 1882, Dafila, left the 'Derrick' & proceeded down the River Thames, against the incoming tide. Her master (not named) had engaged Thomas Raine, a licensed pilot, to assist with her navigation as far as Gravesend. However Thomas was not present when the ship left dock & Henry Raine, Thomas's brother & not a licensed pilot, took his place. Henry Raine was in command of Dafila as the vessel approached Broadness Point, (2 miles E. of Greenhithe, near Northfleet, Kent). The master was not on deck but had instructed Raine to take care rounding the Point. Up-bound was Mary Ann, a 50 ton sailing barge, carrying bricks to Vauxhall. Raine slowed Dafila but did it too late. Dafila struck Mary Ann on her port side & sank her. Mary Ann's mate saved himself by using a small boat to escape but her master went down with the barge & was drowned. The Court laid the responsibility solely upon Dafila & particularly on Henry Raine. Site contributor Derek Lambert advises that in 1885, William H. (Henry) Lambert, Derek's great grandfather, was the vessel's captain. On May 12, 1886, while en route from Bangkok, Thailand, to Hong Kong, the vessel, Captain Mooney in command, went aground on the South Bank of Hainan Straits, which straits, shallow & just 9 1/2 miles wide, separate Hainan Island, from mainland China to the north. Much of her cargo was transferred to lighters, & the vessel was then re-floated & towed to nearby Hoihow (Haikou) by HMS Albatross. It arrived at Hong Kong on May 29, 1886. Apparently Albatross also went aground in trying to effect the rescue. The vessel had left Bangkok with insufficient coal & should wisely have put into Saigon or Touron to replenish her supply. They burned up every scrap of woodwork aboard the ship in trying to make Hoihow - which sounds like Phileas Fogg's voyage across the Atlantic in 'Around the World in Eighty Days'! The problem? Head winds & the different rates of consumption of Welsh & Australian coal. The vessel's charts were inadequate for the voyage also. The Court did not consider the captain's errors of judgment sufficient to deal with his certificate. The weather was calm throughout; had it not been so, Dafila & also Albatross probably would have been total losses. Miramar indicates that the vessel was 'salvaged'. She certainly required repairs at Hong Kong to fix leaks & strengthen the hull & would have needed her interior totally rebuilt. In the 1887/88 edition of Lloyd's Register, the owner had become 'Kaw Hong Take', of Hong Kong, with no change of vessel name. In 1888, the vessel, Captain Neilsen in command, carried sugar & camphor wood from 'Taiwan Fu' to Shanghai, China. In 1890, the vessel was sold to Albino Goyanneshia, or, per Miramar, 'Goyenechea', of Manila, the Philippines, & renamed Nuestra Señora De Loreto. In 1895, the vessel was sold to Y. Iwata, likely of Japan, & renamed Fuso Maru. And sold again, in 1900, to K. Miyazaki, also likely of Japan, & renamed Daikoku Maru. I read that the vessel was later wrecked, on Oct. 26, 1901, near Fusan, China. But I have not been able to learn the circumstances nor if there was any loss of life. WWW data about the vessel is really quite limited. Can you add anything?
967 (or 1042) tons
A collier. Per 1 (Hamburg-America Line, Vulcan), 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Built for Hamburg-America Line ('H-A'), maybe correctly named, but am not sure, 'Hamburg-Amerikanische Packetfarhrt Aktien-Gesellschaft', of Hamburg, Germany. An expired e-Bay listing stated that Vulcan was the first cargo ship owned by H-A & used as a collier to supply H-A's ocean going fleet. In 1877, the vessel was sold to H. Naumann, also of Hamburg. In 1890, I read, the vessel was in collision with Salamanca near Greenwich & sank. Data is most limited. Need help!
44 Saint Lawrence
A cargo ship. Per 1, 2 (both data), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Note that all of the above links refer to 'St. Lawrence'. Lloyd's Register however lists the vessel as Saint Lawrence, registered in the name of Temperley & Co. Miramar refer to 'Temperley, Carter & Darke', of London. Used on London to Quebec, Canada, via Plymouth route. On Nov. 8, 1876 the vessel was wrecked near Cape Town, South Africa, while in use as a troop ship. On 'Paternoster Point, Cable Rocks, N Table Bay'. I had previously stated that the vessel was built for British & Colonial Steamship Co. Ltd., of London, which reference I will leave for the moment.
A 'composite' clipper - iron frames and wooden decks. Per 1 (6 page extensive history, including dates of all of her 27 voyages to Adelaide, at p#157), 2, 3, 4 & 5 (all data re Torrens), 6 (thumbnail image of a Jack Gray (1927/1981) oil painting of Torrens), 7 (reproduction print of a Montague Dawson painting), 8 (late 1880s Elder advertisement re Torrens), 9 (mystery report, ex A & B re Captain Cope voyage), 10 (image), 11 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Fast and popular with its passengers. Teak planking. Built for A. L. Elder & Co. ('Elder'), of London. Captain Henry Robert Angel ('Angel') was the vessel's 1st Master - thru 1890. He was, in fact, the majority owner of Elder. The figurehead of the ship was of Flores Angel, Angel's daughter, who in fact launched the vessel (it is possible that the figurehead, headless, still exists, at the Queen Victoria Museum, in Launceston, Tasmania, per 'Sunderland Echo' link 2). The vessel was able to sail well, even in light winds, faster than most other vessels - Robert Snowdon's thoughts on that subject. 336 miles in a single day was achieved. The vessel sailed from Plymouth to Adelaide, Australia, 27 times, & in 1880, did it in 64 days - one day faster than the record set by City of Adelaide. A 'lucky' ship, it would seem, at least while under the command of Captain Angel. An interesting anecdote at link 1 - the ship, returning to England & approaching the busy shipping of the English Channel, ran out of lamp oil. But ... a barrel was passed, floating in the water. The 'ship was hove to and a boat was lowered, and the cask, when recovered, was found to contain oil.' In 1890, in her first voyage under Captain W. H. Cope, the vessel lost her foremast & main topmast in a squall, & put into Pernambuco, Brazil, under jury rig, for repairs. She caught fire there, her masts had to be replaced, but she still made Adelaide in 179 days. A strange report issued at Cape Town re that voyage - see link 9. In 1896, Falkland Angel, the son of Angel, took command. On a voyage which commenced on Oct. 25, 1898, the vessel hit a large iceberg while en route from London to Adelaide, was partially dis-masted, but was able to make Port Adelaide in 103 days. On Sep. 4, 1903, while Torrens was being towed in the River Thames, carrying Boer War explosives loaded at St. Helena, Cauplet cut across the bow of Torrens & was sunk in the collision. No blame to the Torrens Captain (Falkland Angel), but considerable concern at the time with the cargo containing explosives. It would seem that the vessel was soon afterwards sold, to Italian interests, (to whom specifically?) in 1903. A now dead link stated that vessel was later twice run aground. After its last stranding, it was towed, in 1910, to Genoa, Italy & there broken up. Józef Korzeniowski [later author Joseph Conrad (1857/1924)] served as Chief Officer/Mate under Captain Cope on two 1893 voyages, from London to Adelaide & back (he also served aboard Amity). A Polish postage stamp, issued in 1957, featured Joseph Conrad with Torrens under full sail (image at left). A painting of the vessel, likely by Montague Dawson, is referred to here. I seem to have a few unanswered questions re this vessel. Can you add anything?
An iron brig-rigged cargo ship. That had a very short life - less than 4 months. From 1 (Board of Trade inquiry into the 1875 wreck, ex 'Accounts and Papers', published 1876, a 'Google' book), 2 (French page, re wreck), 3 (link 2 translated), 4 (wreck images), 5 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Single screw, 81.8 metres long, perpendicular to perpendicular, speed? Probably modest - of 9 or 10 knots perhaps. Built for D. G. Pinkney & Sons, of Sunderland. On Aug. 4, 1875, Yembo, a vessel then said to be owned by 'David G. Pinkney, and others', with Thomas Colling in command, left Sunderland with about 2,000 tons of coals, bound for Savona, Italy, with a crew of 27 all told. A North Sea pilot was aboard until the vessel passed through the Downs early on Aug. 6, 1875. The chief mate requested that the vessel head northwards to sight Start Point, Devon, before proceeding south-westward but the request was denied. The conditions deteriorated & became thick fog. At 4:00 a.m. on Aug. 8, 1875, land was seen by the mate, too late to avoid striking a rock on Ushant, (a small rocky island in the English Channel off the coast of Brittany, near Brest, France). Near the cliffs at Stiff, it would appear. The vessel filled with water & went down by the bow. The crew, aided by two local Frenchmen, took to the boats & safely landed at Ushant. The 'patent log' was not set when passing Beachy Head. The Court determined that 'ordinary precaution was not used in the navigation of the vessel', & suspended the Captain's certificate for a one year period. A number of sites reference, incorrectly, that the vessel was wrecked on Aug. 1, 1875. It would seem that the wreck may have been auctioned off. A dive site today. At 48.28.714N/ 05.02.924W. It would seem that the vessel was not listed in Lloyd's Register. Can you add anything?
A 3-masted iron barque. Per 1 (storm at Valparaiso in Aug. 1888, ex 2), 3 (Lloyd's register data, unchanged 1930/31 thru 1935/36, ex 4 'plimsollshipdata.org'), 5 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 52.4 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, 171.8 ft., signal letters QNLR. The webmaster has editions of 'Lloyd's Registers' available to him thru 1889/90 ex Google Books, see left. Built for W. (William) James, of Aberystwyth, Wales, however in the 1881/82 edition of Lloyd's register that became 'W. James & Co.' Note however, that the 'Laing' build list on this site, states the original purchaser to be 'W. James & N. Boath'. In 1882/83, the owner had become J. Lewis, also of Aberystwyth. J. Williams was Lloyd's recorded as the vessel's Captain from 1876 thru 1889. Some events in the life of the vessel. On May 24, 1879, the vessel arrived at Wellington, New Zealand after a voyage of 107 days from London - and later left for Guam. In early 1888, the vessel was at Valparaiso, Chile, when the area was hit by a massive storm, which caused many lost lives & enormous damage particularly to sailing vessels, driving them onto shore or onto one another. Two such casualties were Etoile du Sud, a French barque built at Sunderland in 1865, & Cambrian, a British iron barque built in 1867. Etoile du Sud was driven onto Cambrian, & the two vessels collided & re-collided until Cambrian sank, as also did Etoile du Sud an hour later. This all at night. Only two of Cambrian's crew were saved - Armstrong, her captain, & a 14 year old apprentice named Frederick Masson, who cast himself overboard, swam for an hour in the churning seas kept afloat by a piece of wreckage, & found himself under the stern of Glendovey. His cries were heard by Captain Williams & his crew & lines were thrown to him. Too weak to grasp the lines, he was snagged by a bight or loop of rope & was pulled aboard. On Mar. 26, 1903, the vessel, stated then to be owned by Mrs. Lewis of London, & captained by W. H. Larkin, arrived at New York from Cienfugos, Cuba, in a most unseaworthy condition & with an unhappy crew. On May 11, 1911, the vessel arrived at Richmond, Virginia, with a cargo that included 45 tons of bones, from Argentina, from animals that had starved as a result of a locust infestation in 1910. There was at least one earlier such shipment, from Uruguay, in 1910. In 1917, the vessel was sold to H. E. Wolden, of Montevideo, Uraguay, & renamed Pavo. While detail seems not to be WWW available, some years later, the vessel was seized by a bank for an unpaid debt. The vessel maybe had little value because it stayed moored at Montevideo, sank on a bank of mud in 1926 & heeled over, gradually lost her masts & was ransacked by thieves. The wreck lay in Montevideo Bay for many years - eventually it was, per Lloyd's Register & Miramar, broken up in Q4 of 1935, though a data snippet referred to it being removed, piece by piece, between 1938 & 1943. A 1935 issue (Vol. 19) of 'Sea Breezes', would seem to have referred to the vessel's history, per a Google data snippet. Can you add anything? No.1848
936 (935.79) tons
A cargo ship. From 1 ('pdf', Board of Trade report re 1889 grounding), 2 ('wrecksite.eu', Rosedale wreck data), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 64.5 metres (211.8 ft.) long, signal letters WVKM, speed? Built for T. G. Beatley & Co., maybe T. G. Beatley ('Beatley') & others, Beatley being the managing owner, of Sunderland (per Miramar). Which company operated a fleet of cargo ships serving the Baltic timber trade. On Aug. 31, 1889, the vessel, while owned by Mr. T. G. Beatley & others, stated in the Board of Trade report to be of London (most refs. are to London) where the vessel was registered, en route from Sundsvaal, Sweden, to West Hartlepool with a cargo of timber, was stranded inside Ytter Grund, off Husvalla, on the NE coast of the island of Oland, (SE Sweden). She was beached by Jestyn Winchcombe, her Master. Temporary repairs were effected & the vessel proceeded to Oskarshamn (Oskarsharn), Sweden, for repair. The Master was held not to be at fault, his instructions having not been followed. A few years later, Rosedale was driven ashore, broadside, during hurricane conditions, at Porthminster Beach, St. Ives, Cornwall, on Nov. 17 (or Nov. 18), 1893. She was en route from Southampton to Cardiff (Penarth), Wales. The next night the storm destroyed the ship which broke in two. No loss of life. The crew of 16 were all rescued by rocket apparatus & by breeches buoy. The vessel became a total wreck, broken to pieces where she lay. If you can add more, do please consider doing so.
950 (or 907) tons
A steamship, a collier. From A (Delcampe postcard that may be of Vectis rather than Vertis - which seems not to exist), 1 (Vectis, wreck data), 2 ('wrecksite.eu Vectis, wreck data), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 2 masted. 212.5 ft. long perpendicular to perpendicular, signal letters RCDW, speed? Initially registered to W. Hill & Co. of Southampton. But soon J. G. Hill & Co., owned by John Hill (or John George Hill Shipping), of Southampton, later of Sunderland, (Witherington & Everett the managers). The vessel was later registered in the name of J. G. Hill, of Cardiff, with Harrison, Moore & Moore the managers. It would seem that Vectis was wrecked early in 1912 at Andurn or Renny Point, a few miles east of Plymouth, U.K. On Feb. 5, 1912, she put out to sea after unloading her cargo of coal at Cattewater wharves. Just outside the breakwater, her steering failed & time and tide drove her hard onto the rocks. Efforts to re-float her failed. The vessel was abandoned. No loss of life. The wreck was later broken up in the 'Christmas Hurricane' of Dec. 1912. If you can add more, do please consider doing so.
1357 (later 1363) tons
A cargo ship, rigged as a topsail schooner. A large listing for a quite modest vessel! From 1 (image?, the vessel in front perhaps?), 2 ('pdf', Australian data & images), 3 (James Paterson, & Glaucus data & image), 4 & 5 (clearly this vessel, Timaru Herald, New Zealand, 1884 & 1885 reports - thanks so much!), 6 (an Oct. 1885 Brisbane newspaper article) 7 (hearing into the grounding of Glaucus on Dec. 23, 1885), 8 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 72.7 metres (238 ft. 5 in.) long perpendicular to perpendicular, 245 ft. overall, speed of 9 knots, signal letters WVPN. Built to carry coal to & grain from the Mediterranean. 'In her construction, the pleasing of the eye was left out. Elegance of form was not in her specifications.' And 'The Glaucus is not at all noticeable for her beauty, but her lack of that is amply made up by the fact that she is capable of carrying something like 1950 tons dead weight ... at an average speed of about 9 knots.' Built for Thomas Kish & Co. ('Kish'), of Sunderland. It would seem that in or about 1882, the vessel went to Australia & traded on the Australian coast. Likely very often carried coal. In 1884, the vessel was chartered for 2 years by C. W. Turner of New Zealand. At that time, the vessel would still seem to have been owned by Kish. I do like to advise of ownership changes in all listings, & an e-Bay item advises that the vessel was later owned by i) H. H. Black & ii) by James Paterson. Do read the text at 3 about James Paterson & Co. ('Paterson'), of Melbourne, which suggests that Paterson bought the vessel in 1883 but also suggests that Paterson may have only been the manager. It would seem however, from Lloyd's Registers available (at left), that Kish owned the vessel at least thru to the 1885/86 edition of Lloyd's. And by the 1887/88 edition, Paterson were the owners. Black? Have seen no references (yet!) to the name. From the early 1880s, Glaucus was engaged on 'the Australian coastal run' & there suffered a series of mishaps including minor collisions & groundings. One of them occurred on Dec. 23, 1885, when, with Robert Corvey ('Corvey') in command, the vessel ran aground about 6 miles N. of Dunk Island, Queensland, while en route from Newcastle, New South Wales, to Hong Kong with a cargo of coal. A part of the cargo was jettisoned & a week later, the vessel floated off. The inquiry concluded that the grounding was caused by the careless navigation of both Corvey & William Knowles, the ship's mate. On another voyage (when was it?) from Port Pirie, South Australia, to Newcastle, NSW, while carrying 500 tons of bullion (how interesting), the vessel's propeller shaft broke, near Althorpe Island in Investigator Strait. The weather was fortunately favourable, & the disabled ship was towed to Port Adelaide for repairs, presumably with no loss of any part of its cargo! Would seem to have served the Pacific region also. In 1927, the vessel was used to store barley, at Williamstown, Victoria, & soon, in 1929, was used as a grain hulk in Port Adelaide. Now I have read that the vessel was hulked in Q4 of 1929. However it would seem that the owners intended to break up the vessel at Ethelton, Adelaide, in 1934, but the salvagers holed the hull below the water line. After emergency repairs, the hulk was towed to the Garden Island Ships' Graveyard, (North arm graveyard, Port of Adelaide) where it was beached on Jul. 4, 1935. Where she remains in large part to this very day. The bow section is completely missing, but the stern post & rudder are still relatively intact. We thank Summer Lynch, whose significant data has enhanced this listing. Summer's GGG grandfather was Robert Corvey, referenced above. If you can correct the text and/or add more data, do consider doing so. An image of the wreck today?
1397 (or 1391) tons
An iron steamship. From 1 (Ben Line, Czar), 2 (brief reference below Petersburg image), 3 (wreck data), 4 (ref. Vesuvio), 5 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 243 ft. long. Built for William Thomson & Company of Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland, which company later (1919) became Ben Line Steamers Ltd., known as Ben Line. Engaged in the Baltic trade. The vessel was sold, in 1898, to Mossgiel Steamship Co., of Glasgow & renamed Vesuvio. It was sold again, in 1900 or 1901, to General Steamship Co. Ltd. of London. On Apl. 6, 1916, while en route from Messina, Sicily, to London, & off Beachy Head, Sussex, 6 miles E. of Owers Light Vessel, Vesuvio hit a mine, & an explosion occurred 'on the port side by way of the bridge'. The Captain (Elgar), the 2nd Officer & 3 others were killed by the blast. The vessel sank within 15 minutes. 14 survivors were landed at Newhaven, 1 of them seriously injured. 7 lives were lost. Can you help with more data?
524 (or 486, or 505, later 697) tons
An iron steamship. A vessel that had a lot of names & owners. But that must be forgiven since this most tiny ship lasted over 123 years! Many references to its being built in 1879 rather than 1880 - it was launched on Dec. 22, 1979. Per 1 (data, 40% down, 19/04/2006 15:47, Contest), 2 (Danish text, Sides 8 & 9, image Abdullah, thanks Bent Mikkelsen!), 3 (Norwegian data, & image Contest), 4 (Some Lloyd's registers), 5 (ref. in text to Contest & Vesuv), 6 (UC-58), 7 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 50.6 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, 170.1 ft. Built for William France, a merchant from Leeds, for the coastal & short sea continental trades. Registered at London. William France later became Wm. France Ltd. & Wm. France & Company & even later W. France, Fenwick & Co. Ltd. Noted for its involvement in the coal trade on the U.K. East Coast. On Apl. 7, 1883, leaving Goole with a cargo of coal destined for London, the vessel was in collision with Vesuv, of Copenhagen, Denmark, in the Humber river. Vesuv sank as a result, but was re-floated when over 300 tons of mud was removed from its hull! An Inquiry, in London in Jun. 1883, found both captains to be at fault. It would be good to be able to read that inquiry report, wouldn't it. In 1884, the vessel was sold to W. Clarke of London - with no change of name. It would seem, (can it be correct?) that it reverted to William France's ownership in 1887. In or about 1891, the vessel was sold to 'A/S Contest', a company owned by F. M. Bachke of Trondheim, Norway, with no change of name. I believe in 1895, the vessel was stranded behind the breakwater, at Ayr, Scotland. It was acquired & extensively repaired by S. McKnight & Company', shipbuilders of Ayr, again with no change of name. And was sold, also in 1895, to J. Reston, of Glasgow, W. S. Miller, the manager. Again in 1895, the vessel was sold to F. J. Reimers, of Hamburg, Germany. Who renamed the ship Hermine. In Jul. 1913, the vessel was sold to 'A/S D/S Løgstør', of Løgstør, Denmark, Christian S. Odgaard the managers, & renamed Jyden. In Oct. 1915, it was sold again, to 'Rederi AB Ester', owned by Niels Osterman, of Norrkøping, Sweden, for 95,000 kroner, J. E. (or maybe J. R.) Østerlund the manager, & renamed Märta. Maybe also known as Martha. On May 19, 1917, the vessel was seized in the Gulf of Bothnia, by UC-58, while en route from Stockholm to Raumo, with a general cargo. No loss of life in the seizure. The ship was taken to Stettin. But the period of 1917 to 1922 is an unknown to me (15.8.17 FECH; 19.11.17 t Ostsee). In 1922, perhaps owned by Dönitz Witte & Co. & in 1924, by R. Bornhofen, of Hamburg, Germany. On Jul. 28, 1938, the vessel was sold to Finnish owners of Turku (Åbo) - with no change of vessel name. That owner's name seems to be 'Rederi A/B Lindship', 'O/Y Lars Krogies A/B' the managers, both of Turku (Åbo). Can anybody tell us about the vessel's WW2 service? Converted in some way in 1949? In 1952, the vessel's steam engines were replaced with diesel engines (have also read this was in 1982 or could that be the conversion in 1949?). But ... Thomas Simpson indicates (thanks Thomas!) that her original George Clark of Sunderland, two-cylinder engine lasted for an amazing 64 years, was replaced in 1943 (with a water-cooled 6 cylinder diesel engine manufactured by 'Motoren Werke Mannheim AG', of Mannheim, Germany). A refit in 1952. In 1962, it was sold to N. Kathreptis et al, (maybe the managers only) of Greece, & renamed Argo. In 1965, the vessel was sold to S. G. Halaris, (maybe the managers only) also of Greece, & renamed Evangelia. Traded from Greece into the Black Sea. In 1969, the vessel was sold to 'Dionisios Maltezos', of Piraeus, Greece, D. Manganoudakis the manager, & renamed Xenia. The vessel was lengthened in 1979 & became 54.9 metres long with a new gross tonnage of 697. The vessel was again re-engined in 1982, with the installation of an 8 cylinder diesel engine made by 'SKL', of Magneburg, East Germany, located in the stern section of the ship. A major redesign then, in fact - both lengthened & widened. The ship's new bridge & accommodation block was situated above the engine room, thus allowing unbroken cargo space all the way from the bridge front to the break of the forecastle head. A modern foremast, supporting the two forward (3 ton) cargo derricks & their associated winches was situated at the after part of the forecastle head. To compensate for this encroachment, where space was at a premium, the forward part of the forecastle head was extended forward by around ten feet or so, thus increasing space for handling the mooring ropes when arriving or leaving port & also giving the ship its very modern flared bow. Thomas Simpson would like to know whether those 1982 changes were effected by the Greek owners of Xenia, who then sold it to the Turks; or maybe effected by the Turks, after they had bought the Xenia. In 1982, the vessel was sold for the last time, to 'Ishak-Sadik Kalkavan Ve Ortaklari', of Istanbul, Turkey, M. R. Ozmelek the manager, & renamed Abdullah. The vessel may have been significantly altered at that time. It continued to trade into the Black Sea. On Apl. 13, 2003, the vessel arrived at Aliağa, Turkey, to be broken up. Thomas Simpson (thanks!) has provided much of the above data. More was from 'Google' snippets, or from texts in Danish & Norwegian, all easily misinterpreted. There are published articles, but those articles are not available to me. The listing may therefore require significant correction. Can you do that, or help with more data?
1823 (or 1773) tons
An iron cargo ship that had a very long life. From 1 ('Culliford & Clark' brief data), 2 (Spanish page, Carvoeiro), 3 (link 2 translated into English), 4 ('plimsollshipdata.org', many Lloyd's Register listings for years 1930 thru 1945, 3 vessel names), 5 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). The webmaster has a few editions of 'Lloyd's Registers' available to him thru 1890/91 ex Google Books, see left. 81.7 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, 269 ft., signal letters WBGT, later PUUH. Built for 'Culliford & Clark', of Sunderland, the Culliford maybe being 'J. H. Culliford' or or 'J. H. W. Culliford' - a tramp shipping company which owned 13 steamers in 1884. In 1906, the vessel was sold to 'Montenegro & Co.', of Para, Brazil, & renamed Carvoeiro. It would seem likely that the vessel spent the rest of its life in South American waters. In 1919, the vessel was sold to 'Lloyd Nacion Soc. Anon.', of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, & renamed Antonina. At that time, it would seem that the ship's engines were changed. The vessel had three later names while still being owned by Lloyd Nacion Soc. Anon. In 1927, the vessel was renamed Douro, in 1931 Commandante Castilho, & in 1935 Arataia. I wonder why the name changes were all necessary? No WW2 convoy references at 'convoyweb.org'. On Nov. 4, 1961, the vessel was broken up at Rio de Janeiro. The WWW record for this vessel is modest indeed. Can you help with more data? Or correct the above, as may be required.
54 City of Hamburg
1219 (later 1174, 1200 & 1142) tons
An iron cargo ship that had a very long life. From 1 (1941, 25% down in German, Tenace. '5.– 12.5.1941 Mittelmeer' - translates as 'During the night of 8.5 bombard the light cruisers Ajax (Capt. McCarthy) and the Destroyer Imperial, Hotspur and Havock the port facilities in Benghazi and sink the Italian Capitano A. Cecchi (2321 BRT) and Tenace (1142 BRT).'), 2 (main 'plimsollshipdata.org' link, Lloyd's Register data, Tenace, 1930/31 thru 1943/44), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 231.0 ft. long (70.41 metres) perpendicular to perpendicular, later 239.8 ft. long (73.09 metres) perpendicular to perpendicular, signal letters WFGC, later NEYS, PIXZ & IURM. Built for 'Palgrave, Murphy & Company' of Dublin, which company provided service between Ireland & the Continent. In 1919, the vessel was sold to T. Dracatos (of Greece perhaps?), & renamed Panaghis Dracatos. It was sold again, in 1921 & 1925, to 'A. Narizzano' (of Italy?) & then to 'Fratelli S. & E. Accame' of Genoa, Italy, & renamed respectively Arthur Serena & Arturo Serena. ('Fratelli' means 'brothers'). However Lloyd's Register of 1930/31 indicates that 'Soc. Anon. di Nav. LaSerenissima', of Genoa, was the registered owner. In 1931, the vessel was sold to 'Ignazio Messina & Co.' (Linea Messina S.p.A.), of Genoa, & renamed Tenace. On May 8, 1941, British warships Ajax, Imperial, Havock & Hotspur shelled the harbour facilities at Benghazi, Libya. I have difficulty in telling you exactly what happened to Tenace, which was there. Per this book Tenace, along with Capitan A. Cecchi, was shelled, set on fire & blown up when 20 miles SW of Benghazi. Miramar indicate (thanks!) 'gunfire near Tajunes 8.5.41 & beached W Benghazi'. While this site, (search for Tenace'), states 'Italian steamers TENACE (1142grt) and CAPITANO CECCHI (2321grt) were sunk at Benghazi in the bombardment at 3½ miles 299° from Marabutto Sidi Bu Fachra and 2½ miles 314° from Tre Palme, respectively.' The vessel may have been beached. Lloyd's Register continued to list the vessel thru 1944/45. Can you help with more data? Or correct the above, as may be required.
2980 (or 2898) tons
3An iron cargo ship. Per 1 (1887 Board of Trade Inquiry report, 'pdf' available), 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). The webmaster has a few editions of 'Lloyd's Registers' available to him ex Google Books, see at left. 313.5 ft. long, clipper bow & stem, signal letters HQJV. It would seem that the vessel was built for 'Dixon & Wilson' ('Dixon'), but by the time the 1883/84 Lloyd's Register was printed, the registered owner had become 'P. H. Laing', of Sunderland. P. H. Laing, means Philip Henry Laing ('PHL'), of Deptford Yard, & other investors, PHL being the managing owner. Could it be that Dixon had financial difficulties & the shipyard took back the ship for sale to another buyer? On Sep. 11, 1886, the vessel left Sunderland, in ballast, for Galveston, Texas, U.S.A., with a crew of 30 all told. When about 600 miles W. of the Western Islands, (the Azores, I believe), on Sep. 23, 1886, 4 crew members were designated to paint the lower holds with an anti-corrosive quick drying paint manufactured by Sissons & Sons, & one of them, the boatswain, held a lighted candle. In the confined area below decks, there was an explosion & a flash of light, & the paint ignited & spurted in all directions. 3 of the 4 crewmen were severely burned & one of them, Boggie, an able seaman, was so badly burned that he died on the afternoon of the next day. A most unfortunate matter indeed caused by the dangers of using such paint not being understood. The registered owner became 'A. Laing' in 1889/90. An e-Bay postcard states that in Jul. 1907, when the card was mailed, 'Weardale Steam Ship Co. Ltd.', of Sunderland, were the vessel's owners. I can find no later references to the vessel until ... in the 4th quarter of 1910, the vessel was hulked at Punta Arenas, Strait of Magellan, Chile. Per Miramar (thanks!). Can you help with more data? Or correct the above, as may be required.
56 Westward Ho
1241 (or 1267) tons
A 3-masted iron barque, which had a very long life. From 1 (image as Guaytecas), 2 (Lloyd's Register data, Guaytecas, 'plimsollshipdata.org', 1930/31 thru 1945/46), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Built for R. H. Gayner, of Sunderland. Gayner owned 59/64 of the vessel & M. Mariner 5/64. Sister to Northernhay. 225.0 ft. (68.7 metres) long, later 225.5 ft., signal letters JSLT, later HCDQ, CBGU & HPYZ. Served the western coast of South America (Chile). On Jul. 4, 1900, the vessel was sold to E. Holtzapfel, of Hamburg, Germany, (F. C. Bramslow, the manager?) & renamed Bille. In 1907, the vessel was sold to 'Austral de Maderas', of Chile & renamed Gueiteas. It was sold again, in 1914, to R. Valdes & renamed Guaytecas. In the 1930/31 Lloyd's Register, Jerman Oelkers y Cia ('Jerman'), of Valparaiso, Chile, were the registered owners. The 1944/45 edition of Lloyd's Register records the sale from Jerman to 'Julio Anahory du Quental Catheiros', of Panama, Conde da Cavilha the manager. The vessel was towed, dismasted, into Cape Town, South Africa, in 1946. Its final disposition? Miramar indicates that the vessel was deleted from the registers in 1955. A portion of the above data was from a long-expired e-Bay listing. Can you help with more data?
1269 (or 1256) tons
Nostra Signora Assunta
A 3-masted iron barque. From 1 (data, 90% down), 2 ('u-boat.net', Nostra Signora Assunta), 3 (image, Northernhay), 4 (a difficult arrival in British Columbia, in Dec. 1885, 3rd column), 5 (U-34), 6 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 68.7 metres long, 225 ft 6 in. (or 225 ft. 5 in. or 3 in.). Fitted with single top gallant sails, royals, & a triangular main course. Built for Robert H. Gayner of Sunderland & christened by E. S. Gayner, daughter of the owner. 100% Gayner owned (64/64). Sister to Westward Ho, built in 1884, also by 'Laing'. Have read the briefest references that say the vessel sailed to San Francisco & maybe to the Far East & to India, which words would apply to many ships, I suspect. It certainly travelled to the W. coast of N. America & to Australia. On Aug. 27, 1909, the vessel was sold for £2,500 to Tomaso Gazzolo, of Genoa, Italy, who may however be the manager rather than the owner (have seen references to 'Tomaso Gazzolo Fu A', with the 'A' likely meaning Angelo, managers, of Nervi, Genoa), & renamed Nostra Signora Assunta. On Aug. 31, 1916, the vessel, en route from Genoa to Norfolk, Virginia, U.S.A., in ballast, was sunk by gunfire, by U-34, Kapitänleutnant Claus Rücker in command. 30 miles NE of Cape Palos, near Cartagena, SE Spain. With no loss of life. U-34 was, I read, the 4th most successful German submarine in WW1, sinking 119 ships & damaging 5 more. Claus Rücker was responsible, in his career, re 88 ships sunk & 3 more damaged. Have read no detail as to the circumstances of the sinking. WWW data re the vessel is modest. We thank Clive Fisher of the U.K. for kindly providing data re this vessel. John E. (Efford) Beadon (1880/1916), grandfather of Eve Fisher (Clive's wife), was captain of Northerhay, at dates unknown, but probably to the time when the vessel was sold in 1909 to Italian owners. He left the ship, indeed left sailing ships, to become Captain of Lorca, a steam vessel, & lost his life when that vessel was torpedoed by U-49, 200 miles W. of Ushant, (an island off the French Brittany coast), on Nov. 15, 1916. All 32 aboard were lost. Can you help with more data?
A passenger/cargo ship. Per 1 (interesting 1886 ref. to launch, p. 297), 2 ('Koninklijke', Bawean), 3 (An image of this Bawean? I suspect so.), 4 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Built for 'Netherlands India Steam Navigation Company (Limited)', (i.e. 'Nederlandsch Indische Stoomvaart (or Stoomboot) Maatschappij') ('Netherlands'), of Batavia, (today Jakarta, Indonesia). 210 ft. long, facilities for 20 passengers in 1st or 2nd class. Engines 'expected to drive the vessel at a high rate of speed'. Intended for 'the conveyance of cargo, passengers, and troops between the ports of Java and other ports in Netherlands India'. Poop & main decks of teak. To be fitted with a bullion room & a large gunpowder magazine. At the launch, named Bawean by Miss Quinet. In 1891, 'Koninklijke Paketvaart-Maatschappij' took over the fleet of Netherlands. In 1901 (or 1902), vessel was sold to 'Tan Auco' of the Philippines & renamed Bunuan. It was sold again, in 1906 or 1907, to Fernandez Bros., (Fernandez Hermanos), also of Philippines, & renamed Islas Filipinas. There are WWW references to 2 or 3 modest lawsuits involving the vessel. In Jan. 1942, the vessel was sunk in the Bay of Manila, after a Japanese air raid. Can you help with more data?
59 Lake Ontario
A passenger ship. Per 1 (Marine Engineer 1887/88, a Google book, at p.20/21 & 137), 2 (extensive voyage data), 3 (data, Lake Ontario), 4 (data), 5 (Hindoo collision), 6 (Vancouver, 90% down), 7 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Accommodation for 200-1st, 85-2nd & 1,000-3rd class passengers. Attained over 15 knots at her trials, about 2 knots over the speed which was guaranteed. ... one of the finest ever turned out from the Deptford yard. 114.1 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, 392 ft. overall, with bow plating etc. strengthened to handle N. Atlantic ice conditions. Built for Canada Steamship Company or Canada Shipping Company (Limited) i.e. Beaver Line. Used mainly on the Liverpool, U.K., to Montreal or Quebec, Canada, run. In Aug. 1896, the vessel collided head-on in the St. Lawrence River with Vancouver of Dominion Line & was damaged. Lake Ontario's 'clipper bow' prevented critical damage to either ship but the Vancouver was out of service for three months. On Jan. 31, 1898, the vessel collided with Hindoo, of Wilson Line, in the N. Atlantic & was damaged. It happened at 47.35N/42.55W in a very heavy snowstorm. Hindoo proceeded to New York & Lake Ontario to Liverpool. In 1899, Beaver Line (history at link above) was transferred to Elder Dempster & Co. The name of the ship was not changed, & the line continued to operate as Beaver Line. The vessel's last voyage was Liverpool to Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, on Mar. 28, 1903. The vessel was scrapped, in Dec. 1905, in Italy. Anything you can add?
4662 (or 4689) tons
A passenger/cargo ship. Per 1 (British India Steam Navigation), 2 (Oct. 1916), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 123.1 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, speed of 12 knots. Built for British India Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. The vessel was sunk, on Oct. 20, 1916, (defensively armed), by U-39, eight miles NW by N of Cap Corbelin, Algeria. One life was lost. Can you add more?
A 3-masted iron barque. Per 1 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 69.0 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, 226.5 ft. Built for Robert H. Gayner, of Sunderland. The webmaster has a single 'Lloyd's Register' ex Google Books available to him which lists the vessel, see at left. e-Bay vendor scott-base advises (thanks!) - i) that in Oct. 1910, the vessel was dismasted off La Plata, Argentina, & was towed in that condition into Pernambuco, now Recife, Brazil, ii) that in Mar. 1911 the vessel was sold (to whom I wonder) with no change of vessel name, iii) that during WW1 Wychwood was used as a naval receiving ship off Kirkwall (Orkney Islands, I presume), iv) that she later became a barge & was broken up at about 1923. I can find no WWW references to most of those matters, which is strange for a very late sailing ship, said to have indeed been the last sailing ship owned on the U.K. east coast. Can you add more?
3069 (or 3155) tons
A cargo ship. Per 1 (launch, ex 'The Marine Engineer', of Jun. 1890), 2 (DDG Kosmos), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). About 108 metres long, speed of 11 knots. A difficult launch, on Jun. 4, 1890, it would appear - owing to an accident, the vessel was suddenly stopped in her course before getting clear of the 'ways'. She lay in a somewhat awkward position for several days, but was eventually floated, without, as we understand, having suffered any damage. Built for 'Hamburg-Calcutta-Linie', of Hamburg, Germany, (A. Kirsten, the manager - they were also shipowners). The vessel must have been later transferred or sold to 'Hamburg Pacific Dampfschiff Linie' (also A. Kirsten), of Hamburg, since the vessel was sold by them, in 1898, to 'Deutsche Dampfschifffahrts-Gesellschaft Kosmos' (DDG Kosmos), also of Hamburg. For service to S. America. In 1900, the vessel was renamed Kambyses. On Oct. 6, 1902, Captain Grimm in command, the vessel was wrecked at Punta Guionos, Costa Rica, while en route from Puget Sound, Washington, U.S.A., to Hamburg, via San Francisco & S. American ports. Her cargo included 5,000 cases of canned salmon bound for Europe, also coal for S. America & flour. A part of cargo was likely recovered. Probably no loss of life. Have not read the circumstances. Can you add more?
2050 or 2057) tons
A cargo ship, but it carried passengers so it probably was a passenger/cargo vessel. Per 1 [Bullard King, Umkuzi (1)], 2 (related ephemera), 3 (image, Umkuzi, also -03), 4 (Boer War, 70% down, no date), 5 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 85.8 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, speed of 10 knots, signal letters LRMV. Built for 'Bullard King & Company, Limited' (Natal Direct Line), of London. Who had, in history, 3 vessels of the name. Engaged on the London to Durban, South Africa, service (& surely beyond, to Delagoa Bay, now Maputo Bay, & Beira in Mozambique). Now Natal Line also connected India with South Africa in the years of 1899 to 1911. There are a number of WWW references to the ship being at Madras & Calcutta in those years & a reference to its bringing 125 personnel from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to South Africa to serve in the Boer War. But ... there really is no meaningful WWW data re the vessel. The vessel was sold, in 1923, to 'V. Schuppe', of Berlin?, Germany, & renamed Tilde. The vessel arrived, in Oct. 1927, at German ship breakers, to be broken up. Can you tell us more?
A cargo liner, with accommodation for 10 passengers. Per 1 [Bullard King, Umona (1)], 2 (Natal Line of Steamers, ex 3, Whitakers 1894, a 'Google' book), 4 (image), 5 (final voyage, Chapter 12, commencing at page #67), 6 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 85.8 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, 281.5 ft. Built for 'Bullard King & Company, Limited' (Natal Direct Line), of London. But maybe the initial owner was rather John King, of London. Why do I suggest that? A 'bill of sale' was sold via e-Bay in Mar. 2012 - re the sale of a 1/64 share of the vessel, at an unstated date in Feb. 1901, to Benjamin Tilley, of Newport, Hampshire, with John King the vendor. Engaged on the Cape Town, Durban (Natal), Colombo & Calcutta service. I read however that the vessel was generally on charter to the Natal Emigration Department to carry Indian labourers, at £6 a head, to work in the sugar plantations of Natal & Transvaal. On May 15, 1903, the vessel was en route from Colombo, Ceylon, ex Calcutta, India, to Natal & Cape Town, Charles Hedley in command, with 475 Indian men, women & children aboard, 9 (have also read 10) passengers, & a cargo of jute & rice. Bad weather was encountered - & the vessel approached the 'One and a Half Degree Channel' thru the Maldives islands late & at night. At 2:45 a.m. on May 15, 1903, the ship, 76 miles off her course due to ocean currents, ran aground at Suvadiva Atoll, Maldive Islands. The nearest island was 2 miles distant & at dawn a scouting party went to the island & sought help from 4 Maldivians gathering coconuts. Soon they returned to the ship with eight small vessels intent not upon helping but rather upon looting Umona. 100 Indians walked to the island through the surf at low tide - the Maldivians did agree to ferry the other 375 Indians ashore. The location being isolated, the decision was made to send a 26 ft. long boat, one of only 4 ship's boats, to Colombo, Ceylon, 480 miles away, under the command of Chief Officer Bruckland. The boat was driven off course, survived a major storm due to the skill of Bruckland & Tollemache, Umona's 3rd officer, but did safely reach Colombo. Both Bruckland & Tollemache were awarded the Lloyd's Silver Medal for Meritorious Service for their actions & bravery. The passengers were later all rescued & the ship was abandoned. So the Maldivians presumably did end up looting the abandoned ship. Can you add anything? No.1893
65 Minna Craig
A passenger/cargo ship. From 1 (8th image down), 2 (Muttra), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Built for Minna Craig Steamship Co. Ltd. (Beyts, Craig & Co., the managers). The vessel was sold, in 1893, to British India Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. & renamed Muttra. And sold in 1921 to Chinese interests (Jensien Transport Co., the managers), & renamed Yuan Ta. Can you help with more data?
66 Port Douglas
A cargo ship that had a very short life. Per 1 (Milburn Line), 2 (6th item Port Douglas), 3 (Port Douglas), 4 (Kaikoura), 5 (underwriter ref.), 6 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 371.5 (or 390) ft. (about 118 metres) long, speed of 10 knots. Built for William Milburn & Co., of London, 'Milburn Line'. Sister to Port Albert. Engaged, from Oct. 24, 1891, on service to Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. On May 24, 1892, while on her second voyage to Australia & en route from London to Sydney via the Cape of Good Hope with general cargo, the vessel ran aground on a reef & sank off the island of St. Vincent, Cape Verde islands. Salvage efforts failed & the vessel was declared a total loss. The cargo however is said to have been recovered by the enterprising locals. Which is strange because the underwriters accepted an offer for the salvage of the Port Douglas & for its cargo at 40% of value. She must have carried passengers, because it would seem that Kaikoura likely carried them to Hobart, Tasmania. Can you add more? An image?
2938 (or 3005) tons
A cargo ship. Per 1 (Neptune Steam Navigation, Venango), 2 (New York Times 1894 'snippet', 50% down), 3 (French data, Wilfred), 4 (Compagnie Générale Transatlantique, Wilfred), 5 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 94.1 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, speed? The launch of the vessel was reported in 'Marine Engineer & Naval Architect' of 1913, but the text cannot be seen. Preparing this listing has been most difficult & the result will almost certainly require correction. Do please help in that regard, if you can. The vessel was built for Neptune Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. ('Neptune'), i.e. Neptune Line, W. & T. W. Pinkney, the managing owners, both of Sunderland. Acquired for the company's weekly freight service between Rotterdam & Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. It also was engaged, however, in other areas, including the carriage of cotton & grain from New Orleans, likely to Manchester. While detail is not WWW available, the vessel stove in some plates at Latchford, & met with other accidents in the Manchester Ship Canal, either through bad steering, or bad pilotage. On Nov. 28, 1894, the New York Times advised that both Venango & Govino (built by Laing of Sunderland, in 1892) were a week overdue at Baltimore, having encountered a storm on their voyages from Rotterdam. What happened to Neptune? I read that the company ran into financial difficulties & in 1906 Furness Withy & Co. ('Furness') purchased the Rotterdam to Baltimore service & 7 of Neptune's vessels. Not including Venango, I believe. Neptune became managed by Bolam and Swinhoe, of Newcastle, (maybe from 1904) & in 1910 Neptune was purchased by Furness. The vessel is not however included in the Furness fleet list here. The vessel served for many years on the Liverpool to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, route. Note that Miramar do not refer at all to Neptune or to Furness. In 1913, the vessel was sold to 'La Compagnie Des Vapeurs Français', of Rouen, France, Jean Stern the manager, & renamed Rouennais. And in 1916 or 1917, the vessel was sold again, to Joseph Lasry of Oran, French Algeria, & renamed Wilfred. From 1922 to 1926, the vessel was bareboat chartered to 'Compagnie Generale d'Armement Maritime', a subsidiary of 'Compagnie Générale Transatlantique' ('Générale'), for its Mediterranean service, with no change of vessel name. Or it may have in fact been purchased instead by Générale. The vessel was broken up in Q2 of 1927. In that regard, 3 indicates, if I understand the French correctly, that Wilfred was rather sold in 1934 to A. P. Möller, (of Shanghai, China), & renamed Daisy Moller. That was however another vessel named Wilfred, launched as Pindos in 1911. A puzzle perhaps is that for many years (1920 to 1927) there were two registered vessels named Wilfred. Much of the above data came from incomplete references, including Google data 'snippets'. Can you correct the above and/or add anything more? Another image?
68 B. G. Baker
Panaghis M. Hadoulis
A cargo ship. From 1 ('Plimsollshipdata.org', Lloyd's Register data), 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 83.8 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, 275 ft., signal letters JFHP. Built for Stephens & Mawson, of Newcastle, who owned, it would appear, 'Red "R" Steamship Co. Ltd.'. It would be good to learn in which name the vessel was first Lloyd's registered. A puzzle, perhaps, is that the vessel's name clearly did not commence with the letter 'R'. In 1902, the vessel was sold to Armement Adolf Deppe, of Antwerp, Belgium, & renamed Adolf Deppe. Engaged on their Rotterdam to New York service. In 1923, the vessel was sold to P. M. Hadoulis, maybe P. M. Hadoulis & partners, of Andros, Greece, & renamed Panaghis M. Hadoulis. Another vessel of the name. In 1927, the vessel was sold to P. Voyazides & Co., likely of Athens or Piraeus, Greece, & renamed Galounis. The vessel would seem to have been soon sold again. In the 1930/31 edition of Lloyd's register, the vessel was registered to A. Bistis, of Andros. The vessel was sold for the last time, in 1933, to Theodorou Sigalas, of Greece, & renamed Mykonos. The vessel was broken up, in Italy, in 1934. The WWW record for this vessel is most limited. Can you help with more data? Another image?
A cargo ship. From 1 [Oldenburg (1)], 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 77.7 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, 255 ft. Built for Cairns, Young & Noble, of Newcastle, which company became Cairn Line of Steamships Ltd. On Nov. 12, 1898, the vessel was in collision with Oldenburg, 618 tons, which sank & became a total loss. I have not read the circumstances, but I have read that the collision was in the river Guadiana which rises in Spain & empties into the N. Atlantic at the Gulf of Cadiz. For many miles, the river seems to be the border between S.E. Portugal & Spain. On Dec. 5, 1910, while en route in ballast from Toulon, France, to Seville, Spain, the vessel ran aground & was wrecked, 7 miles E. of Malabat Point. In Tangier Bay, Straits of Gibraltar area. At 35.52N/05.37W. Have not read the circumstances. Any lives lost? Can you help with more data? An image?
2017 (or 1759) tons
A cargo ship. From 1 (item #26, page in Norwegian, Asp), 2 (2nd Onega), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 273 (or 237) ft. long. Built for C. M. Norwood & Co., of London. The vessel was sold, in 1898, to 'Paul & Shellshear', also of London. In 1906, it was sold again, to C. N. Castriotti (or Castrioti), of Piraeus, Greece, & (3 says 1905) renamed Chariclia. In 1907, it was again sold to 'Domestini & Oceonomou' (or Economou), also of Piraeus, & in 1912 renamed Leonidas. And in Feb. 1916, was sold to A/S Vesterhav (Thv. B. Heistein & Sønner A/S), of Kristiansand, Norway, & renamed Asp. On Jan. 18, 1917, while en route from Barry to Fayal, the Azores, with a cargo of coal, the vessel was sunk 'by an explosive device' from UB38, off Bishop Rock. At 50.36N/06.45W. Any lives lost? Can you help with more data? An image?
A cargo ship. From A (e-Bay image, Michelangelo), 1 (image, Marjan), 2 ('plimsollshipdata.org', Lloyd's Register data, 1930/31 & 1931/32), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 300.0 ft. long (91.4 metres) perpendicular to perpendicular, speed of ? knots, signal letters JMOE. Built for Andrea Dall'Orso & Co., (possibly M. & A. Dall'Orso) of La Spezia, Italy. The vessel was sold, in 1925, to 'V. Alesic', & renamed Marjan. The Lloyds's Register listings linked above, refer however to 'Levant Soc. di Nav a Vap.' as the registered owner in 1930/31 & 'Levant Parobrodarsko Drustvo s.o.j.' in 1931/32, both of Šibenik, Yugoslavia now Croatia. On Dec. 7, 1931, the vessel was wrecked in the Adriatic, nr. Medolino, Croatia. The vessel must have been re-floated since it was later broken up at nearby Pola (should be Pula, Croatia, I believe) in Q1 of 1932. Any lives lost? The circumstances? I was unable to find any WWW references to this vessel & to its wreck. So thanks go to Miramar for their data. Can you help with more?
5436 (or 5433) tons
A cargo ship. Per 1 [British India, Orissa, (2)], 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 125.0 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, speed of 10 knots. Built for 'British India Steam Navigation Co. Ltd.', of London or maybe of Glasgow. Orissa? A coastal state in NE India. I read that on Dec. 24, 1923, the vessel was sold to 'Chai Lai Fong', of Shanghai, China, & that it was broken up at Shanghai. A most difficult search subject. Need help! Can you add more data?
73 Nippon Maru
6162 (later 6048) tons
A passenger/cargo vessel. Beware, many vessels of this name! Per 1, 2 & 3 (data), 4 (image), 5 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Of related interest 6. 131.4 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, speed of 17 knots, signal letters HQSL, with capacity for 180 passengers. Owned by 'Toyo Kisen Kabushiki Kaisha', (or maybe just 'Toyo Kisen Kaisha') of Tokyo, Japan. Traded between Yokohama, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Honolulu & San Francisco - carrying cotton to Japan & bringing back oriental fabrics. Carried passengers also. An important vessel, I read, in the history of immigration from Asia to the U.S.A. Per 2, the vessel was abandoned near Point Honda off the California coast on May 28, 1933 (Point Honda is N. & W. of Los Angeles near the N. end of the Santa Barbara Channel). However it would seem that in 1920, the vessel was rather sold to 'Cia Sud-Americana de Vapores', of Valparaiso, Chile, for a Valparaiso to New York service, & renamed Renaico. And that the vessel was broken up at Iquique, Chile, in 1926. There are no Lloyd's Register references to a vessel named Renaico at 'plimsollshipdata.org'. Can you clarify the matter and/or help with more data?
2655 (or 2955) tons
A cargo ship, but it would seem it carried passengers so it probably was a passenger/cargo vessel. Per 1 [Bullard King, Umtata (2)], 2 (related ephemera), 3 (image, also -03), 4 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 100.6 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, speed of 13 knots. Built for 'Bullard King & Company, Limited' (Natal Direct Line), of London. Who had, in history, 4 vessels of the name. Engaged on London to Durban, South Africa, service (& beyond, to Delagoa Bay & Beira in Mozambique). Really no WWW data re the vessel. Presumably named after Umtata (now Mthathta), in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, which was the capital of the Transkei, & is now noted for its Nelson Mandela Museum (Nelson Mandela (1918/2013) was born & lived in retirement nearby - at Qunu). The vessel arrived, in Feb. 1924, at Savona, Italy, to be broken up. Can you tell us more?
3710 (or 3645) tons
A tanker. Per 1 (Rorqual), 2 (Algeria, 20% down), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 102.3 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, 335.5 ft. or 349 ft. 6 in., speed of 9 knots. Built for Caucasian Steam Shipping Company, Limited, ('Caucasian') of London, 'Lane & Macandrew', which became 'Lane & MacAndrew Ltd.', the managers. Can anybody tell us about Caucasian? The vessel was later owned by Petroleum Steamship Co. (owned by the 'Europaische Petroleum Union', German owned), which company was acquired (maybe first seized by the British Government re WW1) by the British Tanker Company, formed in 1915 [much later British Tanker Co. Ltd. (BP)]. The vessel was renamed British Duke in 1917. In 1930, the vessel was sold to 'Soc. Anon. di Navigazione Corrado', of Genoa, Italy, & renamed Laura Corrado. On Mar. 30, 1941, the vessel was attacked by torpedo & gunfire by HMS Rorqual (N74), a Royal Navy Grampus class (a mine-laying class) submarine (sometimes referred to as Porpoise class). And sunk. At 38.45N/12.20E, 40/5 miles N. of Trapani (NW Sicily). The vessel was possibly picking up fuel from the French in Algeria. There seems to be very little WWW data about the vessel. Can you tell us more? Another image?
4016 (or 4106 or 4189 or 4190) tons
A cargo ship. Per 1 (Neptune, refs. Runo & 'Zyldijk'), 2 (Holland America, ref. 'Zyldijk'), 3 (Furness Withy), 4 (4 images Zijldijk & a plan), 5 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 130.15 metres long, speed of 10 1/2 knots. Built for Neptune Steam Navigation Company Ltd. ('Neptune') (W. & T. W. Pinkney, managers) of Sunderland, which company principally operated a Rotterdam & U.S.A. (Baltimore) service. In 1906, the vessel was sold to Furness, Withy & Co. Ltd. of Sunderland. And was sold again, in Jun. 1909, to 'Nederlandsch-Amerikaansche Stoomvaart Maatschappij' (Holland America Line), as part of the purchase of Neptune & renamed Zijldijk. Have also seen the new name spelled as Zijldyk. The vessel was sold on Nov. 29, 1928 to 'NV Stoomschip Eenambt', (F. W. Uittenbogaart the manager?), of Rotterdam, & renamed Hoflaan. On Nov. 15, 1930, the vessel arrived at 'N.V. Frank Rijsdijk's Industriële Ondernemingen.', at Hendrik Ido Ambacht, a town in the Western Netherlands, to be broken up. Broken up in Q2 of 1931. Can you add anything or correct the above text?
A cargo ship. From 1 (data, Belgian Prince), 2 (Hungarian Prince, 3rd down), 3 (Prince Line, Hungarian Prince), 4 (sinking data), 5 ('uboat.net', Belgian Prince), 6 (Anglo-Peruvian), 7 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 391 ft. 6 in. long, speed of 10 1/2 (or 11) knots. Built for Menantic Steamship Co. of New York, which company became North Atlantic Steam Ship Co., of Bristol (T. Hogan & Sons manager). A sister to Austrian Prince. On Apl. 21/22, 1906, the vessel rescued from small boats the entire crew (37) of Anglo-Peruvian, which vessel had hit an iceberg off the coast of Newfoundland in dense fog. Mohawk, headed eastbound, landed them all at Weymouth. In Feb. 1912, the vessel was sold to Prince Line Ltd. ('Prince Line'), (T. Knott the manager?), of Newcastle & renamed Hungarian Prince. The vessel was renamed Belgian Prince, in 1915, since Hungary was then (WW1) an enemy nation. On Feb. 24, 1915, the vessel was 'chased by a U-boat in the English Channel but managed to outpace her'. At about 7:50 p.m., on Jul. 31, 1917, while en route, unescorted, from Liverpool to Newport News, Virginia, U.S.A., with a cargo of blue clay (can anybody tell us what 'blue clay' is & what it is used for) & a crew of 42 all told, Belgian Prince was attacked by torpedo by U-55, Oberleutnant zur See Wilhelm Werner in command, (4 states Kapitan Leutnant Paul Wagenfuhr, incorrectly, I believe. He commanded U-44 which was thought, during the war, to have been the U-boat involved), 175 miles NW by W. of Tory Island, NW Ireland. At approximately 55.50N/13.20W. The Captain (Harry Hassan) was taken prisoner by U-55 & held below deck. I read that the other 41 crew members were lined up on the submarine's casing, but perhaps believing incorrectly that a British warship was in the vicinity, the submarine moved off & submerged, washing the survivors into the sea. Their life-jackets & outer clothing had been taken from them & tossed overboard & their lifeboats had been smashed with axes. U-55 later fired two shots from her deck gun & Belgian Prince sank stern first at about 7:00 a.m. on Aug. 1, 1917 (5 states that there were scuttling charges). 39 lives in total were lost. I read that Captain Hassan survived the war as a prisoner of war. Of the crew of 42, there were just 4 survivors. Captain Hassan & i) Chief Engineer Thomas A. Bowman, ii) George Silessi, an able seaman, & iii) 2nd Cook William Snell, of Jacksonville, Florida, all 3 of whom were rescued by a British patrol vessel 11 hours later that day & told the story of what had happened ('Those 'Gentlemen' of Germany' by Bowman & others.) A long expired e-Bay item contained an extensive text, which text, while too long for inclusion within this listing, you can read here. Can you tell us more? An image?
2963 (or 2958) tons
A passenger/cargo liner. Per A (e-Bay image, Umsinga), 1 (Bullard King, Umsinga), 2 (related ephemera), 3 & 4 (images), 5 (modest image), 6 (1906 grounding, near p. bottom), 7 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 340 ft. (103.6 metres perpendicular to perpendicular) long, speed of 13 knots. Built for 'Bullard King & Company, Limited' (Natal Direct Line), of London. Engaged on the London to Durban, South Africa, service (& probably beyond, to Delagoa Bay & Beira in Mozambique). The vessel grounded, it would seem, at Tenedos Shoal, KwaZulu-Natal, (seems to be a little N. of Durban) in Mar. 1906. And was possibly later involved in a collision, in 1911 perhaps (very brief ref.). No WWW detail re either matter. The vessel arrived, on Dec. 5, 1928, at Blyth, Northumberland, to be broken up. Can you tell us more?
79 York Castle
5310 (or 5517) tons
A cargo ship. Per 1 (Union Castle Line), 2 (also Union Castle Line), 3 (York Castle, 8th item), 4 ('plimsollshipdata.org', Lloyd's Register data, San Terenzo, 1930/1932), 5 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 419.8 ft. (about 129 metres) long, speed of 12 knots, signal letters PGJX. Built for Union-Castle Mail Steamship Company Ltd., of London. Served on the South Africa/U.S.A./U.K. route except 'during the fruit season when she traded between South Africa and the USA'. The vessel was sold, in 1925 (or maybe in 1924), to Ing. G. B. Bibolini (Giovanni Battista Bibolini), of Lerici, Genoa, Italy, & renamed San Terenzo. Was soon laid up. The vessel was broken up at Genoa, Italy, in Q4 of 1932. Can you tell us more?
A passenger/cargo liner. Per 1 (Captain Miller, Lloyd's medal, re 1918), 2 (related ephemera), 3 [Bullard King, Umvolosi (2)], 4 (image, I think the correct one), 5 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 103.6 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, speed of 13 knots. Built for 'Bullard King & Company, Limited' (Natal Direct Line), of London. Engaged on the London to Durban, South Africa, service (& beyond, to Delagoa Bay & Beira in Mozambique). On Aug. 19 (or possibly Aug. 22), 1918, when under the command of Captain William T. Miller, Umvolosi struck a mine off Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Miller was awarded the Lloyd's Medal for Meritorious Service (3rd class, in silver) for the incident. No WWW word as to the circumstances or resulting damage to ship. It would seem (ex a Norwegian site) that the vessel left London on Jan. 17, 1930 to be broken up at Stavanger, Norway. Can you tell us more?
A passenger liner. From here: 1 (extensive data, Slavonia , 2nd item), 2 (Slavonia), 3 (page in Spanish with interesting images of the 1909 wreck & the wreck-site today, also newspaper cuttings - in an article, originally in Portuguese, by Alexandre Monteiro), 4 (a modest image which I cannot show you even in a thumbnail, but I can link to it - How stupid!), 5 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 155.4 metres long (510 ft.) perpendicular to perpendicular, triple expansion engines, 2 masts, twin screw, service speed of 13 (or perhaps 12.5 or 13.5) knots. Built for 'British India Steam Navigation Ltd.' With capacity for 840 passengers, 40 in 1st class, 800 in 3rd. The vessel was sold to Cunard in 1904, renamed Slavonia & was refitted with accommodation for 2,099 passengers, 71 in 1st class, 74 in 2nd, & 1,954 in steerage. Its first transatlantic voyage, which voyage originated in Sunderland, was on Mar. 29, 1904, from Trieste, Italy, to New York via Fiume (now Croatia) & Palermo, Sicily. Used on the Trieste to New York service. On Jun. 10, 1909, the vessel ran aground, in foggy conditions, near 'Punta dos Fenais', Flores, Azores, while en route to Trieste. The ship was abandoned & later declared a total loss. No loss of life. 110 passengers were taken off by Prinzess Irene (Norddeutscher Lloyd) on Jun. 10, 1909 & 300 on Jun. 11, 1909 by Batavia (Hamburg-America Line). Link 6 (and 3) says that 597 in total were aboard, being 100 & 272 passengers in 1st & 2nd class respectively & a crew of 225. The numbers seem not to reconcile! Captain Arthur G. Dunning was reprimanded by the wreck inquiry. He had apparently taken his ship 7 miles off its course in order to show his passengers a glimpse of the scenery of the Azores. In fog & travelling too fast no less - and lost his ship when it ran aground. It would seem that the vessel may have been the very first to have broadcast an 'SOS' signal. How interesting! Can you add to or correct the above?
A refrigerated passenger/cargo liner. Per A, B, C, D, E & F (all e-Bay glass slide images, Stella d'Italia, offered by 'roserent' of UK. Some images may still be available), 1 (data), 2 (Cosulich Line, Stella d'Italia), 3 ('Lloyd Triestino' but vessel not listed), 4 (Italia line but vessel not listed there), 5 (ref. to Italia Line, Fort Hamilton), 6 (fine image as Bermudian), 7 (cabin plans & image Bermudian), 8 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 435 ft. long, twin screw, with accommodation for 315 passengers, 240 in 1st Class, 32 in 2nd & 43 in 3rd, (have read slightly different numbers), later 405 passengers in 2nd class. Speed 16 1/2 knots (have also read 14), 2 funnels. Built for the Hamilton, Bermuda - New York service of Quebec Steamship Company, Ltd., (Richelieu & Ontario Navigation Co. Ltd. the managers). Both of which companies in 1913 became part of Canada Steamship Lines ('CSL'). CSL became the manager - until the sale to Furness Withy & Co. in Jan. 1919. Noted for its first class service, the lower class accommodation being mostly used for the servants of 1st class passengers. Registered at London (Quebec Steamship) & Montreal (CSL). Two notable passengers. In a single voyage in 1908 she embarked Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain) & Earl Grey, the Governor-General of Canada, whose name is to this very day perpetuated in Canada's 'Grey Cup'. So successful was Bermudian's Bermuda service it entered no port other than New York & Hamilton in its first 10 years. The vessel was requisitioned by the British Government as a troop ship & carried Canadian troops to France in 1914 & again (Mediterranean) in 1917. The vessel foundered at Alexandria while coaling in 1917 but was later salvaged. Was returned to her owners in 1919. Furness Withy & Co. owned the vessel from Jan. 1919 & upgraded her from coal to oil. The vessel was sold, in 1921, to Bermuda & West Indies Steamship Co. Ltd. (Furness Withy the managers) & renamed Fort Hamilton. Placed on the Bermuda & Halifax to New York service. Was sold, in 1926, to Cosulich Line (Cosulich Soc. Triestina di Nav.), of Trieste, Italy, for use on Mediterranean cruises, & renamed Stella d'Italia. And sold in 1930 to Lloyd Triestino (Società di Navigazione Lloyd Triestino), of Trieste. Sold in 1931 to "Puglia" Soc. Anon.,di Nav., of Trieste (can anyone clarify 'Puglia'?). In 1932, the vessel reverted to Lloyd Triestino. The data is confused. I thought I had read that perhaps in 1932, Italia Line (Società Italia di Navigazione) was the owner. Arrived at Trieste on Dec. 4, 1933 & laid up. Broken up in 1934. Can you add to or correct the above?
3540 (or 3539 or 3571) tons
A passenger/cargo ship. From 1 (5 Australian images), 2 (on Salamander Reef, Townsville), 3 & 4 (images at Fremantle), 5 (radio reference & image), 6 (Howard Smith, Bombala), 7 (data), 8 (a Word file, ref. '28 Jan 1910' re grounding), 9 (1919 grounding, Bombala), 10 (Yongala race), 11 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Accommodation for 300 passengers. 106.1 metres (348 ft.) long, speed of 15 (have also read 16) knots, single funnel, 2 masts. Built for the Howard Smith Co. Ltd. ('Howard') (or maybe Howard Smith Ltd.) of Melbourne, Australia. Registered at Melbourne. Initially on the Melbourne/Townsville service. In Jun. 1907 it raced Yongala from Sydney to Brisbane, & lost by 17 minutes over a period of 29 hours. On Jan. 28, 1910, the vessel ran aground at Cairns (cyclone related). On Feb. 25, 1914 the vessel was in collision with Coogee in the Yarra river. In 1914, she was owned by Australian Steamship Pty. Ltd. (maybe a subsidiary of Howard) with Howard as managers. The second vessel to be fitted with a Marconi "Q" valve radio transmitter for feasibility test transmissions of public broadcasts. It would seem that while en route from Townsville to Sydney, the vessel ran aground at Salamander Reef, Townsville, on Dec. 7, 1919. Likely to break in two, she was re-floated, towed to Sydney & repaired (took 9 months) at Mort's Dock. On Dec. 12, 1925, Bombala 'overtook SS Fordsdale in Brisbane River, causing latter to sheer & almost run aground.' In 1927, the vessel carried passengers of the wrecked Riverina from Mallacoota to Sydney. In 1929, the vessel was sold to Mrs. M. Vardy of London, (P. G. Callimonopulos ('Callimonopulos'), manager) & renamed Aspasia. It was sold again, in 1933, to Callimonopulos, of Piraeus, Greece. In 1934, the vessel was renamed Christos for the delivery voyage to the ship breakers at Genoa, Italy. Broken up there in Q2 of 1934. Or maybe in 1935? I saw a reference to an oil painting of Bombala, 'one of the fastest vessels trading on the coast' is in the Australian National Maritime Museum. A significant part of the above data was provided by Mori Flapan, whom we thank. Can you add anything?
A passenger/cargo liner. Per 1 (ref. 30% down & image 75% down page), 2 (possible image, 2nd), 3 (Bullard King, Umzumbi), 4 (image), 5 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 106.1 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, speed of 13 knots. Built for 'Bullard King & Company, Limited' (Natal Direct Line), of London. Was engaged on the London to Durban, South Africa, service. It would seem that the vessel grounded at Ushant, maybe in 1905. And was in collision with Inneroy in Yarmouth Roads in 1919. Could be Norfolk or the Isle of Wight, perhaps. Have read no WWW detail re either incident. On Jul. 25, 1932, the vessel arrived at the T. W. Ward & Co. ship breaking facilities at Grays, Essex, U.K., to be broken up. Can you add anything?
85 Wonga Fell
A cargo ship, a collier probably. Per 1 (a 1906 Wonga Fell voyage), 2 (Vermont collision in 1907), 3 & 4 (images, Wonganella), 5 (NZ data), 6 ('plimsollshipdata.org', Lloyd's Register data, 1930/31 thru 1933/34, Magda), 7 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 360.0 ft. (about 115 metres) long, speed of 10 knots, signal letters KHMQ. The vessel, completed in Oct. 1904, was initially owned by the builder with, I have read, J. A. Seiler the manager. In Dec. 1904, the vessel was chartered to Wm. Scott Fell and Company ('Fell'), of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. On Apl. 5, 1907, Vermont was in collision with Wonga Fell, which had a cargo of coke, at Port Pirie, South Australia, resulting in modest damage to both vessels. When Fell went into bankruptcy, in 1908, the vessel was returned to its owners Laing. It was renamed Wonganella, but maybe in 1910, when it became owned by 'Wm. Crosby & Co. Pty Limited', of Melbourne, Australia. Two voyages were WWW recorded, at a site now inactive, i) to Fremantle, Western Australia, on Jan. 16, 1905 & ii) to Auckland, New Zealand on Feb. 19, 1928, then registered at Cape Town. In 1930, the vessel was sold to 'Afrikanska Angfartygs A/B' of Göteborg (Gothenburg), Sweden, with G. E. Sandström the manager, & renamed Magda. On Mar. 31, 1933, while en route from Callao, Peru, to Buenos Aires with a timber & general cargo, the vessel was wrecked 'on the Stragglers, Smyth Channel'. Smyth Channel seems to be a sheltered passage at the tip of South America. Note:- It would seem that Scott Fell was discharged from bankruptcy in 1911 & later went on to re-establish himself in business which included owning many ships. Can you add anything?
Passenger/cargo steamship. Per 1 (data), 2 (data & image), 3 (data), 4 (1915 postcard), Picture Australia has images (far too many to link, I searched for 'Riverina Ship') but including 5 & 6 (both visually interesting images), 7 (approx 30% down), 8 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 370 ft. long, single screw, 2 masts, speed of 15 knots, accommodation for 380 passengers (160/120/100 1st/2nd/3rd classes). Built for Huddart, Parker & Co. Pty., Ltd. of Melbourne, Australia. Traded to Western Australia (& New Zealand also, I have read) & then on Sydney/Hobart (Tasmania) run. On Apl. 17, 1927, the vessel was driven ashore in a squall & wrecked 1.5 miles west of Gabo Island (nr. Tullaberga Island), State of Victoria, Australia, on a voyage from Hobart to Sydney with 142 passengers & a cargo which included 19,352 cases of apples (later thrown overboard). No loss of life. After 3 days (high seas), all passengers made it ashore & to Mallacoota after a 13 km. walk along coast - & then to Sydney aboard Bombala. Unsuccessful salvage attempts were made (but teak & other materials were clearly scavenged). A tourist attraction for many years & could be boarded in good weather. During WW2, the wreck was bombed & strafed by the R.A.A.F. Little is left today (2007) apart from bow & stern posts visible at low tide. The vessel's captain (Parry), was cleared of wrong doing at the Inquiry but was never later given command of another vessel. Does anybody have a good quality version of this interesting image? Or more data? About passenger capacity, perhaps.
A cargo ship, which carried also a few passengers. Per 1 [Pacific Steam, Flamenco (1)], 2 (1916 capture by Möwe), 3 (Flamenco (1) 5th item), 4 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 118.9 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, 390 ft., speed of 12 knots, with accommodation for a few passengers. Sister to Duendes, also built by Laing. The vessel may well have been named for Flamenco, a Panama Canal Zone island & port, it would appear. Built for Pacific Steam Navigation Company Ltd., of Liverpool, noted for its passenger & cargo service to South American & particularly Chilean & Peruvian ports. On Jan. 21, 1916, the vessel, under the command of Norman Martorell & with a crew of 51, left Newport, Wales, (Miramar states Liverpool) for Valparaiso, Chile, with a cargo of 4,000 tons of coal. On Feb. 5, 1916, approaching the South American coast, the vessel was advised by HMS Glasgow that a German raider was operating in the area. The next day, on Feb. 6, 1916, German raider Möwe (generally referred to as Mowe) fired a warning shot across the bow of Flamenco, which ignored the warning & kept going but sent out a wireless message, which Möwe jammed. Möwe, captained by His Excellency Nikolaus Burggraf und Graf zu Dohna-Schlodien, then put a shell into Flamenco, killing a sailor. Flamenco then stopped, was boarded & searched but, found to contain nothing of interest, her sea-cocks were opened, explosive charges were laid, & Flamenco was sent to the bottom on the morning of Feb. 6, 1916, 310 miles off Pernambuco, now Recife, Brazil. At 3.44S/31.47W. A number of the crew including the captain, were clearly held aboard Möwe & were later transferred to Westburn (site listed on page 79), captured on Feb. 8, 1916, which landed them at Tenerife, Canary Islands, on Feb. 23, 1916. Those crew members, on Mar. 3, 1916, arrived at London aboard Athenic. A modest puzzle to the webmaster ... 2 indicates, as I read it, that Flamenco had a crew of 52, 13 of whom were transferred to Westburn, while 35 more were still aboard Möwe when its cruise ended at Wilhelmshaven, Germany, on Mar. 4, 1916. I wonder why 35 of the crew would have willingly served Möwe? That site also indicates that a Flamenco boat capsized with the loss of one fireman (Michael Burke). 50 of the 52 crew member seem, however, to be accounted for. Möwe is an amazing ship indeed in WW1 history - she sank 38 ships during five cruises - but her exploits are really beyond the scope of these pages. But do visit this fine page re the vessel's history. Miramar indicates that the vessel was captured on Feb. 2 & scuttled on Feb. 6, but I have spotted no other references to the earlier date. Does anybody have anything to add? 'biki' of Valparaiso, Chile, a member at 'British Merchant Navy Old Friends Plus', seeks an image of the ship, but I am unable to contact him via that site re the above image. Maybe one must, for some reason, be a member to have a message passed to him. No.1847
2733 (or 2722) tons
A passenger/cargo steamship. Per 1 (article, Mersey Steamship Company), 2 (data), 3 (Royal Mail Steam Packet, Agadir), 4 (Wikipedia in German, Royal Mail, Agadir listed as a cargo ship), 5 (Khedivial, Belkas), 6 (Southampton archives), 7 ('convoyweb.org' WW2 convoy duty, Sakara, link), 8 ('plimsollshipdata.org', Lloyd's Register data, Belkas, 1930/31 thru 1935/36), 9 ('plimsollshipdata.org', Lloyd's Register data, Damas/Sakara, 1935/36 thru 1945/46), 10 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 86.9 metres (285.0 ft.) long perpendicular to perpendicular, speed of 13 knots, registered at Liverpool, signal letters HLRW, later GCQK, FPDQ & GLFV. Have not read about passenger accommodation but probably modest. Sister to Arzila, perhaps. Built for Mersey Steamship Co. Ltd. ('Mersey'), of Dartmouth, Devon, 'Harrison, Leech & Forwood' (or maybe 'Leech, Harrison & Forwood'), of Liverpool, the managers. Traded out of London to Gibraltar, the Canary Islands & to North Africa, hence I presume the name Agadir, a major city in Morocco. In 1907, Mersey went bankrupt. In Jun. 1908, the vessel, indeed Mersey itself, became owned by 'Royal Mail Steam Packet Company'. The vessel's name & routes were not changed. From 1909 to 1913, the vessel served the London to Morocco route. On Mar. 13, 1913, the vessel went aground off Mazagan (SW of Casablanca), Morocco. Have not read the circumstances. The 54 passengers & 108 crew were taken off by breeches buoy. She was later refloated, on May 23, 1913, with the assistance of Linnet, a 'Liverpool Salvage Association' salvage tug. In 1914, the vessel was requisitioned by the Admiralty for use as a Grand Fleet Hospital Ship based at Scapa Flow. The vessel was returned to her owners in 1918 & next year was chartered to Pacific Steam Navigation Co. The vessel was sold, in 1922, to 'The Khedivial Mail Steamship & Graving Dock Co.' ('Khedivial'), of Egypt (probably of Alexandria), Lord E. Hamilton the manager, & renamed Belkas. Khedivial, I read, had operated ships & docks owned by departments of the Egyptian Government & provided passenger & cargo services between Alexandria & many Mediterranean ports & between Suez & Red Sea ports. It would seem that P & O Line had taken control of Khedivial in 1919 & sold their interest in 1924. The vessel was transferred, in 1935, to 'Société Orientale de Navigation', of Beirut, Lebanon, (Khedivial the managers), & renamed Damas. In 1940, the vessel was transferred to Pharaonic Mail Line ('Pharaonic'), of Alexandria, Egypt, & renamed Sakara. Pharaonic was the new name for Khedivial after being re-formed in 1936. The vessel was soon taken over, also in 1940, by the Ministry of War Transport (General Steam Navigation Co. the managers?). 16 (seems a low number) WW2 convoy references, mainly U.K. local but also service to Iceland & Gibraltar. In 1946, the vessel was returned to Khedivial (means Pharaonic, presumably). She arrived at Savona, Italy, on Jun. 13, 1955, to be broken up. Does anybody have more data? About passenger capacity, perhaps. Images?
2732 (or 2722) tons
A passenger/cargo steamship. Per 1 (article, Mersey Steamship Company), 2 (photos Arzila used to be available, ref. George Crosbie), 3 (Royal Mail Steam Packet, Arzila), 4 (Wikipedia in German, Royal Mail, Arzila listed as a cargo ship), 5 (Khedivial, Bilbeis), 6 (Southampton archives), 7 (Sea Gallantry, Arzila), 8 (Sea Gallantry, Bilbeis), 9 (scuba divers at wreck site), 10 (Royal Humane Society, Denton), 11 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 86.9 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, speed of 13 knots, registered at Liverpool. Sister to Agadir perhaps. Have not read about passenger accommodation but probably modest. Built for Mersey Steamship Co. Ltd. ('Mersey'), of Dartmouth, Devon, 'Harrison, Leech & Forwood', (or maybe 'Leech, Harrison & Forwood') of Liverpool, the managers. Traded out of London to Gibraltar, the Canary Islands & to North Africa, (hence I presume the name Arzila (Asilah), an ancient fortified city near Tangier, Morocco. In 1907, Mersey went bankrupt. On Feb. 24, 1908, a man in a fit of insanity threw himself overboard from Arzila off Mogador, on the coast of Morocco, during a gale with a high sea running. J. R. Denton (an Arzila crew member perhaps?) slid down a rope into the sea to attempt a rescue, but failed in his attempt. Denton was awarded the Sea Gallantry Medal (silver) & the Royal Humane Society Medal (bronze) re his life-saving effort. In Jun. 1908, the vessel, indeed Mersey itself, became owned by 'Royal Mail Steam Packet Company'. The vessel's name was not changed. Was involved in the tourist trade to North Africa. From 1909 to 1912, vessel served the London to Morocco route. During 1919, the vessel was used on a passenger service to the West Indies & afterwards was chartered to Pacific Steam Navigation Company & operated by them on the W. coast of South America. The vessel was sold, in 1922, to 'The Khedivial Mail Steamship & Graving Dock Co.' ('Khedivial'), of Egypt (probably of Alexandria) & renamed Bilbeis (another ancient place name). Khedivial, I read, had operated ships & docks owned by departments of the Egyptian Government & provided passenger & cargo services between Alexandria & many Mediterranean ports & between Suez & Red Sea ports. It would seem that P & O Line had taken control of Khedivial in 1919 & sold their interest in 1924. Early on Mar. 5, 1934, the vessel, with 8 passengers & a crew of 56, was stranded 200 metres off the coast at Kuzakhama, 2 miles S. of Jaffa (Yafo, Tel Aviv), in today's Israel. The weather being likely to deteriorate, the passengers & the stewardess were taken ashore by launch. A few hours later, in a westerly gale, some of the crew were able to reach shore by life-boat. A number of them attempted to return to rescue the remaining crew but the boat overturned & was smashed on the rocks. A second life-boat was launched but, in landing, a crew member was swept away. Ahmed Bajawi, a local boatman, swam out to rescue him, but he got into difficulties also. Then Muhammad Dababish, a 'Palestinian Arab' & a lighterman, came to the rescue. He swam out to the two men & succeeded in bringing them to shore with the aid of a life-buoy flung to him. The above does not seem to account for 64 people, however no lives appear to have been lost. Bajawi & Dababish were both awarded Sea Gallantry Medals for their heroic efforts. Two Sea Gallantry references re this vessel! It is most unusual to have even a single reference. Flaviu Varga advises that he is 95% sure that the wreck has now been identified. Does anybody have more data? About passenger capacity, perhaps. An image?
11300 (or 5194) tons
A passenger liner which was completed as a fleet repair ship for the Navy & became a depot ship for submarines. Per 1 (data & 10 related images), 2 (almost page bottom, June 1940), 3 (Indrabarah), 4 (Indrabarah (1) Royden), 5 (Janes 1919), 6 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 140.2 metres (477 ft.) long, speed of 13 (or maybe 11 or 11 3/4) knots. Sister to Indralema. Built for Indra Line Ltd. (Thos. B. Royden & Co., Indra Line), of Liverpool, but sold to the Admiralty on the stocks. Apparently, 'Laings' lost a lot of money in converting the ship into a repair ship for Admiralty use - a factor which resulted in the company ceasing operations in 1908 & in a new limited company going forward. On Nov. 5, 1907, the vessel was commissioned at Devonport & named Cyclops (F31). But before that occurred, the public were able to tour the ship at Sunderland. A 'Floating Workshop and Distilling Ship'. Armed with two 4-inch guns. Complement of 294. Based at Scapa Flow throughout WW1 & acted as an Auxiliary Patrol depot ship. I read that she was paid off on Apl. 1, 1919 but was re-commissioned for White Sea duty at Archangel, Russia. She returned to Chatham in Oct. 1919, was refitted & converted into a submarine depot ship. On Dec. 21, 1922, the vessel became a Depot Ship for the First Submarine Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet, at Chatham. Re-commissioned on Dec. 16, 1926 & sent to the Mediterranean (Malta) in 1926 with the 1st Flotilla where she remained thru 1938/9 though re-commissioned at Portsmouth in 1935. Was at the Spithead Reviews of 1935 & 1937. Served in WW2, in home waters, at Harwich, as parent ship of the 3rd Submarine Flotilla, at Rosyth & from Jun. 1940 at Rothesay as a depot ship for the 7th Flotilla, mainly concerned with anti-submarine training & the training of new ratings. Complement of 266. De-commissioned/ paid off in 1945, but served at Portland until relieved by Maidstone on Sep. 17, 1946. Put up for sale. She went to Newport, Monmouthshire, on Jun. 29, 1947 & in Jul. 1947 was scrapped by the J. Cashmore, Newport, ship-breaking facility. We thank e-Bay vendor 'travtaff' for the extensive data contained in his now long expired e-Bay listing, much of which data is included above. Can you add anything?
91 Piedmontese Prince
6237 (or 6149 or 6560) tons
A passenger ship. Per 1 (Piedmontese Prince, 4th item), 2 (Re d'Italia 1906), 3 (Wikipedia, Re D'Italia), 4 (1927 voyage to Melbourne, Australia), 5 (image), 6 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Laid down as Piedmontese Prince. But acquired 'on the stocks' by Lloyd Sabaudo Soc. Anon de Nav. of Genoa, Italy, as Re D'Italia. 131.1 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular (430 ft.), two funnels, two masts, twin screw, speed of 14 or 15 knots. Accommodation for 120 passengers in 1st Class & 1,900 in 3rd. The vessel's maiden voyage was on Apl. 6, 1907 - from Genoa to New York via Naples & Palermo. The vessel served as a hospital ship at Messina, Italy, in Dec. 1908 following the massive earthquake. It served as a hospital ship during the Italo-Turkish war (1911/12). Evacuated 36,983 sick & wounded from Libya. A single voyage to Constantinople in 1912. From May 1918, to the end of WW1, in Nov. 1918, the vessel was chartered for use as an American troopship carrying U.S. troops to France. On Genoa to New York route via Marseilles from Apl. 1919. Was modified in 1920 (passenger accommodation changed to 1st & 3rd Class only or 2nd & 3rd class only (data conflicts). On South American service in 1921. Continued Mediterranean to New York service. One voyage Genoa to New York in Oct. 1923. A number of voyages to Australia, it would seem. The vessel was broken up, in Q2 of 1929, at Genoa, Italy. Note: An e-Bay item indicated that in 1915 the vessel was used as a British hospital ship, & was returned to Italy in 1916. Is that all correct? Anything to add?
92 Principe di Piemonte
6365 (or 6560) tons
A pa nger ship. Per 1 (descriptive data, Principe de Piemonte etc.), 2 (data), 3 (Lloyd Sabaudo, Principe di Piemonte), 4 (the sinking of Folia, on p.#60), 5 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 131.1 metres (430 ft.) long, speed of 14 (or maybe 11) knots, 2 funnels, 2 masts. Could accommodate 1,670 passengers - 120 in 1st class, 50 in 2nd class & 1,500 in 3rd class (or is it 2,020 passengers with 120 in 1st class & 1,900 in 3rd class - I have read both sets of figures). Built for Lloyd Sabaudo Soc. Anon de Nav., of Genoa, Italy. Her maiden voyage was from Genoa to Naples, Palermo & New York on Jun. 19, 1907. In 1914, the vessel was sold to Canadian Northern Steamship Company (Royal Line) & renamed Principello. Leased to Uranium Steamship Company, for a while, it would seem. In 1915 she was transferred to Royal Line's Avonmouth, Halifax & New York service. And in 1916 was sold to Cunard Steamship Co., renamed Folia, & carried cargo only on the Liverpool to New York run. On Mar. 11, 1917, while en route from New York to Bristol, with a general cargo, & armed with a 12 pounder 12 cwt stern gun, the vessel was torpedoed & sunk by U-53 four miles from Youghal, Ireland (at 51.51N/7.41W). 7 died in the attack. The Captain (Francis J. D. Inch), of later Volturno fame, survived the sinking. An account of the attack is at 2 (2nd white box on page). The vessel lies in 120 ft. of water, a dive site today. I have now read that the vessel was partially salvaged, in the 1970s perhaps, to recover the brass which was in her cargo. Anything to add?
93 San Giorgio
A passenger liner. Per 1 (San Giorgio...), 2 (Sicula Americana), 3 (Navigazione Generale Italiana), 4 (image San Giorgio), 5 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 123.7 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, 406 ft., speed of 14 knots, 2 funnels, 2 masts, twin screw, with accommodation for almost 1,900 passengers (30 in 1st class, 60 in 2nd & 1,800 in 3rd class). Built for 'Sicula-Americana Societá Anonima di Navigazione' or maybe 'Sicula Americana Di Navigazione A Vapore' ('Sicula') (Peirce Brothers, (Guglielmo Peirce or maybe Fratelli Peirce, who founded Sicula) the managers?), of Messina, Sicily, & then (after the Messina earthquake of 1908), of Naples, Italy. The word Sicula means Sicilian, I learn, & I also learn that the line was set up to carry immigrants to the U.S. San Giorgio's maiden voyage was on Jul. 19, 1907, from Naples to New York, via Messina & Palermo. In Aug. 1917, Sicula (& Peirce Brothers) was acquired by 'Transoceanica Societá Italiana di Navigazione'. In Aug. 1921, the vessel indeed the 'Transoceanica' fleet, was absorbed within 'Navigazione Generale Italiana'. The vessel was renamed Napoli. On Oct. 17, 1928 the vessel arrived at Savona, Italy, to be scrapped. Would seem, not therefore scrapped in 1926, as 1 indicates. Can you correct the above text and/or add anything?
94 Sardinian Prince
6240 (or 6149 or 6560) tons
A passenger ship. With refrigerated cargo capacity, it would seem. Per 1 (Sardinian Prince, 5th item), 2 (image, Regina d'Italia), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 430 ft. (131.1 metres) long, speed of 14 knots, 2 funnels, 2 masts. Later, after 1920, could accommodate 2,020 passengers - 120 in 1st class & 1,900 in 3rd class. What capacity initially? Built for Prince Line & laid down as Sardinian Prince. The vessel was acquired on the stocks by Lloyd Sabaudo Soc. Anon de Nav., of Genoa, Italy, when Prince Line withdrew from the Italy to New York service. Became Regina d'Italia. Engaged on service to South America. Used as a hospital ship at Messina, Italy, following the Dec. 1908 earthquake. Served as a hospital ship during the Italo-Turkish war. The vessel was modified in 1920 (the passenger accommodation was reduced to 1st & 3rd class only). On South American service in 1922. On Oct. 16, 1927, the vessel arrived at Genoa, Italy, to be broken up. Anything to add?
4997 (or 5014) tons
Conte di Misurata
A tanker. Per 1 (ref. Servian), 2 & 3 (Force K & Conte di Misurata), 4 (JULY 12th/13th re Missolonghi), 5 ('plimsollshipdata.org', Lloyd's Register data, Conte di Misurata, 1931/32 thru 1944/45), 6 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Many more links, mainly in Italian, to Conte di Misurata. 117.3 metres long, 397 ft. 1 in., (385.0 ft. perpendicular to perpendicular), speed of 10 (or maybe 8) knots, signal letters NJVM later IBHW. Built for Petroleum Steamship Company Limited, ('Petroleum'), of London, (Lane & MacAndrew Limited, the managers, also of London). And traded, I read, from the U.K. to Mexico, Curaçao & Trinidad. Petroleum was, it seems, a subsidiary of British Petroleum Company. In Jun. 1917, the vessel was sold (or maybe transferred) to British Tanker Co. Ltd. ('Tanker'), of London & in 1919 was renamed British Marquis. Tanker, the ship owning & operating subsidiary of British Petroleum Company, Ltd., was later restyled as 'BP Tanker Company Ltd.' Some trivia! In Dec. 1920, the vessel reported no less than 20 waterspouts in the English Channel. In 1930, the vessel was sold, to i) 'Imprese Navigazione Commerciale Società Anonima', or maybe instead to ii) 'Società Anonima Impresse Navale ed Affini', of Rome, Italy, & renamed Conte di Misurata. ii) was correct in 1931/32. Became 'Compagnia Industrie Marittime Affini Roma' in 1934/35. Presumably taken over by the Italian Government for WW2 service. On Jul. 12/13, 1941, the vessel, en route, in convoy, from Taranto, Italy, to Piraeus, Greece, with aviation fuel, was heavily damaged by British forces, but reached Patras Gulf, Greece, on Jul. 13, 1941 & was beached near Messolonghi, in western Greece. She was presumably later repaired. Since on Nov. 11, 1941, while en route in convoy 'Beta' from Naples, Italy, to Tripoli, Libya, North Africa, carrying fuel of some sort, the vessel was sunk by gunfire from 'Force K' ex Malta. At 37.08N/18.09E. It would seem, in fact, that all 7 merchantmen in the convoy were sunk. The above may well contain unintended errors. Can you correct the text and/or add anything?
3735 (or 3759 or 3767) tons
A cargo liner, which also carried passengers. Per 1 ('uboat.net', sinking data & image), 2 ('wrecksite.eu', sinking data), 3 & 4 (modest images), 5 [Bullard King, Umona (2)], 6 (1910 image, 55% down), 7 & 8 (images), 9 ('plimsollshipdata.org', Lloyd's Register data, Umona, 1930/31 thru 1940/41), 10 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 108.5 metres (356.0 ft.) long, speed of 13 (or maybe 12) knots, signal letters HRSQ, later GSDF. Built for 'Bullard King & Company, Limited' (Natal Direct Line), of London. Engaged on the London to South Africa service (& beyond, to Delagoa Bay & Beira in Mozambique). In 1936, the vessel touched rocks in Table Bay during foggy weather but the sea was calm & she was able to get off under her own power. Temporary repairs were effected in graving dock. In or about 1938, the vessel struck the Bluff Wharf at Durban, South Africa, & was badly damaged. On Mar. 30, 1941, the unescorted vessel was en route from Durban to London via Walvis Bay & Freetown with a cargo of grains & jam. About 90 miles SW of Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa, the vessel was hit by two torpedoes, 2 minutes apart, fired by U-124, Korvettenkapitän Georg-Wilhelm Schulz in command. At approx. 06.52N/15.14W. The vessel sank with major loss of life. 102 lives were lost including Captain F. A. B. Peckham. 5 survived, all landed at Freetown, 2 of whom were picked up after 13 days by Lorca & 3 others were picked up by Foxhound on Apl. 7, 1941. Can you add anything?
A passenger liner. Per 1 (data & image), 2 (data), 3 (data, Mexicana - 1914), 4 ('plimsollshipdata.org', Lloyd's Register data, Mexicano, 1930/31 thru 1934/35), 5 ('plimsollshipdata.org', Lloyd's Register data, Ruth, 1934/35 thru 1942/43), 6 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Note that Miramar indicate the vessel to be registered in 1912. I have chosen to use 1911 since that is the year reported in the later editions of Lloyd's Register. Had accommodation for 465 passengers, 65 in 1st Class & 400 in 3rd. Triple expansion engines, 2 masts, 346.0 later 344.5 ft. long, with speed of 11 knots, signal letters MGVL later SJHN. Originally owned by 'Akties. Norge Mexico Gulf Linien' of Christiania (Oslo), Norway, Wilh. Wilhelmsen the managers. Her maiden voyage was from Oslo to Newport News, Virginia, in Mar. 1912. Was engaged on the Oslo/Newport News & Galveston, Texas, service through Nov. 1913. I have previously advised, in this listing, that the vessel was sold to (taken over by), Wilh. Wilhelmsen. in 1914. But it would seem that that data is incorrect - it was still owned by 'A/S Norge Mexico Gulf Linien' in 1930/31. Maybe 'taken over' means something else. The vessel was sold, in 1934, to 'A/B Glücksmans Metallaffar' of Gothenburg, Sweden, & renamed Ruth. In 1937, the vessel was sold to 'Rederi A/B Ruth', also of Gothenburg, Leopold Glücksman the manager, with no change of vessel name. The vessel was damaged in an allied air attack on May 7, 1942, & was beached & scrapped. Anything you can add?
5285 (or 4865 or 4866) tons
A passenger/cargo ship. Per 1 (about 1/2 way down), 2 (SL.53), 3 & 4 (images Valhall), 5 (Lloyd's Register data 1930/31 & 1931/32, 'plimsollshipdata.org, Cambrian Duchess), 6 & 7 (Lloyd's Register data 1932/33 to 1940/41, Lilian Moller, ex 'plimsollshipdata.org'), 8 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 118.9 metres (390 ft.) long, speed of 11 knots, signal letters JSQT, later WQND & GBKC. Built for the Russian Volunteer Fleet Association, of Odessa, Ukraine. The vessel was sold, in 1923, to William Thomas Shipping Co. Ltd., R. J. Thomas & Co., of Holyhead, Wales, the managers, & renamed Cambrian Duchess, registered at London. And sold in 1931 to A/S Skjold, Valdemar Skogland, of Haugesund, Norway, the manager, & renamed Valhall. And sold again, in 1933, to British owned N. E. A. Moller, Moller & Co., of Shanghai, China, the managers, & renamed Lilian Moller. In 1935/36 Moller Line Ltd. became the registered owners. On Nov. 18, 1940, while en route from Calcutta, India, to London, via Cape of Good Hope & Freetown, Sierra Leone, & dispersed from Convoy SL.53, the vessel was sunk by 2 torpedoes fired by Baracca, (have seen referred to also as Maggiore Baracca), an Italian submarine. At 52.57N/18.05W, or 53N/17W. The exact location is confused. The entire crew perished including Captain William S. S. Fowler. Can you add anything?
4399 (or 4419) tons
A passenger/cargo ship, but references also to its being a collier. Per 1 (Natal Line or Natal Direct Line), 2 ('pdf', image at London maybe, on last page bottom), 3 (Sunday, 20 July), 4 (WW2 convoy duty, click on 'SHIP SEARCH' then insert Umvuma, but I cannot check the link), 5 ('uboat.net', 1943 sinking), 6 (image), 7 (launch text ex Marine Engineer, Dec. 1914, p.139 in 'pdf' available here), 8 (Lloyd's Register data, 1930/31 thru 1944/45, 'plimsollshipdata.org, re Umvuma), 9 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 111.2 metres (365.0 ft.) long, speed of 13 knots, signal letters JHGS. With accommodation for about 60 first-class passengers. Built for 'Bullard King & Company, Limited' (Natal Line or Natal Direct Line), of London. Which company initially served South Africa & later East Africa & Mauritius also. I read that vessel was used as a collier & an ammunition carrier in Russian waters in WW1. 32 WW2 convoy references, including 1 N. Atlantic crossing but mainly service to W. Africa & U.K. coastal voyages. On Jul. 20, 1941, the vessel was damaged by bombing off the Humber but proceeded to Humber for repairs under her own power. On Aug. 7, 1943, the vessel was sunk by a torpedo fired by U-181, Kapitän zur See Wolfgang Lüth in command, SW of Port Louis, Mauritius, while en route from London to Mauritius via Freetown & Durban with a cargo of sugar, military stores & general cargo. Part of Convoy DN-54 ex Durban but dispersed from it. Sunk at 20.18S/57.14E. 22 lives lost out of a total of 109 (or maybe 111). Lives lost included 4 passengers. The survivors, including the Master (John N. Gibson), were landed at Port Louis, Mauritius, by salvage tug Maurice. A site visitor has kindly written in to advise that Lucy Bond was one of the 4 passengers who lost her life in the sinking. The first wife of the correspondent's father, who was not himself aboard the ship that day, but may have 'blamed himself' for not being there to help. Can you add anything?
4666 (or 4667) tons
A tanker. Per 1 (Bank Line, Francunion VI, low on page), 2 ('uboat.net', 1917 attack), 3 (data & 3 images, Winnebago), 4 (Lloyd's Register data, 1931/32 thru 1935/36, 'plimsollshipdata.org', re Winnebago), 5 (Lloyd's Register data, 1935/36 thru 1942/43, 'plimsollshipdata.org', re Françunion VI), 6 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Maybe 383.0 ft. overall, 112.8 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, 370.0 ft., speed of 9 1/2 or 10 knots, signal letters JMCP, later GQDT. I read that it was built for Anglo-American Oil Co. Ltd. ('Anglo'), of London, which company, owned by Standard Oil of New Jersey ('Standard Oil'), later became Esso Petroleum. The vessel was likely registered at Sunderland. However, the vessel would appear to have been, in fact, built for Tank Storage & Carriage Co. Ltd. ('Tank'), of London & perhaps of Middlesbrough, (with possibly W. J. Smith, of London, the manager), which I read was Anglo later renamed. But that would not seem to be correct since Tank would appear to have been a long established company indeed, originally formed in 1888. Regardless, the vessel was indirectly owned by Standard Oil, i.e. by Rockefeller interests. Can anybody clarify the corporate history? On Mar. 12, 1917, while en route from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.A., to Brest, France, with a cargo of fuel oil, the vessel was hit by a torpedo fired by U-70, Kapitänleutnant Otto Wünsche in command. Off the Scilly Islands, 20 miles N. of the Bishop Rock Light. The vessel was damaged & was towed to port. No lives were lost. In 1931/32 the vessel was owned by Anglo with F. J. Wolfe, the manager. A complete overhaul in 1935. In 1935/36 the vessel became owned by British Mexican Petroleum Co. Ltd, with no change of manager. Later in 1935, the vessel was sold to 'Compagnie Venture-Weir S.A.', of Paris, France, & also of Algiers, Algeria, (which company was associated with Andrew Weir & Co. Ltd.) & renamed Françunion VI. Used as an oil depot ship at Algiers. I can find no WW2 convoy references for the vessel. On Dec. 21, 1949, the vessel arrived at La Spezia, Italy, to be broken up. Can you add anything?
The list of vessels physically built at the Deptford Yard continues here. And then, as a result of the 1954 merger of Sir James Laing and Sons Limited with Thompson's and 'Sunderland Forge' to become 'Sunderland Shipbuilding Dry Docks & Engineering Company Ltd.'
TO END THE PAGE
A delightful example of the use of the 'Lake Applet'.
Now it is possible that on your computer screen, the image box below is just an empty space. If so, and you are using Windows 7 as the webmaster does, fixing the problem is most simple. Print the image you will come to here & follow the few instructions. In other browsers I presume that you would follow the same approach i.e. get to the 'Java' program on your computer & fix the security level.
Of course you do need to install 'Java' to be able to see it. Easily done! It installs quickly & it is free. Just click on 'Free Java Download' here.
A very lovely image taken in the Kalahari in 1999 - the copyrighted work of New Zealand photographer Deirdre Rohlandt. Dierdre used to post images on the 'photoblink' website, where I found this image years ago. But when I last checked, in July 2009, I could not find any WWW archive of her photographic work. We thank you, Dierdre, for kindly permitting our use of your fine image.
If I called the animal a 'gnu' (Connochaetes taurinus), you may well be confused. But you will, I am sure, recognise the more common Africaans name of 'wildebeest'. An African plains antelope, it looks like it was designed by a committee, with head & shoulders like a buffalo, a rear end like a horse, large horns & a white beard! It dominates the plains of Africa by its sheer numbers. Its young, perhaps half a million of them each year, are born in a 2 to 3 week period at the start of the rainy season. Amazingly, the young can stand & run within minutes of birth. And they need to, as predators, principally lions & hyena, feast on the young & weak.
The northern variety, the white-bearded gnu, follows a migratory course each year as it searches for good grazing. The spectacle of that migration is surely one of the most amazing sights in nature. The vast herds of wildebeest, zebra & Thomson's gazelles travel a course that takes them in July & August north-west from the Serengeti plains to near to Lake Victoria & then east to the Masai Mara game reserve in Kenya. Along the way they must cross two rivers, the Grumeti & the Mara. At each of those difficult crossings, huge crocodiles await their annual feast, & gorge themselves upon animals struggling in the water. Many do not reach the safety of the far shore but the majority do. Those unlucky enough to be caught meet, alas, a grisly fate. The herds remain on the Masai Mara grasslands until October or November. By then the grass is all gone & they must again move on. As the rains commence, they head south once more to their breeding grounds, now lush again from the abundant rainfall. So it has been for ever. Let us hope that it continues for ever also.
There are in fact two species, the brindled or blue wildebeest of the south & the the white bearded wildebeest of the north. The image above, taken in the Kalahari is of the blue wildebeest, so Deirdre advised me. There would also seem to be, however, a white-tailed gnu, or black wildebeest, a smaller animal once abundant in South Africa. It would appear to be extinct in the wild, but is protected in parks & reserves, where its numbers were said to be increasing.
This is just one example of the use of the 'Lake Applet'. It comes from this page from which you can access many hundreds more, via the yellow box at page bottom.
A SITE SEARCH FACILITY
THE GUEST BOOK - GO HERE
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BELGIAN PRINCE?
A long expired e-Bay listing offered for sale a 4 page leaflet which set out what happened to the Belgian Prince, back in 1917. The leaflet is named at the end of the vessel's listing here. The e-Bay listing included the extensive text which I next provide verbatim, a text which surely merits inclusion here. Alas, I did not retain the name of the e-Bay vendor to be able to thank him for his diligence in making this material available.
4 page tract on the sinking of the British steamer Belgian Prince - worn condition but well worth the effort of conservation or exhibit. Nice WWI anti U-boat propaganda.
Another forgotten story of the Great War is that of the cargo ship Belgian Prince. The ship was built as Mohawk in Sunderland by Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd. in 1901 for the Megnatic Steamship Company of Bristol, she was sold twice and finally ended up with the Furness Withy Company (she had been bought by the Prince Line Ltd. in 1912 but in 1916 the line was bought by Furness). In 1915 she was renamed Belgian Prince.
Her last voyage took her from Liverpool with a load of blue clay bound for Newport News, Virginia. However on July 31, 1917 about at 19:50 when they were about 175 miles from Tory Island, Ireland, without warning, a torpedo hit the ship on the port side between the engine room and the #5 hold. The engines soon were disabled along with the dynamo, this kept the ship from sending a distress signal.
The ship took on a list and the crew abandoned her in three lifeboats. During this time the U-55 surfaced and began to shell the ship with the intention of disabling the wireless. Oberleutnant zur See Wilhelm Werner, the commanding officer of the U-55 of course had no way of knowing the wireless could not be used, so this action is understandable. For an unknown reason the U-55 moved around to the starboard side and fired her machine gun at the ship.
Werner then approached the three lifeboats which held the entire forty-two man crew. They were all ordered to get out of the boats and taken on board the casing of the U-55. The Master, Harry Hassan was taken below while the men on deck were searched. They were asked if they had any weapons and handled quite roughly by the German crew, according to the survivors. What happened next can only be described as deliberate murder. The crew of the U-55, under orders from Werner, took the lifebelts from most of the survivors and threw them overboard. They then got into the lifeboats, took what they wanted and tossed the rest into the sea, removed the corks and further damaged them with axes to be sure they would sink. One small boat was kept intact and boarded by five of the Germans who took her to the damaged drifting hulk.
According to Chief Engineer Thomas A. Bowman, one of the three survivors; "When they boarded her they signaled to the submarine with a flash lamp, and then the submarine cast the damaged lifeboats adrift and steamed away from the ship for about two miles, after which he stopped."
If the crew were taken aboard the U-55 to be returned to Germany as POW's getting the men on board and destroying the lifeboats would be understandable, a U-boat captain did not want to leave any evidence floating in the water that would indicate that a ship had been sunk lest his boat be discovered, and drifting lifeboats were the best evidence. However at this time the Belgian Prince had not sunk and Werner even had some of his own men on the ship.
The U-55 crew then went below and closed the hatch and the boat got underway on the surface. Werner sailed about two miles then submerged the U-55 with the forty-one survivors still on the casing of the boat. Chief Engineer Bowman stated; "About 10 p.m. the submarine dived and threw everybody in the water without any means of saving themselves, as the majority of them had had their lifebelts taken off them." Having taken their lifebelts and destroyed their lifeboats he now decided to just drown the entire crew, a clear act of cruelty and outright willful murder, and this was not the first time he had done this. He did the same thing with the crews of the Torrington on Apr. 8, 1917 and four days later on Apr. 12 to the crew of the Toro, despicable acts of murder on the high seas. The men in the water had little chance of survival and all but three died, but the three who survived were able to tell the tale of what happened to their fellow crewmen after they were picked up by a British patrol boat later in the day.
Able Seaman George Silessi swam back to the Belgium Prince and reboarded her, he was on board when a U-boat came alongside of the ship the early the next morning. He said several Germans boarded the stricken ship and looted her, lucky for him the Germans did not see him and he jumped off the ship and got into a small boat which was nearby.
The third survivor was an American, 2nd Cook William Snell of Jacksonville Florida, he survived by hiding his lifebelt under his clothes. After the U-55 went under he also headed for the only place he could, the Belgian Prince. He got within a mile when he saw the Belgian Prince explode and sink. Silessi stated the U-boat fired two shots from her deck gun and the Belgian Prince sank stern first at about 07:00 on Aug. 1, 1917. Thirty-nine crewmen died in the North Atlantic, courtesy of Wilhelm Werner and the crew of the U-55, but what happened to the ship's master? It is unclear if Harry Hassan was brought back on deck or kept as a POW, but I have been told by a family member that he "was never seen or heard from again by his family". Bringing the total lives lost to forty.
The KTB (Kriegstagebuch, in English War Diary) of the U-55 mentions little of the event;
"July 31: Unterwasserangriff. Heckschuß, G-Torpedo. Scheneidewinkel 80°, 600 m, Treffer Mitte. Englischer bewaffneter Viermastendampfer, 4800ts, in Ballast auslaufend. Vor Bewacher getaucht."
(Attack submerged. stern tube, G-torpedo. Edge angle 80°, 600 m, hit at center. Armed British four masted steamer, 4,800 tons, leaking out of ballast tanks. Dove in front of escort ship.)
"Aug. 1: Dampfer mit Sprengpatrone versenkt; vor Foxglove bis 9 h vm getaucht.
(Steamer sunk with scuttling charges, dove at 9 a.m. in front of Foxglove)
Werner makes no mention of the name of the ship, or the fate of the crew. He also makes no mention of taking the captain prisoner, a clearly evasive entry in the log of the boat to keep this crime a secret.
In Germany the public was told that what the British press had reported was "A low calumny" and that "Nevertheless, it can be confidently asserted that the story of the German sailors taking the crew of the sunk ship on deck and then submerging and washing them into the sea can only be a low lie and calumny. If our U-boat men had wanted to let the foreign crew perish, they did not need laboriously to take them on board. The idea that Germans out of sheer devilry pretended to save the men, only in order to let them perish, could not possibly occur to German sailors."
In Holland the press mocked the Germans by publishing a pastoral letter which was read at Protestant churches in Germany, including the cathedral attended by the Kaiser. The letter was published next to the story about what happened to the men of the Belgium Prince. It read in part; "We will comport ourselves as Christians toward our enemies and conduct the war in the future as in the past with humility and chivalry."
Wilhelm Werner sank a considerable amount of shipping and in 1918 he torpedoed and sank HMHS Rewa, a fully lit and marked hospital ship, fortunately only four people were killed. He tried to sink another Hospital Ship, the Guildford Castle, but because of a dud torpedo and a misfire he failed in this endeavor. He was charged with war crimes, but fled Germany and never faced trial. He lived in Brazil and later returned to Germany where he joined the NSDAP (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NAZI party), more specifically the SS and rose to the rank of SS Brigadeführer serving on Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler's personal staff. Never answering for his crimes, he died on May 14, 1945.