THE SUNDERLAND SITE - PAGE 092
SHIPBUILDERS - PAGE 29
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On this page ... Robert Thompson, T. & B. Tiffin, Wigham's Ship Repair Yard.
Copyright? (54 + 3 = 57)
Corrections in any of the material which follows, however tiny, would be most welcome. And additions, of course! Test.
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ROBERT THOMPSON (1819/1910)
ROBERT THOMPSON (1854/c.1881)
ROBERT THOMPSON AND SONS (c1881/1906)
ROBERT THOMPSON AND SONS LIMITED (1906/1930)
(OF SOUTHWICK (1854/1930)
AND LATER OF BRIDGE DOCK, SUNDERLAND, ALSO (1881/1933)
First a few images. Hover your mouse over each thumbnail to read the subject matter.
The history of this particular 'Thompson' shipbuilding enterprise seems to be relatively simple.
Simple at least compared to the history of the business commenced earlier by Robert Thompson's father (Robert Thompson 1797/1860) & yet another, I believe different 'Thompson' yard whose origins so far escape me. Published words often include references to all of the many Thompson's & separating the family members by ship yard is, to the webmaster at least, not particularly easy to do.
Anyway this yard was established at Southwick by Robert Thompson (1819/1910) on Aug. 8, 1854 when he left his father's family shipbuilding business to strike out on his own. He was by then an experienced shipbuilder, & I'll try in due course to set out what few words I have read about his early shipbuilding experience. And add some most interesting biographical data also which I know is available via the brilliant site of George H. Graham of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
From what I can see the yard was established on the north bank of River Wear roughly 600 yards east of the (later) Queen Alexandra Bridge. At a yard 'previously tenanted' by John Candlish. Some day, hopefully, we will add a map to this WWW site & try to show upon it where I think all the yards were located. For you maybe to correct for me!
He was later joined by two of his sons. That was in 1881, I read. Later history of the yard? I have little or none.
In 1881 Bridge Dock was acquired also. Now Bridge Dock, as you might guess by its name was beside the bridges, & in fact located on the north bank immediately to the west of the Railway Bridge. Previously owned by George Peverall. It had sat idle for some years it would appear before 'Robert Thompson and Sons' took it over. There was a slip there, at an angle to the river, & the site must have included a stretch of bank to the west of that slip. A ship repair business, per George Graham. But ships were constructed there also. And launches from that riverbank site were spectacular - launched broadside - since the river was just too narrow at that point to permit a conventional launch of a large vessel.
Most of an image that appeared in 'Where Ships Are Born' appears next. Of a broadside launch at Bridge Dock. Of the Amiral L'Hermite in 1903. I cut off a bit of the sky so you could see the image & its caption, as large as possible without scrolling. I did not scan it perfectly horizontally, alas, though I did try to do so! As I have indicated elsewhere in these pages, I hope that inclusion of images from that volume is in order on this non-profit & informational site. And on other sites! Do be in touch if that is of concern to any copyright holder.
Another broadside launch stated to be at the Robert Thompson & Sons Bridge Dock shipyard. But is it? It may rather be a launch at their Southwick shipyard located on the river's north bank roughly opposite Laings. Your thoughts on that? The image below has been modified by the webmaster from the original made available at the 'Sunderland Tugs and Shipbuilding in pictures' at 'Facebook', whom we sincerely thank. Do see it there to best advantage in 'Photo Viewer'. The image is marked 'VERA' as you can clearly see. So far at least, the webmaster has not been able to figure out which vessel is shown & the date of its launch. There would seem to be no vessel launched by Robert Thomson with the name of Vera. My guess is that it dates from the 1880s. Need help! Click on the image below to see it in a larger size.
The Southwick yard came to an end in about 1930. Bridge Dock closed, I have read, in 1933.
Miramar lists (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:- 54, 84, 114, 146, 174, 204, 236, 265, 300, 332, 341.
Names of just a few of the vessels constructed by Thompson's of Southwick (& later Bridge Dock), Sunderland - added as I happen to spot references to them. I hope I have them listed by the correct 'Thompson' yard! In a table in build date sequence. More vessels were referenced here but we must proceed a step at a time in building this site.
A wooden barque. Per 1 (12.12.1863, search page for Graces). Built for Thomas Coxon of North Shields, as advised in 'Where Ships Are Born'. The vessel is Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed from 1856/57 thru 1866/67, owned for that entire period by T. Coxon of North Shields. Was launched on Sep. 27, 1855 as per this launch announcement which incorrectly names the vessel Gracious. Was completed on Oct. 8, 1855, & fitted with Mr. Robinson's Patent Steering Machine. For initial service ex Sunderland, however I am advised that the vessel's maiden voyage was to Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey). For the 3 years from 1857/58 the vessel served from Shields to Aden, later ex London & ex Shields. Turnbull's Register of 1856 & Christie's Shipping Register of 1858, both confirm the Coxon ownership with Christie's clarifying the owner's name as being Thomas Coxon. The Mercantile Navy List of 1867 still records Thomas Coxon as her then owner. On Feb. 6, 1862, I gather, 8 crew members were tried at the Consular Court of Constantinople for disobeying orders & refusing to join the ship. They were each given 12 days in the Consular Prison & each fined £1.42. On Dec. 12, 1863, per the link above, Graces dragged her anchors in violent seas during a full WNW gale in Thurso Bay, Caithness, Scotland. The crew of 15 were rescued by Thurso lifeboat Polly. David Watts has kindly provided further detail. The vessel, bound from Belfast to the River Tyne, was seen working up in Scrabster Roads (close to Thurso) with her fore canvas in tatters. She narrowly avoided going ashore on Holborn Head & drifted to leeward, unmanageable. At 2:30 p.m. her crew were taken off by Polly & she was left riding with 130 fathoms out on each cable. Her master & mate re-boarded her at ten o'clock that night & on Dec. 15, 1862, she reached safety at Scrabster. In 1864, the vessel made a 23 day passage from Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada, to the River Tyne under Captain F. Armstrong. 123.0 ft. long, or maybe 123.5 ft., signal letters HNPV. LR of 1866/67 notes that the vessel had been 'Wrecked'. On Feb. 8, 1867 the vessel, under the command of Captain Armstrong, was wrecked at Frisa, near Cape Bon, Tunisia, while en route from Malta to the U.K. with a cargo of linseed. It would seem likely that no lives were lost in the disaster. Much of the above is, I understand, thanks to David Watts & to the 'Dictionary of Tyne Sailing Ships', by Richard E. Keys, published in 1998. Can you tell us about the circumstances of her loss or provide any additional data?
A fully rigged ship. Per 1 (Baines & Mackay, Black Ball Line), 2 (an 1862 Netherby passenger ticket), 3 (1863 arrival at Sydney, New South Wales ('NSW'), 4 (1866 sinking summary, King Island map), 5 ('wrecksite.eu', 1866 sinking, with map of wreck location), 6 (Jul. 23, 1866 account of the grounding, ex 7), 8 (Jul. 24, 1866 article incl. a passenger list), 9, 10 & 11 (1866 newspaper reports), 12 (a truly magnificent illustration of the 1866 sinking, available also via thumbnail at left, thanks to 'Trove'), 13 (Captain Owen's report of sinking), 14 (image, Netherby, insert Netherby & then click the image thumbnail), 15 (one page of a most extensive site re Netherby), 16 (Wikipedia, Netherby). The vessel is not Miramar listed. It would seem that an illustration of the ship is in Vol. 3, 1866, of Illustrated Sydney News, an illustration different from the image that is available at link 12 & left. 176.0 ft. long, signal letters NCKW. The webmaster has Lloyd's Register editions available to him for most of the vessel's life - from 'Google' books - see left. Built for E. (Edmund) Graham, of Newcastle, apparently for the India trade. In the 1861/62 edition the registered owner had become Baines & Co. ('Baines'), of Liverpool, which company, known as the 'Black Ball Line', provided passenger & cargo service to Australia. Strangely, Baines used the name & even the flag of 'Black Ball Line' of New York, established back in 1817, & it would seem competed with that line on the transatlantic packet trade. I read however that the vessel, on its final voyage in 1866, was owned by T. M. Mackay & Company, though the 'Netherby Gazette' states Baines. What happened to her in 1866? You should first know that on Jun. 6, 1859, Queen Victoria signed Letters Patent establishing Queensland, Australia, as a self governing colony. And on Dec. 10, 1859, Queensland's first governor proclaimed Queensland to be a colony separate from NSW, with its own Government etc. That Government, wanting to increase its population, chartered vessels to bring immigrants from the U.K., & Netherby was one of many vessels chartered for that purpose. I read that the vessel made 4 voyages to Australia/New Zealand. On its final voyage, the vessel left East India Dock, London, towed by City of London, on Mar. 31, 1866 (have read other dates), bound for Moreton Bay, nr. Brisbane, Queensland, via Plymouth. It departed Plymouth on Apl. 13, 1866, with 413 passengers & a crew of 38 all told (have read other numbers but the 413 looks good), under the command of Captain Owen Owens. It rounded the Cape of Good Hope & sailed E. for Australia. Extensive heavy weather was encountered on its voyage & passengers were kept below decks for over 2 weeks. During its passage of Bass Strait, which lies between Tasmania & mainland Australia, it encountered heavy overcast/foggy conditions & could not establish its exact position. At 7.30 p.m. on Jul. 14, 1866, the ship saw land but it was so close that in less than three minutes the ship was on the rocks about 35 miles S. of Cape Wickham, on the W. coast of King Island, Tasmania, in Bass Strait - a little to the S. of today's Currie Harbour. At approx. 39.55.52S/143.51.02E. Attempts were made to evacuate the ship, but the darkness & seas made it impossible. The ship was however canted over to seaward providing some degree of calm on its landward side. Early the next day, a crew member succeeded in getting ashore & a rope was tied around a rock in relatively calm waters. Two boats with survivors were hauled along that rope, time after time, until everyone was ashore, but the survivors had to scramble through the surf & over rocks to actually make it to shore. All were saved. How amazing! The ship, with its back broken, was abandoned, later broke in two & both sections sank. The survivors had come ashore on a remote & desolate coast, with little more than their lives & a few supplies rescued from the ship or found washed up on the shore. Sails from the vessel were used to protect survivors huddled in rough shelters, fires were started to maintain warmth, & a source of drinking water was located. Life continues! On Jul. 17, 1866, a daughter was born to Mrs. Cubbin! First Officer Parry & 8 volunteer passengers took 5 days to reach Cape Wickham Lighthouse ('Wickham') overland. Quickly recovered, Parry took Wickham's life-boat with 4 crew, & on Jul. 21, 1866, safely reached the Victoria coast. After a 35 mile ride on horseback, Parry reached Geelong to raise the general alarm. Meanwhile 117 single men had trekked along the coast to Wickham. Government steamers Victoria & Pharos were sent from Melbourne to pick up the survivors, many of whom later determined to settle in the State of Victoria rather than continue their journey to Queensland. The wreck & its cargo were sold at Melbourne, the ship for £150 & the cargo for £170, to a syndicate comprising Messrs Boyd & Currie, & Messrs J. Donaldson & Company. They sent Lady Don, a schooner, but it was forced to return when it collided with a (or the) pilot schooner. Ben Holt, a cutter, was then sent & commenced salvage operations which, over an extended period, recovered valuable material, including railway locomotives (there were 3 aboard) & rolling stock. Unfortunately, during the salvage operations, a heavy bar of iron slipped off its sling & crashed thru a boat containing 6 men. While 3 of the 6 men made it safely ashore, the other 3 were not seen again, drowned or more likely torn to pieces by sharks. I have not read if the wreck itself is still in situ, though I read that parts of it are still there. Was an Inquiry held into the disaster - I have seen no hint of one being held. Further reading [A (Don Charlwood) & B ('pdf' available)]. Now there is a lot of WWW material available about Netherby, some of it alas contradictory, & the above text may well need correction. If you can do that or provide additional data, your contribution would be most welcome.
3 Saint Dunstan
A 3-masted wooden barque. Per 1 (data), 2 (data). The vessel is Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed from 1858/59 thru 1870/71, owned thru 1864/65 by Burnett & Co. of Newcastle, later, from 1863/64, of London. Initially for service from Sunderland to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), later ex London to Australia. 128.5 ft. long, signal letters NCLG. On Sep. 16, 1861, the vessel left London for Adelaide, South Australia, arriving on Jan. 17, 1862. She later, on Mar. 27, 1862, left Guichen Bay (SSE of Adelaide), for London, with 1900 bales of wool, the last wool ship of the season. She arrived in London on Aug. 6, 1862 after a voyage of 129 days. She returned to Adelaide in early 1863 & traded many times between New Zealand (Port Chalmers/Dunedin) & Australia (often Newcastle, New South Wales). LR of 1864/65 lists Devitt & Co. of London as her new owner, continuing to serve Australia & later Japan, both ex London. Do check Trove, Australia, re her service in the Australia & New Zealand area thru Feb. 9, 1867 when she left Brisbane for London for what would seem to have been the last time - with 1,000 bales of wool. I read that she was rather small for Devitt's Australian trade so she was sold, in 1868/69, to Low & Co. of Greenock - for service from the Clyde to Quebec. The Mercantile Navy List of 1870 records John Low of Greenock as the then owner of the 422 ton barque, now registered at Glasgow. LR of 1870/71 notes 'wrecked'. On Sep. 13, 1869 she left Glasgow for Japan. On Mar. 31, 1870, per line 142 here, the 441 ton barque was stranded at Meta Reef, Yeddo, Japan, (near Cape King) while en route from Glasgow to Yokohama, Japan, with a general cargo. 'Stranded' is a kind word to describe what in fact happened. She broke in two & her cargo was drifting ashore when the surviving crew left in ship's boats for Yokohama. Crew of 14 - 4 lost. Then owned by J. Law. This page also reports the loss at line 18, reporting the loss at Yeddo Bay as being rather on Apl. 1, 1870 & the voyage of having commenced at Greenock. Can you provide additional data? #1918
4 Rose of Sharon
319 (or 304) tons
A wooden barque. Per 1 (Board of Trade inquiry into 1875 grounding, ex 'Accounts and Papers', published 1876, a 'Google' book). Not listed in Miramar. 114.5 ft. long, signal letters PRMN. The first available (to me) Lloyd's Register listing I can spot is re 1860/61 when the vessel was owned by 'Watson &', i.e. Watson & Co., of Sunderland, for service to the Mediterranean - William H. Watson in 1870. In the 1873/74 edition the vessel was registered to J. Hedley of Blyth, with a reference to service to Lisbon, Portugal. In early 1875, Rose of Sharon, the vessel then owned by John Hedley of Blyth, Northumberland, left Cronstadt, (Gulf of Finland, Baltic, the port of Saint Petersburg, Russia), for London, with a cargo of about 150 tons of timber & about 50 tons of 'iron stone or ore'. A portion of the timber was stowed on deck. The vessel was under the command of James Diston, with a crew of 9 all told. On the evening of Sep. 23, 1875, the Mouse Lightship (Thames Estuary) was sighted, & in view of the squally conditions & light rain, preparations were made to anchor. A heavy squall passed over the ship & the ship went aground on the tail of Maplin Sand. It was anticipated that the ship would float off at flood tide, but that did not happen. The vessel began to leak, some bottom planks tore off & floated to the surface, & the vessel was abandoned. A smack saved all of the crew. The vessel was later salved & taken to Deptford. While the Court felt that the vessel might have floated off had the deck cargo been jettisoned, it considered the grounding to be a case of misadventure & returned to James Diston his certificate. At a date prior to 1878/79, the vessel became of 304 tons. In the 1883/84 Lloyd's Register, J. Evans & Co., of North Shields, is the stated owner, with J. Evans the Captain. While the vessel appears to be (via a Google snippet ref.) in the next year's register, it appears no longer to be in the 1887/88 register - unless the vessel's name was changed - possible but probably unlikely. I do not know, for sure, what finally happened to the vessel. Can you provide additional data?
A wooden barque. Per 1 (Lloyd's 1869/70, go up a number of pages), 2 (Lloyd's 1882/83, almost at the bottom of the volume). 134 ft. long, signal letters PWLM. Built for Moon & Co., of Sunderland, it would seem for the Swansea to South America trade - with J. Ryder her captain. The Mercantile Navy List of 1870 states that H. A. Noon of Sunderland was the vessel's owner. While the 1880 equivalent says that John Brodie, of London was then her owner. In 1880/81, W. S. Moon was her captain & 'L. Oneto & F. Degregori' were her owners. But can anyone clarify 2. Did L. Oneto become her captain in that year? In this volume it is said, I am advised, that the vessel carried coal to the River Plate & returned from South America with animal hides. Can you provide additional data?
A ship. Per 1 (loss of the ship ex 2. Thanks!), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). The first iron ship built by the yard, 'the fully-rigged Ireshope', as advised in 'Where Ships Are Born'. However, per Lloyd's registers, the vessel was, in fact, registered as Ires-hope. 207.0 ft. long. Built for Middle Dock Co. of Newcastle, for the Sunderland to India service. The Mercantile Navy List of 1870 advises that Thomas H. Henderson, of Newcastle, was the then owner of Ireshope. Which data is, however, suspect since later editions of Lloyd's Register report Middle Dock Co. as still the vessel's owner. A vessel of the name was on fire at Anger (means Anjer) in February 1877 (near bottom), was towed to Banlan (means Bantam) & run ashore. Those places are at or near Sumatra. Same vessel, I wonder? Yes indeed. Thanks to the Straits Times of Singapore newspaper we can now advise that the vessel left Newcastle for Singapore with a cargo of coal. The ship arrived at Anjer roadstead with 'fire amongst the coals'. Water was pumped into the ship to a depth of 8 feet, but the vessel continued to burn. Merapi, a steamer, was to tow Ires-hope to Batavia where better fire fighting facilities existed. However, when under tow, an explosion of coal gas took place & the shattered vessel had to be sunk near the cape of Bantam. The crew abandoned ship & the ship sank rapidly. It sank on or about Feb. 20, 1877. I find the story to be a bit confusing. On or about Feb. 24, 1877, the hull & its cargo was sold at public auction. Was it run ashore or truly sunk off the coast? The article describes the vessel as being on her maiden voyage, which surely is incorrect. Can you provide any additional data?
An iron steamship, schooner rigged. Per 1 (press reports re loss inquiry), 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). The vessel is Lloyd's Register ('LR') recorded from 1870/71 thru 1873/74, which is a puzzle, read on. The vessel's sole owner was Culliford & Co. of Sunderland for service ex Sunderland. 205.0 ft. long. The notes of John Oliver state (thank you John!) that the vessel was on the stocks for 8 years. Lanoma was built in Aug. 1870. On Nov. 3, 1870, per line 666 here, the 795 ton steamer was stranded at the Schaarhorn sands, at the mouth of the German river Elbe, while en route from Sunderland to Hamburg with a cargo of coal. Thomas Kerr was in command, crew of 20 - none lost. Then owned by James H. W. Culliford. An inquiry into the vessel's loss was held in Sunderland on Dec. 9/10 1870. It was reported that the vessel had left the Tyne (rather than the Wear) on Oct. 31, 1870 bound for Hamburg. Early on the morning of Nov. 1 or 2, 1870, presumably in darkness, the vessel ran onto the Schaarhorn sands at a time when no lights, beacons or buoys existed - they had all been removed due to war. The Court suspended Captain Kerr's certificate for 3 months, presumably indicating the court's opinion that he should not have made for Hamburg under such circumstances. The exact date of the wreck is Nov. 1, 3 or 4 depending on the source. Can you provide any additional data? #1919
1060 (or 1061) tons
A cargo ship. Per 1 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 218.8 ft. long. Built for R. T. Nicholson ('Nicholson'), of Sunderland. In 1876, sold to 'Lumsden, Byers & Co.' ('Lumsden'), also of Sunderland, but in 1886 sold back to Nicholson & in 1889 sold again by Nicholson to Lumsden. Nicholson & Lumsden were, I would presume, related in some way? In 1891, sold to W. Constantine, of Sunderland. In 1892 sold to 'A/S Santorin (Chr. Klaveness)', of Kristiania (Oslo), Norway. In 1893, vessel was renamed Toftwood (but 1 indicates such name change was in 1891, which date seems more likely since Toftwood is the name of a Norfolk village & an unusual choice of name for a Norwegian owner). In 1896, sold to 'A/S Santorin (Chr. Klaveness)', of Kristiania. In 1903, sold to 'A/S Clara (O. Mohn)', of Kristiania & renamed Clara. In 1905, sold to 'A/S D/S Lina (O. Mohn)', of Kristiania & renamed Lina. But 2 indicates both of such name changes were also earlier - in 1902 & 1904 respectively. On May 2, 1908, vessel was wrecked at Balanec, near Molène. In Norwegian 'Grunnstøtte innenfor Ile d’Ouessant på reise Barry – Arcachon med kull.' which Norwegian text seems quite impossible of translation into English via the WWW, but may mean, in part at least, 'while en route from Barry, Wales, to Arcachon, Gironde, SW France, with a cargo of coal'. (Balanec and Molène are both small islands in the Molène archipelago off the tip of Finistère, Brittany). Much of the above data came from a Norwegian page now long gone. Can you provide additional data?
592 (later 612) tons
A barque. 155.5 ft long, signal letters HFCW, launched Sep. 1873. The vessel is not Miramar listed. The webmaster has a number of editions of Lloyd's Register available to him from 'Google' books, see left. The vessel was built for G. Foreman, of Sunderland, it would seem for the India trade. To replace an earlier fleet vessel of identical name, built by Naizby in Sunderland in 1867, which vessel was wrecked in or about 1872. In the 1876/77 edition of Lloyd's, the registered owners had become G. & M. A. Foreman ('Foreman'), also of Sunderland. The 1880/81 register records the sale from Foreman to B. Balkwill of Salcombe, Devon, U.K. who remained the vessel's recorded owners thru the 1885/86 register, in which the vessel is reported as being 'lost'. There was, it would seem, 'a Balkwill fleet largely engaged in trade with ports in Iberia, the Mediterranean, Azores, West Indies, etc.' Roger Barrett advises me (thanks Roger!) that the vessel went aground at Cochin, India, in Feb. 1886. I presume that it was badly damaged as a result, because the vessel was then declared to be unseaworthy. Registry data, similar to the Lloyd's data at left, is available in 'The Record of American and Foreign Shipping' at the fine 'Mystic Seaport' site here (type in Cyrene), for years 1874 thru 1886 - but there are lots of Cyrene pages there! Can you add to the above, or correct anything?
789 (or 765 or 786 or 900) tons
A 3-masted iron barque. Per 1 & 2 (data, Archer), 3 (Peter Iredale), 4 (1894 decision of the Naval Court at San Francisco), 5 & 6 (extensive historical data & images, Archer), 7 (account of 1894 disaster ex San Francisco newspaper, available here), 8 (text as 1895 published in 'Lewis & Dryden's Marine History of the Pacific North West', a 'www.archive.org' book), 9 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 189.1 ft long, signal letters PVKG, later (by 1914) KMDR. The webmaster has a few editions of Lloyd's Register available to him from 'Google' books, thru 1889/90 - see left. Built for P. Iredale, later P. Iredale & Son, of Liverpool. Used as an emigrant ship with six voyages listed from U.K. to Australia in years 1880/1892. 'Broken' at San Francisco in 1894. I did not know what that meant but now, thanks to Susan Nicholson, we know what happened. Susan's great grandfather, Claus F. (Friedrich) Matzen (1854/1934), she tells me, was the ship's mate aboard the ship that day now so long ago. The reference to San Francisco, incidentally, is misleading. That was not where the ship was 'broken', rather where the resulting Naval Court hearing was held. On or about Mar. 16, 1894, Archer left Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, for Portland, Oregon, under tow by tug Pioneer, in ballast (loose shingle & rock), under the command of John Dawson. With a crew of 16 all told. In view of the fresh gale blowing outside the harbour, the tug did not release her, but rather took her to nearby Port Angeles, Washington, where she anchored for the night. At 5:00 a.m. on Mar. 17, 1894, Pioneer took her out to sea again & at 1:30 p.m. cast off from Archer, then 6 or 7 miles SW of Cape Flattery, Washington. The weather? Very bad indeed. An increasing gale from the SE with snow squalls. Late on Mar. 17, 1894, while adjusting sail to weather the storm, Archer was hit by a heavy squall which knocked her over. A 'tremendous beam sea' struck her. Two (not three) crew members lost their lives, swept away & drowned (Andrew Anderson, a carpenter & A. D. Evans, a seaman). She was thrown on her beam ends, (i.e. the ship's decks became vertical), the ship's ballast shifted, the ship would not right herself. They cut away her masts in an unsuccessful attempt to right the ship. Think about how they must have done that, in darkness, with the ship on its side, in a raging sea. A fire in the cabin was put out. The situation was desperate & the order was given to abandon the ship. The remaining crew members clung to the ship's taffrail or poop rail for several hours before they could launch a boat, which they accomplished at 1:00 a.m. on Mar. 18, 1894 with four men aboard her. With great difficulty the other 10 were one by one dragged by line, through the pounding seas, to that tiny boat. 1/2 hour after they were all aboard, at 6:30 a.m., they were picked up by John C. Potter (1182 tons, built in 1869 at Searsport, Maine), which saw the wreck & the ship's boat & rescued them. And safely landed them at San Francisco on Mar. 30, 1894. The ship itself? It was found as a derelict by Canadian Pacific Navigation Company's steamer Maude (a sidewheeler built in 1872 at San Juan island by Joseph Spratt) & towed to Clayoquot Sound, Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Pioneer further towed her to Victoria, where she was sold for about $4,000 to Captain Rufus Calhoun (1828/1903), of Port Townsend, Washington. He had her towed to Port Blakely, Washington, where at the cost of about $20,000 she was repaired, converted to a barquentine, & American registered in the name of 'Archer Ship Co.' ('ArcherShip'). The Naval Court, incidentally, found no fault with the Master or the crew of Archer, nor with the condition of the vessel. #107139 is an American registry number, issued when the vessel became American. Archer ceased to be Lloyd's registered in 1896. But that said, the British number is still recorded thru 1900 in the American registry records at 'Mystic Seaport', as at left. Rufus Calhoun had a son who was also named Rufus, & that son, i.e. Calhoun Jr., would seem to have been her captain for a number of years, from 1896 thru 1911 at least. The later ownership data is a puzzle to me. Why do I say that? Thru 1900 the vessel was registered in the name of ArcherShip & a Google 'snippet' of the American 'The Record' for 1909 still shows Archer as being owned by ArcherShip. Another such 'snippet' would seem to indicate that the vessel had a change of name in 1911. But ... from one of the links above, I read that Welch & Co., of San Francisco, became the vessel's owners in 1898, but it would seem to me that 'Welch' were rather the agents for ArcherShip which presumably was Calhoun's company. I read that in Sep. 1898, the vessel was sold, for about $22,000, to Roche Harbor Lime Company, but the sale seems not to show thru 1900. In fact the name would seem to correctly be 'Tacoma & Roche Harbor Lime Co.' ('Roche') of Roche Harbor, Washington & later of Seattle. Maybe ArcherShip, i.e. the company, was sold rather than the ship itself? So the registry data would have been unchanged. Rather unlikely I would have thought. Archer later served Roche carrying lime from San Juan Island to San Francisco for rebuilding efforts after the city was devastated by the 1906 earthquake & fire. Archer was re-rigged, in 1907, as a 3-masted schooner. The vessel was equipped with a coal gas engine in 1911. In or about 1916, the vessel was chartered to carry a cargo of lumber to New York, but had to put into San Pedro, Los Angeles, California, in distress, & was subsequently sold to 'Swayne & Hoyt', of San Francisco. They installed an oil engine in the ship & renamed her Marie. At some point in time, Archer became the first wireless equipped commercial vessel on the U.S. West Coast. On Jul. 8, 1936, the vessel foundered off E. Luzon island, Philippines, far indeed from the rugged coast of Washington State. Maybe one day, we will learn exactly what happened to her then as we now have learned what happened to her in 1894. There is confusion in the above later ownership data. Can anybody correct my text or otherwise provide additional data?
11 Lizzie Bell
A 3-masted iron barque. Per 1 (data), 2 & 3 (wreck data), 4 (wreck report, a 'pdf' file), 5 & 6 (newspaper articles), 7 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 65.4 metres long (214.5 ft.) perpendicular to perpendicular, signal letters WVHC. There are lots of newspaper references at Trove, Australia. Selected data from Lloyd's Registers available from 'Google' books, thru 1889/90 are at left. Built for P. (Peter) Iredale, soon P. Iredale & Son, of Liverpool. Later, at the time of wreck in 1901, the vessel was owned by 'Iredale and Porter', also of Liverpool. Lizzie Bell, John Rees ('Rees') in command, was wrecked on Jul. 24, 1901 on a voyage (in ballast) from Wellington, New Zealand, to Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. At approx. 11.20 p.m., in bitter cold. Wrecked due to 'negligent navigation', on Waimate Reef, 1 1/2 miles S. of the Oeo River, Taranaki. I cannot spot exactly where that is on my maps. It is however on the W. side of New Zealand, North Island, close to where Egmont National Park is today. The ballast was mainly of earth but with some iron also & it is possible that the iron affected the navigation of the vessel - the vessel was, it would appear, 90/100 miles off her proper course. 12 lives were lost out of the crew of 18. The master's certificate was suspended for 12 months, & Rees was ordered to pay £25 towards the cost of the Magisterial inquiry. The links above provide extensive detail. Can you provide additional data? A previous link, inaccessible when the listing was updated.
625/967 tons (gross/net)
An iron collier. Per 1 (1903 wreck data), 2 (map showing 1903 wreck site), 3 & 4 (Board of Trade 'pdf' Wreck Report re 1879 collision with rocks, & summary), 5 (2nd item, 'Fatal race'), 6 (1903 Sunderland newspaper article extracts, thanks to Peter Herring), 7 (Ottercaps article by Meg Hartford), 8 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). The vessel is Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed, it would seem, from 1878/79 thru 1892/93 at least, owned by H. T. Morton of Sunderland (H. T. Morton & Co. from 1888/89), with 'Benson' her initial captain but then 'A. B. Watt' from 1879/80 thru 1892/93 at least. The Mercantile Navy Lists ('MNL') of 1879 & 1880 list Henry T. Morton of Biddick Hall, Durham, as her then owner, which means, I gather, Henry Thomas Morton ('Morton'), John Straker & Thomas Jowsey Reay, with Reay (from 1889 per MNL) being the managing owner. Thomas Nicholson of Sunderland became the vessel's manager from 1891 per MNL. Morton & Straker, at least, were of Sunderland. Morton owned ships designed to serve 'the London coal trade of the Lambton Company.' 216.0 ft. long (65.84 metres) perpendicular to perpendicular, signal letters RTJD, speed of 9 knots, 99 HP engines by George Clark of Sunderland, crew of 18 in 1879 & 1881 & 16 in 1903. The vessel was always Sunderland registered. On Jun. 8, 1879, the vessel was en route from Bilbao, Spain, to Sunderland, George Benson in command, with a cargo of iron ore. The vessel, going at its full speed of 9 knots, hit Renards Rocks near Brest, France, but was not stranded. The vessel was however holed, the fore tank full of water, but otherwise undamaged. Benson took the vessel to nearby Brest, where the cargo was discharged & temporary repairs were effected. It ultimately arrived safely at Sunderland. A formal investigation was held on Jul. 11, 1879, at Sunderland, & Benson was held to be at fault. His master's certificate was suspended for 3 months but during that period he was allowed a first mate's certificate. Peter Herring advises that on Feb. 25, 1880, Ottercaps was in collision with Stelling (built at Newcastle in 1876) in the Bilbao river. Both vessels were beached. In or about 1885, the vessel was grounded at the jetties of the port of Boulogne, France, was seriously damaged but re-floated. Kathleen Gill (e-mail), of the Sunderland Volunteer Life Brigade, advises me (thanks!) that (1) on Aug. 10, 1890, (also 2 thanks to Peter Herring) the vessel was en route from London to Sunderland, in ballast, under the command of Allan B. Watt (we now know that the family name was Watt rather than Watts thanks to Jim Tilt's copyrighted image of the stone in Bishopwearmouth Cemetery, Chester Road, Sunderland. In heavy sea & rain, the vessel missed the harbour entrance at Sunderland, & drove ashore about 200 metres S. of the South Pier at about 10:45 p.m. The Coastguard was on the scene & the Brigade effected the rescue - by a line fired by rocket - of 15 of the 18 aboard (2 were passengers). The other three, including the Captain, elected to stay aboard until the vessel was left high & dry by the receding tide. The ship suffered modest stern damage, was towed off by 3 tugs (Ben Ledi, Snowdrop (1) & Her Majesty) (1) on Aug. 14, 1890, & was delivered to the S. P. Austin & Son Ltd. drydock for necessary repairs. On Jul. 21, 1891 Ottercaps took on board the passengers & crew (38 & 12) of Neko, a German mail steamer, which sank after Staincliffe ran into her in fog - thanks Peter Herring! - note that the vessel is incorrectly recorded in that newspaper article as being named 'Kieko'. Ottercaps landed those rescued at Brest. A number of sites reference the vessel being owned by 'The Lambton Collieries Limited' ('Lambton'), of Sunderland, from 1897 per MNL (MNL of 1900). We now know a little more about what happened - on Jul. 30, 1894 the vessel's ownership by John George Lambton, Earl of Lambton, was registered, he having bought the vessel in Nov. & Dec. 1893 from Morton & two gentlemen named Straker. As is confirmed by MNL of 1895. On Feb. 26, 1903, owned by Lambton, the vessel was again en route from Bilbao with iron ore, this time to Middlesbrough, under the command of Allan B. Watt. She ran into a violent storm near Pointe du Raz (1 & 2), Finistère, Brittany, France, attempting, it would appear, to pass between Pointe du Raz & Ile de Sein. The vessel ran ashore & was wrecked with all aboard, the crew of 16, lost. Off Feuntenet, Bay of Audierne. Approx. at 48.01.2N/04.39.4W. Fifteen bodies eventually were washed ashore. David Nichol, whose great grandfather, Peter Thompson, was an able seaman aboard Ottercaps, has kindly provided newspaper reports from the 'Sunderland Daily Echo' & other material also. The nature of the tragedy is seen when the articles note that the disaster resulted in 13 widows & 33 fatherless children under the age of 14. Peter Thompson left a widow & a family of 9, 4 of whom were under 14 years of age. You can read more of the detail here. Meg Hartford also provided data included above, including the 4th image at left, the letter re Robert Taylor. Meg comments - thanks Meg! And Peter Herring, whose maternal great grandfather, John William James Robson Young, was 2nd Mate on the Ottercaps when the ship was lost in 1903, has contributed yet more material. And Janet Wardell, whose great great uncle John Henry Wood was lost in the disaster advises. Thank you all. Some missing data if anybody, perhaps someone at Plogoff, Finisterre, can help. i.e. i) the name of the Plogoff church at which the funeral was held & ii) a photo of the gravestone in the new cemetery location. On Feb. 5, 2015, the 'Sunderland Echo' featured a splendid illustrated article about the loss of Ottercaps, including a list of those who lost their lives. You can read the article here. Many crew lists for the vessel are on file at Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada. Can you provide anything additional? Another image?
An iron cargo ship. Per 1 (bottom of page), 2 (P. M. Duncan), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 201.0 ft. long, 61.3 metres long between perpendiculars, 560 net tons, signal letters R.M.K.V. The vessel would seem to have been built for 'P. M. Duncan', of Dundee, Scotland, as per the first of the Lloyd's Register listings, ex Google Books, that the webmaster has available (see left). In the 1887/88 register edition, the vessel is owned by 'Dundee Gem Line Steamships Company Limited', of Dundee. The webmaster does not have the intermediate registers that would indicate when the ownership change took place, but 1 indicates that the vessel became owned by 'Gem Line', only in 1879. That site does not, however, refer to the earlier direct ownership of P. M. Duncan. Since 1882, Gem Line was managed by P. M. Duncan, who looks to have been most closely associated indeed with Gem Line. The vessel traded with the Baltic carrying flax, but, it would seem, would have also traded to Spain, to Greece & to the Middle East. The vessel was sold, in 1909, to 'M. Reincke', of Russia, & renamed Dagmar. And sold again, in 1914, to 'G. Carnevali & Co.', of Italy perhaps, & renamed Ronco. The vessel was wrecked, on Jun. 28, 1918, between Tocra & Tolemaide, Libya. There is little definitive WWW data available however about the vessel. Can you provide anything additional? Sometimes, in creating a site such as this, one comes across data most difficult to explain. I refer to the report, at left, of the loss of Sapphire at Falsterbo Reef, on Dec. 30, 1882 (could not be 1883), while en route from Laban to Leith, Scotland, with a cargo of grain. (I cannot place 'Laban', but it likely was somewhere on the S. coast of the Baltic. Upon reflection, it may well mean Liepaja, an ice-free Latvian port on the Baltic Sea, previously known as 'Libau'. Falsterbo Reef is at the SW tip of Scania, Sweden, at the entrance to the Baltic). A summary of Wreck Inquiry #1733, published in 'The Nautical Magazine' of May 1883. The Master was found to be guilty of 'error of judgment' as to the ship's position. Now there were many Sapphire's - Lloyd's lists 7 vessels of the name in 1880/81 - but with the detail provided (tonnage, owner, date of build) the vessel referred to was clearly 'our' Sapphire. It is said to have been lost, but the vessel, in fact, clearly lasted for another 35 years into 1918. I have tried to WWW locate & read the complete Wreck Report #1733. But without success. Can you explain this most strange puzzle?
1083 (or 1053 or 1059) tons
A 3-masted steel barque with clipper stem. Per 1 (data), 2 (Peter Ireland), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Built for 'Peter Iredale', of Liverpool. 214 (or 214.5) ft. long, 65.4 metres perpendicular to perpendicular. It would seem, if I understand correctly the data kindly provided by Mori Flapan of Sydney, Australia, that the ownership sequence was 'P. Iredale & Son', 'P. Iredale & Porter', 'J. Porter', 'P. Iredale & Porter Ltd.' & in 1911 'A. Hannay', of Melbourne. 'Hulked' either in 1912 or (per Miramar) in Q2 of 1911 (at Melbourne, Australia). Hulked in this case means used for coal storage. It then, as a hulk, initially at Melbourne & then at Port Adelaide, was owned by 'McIlwraith, McEacharn's Line Pty Ltd.' & then 'McIlwraith McEacharn Ltd.' An eBay listing indicated that it was broken up in 1950 - Mori Flapan believes that was in fact in 1958, but there is a report that says the hulk was scuttled in South Australian waters in 1937. Can you provide additional data?
2471 (or 2466 or 2641) tons
A passenger/cargo steamship. Per 1 & 2 [Derwent (II)], 3 (Ashanti 1900), 4 (Wikipedia in German), 5 (Spanish page), 6 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Built for 'Royal Mail Steam Packet Company' ('Royal'), of London. On South American service, it would seem - to Rio de Janeiro & Santos (São Paulo). On Feb. 28, 1889, Derwent landed at Folkestone, Kent, 16 survivors of the Norwegian barque Carlo (or Carla) which had been in collision with Lamport & Holt's steamer Pascal. In Jul. 1900, she carried a total of 494 officers & troops from Bermuda & St. Helena to West Africa to reinforce the British - who were fighting in the 'Ashanti Uprising of 1900' (the Ashanti or Asante people occupied what is today Ghana). Now 4 states, in translation, that the vessel was out of 'Royal' service in 1902 & was sold for demolition, & 2 states vessel was scrapped in 1902. But I suspect it was not then scrapped and ended up sold in 1902 & renamed Lilia, as stated by 6 & 5. Sold to 'Extreme Orient', a French owner it would seem. Sold to Hong Kong owners in 1904 - name reverted to Derwent. Broken up in 3rd quarter of 1930, at Hong Kong. Can you clarify the above data and/or provide anything additional?
16 Lady Elizabeth
1208.18 (or maybe 1175) tons
A 3-masted steel barque. Per 1 (a most extensive series of pages, thanks Mori Flapan!), 2 (Wikipedia comprehensive article), 3 & 4 (fine 'pdf' extensive summaries), 5 (Spanish site), 6 (5 translated), 7 & 8 (fine 'KPadgett' & 'KPocheffy' images), 9 (copyrighted wreck image), 10 (Isle of Man souvenir stamp sheet), 11 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). The webmaster has a few editions of Lloyd's Register available to him from 'Google' books, thru 1889/90 - see left. 223.0 ft. long (69.0 metres) perpendicular to perpendicular, signal letters JFQB. Details about many of the ship's voyages are at links 3 & 4. Built for John Wilson (Messrs Wilson & Oliver the managers?), a London ship owner (but 1 states he was rather a W. Australian shipping merchant), to replace his earlier (1869) vessel of identical name which was wrecked in 1878. Possibly named after Elizabeth, John Wilson's mother. Initially registered at London. Wilson, it would seem, had borrowed upon security of the vessel & the vessel became owned by 'Merchant Banking Company' ('Merchant') (query exact name), of London, who presumably foreclosed. Wilson went bankrupt on Mar. 15, 1884. Earlier however, on Jan. 5, 1884, the Lady Elizabeth was sold by Merchant to George C. (Christian) Karran, then aged 30, of Castletown, Isle of Man (vessel is featured on Isle of Man 1984 28p & 31p postage stamps). A related page indicates that the vessel was built for 'the Karrans' (incorrect) & that George Karran was the first Captain of the vessel, also incorrect, rather he was her captain after he acquired the vessel. A significant part of the vessel's career was on the London to Australia trade it would appear. The vessel was sold, in early 1906, for £3,250 to 'Skibsaktieselskabet Lady Elizabeth' of Sundet, Norway, L. Lydersen of Tvedestrand, Norway, the manager. On Dec. 4, 1912, the vessel left Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, under the command of Captain Peter J. (Julius) Hoegh, bound for Delagoa Bay, Lourenço Marques, now Maputo, Mozambique, carrying a cargo of oregon pine. She was damaged off Cape Horn, losing cargo & 4 men overboard. She made for the Falkland Islands for repairs & grounded (broke her keel) off Volunteer Point, on Uranie (or Ukraine or Ukranie) Rock, on Mar. 14, 1913, approaching Berkeley Sound, East Falkland. I have since read, in a 1948 issue of 'Sea Breezes', that the rocks were named for Uranie, a French frigate which struck the rocks 'many years ago'. She, i.e. Lady Elizabeth, did not sink. She was towed into Port Stanley & there deemed unseaworthy. The vessel was sold to the Falkland Islands Company (along with the cargo) for £3,350 & used as a warehouse moored at the east jetty in Port Stanley (but 3 casts doubt on that). Was converted into a coal hulk & served in that capacity for no less than 23 years. In 1936, her cable parted in a gale. She drifted & blew ashore on Feb. 17, 1936 at Whalebone Cove. Was soon sold to 'Crown Receiver of Wrecks', Falklands Islands, for £1,000. She is still there today, with parts of three iron masts, & a bowsprit, still relatively intact. A sand spit runs out to the ship, I read, & you can walk out for a close inspection, probably when the tide permits! We thank both Mori Flapan & Lucas Erickson for much of the data included above. Can you provide more?
An iron barque. Per 1 (an extensive page, indeed), 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). About 75 metres long. Owned by 'P. Iredale & Son' & later 'P. Iredale & Porter', of Liverpool. Sunk by Cunard liner Campania on Jul. 21, 1900, in St. George's Channel, near Queenstown in Irish Channel in thick fog, en route from Auckland, New Zealand to Liverpool. Campania sliced clean through Embleton, the forward half of which sank instantly, while the aft part swung around & damaged Campania's starboard side. 11 of 18 crew lost. Court case in Admiralty Court. Cunard settled when it became known that the Campania look-out at the time was a last minute replacement, inexperienced & unskilled for role. Can you provide additional data, & an image?
A 3-masted iron barque. Per 1, 2 & 3 (all images), 4 (ref.), 5 (Peter Iredale), 6 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). The webmaster has a few editions of Lloyd's Register available to him from both 'Google' & 'www.archive.org', see left. 240.5 ft. long, 73.3 metres perpendicular to perpendicular, fitted with single top-gallant, & royals, signal letters WPRL. Built for Peter Iredale & Son (later, certainly by 1894/95, P. Iredale & Porter Ltd.) of Liverpool. The vessel was a frequent visitor to Australia as 'Trove' (thanks!) reports. Allonby left London on Jan. 15, 1883, Captain Moignard in command, & arrived at Sydney, New South Wales ('NSW') on Apl. 22, 1883. On Jul. 12, 1883 the vessel left for San Francisco with 300 tons of pig iron & 1,800 tons of coal. It was back at Sydney on Oct. 13, 1884 with a varied cargo valued at £11,400, ex Liverpool, that included whisky, beer & rum, glass, cotton, hardware items galore, paper & ink etc. Again it left for San Francisco with 2,218 tons of coal. There were many later voyages - details re some of them follow. Some terrible weather was encountered on a passage from Sharpness, Gloucestershire, to Geelong, Victoria, arriving there on Sep. 3, 1889 - on to Newcastle for a cargo of coal. On Nov. 1, 1889, Thomas Brocklean, an apprentice, fell 33 ft. from the main mast at sea - the vessel put back to Newcastle & Brocklean was hospitalized with injuries that included a compound fracture of the right leg. In Oct. 1890, the vessel arrived at Newcastle, from Table Bay, South Africa. The vessel left Liverpool on Jul. 21, 1896 for Sydney, where it arrived on Nov. 16th. On Jan. 29, 1897, the vessel left Sydney for London with 1,836 tons of shale & 483 casks of tallow. On Jul. 22, 1899, the vessel left Timaru, New Zealand, for London, with a cargo of Australian wheat. And on Jan 14, 1902, Allonby left London for Melbourne, Victoria, arriving in mid May after a very long voyage. In Jun. 1904, the vessel left Hamburg, Germany, for Melbourne & on Oct. 25, 1904, it left Melbourne for Port Elizabeth, South Africa. In Jul. 1909, the vessel was reported to be sold for £2,350 for use as a hulk, i.e. moored permanently & used for storage, in the West Indies. Apparently it was sold to Trinidad Coaling Co. of Port of Spain, Trinidad. An expired eBay item referred to it, maybe in error however, as being a coal hulk at San Francisco.
It would seem that there was another Allonby built in Sunderland. See here. Built by 'Kish Boolds' in 1883 or 1884. Can you explain how that is possible (two vessels of the same name at the same time). And provide additional data?
A 3-masted iron barque. Per 1 ('wrecksite.eu' wreck etc. data), 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). The webmaster has a few editions of Lloyd's Register available to him from both 'Google' & 'archive.org', see left. 62.7 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, 205.8 ft., signal letters NGBQ. Built for C. H. H. Winters, of Elsfleth, near Bremen, Germany & registered at Elsfleth. Ebay vendor scott-base, advised (thanks!) re his expired photo postcard listing:- i) that in 1907 the vessel, still named Carl, was sold to Nils P. Hoyer, of Skien, Norway, (likely Nils P. Hoyer & Son A/S), with no change of vessel name & registered at Skien & ii) that the vessel may have been stranded, in 1914, while en route from Swansea, Wales, to Frederikstad, Norway. If it did get so stranded, it clearly was not lost at that time. In 1917 the vessel was sold to K. Hvilsom (of Copenhagen, Denmark), & renamed Marie. Niels Hald-Andersen advises (thanks!) that the vessel was further sold, in Apl. 1917, to Det Baltiske Rederi A/S of Copenhagen, still named Marie. And that on Aug. 1, 1917 the vessel stranded at Pasajes while en route from Göteborg (Gothenburg), Sweden, to Pasajes with a cargo of 1500 tons of wood. Apparently wrecked 'at the entrance to Pasajes'. The vessel capsized on Aug. 2, 1917. No loss of life - the crew used the ship's boats to reach safety. Can anyone tell us exactly where Pasajes is? There is a port in northern Spain called Pasaia, known as Pasajes in Spanish (San Sebastian) - could that be the wreck site? Can you provide additional data? #1837
1477 (or 1429) tons
A 3 masted iron barque. Per 1 (data), 2 (data), 3 (1885 ref. to launch on Feb. 28, 1885, page 21), 4 (NY Times archive re 1910 abandonment), 5 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 240.7 ft. (about 78 metres) long. Built for Peter Iredale & Son, of Liverpool. Sold in Mar. 1910 to 'Rederi-A/S Mastoria' (Martin Bruusgaard), of Drammen, Norway, & renamed Mastoria. On Oct. 16, 1910, while en route in ballast from Pensacola, Florida, to Rio de Janiero, Brazil, the vessel was abandoned in the Gulf of Mexico. Per the NY Times on Oct. 23, 1910, 'the bark was battered for seventy hours by the hurricane, and was water-logged, dismasted, and rudderless. The crew was compelled to take to the boats, one of which was swamped immediately it was launched. Its occupants were rescued with great difficulty'. The entire crew of 17 were landed at Annotto Bay, Jamaica, by River Plate. It would appear that there were two vessels of the same name built in 1885, the 2nd, a passenger/cargo ship, being built by Royden, at Liverpool. Can you provide additional data & an image?
156 (or 155) tons
A cargo ship, described at link 1 as an 'auxilliary screw brigantine'. Per 1 (1885 ref. to launch on Sep. 10, 1885, p.189 & ref. on p.257), 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 104.0 ft. long, 'heavily sparred to give a large spread of canvas' & 'a large sailroom'. Captain H. Ellis supervised her construction, 'who will also command her'. Probably built on speculation 'after 12 months of absolute idleness'. Have not read who bought her, or anything about what happened to her, however the vessel was Lloyd's registered in the name of H. Ellis. There is however a ref. (p.181/2, which just might relate) to Waikna, a steam yacht of Sunderland, which on Dec. 7, 1885 dragged her anchor in high winds at Sandy Hook Bay, New Jersey, & went ashore nearby. Was floated off the next day & towed to New York by Rescue. Can you add anything at all?
22 Città di Milano
A cable-laying steamer. Per 1 (Italian page re Città di Milano & Pirelli. 2 (link 1 translated), 3 (an archive mainly of Città di Milano images), 4 (history of Città di Milano, at p.18/19, but enter p.19), 5 (a ref. to a model of the vessel exhibited at Newcastle in 1887, on p.83, text at left via thumbnail), 6 (the launch in 1886, on p.311 of The Marine Engineer of 1886/87, text at left), 7 (small plan of vessel), 8 (1886 specifications), 9 (a 1900 model of ship), 10 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 240 ft. long, speed of 10/11 knots. Christened by Mrs Pirelli. Built for Pirelli & Co., of Milan, Italy. Yes the 'Pirelli' - today 'Pirelli & C. S.p.A.' The first task of the vessel was, I read, to link Italy with 13 of its islands. Followed by a cable link from Jávea, Spain, to the island of Ibiza (in 1888) & Naples to Palermo via Ustica island (in 1890). The vessel linked Spain to Tangiers & other places in Morocco. That surely is a modest summary of its 33 years of service! But ... it completed 73 cable projects in its lifetime, repaired cable & on occasion cut rather than laid cable! 1911/12 is mentioned, when at the Dardanelles, it cut cables while under fire from the Turkish batteries. In 1919, while laying cable near Sicily, the vessel hit a reef off Filicudi, a small island NE of Sicily, in the Aeolian Islands, & sank. On Jun. 16, 1919. Have not read the exact location or the circumstances. Amongst the 26 people who died in the disaster was Emanuele Jona (1860/1919), a distinguished electrical engineer. Now I understand from Massimo (Max) Ardizzoni, of Oceanomare Diving Centre of Acitrezza, Catania, Sicily, that the wreck has been located & that dives are planned. Can you add anything at all, anything that would help Max & his colleagues with vessel identification?
A cargo ship with a 'clipper stem', which became a collier & later a U.S. prison ship. Per 1 (Wikipedia, Southery), 2 & 3 (data & images, Southery), 4 (data), 5 (New York Times, 1895 archive), 6 (1898 purchase by U.S., 60% down), 7 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 87.9 metres long, perpendicular to perpendicular, 288 ft., speed of 10 1/2 knots. Built for 'Culliford & Clark' ('Culliford') (J. H. W. Culliford & John S. Clark, the owners) of Sunderland & London. Culliford were ships' managers also. A vessel about which there certainly is later information, but it's early history is a mystery to the webmaster. I read that the vessel was wrecked, in 1895, outside of U.S. waters, repaired in the U.S., & was refused registry as a U.S. ship. No detail, alas, as to the circumstances! Would it only be a U.S. owner who would wish her registered in the U.S.? In 1897, the vessel was, per Miramar, sold to E. N. Hoffmann ('Hoffmann'), & renamed Lonocoming. It is possible that Hoffmann was the agent, rather than the owner, but if so, I can find no WWW references to him or indeed any WWW references to Lonocoming. It is possible, however, that Hoffmann was the agent for Edward Luckenbach, (or maybe Luckenback with a 'k', there are a number of U.S. companies of most similar names), since I have read that on Apl. 16, 1898, the vessel was acquired for U.S. $100,000, from 'Edward Luckenback', by the U.S. Navy, converted into a collier at the Boston Navy Yard ('BostonNY'), of Boston, Massachusetts, & named Southery for the 2nd time. Southery was commissioned on May 2, 1898 & used to carry coal on the E. coast of the U.S. as far south as Jamaica. Armed with two 3-pounder guns. On Feb. 18, 1899, the vessel was decommissioned while it was being converted to a prison ship, then re-commissioned to serve in that capacity at Norfolk Navy Yard, Virginia, then at BostonNY, anchored at a Back Channel pier, & then at Portsmouth Navy Yard ('Portsmouth'), New Hampshire, likely respecting prisoners captured in the Spanish-American War. In 1912, an average of 298 prisoners were held aboard the vessel, I read. In 1913, she became 'station ship' at Portsmouth. From Apl. thru Sep. 1917, she trained recruits from the Great Lakes Navy School, then reverted to her role as a prison ship until Nov. 1918, when she became a 'receiving ship' at Portsmouth. On Apl. 16, 1922, the vessel became a 'receiving ship' at BostonNY & served as such for the balance of her career. In the early 1920s, the vessel was designated IX-26. On Jul. 12, 1933, the vessel was decommissioned, & on Dec. 1, 1933, the vessel was sold to 'Boston Iron and Metal Co.' to be scrapped at their Baltimore, Maryland, facility. Can you add to or correct the above?
A 4-masted steel barque, rigged with royal sails over double top & topgallant sails. Per 1 (data), 2 (data), 3 (images ex State of Victoria, etc.), 4 (data re her loss), 5 (Court of Inquiry decision), 6 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Built for H. Fernie & Sons of Liverpool. The vessel was, I read, a regular visitor to Australia over the years. In late 1904, the vessel was, it would seem, anchored at Nordenhamn, Germany, close to & upriver of Bremerhaven. During a major gale, the vessel was on Dec. 30, 1904 driven ashore & ended up damaged but tight. She was got off, with the assistance of no less that 10 tugs, & the decision was then made to tow the vessel to Newcastle-on-Tyne so repairs could be effected. Accordingly, the vessel left Bremerhaven on Jan. 29, 1905, in the tow of Poolzee, a Dutch tug. Eulomene was under the command of Captain Thomas with a total of 20 persons aboard including the captain's wife & two children. Or maybe a total of 23, i.e. a crew of 20 and the three passengers (the texts differ). She left in ballast with what would seem to have been a skeleton crew, sufficient to manage the ship under tow but insufficient to manage the ship properly should the tow line break. Which it did on Jan. 30, 1905, when the pair were off the Dogger Bank. Poolzee tried to get a replacement line aboard the vessel, but failed in that attempt. She lost sight of Eulomene in the stormy perhaps snowy conditions, searched the seas extensively for her, noted her lights extinguish at 3:45 a.m. on Jan. 31, 1905, & eventually made her way to the Tyne to report the loss. Eulomene was then, I read, owned by Liverpool Shipping Company who had acquired the vessel at the cost of £24,385. Its value in 1905 was £16,000, so they must have owned the vessel for many years. A part of a ship's boat later came ashore at Hamborgsund, Germany. An Inquiry into the vessel's loss was held at Liverpool on Jul. 14/15, 1905. The Court determined that the vessel had been in good & seaworthy condition, hull-wise, when it had left Bremerhaven in ballast. A factor in the loss was likely an insufficient ballast, however, its trim another factor - the vessel being deeper in the water by the stern. The vessel was adequately manned for a voyage under tow only. All said & done, the decision to tow the vessel across the North Sea in winter would seem to have been unwise. A sad ending indeed, with no survivors. Anything you can add?
Villareal de Alava
A cargo ship which had a long life of 75 years. Per 1 (Spanish page, Guillermo Schultz, image Guillermo Schulz), 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). Built, I think, for James Chambers & Co., of Liverpool, E. W. Morgan & Co. the managers, & christened by Mrs. E. W. Morgan. In 1900, the vessel was sold to 'Compañía de Navegación Vasco Asturiana', of Avilés, Asturias, Spain, & renamed Guillermo Schulz. But to the Spanish it would seem to have been 'Guillermo Schultz'. The vessel served during part at least of the Spanish Civil War as a coal hulk at Santander, Spain. In 1938, the vessel was sold to 'la Sociedad Anónima Carbones Rosas', of Santander. In 1941 it was sold again, to 'Compañía de Navegación Cantábrica' & in 1942 was renamed Villareal de Alava. In Apl. 1967, the vessel arrived at Bilbao, Spain, to be broken up. Anything to add or correct?
A cargo ship. Per 1 (brief reference, Hillcrag), 2 ('convoyweb.org', WW2 convoy duty, Styliani), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 100.0 metres long, perpendicular to perpendicular, 328 ft. 1 in., speed of 7 knots, with a 'woodbine' funnel. Built for Hugh Evans & Co. ('Evans'), of Liverpool, John Herron & Co., also of Liverpool the manager (or later the manager). 1 refers to typical voyages being Rosario, Argentina, to U.K. with grain, Cardiff to Bahia Blanca (with coal?), also Argentina, & Burma to U.K. with rice. Now from the 'snippets' of data I have been able to see, the vessel may have been in fact owned by another, likely Evans owned, company. There was a company named 'Steamship Hillcrag Company Limited', another named 'Lord Letham Co. Ltd.' & another named 'Hill Steamship Co. Ltd.' In 1909, the last named company went into voluntary liquidation. This all may possibly relate since in 1908 the vessel became owned by the Bank of Athens & renamed Orion. Could it be that the Bank of Athens became the owner as a result of financial difficulties of the then owner. Can anybody clarify the facts? In 1932, the vessel was sold to 'G. Tzamkiranis et al' (or & Co.), of Greece, & renamed Patra. In 1937, it was sold again, to 'Aristides Pittas and Constantinos S. Scrivanos', of Piraeus, Greece, & was renamed Styliani. Just 3 WW2 convoy references, thru Jun. 1940. Was the vessel seized by Italy? The image at left referred to 'lorries for Mussolini at Alexandria harbour'. On Apl. 6, 1941, the port of Piraeus was attacked by German Ju 88 aircraft based in Sicily. Clan Fraser, 7259 tons, carrying 250 tons of ammunition, was hit 3 times, & the resulting explosion caused the loss of 11 merchant vessels (& other shipping also) & put the port of Piraeus out of action for 10 days. 6 were killed aboard Clan Fraser & 9 were wounded. Styliani caught fire & it would seem that on the next day, i.e. Apl. 7, 1941, the vessel sank, at Kynosoura, Salamis. Any loss of life? WWW data about the vessel is limited. Do you gave anything to add or to correct?
A cargo ship. Per 1 (4 October 1916), 2 (sinking), 3 (sinking, p.#53), 4 (data & 2 images), 5 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 313 ft. long (95.1 metres perpendicular to perpendicular), speed of 10 knots. Built for East Yorkshire Steamship Co. Ltd. (A. Meek & Sons, the managers), of Goole. Sold in 1910 to Brantingham Steamship Co. (T. Pratt, the manager), of Newcastle. Sold again, in 1914, to James Cormack & Company of Leith, Scotland. On Oct. 4, 1916, while en route from Archangel, Russia to Leith with a general cargo, [stated by a Russian site (not linked) to have been pit props] was sunk by a torpedo fired by German submarine U46. U46 & two other submarines (U43 & U48) were hunting 'off the North Cape and along the Murman coast'. Brantingham was never heard from. It simply disappeared in what would seem to have been good weather - the sinking, however, was confirmed by German wireless. The entire crew of 24 was lost, including James Swanson, the Master. The Russian site also indicated that there was no time to lower boats. Miramar indicates that the sinking was 70 miles NNE of Vardø, in the far NE of Norway, close to Murmansk, Russia. Can you add anything?
A cargo ship. Per 1 (data & 3 images, Riplingham etc.), 2 (data, in Russian, 3rd para., Рамзес), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 95.4 metres long, perpendicular to perpendicular, speed of 9 knots. Built for East Yorkshire Steamship Co. Ltd. (A. Meek & Sons, the owners & managers), of Goole. Was christened by Miss Florence Meek, sister of the managing owner. In 1901, the vessel was not damaged in any way when in collision with Wenoah, a schooner, at or near Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The vessel was sold, in 1911, to 'J. D. & A. D. Negropontes & A. Caroussis', of Piraeus, Greece, & renamed Eleni Negropontes. Greek registered, thru to Caliros. It was sold again, in 1913, to D. F. Andreadis, also of Piraeus, & renamed Katina Andreadi. In 1916, the vessel was sold to Jean Saparis, of Piraeus, & renamed Caliros. Became transport 132 BSF? I read that in May 1918, the vessel was seized at Sevastopol (Crimea) by German troops, that in Nov. 1918 the vessel was transferred to the Allies, & in early 1919, the vessel was transferred to the White Russian Government, & used as naval transport Ekaterinodar. In 1920, the ship was at Bizerta, Tunisia, with the White Russian army & fleet. Possibly the vessel was 'stolen' when at Istanbul. The vessel was sold for the last time in 1922, to C. Torre, of Genoa, Italy, & renamed Esperienza. It was broken up, in Italy, in the first quarter of 1932. I am sure that the above needs correction, particularly re the period of 1919/1922. Alas my ability in Russian & knowledge of the history of that period is non-existent & the Russian text does not translate well into English. Can you correct the above or add anything?
29 Celtic Princess
A cargo ship. Per 1 (French page, data & image, Aurania), 2 (R. Hughes-Jones), 3 (model of Celtic Princess, 'Cambi Casa d'Aste' auction, Genoa, in Nov. 2007, p#23), 4 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 102.2 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, 335 ft. 3 in. long, speed ? knots, signal letters RFTM. Built for "Celtic Princess" Steamship Co. Ltd., of Liverpool, R. Hughes-Jones & Co., also of Liverpool, the managers (& maybe the main indirect owners). On May 15, 1900, the vessel arrived at Table Bay, South Africa, ex London - carrying supplies for the Boer War perhaps? The vessel was sold, in 1910, to 'Liugi Pittaluga Vapori', of Genoa, Italy, & renamed Aurania. On Apl. 24, 1924, while en route to Brindisi, Italy, likely from a U.K. port, the vessel was involved in a collision, as a result of which the crew abandoned ship. While I have not read the circumstances, I understand that the crew were all rescued by the Swedish ship Investiture, which vessel is, however, not referenced at Miramar. At 48.50N/5.20W. In the English Channel, close to the Channel Islands. WWW data is most limited - many references to Aurania but not to this particular one! Can you help any? An image? #1902
A cargo ship. Per 1 (Ellis Island), 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 340 ft. (about 109 metres) long, speed of 10 knots. Must have carried passengers also. Built for Liver Shipping Co. Ltd. (Johnson, Sproule & Co. the managers), of Liverpool. Travelled to Dunedin, New Zealand in 1901 & an expired eBay item referenced Buenos Aires in 1909. Sold in 1911 to T. Hick & Co. Ltd. (who probably were the managers rather than the owners) & renamed Iperia. Engaged on Liverpool, Barcelona & London service. Sold in 1923 to Paulsen & Ivers, of Kiel, Germany & renamed Signal. Sold in 1928 to 'Union Maritime' & renamed Blida. Have not been able to understand who 'Union Maritime' were, a French company perhaps since Blida seems to be a name associated with Algeria. Or Moroccan maybe? There were a number of companies with most similar names. Arrived at La Spezia, Italy, on Jun. 25, 1935 to be broken up. WWW data is most limited. Can you help any? An image?
Begoña No. 3
A cargo ship. Per 1 (data, image Zurriola), 2 (1960 sale, at page bottom, image Zurriola), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 84.3 metres long, perpendicular to perpendicular, speed of 8 knots. Built for 'Compañia Montañesa de Navegación', of Santander, Spain, (M. Piniero & Co. the manager). In 1916, the vessel was sold to 'Compañia Marítima Vizcaína, S.A.', of Bilbao, Spain, with no change of name. In 1918, the vessel was sold to 'Compañia Naviera Begoña', J. M. Urquilo the manager, & renamed Begoña No. 3. The vessel was sold again, in 1923, to 'Naviera Guipuzcoana' & renamed Zurriola. On May 22, 1936, the vessel, along with Cabo Corona & Galea, left Bilbao, Spain under the escort of HMS Royal Oak. The vessels carried Basque children being evacuated ahead of the Spanish Civil War (Jul. 17, 1936 to Apl. 1, 1939). Zurriola, it would seem, had 759 children aboard, bound for safety in Pouillac, (or Pauillac), SW France. The vessel was held there until 1938. It was sold again, in 1960, to 'Isleña Marítima', with no change of name. On May 29, 1964, the vessel arrived at Valencia, Spain, to be broken up. WWW data is most limited. I could find essentially no other references to the 759 children being evacuated & escorted by Royal Oak. Can you tell us about those events in 1936? Or otherwise add to the above. An image?
A cargo ship. Per 1 (data in Swedish, Ester), 2 ('uboat.net', 1918 sinking, Eriksholm), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 95.4 metres long, perpendicular to perpendicular. Built for 'Angfartygs A/B Karin' ('Karin'), of Helsingborg, Sweden. In 1916, the vessel was sold to 'A/B Svenska Amerika Mexiko Linien' ('Svenska'), also of Helsingborg. Also in 1916, D. Broström became involved. But how? Did he/they acquire Svenska or Karin? In 1917, the vessel was renamed Eriksholm. On Jan. 1, 1918, while en route from Methil to Gothenburg, Sweden, with a cargo of coal, the vessel was hit by a torpedo fired by UC58, Oberleutnant zur See Karl Vesper in command. The vessel exploded & sank. It would seem that no lives were lost but I have not read how the survivors were rescued. Was hit S. of Aberdeen, Scotland, at 57.10N/1.51W. WWW data is modest. Can you provide more?
33 Amiral L'Hermite
A cargo ship. Per 1 (ref. 70% down), 2 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access, scroll to 1903). Registered France. An image of its launch, broadside, in 1903, is presented in 'Where Ships Are Born', a most authoritative source - & most of it is shown above & is available by thumbnail at left. George Graham names it Admiral L'Hermite, but that is, I believe, an English spelling of a French name. Was named, it would seem, after Jacques L'Hermite, a Dutch admiral (1582/1624). A Wikipedia page, in German, is available about him. Can you help with the vessel's history?
2365 (later 2609) tons
A cargo ship, which was launched on Oct. 6, 1903 & completed in Nov. 1903. Per 1 (British Steam Shipping, Rhio, 1903), 2 (detail data, Wirma, with 4 images), 3 (Lloyd's Register data, Rhio, 1930/31 thru 1932/33, ex 'plimsollshipdata.org'), 4 ('plimsollshipdata.org' Lloyd's Register data, Wirma, 1932/33 thru 1940/41), 5 (James Smith 2017 Rhio Study), 6 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 299.0 ft. long perpendicular to perpendicular (91.1 metres), 310.2 ft. long overall (94.5 metres), speed of 9 knots, signal letters VHJW, later OHFQ, 233 HP engines by North East Marine Engineering Co. Ltd. of Sunderland. Built for 'Orders & Handford Steamship Co. Ltd.', of Newport, Wales, with William J. Orders & Theodore Handford the vessel's managers. On Oct. 6, 1914, the vessel was requisitioned for WW1 service as a Collier Transport. I am advised that in 1919, John Cory & Sons Ltd. of Cardiff became the vessel's managers. The vessel was sold, on Jun. 9, 1932, for £2,300, to O/Y Wirma, of Helsingfors (Helsinki), Finland, 'A. Wihuri' the manager, & renamed Wirma - a part of a sale of three vessels, the others being Relillio & Ladykirk. Became registered at Brändö, Finland, in 1935. And was sold again, for 11500000 FIM, on Dec. 17, 1940, to 'Lovisa Rederi Ab', of Loviisa, Finland, 'R. Nordstrom & Co.' the managers. Was renamed Rainer on Feb. 18, 1941. On Mar. 12, 1941, the vessel left Emden, Germany, for Stockholm, Sweden, with a cargo of coke. At 00:20 on Mar. 14, 1941, the vessel was bombed by a British Handley Page bomber, when NE of Norderney (East Frisian Islands off the North Sea coast of Germany). And sunk. At 53.52N/6.57E. The entire crew of 23 were rescued by Arete, a Swedish steamer, & landed at Cuxhaven, Germany. Timo Sylvänne (his website) advises (thanks so much!) that the data re the vessel's sinking is ex Helge Heikkinen's book 'Vaarallisilla vesillä', (title translates as 'On dangerous waters'), re Finnish merchant ships in WW2. Is there anything you can add?
A cargo ship. Per 1 (Bagdale's trials, ex the Dec. 23, 1904 edition of Page's Weekly, ex 'archive.org'), 2 ('uboat.net' sinking), 3 (UC-66), 4 (data in French), 5 (link 4 WWW translated), 6 (sinking data, Bagdale), 7 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 336 ft. long overall, 99.2 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, speed of 10 knots, signal letters HBQK. Built for 'Thomas Smailes & Son's Steamship Co. Ltd.', of Whitby, North Yorkshire. Bagdale? An area within the city of Whitby it would seem. The vessel's trials were on Dec. 17, 1904 & the vessel then proceeded to Cardiff, Wales, to load cargo (coal perhaps?) for the River Plate. The vessel was attacked by a submarine in Oct. 1916 but survived the attack. In late Apl. 1917, the defensibly armed vessel left Glasgow, Scotland, for Nantes, France, with a cargo of 4,412 tons of steel. Henry Mennell was in command with a crew of 25 all told, which crew included, as 2nd officer, Frederick J. (James) Mennell, Henry's 23 year old son. On May 1, 1917, the vessel was sunk by a torpedo fired by UC-66, Oberleutnant zur See Herbert Pustkuchen ('Pustkuchen') in command. At 48.41N/ 5.08W, 13 miles NE of Creac'h Point, Ushant (a small rocky island in the English Channel off the coast of Brittany, near Brest, France). 23 lives were lost including both the Captain & his son. Can anybody provide detail as to what exactly happened, tell us the names of the two survivors & provide detail as to how they were saved? Pustkuchen sank 85 vessels including 3 warships during WW1, (many of which vessels were most tiny, however). He may (some doubt about it) have died when UC-66, under attack by HMT Sea King, exploded when submerged in the English Channel on Jun. 1, 1917. Bagdale's cargo was recovered, it would seem, in 1957, by 'Rostro de la Sorima'. Can you add to and/or correct the above? An image? #1842
A cargo ship. Per 1 (U-69), 2 (crew names), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 374 ft. long, speed of 10 knots. Built for 'Joseph Chadwick & Son', of Liverpool. Sold in 1917 to Glasgow Steam Shipping Co., of Glasgow, (John Black & Co. the managers), renamed Kelvinbank & registered Glasgow. On Jun. 13, 1917, the vessel, en route from Liverpool & Glasgow to Archangel, Russia, with a general cargo, was torpedoed & sunk by U-69. At 60.04N/5.40W, (maybe 60.08N), 100 miles N. of Cape Wrath, the NW tip of Scotland. 16 lives were lost including the Master (Herbert J. Colley). Anything to add?
A cargo ship that was launched on May 17, 1905 & completed in Jun. 1905. Per 1 (1905 launch), 2 ('wrecksite.eu', loss of Refugio), 3 (U-57) & 4 (Carl-Siegfried Ritter von Georg, her commander), 5 ('uboat.net' sinking), 6 (sinking, find May 12, 1917), 7 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 313.0 ft. long (95.4 metres) perpendicular to perpendicular, speed of 10 knots, 254 HP engines by George Clark Ltd. of Sunderland, signal letters HCRD. Refugio was built for Orders and Handford Steamship Company Limited of Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales (which company, noted for the carriage of coal, had owned an earlier vessel of the name, built in 1894). Refugio was acquired at an estimated price of £28,000. William J. (James) Orders & Theodore L. (Leopold) Handford were the vessel's managers. An aside - I read that in Nov. 1917, the partnership between Messrs Orders & Hanford was ended due to the bad health of Mr. Orders & that Mr. Handford then entered into a partnership with John Cory & Sons Ltd., noted colliers, of Cardiff, Wales. On May 12, 1917, the defensibly armed vessel was en route, in ballast, from Ardrossan, Ayrshire, Scotland, to Huelva (Andalusia, SW Spain). R. Robert may have been in command - can anybody confirm that? One life was lost - J. Gonzales. I have read many references to the vessel being in ballast but many more that state that she was carrying a cargo of coal. The vessel was captured, shelled & sunk by German submarine U-57, Kapitänleutnant Carl-Siegfried Ritter von Georg in command. At 55.10N/11.35W, 115 miles NW1/2W of Tory Island (off the NW coast of Donegal, Ireland). Carl-Siegfried Ritter von Georg, a decorated officer, was responsible for the sinking of 57 allied ships & damaging 5 more during WW1 when in command of U-57. I read that von Georg was on a British list of war criminals for this sinking, but the case did not go to court. I have not spotted the time of day when Refugio was lost, nor how the survivors were rescued. James Smith has kindly provided this 'pdf' study of Refugio's history & indicates that the vessel was requisitioned for WW1 collier transport service on Sep. 1, 1916. Is there anything that you can add? An image? #1933
A cargo ship. Per 1 ('uboat.net', Butetown), 2 (UB-40), 3 (Unison, & sale of Karanja), 4 (Gordon family history, 1st section), 5 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 80.5 metres long, perpendicular to perpendicular, speed of 9 1/2 knots. Built, I have read, for 'R. Gordon & Co.' ('Gordon'), of London. But I suspect that Gordon was in fact the manager & that Karanja was owned by 'Unison Steam Shipping Company' ('Unison'), a company owned by 'Robert Gordon & Company' and/or 'Gordon Steam Shipping Company Ltd.'. Unison was liquidated in late 1917, at which time Karanja, then its only ship, was to be sold. And absent a buyer would be sold to 'Gordon Steam Shipping Company Ltd.' at an independently appraised value. The name 'R. Gordon & Co.' is associated with other vessels whose names start with the letter 'K' i.e. Kariba, Karma, & Karuma, all also sunk during WW1. The vessel was successfully sold, it is clear, in 1918, to Town Line (London), Ltd., of London, Harrison Sons & Co. Ltd., of Cardiff, the managers, & renamed Butetown. At 10.25 a.m. on Jan. 29, 1918, the vessel, en route from the Clyde to Portsmouth with a cargo of coal, was torpedoed & sunk by UB-40, Karl Dobberstein in command. At 50.12N/04.48W, 1 1/2 miles S. of Dodman Point, Cornwall. 2 lives were lost. Have not read the circumstances. UB-40, in its WW1 career, sank 100 ships & damaged 14 more with its 4 commanders. Many of the ships were most tiny. Anything to add?
2398, later (1932/33) 2598 tons
A collier which was launched on May 20, 1909 & completed in Jun. 1909. Per 1 & 2 (data), 3 (as Relilio, 18 up from bottom), 4 (Finnish shipping record, which references Riitta Nurminen), 5 (detail data, Wilke, now without the 5 images), 6 (image, Wilke), 7 (image, Relillio builders plate), 8 (Lloyd's Register ('LR') data, 1930/31 thru 1932/33, ex 'plimsollshipdata.org', Relillio), 9 ('plimsollshipdata.org', LR data, 1932/33 thru 1945/46, Wilke), 10 (image, Alppila), 11 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 290.0 ft. long (88.4 metres) perpendicular to perpendicular, later 298.8 ft. (1939/40), 300.0 ft. overall, speed of 8 knots, signal letters HPDW, later SQCF & OHFP, 237 HP engines by North Eastern Marine Engineering Co. Ltd. of Sunderland. Built for 'Orders & Handford Steamship Co. Ltd.', (William J. Orders & Theodore L. Handford the managers), of Newport, Wales. I read that 'Orders & Handford' traded coal out & ore back, principally to Spain but also to other continental ports & to the Baltic. Was requisitioned for WW1 service on Apl. 28, 1914. In 1916, or perhaps in 1919, the Orders & Handford fleet of 7 ships is stated to have been sold to John Cory & Sons, of Cardiff, however LR still lists 'Orders & Handford Steamship Co. Ltd.', as her owners, thru 1932/33 it would appear. With John Cory & Sons Ltd. the vessel's managers, maybe from 1919. I have read that in Nov. 1917, the partnership between Messrs Orders & Hanford was ended due to the bad health of Mr. Orders & that Mr. Handford then entered into a partnership with John Cory & Sons Ltd., noted colliers, of Cardiff. Perhaps it was the company which was sold rather than the 7 fleet vessels. The vessel was sold, on Jun. 9, 1932, for +or- £2,600, to 'Wilke OY', of Kulosaari, Helsingfors (Helsinki), Finland, 'Antti Wihuri' the manager, & renamed Wilke - a part of a sale of three vessels, the others being Rhio & Ladykirk. The vessel traded in the Baltic & in the North Sea. On Dec. 28, 1939 the vessel was sold to 'Rederi AB Ergo' ('Ergo'), whose ultimate owners were Willi Daugs & Otto Ehrich, of Germany, though Armas Villamo (or Willamo), the vessel's manager, owned a single share. I read that on Dec. 21, 1944, the Finnish Government seized the vessel because of its German ownership. Their ownership was brief, however, because on Jan. 5, 1945, 'Meriliike Oy Trading Limited', of Helsinki, became the vessel's owners, E. Suopanki the manager. On May 5, 1945, the vessel was owned? by 'Administration of Soviet Property'. Ownership reverted to Ergo, then Soviet owned, Alexei Uschanov the manager, on May 12, 1947. Thru 1954. The vessel was sold again, on Mar. 22, 1954, to 'John Nurminen Varustamot OY', of Helsinki, Polttoaine Osuuskunta the managers, & renamed Riita Nurminen. Was the vessel named after Riitta Nurminen, a Finnish author, I wonder. And sold on Sep. 7, 1957 to 'Etelä–Suomen Laiva Oy', of Helsinki, Finland, & renamed Alppila. On Oct. 17, 1957, the vessel, en route from Helsinki to Oulu (northern Finland) in ballast, grounded off Tammisaari, also known as Ekenäs, Finland. The resulting damage was repaired by 'Wärtsilä-Yhtymä Oy Crichton-Vulcan'. The vessel's final disposition is a little confused. Miramar indicates that on Oct. 24, 1960 the vessel was broken up at shipbreaking facilities of Norsk Skipsopphugnings Co. at Grimstad, Norway. But 5 indicates that on Nov. 1, 1960 the vessel was at the facilities of Christiania Spigerverk, at Oslo, Norway, further that the vessel was used as a barge at Grimstad & broken up at Sarpsborg, Norway in Jan. 1962. We thank Timo Sylvänne for his extensive data re this vessel. The ship's saloon was apparently moved to the house of Ulrik Qvale in Oslo - how interesting. James Smith has kindly provided this 'pdf' study of Relillio's history, which includes a little detail of its WW1 service as a Collier Transport. Can you add to the above or correct anything?
A cargo ship. Per 1 (data 50% down, hard to find), 2 (extensive data, Elle, images), 3 (WW2 convoy SC.1, Elle), 4 (Lloyd's Register data, 'plimsollshipdata.org', Ellerdale, 1931/32 thru 1938/39), 5 ('plimsollshipdata.org', Lloyd's Register data, Elle, 1938/39 thru 1940/41), 6 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 110.3 metres (350.0 ft.) long perpendicular to perpendicular, speed of 9 knots, signal letters JDFN, GPLD & OFCT. Built for 'Thomas Smailes & Son's Steamship Co. Ltd.', of Whitby, (T. Smailes & Son, managers & Turnbull, Scott & Co., the chartering agents). The vessel was sold, in 1917, to 'Gordon Steam Shipping Co. Ltd.' ('Gordon'), of London, who in turn sold the vessel, in 1919, to Hindustan Steam Shipping Co. Ltd., the main ship owning arm of Common Brothers Ltd., of Newcastle. On Sep. 10, 1927, the vessel was in collision with Ijselmonde, 1381 tons, 'op de Nieuwe Waterweg t.h.v. Poortershaven', (on the New Waterway t.h.v. Poortershaven, whatever 't.h.v.' means. Why do people assume the world automatically knows what such contractions mean?), Hook of Holland. Ijselmonde was seriously damaged, sank & was scrapped. Ellerdale was sold, in 1937, to 'O/Y Wasa Steam Shipping Co. Ltd.', of Wasa (Vaasa), Finland, (NV Stoomschip Hannah ('Hannah'), of Rotterdam, the managers) & renamed Elle. But a long expired link said, (I think), that Hannah rather purchased the vessel which was managed by F. W. Uittenbogaart, of Rotterdam. (Now Frits Uittenbogaart of Rotterdam has advised the webmaster (thanks so much, Frits!) that 'O/Y Wasa Steam Shipping Co.' was owned by F. W. Uittenbogaart, as also was 'Marjanels Steam Ship Ltd.', of London. They were later united in 'Steamship Hannah N.V.' later 'Rederij Hannah N.V.'). 2 references Alex Slotte as being the vessel's manager. On Aug. 28, 1940, while a straggler in convoy SC 01, en route from Campbellton, New Brunswick, Canada, to Ardrossan, Western Scotland, with a cargo of pulpwood & lumber, the vessel was hit by a torpedo fired by U 101 & sank at 57.43N/12.18W in the N. Atlantic. 2 lives were lost - Juho Hyytiäinen & Eino Marjamaa. 27 were saved, by Leith, a British gunboat. A long expired site referenced 'Seppinnnen & Kempi O/Y' but am unaware of its significance. We thank Timo Sylvänne for his extensive data re this Finnish vessel also. Can you add anything?
3198 (or 3222 or 3259 or 3396) tons
A cargo ship. Per 1 (Randsfjord), 2 [Randsfjord (1)], 3 (sinking & image), 4 (Norwegian America Line), 5 (Wilja but am not permitted to link to page. Enter 48 at top left & then Wilja), 6 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 103.4 metres (339.4 ft.) long, speed of 10 1/2 knots. Built for 'Thor Thoresen Jr.', of Kristiania (Oslo), Norway. Perhaps some later ownership restructuring - see note at end of listing. In 1920 owned by 'Skibs-A/S Thor Thoresens Line', of Oslo, Norway. Sold in 1921 to 'The Norwegian America Line', (Den Norske Amerikalinje A/S) of Norway, & renamed Randsfjord. 1923 travelled Kristiania to New York via Kristiansand, Stavanger & Bergen. Sold in 1934 to 'Rederi-Ab Gertrud' (A/B Kristian Hansen O/Y, managers?), of Helsinki, Finland, & renamed Gertrud. Sold 1939 (or 1938) to 'Oy Wipu' (Antti Wihuri, managers?), of Kulossari, Finland, & renamed Wilja. On Feb. 17, 1940, while carrying tobacco, gum rosin, wheat & turpentine, & en route from Savannah, Georgia, to Rotterdam via Norfolk & Antwerp, vessel was hit by a torpedo fired by U-48 & sunk S. of Bishop Rock, (W. of Scilly Isles at 49.00N/6.33W). 27 aboard. No loss of life. Survivors picked up by Maasdam & landed at Havana, Cuba. Can you add anything?
(Note: A long gone WWW page summarised the early history of the vessel, in Norwegian, as '1914: Juni: Levert som KONGSFOS for T. Thoresen jr., Kristiania. 1916: Overført til A/S Manchester (T. Thoresen jr.), Kristiania. 1918: Disp. overtatt av Thor Thoresen jr. Ltd. A/S, Kristiania. 1920: Overført til A/S Thor Thoresens Linje (Otto & Thor Thoresen A/S), Kristiania'.)
A cargo ship, a collier. Per 1 (data), 2 (data), 3 (data, 16 up from page bottom), 4 (Kormaran & data re sinking), 5 (detail re sinking, p.149), 6 ('convoyweb.org', WW2 convoy duty, Antonis), 7 (Wikipedia, Kormoran), 8 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). About 111 metres long, speed of 9 knots. Built for 'Orders & Handford Steamship Co. Ltd.', owned by William J. Orders & Theodore L. Handford, of Newport, Wales. I read that that company traded coal out & ore back, principally to Spain but also to other continental ports & to the Baltic. It would seem that the vessel was sold in 1916 (or maybe in 1919) to British Steam Shipping Co. Ltd. (John Cory & Sons), of Cardiff. Sold in 1933 to 'N. G. Nicolaou', of Greece, & renamed Ioulia Nicolaou. Sold in 1936 to 'Antonis G. Lemos' Sons', also of Greece, & renamed Antonis. 6 convoy references in early WW2 including one voyage across the N. Atlantic. Carrying pulp & grain in the only two convoys where cargo is indicated. Vessel left Liverpool on Dec. 16, 1940 in convoy OB-260, bound from Cardiff, Wales, to Rosario, River Plate, Argentina, with a cargo of quality coal. The convoy dispersed & Antonis, on Jan 4, 1941, on its own probably, passed the Cape Verde Islands. On Jan. 6, 1941, the vessel was intercepted by Kormoran, a German Auxilliary Cruiser, a raider (i.e. disguised as a peaceful merchant ship), SW of St. Vincent, Cape Verde Islands. Kormoran's very first 'kill' it would appear. The Antonis's crew of 28, including the Captain, & a single blind passenger, were all taken aboard Kormaran. As were 3 machine guns with their ammunition & 7 live sheep! Antonis was sunk/scuttled by timed explosive charges at 8.17N/23.32W, about 600 miles S of Cape Verde Islands) (7 says 3.0.0S/30.0.0W, it would seem incorrectly). Have not read what later happened to the crew. You can read what later happened to the sheep! Can you add more?
A 'P' Class patrol frigate. Per 1 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 74.5 metres long, speed of 20 knots. Armed with a 4-inch gun forward of the bridge & depth charge throwers at the stern. Built for the Royal Navy. Sold Jul. 24, 1923 to the Richborough British Legion. I have searched, without success, for WWW references to this vessel & indeed to the vessel class. Need help with additional data. And an image?
964 (or 971) tons
A collier. Per 1 ('wrecksite.eu', 1942 wreck, data), 2 ('convoyweb.org', WW2 convoy duty, Presto), 3 ('convoyweb.org', WW2 convoy duty, Llanover), 4 (wreck data), 5 (sinking circumstances, Marsden, 4-113), 6 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 61.9 metres long, perpendicular to perpendicular, speed? Built for 'Sunderland Steam Shipping Co. Ltd.', 'Freear and Dix' the managers, both of Sunderland. There was, I have read, a company named 'Freear and Dix Steam Shipping Company Limited', which company was wound up in 1916. In 1918, the vessel was sold to 'Pelton Steamship Company Ltd.' ('Pelton'), of Newcastle. I am advised that Pelton owned coal mines & also owned a fleet of colliers trading to the Thames, S. coast ports & to the Baltic, sailing mostly from the Tyne, & returning from the Baltic with a deck cargo of sawn timber & pit props. The vessel was sold, in 1934, to 'Stone & Rolfe Ltd.', of Swansea, maybe, however, owned by 'S. & R. Steamships Ltd.' 43 WW2 convoy references, all U.K. coastal. Be careful in reading 2 since it contains other vessels, & has 12 convoy duplications. On Jul. 29, 1941, Presto left St. Helen's (River Solent, I think) for Southend in convoy CE.43 & arrived with Will Everard, of 288 tons, in tow. On Mar. 15, 1942, while in convoy (which convoy?) en route from Blyth to Dover with a cargo of coal, the vessel, & other convoy vessels also, was ordered to anchor in dense fog. At anchor, Presto sounded her bells but showed no lights as she had been ordered (as also did other convoy vessels). Llanover, (a 'Bartram' built ship of 4959 tons), was in another convoy, a tiny convoy of 3 vessels (FS.750, the 2 convoys were to join up) & was also ordered to anchor. In doing so Llanover hit Presto, off Saltburn, 9 miles E. of Teesmouth. At 54.42.20N/ 00.55W, near the Heugh Lighthouse. Presto sank. I presume that there was no loss of life. Two courts held that Llanover was not at blame, but the House of Lords held Llanover to alone be at fault since she did not anchor as soon as was reasonably possible. Other charges - that Llanover had a bad look-out, went astern at an improper time, etc. The wreck is in 33 metres of water at 54.38.092N/00.53.332W, or maybe at 54.38.083N/ 00.53.341W. A puzzle is that link 2 records the vessel leaving Methil, Firth of Forth, on Nov. 2, 1942, in convoy FS.50, bound for Southend, i.e. over 7 months after she was sunk. Was the ship perhaps raised & put back into service? It would seem not. I see that a plan of the vessel is published. Need help with additional data. Another image?
3872 (or 3881) tons
A cargo ship. Per 1 (extensive data in English, Capelcastle, 6 images), 2 (link 1, in Hungarian), 3 ('Plimsoll.org', Lloyd's Register data from 1930), 4 (data & 4 images, Capelcastle), 5 ('wrecksite.eu', Britkom sinking data, image), 6 (image, Vinocean), 7 ('convoyweb.org', WW2 convoy duty, click on 'SHIP SEARCH' then insert either Csarda or Vinriver), 8 (newspaper report re 1949 Britkon grounding), 9 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 109.8 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, 371 ft. 1 in., single screw, speed of 8 1/2 knots, signal letters JRQM, HAAG, BDSR & HPRC. Built for Arthur Capel & Co., of Newport, Monmouthshire, W. L. Scott likely the manager. In 1919, the vessel was sold to 'Anglo-European Steamships Ltd.', of Hull, J. Bell & Co., also of Hull, the managers, & renamed Leominster. In 1929, the vessel was sold to Vinships Ltd., of London, Craggs & Co. the managers, & renamed Vinocean. And sold again, in 1932, to 'Magyar Hajózási Részvénytársaság', i.e. Anglo-Hungarian Shipping Co. Ltd., of Budapest, Hungary, G. Barta the manager & renamed Csárda. 16 WW2 convoy references as Csarda thru Mar. 2, 1942, but many of her voyages were independent. One N. Atlantic crossing carrying phosphates but I think 3 additional independent crossings. Service to South America & to Gibraltar. A reference re 1941 as follows '1941-CSÁRDA, s/o., PA'. which I think means (yes?) that the vessel was re-registered at Panama in 1941, with no change of ownership. In 1942, the vessel was acquired by Vinvessels Ltd., of London, Craggs & Co. again the managers, & renamed Vinriver. 56 WW2 convoy references as Vinriver, from Apl. 08, 1942, including (I think) a single N. Atlantic crossing carrying sugar. Also service to the Mediterranean (Malta, Augusta, Algiers, Oran etc.) & to West Africa (Dakar, Takoradi, Freetown), in Caribbean. And many U.K. coastal. In 1948, the vessel was sold for the last time, to 'Carlbom Shipping Limited', John Carlbom & Co. the manager & maybe the owner also, of Grimsby, & renamed Britkon. In 1949, the vessel carried spruce timber from St. John's, Newfoundland, to Cardiff, Wales. In late Nov. 1949, Britkon was en route from Köping & Oskarshamn, both Sweden, to the Tyne with a cargo of pit props, at Oskarshamn to complete its load. Captain Sooman was in command with a crew of 38 all told. On Nov. 27, 1949, in a gale, the vessel was driven aground by high winds on Finnrevet reef, just E. of Furö Island, off the Furön Pilot Station at Oskarshamn, in southern Sweden. The whole crew abandoned the ship. 11 of the crew, including three women, made it to shore in a lifeboat. The other 27, including the Captain, stayed aboard a motor boat for some hours, lying in protected waters close to Britkon. The crew was, I read, saved due to the gallantry of a Swedish tug (its name?) & by the Furön pilot boat & personnel. On Dec. 10 or 11, 1949, the vessel broke in two. The vessel was cut into pieces for scrap over the next couple of years. Can you help with additional data? And/or larger images?
3338 (later 3318) tons
A cargo ship. Per 1 (vessel's history data in Norwegian, image), 2 (data, Toran), 3 ('Plimsoll.org', Lloyd's Register data from 1930, Toran), 4 ('wrecksite.eu', Toran image), 5 ('convoyweb.org', WW2 convoy duty, click on 'SHIP SEARCH' then insert Toran. But beware! Only 4 of the 19 convoys there referenced are re this ship), 6 (Sealion), 7 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 103.6 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, 340.7 ft., single screw, speed of 9 knots, signal letters JSMC, LHVJ & LDIW but 1 references WQCV also. Built for Gordon Steam Shipping Co., of London, which company was related to 'Unison Steam Shipping Company', which I had thought was liquidated in late 1917. In 1919, the vessel was sold to 'Morgan & Cadogan Limited', of Cardiff, Wales, & maybe of London too, with no change of vessel name. In 1926, the vessel was sold again, to 'British Dominions Steamship Company Limited', of London, 'Smith, Pritchard & Co.' the managers, again with no change of vessel name. In 1929, the vessel was sold to 'A/S Chr. Christensens Rederi', of Oslo, Norway, 'Chr. Christensen' the manager, & renamed Toran. 4 WW2 convoy references as Toran, all to & from Norwegian waters in Feb. or Mar. 1940. On Aug. 4, 1940, when en route from Oslo to Thameshaven (N. bank of Thames Estuary, near Thurrock, Essex) in ballast, with 30 aboard all told, the vessel was sunk, off Homborsund, SE Norway, by a torpedo fired by HMS Sealion, a Royal Navy S Class submarine, Commander B. (Benjamin) Bryant, in command. At 58.17N/8.38E. 3 lives were lost, their names are available at 2. How were the other 27 rescued? There are many WWW references to the sinking but none properly explain what happened. Was Toran then under German control or was the sinking just an awful mistake, as it looks to be? Can you help with additional data? And/or more images? #1841
5234 (or 5306) tons
A 'B' type cargo ship. Per 1 (Elder Dempster, African Steam Ship Company, ref. Barracoo), 2 (Ivory Coast), 3 (data & wreck site), 4 ('pdf' history, Elder Dempster), 5 (image, Barracoo), 6 (Tunny), 7 (1942, 3rd item), 8 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 122.0 metres long, perpendicular to perpendicular, 400 ft. 3 in. or 413 ft. overall, speed of 11 knots. Built for Elder Dempster & Company Limited ('Elder') but owned by African Steamship Company Ltd., of Liverpool & London, which company was managed & probably owned by Elder. The vessel was active on the W. & S.W. coasts of Africa & had the contract to carry mail from U.K. to W. Africa. On Apl. 6, 1923, the vessel was in ballast in the Craighill Channel, Chesapeake Bay, approaching Baltimore, Maryland, to pick up a cargo of coal. It was in collision with Nordhvalen, outbound with a cargo of coal, which vessel would seem to have been entirely at fault, sank, & was 'almost a total loss'. Barracoo was also seriously damaged. That data from 'snippets' in Google books. It would seem that Nordhvalen was, in fact, a total loss. In 1933, the vessel was sold to 'N. Eustathiou & Co.', of Syra, (an island in the Cyclades), Greece, (or maybe of Piraeus) & renamed Michalakis. In 1939, the vessel was sold to 'Yamashita Kisen K.K.', (possibly Yamasita), of Kobe, Japan, & renamed Kusuyama Maru. It would seem that on Jan. 1, 1942, the vessel was hit by 2 torpedoes & 5 shells, caught fire, but survived the encounter. On Feb. 9, 1943, the vessel was hit by a torpedo fired by USS Tunny (SS-282), & sank. At 22.40N/119.03E. Off the SW coast of Formosa. Was she in convoy? What was her cargo? Was there loss of life? Where is or was Barracoo, after which the vessel was likely named? S. Africa somewhere? Can you help with additional data?
48 War Nemesia
An 'A' type or maybe 'F' class cargo ship. Per 1 [Andrew Weir & Co., Bank Line, Aymeric (2)], 2 (report of launch), 3 ('convoyweb.org', WW2 convoy duty, Aymeric), 4 ('uboat.net', 1943 sinking, Aymeric), 5 ('wrecksite.eu', sinking, data & image), 6 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 122.0 metres long, perpendicular to perpendicular, 421 ft. 6 in., speed of 11 (or 12) knots. Laid down & launched as War Nemesia for the Shipping Controller, London, Woods, Tyler & Brown, the managers, for WW1 service. But delivered as Aymeric to Andrew Weir & Co.'s 'Bank Line Limited', of London. At the beginning of WW2 the vessel was at Sydney, Australia & returned to the U.K. via Colombo, Ceylon, & Suez. 52 WW2 convoy references, including 3 N. Atlantic crossings, returning with, respectively on those voyages, grain, phosphates & iron ore. Service to W. Africa (Dakar, Takoradi, Freetown) & many U.K. coastal voyages. The vessel was independent in the Indian Ocean (Durban, Singapore, Colombo, Aden, Cape Town), from Nov. 1941 to Apl. 1942. Its W. bound Atlantic voyages, (ex ONS-7), were all independent including to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, & Montreal, Canada. On May 7, 1943, the vessel left Liverpool in convoy ONS-7, bound for New York via Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada - in ballast, under the command of Sidney Morris. With 79 aboard all told, incl. 7 gunners. At 2.37 a.m. on May 17, 1943, when E. of the S. tip of Greenland, the vessel was hit by a torpedo fired by U-657, Korvettenkapitän Heinrich Göllnitz in command. At 59.42N/41.39W, E. of Cape Farewell. 52 crew members & a gunner were lost. The 25 survivors, including the master, were picked up by convoy rescue ship Copeland & escort ship HMS Northern Wave, a British armed trawler, & landed at Halifax on May 25, 1943. U-657 was itself sunk, off Cape Farewell, with the loss of all 47 aboard, on May 17, 1943 - sunk by depth charges from HMS Swale. Can you help with additional data?
49 Eirini Kyriakides
A cargo ship. Per 1 (sinking, 'Friday, June 13'), 2 (1941 cargo & route), 3 ('convoyweb.org', WW2 convoy duty, Eirini Kyriakides), 4 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 109.8 metres (360.1 ft.) long perpendicular to perpendicular. Built for N. G. Kyriakides, (possibly N. G. Kyriakides Shipping Co. Ltd.), of Piraeus, (or maybe Andros), Greece. That company seems, later maybe, to have been London based. 6 WW2 convoy references only, in the period of Mar. 1940 thru Mar. 1941, including at least 1 N. Atlantic crossing. On Jun. 13, 1941, the vessel was owned by the heirs of the late N. G. Kyriaides. En route from Lourenço Marques, Mozambique (now Maputo), to Ardrossan, Scotland, via Freetown, Sierra Leone, with iron ore, & in Convoy SL-75, the vessel was sunk by a torpedo fired by Italian submarine Brin. The submarine made 3 attacks & sank 2 vessels. At 38.53N/23.11W. 127 miles NE of Sao Miguel Island, Azores. The entire crew of 31 was lost. 3 seems not to refer to convoy SL-75, however. I am not permitted to see the vessel's independent voyages. Need help with additional data. And another image?
A cargo ship. Per 1 (data, Rita Garcia, near page bottom), 2 (Spanish page, data & image, Rita Garcia, 30% down), 3 (data), 4 (1937 Admiralty Court case), 5 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 105.8 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, 359 ft. 2 in., speed of 8 or 9 1/2 knots. Built for 'Ellaston Steamship Co. Ltd.' ('Ellaston'), W. S. Miller & Co., of Glasgow, the managers. Ellaston would seem to have operated a fleet of colliers, & this vessel, it appears, was the 3rd of 4 fleet vessels of the name. In 1930, the vessel was sold to 'Francisco Garcia', or maybe 'Francisco Garcia Fernandez', of Santander & Bilbao, Spain, & renamed Rita Garcia. On Oct. 20, 1936, while being repaired at Bilbao, Spain, the vessel was commandeered by the Republican Government of Spain, & served them for 18 months, during the Spanish Civil War (Jul. 17, 1936/Apl. 1, 1939) under a new Master. It would seem that the owner issued a writ re her recovery on Sep. 4, 1937, & the vessel was accordingly 'arrested' at Immingham Dock, Grimsby, pursuant to that writ. The writ was not, however, successful at Admiralty Court, whose decision was issued on Nov. 22, 1937. However, the vessel's Spanish crew would seem to have been overpowered by 12 fascists of Limehouse & Bethnal Green in East London. The vessel was towed out to sea by a tug, & then sailed to Hamburg, Germany, under the Falangist flag, where the vessel was handed over to General Franco's agent. Hence, I guess, early in 1938, 'recovered by the owner' & operated in the Nationalist cause. Have not read about her service in WW2. Johann Siegfried Becker, a Nazi spy, was aboard the ship, at Segunto, Spain, in Dec. 1942. He 'sneaked ashore' at Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Jan. 3, 1943 & served the Nazi cause from South America. In 1948, the vessel became owned by 'Francisco Garcia S.A.', with Francisco Garcia the manager. On Jan. 18, 1969 the vessel arrived at Cartagena, Spain, to be broken up. After a long life in turbulent times. Can you add anything? Another image?
A cargo ship. Per 1 ('Wikipedia', Scoresby), 2 ('uboat.net', Scoresby, sinking & image), 3 ('convoyweb.org', WW2 convoy duty, click on 'SHIP SEARCH' then insert Scoresby), 4 & 5 ('plimsollshipdata.org', Lloyd's Register data, Scoresby, for years 1930/31 thru 1940/41), 6 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). A Robert Lloyd painting of the ship is, I read, featured in 'The World's Merchant ships: images and impressions', published in 2005. 109.8 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, 360 ft. 1 in., speed of 8 1/2 knots, signal letters KNMD later GFZN. Built for 'Rowland & Marwood's Steamship Co. Ltd.' ('Rowland'), of Whitby, North Yorkshire, Headlam & Sons the managers. William Headlam was the sole managing director of Rowland & surely was its owner. The vessel completed 3 N. Atlantic crossings, the first of which, travelling independently, was from South America (Montevideo) in Oct/Nov 1939, returning via Freetown, Sierra Leone. 13 WW2 convoy references, including 2 successful N. Atlantic crossings, ex Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, one with sugar & the other with pit props. U.K. coastal voyages also. On Oct. 5, 1940, the vessel left Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada, for the River Clyde in convoy SC-7, on its 4th eastbound crossing, with Lawrence Z. (Zebedee) Weatherill in command (he was also vice commodore of the convoy). Carrying 1685 fathoms (a fathom is 6 cubic feet of timber) of pit props ex Francis Harbour, Labrador, & Corner Brook, Newfoundland, & a crew of 39 all told. At 5:53 a.m. on Oct. 17, 1940, the convoy was attacked by U-48, Korvettenkapitän Heinrich Bleichrodt in command, & Scoresby was hit by a single torpedo & sunk, as also happened to Languedoc. At 59.14N/17.51W, due south of Iceland, about 160 miles NW of Rockall. The entire Scoresby crew were picked up by HMS Bluebell, & on Oct. 20, 1940 they were landed at Gourock, Scotland. Can you add any additional data? Another image?
A cargo ship which suffered many adversities in its lifetime. Per 1 ('uboat.net', 1940 attack, Dunsley), 2 ('convoyweb.org', WW2 convoy duty, click on 'SHIP SEARCH' then insert Dunsley), 3 (Dunsley aground on East Scar in 1946, data, image, 10% down), 4 (20/01/1946), 5 (image, Locarno, aground at Rapallo, but you must be registered to access it), 6 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 109.8 metres long perpendicular to perpendicular, 360 ft. 2 in., speed of 9 (or 10) knots. The vessel suffered a mishap even before she was completed - while being returned to the fitting out dock. But ... I have not been able to read any detail, just a data 'snippet'. Can anyone tell us what happened? Dunsley? A North Yorkshire village, located close to Whitby. Built for 'Headlam & Son's Steamship Co. Ltd.', of Whitby, Headlam & Sons, the managers. 139 WW2 convoy references including at least 12 N. Atlantic crossings, carrying such varied cargoes as pit props, grain or flour, sugar, paper, steel. Also many coastal voyages in both eastern Canada & in the U.K., including many voyages to & from Wabana, Newfoundland, then noted for its iron ore mines. On Dec. 2, 1940, the vessel was approaching Ireland from the west, a straggler in Convoy HX-90, en route from Chatham, New Brunswick, Canada, to Immingham, near Grimsby, with a cargo of pit props (or maybe of steel & timber). At 6:06 a.m., the vessel was hit by gunfire from the surfaced U-47, Korvettenkapitän Günther Prien in command. At 54.41N/18.41W, about 500 miles W. of Northern Ireland. The deck cargo caught fire & the vessel suffered damage to its plating, derricks & masts. U-47 broke off the attack, the fire was extinguished & the vessel made it safely to port (which one I wonder?). In 1945?, the vessel was in collision in the Atlantic, off the NW coast of Scotland, with Ellerman Line's City of Glasgow. Dunsley was astern of City of Glasgow in the same convoy column headed west when City of Glasgow turned sharply to port. The stem of Dunsley hit the port side of City of Glasgow. A court case resulted, but I am unable to advise of the court's conclusion. I have not yet figured out which convoy that was. And when exactly it was. No convoy recorded at 2 seems to match. On Jan. 20, 1946, the vessel, en route from Leith, Scotland, to the Tees, ran aground in dense fog on East Scar, a rocky ledge off Redcar, near Cleveland & the mouth of the Tees, & was driven stern first onto Stokesley Scar with her bows in the sand. The local lifeboat offered assistance but the crew twice refused to be evacuated. The vessel was later refloated with the help of tugs, repaired & I read that it was then sold. It was? In 1954, the vessel was sold to 'S. Tuillier', possibly of Lugano, Switzerland, & renamed Locarno. It is likely, however, that 'S. Tuillier' was the vessel's manager & the vessel was owned by another company, possibly Cia. de Nav. Aguila, of San Juan, Costa Rica. The vessel was registered at Costa Rica. I read that a month after she was sold, she loaded ore, likely copper or cobalt ore, at Águilas, Spain, & was driven ashore in heavy weather leaving the port. The vessel suffered considerable damage, was towed to Gibraltar, & repaired. Became Panama registered. On Jan. 3, 1961, the vessel, en route from Genoa to Portiglione, both Italy, ran aground at Rapallo, near Genoa. The vessel was refloated, but declared a constructive total loss. It was sold to Italian ship breakers & 'limped', (presumably that means under her own power?), into La Spezia, Italy, on Feb. 15, 1961, to be broken up. Much of the above is derived from incomplete WWW references & data 'snippets' & the text surely needs correction. Can you correct the above, and/or otherwise provide additional data?
2923 (or 2895) tons
A cargo ship. Per 1 (Compagnie des Bateaux à Vapeur du Nord), 2 ('convoyweb.org', WW2 convoy duty, Nanceen), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 106.0 metres long overall, 100.7 metres perpendicular to perpendicular, 347 ft. 10 in., speed of 11 (or 10 1/2) knots. Built for 'Henrik Østervold & Co. AS', of Bergen, Norway. The vessel was sold, in 1931, to 'Boe & Pedersen' of Oslo, Norway, & renamed Athen. It was sold again, in 1936, to 'Compagnie des Bateaux à Vapeur du Nord', of Dunkirk, France, which company would seem to have served Algeria, & was renamed Nanceen. Not the first fleet vessel of the name perhaps. 57 WW2 convoy references including at least 5 N. Atlantic crossings, & service to Mediterranean (Port Said, Oran, Casablanca), Caribbean (Guantanamo) & U.K. coastal. In 1951, the vessel was sold to 'Franco-Tunisienne' (which I think means 'Société Franco-Tunisienne d'Armement', likely of Marseilles, France, since Massalia was the early name for Marseilles) & renamed Massalia. It would seem that there was a court case, in or about 1961, involving Massalia, but while I have seen many references to the case I have not been able to read the detail. In Aug. 1965, the vessel arrived at Portovenere, La Spezia, Italy, to be broken up. Can you help with data about the vessel?
A cargo ship. Per 1 (May 2006 'Sunderland Echo' article), 2 (which may relate 75% down. 'At the start of 1934 ....'), 3 (Miramar, link, you now must be registered to access). 395 ft. 6 inches long. Limited WWW data other than the 'Echo' article. Built for J. and C. Harrison's 'National Line' & used in trade to South America (River Plate) - coal in one direction (along with occasional locomotives or other rolling stock lashed on deck for use by British-owned Central Argentine Railways) & grain coming back. In early 1934, Harmonic may have been in collision, in dense fog, with Kilrea while en route from Barry (Cardiff) to Rio de Janiero with a cargo of coal. Harmonic stern badly damaged. On Jul. 15, 1943, en route from Buenos Aires to U.K. with a cargo of linseed oil, the vessel was torpedoed & sunk. 47 aboard. One crewman died. The 'Echo' article related to a model of the vessel, which model was presumably sold at auction in May 2006. Can you help with data about the vessel & about the shipping line? The National Line, which went into liquidation in 1914, clearly does not relate.
Little more than a name and some dates today.
There is, I learn, a reference to the builder in an 1892 book entitled 'Sunderland: A History of the Town, Port, Trade and Commerce', written by Taylor Potts. Available here as a 'Google' book, the text re Thomas Tiffin can be read below & seen in its original form here.
Built on the yard at the east of the Pottery Bank and to the east of Thornhill's wharf, launching the ships across the road and over the caunch; he lived in a double three storied house, which had large round pillars on each side of the doorway. The house stood, and still stands, below the Pottery Buildings on the north, and on the east side of the bank; the large gates at the entrance of the yard at the upper end were next to the house. Young Tom said: "I was born in that house in 1800, and my father built in that yard years before I was born."
Old Mr. Tiffin used to boast that he bought the first parcel of American elm (about 16 loads) ever brought into the port, i.e. in 1818, when the low yard was at work.
In 1819 the business was removed to a yard in the Rack, a little to the east of the Ayre's Quay Bottle Company's works, afterwards to the yard at the Sheepfolds. His sons, Tom and Ben, carried on the business after their father retired, in a yard purchased from the Dean and Chapter in 1836, on the north side of the Rack below Raven's Wheel, and to the south-west of the colliery.
In 1819 Mr. Tiffin removed to a house in Queen Street, with its back to Pewterer's Lane; between the house and the lane there was a garden where flowers and apple trees grew and blossomed. He afterwards removed to a new house in Tavistock Place (then considered a grand part of the town), where he died on January 16th, 1855, aged eighty-eight years; his son Tom died May 9th, 1884, aged eighty-four years.
So far as I can see, shipbuilders named 'Tiffin' built 76 vessels at Sunderland in the period from 1810 to 1857. A list of 21 of such vessels for which some additional data is available on site is here, with links to on site data about each vessel. A best efforts listing of the other 55 vessels is here. The overall list may well, in the future, need to be modified.
230 later 222 tons
A brig or snow. The vessel is Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed from 1834 (the applicable page in the 1833 edition is missing) thru 1848/49, ex 1845/46. It was owned, really for its entire lifetime, by Dodd or Dodds - J. Dodds of Newcastle then of South Shields thru 1840/41 then Dodds & Co. of South Shields thru 1847/48, then Bell & Co. of North Shields. J. Dodds was, per LR, the vessel's captain until part way thru 1839/40. For service from London to Archangel, Russia, thru 1838/39, then ex Shields - i) to the Baltic in 1839/40, ii) to Archangel again from 1840/41 thru 1844/45, iii) to London in 1846/47. In 1848/49 service from Newcastle to Holland is referenced. The North of England Maritime Directory of 1848 lists the vessel, then a snow of 222 tons, as owned by R. Bell & Jane Dodd, both of North Shields. LR of 1848/49 notes that the vessel had been 'Wrecked'. Can you tell us what happened to the vessel or otherwise add anything additional? Y #1960
2 Louisa Munro
A barque. The vessel, per this newspaper cutting, was launched in Feb. 1835. The vessel is Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed from 1834/35 thru 1857/58 with the exception of 1855/56. Owned thru 1837/38 by J. C. Munro of Sunderland for service from Sunderland to America. The vessel's captain throughout such period of ownership was J. Munro. On Jun. 26, 1835, the vessel arrived at Quebec, Canada, ex Sunderland. From 1838/39 thru 1850/51 at least, Finlay (or a different spelling of the name) of London was recorded as the vessel's owner. Initially for service from London to Mauritius, soon Liverpool to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from London to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) & ex London. The owner's name was recorded as Findlay from 1840/41 & as T. Finlay in both 1849/50 & 1850/51 where service from Liverpool to the Mediterranean is referenced. On Jun. 7, 1845, the vessel left Colombo, Ceylon, for London but returned to port since Captain T. H. Pritchard was sick. Captain Pritchard died on Jun. 13, 1845. No owner name is LR recorded from 1851/52 thru 1854/55. In 1856/57, J. Cross of Liverpool is listed as the vessel's owner for service from Falmouth to the Mediterranean. In early Dec. 1856, the vessel, Captain Richardson in command, was approaching the U.K., en route from Malta to Cardiff, Wales. The vessel ran into bad weather, a terrific gale. On Dec. 6, 1856, the vessel was lost on Menlow Sands (cannot locate them, likely near Milford, Pembrokeshire, Wales). Captain Richardson, the ship's mate & 7 crew members were drowned while 4 crew members were saved. As per this contemporary newspaper article. A watercolour painting of the vessel exists, it would seem. Can you add anything? Y #1961
276/287, later 269 tons
A snow, later a brig. The vessel is Lloyd's Register ('LR') listed from 1840/41 thru 1869/70 & not thereafter. Was owned, thru 1850/51, by T. Shotton of Newcastle (but from 1846/47 of North Shields). For some varied service - from Shields to France, from Liverpool to Constantinople (now Istanbul) & to Icheboe (a tiny island then noted for its penguin guano, located off the W. coast of Namibia), from Shields to the Mediterranean, to Odessa (Black Sea, Ukraine) & to Barcelona, Spain. In 1851/52, G. Shotton of North Shields was her owner for service from Shields to the Mediterranean. From 1853/54, Kirkwood of Sunderland owned the vessel for service from Sunderland to the Baltic. Only for a short time, however. In 1855/56, Gallon & Co. of Shields became the vessel's owner, thru 1860/61 it would appear, for service ex Shields to America, to London & to the Baltic. Turnbull's Register of 1856 lists W. & T. Gallon & J. Firbank, both of South Shields, as her then owners. Which owner names Christie's Shipping Register of 1858 clarifies as meaning William & Thomas Gallon & John Firbank. Became of 269 tons in 1859/60. From 1862/63 thru 1869/70, LR records Proctor & Co., of Hartlepool, as the vessel's owner for service as a Hartlepool coaster. J. Proctor per the Mercantile Navy List ('MNL') of 1867. The MNL of 1870, however, lists John McDowall, of Hartlepool, as her then owner. 91.0 ft. long, signal letters RMBG. On Oct. 2, 1872, per line 2607 here, the 269 ton brig foundered near Spurn (a sand spit at the mouth of the Humber river), while en route from Sutton Bridge (Lincolnshire, near The Wash) to Lubeck, Germany, with a cargo of coal. Crew of 8 - none lost. Then stated to be owned by John McDowall. Can anybody add anything? Y #1962
First a few images. Hover your mouse over each thumbnail to read the subject matter.
Largely just a name today. Does any site visitor have any detail? Exactly where? When? Ownership? Anything! Need help. I now learn that they did not build any vessels but most certainly repaired them.
Douglas Scrafton of the South Hylton Local History Society (SHLHS) has kindly provided help (thank you Douglas!) and advises that Wigham's was situated slightly down river from today's Golden Lion Inn. He advises that the ship repair business was started in 1878 by Major John Wigham whose grandson today (Jan. 2007) is an active member of the Society at age 84. Wigham's also, I am advised, had a foundry making steam winches & steering gear for boats, indeed that would seem to have been their principal business. And they had a slipway 'in their early days' for the repair of vessels. The business started at Pallion & moved to Hylton in 1885.
John Wigham was born, it would seem in about 1849, in Leith, Lothian, Scotland, as per this page - yet another page by prolific George H. Graham of Tulsa, Oklahoma. George, thanks again! John was described as a mechanical engineer in a 1901 census.
And Douglas Scrafton has kindly provided no less than an (undated but possibly 1890s) image of Wigham's Ship Repair Yard, which image appears at left & here. How wonderful!
And I now see that the South Hylton Local History Society site has a page about the yard, available here. Which page even tells us exactly where John Wigham lived in 1877 & afterwards. And contains other data that a reader may well find to be of interest.
I am advised that there are family links between the Wigham & Wawn families. as you can read here.
I have now read that the furthest vessel in the above image is Premir, a brigantine which was built in 1855 at Rye, Kent, & survived into the 20th century.
I cannot find any additional data on the WWW about Premir, however. The low building on the extreme right edge of the image above (with a black 'eye' in its gable) was The Golden Lion Inn. The river would seem to run straight at Hylton, so I am puzzled at the 'bend' in the river seemingly depicted above.
The SHLHS site used to have an image of the Wigham foundry buildings. (early in the 'gallery' but I am unable to take you there directly). I used to say that the image showed their remains, since they are long gone, of course - but that may not be so since I cannot today find, in the SHLHS gallery, an image of any 'remains'.
I have not read when the ship repair business came to an end. But in 1913, John Wigham & John Rodham Wigham were granted a patent, No. 1061932, by the United States of America Patent Office in respect of 'Control Devices for Steam Engines'. So the business was presumably still active beyond 1913.
The 1913 patent - No. 1061932.
But now read on re the overall history of the firm, through to its final sale in or about 1947.
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The family of Robert Keith Wigham has kindly provided an extensive history of 'Wigham' derived from the family's records & family history book. I am happy to next present such history in its entirety.
John Wigham and Son - King's House Works, Pallion
John Wigham (1849-1936) and Son first went into partnership with Squire Robert Welford of North Hylton Manor at King's House Works, in Pallion. The partnership however was amicably dissolved, on May 13, 1882 - Squire Robert Welford was primarily a farmer & was more comfortable in the field of agriculture. The partnership, known as 'Welford and Wigham', was referenced in Kelly's Handbook of 1879 (1). They were mechanical engineers building iron steamers, winches & boilers - & lots more besides (1, 2). I am advised that the firm is also referenced in the Ward Directory of 1883-84.
John Wigham and Son - in South Hylton
Wigham ship repair yard at South Hylton.
In 1878, John Wigham’s wife Ann Thompson, daughter of Joshua Rodham & Barbara Thompson, bought the High Yard beside the Hylton Ferry from Ann Browning & formed 'John Wigham and Son'. The 'son' was Mr. John Rodham Wigham (c.1877/1942) who later became Managing Director of the firm upon his father’s death on Sep. 2, 1936.
John Rodham continued the business with the help of his two brothers, Joshua Thompson Wigham and Stanley Wigham, the firm being known as 'John Wigham and Sons Engineers, Iron Founders and slipway'.
The foundry was on the opposite side of the road to the engine works and the slipway. The firm built 2 small ships but found increasingly that the slipway was just not big enough to accommodate modern ships.
El Rayo, an 85 ton Torpedo Boat, built by Doxfords in 1887 for the Nicaraguan Navy. On the slipway at Wigham's Hylton yard.
The firm then concentrated on steamships’ winches, steering gear and windlasses and later owned their own patent design - for a 'Steam Economic Valve for the fitting to Steering Gears'. (1)
It also handled some of the first small torpedo boats built at the Doxford yard & built 2 small Steam Compound Marine Engines. (1)
In the firm’s heyday, it was on the 'Admiralty List' and produced 30 winches per month as well as steering gear. It also undertook vessel repairs. It employed over 200 men & trained many apprentices many of them later moving to Wm. Doxford’s bigger yard, taking up positions there as foremen and chargehands - a fact that the family were very proud of. The Steam Cargo Winch was the 'bread and butter' of the firm because while a ship has only one steering gear and windless, it could have 8 or more cargo winches. The firm’s slogan was 'Wigham’s Winches Wear Well When Wisely Worked'.
At left below, a group of Wigham's apprentices in 1914. At right, a portion of the Wigham's staff in about 1945/46. In the centre a part of a Wigham's patent dated 1886.
After World War 1, Wigham’s built a new foundry at the end of Cambria Street, South Hylton in the 1920s but it never really functioned because of the slump which got lasted for many years into the 1930s. For 5 years they didn’t turn out a single winch but were able to keep going on ship repairs, the 'Steam Economic Valve' and any other foundry work they could get.
John Wigham & Son advertising material.
Though there was a lot of work during WW2, the firm never really recovered, because other firms began to produce what were called 'Economy Winches' and John Rodham Wigham refused to drop the standard of quality, the hallmark upon which his father had built the firm.
He was encouraged to cut his losses and shut the firm down but he refused, indeed many of the workers preferred to work part-time than go on the dole and he also wanted to honour the apprenticeships of his men.
John Wigham died on Sep. 2, 1936 at age 87 just as things were improving. His son John Rodham (known as Rodham) took over as head of the firm with the help of his younger brothers Joshua and Stanley. John Rodham had 5 children but his other two sons i.e. John Rodham and Robert Keith didn’t become involved in the business. John Rodham rather went into farming and Robert Keith was thought to have been lost at war when he was taken prisoner by the Japanese. The business continued during the 2nd World War. On the death of John Rodham, on Nov. 14, 1942, brothers Joshua and Stanley bought the shares owned by Mary Elizabeth, John Rodham's wife, and ran it for a few more years.
After the war with larger conglomerates springing up, the family felt the the time was right to sell their interest in the business. They sold it to a non-union firm called Barton’s Engineering Co. Ltd. in or around 1947. A new machine shop was built. But when the non-union practices began to operate, the AEU (Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union) blacklisted the firm, not only at South Hylton but also at Barton's parent company with the result that Barton’s went into liquidation. (Can anybody confirm that that data is correct. A company named 'The Barton Hydraulic Engineering Co. Ltd.', also 'A. Barton Engineers', would seem to have been in active business at Hylton in 1956 at least). The land was then brought by a plant contractor called Reeds, and it was used for the storage of machinery such as dumpers, excavators and small cranes. The firm continued for a number of years until it also closed and the building were demolished around 1987. The land is now landscaped & and 2 anchors from the Wigham’s works now stand proudly on the site of the firm. As you can see in the Keith Cockerill fine 2006 image, which follows.
The above text was mainly compiled from the family history records of Robert Keith Wigham.
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