RFA Freshlake



Previous name:
Subsequent name:

Official Number:                     168333     

Class:                                       FRESH CLASS Water Carrier

Pennant No:                            X120

Laid down:                              18 March 1942
Builder:                                    Lytham Shipbuilding, Lytham

Launched:                              15 July 1942
Into Service:                           14 November 1942
Fate:                                         Broken Up


Items of historic interest involving this ship: -


Background Data:  There were fourteen vessels in this Class, designed by H.M. Dockyard, Devonport to the order of the RFA. The design was based on that of the earlier BLOSSOM and FOUNTAIN CLASSES but with an additional salvage and fire-fighting capability. They were originally operated by the Director of Victualling and were maintained at RN bases in the U.K. and Mediterranean where they were employed principally in replenishing warships’ freshwater supplies and also, from time to time, in fire fighting and salvage work. A total of 236 tons of fresh water could be carried in six tanks. Most of them saw only limited service under the RFA ensign, manned by RFA crews working under Board of Trade (Home Trade) Agreements, before being transferred to the control of the Captains of the Dockyards on Yard Craft Agreements. In 1959 they were brought under the authority of the newly-formed Port Auxiliary Service which in turn became the Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service. Originally all coal-fired, four of the Class were converted to oil-burning in 1961


15 July 1942 launched by Lytham Shipbuilding & Engineering Co, Lytham as Yard Nr: 870 named FRESHLAKE for the Admiralty (Director of Stores)

19 October 1942 Captain William G Aubert appointed as Master

14 November 1942 completed at a cost of £29,333 and was taken over by the RFA

9 January 1943 Mr J B Hatcher appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

4 June 1943 sailed Methil in convoy EN238 arriving at Loch Ewe two days later

8 August 1944 sailed Reykjavik in convoy RU130 arriving at Loch Ewe 12 August 1944

1944 to 1945 based at Iceland

1945 based at Scapa Flow

1945 to 1960 based at Devonport

4 August 1945 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing east

22 February 1946 ceased to be classed as an RFA and was taken over by the Director of Fuelling

31 July 1947 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing east

7 February 1953 assisted RFA RIPPLEDYKE and from the 17 February 1953 RFA EDDYCLIFF in the supply of water to the area around Sheerness, Kent after serious flooding

1963 to 1979 based at Chatham and on the Clyde

1979 on the Disposal List at Chatham

18 December 1979 purchased by Gerassinos Phetouris, Piraeus for further service but …

9 August 1980 reported to be lying at the Queensborough Yard of Liguria Maritime Ltd for demolition

August 1980 Broken Up




Was used in a film about the German invasion of the Channel Islands in which she appeared as a refugee boat


Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2018 Christopher J White

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