Official Number:                    144350

Class:                                   WAR CLASS Freighting Tanker - 7 cargo tanks

Pennant No:                          Y7.340 / X93

Laid down:
Builder:                                  Armstrong Whitworth
Launched:                             9 October 1919

Into Service:                          2 March 1920
Out of service:                       22 October 1941
Fate:                                     Sunk


Items of historic interest involving this ship: -


Background Data: To combat the alarming losses of British merchant ships during WW1, the New Ministries and Secretaries Act was passed in December 1916, which provided for the appointment of a Shipping Controller with very wide powers “to take such steps as he thinks best for providing and maintaining an efficient supply of shipping”. On 20 December 1916, the first meeting of the Merchant Shipbuilding Advisory Committee took place where it was decided that an extensive shipbuilding programme should be started, the ships to be of a simple design and as far as possible to be of a standard type as regards hulls and engines. These new vessels for the Government were given a standard nomenclature, the prefix to their names being WAR. Eight hundred and twenty one vessels were ordered from U.K. yards and abroad and four hundred and sixteen were completed to Government order, two hundred and seventy nine were sold and transferred to private owners before completion and the remainder were cancelled. Of the 416 completed to Government order, fifteen were transferred to Admiralty service as oilers. They were all modified versions of the A and B Class standard dry cargo ships, known as the Z Class. All had two large dry cargo holds, six of them had five cargo tanks and the remaining nine had seven cargo tanks, specially designed for the carriage of heavy fuel oil. Most of them were initially under commercial management.



1919 launched for the Shipping Controller, managed by Hunting & Son

1920 transferred to the Admiralty but remained under commercial management

7 March 1920 sailed the Humer

18 March 1920 sailed Gibraltar

14 April 1920 passed Cape Hatteras

26 June 1920 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing west

15 July 1920 arrived at Puerto Mexico

17 July 1920 sailed from Puerto Mexico

22 August 1920 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing east

23 August 1920 arrived at Southampton

12 September 1920 sailed Port arthur, Texas for Devonport

1 October 1920 arrived at Sheerness from Port Arthur, Texas

13 October 1920 sailed Sheerness for Beaumont, Texas

4 November 1920 arrived at Port Arthur, Texas from Sheerness

21 November 1920 sailed Halifax, Nova Scotia

5 February 1921 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing east bound

10 February 1921 sailed Sheerness

11 February 1921 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing east

7 March 1921 sailed Beaumont, Texas

6 May 1921 sailed the River Tyne

9 May 1921 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing west

27 May 1921 arrived Port Arthur, Texas from the River Tyne

28 May 1921 sailed Port Arthur, Texas

19 June 1921 sailed Queenstown to Trinidad

19 August 1921 sailed Port Arthur, Texas to the Clyde

21 September 1921 arrived at Gibraltar in ballast while on passage from the Clyde to Abadan

15 October 1921 at about 6.15am while on a voyage from Abadan to Malta and loaded with a cargo of oil was in collision with a steel tank lighter Friesland outside the entrance of the harbour of Abadan

16 October 1921 sailed Abadan

7 November 1921 at Malta

17 November 1921 sailed from Suez

30 November 1921 berthed at Abadan

19 January 1922 berthed Portsmouth Harbour

21 January 1922 sailed Portsmouth Harbour

6 February 1922 at Gibraltar

13 February 1922 arrived at Port Said from Gibraltar when on passage to Abadan

29 March 1922 arrived at Port Said from Malta

14 May 1922 berthed at Sheerness from Abadan with 10 Royal Naval passengers. Captain Lawrence R Anderson was the Master

Captain Lawrence Anderson

Captain Lawrence R Anderson

29 June 1922 sailed Suez

22 July 1922 passed Perim

29 July 1922 at Abadan

27 September 1922 at Port Said

5 December 1922 sailed Singapore

14 December 1922 at Hong Kong secured to No 2 buoy

8 January 1923 at Abadan

6 February 1923 while at anchor off the North Mole, Gibraltar fouled with the Italian liner PRESIDENTE WILSON which was also at anchor and suffered bad damaged to No 6 tank and the tank deck.

presidente wilson


Proceedings in the Admiralty Division of the High Court were heard on 5, 11 and 25 June 1923 when their Lord Commissioners of the Admiralty sued the owners of the Presidente Wilson before Mr Justice Hill and Captain Owen Jones CBE and Captain P N Layton CBE both Elder Brothers of Trinity House. Judgement was against their Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty. Reported in Lloyd's List Law Reports of 21 June and 12 July 1923

14 February 1923 sailed Gibraltar

4 April 1923 arrived at Glasgow from Baytown

28 April 1923 sailed Glasgow

15 May 1923 sailed Trinidad

2 June 1923 arrived at Glasgow

21 June 1923 sailed Trinidad

10 July 1923 sailed Portland Dockyard

19 July 1923 sailed Portland Dockyard for Tampico

11 August 1923 sailed from Tampico

31 August 1923 arrived at Portland Dockyard from Tampico

4 October 1923 at Tampico sailing on the 6 October 1923

29 October 1923 arrived at Devonport

2 November 1923 sailed Devonport for Trinidad

26 November 1923 sailed Trinidad

23 December 1923 berthed on the River Tyne

20 March 1924 berthed at Simonstown Dockyard to discharge cargo into the new Navy Fuel Depot

24 March 1924 sailed Simonstown Dockyard

4 June 1924 sailed Singapore

20 August 1924 passed Perim

26 August 1924 arrived at Suez from Abadan

30 August 1924 berthed at Malta from Abadan  

26 September 1924 sailed from Port Said

10 October 1924 at Abadan

12 February 1925 at Gibraltar berthed alongside HMS HOOD to refuel her - supplied 1,585 tons of FFO

HMS Hood


24 June 1925 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing west

10 December 1925 sailed Port Said

17 March 1926 Captain Thomas Drever RFA appointed as Master and Mr  Percy  E G Ogden RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

April 1926 transferred to Admiralty management and was chartered to Anglo Persian Oil Co Ltd, London for two years

22 December 1926 sailed Abadan

2 January 1927 sailed Colombo. Ceylon

10 February 1927 sailed Aden

23 March 1927 sailed Bombay, India

8 June 1927 sailed Colombo, Ceylon

25 June 1927 sailed Abadan

20 July 1927 sailed Abadan

22 July 1927 while on passage from Abadan to Saffagha, Egypt at 26°29N 53°47E Fireman's Bhandary Mahamed Essack Ebraim discharged dead from cholera (reported in the 'Public Health Reports' published by Association of Schools of Public Health)

10 August 1927 sailed Port Said

16 August 1927 passed Perim

27 August 1927 sailed Abadan

30 September 1927 sailed Bombay, India

9 October 1927 sailed Abadan

8 November 1927 sailed Colombo, Ceylon

30 November 1927 sailed Aden

10 March 1928 at sea at 6°04N 79°58E 3rd Engineer Officer George Jackson Riley RFA discharged dead - disappeared at sea presumed drowned

19 March 1928 the Western Morning News reported that -

Western Morning News 19 Mar 1928

28 June 1928 Mr Andrew G Forbes RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

CEO Andrew G Forbes

Chief Engineer Officer Andrew G Forbes RFA

6 August 1928 at Abadan Hospital Casab Sk Dawood Sk Essack discharged dead from pulmonary tuberculosis having entered the hospital on 27 July 1932

16 January 1929 arrived at Singapore from Hong Kong, sailed the following day for Abadan

11 May 1929 berthed at Gibraltar from Port Said to discharge cargo

24 June 1929 Captain William Whiteley RFA appointed as Master

Capt William Whiteley

Captain William Whiteley RFA

6 May 1930 arrived at Suez from Abadan

11 May 1930 arrived Malta from Abadan

18 May 1930 arrived Port Said from Malta

7 July 1930 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour from Devonport

15 July 1930 Mr Leonard H Taylor RFA appointed was Chief Engineer Officer


CEO Leonard H Taylor

Chief Engineer Officer Leonard H Taylor RFA


2 August 1930 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour for Abadan

26 October 1930 arrived at Singapore from Abadan

17 January 1931 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

20 January 1931 Captain Charles H Noel RFA appointed as Master



Captain Charles H Noel RFA


7 February 1931 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

16 April 1931 sailed Gibraltar

19 May 1931 sailed Abadan

24 October 1931 passed Perim

8 November 1931 sailed Abadan

6 December 1931 sailed Singapore

4 February 1932 Captain Alfred S Jones RFA appointed as Master

12 March 1932 passed Perim

20 March 1932 sailed Port Said

26 May 1932 at Woodlands, Johore Sailor Yong Ah King discharged dead following an accident

16 July 1932 sailed Port Said

4 August 1932 sailed Abadan

3 September 1932 while on passage to Devonport passed Gibraltar this day

15 September 1932 Captain Reginald C E Neyroud RFA appointed as Master

3 October 1932 at Devonport

6 October 1932 Mr James Paton RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

15 November 1932 while on passage to Abadan arrived at Port Said sailing the same day

2 April 1933 while on passage from Gibraltar arrived at Port Said

7 April 1933 sailed Port Said

14 June 1933 sailed Abadan

10 August 1933 Captain John Ross Gorrie RFA appointed as Master



Captain John Ross Gorrie RFA


20 September 1933 sailed Abadan

5 October 1933 arrived at Suez from Abadan

19 Ocober 1933 sailed Plymouth

23 May 1934 Captain Leonard Elford RFA appointed as Master


Captain Leonard Elford

Captain Leonard Elford RFA


2 June 1934 arrived at Port Said from Malta

18 October 1934 arrived at Port Said from Gibraltar

23 November 1934 arrived at Suez

13 December 1934 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

23 January 1935 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

4 February 1935 arrived at Port Said

5 March 1935 arrived at Suez from Abadan

26 August 1935 arrived at Aden from Gibraltar

6 September 1935 sailed Abadan

17 October 1935 at Haifa

8 November 1935 arrived at Port Said

16 January 1936 arrived at Abadan

17 January 1936 Mr James E Hawthorn RFA appointed was Chief Engineer Officer


 Image of CEO James HAWTHORN

Chief Engineer Officer James E Hawthorn RFA


5 March 1936 at Alexandria

6 April 1936 in the Victoria Dry Dock at Singapore

18 July 1936 sailed Malta

13 August 1936 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

17 August 1936 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

22 August 1936 berthed at Gibraltar in ballast while on passage from Portsmouth Harbour to Port Said

28 December 1936 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour and Captain Murray W Westlake RFA (Lieutenant Commander RNR) appointed as Master

Murray Westlake

Captain Murray W Westlake RFA


31 December 1936 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

30 March 1937 at Smiths Dock, North Shields for refit

29 April 1937 manned as an RFA at North Shields

15 September 1937 berthed at Malta from Port Said

29 October 1937 at the British Hospital, Port Said Fireman Wong Hup discharged dead from natural causes - Dysentery

31 January 1938 berthed at Gibraltar from Abadan and Malta to discharge cargo

23 March 1938 berthed at Malta from Port Said

11 April 1938 arrived West Hartlepool from Chatham for refit by T W Greenwell & Co

1 August 1938 Captain W R Parker RFA appointed as Master

6 April 1939 sailed the Tyne for Rosyth where she was placed in semi-commission at Rosyth with 2 Officers and 8 Ratings on Yard Craft Agreement.

28 August 1939 Mr T Perrett RFA appointed was Chief Engineer Officer

29 August 1939 Captain Reginald P Harris RFA appointed as Master



Captain Reginal P Harris RFA

28 December 1939 Captain Alfred L Jones RFA appointed as Master

18 January 1940 Captain William J Shipton RFA appointed as Master


Captain William J Shipton

Captain William J Shipton RFA

29 June 1941 at 59°15’N 3°25’W missed by a torpedo - details from the Admiralty War Diary of this day - page 543

28 August 1941 to 15 October 1941 on the Tyne at South Shields for refit.

15 September 1941 Mr William C Elliott RFA appointed was Chief Engineer Officer

22 September 1941 Captain Stanley M Woodward RFA appointed as Master

Captain Stanley WOODWARD

Captain Stanley M Woodward RFA

6 November 1941 sailed Immingham to the Humber arrived 8 November 1941

8 November 1941 sailed the Humber to Rosyth arriving the next day

11 November 1941 to 15 November 1941 at Grangemouth

19 November 1941 sailed from Methil in convoy FS 650 towards Southend cargo for the destroyer force at Harwich

22 November 1941 while in the above convoy was torpedoed and sunk in the North Sea off Great Yarmouth at 52.35.45N/2.09.30E by German E-Boat S104 captained by Oblt.z.S. Rebensburg. The tug SUPERMAN arrived to take her in tow to Yarmouth but she broke her back and sank in position 52.35.45 N  02.09.30E. Her crew of 45 were all saved.


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