Official Number 351024
Intl Callsign ZSNN
The vessel was purchased I believe from Scandinavian Owners by Durban Lines sometime during 1960
In late 1963 the Vessel was sold to another South African Company "African Coasters Pty" managed and owned by Grindrod and Gersigney. The name was then changed to ss BOUNDARY.
The Master at the time Durban Lines owned the vessel was Captain WA Nichols (Known everywhere as Nick - remarkable man himself , his father was Master of a Clipper Ship running between the UK and Australia and Nick was born on one voyage from the UK to Australia) Captain Nichols was either the Durban Port Captain or Deputy before he retired and commenced working for Durban Lines sometime around the 1960/s
What became of the ss BOUNDARY after 1963?
Who were the Original Owners of the Vessel when she was built? I seem to recollect seeing at one time bed linen which was embroidered with the name of a Swedish/Danish Company beginning with L . I have tried to back trace to Scandinavia from the information , todate have met with no success.
I was the Radio Officer on board from 1963 to 1965.and am researching the history of the various Ships that I served on during my time at sea and somehow I believe that the past history of the ss SHERWOOD must be very chequered especially during the 1939-1945 World War..
Any information you may be able to provide (No matter how small) will be most appreciated
Thanking you in anticipation .
Dronz Arigho R/O ss SHERWOOD
Hi Thanks very much for the photo of the Silver Laurel. I have attached some info about her.
71m Silver Laurel-18/12/1944-Dodman Point 7.5 miles SE 50.07.45N 04.39.05W
Voyage - Falmouth - Hull. 6142 tonne. Steamship. Cargo - Cocoa beans, palm oil, timber, lumber, rutile, coffee, ramie, rubber. 136.76 x 17.98 x 8.08
When part of convoy no. BTC10 was torpedoed by the German submarine U486 (Meyer), but remained afloat for about 1 hour before sinking. (Wreck lies in 56m) Is oriented NNE / SSW Decca (SW chain) Red A 18.95 Green F 39.95
She was a defensively armed British general cargo ship of 6142 tonnes carrying a crew of 48, 10 gunners and 9 passengers from Douala and Falmouth to Hull. On 18 December 1944, she was torpedoed 7 ˝ miles off Dodman Point and sank an hour later. Her cargo consisted of 2949 tons of cocoa beans, 2423 tons of palm oil, 758 tons of timber, 303 tons of lumber, 317 tons of rutile (a mineral), 66 tons of coffee, 30 tons of ramie (a fibre for making fabrics) and 195 tons of rubber. She lies in 66m with the top of the wreck in 56m.
Operations information for U-486
6.11.44 - 9.11.44 First Sailing U-486 left Kiel under the command of Gerhard Meyer on 6th Nov 1944 and arrived at Horten on 9th Nov 1944 after three days
17.11.44 - 20.11.44 Second Sailing On the 17th Nov 1944, U-486 left Horten under the command of Gerhard Meyer and after three days arrived at Egersund on 20th Nov 1944.
26.11.44 - 15.1.45 Third Sailing - active patrol U-486 departed under Gerhard Meyer from Egersund on 26th Nov 1944 and arrived at Bergen on 15th Jan 1945 after just over seven weeks. Gerhard Meyer hit four ships on this patrol, two of these ships were in convoy: One was from convoy BTC-10 and one was from convoy WEP-3. On 18th Dec 1944 he sank the British 6,142 ton Silver laurel, sailing with convoy BTC-10. On 24th Dec 1944 he sank the Belgian 11,509 ton Leopoldville, a member of convoy WEP-3. On 26th Dec 1944 he sank the British 1,085 ton HMS Capel. On 26th Dec 1944 he fatally damaged the British 1,085 ton HMS Affleck.
9.4.45 - 12.4.45 Fourth Sailing - active patrol U-486 left Bergen under the command of Gerhard Meyer on 9th Apr 1945. U-486 was sunk on 12th Apr 1945
Jean D. Cross, Millbrook New York
Can you tell me the origin of the ship Kildalkey? Was she named after the village in Ireland of the same name?
I can trace a certain amount of information on this ship but the records do not indicate directly that the name Kildalkey is derived from the Irish village of that name. I feel it is a safe assumption however to say that it is the origin of the name.
There were a number of ships built at that time bearing names prefixed "Kil.." The ship that was with Kildalkey in Saldanha Bay, was named KILFENORA - would that also be an Irish place name?
The record in Lloyds Register of Shipping 1927/28 gives us the following
Tonnage 624 tons gross - Built 1918 by Cochrane & Sons, Selby - Owners; Kergeulen Sealing & Whaling Co Ltd, - Managers; Irvin & Johnson (South Africa) Ltd. - Port of Registry, Cape Town, (British flagged )
There were many other famous names of ships gone by such as Kildonan Castle, Kinfauns Castle, Kildale, Kildrummy, Killarney, Kilmarnock, and surely they were all Irish place names as well.
At Saldanha Bay, South Africa, the Kildalkey and Kilfenora, a pair of former World War 1 "Q" Ships were used as tankers for seal oil from Kergeulen until the industry closed. There was a whaling station at Donkergat, at the southern end of Saldanha Bay, which operated its own whalers working seawards and with Irvin & Johnson in Cape Town. The Company also had its own pelagic factory ship, Tafelberg, quite an advanced development for for a concern which up to that time had been interested only in fishing and sealing.
Kildalkey was eventually laid up at Saldalha Bay and after breaking loose from her moorings was wrecked there in Nov 1936. A series of photos in our historic collection show Kildalkey still lying on her side wrecked two years later in 1938.. Those are pictures of her half-submerged.
Peter du Toit
We are also pleased to advise you of our success in researching the required information concerning the liner Ussukuma and the action by the Royal Navy cruisers HMS Ajax and HMS Cumberland.
An article in a past Cape Argus Shipping Column has clarified the matter
which reads thus;
"Now living in retirement in Cape Town is ex-Chief Petty Officer E. D. Redgrave who served 24 years in the Royal Navy and had the unusual experience of spending seven and a half years in one ship, the heavy cruiser, HMS Cumberland (1939 - 46 ).
While serving on Cumberland, his ship, with HMS Ajax, intercepted the German passenger liner Ussukuma in the South Atlantic on December 5 1939. The Ussukuma, well-known and popular in South African waters duly scuttled herself whereupon her 82 crew members were picked up by the Cumberland.
C.P.O. Redgrave was put in charge of the prisoners and being a kindly man, made every effort to ease their lot until they were transferred to a prison hulk at the Falkland Islands. Following the Battle of the River plate they were again embarked and landed at Simons Town.
Redgrave organized concert parties for his charges and was also the ship`s unofficial photographer and when they left he presented each of them with a picture of the ship endorsed with a good luck message.
In the 1960`s a German Officer who was a survivor from the Ussukuma, spoke highly of a certain Unter-Offizier Redgrave who had been like a family uncle to them. In the course of events, a reunion took place between the German Officer and CPO Redgrave at which he produced for Redgrave`s inspection the photograph he had been given so many years before and which was still in mint condition.
On board the Cumberland, the German crew members were overwhelmed by the generosity of the British sailors who plied them with gifts and comforts, including blankets to combat the bitter Falklands weather.
One prisoner who had spurned all friendly overtures, surprised a highly gratified Redgrave when on final departure he thrust into his hands a knotted handkerchief with the words "Fur diene Mutter "
Inside the handkerchief was a gold-plated ladies wristwatch. CPO Redgrave spoke with fond nostalgia of the German sailors committed to his care, describing the majority of them as being "damn good chaps ".
One, Otto Hauptman, a youngster of 14, inscribed a farewell message in his host`s pocket diary.
This wartime recollection came from the late Captain C.J.Harris, who was the regular correspondent for Cape Town`s major newspaper. The role played by the Brisbane Maru is still a mystery but it would seem to be likely that she had perhaps transshipped the passengers from the Ussukuma whilst at Lourenco Marques. The photograph taken of her in Cape Town with her Neutral Markings, in February 1940, adds to this assumption.
"A tramp type tanker, she was built in 1918 as a World War 1 Standard A O Type ship for the Shipping Controller. Named the "War Cateran", she was built by C. Connell & Co Ltd., and belonged to what was the most common class of all ship designs built in Britain during and just after the First World War. The urgent need for the construction of simply designed standard ships became apparent late in 1916 and the initial orders were placed that winter.
In 1920 she was purchased by L. Dreyfus & Co with her port of Registry being Dunkirk in France. In 1933 she had her last change of ownership, being acquired by the Moller Line, with port of Registry now being Shanghai under the British flag.
With the outbreak of the Second World War the Helen Moller reformed valiant war service but her luck finally ran out on 5 June 1944 when bound from Colombo for Fremantle in ballast, she was sunk by submarine torpedo. Out of a crew of 64 and 9 gunners, 4 seamen lost their lives."
Ship Specifications; Helen Moller; Gross tonnage; 5259 tons, Built; 1918. Dimensions; 400.9ft length, 52.3ft breadth, 28.5ft draught.
My Father Eric Seivers was also on the Helen Moller that fateful night. He was at the time a PO and one of the DEMS gunners. Have attached an extract from a book which details the history of the Australian DEMS during WW 11.("DEMS What's DEMS?" By Alex Marcus ISBN 0 86439 012 2.)
After helping others off the sinking ship and before getting off himself, my Father spoke to the Captain. The Captain though able refused to leave with Dad as there were still men on board and he went down with the ship.
any info would greatly be appreciated, thank-you,
We thoroughly enjoyed reading the story of the Wooster Victory by Lionel Slier ( S A Jewish Report - February 2006 ) and are pleased that we were able to provide this historic photograph.
When we first detected this superb and unique photograph in the John Marsh Collection files, we approached the Jacob Gitlin Library in Cape Town for further information. Besides being most helpful, Dr Ute Ben-Yosef, the Chief Librarian, expressed amazement on being shown the image. A copy of the image has since been framed and the Wooster Victory is now prominently displayed in the Gitlin Library.
Furthermore we were given the address of Professor Jonathan Goldstein of the Department of Far Eastern History at the State University of Western Georgia. He is an authority on Chinese and Japanese history and has actually lectured on the Wooster Victory at the University of Cape Town.
As a result we have made contact with Professor Goldstein and at the same time we have forwarded a copy of the John Marsh photograph of the ship to him, to be used in forthcoming lectures at Oxford University, where he is at present. Professor Goldstein has informed us that he has written a book "China and Israel 1948-98" with published accounts of the ship`s voyage.
There is also an article reporting the refugees needs in the South African Jewish Chronicle (2 December 1949 ) "Wooster Victory in Cape Town Docks". A cable from the ship to the SA Jewish Community in Cape Town makes for deeply moving reading. This account you may require from us in addition.
The "Wooster Victory" is an absorbing account in South African Jewish history and the John Marsh photograph bears witness to this poignant event.
4897 GROSS TONS, LENGTH 385FT, BEAM 49.8FT, SINGLE-SCREW, SPEED 12 KNOTS, ACCOMMODATION FOR 30 IST, 50 2ND, AND 1200 3RD CLASS PASSENGERS. BUILT BY RUSSELL 7 CO, PORT GLASGOW, SHE WAS LAUNCHED FOR UNIONE AUSTRIACA, TRIESTE, ON 7 FEB 1908.
Her maiden voyage started 1 April 1908 when she left Glasgow for New York and on 16 Feb 1909 she started her first voyage Trieste-Patras-New York. Her sixth and last voyage on this service started March 1912 and she was then used on the South American routes. In 1915 she was sold to Soc. Importazione Carne, Venice, renamed Stella Polare and used on the South American meat trade. Later taken over by the Italian Government and managed by D. Della Porte and in 1917 operated by the Italian State Railways. In 1919 transferred to Cosulich Soc Triestina de Nav, reverted to Atlanta and used on the South America emigrant service. In 1935 made 15 voyages as a troopship during the Italian war in East Africa. 1937 transferred to Italia Soc Anon for their Trieste-Buenos Aires route, June 1940, interned at Las Palmas.
We would be most pleased to learn whether you have a photograph of this ship, either as the Atlanta or Stella Polaris in your collection ( or both ) or otherwise inform us to whom we could send this enquiry.
Regarding the WESERMARSCH we have been able to gain more information from Lloyds Registers.
She was a 250grt ferry coasting vessel which was built in 1939 by Luhring Kirch, Hammelwarden.
Her owners were Kreis Wesermarch - Otto W A Schreiber, with port of registry, as Brake in Germany. Her dimensions were 98.4 length X 39.4 breadth X 7.9 draught. Oil engines, machinery aft.
AMERICAN BUILDER 6778 TONS GROSS, BUILT 1940 BY WESTERN PIPE 7 STEEL COMPANY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN FRANCISCO, FOR UNITED STATES LINE. DIMENSIONS; 397.2 LENGTH X 60.1 BREADTH X 23.7 DEPTH FEET. PORTY OF REGISTRY, NEW YORK.
Details of the TUREBY
Tonnage; 4400 tons gross
Dimensions; 363 ft Length X 56ft Breadth X 25ft depth
Machinery; Oil engines, twin-screw, 12.5 knots, 3000 bhp.
Builders; Burmeister and Wain 1936
Complement; A few passengers.
In the publication "The Mediterranean Fleet - Greece to Tripoli - Naval
Operations April 1941 to January 1943" mention is made of these vessels
which comprised the Crete Patrol Force. Of these four were converted
whalers, namely Kos 21,22,23 and the Syvern.
With the exception of the Kos 21, all the remaining were sunk having served with distinction. There was little to choose between the individual ships service rendered as the remnants of the Crete Patrol Force. Finally on 20 May 1941, the Kos 23 was bombed and beached.
We have images of Kos 22 and 24 in our files for sale both were photographed in Cape Town November 1939 and April 1946 respectively.
The whole South African coast - "Cape of Storms" - is a treacherous one and close on a thousand wrecks have occurred along the inhospitable coast.
One of the most informative books is "Shipwrecks and Salvage" (in South Africa - 1505 to the Present) Author; Malcolm Turner. This is a comprehensive publication on the subject - with the entire SA coast being aptly known as a graveyard of ships.
JMMC to Gary
As requested we hereby furnish you with the required information concerning the War loss of the SS Rothley which was at the height of the Battle of the Atantic in which so many British and Allied ships were sunk with enormous loss of life.
We have based our research on a World Ship Society publication - "Stephens Sutton Limited" by John Lingwood and Leonard Gray.
ROTHLEY (2) 1936-1942. Lloyds Official Number 161598. Tonnage; 4996 tons gross, dimensions;
Length 423.3ft X Breadth 54.2ft X Draught 26.1ft.
Engined; 3 Cylinder Doxford oil engine, Twin propeller, Port of Registry; Newcastle.
December 1936 building completed by William Doxford & Sons Ltd, Sunderland for the Whalton Shipping Company Ltd (Stephens Sutton Ltd - Managers)
October 19, 1942; Rothley was bound from Durban on passage to Trinidad and New York. Sailing in ballast with no cargo, the vessel carried a crew of 42, including gunners. In position 13.34N 54.34W, the Rothley was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U332 under the command of Kapitanleutnant Liebe, with the loss of one crew member and one gunner.
This latter fact would tie in with your granddads recollection of having survived for 17 days with 38 other survivors.
A fine photograph of the Rothley(2) appears in the Stephens Sutton publication above. Please advise if you wish to obtain contact details.
POSTSCRIPT: The U-Boat responsible for the sinking of the Rothley was herself destroyed on May 2 1943 after being depth-charged by a RAAF aircraft of No 461 Sqn. Off the Scilly Isles.
JMMC to Judith
While we at the Marsh Research Centre do not have passenger lists available, we are aware that a book on German refugees has been meticulously researched by a certain lady from Namibia. We do recall that the majority of the immigrants came to South Africa and South West Africa on board vessels of the Deutsche Ost Afrika Linie/ Woermann Line, such as Watussi, Ubena, Pretoria and Windhuk.
There might be other references to this ship also on this site
My late mother served on the [USS] Marigold and was head surgical nurse at the 42nd General Hospital. I would like information on the ship.
The. story of the hospital ship Marigold began in Seattle when ...http://www.lanevictory.org/books.htm
I interesting for the earlier Italian story .
JMMC to Laszlo
Here is the information you request about the 1] Shipbuilders and the 2] First Owners of this ship;
1] RIUNITI, CANTIERI NAVALI.
Central Office: Via Cipro 11, Genoa.
Shipyard Engine Works & Repairing Works: Palermo and Ancona.
Managing Director Eng. Carlo Antonio Calcagno
Dry Dock; (Palermo) Length 562ft, breadth at entrance 85ft, depth on sill 27ft.
Number of Berths; 11
Maximum Annual Output: 50 000 tons.
According to the Directory of Shipbuilders for 1967, the Company was merged on Oct 31 1966 with Cantieri del Tirreno to form Cantieri Navali del Tirreno. Riuniti.
2] CIA. ADRIATICA DI NAVAL
Merchant Ships 1939/1940 by EC Talbot-Booth - the Company operated on a small fleet of 6 ships, mainly motor vessels aggregating 6200 tons. In 1939 their name changed from Adriatica to Fuimana Soc di Nav with their funnel markings being a white funnel, black top, red, yellow, blue bands.
1] The Union-Castle "Intermediate" class( e.g.Warwick Castle or Rhodesia Castle’ ) of passenger ship utilized two routes around Africa;
2] The shipping companies which covered the East coast from SA to Jeddah over the decades were mainly;Of interest is that an Italian liner, “Europa”, was sold to Ahmed Mohamed Baaboud of Jeddah to be used as a pilgrim ship between the East Indies and Mecca. It would appear that the shortest route to Jeddah was from Suez and Egyptian interests formed a shipping company for this purpose.
3] It would appear that the following ships covered the East coast; GUJARAT, KATHIAWAR, LUXMI (ANDREW WEIR LINE), KARANJA, KENYA, KAMPALA, DWARKA (BRITISH INDIA LINE), GROOTE BEER, WATERMAN, CAMPHUYS, VAN RIEBEECK (NV KONINKLIKE MAATS)
We recall reading an article on such pilgrimage voyages and the hardships/long voyages endured by sea to reach the port of Jeddah.
Peter du Toit
What may be of further interest to you is the following official statement issued by the Owners which appeared in the February 1953 issue of "The South African Shipping News" ;
" From Press notices, you will have seen that our MV Klipfontein sank on the 8th January off Cape Zavora (Portuguese East Africa) after striking an uncharted obstacle. Contrary to one report, the vessel did not strike a known reef and was not within 1 mile of the Coast. She followed the normal trade route, about 2.5 miles off the coastline, in waters which, according to the latest Admiralty Charts, should at least be 20 fathoms or 120 feet deep. Surveys of the sea-bottom, which will in due course be undertaken, will show the exact nature and position of the obstruction which caused the Klipfontein disaster."
We do not know if the findings of the Official Inquiry were made known in South Africa.
JMMC to Hansen
The photo of HEKTOR 1 was taken at Cape Town harbour early 1930`s with her factory ship "Hektoria" nearby.
Re research notes on Polar Chief we advise;
POLAR CHIEF (1946 - 1952 ) Tanker/Transport.
Tonnage; 8091 tons gross.
Dimensions; 445 long X 52 wide X 35 depth (feet)
Engines; Triple expension, 3 cyl 3340 hp.
Builders; Palmers Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd, Newcastle.
Service speed; 12.25 knots.
Building completed as MONTCALM by Palmers Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd, Newcastle for British African SS Co (Elder Dempster Shipping Ltd, Managers) Liverpool.
Sold to Canadian Pacific Railway Co, Liverpool, name unchanged.
Taken over by Br Admiralty and fitted out to resemble a Battleship
Sold to Frederick Leyland & Co Ltd, Liverpool, name unchanged.
Sold to Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Co Ltd, London, for conversion to tanker and renamed CRENELLA.
Taken over by Shipping Controller. (Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Co Ltd, Managers)
26 Nov 1917;
Torpedoed of SW coast of Ireland, but reached port.
Reverted to Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Co Ltd
Sold to Veleta Steamship Co Ltd, London, name unchanged.
Sold to Chr. Nielsen & Co, Larvik, converted to whale processing vessel and renamed REY ALFONSO.
Sold to HM Wrangell & Co, Haugesund, name unchanged.
Sold to Anglo-Norse Co Ltd, Haugesund and renamed ANGLO-NORSE.
Sold to Falkland Whaling Co Ltd, Jersey, and renamed POLAR CHIEF.
Taken over by Ministry of War Transport (Christian Salvesen & Co, Managers) name unchanged.
Renamed EMPIRE CHIEF
Purchased and reverted to name POLAR CHIEF.
29 April 1952;
Arrived at Dalmuir for breaking upby WH Arnott Young & Co, demolition being completed by West of Scotland Shipbreaking Co, subsequently at Troon.
An active 55 year ships career indeed.
I hope you will find this historic account of interest.
Yes: You have the right one. Good work. I would like to have all 4 pictures. Thank you very much.
Thank you for your enquiry. In order to make sure we are following the correct investigation after considering the following issues, could you please advise;
- As it is your great grandfather are you referring to the 1800`s or 1900`s.
- Our records mainly refer to "Commodore 2" built in 1919 of wood by J.H.Price Shipbuilding Company & Transportation Company, Seattle. Tonnage 1524 tons gross.. In 1945 it was purchased from the British Ministry of Transport & later sold in 1947 for breaking up. It is listed as a 4 masted schooner. Formerly "Commodore" ex "Blaatind". Owned by Atlantic Navigation Company (Pty) Limited, Cape Town. Co formed 1945, wound up 1947.
Our photograph is of "Commodore 2" at Cape Town.
Please let me know if you think this is the ship you want ( we have 4 different photos)
The image to which you refer emanates from this collection (John Marsh Maritime Collection). An examination of the negative and researchers notes reveals that the large 4 funneller is in fact the "Aquitania" being refuelled at anchor in Table Bay by HM Oiler "Rapidol", seen in the foreground. The date was March 26 1940, as the vessel was bound from the UK to New Zealand to help fetch the Anzac Expeditionary Force.Please let us know again if we can assist you with information/ photographs from this Historic collection.
Have just received the photos you sent and am delighted with them....they really are just what the doctor ordered!!!
They have capped a great week as far as research into the Lylepark is concerned.
We visited the National Archives in Glasgow and was amazed beyond expectations. We found a dozen more photos of the ship whilst she was being built. Mostly deck scenes but some full length shots of her undergoing trials and being fitted out. We had to take photos of the phtots and had to make the best of a bad job.......They probably could develop negatives but they seemed very underresourced so we took our own. My uncle is an excellent photgrapher and his digital camera was allowed.
In addition, we met with the son of the last Master of the Lylepark. Hamish Low has actual photographs of his father being picked upn out of the sea and being brought on board HMS Archer!!!!!!!!! I am sending you one where he has just been brought aboard. Hamish was quite a fountain of knowledge.....he had served as a junior engineeer on the Lylepark which was built after the war.
When I first saw your photograph taken from abaft the port beam, I thought it was the same one as the one we had acquired in New Zealand..............it isn't and indeed I would say it is of much better quality. You can view the one I am talking about if you visit the web site of http://www.ship-photos.dynamic-site.net ......... look for where it says a sample and you will see the Lylepark! One thing I can't make out on your photo is the flag on the after mast. It isn't the Denholm Flag as that was a diamond with a D inside it....this looks to be the Cross of St George but it doesn't make sense...any thoughts?
We are now putting the rest of the information together as we think we have acquired enough to write something useful up.We have also obtained ships drawings of the Lylepark and her sister ships so things are coming together nicely.
Our research seems to have mushroomed since I last wrote. I have not only come across Captain Lows confidential sinking report and photos of him being rescued from the Lylepark sinking by HMS Archer, but have analysed the War Trial transcript of the captain of the German Raider for which he subsequently got 10 years. Perhaps the most emotional aspect of the research was an invitation I received to attend the annual reunion of the crew of the Michel. I presented a powerpoint presentation of the story of the Lylepark and the sinking in German which lasted 45 minutes.
Most of the Germans are in their mid eighties and there were 7 original crew members including an officer of the watch and a Navigator. "Forgive but don't forget" is my view on these matters and as a result, I received a very positive response to the presentation including access to some very revealing private diaries concerning the sinking.
Incidentally the commercial whaling industry drew a great deal of prominence at the Cape and was a remunerative source of income to local industries in numerous spheres.
We attach a list of the various factory ships/oil tankers that called at Cape Town, extracted from our historic John Marsh Maritime Collection records, as well as other relevant information that may be of use to you. It would appear that one or two modern Japanese factory ships made scheduled but brief calls to Cape Town during the early sixties.
Regarding the information relating to the "Pirate" whaling ships, we are aware of the reputed existence of the "Susan 1". In the interim we are looking further into the aspect of the pirate vessels.
We have several excellent images of factory ships seen at Cape Town by John Marsh for your perusal.
2] Attachment; Whale Factory Ships seen at the Cape. WHALE FACTORY SHIPS AT THE CAPE
ANTARCTIC, BALEANA, KOSMOS, KOSMOS 111, KOSMOS IV (EX WALTER RAU ), KOSMOS V, LANCING, NEW SEVILLA, NORHVAL, OLE WEGGER, PELAGOS, RADIOLENE, READY (EX PYTHIA), SIR JAMES CLARK ROSS, SKYTTEREN, SLAVA (EX VIKINGEN), SOUTHERN EMPRESS, SOUTHERN COMET (EMPIRE BYNG), SOUTHERN PRINCESS, SUDEROY, THOR 1, THORSHAMMER, THOR MINOR (WHALE OIL TANKER), THORSHAVET, THORSHOVDI, TORODD, NISSHIN NO 2 MARU (UNITAS), NISSHIN MARU NO 3 (KOSMOS NO 111), NISSHIN MARU (NISSHIN MARU NO 2), UNITAS (ABRAHAM LARSEN), UNIWALECO, VESTFOLD, VIKINGEN (SEE SLAVA), WALTER RAU, WILLIM BARENDSZ 1, WILLEM BARENDSZ 11, KYOKUEI MARU PONTOS (TANKER), ADD; TAFELBERG, HEKTORIA, SOURABAYA.
Simply wonderful ! The photograph arrived last week and my father has
shown me the cabin where he was wireless operator from around 1943 until
the boat was retuned to Norway at the war end. The photo is superb and
arrived in perfect condition - it will be treasured.
Thank you for a first class service Peter!
Peter, this is brilliant news - It has been 60 years now since my father returned Gos 4 as HMS Blizzard to her Norwegian owners at the end of hostilities - you can image how delighted he will be to have this keepsake.He still speaks with great affection about the colleagues he served with minesweeping and on escorting convoys.Thank you for your support in this, it is much appreciated.If you have a moment you may wish to visit the website below which is about an Isles Class trawler / minesweeper lost in W.W. 2. Dad served for a time on HMS Damsay and HMS Fiaray, two similar boats.best wishes Steve Cassy.
Matt Heredia writes
I was aboard Golden Racer in Cape Town(1946) at that time!
Visiting your beautiful country is an experience which will always remain with me!
I was a 15 year old wiper in the engine room
Our subsequent ports of call following Capetown included Port Elizabeth (where the police were kind enough to inform me of curfew regulations following which they turned me loose ("Oh, e's a yank) East London, Durban, Lorenco Marques, Mombassa, Kenya Colony (during the Mau-Mau unpleasantness) Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam.
We carried live animals on open deck crates on our homeward bound leg. I believe that I am the only person I will ever know nor meet who can reliably describe the force and range of giraffe vomitus across a windswept deck.
(We carefully concealed that intelligance from our land lubber passengers.)
The date 1940 presents a query for the following reason. According to James Taylor in his book "Ellermans - A Wealth of shipping" (1976) there were two vessels with the name "City of Madras "
1]Built l903 Tonnage 4684 Built by Palmers and Co Newcastle, built on stocks as Rufford Hall, sold 9/9/31 to Italian shipbreakers.
2] Built 1945 Tonnage 8405 Built by Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle, sold 29/9/61 to Far Eastern Navigation Corporation, Taiwan, renamed Wei Lee, broken up Formosa 1965.
Are you able to use any other details to ascertain which vessel is involved?
Regrettably we do not maintain records of crew or passengers - we deal mainly ship histories.
Dear Peter, many thanks for taking the time to reply and provide me with the valuable information.
Somewhere on the internet I came across details stating that a City of Madras was torpedoed during the 1940's. I assume Jack Gantley was indeed on this vessel with the British navy which would certainly rule out option 1 and option 2 coming also at the end of the war would be doubtful?
Best wishes Jools Zauscinski
Maximilien to JMMRC
After havinq heard so much about her, I'm finally in possession of a picture of the vessel that saved my grand father during the darkest hours of the Basque history.
I'm very grateful to internet, because it allowed me to find what I was looking for, in few hours of research only. This was still unthinkable five of six years ago, I would have had to spend hours and hours in libraries around the world....
But above all, I'm very grateful to you and people like you who actually keep our memories alive, without this constant effort and this human touch internet would be worthless.
Many thanks again.
Helen Joyce to JMMC(June 2005)
My grandfather chartered the Seven Seas Spray on more than one occassion during the Spanish Civil War. He may have used his mother's maiden name "MacEwan" or his name "Blazquez". I am particularly interested in the cargo he was carrying and the story behind breaking through the blockade in the Bay of Biscay. My grandfather claimed he was on board along with a Captain William Roberts. I would also like to know which dock the Seven Seas Spray sailed from.
The trouble you went to in a country where service seems to be a thing of the past - and for someone you don't even know is so very appreciated.
Thank you once again
A career listing of this ship reflects that after launching and completion in 1938/9 it entered liner service Netherlands Indies - Far East. In 1940 became a troop transport and on 8 July 1942 was chartered to the British Admiralty after having been fitted out as a hospital ship. In 1948 she was returned to her owners. She was eventually broken up by Ming King & Co, Hong Kong in 1968. So it seems possible she was the hospital ship in question.
Whilst this has never been published, it does contain details of the atrocities and post release course of ex prisoners of war, both British, Australian and new Zealanders. Many of these were disembarked in Auckland, Wellington and Sydney.
One particular ex pow's life after release was followed through right up to his death many years later in Auckland.
Whilst this folder may not be of interest to many I did feel it worth mentioning.
JOHN HARGRAVES (now aged 80 years!!)
His father (my grandfather) was the Chief Engineer on board when the ship was in collision with the Greystoke Castle off Durban on the night l6th/17th February 1940. He was lost at sea when the ship sank.
The ship was built in Sunderland in 1925 and was owned by John Morrison & Sons. .
My father recollects that there was an article in a Durban newspaper at the time and wondered if you had a copy and/or any other historical information of interest about Cheldale.
Can you direct me to any historical information about the collision, the vessel, etc?
Many thanks, Miles Thompson
I will investigate the original owners of the Rockwell and see if they may have had some barges built by E.C. Jones. The information you sent will be useful and I thank you for taking the trouble to find it. I have sent a copy of a Bantam, the company built 89 between 1949 and 1966. Every body who uses them thinks they are superb and says there has never been anything better many are still in use. If your friend would like information about the Bantams I would be delighted to send him what I have and a photo or two.
Many thanks again for your help
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John H Marsh Maritime Research Centre