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World War 1 at Sea

 

BRITISH MERCHANT and FISHING VESSELS LOST and DAMAGED, AUGUST to DECEMBER 1914

Some of the crew of SS Highland Brae, taken prisoner 14 January 1915

(image from contemporary account, click for full image)

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Notes:

(1) Ships in BOLD capitals are those sunk or otherwise lost; in lower case bold, attacked and/or damaged. Variations in the published information are in brackets starting with an abbreviation for the source e.g. (wi - in 53.50N, 00.50E).

(2) Merchant ship and fishing vessel information is generally in the order - gross tonnage/build year, owner, registration port or place of ownership/management, crew if known, master or skipper, voyage and cargo, conditions if known. How sunk or damaged, lives lost (source abbreviations starting with + for original HMSO)

(3) Three items of information, the first two from the original HMSO lists, have been excluded to save space.  (i) All merchant ships and fishing vessels torpedoed, were ATTACKED WITHOUT WARNING;  (ii) if no casualties are shown, NO LIVES WERE LOST; (iii) all sinkings and attacks were by GERMAN SUBMARINES or U-boats unless otherwise stated.

(4) Click for Notes, Abbreviations and Sources.

 

 

1914

 

AUGUST 1914

 

Saturday 1 August

France mobilised. Germany also ordered mobilisation and declared war on Russia

Steps to Maritime War - Mobilisation of the Royal Navy ordered, including the taking up of supply and hospital ships, colliers and oilers

 

Sunday 2 August

Germany invaded Luxembourg early on the 2nd and sent a note to Belgium demanding free passage of troops through Belgium territory for the attack on France.

 

Monday 3 August

German Waters

SAN WILFRIDO, tanker, 6,458/1914, Eagle Oil Transportation Co, London, sailing Hamburg for New Orleans in ballast. In River Elbe about eight miles above Brunsbuttel, orders received that she might proceed, calling at Cuxhaven. No pilot was available to take her through the minefield already at Cuxhaven, so she followed the usual channel. The men in charge of the harbour tugs realised the ship was in danger and shouted to the master, who attempted to go full speed astern, but caught by strong ebb tide and drifted into the mine zone. Three explosions occurred, she settled down by the stern with heavy list to port. German tug took off crew, shortly afterwards San Wilfrido was firmly aground; crew made prisoners. Wreck removed September 1920 (+L/Mn/ms)

 

BRITAIN AT WAR

Tuesday 4 August

Britain protested against German violation of Belgian territory, Belgium invaded early on 4th, Germany declared war on Belgium. British mobilisation ordered, Britain at war with Germany from midnight on 4th

U-boat Warfare - Warships to be attacked without warning; any commerce warfare to be carried out according to International Law and prize rules i.e. ship to be stopped, boarded and examined, either taken into port by prize crew or passengers taken on board before ship sunk. This policy continued in principle until February 1915

British Merchant Vessels Lost to Enemy Action in August excluding those detained: 9 merchant ships totalling 40,254grt - 8 of 33,796grt to surface ships, 1 of 6,458grt to mines, plus 26 British fishing vessels totalling 4,438grt - 25 of 4,368grt to surface ships, 1 of 70grt to mine (H)


German Warships at Sea
(those engaged in mercantile warfare in bold)

Atlantic - auxiliary cruiser Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse 14,349grt, 6-4.1in sailed from Germany for Atlantic operations, sank 3 ships of 10,685grt

Mediterranean - battlecruiser Goeben 25,300t and light cruiser Breslau 5,587t already there, later reached Turkish waters

Caribbean - light cruiser Dresden 4,268t, 10-4.1in, later joined Adm von Spees East Asiatic Cruiser Squadron in the Pacific, sank a total of 4 British/allied ships of 12,960grt, escaped destruction at Battle of Falklands; light cruiser Karlsuhe 6,191t, 12-4.1in, sank 17 British & Allied ships of 76,609grt (kp - 16 ships of 72,225grt) in Atlantic, lost by internal explosion

East African Waters - light cruiser Koenigsberg 3,814t, 10-4.1in, sank one merchant ship of 6,601grt and old protected cruiser Pegasus

Shortly detached to Indian Ocean - light cruiser Emden (1) 4,268t, 10-4.1in serving with East Asiatic Cruiser Squadron in Pacific, detached on 14th by Adm von Spee for commerce raiding in the Indian Ocean, sank 15 ships of 66,023grt, one old Russian cruiser and a French destroyer

Pacific - armoured cruisers Scharnhorst & Gneisenau 12,781t, with East Asiatic Cruiser Squadron commanded by Adm von Spee; light cruiser Leipzig, 3,756t, 10-4.1in serving with East Asiatic Cruiser Squadron, off American coast at outbreak of war, sank a total of 4 British/allied ships of 15,279grt; light cruiser Nurnberg 3,814t, 10-4.1in serving with East Asiatic Cruiser Squadron, from Hawaii on outbreak of war, no merchant ships sunk. All lost at Battle of the Falklands. Also gunboat Geier (1), 1,590t, 8-4.1in, in Australasian waters.


British Ships Detained in German Waters

Many British merchant ships were detained in German waters, all but one in Europe. The dates, mostly from Lloyds are described as approximate, but as the German authorities appear to have used delaying tactics as war approached, it is more than likely the majority were seized on the 4th. Most were also released post-war:

on River Rhine, Western Germany - at Crefeld

DUNKERQUE, ketch-rigged barge, 64/1894, J O W Whitmore, Harwich-reg. Fate not listed (L/Lr)

at Remagen

CARISBROOKE CASTLE, wood ketch, 76/1890, J R Piper, London-reg (L/Lr)

TINTARA, sailing vessel, 65grt. Fate not listed (L)

on Ems Estuary, NW Germany - at Emden

STRATHYRE, cargo steamship, 4,416/1906, Strathyre SS Co, Glasgow-reg (L/Lr)

on River Weser, NW Germany - at Bremerhaven

ROSSALL, cargo steamship, 2,739/1895, Austin Friars SS Co, London-reg (L/Lr)

at Nordenham

DUNS LAW, 4,077/1905, North of England Protecting & Indemnity Co, Glasgow-reg (L/Lr)

EDWIN HUNTER, 1,337/1914, Goole & West Riding SS Co, Goole-reg (L/Lr)

at Brake

TREVIDER, 4,260/1913, Hains SS Co, St Ives-reg (L/Lr)

at Bremen

PANDOSIA, 3,326/1900, SS Pandosia Co, St John (NB)-reg (L/Lr)

TREGLISSON, 4,265/1912, Hains SS, St Ives-reg (L/Lr)

on River Elbe, North Germany - at Hamburg

AUK, 1,055/1877, General Steam Navigation Co, London-reg. Sunk as blockship off Pernau, Estonia between 7-20/8/15 (L/Lr)

BANANA, 2,817/1897, Elder Line, Liverpool-reg, unloading at Hamburg, unable to leave because of delaying tactics. Recovered 11/18, put up for sale "as is" (L/Lr)

BELLAILSA, 3,797/1896, North of England Protecting & Indemnity Association, Glasgow-reg (L/Lr)

BORDERLAND, 1,753/1912, Liverpool & Hamburg SS Co, Liverpool-reg (L/Lr)

BURY, 1,634/1911, Great Central Railway Co, Grimsby-reg (L/Lr)

CAMPEADOR, 1,320/1894, Campeador SS Co, Liverpool-reg (L/Lr)

CASTRO, 1,228/1911, T Wilson & Sons, Hull-reg. Renamed Libau in German service; sunk as Aud, 22 April 1916 attempting to supply arms to Irish Republicans (L/Lr/ms)

CITY OF BELFAST, 891/1876, Palgrave, Murphy & Co, Dublin-reg (L/Lr)

CITY OF BERLIN, 999/1874, Palgrave, Murphy & Co, Dublin-reg. Sunk as blockship off Pernau between 7-20/8/15, raised, taken to Pernau 11/18, towed to Reval 10/19 (L/Lr)

CITY OF BRADFORD, 1,349/1903, Great Central Railway Co, Grimsby-reg (L/Lr)

CITY OF CADIZ, 780/1862, Palgrave, Murphy & Co, Dublin-reg (L/Lr)

CITY OF HAMBURG, 1,200/1881, Palgrave, Murphy & Co, Dublin-reg (L/Lr)

CITY OF MUNICH, 1,384/1879, Palgrave, Murphy & Co, Dublin-reg (L/Lr)

CLYDEVALLEY, 460/1886, H Crawford, Glasgow-reg (L/Lr)

COGENT, 2,051/1883, James Westoll, Sunderland-reg (L/Lr)

CORALIE HORLOCK, 3,920/1903, F W Horlock, Sunderland-reg (L/Lr)

CORSICA, 1,100/1895, Leith, Hull & Hamburg Steam Packet Co, Leith-reg (L/Lr)

DACRE HILL, 2,674/1906, Chartered Shipping, Liverpool-reg. Ran blockade to East Africa, damaged by British forces but escaped, reached Tanjong Priok, Dutch East Indies 14/5/16 as Marie or Maria; released post-war (L/Lr)

DARTWEN, 4,793/1913, W & C T Jones SS Co, Cardiff-reg (L/Lr)

DEARNE, 984/1909, Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Co, Goole-reg. Sunk in North Sea 22/12/15 (L/Lr)

EQUITY, 931/1888, Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Co, Goole-reg (L/Lr)

FRANKDALE, 4,856/1906, Palace Shipping, Liverpool-reg (L/Lr)

GARESFIELD, 1,757/1911, Gordon SS Co, London-reg (L/Lr)

GIFFORD, 5,119/1913, Gifford Ltd, Glasgow-reg (L/Lr)

GLENEARN, 4,828/1914, Glen Line, London-reg (L/Lr)

HEWORTH, 1,043/1900, Newbigin SS Co, Newcastle-reg (L/Lr)

HULL, 1,132/1907, Wilsons & NE Railway Shipping Co, Hull-reg (L/Lr)

INDIANOLA, 4,566/1912, Leyland Shipping, Liverpool-reg (L/Lr)

INKULA, 5,137/1904, Inkula SS Co, Liverpool-reg (L/Lr)

IRBY, iron sailing ship, 1,523/1881, The Galgate Co, Liverpool-reg. Sailing for England, mined 17/1/19 (L/Lr)

IRIS, 942/1872, General Steam Navigation Co, London-reg. Sunk as blockship off Pernau between 7-20/8/15 (L/Lr)

JAMES POSTLETHWAITE, 3-mast schooner, 134/1881, Kearon & Hall, Barrow-reg (L/Lr)

JUNO, 1,302/1882, Tyne-Tees SS Co, Newcastle-reg. Returned 27/12/19 (L/Lr)

LEVERSONS, 1,774/1909, Gordon SS Co, London-reg (L/Lr)

LONGHIRST (1), 1,698/1904, J Fenwick & Son, Newcastle-reg (L/Lr)

LOTHIAN, 4,959/1902, J Warrack & Son, Leith-reg (L/Lr)

MAY SCOTT, 1,465/1909, May Scott SS Co, Newcastle-reg (L/Lr)

MONTAUK POINT, 4,822/1899, Norfolk & North American SS Co, Liverpool-reg (L/Lr)

NICOYA, 3,911/1905, Elders & Fyffes, Glasgow-reg (L/Lr)

ORON, 3,171/1898, British & African Steam Navigation Co, Liverpool-reg. Abandoned to underwriters, released 11/18 but unseaworthy (L/Lr)

OSWESTRY, 3,657/1905, Imperial SS Co, Manchester-reg (L/Lr)

PORTINGLAS, 1,867/1908, Furness, Withy & Co, West Hartlepool-reg (L/Lr)

PRESIDENT, 1,945/1907, James Westoll, Sunderland-reg (L/Lr)

RIDING, 1,287/1912, Tyneside Line, North Shields-reg (L/Lr)

ROYAL, 3,833/1902, William Thomas Liverpool SS Co, Liverpool-reg (L/Lr)

RUBENS, 3,587/1906, Bolton SS Co, London-reg. Employed by Germans as supply ship Kronburg, sunk by HMS Hyacinth in Mansa Bay, East African coast 14/4/15 (L/Lr)

RUBISLAW, 1,018/1905, Granite City SS Co, Aberdeen-reg (L/Lr)

RUTLAND, 1,424/1898, Liverpool & Hamburg SS Co, Liverpool-reg (L/Lr) The crew was interned in the Ruhleben POW camp near Spandau, and included Steward George Beattie (courtesy Ian Jenner, his grandson)

SANGARA, 2,497/1900, British & African Steam Navigation Co, Liverpool-reg. Sold at Hamburg 1919 (L/Lr)

SAPPHO, 1,275/1900, Bristol Steam Navigation Co, Bristol-reg (L/Lr)

SAXON, 495/1898, West of England SS Co, London-reg (L/Lr)

SCARSDALE, 3,714/1912, North of England Protecting & Indemnity Association, Bristol-reg. Mined, sank in Bay of Riga 16/11/17 (L/Lr)

SEAHAM HARBOUR, 1,904/1880, Marquess of Londonderry, Sunderland-reg (L/Lr)

SINAINN, 971/1901, Limerick SS Co, Limerick-reg. Sunk 313, 9 cables from Steinort, now Akmenrags LH, Latvia on 26/9/16 (L/Lr)

SPRIGHTLY, 823/1894, John George Hill SS Co, Sunderland-reg. Stranded off Scholpin, near Swinemunde 4/9/17 (L/Lr)

TORFREY, 443/1900, Fowey No.4 SS Co, Fowey-reg (L/Lr)

TREBIA, 3,586/1902, SS Trebia Co, St John (NB)-reg (L/Lr)

VIENNA (1), 1,912/1903, Leith, Hull & Hamburg Steam Packet Co, Leith-reg. Renamed Meteor, converted to auxiliary cruiser, scuttled 9/8/15 (L/Lr/kp)

VIRGO, 983/1870, General Steam Navigation Co, London-reg (L/Lr)

WEST QUARTER, 1,548/1910, Screw Collier, Newcastle-reg (L/Lr)

WINTERTON, 3,868/1913, Denaby & Cadeby Main Collieries, Hull-reg (L/Lr)

ZEALAND, 1906, 1,718grt, Liverpool & Hamburg SS Co, Liverpool-reg (L/Lr)

at Harburg, S of Hamburg

FLEETWING, 1,351/1907, John George Hill SS Co, Newcastle-reg (L/Lr)

GEORGE CASSON, schooner, 154/1863, Prichard Bros, Carnarvon-reg. Sailing for England 1/19, sank in Kiel Canal, later salved (L/Lr)

on Baltic coast - at Danzig/Gdansk, East Germany now Poland

COBURG, 928/1898, Leith, Hull & Hamburg Steam Packet Co, Leith-reg (L/Lr)

GARVELPARK, 927/1901, Denholm Steamers, Greenock-reg (L/Lr)

VICTORIAN TRANSPORT, 4,482/1913, Empire Transport Co, West Hartlepool-reg (L/Lr)

at Memel/Klaipeda, East Prussia, now Lithuania

GLYNDWYR, 2,425/1904, Scarisbrick SS Co, Cardiff-reg (L/Lr)

in German Pacific waters

INDUNA, 699/1891, Burns, Philip & Co, Sydney, NSW-reg. Detained at Marshall Islands, released by Japanese warship (L/Lr)

__________

Western Mediterranean

Isle of Hastings, 1,575/1885, Edward & Sons, sailing Swansea for Philippeville. (H - 20th) - Damaged by gunfire of German battlecruiser Goeben during bombardment of Philippeville; light cruiser Breslau bombarded Bne. Sunk 5 October 1916 (+L/ms)

 

Wednesday 5 August

German Minefields - Southwold minefield laid by auxiliary minelayer Koenigin Luise about 30 miles E of Orford Ness, minelayer sunk by Harwich Force light cruiser Amphion and 3rd DF destroyers. Other major surface ship-laid minefields in 1914 were the Tyne, Humber, Tory Island, Yarmouth/Lowestoft and Scarborough/Yorkshire fields. Not until mid-1915 were mines laid by U-boats

Turkish Waters

CRAIGFORTH, 2,900/1907, Craig Line SS Co (D Russell & Co), Leith, loaded wheat at Ghenichesk for Hamburg, proceeding through Bosphorus. Mined, patrol steamer came to her assistance, beached at Buyukdere, Sea of Marmora. While temporary repairs were being carried out, Turkish authorities seized the cargo, within a week Craigforth was refloated and about to resume her voyage to Hamburg when the master and crew were ordered by the British Consul to leave her. Detained by Turks in October (see 29 October), renamed Iskondar, lost by gunfire off Kozlu 4 May 1915 (L/Mn/ms)

 

Thursday 6 August

Additional German Auxiliary Cruisers

Atlantic - Kronprinz Wilhelm 14,908grt, 2-4.7in/2-3.45in, armed in central Atlantic by light cruiser Karlsruhe and commissioned, captured total of 15 British & Allied ships of 60,522grt

Pacific - Prinz Eitel Friedrich 8,797grt, 4-4.1in/6-3.45in, guns taken from gunboats Luchs & Tiger, sailed from Tsingtao, China, captured 11 British & Allied ships of 33,423grt in the Pacific and Atlantic

Central Atlantic

Three steamships stopped by German light cruiser Dresden off NE Brazil:

Drumcliffe, cargo ship, 4,072/1905, SS Drummond Co (Chadwick), Liverpool, sailing Buenos Aires for New York. Stopped in 01.10N, 45.05W, but as she was unladen and the Captain's wife and child were on board, the wireless installation was destroyed, officers and crew agreed to sign parole they would not serve during the war, ship released within 2 hours at 1540. Sunk as Kelvinbank (2) 13 June 1917 (+L/Mn/kp/ms)

Lynton Grange, 4,252/1912, Houlder Line (Houlder Bros), West Hartlepool, sailing Rosario for Barbados/London. Stopped in 01.13N, 45.08W at 1645, learnt from signals that war had been declared, officers and crew signed parole, ship released (+L/Mn/kp/ms)

Hostilius, 3,325/1900, British & South American Steam Navigation Co (Houston), Liverpool, sailing Montevideo for Barbados/Cienfuegos. Came up on Lynton Grange while she was still being dealt with, stopped in 01.21N, 45.01W, this time officers and crew refused to sign paroles, but ship still released at 1940 (+L/Mn/kp/ms)

Indian Ocean

CITY OF WINCHESTER (1), 6,601/1914, Ellerman Lines, Glasgow-reg, Mr George Boyck, Calcutta/Bombay/other ports for Dunkirk/London/Clyde with general cargo including 'Persian carpets, gold and silver bullion, and large consignment of Calcutta tea valued at 250,000', homeward bound after maiden voyage. Stopped by German light cruiser Koenigsberg late on 6th (MN - 5th), 280 miles E true of Aden (L - in 12.43N, 50.03E), boarding party sent over, ship retained because of her bunker coal, sent to anchorage at Hallaniya island, off Oman, supplies and 400t coal later transferred to Koenigsberg. On morning of 12th, taken out into Arabian Sea, sea-cocks opened, scuttling charges exploded and 2-4.1in shells fired into the hull; some crew later landed from supply ship Goldenfels at Sabang into Dutch hands, the remainder from supply ship Zieten in Mozambique (+L/Mn/kp)

 

Friday 7 August

North Sea

FRAU MINNA PETERSEN, 3-mast topsail schooner, 176/1878, Hugh Parry, Caernarvon-reg, believed sailing Portmadoc for Germany with Welsh slate. Captured by German destroyer/torpedo boat 5 miles NW of East Ems Port Buoy, near Borkum (near 53.42.06N 6.36.05E), taken into Emden. Released to The Shipping Controller in 1919 (+L/Lr/www)

North Atlantic

TUBAL CAIN, trawler, 227/1905, J E Rushworth & R Atkinson, Grimsby-reg, 14 crew, Skipper Charles Smith, Grimsby for Iceland, heavy sea running, just got gear on board and preparing to light a buoy near which she intended to "dodge". Stopped by German auxiliary cruiser Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse at 1900 about 50 miles WNW of Stalberg, W Iceland, sunk by gunfire around 2100 to stop the raider's position being reported (+L/Lr/Mn/gy/kp)

 

Monday 10 August

Auxiliary cruiser Cormoran 3,433grt, ex-Russian captured on 4th, now armed with 8-4.1in guns from old German cruiser of the same name, sailed from Tsingtao, China

 

Saturday 15 August

Atlantic off Canaries

Galician, passenger & cargo steamship, 6,762/1900, Union-Castle Mail SS Co, Southampton, sailing Cape Town for London with c250 passengers. Captured by Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse at 1445 in 27.30N, 18W, examined by boarding party, wireless destroyed and because of women and children on board, released at 0500 next morning, allowed to proceed; two British servicemen taken prisoner. Lost as Glenart Castle 26 February 1918 (+L/Mn/kp/ms)

Central Atlantic

HYADES, 3,352/1900, British & South American Steam Navigation Co, Liverpool-reg, Mr James Morrison, Rosario for Rotterdam with foodstuffs, maize. (kp - 21st) - Captured by Dresden, scuttling charges placed, covers taken off condensers and shells fired into her for over 40min before she sank 180 miles NEN true from Pernambuco, NE Brazil (L - in 6S, 32.46W); crew transferred to collier Prussia, landed at Rio de Janeiro late August/early September (+L/Mn/kp)

 

Sunday 16 August

Atlantic off Canaries

Three steamships stopped by Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse and boarded, two sunk, one released:

KAIPARA, passenger ship, 7,392/1903, New Zealand Shipping Co, Plymouth-reg, Mr Henry Makepeace, Lyttelton/Montevideo for Liverpool/London with meat, general cargo, heading for Las Palmas to coal. Captured just after Galician was released, charge of gun-cotton put in stokehold, condenser doors opened and 53-4.1in rounds fired into the hull, sank 170 miles S by W true from Tenerife island (L - in 25.10N, 17.18W); crew later boarded collier Arucas, landed at Las Palmas on 28th (+L/Mn/kp)

Arlanza, passenger ship, 15,044/1911, Royal Mail Steam Packet Co, Belfast, master, Cdr C Down, sailing Buenos Aires for Southampton, passengers included 335 women and nearly 100 children. (Mn - 17th) - Stopped late afternoon (L - in 27.40N, 17.14W; Mn - 24.40N, 17.14W), wireless destroyed, allowed to proceed because of passengers, soon had spare wireless fitted and sent warning to cruiser Cornwall, arrived Las Palmas 0700 next morning. Taken up for conversion to armed merchant cruiser 3/15 (+L/D/Mn/kp/ms)

NYANGA, 3,066/1900, Elder Line/Elder Dempster & Co, Liverpool, Mr C Jones, Calabar for Hamburg with African produce, general cargo, diverted at Sierra Leone for Liverpool. (Mn - 17th) - Captured early evening, sea-cocks opened, condenser covers removed and dynamite charge blew out ship's side, sank 240 miles SE true from Tenerife (L - in 24N, 16.30W; Mn - 230 miles SW of Cape Blanco); crew sent off in Arucas, landed at Las Palmas on 28th (+L/Mn/ms/kp)

Central Atlantic

Siamese Prince, cargo steamship, 4,847/1911, Prince Line (J Knott), Newcastle, Mr Anderson, sailing London for River Plate. (kp - 21st) - Stopped by Dresden in 10S, 32W, papers examined, allowed to proceed after two hours because of neutral cargo (+L/Mn/kp/ms)

 

Tuesday 18 August

Central Atlantic

BOWES CASTLE, 4,650/1913, Lancashire Shipping Co, Liverpool-reg, 36 crew, Mr E Howe, Antofagosta/Montevideo for New York via St Lucia for orders with largely American-owned nitrates and silver ore. Spotted by German light cruiser Karlsruhe at 1600, stopped after short chase (kp - in 09.54N, 55.10W), boarded, scuttling charges charges laid for firing and sea cocks opened, sank at 1935, 350 miles N by WW true from Cape Orange, N tip of Brazil (L - in 09.54N, 53.07W); crew taken on board collier Patagonia, later transferred to smaller collier Stadt Schleswig and landed at San Luis de Maranho, N Brazil on 2/9/14 (+L/Mn/kp)

 

21st/22nd August

German Cruiser Raid off English East Coast

German light cruisers Rostock, Strassburg and 6th TB flotilla made a sweep towards the Dogger Bank on the 21st/22nd as far as the Outer Well Bank, 80 miles east of Flamborough Head, supported by light cruiser Hamburg and three U-boats. Eight trawlers on fishing grounds captured on 22nd, crews taken prisoner before vessels sunk, Germans returned to Wilhelmshaven later that day:

JULIAN, 185/1900, Boston Deep Sea Fishing & Ice, Boston-reg. (ap - 21st/22nd) - Captured by 6th TBF destroyer V.160 at midnight, start of 22nd, sunk with bombs off Dogger Bank (+L/Lr/Rn/ap)

CAPRICORNUS, 194/1898, Grimsby & North Sea Steam Trawling, Grimsby-reg. By Strassburg at dawn, sunk by bombs (H - 85 miles E by N of Spurn Head; L - in 54.48N, 03.50E) (+L/Lr/Rn/ap/gy)

MARNAY, 153grt, believed Grimsby-reg GY750. By a 6th TBF destroyer c0825, sunk by bombs (H/L - 85 miles E by N of Spurn) (+L/Rn/ap)

SKIRBECK, 171/1898, Boston Deep Sea Fishing & Ice, Boston-reg, believed in company with Wigtoft and Walrus following. By Hamburg, sunk by gunfire (Rn - bombs) 120 miles from Heligoland, in about 54.25N, 04.03E (+L/Lr/Rn/ap)

WIGTOFT, 155/1891Boston Deep Sea Fishing & Ice, Boston-reg,. By Hamburg, sunk by gunfire (Rn - bombs) 120 miles from Heligoland, in c54.25N, 04.03E (+L/Lr/Rn/ap)

WALRUS, 159/1892, Boston Deep Sea Fishing & Ice, Boston-reg. By Hamburg, sunk by gunfire (Rn - bombs) 120 miles from Heligoland, in c54.25N, 04.03E (+L/Lr/Rn/ap)

FLAVIAN, 186/1900, Boston Deep Sea Fishing & Ice, Boston-reg. By 6th TBF destroyer V.158 as the Rostock/Strassburg force returned home, sunk by bombs 100 miles from Heligoland (+L/Lr/Rn/ap)

INDIAN, 185/1900, Boston Deep Sea Fishing & Ice, Boston-reg. By V.158 as the Rostock/Strassburg force returned home, sunk by bombs 60 miles from Terschelling (+L/Lr/Rn/ap)

 

25th/26th August

German Minelaying Raid on English East Coast

Two German minelaying forces sailed early on 25th to lay mines off English East coast - minelayer Albatros, escorted by light cruiser Stuttgart and TBF from Heligoland headed for the Tyne, and minelayer Nautilus, escorted by Mainz and another TBF from the Ems for Humber. Both German forces sank trawlers on the fishing grounds - the Tyne force a total of six, and the Humber force variously seven or ten. According to Corbett, a total of 16 were sunk by the destroyers using bombs 70 miles E of the Humber (probably only an indication of the location) after first taking the crews prisoner and as the minelayers carried on with their mission:

(1) Tyne Minelaying Force

Six Grimsby-reg trawlers captured mainly on 25th:

RHINE, 117/1893, G F Sleight. By destroyer in the morning (+L/Lr/ap/gy)

HARRIER (1), 208/1900, T Baskcomb. (H - between 24th & 26th) - By V.155 in the morning (+L/Lr/ap/gy)

LOBELIA, 147/1896, North Eastern Steam Fishing. (H - between 24th & 26th) - By V.155 at 1500 (+L/Lr/ap/gy)

VALIANT, 198/1900, Atlas Steam Fishing Co. By V.155 at 1800, sunk off Whitby (+L/Lr/ap/gy)

MERSEY, 196/1900, G W Jeffs. By V.154 towards evening (+L/Lr/ap/gy)

SETI, 169/1896, Roberts & Ruthven. By V.154 on 26th at 0400 as the German Tyne minelaying force returned home (+L/Lr/ap/gy)

(2) Humber Minelaying Force

Three Boston-reg trawlers owned by Boston Deep Sea Fishing & Ice sunk off Inner Dowsing LV, E of Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire on 25th; one unidentified trawler sunk at 2000 that evening:

KESTEVEN, 150/1885, Skipper J Eggers. 69 miles E by N of (+L/Lr/bn)

LINDSEY, 144/1885, Skipper John Dawkins. 70 miles ENE of (+L/Lr/bn)

PORPOISE, 159/1892, Skipper John Smith. 70 miles ENE of (+L/Lr/bn)

ZENOBIA, 152/1893, Grimsby-reg, A E & W Lambert. Possibly the trawler sunk at 2000 (+L/Lr/gy)

__________

Reportedly another six trawlers, all Grimsby-reg, with five sunk on the 26th (H - between 24th & 26th) as the German Humber force made its way home:

CHAMELEON, 132/1896, Grimsby & North Sea Steam Trawling (+L/Lr/gy)

PEGASUS, 155/1892, Grimsby & North Sea Steam Trawling (+L/Lr/gy)

POLLUX, 182/1900, Grimsby & North Sea Steam Trawling (+L/Lr/gy)

RIDEO, 230/1907, G F Sleight (+L/Lr/gy)

ST CUTHBERT, 189/1899, Grimsby Victor Steam Fishing. 70 miles ENE of Spurn Head (+L/Lr/gy)

ARGONAUT, 225/1907. (L - 6th) - Captured by torpedo boats, taken into Cuxhaven, crew made prisoners. Note: because of some uncertainty about the number of trawlers lost to the Humber force at this time, Argonaut may have been sunk around the earlier Lloyds date (+L/gy/ms)

 

Wednesday 26 August

German auxiliary cruiser Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse sunk by British cruiser Highflyer off NW Africa

South Atlantic

Two steamships captured by light cruiser Dresden off S Brazil:

HOLMWOOD, 4,223/1912, F S Holland, London-reg, Mr R Hill, Newport (Mon) for Bahia Blanca with coal. Scuttling charges set, sank 170 miles SW true from Cape Santa Marta Grande (L - in 31.30S, 48.06W); crew transferred to collier Baden (+L/Mn/kp)

Katharine Park, 4,854 (ms - 4,837)/1903, Park SS Co, Glasgow, sailing Santa Fe/Buenos Aires for New York with American-owned cargo. Arrived before Holmwood had sunk, stopped in 31.30S, 48.50W, as the German Government would be responsible for the value of the cargo, offer made to release the ship and cargo if the crew signed parole's, which they did; Holmwood's crew put on board, ship allowed to proceed, landed them at Rio de Janeiro on 30th (+L/Mn/kp/ms)

 

Thursday 27 August

North Sea

Fishing drifter (and two Admiralty trawlers) mined in Tyne field laid by German Albatros:

BARLEY RIG, 70grt, Tynemouth for fishing. Foundered off Tynemouth (wi - in 55.01N, 01.22.45W); 5 lives lost (+L/sc/wi)

Sunday 30 August

North Sea

Holtby, cargo ship, 3,675/1909, R Ropner & Co, West Hartlepool, sailing Hull for Archangel with coal. Mined 2m from Seaham, Durham, probably the Tyne field (Albatros), put into Tyne. Note: Hurd identifies this vessel as SS Oakby. Holtby lost in WW2 (+L/ms)

 

Monday 31 August

Central Atlantic

STRATHROY, 4,336/1909, Strathroy SS Co, Glasgow-reg, Mr J Mason, sailing Norfolk (Va) for Rio Janeiro with 6,000t coal. Sighted by Karlsruhe around 1600, stopped 100 miles NNE true from Cape St Roque, NE Brazil (L - in 03.35S, 34.35W; kp - chase started about 50 miles WNW of Atol de Rocas), seas too heavy to send boarding party across, captain instructed to follow the cruiser to Atol de Rocas (located in 03.51S, 32.25W). Next day renamed Kohlendampfer KD1/Steam Collier 1, sailed to Lavendeira reef (5S, 36W), refuelled Karlsruhe there on 7-8/10 and 19/10, remaining coal taken on board collier Asuncion and scuttled on 26/10 (kp - in 00.42N, 44.30W); on arrival off Atol de Rocas, European crew transferred to collier Patagonia, landed at Tenerife on 22/10, Chinese crew members continued to serve on board under prize crew until she was sunk (+L/Mn/kp)

 


 

SEPTEMBER 1914

British Merchant Vessels Lost to Enemy Action in September: 21 merchant ships totalling 88,219grt - 19 of 84,403grt to surface ships, 2 of 3,816grt to mines, plus 6 British fishing vessels totalling 1,032grt, all by mines (H)

 

Wednesday 2 September

North Sea

Two Grimsby-reg trawlers sailing from Grimsby (and an Admiralty drifter) mined in Humber field laid by German Nautilus:

AJAX (1), 120/1896, W Grant, Skipper E Grant. Foundered (wi - in 53.35N, 00.20E); all 9 crew lost, including Skipper (+L/Lr/gy/wi)

FITTONIA, 146/1891, North Eastern Steam Fishing, GY390, Skipper F Firman. Sank 27 miles E by S of Spurn Head LH (wi - in 53.50N, 00.50E); 7 lives lost (+L/Lr/gy/wi)

 

Thursday 3 September

Central Atlantic

MAPLE BRANCH, 4,338/1905, Nautilus SS Co, Sunderland-reg, 42 largely Chinese crew, Liverpool for Punta Arenas/Valparaiso/Callao with prize cattle worth 4,000 and 2,000t cargo. Captured shortly after dawn by light cruiser Karlsruhe using wireless-equipped Rio Negro and Asuncion as scouts, cattle slaughtered for meat, sea cocks opened and scuttling charges fired at 1700, would not sink and used for gunnery practice before going down at 1845, 250 miles SWS true from St Paul Rocks off Brazil (L - in 2S, 32.10W; kp - 120 miles N of Fernando Noronha, in 01.59S, 32.47W); crew removed to Crefeld (+L/Mn/kp)

 

Friday 4 September

Central Atlantic

INDIAN PRINCE, passenger ship, 2,846/1910, Prince Line, Newcastle-reg, Mr J Gray, Bahia for New York, headed off usual trade route. Captured by auxiliary cruiser Kronprinz Wilhelm 210 miles E by NN true of Pernambuco, NE Brazil (L - in 06.58S, 31.30W), scuttling charges laid, ship then steered SSE, sunk on the 9th at 0900 (L/kp - about 200 miles NW of llha da Trinidade, in 18S, 28W); passengers and crew transferred to supply ship Ebernburg on 17th, docked Santos 24th, or to collier Prussia which reached Rio de Janeiro on the 25 September (+L/Mn/kp)

Western Pacific

Southport, 3,588/1900, Southport SS Co (W J Tatem), Cardiff, Mr A Clopet, sailed Auckland on 12 July 1914 to load phospate at Nauru, found other ships waiting and long delays, since 4 August lying in harbour at Kusaie, most easterly of German Carolines to save coal while waiting for signal to return to Nauru, unaware that war had been declared. Captured by German raider Geier (1), engines disabled and tools taken so Geier (1) could go off, crew rebuilt the engines by cannibalising other parts, obtained food and supplies from the local inhabitants, sailed 18th, and reached Brisbane on 30th (+L/Rn/Mn/ms)

 

Saturday 5 September

North Sea

RUNO, passenger & cargo ship, 1,679/1902, Thomas Wilson Sons & Co, Hull, 33 crew, Hull for Archangel with 237 passengers and 800t general cargo. Mined amidship at 1635 in Tyne field (Albatros), master headed for nearest land to beach, but as she settled by the head, passengers rushed the boats which were launched. At 1810, 2nd officer and members of the crew returned, Runo taken in tow by trawler Euripides, abandoned at 1825 and went down at 1830 about 22 miles E by N of Tyne estuary (wi - in 55.10.15N, 00.49.38W); six out of nine lifeboats lowered, some capsized through overcrowding, remaining three had their rope falls cut and could not be launched. Fishing trawler Silanion came alongside at 1700 taking off a large number of passengers and crew, Euripides followed suit at 1740, taking off the remainder; 29 lives lost, possibly drowned during the boat launching (+L/Mn/ms/wi)

 

Sunday 6 September

North Sea

IMPERIALIST, trawler, 195/1911, Imperial Steam Fishing, Hull-reg H250, fishing. Mined in Tyne field (Albatros), sank 40 miles ENE of Tyne; 2 lives lost (+L/Lr/Mn/hw)

 

Monday 7 September

North Sea

REVIGO, trawler, 230/1907, G F Sleight, Grimsby-reg, Skipper W Lewis, Grimsby for fishing. Mined in Humber field (Nautilus), sank 25 miles EN of Spurn Head (L - 33 miles E by N of; wi - 33 miles N by E of Spurn Head LH, in 54.05N, 00.20E) (+L/Lr/Mn/gy/wi)

 

Thursday 10 September

Indian Ocean

INDUS, 3,413 (ms - 3,393)/1904, James Nourse Ltd, London-reg, on Indian Government charter as cavalry/troop transport flying blue ensign, Mr Henry Smaridge, Calcutta for Bombay in ballast (kp - Bombay for Calcutta). Spotted by by light cruiser Emden (1) at 0900, ordered to stop (kp - in 10.48N, 84.02E), wireless dismantled, stores transshipped including several cases of soap, sea-cocks opened later in the afternoon, finished off by 6 or 10-4.1in shells fired into the waterline, sank 240 miles SE by E true from Madras (L/ms - in 11N, 83.45E); crew transferred to German collier Markomania, on 14th moved to newly captured SS Kabinga (+L/Mn/kp/ms)

 

Friday 11 September

Bay of Bengal

LOVAT, 6,102/1911, J Warrack & Co, Leith-reg, on Indian Government charter as troop transport flying blue ensign, Mr Robert Glegg, Calcutta for Bombay in ballast. Sighted warship and two steamers (Indus and Greek Pontoporos), Emden (1) closed, ran up German ensign, signalled her to stop and fired blank shot across the bows, stopped at 1400 (kp - in 16.25N, 86.32E), sunk by gunfire 260 miles E N true from Madras (L/ms - in 13.32N, 84.43E); crew sent across to German collier Markomannia except six Indian firemen who went to Pontoporos, crew moved to newly captured SS Kabinga on 14th (+L/Mn/ms/kp)

Eastern Pacific

ELSINORE, tanker, 6,542/1913, Bear Creek Oil & Shipping Co, Liverpool-reg, Mr J Roberts, sailing Corinto, Nicaragua for San Luis Obispo, California in water ballast. Sighted by light cruiser Leipzig and attempted to escape, stopped by shot across the bows, boarding party went across and stripped her including the boats for German collier Marie, Leipzig started firing at 1310, put 12 shells into her before she caught fire, sank stern first 80 miles SW by W true from Cape Corrientes, Mexico (kp - 80 miles SW of, at 1730; L - in 19.39N, 106.46W; Mn - 19.31N, 105.56W); crew taken on board Marie at 1230, put shore on Chatham Island belonging to Ecuador on 21st, captain and half the crew reached Guayaquil, Ecuador 670 miles away in a small sloop on 1/10 (+L/Mn/kp)

 

Saturday 12 September

Bay of Bengal

Kabinga, 4,657/1907, Bucknall SS Lines, London, sailing New York for Calcutta with cargo of largely American-owned jute. Ordered by Emden (1) to heave-to by siren and signal lamp (L - in 16.57N, 86.14E), not sunk because of German liability for the cargo, also the Captain's wife and child were onboard, remained in 'convoy' with the cruiser, released as prison ship on the 14th. Lost in WW2 (+L/Mn/kp/ms)

 

Sunday 13 September

Bay of Bengal

Two steamships captured by light cruiser Emden (1), crews transferred to captured SS Kabinga:

KILLIN, 3,544/1908, Connell Bros, Glasgow-reg, Mr J Wilson, Calcutta for Colombo with 6,000t of Bengal coal. Nearly ran into Emden (1) in the early hours (kp - in 17.05N, 86.04E), as the German was well supplied with coal, boarding party opened sea-cocks, sinking hastened by "a few" 4.1in shells, sank at 1000, 410 miles NE by E true from Madras (L - in 17.02N, 86.10E) (+L/Mn/kp)

DIPLOMAT, 7,615/1912, Charente SS Co, Liverpool-reg, Mr Robert Thompson, Calcutta/Colombo for London/Liverpool with several thousand tons of tea and general cargo. Sighted warship and four steamers off Puri, SW of Calcutta about noon, warship fired warning shot and hoisted ensign, boarded from boat and wireless smashed, sunk by gunfire 480 miles NEE true from Madras (L - in 18.02N, 86.48E; kp - by scuttling charges, in 18.01N, 86.04E) (+L/Mn/kp)

 

Monday 14 September

Central Atlantic

HIGHLAND HOPE, passenger ship, 5,150/1903, Nelson Steam Navigation Co, London-reg, Mr J Thompson, Liverpool for Buenos Aires in ballast to load meat. Sighted by Karlsruhe at 0330, captured and scuttled at 1145, 190 miles SWW true of St Paul Rocks, near Equator, off Brazil (L/wd - in 01.03S, 31.45W; kp - 190 miles SW of); crew transferred to collier Crefeld to join those of Strathroy and Maple Branch (+L/Mn/kp/wd)

Bay of Bengal

Two steamships captured and sunk by Emden (1):

TRABBOCH, 4,028/1910, Kyle Transport, Liverpool-reg, Mr William Ross, sailing Negapatam for Calcutta in ballast. Captured early evening (kp - in 19.55N, 87.01E), sunk by gunfire (kp - scuttling charges) 70 miles SW by S true of Pilots Lt, Mouth of Hooghli, near Calcutta (L - in 19.52N, 87.03E) (+L/Mn/kp)

CLAN MATHESON, 4,775/1906, Clan Line Steamers, Glasgow-reg, Mr William Harris, Clyde/Liverpool for Calcutta with general cargo, including railway locomotives, Rolls-Royce cars, typewriters and a pedigree racehorse. Sighted early evening, refused to stop in reply to siren signals and blank shots, heaved to when shell fired, sunk by bombs 60 miles SW by S true of Pilots Lt (L - in 20N, 87.10E; kp - in 19.55N, 87.11E) (+L/Mn/kp)

 

Thursday 17 September.

Central Atlantic

INDRANI (1), 5,706/1912, Indra Line, Liverpool-reg, Mr N Pilcher, Norfolk (Va) for Rio Janeiro with 6,700t American coal. Captured by Karlsruhe 145 miles N by W true from Cape St Roque, NE Brazil (L/kp - in 03S, 35.40W; kp - also 145 miles NW of), renamed Kohlendampfer KDII/Steam Collier 2 or Hoffnung, coaled the cruiser on 1 November 1914, still in company on 4th when Karlsruhe blew up, scuttled on 9th, German crew headed for Germany in supply ship Rio Negro; the crew, other than Chinese who stayed on board under German command, transferred to supply ship Crefeld (+L/Mn/kp)

 

Saturday 19 September

South East Pacific

Ortega, mail steamer, 8,075 (ms - 7,970)/1906, Pacific Steam Navigation Co, Liverpool, Mr Douglas Kinneir, sailing Valparaiso for UK, carrying c300 French reservists. (kp - 18th) - Chased by Dresden off South Chile, headed at full speed of 18kts - nominally 14kts - into uncharted Nelson Strait, cruiser soon forced to abandon chase to avoid running aground. Ortega proceeded by way of Smyth Channel through to the Magellan Straits, sometimes led by the ship's boats taking soundings (+Mn/ge/kp/ms)

 

Monday 21 September

Central Atlantic

CORNISH CITY, 3,816/1906, Instow SS Co, Bideford-reg, Mr J Bethke, Barry for Rio Janeiro with 5,500t coal. Stopped by Karlsruhe at 1445, sea-cocks opened, scuttling charge only blew a small hole in her, took a long time to sink, went down at 1945, 245 miles SWS true from St Paul Rocks, off Brazil (L - in 01.55S, 32.05W; kp - 245 miles SW by S of); crew taken on board Rio Negro (+L/Mn/kp)

 

Tuesday 22 September

North Sea

KILMARNOCK, trawler, 165/1897, Consolidated Steam Fishing & Ice, Grimsby-reg, Skipper W J Ash, Grimsby for fishing. Mined in Humber field (Nautilus), foundered 31 miles E of Spurn Head (wi - in 53.33N, 00.01E); 6 lives lost (+L/Lr/ap/gy/wi)

Central Atlantic

RIO IGUASSU, 3,817/1898, London-American Maritime & Trading, London-reg, sailing Newcastle for Rio Janeiro with 4,800t coal for Tramway, Power & Light Company. Stopped by Karlsruhe at 0640, as much coal as possible taken off, sunk by bombs at 1600, 155 miles SWW true of St Paul Rocks (L - in 00.40S, 31.20W; kp - stopped in 00.40S, 32.18W, sunk roughly 20 miles NW of capture position); crew taken aboard collier Asuncion (+L/Mn/kp)

Bay of Bengal

Chupra, 6,175/1906, British India Steam Navigation Co, Glasgow, sailing London for Calcutta with general cargo, in Madras harbour. Emden (1) crept into the harbour around 2100, used searchlights to find the oil storage area, switched off then fired 125 shells setting the tanks ablaze, one shell hit Chupra moored next to the mole; one life lost - 17-year old cadet Joseph Fletcher, mortally wounded. Other vessels also damaged (+L/Mn/kp/ms)

 

Wednesday 23 September

North Sea

REBONO, trawler, 176/1912, George F Sleight, Grimsby-reg, Skipper G Burgess, Grimsby for fishing. Mined in Humber field (Nautilus), foundered 25 miles E by N of Spurn LV/Head (L/wi - 26 miles E by N of, in 53.40N, 00.55E); one life lost (+L/gy/ms/wi)

 

Friday 25 September

Indian Ocean

Two steamships captured by Emden (1) off Ceylon/Sri Lanka, sunk by bombs, crews first taken on board German collier Markomannia:

KING LUD, 3,650/1906, King Line, Stockton-on-Tees-reg, Mr David Harris, Alexandria for Calcutta in ballast. Emden (1) hove in sight early afternoon, signalled her to stop, boarding party opened sea-cocks and laid charges, sank around 1615, 25 miles SSW true from Pt de Galle, near Galle (L - 05.45N, 80E; kp - in 05.47N, 79.46E); crew transferred to newly captured SS Gryfevale on 27th (+L/Mn/kp)

TYMERIC, 3,314/1901, Tymeric SS Co, Glasgow-reg, Mr John Tulloch, Samarang for Falmouth with sugar. Captured c2300 (kp - in 07.10N, 79.21E), sunk 50 miles W by N true from Colombo (L - in 07.10N, 79E) (+L/Mn/kp)

Eastern Pacific

BANKFIELDS, 3,763/1905, Bank Shipping Co, Liverpool-reg, Mr John Ingham, just out of Eten, Peru for Panama/Liverpool with copper ore and 5,000t of sugar cane. Captured by Leipzig, livestock taken off, sunk by gunfire in Gulf of Guayaquil, Ecuador (L - in 03.40S, 81.20W); crew taken off, landed by German collier Marie at Callao a week later (+L/Lr/Mn/kp)

 

Saturday 26 September

Indian Ocean

Gryfevale, 4,437 (ms - 4,424)/1906, Gryfevale SS Co (Crawford, Barr), Glasgow, Mr J Steel, sailing Aden for Colombo in ballast. Captured by Emden (1) (L - in 07.45N, 78.15E), retained as prison ship, released on 28th with recently-taken prisoners. Attacked and wrecked 21 October 1917 (+L/Mn/kp/ms)

 

Sunday 27 September

Indian Ocean

Two steamships (and an Admiralty collier) captured by Emden (1), most of the crews transferred to SS Gryfevale:

RIBERA (1), 3,500/1904, Bolton SS Co, London-reg, Mr John Isdale, Glasgow/Alexandria for Batavia in ballast. Captured shortly after daylight, stores transshipped, sea cocks opened and scuttling charges laid, finished off by gunfire at 0900, 210 miles W by N true of Colombo (L - in 07.45N, 76.20E; kp - 07.30N, 75.26E) (+L/Mn/kp)

FOYLE (1), 4,147/1902, Mercantile SS Co, London-reg, Mr William Gibson, Dunston-on-Tyne, via Port Said (L/Mn/kp - also Venice, Aden, Colombo) for Rangoon in water ballast, departed Port Said on 11th after being informed route was all clear. Captured before dark (kp - in 07.56N, 74.05E), scuttled at 2100, 300 miles WN true from Colombo (L 7.50N, 74.45E) (+L/Mn/kp)

 

Wednesday 30 September

North Sea

SELBY (1), 2,137/1895, R Ropner & Co, Stockton-reg, sailing Derwenthaugh for Antwerp with coal. Mined, sank 34 miles SE by S of Newarp LV, off Winterton, Norfolk (+L/Lr)

 


 

OCTOBER 1914

British Merchant Vessels Lost to Enemy Action in October: 19 merchant ships totalling 77,805grt - 14 of 65,161grt to surface ships, 1 of 866grt to submarines, 4 of 11,778grt to mines, plus 2 British fishing vessels totalling 283grt, both by mines (H)

 

Saturday 3 October

North Sea

DAWDON, 1,310/1878, R Thorman & Co, Sunderland-reg, sailing Hull for Antwerp with coal. Mined, sank 10 miles NW by W of Wandelaar LV, W Scheldt estuary, Holland; 10 lives lost (+L/Lr/ms)

 

Monday 5 October

North Sea

ARDMOUNT, 3,510/1906, Ashmount (sic) SS Co (Hope & Sloan), Glasgow-reg, sailing Galveston for Zeebrugge with maize. Mined, sank 3 miles E by SS of Wandelaar LV, off Holland (+L/Lr/ms)

Central Atlantic

Farn, 4,393/1910, Fargrove Steam Navigation Co, London-reg, Mr G Alleyne, Cardiff/Barry for Montevideo with 6,000t Welsh steam-coal and coke. Captured by Karlsruhe 140 miles SWS true of St Paul Rocks, near Equator (L - in 00.46S, 30.50W), retained as Steam Collier 3/Kohlendampfer III, last coal transfer to the raider on 29th-30th, detached under command of naval lieutenant, who unaware of Karlsruhe's fate eventually put into San Juan, Puerto Rico on 11 or 12/1/15 for supplies, considered a naval tender by the US authorities and given 24hrs to leave, shortly interned. Released 2/17, reverted to original owners 4/17, sunk 19 November 1917 (+L/Mn/kp)

 

Tuesday 6 October

Central Atlantic

NICETO DE LARRINAGA (1), 5,018/1912, Miguel de Larrinaga SS Co, Liverpool-reg, Mr R Nagle, 42 crew, Buenos Aires for London with 8,000t cattle fodder, maize, oats and agricultural machinery. Sighted by tender Rio Negro at 1500, Karlsruhe came up at 1700, boarded, food and stores removed, scuttling charges set off around 1900, but could not have holed her very much, only began to settle at 2100, eventually went down at 0200 on 7th (kp - 2030 on 6th), 100 miles S by WW true of St Paul Rocks off Brazil (L/kp - in 00.35S, 29.48W); crew transferred to Crefeld (+L/Mn/kp)

 

Wednesday 7 October

Central Atlantic

LYNROWAN, 3,384/1907, Liver Shipping Co, Liverpool-reg, Mr Arthur Jones, Buenos Aires for Liverpool with 5,500t of hides, maize, sugar, talc and 12 motor cars. Sighted by Karlsruhe at 0800, chased and stopped, few boatloads of sugar taken off, sunk by bombs (Mn/kp - gunfire) around 1400, 90 miles SSW true of St Paul Rocks, off Brazil (L - in 00.25S, 29.54W); crew transferred at 1100 to the overcrowded Crefeld now carrying 300 prisoners, other crews still on Rio Negro (+L/Mn/kp)

South Atlantic

LA CORRENTINA, 8,529/1912, Houlder Line, Liverpool-reg, Mr Murrison, sailing La Plata for Liverpool with frozen meat. Auxiliary cruiser Kronprinz Wilhelm came alongside 'smashing boats and deck fittings on both ships, then sent a boarding party over', 320 miles EN true from Montevideo (L - in 34.20S, 49.40W; kp - over 300 miles E of), meat supplies and 2-4.7in guns transferred, scuttled around 14th (L - in 36S, 49.50W); passengers & crew later transferred to collier Sierra Cordoba, landed at Montevideo on 22nd. Note: sailed from Liverpool with 2-4.7in guns aft and guns crews, but as war had not been declared, carried no ammunition (+L/Mn/kp)

 

Thursday 8 October

Central Atlantic

CERVANTES, passenger ship, 4,635/1895, Liverpool, Brazil & River Plate Steam Navigation Co, Liverpool-reg, 43 crew, Mr E Holton, sailed Callao, picked up four passengers at Punta Arenas/Rio Grande do Sul, departed Rio Janeiro 1st, headed for Liverpool with 4,500t general cargo, including cattle fodder, hides, sugar and wool. Captured by Karlsruhe c0700 only 10 miles from Lynrowan's position, sunk by bombs and a 'few' 4.1in shells shortly after noon, 100 miles SW true of St Paul Rocks (L - in 00.40S, 29.40W) (+L/Lr/Mn/kp)

 

Friday 9 October

Central Atlantic

PRUTH, 4,408/1905, Mercantile SS Co, London-reg, Mr Joseph Evans, Mejillones for St Vincent (CV) with 3,800t potassium nitrate and 2,300t barley. Sighted by Karlsruhe on 8th at 2315, stopped just after midnight, crew and supplies taken off starting at 0530, sunk by bombs around 1000, 90 miles S by WW true of St Paul Rocks (L - in 00.27S, 29.46W; kp - 00.26S, 29.45W); crew transferred to collier Crefeld (+L/Mn/kp)

 

Saturday 10 October

British Ships captured during German occupation of Belgium

The dates for all three sailing vessels are approximate:

QUEEN MAB, 76grt, from Teignmouth. On River Dyle at Wygmael near Louvain (L)

THAMES (1), brigantine, 177/1875, Whitstable Shipping Co, Faversham-reg. At Antwerp (L/Lr)

VINDEX, brigantine, 198/1866, R Kearon, Dublin-reg. At Antwerp (L/Lr)

 

Sunday 11 October

Central Atlantic

CONDOR (1), 3,053/1893, New York & Pacific SS Co, London-reg, Mr S Purdy, New York/Philadelphia for Valparaiso/South American ports with 4,000t piece goods including condensed milk, conserves, dynamite and machine or lubricating oil. Detained by captured SS Farn until Karlsruhe came up around 1500, 215 miles N by EE true of Cape St Roque, Brazil (kp - 215 miles NE of, in 02S, 34W; L - in 01.55S, 34W), 150 tonnes of oil transferred on the 13th for mixing with petrol as fuel for the cruiser, Condor scuttled on 14th; crew taken on board Karlsruhe, left in SS Crefeld at 1600 on 13th for Teneriffe (+L/Lr/Mn/kp)

 

Wednesday 14 October

Auxiliary cruiser minelayer Berlin, 17,324grt, 2-4.1in sailed from Germany for operations around British Isles

 

Friday 16 October

Indian Ocean

Three vessels captured and sunk by Emden (1) off Minikoi island, W of S tip of India, all crews transferred to captured SS Buresk, then on 19th to SS Egbert:

CLAN GRANT, 3,948/1902, Clan Line, Glasgow-reg, Mr Norman Leslie, sailing Glasgow/Liverpool for Colombo/Calcutta with general cargo including food, livestock, porcelain and typewriters, on track Minikoi to Colombo. Captured just after midnight (kp - in 08.10N, 73.11N), started to transship supplies before Emden (1) left to deal with a "strange wallowing shape" which turned out to be a bucket dredger, Clan Grant sunk later that day by gunfire 150 miles WS true from Minikoi (L - 08.10N, 70.20E); (+L/Mn/kp)

PONRABBEL, dredger, 473/1914, 8kts, Marine Board of Launceston, Tasmania-reg, Mr Edwin Gore, sailed Clyde via Barry Docks on 23/8 for delivery to Launceston at 4kts. Captured around 0100 (kp - in 08.21N, 72.24E), sunk by a 'few shells' 20 miles NW true of Minikoi (L/Mn - 18 miles NW of Minikoi LH) (+L/Mn/kp)

BENMOHR, 4,806/1912, William Thompson & Co, Leith-reg, Mr James Larchet, Leith via London for Penang/Yokohama with 5,000t general cargo, including bicycles, machine parts and motor vehicles. Scuttled 65 miles NW W true of Minikoi (L - 60 miles NW of; Mn - also captured on 16th, around 1000; kp - sighted on 17th at 2315, stopped by signal lamp shortly after midnight on 18th, about 60 miles NW by W of, in 08.16N. 72.55E; ms - confirms 16th) (+L/Mn/ms/kp)

 

Sunday 18 October

Central Atlantic

GLANTON, 3,021/1894, Steel, Young & Co, London-reg, Mr George Arthur, Barry for Montevideo with machinery, general cargo and 3,800t 'best Welsh coal', on trade route between Cape Verdes and Fernando Noronha. Overhauled by Karlsruhe around 1000, boarding party commandeered oil and stores, laid explosive scuttling charges sinking her at 1725, 195 miles SW true of St Paul Rocks (kp - about 200 miles SW of); crew to German Asuncion (+L/Mn/kp)

Indian Ocean

Two steamships captured by Emden (1):

TROILUS (1), 7,562/1914, Ocean SS Co, Liverpool-reg, Mr George Long, sailing Yokohama for London with passengers and general cargo, including copper, rubber and zinc, on maiden voyage. Kept afloat with prize crew onboard and sailed 'in convoy', provisions transferred out of her early on 19th, scuttling charges placed, hit by a few shells and sank later that day, 170 miles E true from Minikoi (L - in 08.22N, 75.52E); passengers and most of crew transferred to St Egbert next morning around 0700, 12 Chinese firemen to Buresk, 12 to Exford all on the same wages (+L/Mn/kp)

St Egbert, 5,596/1914, British & Foreign SS, Liverpool-reg, sailing Colombo for New York with US-owned sugar and piece goods. Sighted at 2100 (L - in 08.10N, 75.50E; kp - 08.16N, 75.07E), stopped by signal lamp, prisoners transferred to her from Buresk, stayed in company, released and reached Cochin, west coast of India by 21st (+L/Mn/kp)

 

Monday 19 October

Indian Ocean

Two steamships captured by Emden (1):

Exford (1), collier (kp - Admiralty chartered), 4,542/1911, Tatem Steam Navigation Co, Cardiff-reg, sailing UK for India with 5,500t Welsh coal. Sighted at 0030 (L - in 08.27N, 74.49E; kp 8.39N, 75.07E), stopped about 0100 using siren and signal lamp, retained as collier, Emden (1) currently in company with Buresk, Troilus and St Egbert, later that day at 1900 St Egbert released with prisoners. Exford recaptured by armed merchant cruiser Empress of Asia, arrived Singapore 11/12/14, renamed Brendon in 1915 (+L/Mn/kp)

CHILKANA, passenger ship, 3,244grt, delivered 9/14, British India Steam Navigation Co, Glasgow-reg, Mr James Archdeacon, Tees/London for Calcutta with mixed cargo, on maiden voyage. Sighted at 0800, chased and brought back to the other ships around 1000, stores transferred out of her, scuttling charges set, fired at with 4.1in at 1600 and sank half an hour later, 110 miles ENE true of Minikoi (L - in 08.51N, 74.42E; kp - not certain if captured or sunk in 09.22N, 75.04E); crew released to SS St Egbert, landed at Cochin (+L/Mn/kp)

 

Tuesday 20 October

U-boat Warfare - SS Glitra was first British merchant ship sunk by U-boat

North Sea

GLITRA, 866/1881, Christian Salvesen & Co, Leith-reg, 17 crew, Mr L Johnston, sailed Grangemouth 18th for Stavanger with coal and general cargo, signalled for pilot around noon on 20th about 14 miles from the coast. As the pilot boat approached, a submarine was sighted 3 miles to seaward, the pilot boat turned back and Glitra headed away although not anticipating any trouble. U.17 (Johannes Feldkirchner) circled, fired the deck gun and Glitra stopped, an armed officer and two men crossed over in a collapsible boat and gave the crew 10min to abandon ship in their boats. German engineer opened valves in the engine-room and she began to settle, going down 14 miles WSW of Skudesnes/Skudesnaes, near Stavanger; the boats were towed by U.17 towards land for quarter of an hour, then left to row the rest of the way, pilot boat came up, towed them to Norwegian torpedo boat Hai, landed at Skudesnes. As the ship was neither taken as a prize nor the crew taken on board, the sinking was not according to International Law and at the time regarded as an isolated act (+L/Mn/dx/nh/te/un)

 

Wednesday 21 October

North Sea

CORMORANT, 1,595/1900, Cork SS Co, Cork-reg, sailing Rotterdam for Liverpool in ballast. Mined, probably laid by Koenigin Luise, sank 4 miles E of West Gabbard LV, off Orford Ness, Suffolk (wi - in 52N, 02.10.30E) (+L/Lr/wi)

 

Thursday 22 October

German minelayer/auxiliary cruiser Berlin, carrying 2,000 moored contact mines laid large field about 19 miles E of N of Tory Island, off N Ireland on night of 22nd/23rd

 

Friday 23 October

Central Atlantic

HURSTDALE, 2,752/1902, Lambert Bros, Liverpool-reg, 21 crew, Mr John Williams, Rosario for Bristol with 4,644t maize. Spotted by Karlsruhe at 1615, stopped at 1700, sea-cocks opened, sank at 2100, 205 miles SWW true of St Paul Rocks (L - in 01.11S, 31.55W); crew to Asuncion (+L/Mn/kp)

 

Monday 26 October

U-boat Warfare - First U-boat attack without warning. French liner Amiral Ganteaume carrying Belgian refugees mistaken for troopship and torpedoed by U.24 off Cape Gris-Nez, reached port

off N Ireland

MANCHESTER COMMERCE (1), 5,363/1899, Manchester Liners, Manchester-reg, 44 crew, Mr C Payne, Manchester for Montreal with general cargo. (H/Mn - 27th) - Mined between Nos.2 and 3 holds in the afternoon in the Tory Island field laid by Berlin, sank 20 miles NE of Tory Island, off Donegal (wi - 20 miles N by E, in 55.35N, 08.18W); 14 crew lost, including master (+L/Mn/kp/wi)

Central Atlantic

VANDYCK, may be spelt Vandyk, passenger ship, 10,328/1911, Liverpool, Brazil & River Plate Steam Navigation Co, Liverpool-reg, 200 crew, Mr Anthony Cadogan, sailing from Buenos Aires/La Plata, departed Bahia 23rd for Trinidad, Barbados and New York with 210 men, women and children passengers and general cargo, including 1,000t of frozen meat, piece goods and small quantity of gold bullion. Sighted by Karlsruhe around 1015, followed until 1100, then stopped after a short chase 690 miles W by S true of St Paul Rocks, off Brazil (L/wd - in 01.14S, 40.40W; Mn - 01.14S, 40.42W; kp - 01.12S, 40.49W), frozen meat cargo trans-shipped, held until arrival of German tenders, explosive charges fired at 0600 on 28th (wd - on 27th, off Maranhao), sank within 30min (kp - in 00.50S, 41.45W); 410 passengers and crew to tender/collier Asuncion on 27th in 00.50S, 41W, landed at Para (Belem) on 2/11 (+L/Mn/kp/wd)

 

Tuesday 27 October

Central Atlantic

Royal Sceptre, 3,838/1906, J L Knott, London-reg, Mr W Estill, sailing Santos for New York with 60,025 bags of American-owned coffee value 230,000. Ordered to stop by Karlsruhe accompanied by three steamers at 2330, 530 miles W true from St Paul Rocks (L - in 00.52N, 41.37W), armed guard went on board, German government liable to pay compensation for any neutral cargo, as the German officer was satisfied the cargo was for New York only, gave permission shortly after midnight for her to proceed. In fact the coffee was bound for Toronto via New York, the master had hidden the detailed cargo manifest (+L/Mn/kp/ms)

 

Wednesday 28 October

Indian Ocean

Glenturret, 4,696/1896, McGregor Gow & Co, Glasgow, Mr H Jones, London via Penang/Singapore/Hong Kong for Yokohama, loaded with government munitions and explosives, arrived off entrance to Penang Harbour, later in the morning headed in with B flag (explosives) flying, due to meet lighter to take off 20t of explosive, Emden (1) had just sunk Russian cruiser Zhemchug in the harbour. On her way out came alongside Glenturret, asked about the B Flag, then went off in pursuit of French destroyer Mousquet steaming out of Penang, sank her and headed out into the Indian Ocean, Glenturret made her escape. Wrecked River Loire 26 July 1918 (+L/Mn/kp/ms)

 

Thursday 29 October

German-Turkish naval forces bombarded Russian ports, Turkey entered war on German side

North Sea

ROSELLA, trawler, 243/1907, T Baskcomb, Grimsby-reg, Skipper W Harvey, Faroes for Grimsby with fish catch. (gy - 5 November) - Mined, probably in Tyne field (Albatros), sank 25 miles SE of Tynemouth (wi - in 54.42.45N, 00.54.30W); 2 lives lost (+L/Lr/gy/wi)

OUR TOM, fishing vessel (L - trawler; bm - ketch-rigged sailing smack), 40/1897, Mrs Susanna Tucker, Ramsgate-reg R26, fishing. Mined, probably Southwold field laid by Koenigin Luise, sank 45 miles SE of Southwold, S of Lowestoft; 3 lives lost (+L/bm)

Black Sea

Friederike, 3,574/1905, F Rahtkens & Co, Middlesbrough, sailed Venice for Novorossisk. (H/L - 30th) - Damaged by gunfire of Turkish warships at Novorossisk along with five Russian merchantmen. Scuttled Novorossiisk 21 June 1918 (+L/Rn/ms)

 

British Merchant Ships detained in Turkish Waters

All steamships, date approximate for all:

INTIBAH, 202/1885, Eastern Petroleum & African Prospecting Syndicate, Glasgow-reg. Released post-war (L/Lr)

in Dardanelles

MAGGIE GRECH, ex-sloop HMS Basilisk, 1,170t, built by Admiralty, Sheerness 1889, became coal hulk C.7, sold 1905, now steamship, 624grt, R A Grech, London-reg, (L/Lr/C)

MARY LOUISE, wooden paddle steamer, 100/1879, now tug, R A Grech, South Shields-reg (L/Lr)

at Constantinople

CRAIGFORTH, 2,900/1907, Craig Line SS Co (D Russell), Leith-reg. Left by her captain and crew on 5 August. Renamed Iskuder, sunk in Black Sea 4 May 1915 (L/Lr/ms)

NEWA, 549 (ms - 613)/1872, J Constant, London-reg. Sunk in Black Sea by Russians before 31/12/14 (L/Lr/ms)

SHEFFIELD, passenger & cargo ship, 647/1877, Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway Co, Grimsby (tl - sold to J Constant, London in 1911). Served as Selda in Turkish Navy, released post-war (L/Lr/ms/tl)

at Smyrna (Izmir)

All three sunk in channel leading to Smyrna 6/3/15:

ASSIOUT, 3,146 (ms - 3,020)/1889, Ellerman Lines, London-reg (ms - Khedivial Mail, London) (L/Lr/ms)

BILLITER, 832/1889, J Constant, London (L/ms)

CITY OF KHIOS, 3,496/1878, G Smith & Sons, Glasgow-reg (L/Lr)

 

Friday 30 October

Indian Ocean

Newburn, 3,554/1904, Newcastle SS Co (Forster), Newcastle, Mr J Matthews, sailing England for Singapore/Samarang with German-owned salt. Captured by Emden (1) 140 miles W of Sabang, released, instructed to land survivors from French torpedo boat Mosquet, reached Penang on 31st. Sunk 7 August 1916 (+L/Mn/kp/ms)

 

Saturday 31 October

Admiralty authorised hostilities against Turkey although war had not yet been declared.

German East Africa Campaign - Light cruiser Koenigsberg located in Rufuji River delta by HMS Chatham

 


 

NOVEMBER 1914

British Merchant Vessels Lost to Enemy Action in November: 5 merchant ships totalling 8,888grt - 2 of 3,784grt to surface ships, 2 of 2,084grt to submarines, 1 of 3,020grt to mines, plus 6 British fishing vessels totalling 460grt, all by surface-ship-laid mines (H)

U-boat Warfare - Chief of German Naval Staff proposed a submarine blockade of Britain; rejected by German Chancellor; small German UC-type coastal minelaying submarines ordered for delivery in sections by rail; first one launched April 1915

 

Sunday 1 November

South East Pacific

Colusa, 5,732/1913, New York & Pacific SS Co, London-reg. (kp - 31/10) - Chased by auxiliary cruiser Prinz Eitel Friedrich, entered Chilean waters, German warned by Chilean warship to withdraw allowing Colusa to escape (+kp/ms)

 

Monday 2 November

U-boat Warfare - Partly because of indiscriminate German minelaying, Britain declared entire North Sea a British military zone as from the 5th

 

Tuesday 3 November

North Sea

First Bombardment of British East Coast - Raid on Gorleston

German 1st Scouting Group (Adm Hipper) raided Gorleston/Great Yarmouth apparently with the main aim of laying a minefield off Yarmouth. Light cruiser Kolberg laid a line 5 miles long in Smith's Knoll passage, but the laying was spotted by a Lowestoft fisherman and reported by 1100. A number of British vessels were lost in the Yarmouth minefield, including three fishing vessels the same day:

FRATERNAL, 100grt (L/wi - trawler, 79grt), Lowestoft for fishing. Sank 16 miles NE by N of Lowestoft, Suffolk (wi - in 52.40N, 02.03E); 3 lives lost. Note: "Wreck Index" refers to German submarine-laid mines, but these did not appear until June 1915 (+L/ap/wi)

WILL & MAGGIE, 100grt (L/wi - trawler, 92grt), Lowestoft-reg, Lowestoft for fishing. (wi - 4th) - Sank 17 miles E by N of Lowestoft (wi - in 52.36N, 02.11E); 6 lives lost (+L/ap/wi)

COPIOUS, trawler, 100grt, H F Eastick, Great Yarmouth-reg, Skipper G Symonds, fishing. Sank 15 miles E by S of Yarmouth (L/wi - about 9 miles E by S of South Cross Sand Buoy, in 52.36.30N, 02.14E); 9 lives lost in the explosion, including Skipper (+L/ap/wi)

 

Wednesday 4 November

German light cruiser Karlsruhe destroyed by internal explosion in central Atlantic E of Trinidad

 

Thursday 5 November

Britain and France declared war on Turkey

 

Saturday 7 November

German gunboat Geier (1) interned in Honolulu

 

Monday 9 November

Indian Ocean

German light cruiser Emden (1) sunk by Australian light cruiser Sydney

AYESHA, 3-masted schooner, 123/1907, J S C Ross, London-reg, lying in Direction Island harbour, the main Cocos Island. Seized by German landing party after Emden (1) left them ashore to go and fight Sydney, sailed to Padang, Dutch East Indies, on to Turkish-occupied Yemen, believed scuttled 15/12/14. The Germans then travelled overland to Constantinople (+L/Lr/Rn/nb)

 

Tuesday 10 November

North Sea

SPECULATOR, sail fishing smack, 60grt, fishing. Mined, probably Yarmouth field (Kolberg), sank near Smith's Knoll, off Norfolk (wi - in 52.50N, 02.14E); 5 lives lost (+L/wi)

 

Thursday 12 November

North Sea

CYGNUS, trawler, 132/1896, Grimsby & North Sea Steam Trawling, Grimsby-reg, fishing, missing since 13th, posted by Lloyds 24/2/15 (gy - presumed mined on 12th) (L/Lr/gy)

 

Wednesday 18 November

North Sea

SEYMOLICUS, sail fishing vessel, c50grt, fishing. Mined, probably Yarmouth field (Kolberg), sank 12 miles E by NN of Smith's Knoll, off Norfolk (wi - 12 miles E by N of, in 52.54N, 02.33E); 9 lives lost, including Skipper (+L/wi)

 

Friday 20 November

North Sea

LORD CARNARVON, sail fishing vessel (L - trawler), c80grt, fishing. Mined, probably Yarmouth field (Kolberg), sank off Yarmouth, Norfolk (wi - in 52.35N, 01.54E); 10 lives lost, including Skipper (+L/wi)

 

Monday 23 November

U-boat Warfare - first U-boat sinkings since Glitra a month earlier take place

English Channel

MALACHITE, 718/1902, William Robertson, Glasgow, Mr Stephen Masson, sailed Liverpool on 19th for Havre with general cargo. Stopped by U.21 (Otto Hersing) in the afternoon with shot across the bows, probably 4 miles N by W of Cape de la Heve, near Havre, Seine estuary (the position when captured), after being questioned from the conning tower, crew ordered off, fire opened from 200yds but Malachite stayed afloat and ablaze for 24hrs; after crew took to the boats, Hersing apologised for not being able to take the men on board but "war is war", they rowed toward Havre, reaching there that evening (+L/Mn/ge/ms/te/un)

 

Thursday 26 November

English Channel

PRIMO (1), 1,366/1898, Pelton SS Co, Newcastle, Mr C Whincop, Jarrow for Rouen with coal. Captured by U.21 (Otto Hersing) probably 6 miles NW by N of Cape Antifer, N of Havre (L - 10 miles NW of, again probably the position when first stopped), crew abandoned ship, U-boat opened fire but Primo took some sinking, various vessels reported her on fire and adrift two days later, division of French TB's set out from Boulogne on the 30th, one of them reportedly sinking her; the ship's boats headed for a steamer which on hearing the firing, sheered off, they rowed for FŽcamp but about two hours later, picked up by SS Clermiston. (+L/Mn/ge/ms/te/un)

There was now another short lull in merchant ship sinkings

 

Friday 27 November

North Sea

KHARTOUM, 3,020/1893, Anglo-Bretagne Shipping, London-reg, 23 crew, Mr C Wilson, Tyne for Oran with 4,000t coal. (wi - 26th) - Mined at 1140, possibly Humber field (Nautilus), started to sink, finally abandoned at 1225, sank 20min later 20 miles ESE of Spurn Head (L/wi - 53.31N, 00.40E); survivors picked up at 1445 by trawler Onward, landed at Grimsby (+L/wi)

 


 

DECEMBER 1914

British Merchant Vessels Lost to Enemy Action in December: 10 merchant ships totalling 26,035grt - 5 of 15,995grt to surface ships, 5 of 10,040grt to mines, plus 5 British fishing vessels totalling 780grt - 3 of 294grt to surface ships, 2 of 486grt to mines (H)

 

Wednesday 2 December

South Atlantic

DRUMMUIR, 4-masted iron barque, 1,844/1882, Ship 'Drummuir' Co (?), Victoria, BC-reg, Mr James Eagles, Swansea for San Francisco with coal. Captured by Leipzig 70 miles E by N true of Cape Horn, Woolaston Islands, Chile (L - in 50.30S, 65W), towed about 70 miles to north side of Picton Island, coal transferred to colliers for Admiral von Spee's armoured cruiser force, then sunk by bombs on the 6th (kp - in 55.30S, 65W); crew taken on board collier Seydlitz which escaped after Battle of the Falklands, when short of fuel put into Bahia Blanca on 14/2/15, interned by Brazilian authorities, crew released (+L/Lr/Mn/kp)

 

Friday 4 December

Central Atlantic

BELLEVUE, 3,814/1896, Bell Bros McLelland/Bellevue SS Co, Glasgow-reg, Mr Iver Iversen, Glasgow/Liverpool for Montevideo/Buenos Aires with general cargo and 5,400t coal. Overtaken in the early morning by Kronprinz Wilhelm, 460 miles NEE true from Pernambuco, Brazil (L/kp - in 3S, 29.09W; kp - also 450 miles NE of Pernambuco), crew transfered to Kronprinz Wilhelm, ship navigated westward by prize crew, coal and supplies transferred to raider starting on the 8th, scuttled on the 20th (L - in 6N, 40W) (+L/Lr/Mn/kp/ms)

 

Saturday 5 December

South East Pacific

CHARCAS, 5,067/1906, New York & Pacific SS Co, London-reg, Mr A Norris, Antofagasta for New York with piece-goods (Mn/kp - small cargo of nitrate of soda), hugging the shore, foggy conditions. Stopped by Prinz Eitel Friedrich, boarding party sent over, bombs laid, sank 70 miles S by WW true from Valparaiso, Chile (L - in 34S, 72.05W; kp - 70 miles S of); crew put ashore near Valparaiso later that day (+L/Lr/Mn/kp)

 

Tuesday 8 December

Battle of the Falklands - German armoured cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, light cruisers Nurnberg and Leipzig sunk; Dresden escaped but sunk in March 1915

 

Friday 11 December

North Sea

Colchester, passenger & cargo ship, 1,209 (ms - 1,160)/1889 Great Eastern Railway Co, Harwich, Mr F Lawrence, crossing from Rotterdam for Parkeston Quay, Harwich. Submarine sighted on starboard bow at 0820, 22 miles from Hook of Holland, started to close and signal, Colchester went to maximum speed with all stokers turned out to double-bank boiler fires, U-boat gave up the chase after 20min; Admiralty commended the master. Note: first attack by U-boats since the sinking of Malachite and Primo. Wrecked in 54.24N, 10.12E on 2 March 1918, broken up 1919 (+Mn/ge/ms)

EARL HOWARD, trawler, 226grt, Grimsby-reg. (gy - 11/12/15) - Believed mined, possibly Humber field (Nautilus), sank 90 miles NE by N of Spurn LV; 9 lives lost, including Skipper (+gy)

 

Saturday 12 December

South East Pacific

KILDALTON, 3-masted steel barque, 1,784/1903, Kidalton Barque Co, Glasgow-reg, Mr W Sharp, Liverpool for Callao with general cargo. Captured by Prinz Eitel Friedrich, sunk by bombs 870 miles SWS true of Valparaiso, Chile (L - in 44.24N, 82.35W); crew put on board captured French barque Jean, landed at Cook's Bay, Easter Island on 31st, not picked up until 26/2/15 when a Swedish trading ship called at the island, landed Panama 12/3/15 (+L/Lr/Mn/kp)

 

Sunday 13 December

German auxiliary cruiser Cormoran running out of coal and supplies was interned at the US Pacific island of Guam

 

Wednesday 16 December

German Raid on English coastal towns of Hartlepool, Scarborough and Whitby

German 1st SG battlecruisers and 2nd SG light cruisers escorted by destroyers sailed to attack the Yorkshire coast

Attack on Hartlepool

Two merchantmen were damaged and two fishing vessels sunk in the docks during the Hartlepool bombardment:

Munificent, 3,270/1892, James Westoll, Sunderland, sailed Archangel for Hartlepool. One life lost. Admiralty collier when sunk on 1 March 1917 (+L/ms)

Phoebe (1), 2,754/1894, Turnbull Bros, Cardiff, sailed Archangel for Hartlepool. One life lost (+L/ms)

CONSTANCE (1), motor fishing vessel, 40grt (+L)

WAYSIDE FLOWER (1), motor fishing vessel, 35grt (+L)

Attacks on Scarborough and Whitby

Three German ships appeared off Scarborough just before 0800, battlecruisers Derfflinger and Von der Tann opened fire, while light cruiser Kolberg went to lay mines off Flamborough Head. The two battlecruisers then headed north for Whitby, and opened fire just after 0900, departing after 10min and ignoring two tramp steamers passing to the south. Four fishing vessels were damaged in Scarborough during the bombardment:

Eliza, (L - trawler), 58grt (L)

Industria, trawler, 133grt, Hull-reg H14 (L/hw)

Rameses, trawler, 155/1894, Grimsby-reg (L/gy)

Volta, trawler, 157/1890, Hull-reg H111 (L/D)

Other Attacks by German Warships

Cassandra, trawler, (ms - possibly 174/1905), Mr H Pegg, Hull-reg, trawling. German cruiser and TBF withdrawing SE, but still apparently in action with British forces passed her around noon. Fired on by the cruiser, shell landing 50yds away (Mn/ms)

MANX QUEEN, trawler, 219/1906, W H Beeley, Grimsby-reg, fishing. Captured by German destroyers/torpedo boats (L - in 54.12N, 3.02E), not known how sunk or at what time; crew made prisoners (+L/Lr/gy)

Ships Immediately Lost to Kolberg's Mines

ELTERWATER, 1,228/1907, Sharp & Co/Sharp SS Co, Newcastle-reg, 18 crew, Tyne for London with 1,750t coal. Mined around 2115, sank 3 miles E of Scarborough (wi - 54.17N, 00.18W); 6 lives lost (+L/Lr/Rn/Mn/ms/sc/wi)

PRINCESS OLGA, 998/1901, M Langlands & Sons, Glasgow-reg, 19 crew, Liverpool for Aberdeen with 1,000t general cargo. Mined in the evening, sank 5 miles ENE of Scarborough (wi - in 54.17.38N, 00.15.58W; L - 5 miles NNE of) (+L/Lr/Rn/Mn/sc/wi)

 

Saturday 19 December

Atlantic off N Ireland

TRITONIA (1), 4,272/1893, Donaldson Line, Glasgow-reg, Mr G Murray, Partington for St John (NB). Mined in Tory Island field (Berlin), foundered 22 miles NNE of Tory Island, off Co Donegal (wi - in 55.38N, 08.05W) (+L/Rn/Mn/wi)

 

Wednesday 23 December

North Sea

OCANA, trawler, 260/1908, Grimsby-reg, fishing. Mined, possibly laid offshore during Scarborough raid (by Kolberg), sank 75 miles NE by E of Flamborough Head, Yorkshire; 9 lives lost, only survivor was the 2nd Engineer found unconscious on an upturned boat by another Grimsby trawler (+L/Mn/ap/fd/gy)

 

Friday 25 December

North Sea

Two British vessels (and an Admiralty trawler), mined in Scarborough field laid by cruiser Kolberg:

GEM, 461/1887, William Robertson, Glasgow, 12 crew, Mostyn for Tyne with 460t salt cake/salt-ash. Mined at 1815, broke in two and sank 3m SE by EE of Scarborough (Mn - 7m SE of Scarborough Rock; wi - in 54.15.29N, 00.15.11W); 10 crew including master killed by explosion, mate and one ordinary seaman saved by SS Alert, landed at Wisbech (+L/ap/wi)

Gallier, 4,592/1914, Brys & Gylsen Ltd, London, sailing Hartlepool for St Nazaire. Mined off Scarborough, afloat in middle of minefield with no lights showing, patrol drifters Hilda & Ernest and Eager stood by, minesweeping trawler Solon towed her into Scarborough; skippers of Hilda & Ernest and Solon awarded DSC. Sunk 2 January 1918 (+L/Mn/ap/ms)

 

Saturday 26 December

North Sea

LINARIA, 3,081/1911, Stag Line, North Shields-reg, 28 crew, London for Tyne in ballast. Mined in Scarborough field (Kolberg), shortly sank 2.5 miles NNE of Filey, S of Scarborough (wi - in 54.15N, 00.15.30W); crew took to the boats, picked up by Swedish SS Victoria, landed at Sunderland (+L/Lr/Mn/ap/wi)

 

Monday 28 December

Central Atlantic

HEMISPHERE, 3,486/1897, Hemisphere SS Co, Liverpool-reg, Mr Richard Jones, Hull for Buenos Aires/Rosario with coal. Captured by auxiliary cruiser Kronprinz Wilhelm 400 miles NE by E true of Pernambuco (L/kp - in 04.20S, 29.25W), both vessels headed east away from shipping lanes until early morning on 30th to allow transfer of coal, brought alongside raider, stores and useful fittings taken on board, raider joined by German tender SS Holger. Hemisphere scuttled 7/1/15 (L - on 8th, in 01.26S, 24.17W); crew had to sign declaration not to take any further part in the war, transferred to Holger, then raider steamed off (+L/Mn/kp)

 

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