Isleford_ship

 
Subsequent name:               

Official Number:                                    133101

Class:                                                    Armament Stores Carrier

Pennant No:                           

Laid down:
Builder:                                                   Ardrossan Drydock & Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Ardrossan
Launched:                                              6 December 1912
Into Service:                                           26 March 1913
Out of service:                                        25 January 1942

Fate:                                                      Stranded and sunk

Items of historic interest involving this ship: -

Background Data:  One of a group of nine coasters which were not normally classed as RFA’s although some, on making deep sea passages, had a proportion of RFA Officers among their complement. They are included here as the ancestors of the more modern ammunition ships

6 December 1912 launched by Ardrossan Drydock & Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Ardrossan as Yard Nr: 241 named ISLEFORD for Messrs Mann, MacNeil & Co, Glasgow

20 February 1913 to 21 February 1913 ran exhaustive trials

26 February 1913 the Times newspaper reported that -

Times Press Cutting 1913 Isleford

28 February 1913 completed for her owners’ coasting trade

 Isleford press cutting

Press report of Dover Express & East Kent News of 14 March 1913

26 March 1913 purchased by the Admiralty for service as an Armaments Stores Carrier, name unchanged

June 1913 the ships Master was Captain W Soper

14 June 1913 sailed Woolwich for Portsmouth

15 June 1913 off Folkstone Able Seaman Caleb Edgecombe Evans discharged dead - natural causes - heart disease. The ship diverted to and berthed at Folkstone

17 June 1913 an inquest touching on the death of Able Seaman Caleb Edgecombe Evans was held at Folkstone Town Hall by the Borough Coroner Mr W G Haines and jury

18 June 1913 the body of Able Seaman Caleb Edgecombe Evans was removed in an elm coffin to NAV Upnor for conveyance to Southampton for burial

19 June 1913 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour in No: 5 basin

25 August 1913 at Portsmouth Harbour moved to No: 5 basin

19 January 1914 at Portsmouth Dockyard moved out of No: 3 basin

26 June 1914 berthed at Portsmouth Dockyard in No: 3 basin

1918 Captain C Harrison was Master

24 March 1919 alongside RFA RUTHENIA at Longhope, Scapa Flow

29 April 1920 sailed Granton to Portsmouth

1922 Captain W G Williams appointed as Master

21 March 1922 arrived at Devonport from Woolwich

20 October 1922 sailed Plymouth

16 March 1923 arrived at Devonport

19 March 1923 sailed Devonport for Portsmouth

16 April 1923 arrived at Devonport from Woolwich

14 July 1923 Mr J A Le Cointer appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

15 July 1924 berthed at Priddy's Hard along with NAV's UPNOR and BISON

15 December 1924 arrived at Devonport from Portsmouth

23 July 1925 arrived at Devonport from Portsmouth

14 October 1925 berthed at Priddy's Hard along with NAV UPNOR

29 March 1926 arrived at Plymouth

6 August 1926 sailed Devonport for Portsmouth

21 October 1926 berthed in the Tidal Basin, Portsmouth Harbour

30 December 1926 berthed at alongside at the Naval Armanents Depot, Priddy's Hard. Gosport

26 January 1927 arrived at Portsmouth from Devonport

27 January 1927 berthed on Priddy's Hard, Portsmouth Dockyard

15 February 1927 arrived at Grangemouth from Crombie in ballast

17 February 1927 sailed Grangemouth to Crombie with Government stores

28 March 1927 sailed Grangemouth to Crombie with a cargo of sinkers

14 April 1927 berthed in the Tidal Basin, Portsmouth Harbour

10 May 1927 sailed Grangemouth for Crombie with a cargo of sinkers

24 May 1927 berthed at the Naval Armanents Depot, Priddy's Hard, Gosport

2 August 1927 alongside at the Naval Armanents Depot, Priddy's Hard, Gosport

21 September 1927 sailed Devonport for Portsmouth

21 October 1927 sailed Devonport for Portsmouth

24 May 1928 arrived at Devonport from Portsmouth

1929 re-engined with a steam triple expansion engine by Ferguson & Co,

31 December 1929 Captain William E Truscott appointed as Master

1 January 1931 detailed in a published list of RFA's in Portsmouth Harbour together with RFA KIMMEROL, RFA EBONOL, RFA PETRONEL, RFA ORANGELEAF (1), RFA WAR AFRIDI, RFA PRESTOL, RFA BRITISH LANTERN, RFA LIMOL, RFA NORA and NAV UPNOR

11 March 1931 berthed at the Naval Armanents Depot, Priddy's Hard, Portsmouth Harbour together with NAV BISON

16 March 1931 berthed at the Naval Armanents Depot, Priddy's Hard, Portsmouth Harbour together with NAV UPNOR

3 April 1931 sailed Devonport for Portsmouth

27 June 1931 berthed at Pitch House Jetty, Portsmouth Harbour

2 October 1931 alongside at the Naval Armanents Depot, Priddy's Hard

29 November 1931 arrived at Devonport

15 June 1932 arrived at Devonport from Portsmouth

13 October 1932 arrived at Devonport

28 November 1932 berthed at Old Harbour, Hull after arriving from Newcastle

8 December 1932 berthed at the Naval Armanents Depot, Priddy's Hard, Gosport

13 December 1932 ran aground at Torcross Sands, Devon in foggy weather. Refloated with the assistance of an Admiralty tug from Plymouth

30 December 1932 alongside at the Naval Armanents Depot, Priddy's Hard, Gosport

16 January 1933 berthed at the Naval Armanents Depot, Priddy's Hard, Gosport

26 January 1933 berthed at the Naval Armanents Depot, Priddy's Hard, Gosport

3 March 1933 on No: 5 Buoy, Portsmouth Harbour

4 March 1933 berthed at the Naval Armanents Depot, Priddy's Hard, Gosport

1 April 1933 berthed at the Naval Armanents Depot, Priddy's Hard, Gosport

5 May 1933 in No 1 Basin, Portsmouth Dockyard

6 June 1933 in No: 5 Dock, Portsmouth Harbour

23 June 1933 berthed in No 1 Basin, Portsmouth Dockyard

24 June 1933 moved from No 1 Basin, Portsmouth Dockyard to alongside at the Naval Armanents Depot, Priddy's Hard, Gosport

30 June 1933 sailed Priddy's Hard, Gosport

16 August 1933 Captain Sydney C Moyse appointed as Master

28 August 1933 arrived at Priddy's Hard, Gosport

2 September 1935 berthed at Woolwich

23 September 1933 berthed at Priddy's Hard with NAV UPNOR

5 June 1937 Captain A H Paice appointed as Master

20 January 1938 sailed Devonport for Portsmouth

21 November 1938 arrived at the River Tyne

July 1939 Captain E G L Geary appointed as Master

25 January 1942 lost near Wick when she ran aground in snow and heavy weather, striking rocks and sinking while on passage from Lyness to Invergordon fourteen of the crew and one DEMS gunner were killed - their details appear in the Roll of Honour for that year. Gunner John Frederick Clark is remembered with pride on the Chatham Naval Memorial, 2nd Engineer Officer William A Cleghorn, AB Cyril S Cook, Boy Sidney G Davis, Captain David A K Foalle, Chief Engineer Officer Horace D Gumbrell, Chief Officer William A Hall, AB Victor D Kingdom, Fireman Harry J Lawrence, OS Roy C J McGrane, Fireman Frank Rawlins, Boy Harry Rowe, OS George W Smith, and AB William G Witham are remembered with pride on the Tower Hill Memorial (Panel 130).

Isleford CWGC

Isleford 1 CWGC

Images above from the Tower Hill Memorial

Fireman and Trimmer Hector MacNichol is remembered in Perth (Wellshill) Cemetery, in Section K,  Jeanfield Div, , Grave 211

McNicol

Courtesy and © of The War Graves Photographic Project

 Capt Foalle Isleford

Captain David A K Foalle who was in command at
the time of the vessels sinking
 

24 November 1953 the wreck was located at 58 26 29.5N, 003 03 47.5W, or on a bearing of 074 degrees and 880 metres from the Wick south pier light

13 December 1991 the area was determined as foul ground due to the presence of unexploded ordnance in the area bounded by positions: [a] 58 26 29.5N, 003 04 05.5W [b] 58 26 29.5N, 003 03 43W [c] 58 26 23.5N, 003 03 42.5W [d] 58 26 23.5N, 003 03 57.5W.

9 July 1992. Clearance operations are being carried out by a Royal Naval clearance diving unit commencing on 30 June 1992. It was expected to last 2 weeks

5 August 1992. Clearance operations were conducted between 30 June 1992 and 4 July 1992, during which a number of 4.7" cartridge cases, .303 rounds, .50 calibre ammunition and a depth charge were removed. A 1000lb solid shot projectile was located but left in situ. The Admiralty recommend that the legend remain unchanged on charts because further ordnance may be uncovered in the future

 

Isleford_1

 

4 September 2011 a memorial was erected at Wick Harbour by the Merchant Navy Association - the RFA was represented by Captain Duncan Lamb RFA

16 April 2012 the wreck of NAV Isleford has been made a designated wreck under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986 (Designation of Vessels and Controlled Sites) Order 2012

 

Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2017 Christopher J White

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