Official Number:                       117378             

Builder:                                  Scott & Co, Greenock

Launched:                              12 February 1903

Pennant No:                           Y4 38

Into Service:                           23 July 1915

Out of service:                        16 March 1917

Fate:                                     16 March 1917 torpedoed and sunk


Items of historic interest involving this ship: -


Background Data:  One of an additional group of ships requisitioned by the Admiralty during WW1 to augment the ships of the RFA

Career Data:

12 February 1903 launched by Scott & Co., Greenock as Yard Nr: 376 named NARRAGANSETT for Anglo American Oil Ltd (J Hamilton, Manager), London

1903 completed


6 August 1903 berthed at New York

28 August 1903  berthed at Purfleet from New York

3 September 1903 sailed Purfleet arriving off Coney Island on 17 September 1903. The ship suffered defects in its engines during a storm off the New York Coast. The storm, which was described locally as the worst to have hit the coast since 1889, caused considerable damage ashore with heavy loss of life

17 November 1903 berthed at Purfleet from New York

27 November 1903 at 49.00N 37.00W

22 March 1904 arrived at Gravesend from New York

10 April 1904 arrived at New York from London

3 June 1904 arrived at Gravesend from New York

8 June 1904 sailed Gravesend for New York

31 August 1904 sailed Gravesend for New York

17 October 1904 sailed New York for London

15 December 1904 arrived at Gravesend from New York

31 July 1906 Fireman John McGee discharged dead from natural causes

5 January 1907 at 49.04N 17.20W Fireman John Barr discharged dead - found missing

23 January 1907 berthed at New York from London

13 February 1907 passed Dover while on passage from New York to London

14 March 1907 arrived at New York from London

2 April 1907 cleared New York for London

5 April 1907 passed the Lizard while on passage from New York to London

27 April 1907 passed Dunnet Head

12 March 1909 was converted for oil fuel burning

20 July 1910 sailed the River Tyne for New York

10 October 1912 at Bayonne, New Jersey following an explosion on the English oil steamer Dunholme flaming oil fuel hit other ships including the Narragansett which was berthed in the harbour and which was damaged by fire

26 March 1913 arrived London from New York

16 April 1913 at Long Island College Hospital, Brooklyn - Fireman John White discharged dead from natural causes

24 April 1913 at Long Island College Hospital, Brooklyn - Able Seaman William Douglas discharged dead from natural causes

16 October 1913 berthed at Gravesend from New York with 29 Eastern European passengers who had been rescued at sea from the ss Volturno. The ss Volturno was on passage from Rotterdam to New York with 657 passengers and crew when, on 9 October 1913 in the North Atlantic in a gale, she had caught fire. Approximately 130 of the passengers, mainly women and children died. Eleven ships answered a SOS call and ten ships, including the NARRAGANSETT rescused 521 souls. The NARRAGANSETT sprayed oil on the seas to calm the surface of the waters. The following twelve members of the NARRAGANSETT's crew were awarded the Sea Gallantry Medal in Silver

 SGM Silver 2


                           Chief Officer John Bruce Johnson                            

2nd Officer John Edward Noton

Bosun William E Clements

AB Frederick Winterfield

AB Maxime Jollivet

AB Frank Stagg

AB Frank Thompson

AB William Wilson

AB Alfred Civill

AB Frederick Charles Percival Gibson

Apprentice Trevelyan Mackenzie

Apprentice Cyril Leslie Cooper


2 March 1914 grounded on a mud bank at New York - suffered no apparent damage

17 May 1914 at the River Thames Seaman William Kingsley discharged dead - found drowned

WW1 requisitioned by the Admiralty for service as an oiler, name unchanged

21 August 1914 off New York HMS SUFFOLK attempted to stop the NARRAGANSETT without any result, fired a blank round, still did not stop. Fired a 6" shell across her bows. A boarding party confirmed she was genuine and allowed her to proceed

7 May 1915 when sailing to provide assistance to the Lusitania which had been torpedoed in the Atlantic south of Ireland was the subject of a torpedo attack, believed by the German submarine U-20. The torpedo missed

19 May 1915 berthed at New York

22 October 1915 arrived New York from London

3 April 1916 while on passage from New York in collision with the South Goodwin Lightship suffering damage to her starboard quarter

28 June 1916 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard

16 March 1917 was torpedoed and sunk off the Scilly Isles by the German submarine U-44 while on passage from New York to London with a cargo of lube oil with the loss of 46 of her crew, including her Master



When built she was the largest tanker in the world and also the largest ship ever built on the lower reaches of the River Clyde



Copyright © 2008 – 2017 Christopher J White

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