ARGO_44

With thanks to Clyde Built Ships

argo0101

RFA Argo in 1934

Lothbury

Lothbury 1

Lothbury as a Q ship, dazzle painted, prior to entering RFA Service as RFA Argo

 


Subsequent name:                Lothbury  Sarusan Stead

Official Number:                      124142                                                           

Class:                                     Coastal Stores Carrier /Ammunition Hulk

Pennant No:                            N 13 / N 08

Laid down:
Builder:                                   John Shearer & Sons, Kelvinhaugh

Launched:                               5 October 1906

Into Service:                           16 April 1919
Out of service:                        1921
Fate:                                        Broken up

 

Items of historic interest involving this ship: -

 

Background Data:

 

This small stores carrier was initially chartered by the Admiralty for service as a Q-ship during WW1 and while serving as such under the names of LOTHBURY, SARUSAN and STEAD, she was purchased by the Admiralty for service as a stores carrier. She finally ended her days as a munitions hulk and was replaced by RFA ROBERT DUNDAS

 

5 October 1906 launched by John Shearer &  Sons  Ltd, Kelvinhaugh as Yard Nr: 44 named ARGO for J. & P. Hutchinson, Glasgow

25 October 1906 completed and served on her Owners’ French trade

14 November 1906 picked up the crew of of the ss Ross which had run aground near North Bishops and landed them at Dublin

9 September 1907 entered Eastham Docks on the Manchester Ship Canal

10 November 1908 berthed at Salford Dock, Manchester

4 January 1909 arrived at Glasgow from Bordeaux

3 March 1909 arrived at Bristol from Bordeaux

9 October 1909 arrived at Glasgow from Nantes

3 June 1910 when on passage from Bristol to Swansea grounded in the Avon. Refloated

8 September 1910 arrived at Bristol from Bordeaux sailing for Swansea later the same day

18 March 1911 entered Eastham Docks on the Manchester Ship Canal from Bordeaux

22 December 1911 at Haverfordwest Hospital Ship's Cook Henry James discharged dead - fractured skull

28 January 1913 sailed Manchester for Bordeaux

26 November 1914 at 41.02N 9.04W stopped and checked by the Armed Merchant Cruiser HMS CARMANIA and allowed to proceed

11 February 1915 at Bordeaux. Mate Patrick Fox discharged ashore injured

2 March 1915 at Bristol

8 March 1915 at Garston

22 April 1915 at Glasgow

21 May 1915 at Garston

19 June 1915 at Garston

18 July 1915 at Garston

22 January 1917 while on passage from Norway to England, unarmed, was attacked by an enemy submarine off Fair Isle - the U Boat open fire with a gun. Argo was under fire for 42 minutes and was hit and badly damaged. The Argo escaped out of range with an increase in speed. The ships Master - Captain Walter Jefferson - was, in 1919, awarded the Distinguished Service Cross  (DSC)

Argo Hull Daily Mail 21 March 1919

Press cutting from the Hull Daily Mail

9 June 1917 chartered by the Admiralty for service as a Q-ship renamed Lothbury

23 July 1917 at Pembroke Dock alongside Carr Jetty in Dockyard Hands fitting out for 'Special Service' - i.e. as a 'Q' ship, Lieutenant S Wilkinson DSC RNR in command. Engineer Lieutenant J A King RNR as Chief Engineer

 

Lothbury 2

"Q ship" Lothbury with deck house roof raised and sides collapsed ready to fire

Source IWM

5 August 1917 sailed Pembroke Dock on trials. Anchored off Milford Haven. Returned to Pembroke Dock

21 August 1917 at Pembroke Dock  - Fireman J Sullivan MMR discharged to Carmarthen Jail for 42 days with hard labour

4 September 1917 while on Special Service defect in the ships engines became apparent. Anchored off Hollyhead Harbour to effect repairs

11 September 1917 sailed Pembroke Dock on Special Service. Anchored off Milford Haven. Observed sea plane in difficulties. Sea plane landed and was taken in tow to Milford Haven 

21 September 1917 on Special Service. Anchored off Fishguard Harbour. Underway to off Milford Haven - anchored. Then underway to Pembroke Dock - made fast to 'A' Buoy. Coaling lighter made fast to ship.

19 December 1917 purchased by the Admiralty

27 December 1917 between the Isle of Man and Liverpool at 4°36'N-04°08'W engaged UC75

1 September 1918 at Leith Docks

14 September 1918 sailed Leith to anchor at Granton Roads

22 September 1918 sailed Granton Roads to anchor at Hull Roads arriving the next day

24 September 1918 sailed Hull Roads to Granton Roads arriving 26 September 1918

30 September 1918 sailed Granton Roads to Immingham arriving on 2 October 1918

11 February 1919 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

26 March 1919 the Hull Daily Mail published a readers letter -

Hull Daily Mail 26 Mar 1919

 

10 April 1919 Q-ship service ended and name reverted to Argo

16 April 1919 entered RFA service as a Coastal Stores Carrier name unchanged

21 July 1919 Stoker George R Graham discharged dead - buried in Portsmouth (Kingston) Cemetery in grave Paynes 24.14

4 October 1919 sailed Dundee for Rosyth

12 November 1919 berthed at Burntisland from Hull

26 November 1919 sailed Immingham with a cargo of Government stores

23 December 1919 berthed at Albert Dock, Hull

12 February 1920 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing west bound

26 May 1920 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

18 July 1920 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

30 July 1920 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

7 August 1920 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

13 October 1920 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

25 November 1920 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

26 December 1920 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

14 January 1921 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

18 January 1921 sailed Portsmouth Harbour

20 January 1921 berthed at Devonport Dockyard

26 June 1921 sailed Devonport Dockyard for Portland

9 July 1921 sailed Portsmouth Harbour

24 August 1921 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

6 September 1921 sailed Portsmouth Harbour

22 September 1921 sailed Portland for Plymouth

30 September 1921 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

8 October 1921 sailed Portsmouth Harbour

5 November 1921 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

17 November 1921 sailed Portsmouth Harbour

20 November 1921 arrived at London

25 December 1921 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

1921 RFA service ended

20 January 1922 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

5 March 1922 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

13 March 1922 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

21 April 1922 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

2 May 1922 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

27 May 1922 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

1 June 1922 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

22 June 1922 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

25 June 1922 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

15 August 1922 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

18 September 1922 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

27 October 1922 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

2 November 1922 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

19 November 1922 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

22 November 1922 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

24 December 1922 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

4 January 1923 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

31 January 1923 at the Hull Incorporated CHamber of Commerce and Shipping Mr Oswald Sanderson (Chairman of the Humber District Committee of the Shipping Federation) accompanied by his Hull ship owning colleagues, presented the following medals for Meritorious Service rendered during the war: -

Gold Medal and Diploma:
Captain Walter Jefferson DSC - ss Argo
 
Silver Medals and Diplomas:
Chief Officer A H Smith - ss Argo
Chief Engineer Officer James Cole - ss Argo
Able Seaman Ernest Garrett - ss Argo
Fireman J W Bowes - ss Argo
 
The details of their actions on 22 January 1917 resulting in these awards are set out under that date above
 
ARGO Hull Daily Mail 4 Feb 1919

Press cutting from the Hull Daily Mail

29 April 1923 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

7 May 1923 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

20 May 1923 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

23 May 1923 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

29 June 1923 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

27 July 1923 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

8 August 1923 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

21 August 1923 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour and sailed from there the next day to sea

31 August 1923 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

6 September 1923 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

13 September 1923 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

18 September 1923 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

22 September 1923 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

1 November 1923 sailed Portsmouth Harbour returning later the same day

3 November 1923 sailed Portsmouth Harbour

30 January 1924 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

11 February 1924 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

15 March 1924 sailed Devonport for Chatham

5 April 1924 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

11 April 1924 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

15 April 1924 arrived at Devonport

4 May 1924 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

9 May 1924 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

13 June 1924 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

21 June 1924 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

13 July 1924 berthed at at the Round Tower, Portmouth Harbour

18 July 1924 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

2 August 1924 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

7 November 1924 arrived Plymouth

14 November 1924 sailed Portsmouth Harbour for Portland

5 December 1925 berthed at Portmouth Harbour and then sailed to sea later the same day

17 March 1926 berthed on the Sheer Jetty, Portsmouth Dockyard

17 April 1926 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

9 May 1926 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

14 May 1926 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

1926 to 1933 Captain E Smith appointed as Master

13 June 1926 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

21 June 1926 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

10 July 1926 in Dock 3 at Portsmouth Harbour

18 August 1926 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

30 August 1926 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

8 September 1926 berthed at Portsmour Harbour

13 September 1926 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

22 October 1926 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

3 November 1926 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

16 November 1926 berthed at Sheer Jetty, Portsmouth Harbour

23 November 1926 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

5 December 1926 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

15 December 1926 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

3 February 1927 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

8 May 1927 berthed in the Tidal Basin at Portsmouth Dockyard

2 August 1927 berthed on the Sheer Jetty, Portsmouth Dockyard

24 March 1928 sailed from Plymouth

19 June 1928 arrived at Plymouth

9 November 1927 berthed at Devonport

18 September 1928 sailed Devonport

26 February 1929 sailed Devonport for Portsmouth but returned later due to very heavy weather

6 August 1929 berthed in the Tidal Basin, Portsmouth Harbour

31 December 1929 at Portsmouth berthed on Sheer Jetty

15 January 1930 sailed Plymouth for Pembroke Dock

2 March 1930 arrived at Plymouth

5 July 1930 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing west

30 October 1930 arrived at Plymouth from Portsmouth

20 February 1931 berthed at the South Yard of Devonport Dockyard when an accident occured killing one workman and injuring another - reported in the Western Morning News the next day -

 West Morn News ARGO 21 Feb 1931

Press cutting from the Western Morning News of 21 February 1931

17 May 1931 berthed at Plymouth from Portsmouth

14 June 1931 berthed at Plymouth from Chatham

27 June 1931 in No: 1 Dry dock at Portsmouth Harbour

18 July 1931 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

25 July 1931 berthed at Devonport from Portsmouth and Chatham

13 December 1931 arrived at Plymouth

20 December 1931 sailed Plymouth for Portsmouth

3 October 1932 sailed Devonport for Portsmouth

4 December 1932 arrived at Plymouth from Chatham

31 December 1932 berthed on Sheer Jetty, Portsmouth

4 April 1933 arrived at Plymouth

21 May 1933 sailed Plymouth for Portsmouth

1 February 1934 berthed at Devonport

1 March 1934 berthed at Devonport

1 May 1934 grounded on Copt Rocks east of Folkstone in dense fog. Tugs from Dover and Folkstone went to her aid but she managed to refloat herself without assistance before putting into Dover apparently undamaged

8 January 1935 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour to Bedenham RNAD

13 January 1935 sailed from Bedenham RNAD to Portsmouth Harbour

26 November 1935 berthed at Devonport

30 January 1936 berthed at Devonport

20 February 1936 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour to Bedenham RNAD

25 February 1936 sailed from Bedenham RNAD to Portsmouth Harbour

22 March 1936 berthed at Devonport from Portsmouth

14 April 1936 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour to Bedenham RNAD

16 April 1936 sailed from Bedenham RNAD to Portsmouth Harbour

3 November 1936 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour to Bedenham RNAD

6 November 1936 sailed from Bedenham RNAD to Portsmouth Harbour

13 March 1937 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour to Bedenham RNAD

17 March 1937 sailed from Bedenham RNAD to Portsmouth Harbour

3 July 1937 the Portsmouth Evevning News reported

Portsmouth Evening News 3 7 1937 ARGO

 

16 July 1937 William Uphill Gibbs, 1st Class Master (Yard Craft), RFA Argo, Portsmouth Dockyard awarded the Imperial Service Medal

21 July 1937 at Devonport berthed alongside HMS DORSETSHIRE delivering Naval Stores

22 July 1937 at Devonport cast off from HMS DORSETSHIRE

12 October 1938  arrived Rosyth where she was reduced to a hulk for the temporary storage of munitions. Afterwards she was towed to the Medway and was moored there

1947 hulked at RN Armaments Depot at Fort William and placed on the Disposal List

September 1949 sold to BISCO for scrap and broken up at Troon

 

 

Ships of the same name

 

 

Argo. 6th Rate of 28 guns and 601 bm built by Bird of Rotherhithe, launched on the 20 July 1758.  The ship was broken up at Portsmouth 1776.

 

Argo. A Schooner of 10 guns purchased in June 1780. Sold in April 1783.

 

Argo. A 5th Rate of 892 bm and 44 guns built by Baker at Howden Dock, launched on the 7 June 1781.  Sold out of service on the 11 January 1816.

Battle Honours for this Vessel: MINORCA 1798.

 

Argo. A 5th  Rate built by Chatham Dockyard on the 14 November 1799 and launched as ‘Active’, she was 150 x 41 ft, 1.055 bm with 38 guns, she was reduced to harbour service in February 1826.  The ship was renamed Argo on the 15 November 1833. And broken up at Plymouth in October 1860.

Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2017 Christopher J White

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