RFA Burma

RFA Burma

 

 

 

RFA BURMA


Previous name:
Subsequent name:

Official Number:                               132547

Class:                                             FIRST 2000t CLASS Harbour Tanker

Pennant No:                                    N 96 / X 14

Laid down:
Builder:                                           Greenock & Grangemouth Dockyard Co., Greenock
Launched:                                       3 March 1911
Into Service:                                    30 June 1911 
Out of service:                                 28 June 1935
Fate:                                              Sold to P & W McLellan, Bo'ness for breaking up

 

Items of historic interest involving this ship: -

 

Background Data:   The 5 ships in this Class, although not sister ships, were similar and were all Admiralty-designed around 1908. RFA MIXOL and RFA THERMOL were both unsatisfactory as far as their stability went, and 200 tons of permanent ballast was always carried in numbers 1 and 3 tanks, which were never pumped out. RFA TREFOIL and RFA TURMOIL(1) were experimental ships which were mechanically unsatisfactory and they were little used

 

23 May 1910 contract cost of £40,107 10sh was accepted. (Hansard)

3 March 1911  launched by Greenock and Grangemouth Dockyard Co Ltd, Greenock as Yard Nr  326 named BURMA.The Lady Sponsor was Miss Ruby Yates, the daughter of the Senior Naval Constructor of the Admiralty resident in Clyde District

30 June 1911 completed at a cost of £43,854 as the first tanker ever to be constructed to the order of the Admiralty and was designed for oiling destroyers at sea whilst towing or being  towed by battleships and cruisers or else from alongside when in harbour

August and September 1911 carried out oiling at sea trials at Portland with the torpedo boat destroyers HMS MOHAWK when 117 tons were transferred, with HMS SWIFT when 270 tons were transferred, and with HMS AMAZONwhen 105 tons were transferred. CinC Home Fleet reported that “the use of tanker vessels for oiling destroyers at sea was unlikely  to be of service and that further trials were unnecessary”

April 1913 Captain George H Franklin RFA (Commander RD RNR) was Master

8 April 1914 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

8 September 1914 took on charge a Dent Deck Watch No 40897 which had been bought by the Admiralty 1897 and had been issued on charge by HMS Argonaut and HMS Mutine. Landed off charge on 25 May 1920.

10 November 1911 undertook OAS trials with the battleship HMS AGAMEMNON

24 April 1915 Lieutenant William Frost RNR appointed in command 

4 August 1915  Engineer Lieutenant William J Ford RNR appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

16 November 1915 sailed Aberdeen under escort of Admiralty trawler Xerxes. Xerxes (commanded by Lieutenant John Joseph William Whitfield RNR ) was ordered to escort the Burma clear of the area. The Burma sailed at 8.40pm, twenty minutes before the trawler, forcing the escort to catch up. With the light failing, the masthead, stern and starboard lights of the oiler were sighted and it was estimated that she was steering to the south-east. The trawler matched the course and slowly overhauled her, and when off her starboard quarter signalled by light, asking the oiler to confirm her course and speed. The tanker did not immediately reply, and the trawler, still assuming that she was heading south-east, decided to take station ahead of her. The pair were actually on a converging course, as the oiler was steering to the south -south-west. The officers of the Xerxes became confused as the pair closed, and thought that the Burma had altered course towards them. Before any action could be taken she crossed the bows of the tanker and at 9.28pm was struck on the port side amidships. She hung on the bows for some moments before falling away to sink on the starboard side of the oiler, with the loss of four men. The position was then 57.50.30N 01.59.30W. The blame for the incident was shared by both commanding officers. The Master of the Burma, Lieutenant William Frost, had not been on the bridge when the escort was closing, leaving an inexperienced third officer in command, who had failed to appreciate the dangerous situation that was developing. Lieutenant  Whitfield had been guilty of an error of judgement in attempting to take station ahead of the tanker whilst judging her course and speed 'by eye'. Both officers were reprimanded.

23 June 1916 Able Seaman Robert Duffing and Fireman Thomas William Duffield both discharged dead having been killed by a mine. They were buried at sea

5 August 1916 Mr W J Ford RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

27 September 1916 Lieutenant Charles J Cooper RNR appeared before a court martial charge with Act to the prejudice of good order and naval discipline in being improperly absent from his ship. The charge was adjudged to be proved.  He was adjudged to forfeit 3 months' seniority and to be severely reprimanded

18 January 1917 Lieutenant John C Hawick RNR appointed in command. On 31 July 1917 Lieutenant John C Hawick RNR transfered to command RFA FORTOL

HAWICK JOHN C

Lieutenant John C Hawick RNR

18 August 1917 Able Seaman J Caroll logged as deserted from the ship. He had signed on the ship on the 12 January 1917

11 October 1917 Lieutenant  David E A Jones RNR appointed in command. On 16 May 1918 Lieutenant Jones transfered to command RFA MIXOL

untitled

Lieutenant David E A Jones RNR

 

20 October 1917 was attacked by a submarine when in the Mediterranean. The torpedo missed.

12 November 1917 Stoker J Olsen logged as deserted from the ship. He had signed on the ship on the 13 July 1917

27 October 1918 Able Seaman John Craig Philip MMR 873912 discharged dead. Died at Dundee. Buried in Tayport Cemetery, Fife. He had signed on the ship on the 4 July 1917.

 

Philip_JC

Courtesy and © of The War Graves Photographic Project

 

13 November 1918  Stoker Thomas Callaghan MMR 917084 logged as deserted while en-route from the ship to HMS Eaglet at Liverpool. He was arrested on the 13 February 1919. He had signed on the ship on 26 December 1917

1 December 1918 anchored at Granton Roads with RFA DISTOL alongside to load

2 December 1918 at Granton Roads HMS's VALOROUS, TENACIOUS, SARFEDON, VIOLENT, VOYAGER and KEMPERFELT alongside refuelled

4 December 1918 at Granton Roads HMS VOYAGER came alongside to discharge her FFO

5 December 1918 sailed Granton Roads to Methil

11 December 1918 anchored at Burntisland Roads

21 December 1918 anchorded at Leith Roads

28 December 1918 Stoker R McCade fined 30 days pay,lost 30 days CG and suffered stoppage of leave for 30 days for being absent without leave for 144 hours

31 December 1918 anchored at Leith Roads with HMS MARKSMAN alongside to refuel

20 May 1919 at Rosyth alongside HMS VINDICTIVE refuelling her with 520 tons FFO

1 August 1919 Able Seaman and Signaller James Bruce logged as deserting. He had signed on on 28 June 1919

3 October 1919 Able Seaman George F Williamson MMR 882556 discharged dead - illness. Buried at Dunfermline Cemetery. He had signed on the ship on the 8 April 1917

 

Williamson_G

Courtesy and © of The War Graves Photographic Project

 

10 October 1919 at Rosyth alongside HMS CASTOR to refuel her

28 October 1919 at Rosyth alongside HMS CASTOR to refuel her

24 January 1920 sailed from Portsmouth

23 February 1920 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour sailing to sea the same day

1 March 1920 secured alongside HMS RENOWN at No 3 Basin, Portsmouth Dockyard to refuel her

3 March 1920 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour returning to Portsmouth Harbour the same day

5 March 1920 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

8 March 1920 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

16 March 1920 secured alongside HMS RENOWN at Portsmouth Dockyard to refuel her

19 March 1920 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour returning the next day

22 March 1920 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour returning the next day

30 March 1920 Able Seaman Henry Keysell MMR 759410 discharged to RN Barracks, Portsmouth for detention. He had signed on on 24 October 1919

17 April 1920 sailed Portsmouth Harbour

3 September 1920 at Copenhagen coaling party from HMS DRAGON on board

25 October 1920 at Danzig secured alongside HMS's DUNEDIN and DELHI to refuel them

26 October 1920 at Danzig working party from HMS DELHI onboard

19 January 1921 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

26 January 1921 sailed Portsmouth Harbour returning the same day

23 February 1921 sailed Portsmouth Harbour

12 May 1921 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

17 June 1921 sailed Portsmouth Harbour

1 July 1921 Captain Frederick J Sweeting RFA appointed as Master

1 and 2 July 1921 at Portsmouth Harbour alongside HMS BARHAM refuelling her. The battleship received 1,100 tons of FFO

17 July 1921 at Portsmouth Harbour alongside HMS MALAYA refuelling her

22 July 1921 sailed Portsmouth Harbour

23 July 1921 berthed Portsmouth Harbour

24 August 1921 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

29 August 1921 at Spithead alongside HMS Malaya refuelling her

30 August 1921 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour sailing the same day to Spithead

1 September 1921 at Spithead alongside HMS Barham refuelling her. The battleship received 2,000 tons of FFO

3 September 1921 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

6 September 1921 sailed Portsmouth Harbour returning the next day

22 November 1921 sailed Portsmouth Harbour

6 June 1922 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

7 June 1922 sailed Portsmouth Harbour

15 June 1922 berthed Portsmouth Harbour

16 June 1922 sailed Portsmouth Harbour

14 July 1922 sailed Portsmouth Harbour returning the next day

18 July 1922 sailed Portsmouth Harbour returning the same day

19 July 1922 sailed Portsmouth Harbour returning the next day

31 July 1922 sailed Portsmouth Harbour

2 August 1922 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

4 August 1922 sailed Portsmouth Harbour returning the next day

10 August 1922 sailed Portsmouth Harbour returning the next day

17 August 1922 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

19 August 1922 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

22 August 1922 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

28 August 1922 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour and sailed later the same day

2 September 1922 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour and sailed later the same day

7 September 1922 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

8 September 1922 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

16 April 1923 at the Naval Hospital Stonehouse Greaser James Henry Holland discharged dead from natural causes

1 October 1924 Captain W Whiteley RFA appointed as Master and Mr Clifford N Ansell RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

13 December 1924 Captain W Bushell RFA appointed as Master

14 May 1925 Chief Officer Reginald J Harland RFA appointed as Acting Master

 HARLAND REGINALD JOHN

Chief Officer Reginald J Harland RFA

21 May 1925 2nd Engineer Officer W Mackay RFA appointed as Acting Chief Engineer Officer

1926 - 1935 in reserve at Rosyth Dockyard - 

21 May 1935 offered for sale in The Times 'as lies'  by tender.

28 June 1935 sold for £3,715 to P & W McClellan Ltd for demolition at Bo’ness

August 1935 demolition commenced

13 March 1936 demolition completed

Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2014 Christopher J White and Peter Robinson

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