The above image would appear to be the ship when she was in commission as HMS Bulawayo.
Previous name: Westerwald Nordmark
Subsequent name: HMS Bulawayo
Pennant No: A121
Laid down: 14 November 1936
Builder: Schichau, Elbing
Launched: 5 October 1937
Into Service: 9 May 1945
Out of service: 1947 to Royal Navy
Items of historic interest involving this ship: -
As a German Naval Auxiliary
16 January 1939 commissioned into the German Navy. Her Commanding Officer was KKpt R. Peter Grau
July 1939 deployed with the Gneisenau off the island of Maderia
22 August 1939 deployed from Germany to support the German Pocket Battleship Deutschland in the North Atlantic.
25 October 1939 having changed her name to Nordmark she refuelled Deutschland
17 November 1939 reported to the German Consulate at Trondheim, Norway that she had been stopped by the Norwegian Navy torpedo boat off Hidrifi Island. The ship was sailing in Norwegian territorial waters and acting as a merchant vessel on the orders from the German High Command
18 November 1939 allowed to proceed after stating she was a German Government vessel with weapons for self defence only
20 November 1939 taken under escort of German Naval vessels to transit the Great Belt territorial waters as the Danish Government had blocked passage between 54.47N & 54.51N
22 November 1939 entered Swinemunde thence after seven days to Danzig shipyards
12 March 1940 entered Swinemunde with the German Cruiser Emden and the Battleship Lutzow - became icebound
11 April 1940 in the Artic Ocean refuelled the German battleships Gneisenau and Scharnhorst
13 May 1940 off Jan Mayen Island refuelled the commercial raider 'Widder' during the laters break out into the North Atlantic. Nordmark had suffered damage to her bow and stern from ice.
27 July 1940 damaged during an air raid near the Jutland coast.
12 September 1940 until 21 May, 1941 supplied the Admiral Scheer
23 October 1940 sailed Gdynia
7 February 1941 refuelled the raider Kormoran off the Cape Verde Islands while disguised as an American ship Dixie
14 March 1941 Able Seaman Arthur Herbert Freeman a British merchant seaman and a prisoner held on the ship and originally captured on the ss Afric Star shot dead by German guards during a fire and what they (the Germans) perceived as an attempt to take over the ship . He is buried at VILLENAVE D'ORNON (ST. BRICE) COMMUNAL CEMETERY, Bordeaux, France
Courtesy and © of The War Graves Photographic Project
14 April 1941 while purporting to be an American tanker Prairie spotted by an seaplane from HMS Alcantara in the South Atlantic Ocean - challenged, accepted as genuine and allowed to continue on her voyage. Later it was found she was not the American ship named Prairie.
16 April 1941 RASed with an Italian submarine Archimede in the South Atlantic Ocean
17 April 1941 RASed with another Italian submarine Guglielmotti in the South Atlantic Ocean
17 April 1941 RASed with a third Italian submarine Ferraris in the South Atlantic Ocean
22 April 1941 RASed with a fourth Italian submarine Perla in the South Atlantic Ocean
2 May 1941 RASed with German submarines U105, U106 and U107
14 May 1941 while returning to Germany from the South Atlantic one of her British prisoners died - Chief Engineer Officer Robert Scott Carruthers of the ss Craftsman who had been wounded when his ship was attacked and sunk by the German commercial raider 'Kormoran' on the 9 April 1941.
Chief Engineer Officer Robert S Carruthers
Mr Carruthers was buried at sea with full military honours and is remembered with pride on the Tower Hill Memorial
19 May 1941 while returning to Germany her passage was via the English Channel under escort of ships of the German Navy and Airforce with no attack from British forces
20 May 1941 injured prisoners from ss Craftsman (including the ships Master who had been blinded) were discharged at Cuxhaven. Berthed later at Hamburg.
March 1942 to April 1945 Operations in Norway
As the German supply ship Nordmark
9 May 1945 captured by British forces at Copenhagen
4 June 1945 due to shortage of tankers the Admiralty directed that she was to be sailed to Rosyth as soon as possible with minimal German crew. Her RN crew was to be provided from HMS DIADEM and the Polish Ship ORBI. If this was not possible she was to sail with her German crew but under a guard from HMS DIADEM and the ORBI - source Admiralty War Diary of this date page 1051
8 June 1945 arrived Rosyth escorted by HMS DIADEM and the Polish Ship ORBI - source Admiralty Wat Diary of this date page 66.
25 June 1945 arrived at Palmers, Hebburn on Tyne.
As a British Naval Auxiliary
January 1946 renamed Northmark and considered for RFA Service
11 January 1946 Captain John Smith RD RNR appointed as Commanding Officer
4 May 1946 Stoker 1st Class Edward Walker D/KX 153047 discharged dead. He is buried in Milford Haven Cemetery in Section A grave 148
Courtesy and © of The War Graves Photographic Project
12 June 1947 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour
July 1947 on completion of refit was commissioned as HMS Bulawayo
30 June 1947 Captain Kenneth A Short DSO Royal Navy appointed as Commanding Officer
29 September 1947 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour
13 January 1948 the Times Newspaper reported -
18 February 1948 sailed Sheerness to Point-a-Pierre, Trinidad arriving on 3 March 1948 to load.
6 March 1948 sailed Trinidad to Sheerness. A total of four of these round trips were made arriving at Sheerness on 29 June 1948 at the end of the last trip
20 March 1948 Leading Signalman Ernest D Cook JX 142225 discharged dead
18 June 1948 RASed with HMS VANGUARD
24 July 1948 announced that the Home Fleet's Autumn Cruise to the West Indies and to South Africa. Among the ships taking part were to be HMS's DUKE OF YORK (Flagshire of Vice Admiral Sir Rhoderick R McGrigor KCB), THESEUS, VENGEANCE, DIADEM, SOLEBAY, BULAWAYO and RFA FORT BEAUHARNOIS
13 September 1948 off Portland undertook a practice RAS with HMS JUTLAND
23 September 1948 entered Portland Harbour
14 October 1948 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour
1 January 1949 Commissioned Boatswain William Howard Leaman Royal Navy appointed an Ordinary Member of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the New Years Honours List of this day
14 January 1949 at Portsmouth Dockyard moved berths from No: 3 Basin to No: 15 dry dock
2 February 1949 at Portsmouth Dockyard moved berths from No: 15 dry dock to No: 3 Basin
24 March 1949 before Portsmouth Magistrates' Court Officers Cook Peter Burdett from HMS Bulawayo pleaded guilty to stealing a pair of trousers and was fined £5
6 April 1949 at Portsmouth Dockyard a fire was discovered in the cable bringing shore power to the ship. The Dockyard Fire Service was called and extinguished the blaze
August 1949 Captain Donald Fuller Royal Navy appointed as Commanding Officer
19 August 1949 the ships company dance was held at the Embassy Ballroom, Fawcett Road, Portsmouth
26 September 1949 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour
29 September 1949 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour
30 September 1949 the Portsmouth Evening News newspaper reported: -
11 October 1949 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour
HMS Bulawayo RASing with a King George V Class Battleship
MOD copyright acknowledged
13 October 1949 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour
17 October 1949 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour
24 October 1949 sailed Devonport to Gibraltar arriving on 29 October.
31 October 1949 sailed Gibraltar to Malta GC
10 November 1949 berthed at Malta
22 November 1949 off Malta RASed with HMS GRAVELINES (trough method) - training RAS - only 47 tons of FFO transferred
23 November 1949 off Malta RASed with HMS GRAVELINES (trough method) - training RAS - only 24 tons of FFO transferred
29 November 1949 sailed Malta for alongside replenshment with HMS St AUSTELL BAY
27 March 1950 sailed Gibraltar to Sheerness
20 April 1950 Captain H Murray-Clark, Royal Navy was appointed as Commanding Officer
October 1950 into reserve at the Gare Loch Scotland and used as Headquarters Ship, Reserve Fleet, Clyde Division
21 January 1952 at the Gare Loch with HMS ZEEBRUGGE berthed alongside
30 January 1952 at the Gare Loch with HMS ZEEBRUGGE berthed alongside
4 October 1955 arrived for breaking up at Dalmuir, Scotland.