RFA Reliance

  

Previous name:                        Knight Companion
Subsequent name:                   HMS Reliance, Emmanuele  Accame, Orata

Official Number                        131280

                                                             
Class:                                        Stores Support Ship

Pennant No:                              D 97 / N 90 / X 09 / X 59

Laid down:
Builder:                                      C Connell & Co, Scotstoun, Glasgow
Launched:                                 11 June 1910

Into Service:                              1915
Out of service:                           17 December 1919
Fate:                                           Broken up in 1954

 

Items of historic interest involving this ship: -

 

Background Data: She was purchased from commercial owners and was initially placed under the White Ensign as a Repair Ship. Spent a large part of WW1 at Mudros and in the Mediterranean. She was converted into a Stores Support Ship when she was transferred to the RFA

 

22 June 1910 launched by C. Connell & Co Ltd, Scotstoun, Glasgow as Yard Nr: 334 named KNIGHT COMPANION for Knight Steamship Co Ltd (Greenshields, Cowie & Co Ltd, Managers) Liverpool

August 1910 completed

14 August 1910 arrived at the River Tyne from Greenock

31 August 1910 sailed the River Tyne for Talcahuano with a cargo of 11,524 tons of coal

16 January 1911 arrived at Charleston from Antofagasta

1 April 1911 sailed Norfolk for Natal

4 May 1911 sailed Natal

21 August 1911 at Samarang

31 August 1911 while under charter to the Ocean Steamship Company for a voyage back to England caught fire at Batavia - fire extinguished with some difficulty and the hold having to be flooded

29 November 1911 arrived at Philadelphia from Hull

27 January 1912 at Natal

2 February 1912 at sea Sailor & Storekeeper Ah Sang discharged dead having committed suicide by jumping overboard

29 February 1912 at Hong Kong

21 April 1912 arrived at Hong Kong

14 May 1912 at Suez from Hong Kong

24 June 1912 arrived at Calcutta from Suez

29 June 1912 sailed Calcutta

15 October 1912 sailed New Orleans to Antwerp

14 November 1912 purchased by the Admiralty for £120,000 and was converted at Devonport Dockyard into a Repair Ship and was commissioned under the White Ensign as HMS RELIANCE

August 1914 based at Portsmouth

21 January 1915 Lieutenant John R Williams RNR appointed in command as an RFA

February 1915 workshop staff from HM Dockyards at Devonport, Portsmouth, Chatham and Sheerness taken onboard as 'passengers' from the UK on three month contracts to work on HM ships at Mudros. These passengers amounted to: -

Constructive Department

Ship Fitters 2 - Joiners 2 - Smiths 4 - Hammermen 2 - Working Chargemen of Shipwrights 1 - Shipwrights 9 - Skilled Labourers 10 - Ordinary Labourers 4

Engineering Department

Working Chargemen of Fitters 1 - Fitters and Turners 30 - Working Chargemen of Boilermakers 1 - Boilermakers 8 - Bricklayers or Skilled Labourers as Bricklayers 30 - Coppersmiths 6 - Working Chargemen of Coppermiths 1 - Founders 6 - Working chargemen of Founders 1 - Patternmakers 2 - Skilled Labourers 20 - Ordinary Labourers

Electrical Department

Working Chargemen of Electrical Fitters 1 - Electrical Fitters 5 - Joiners 1 - Skilled Labourers 5 - Wireman 6 - Ordinary Labourers 2

A total of 170 dockyard staff

The dockyard staff were to be paid their dockyard rates of pay and Working Chargemen would, in addition, receive 6d a day additional pay and an afloat allowance of 1/6d a day for a 7 day week. All their accommodation and victualling would be provided free of charge.

Problems ensued when those who had been working at Mudros refused to renew their 3 months contracts and the Admiralty was unable or unwilling to bring them home. In July 1915 seventeen of the workmen refused duty and it was found that they were not subject to Naval Discipline and Naval Courts under the Merchant Shipping Act were for various reasons inappropriate. In additional a Labourer went and remain ashore for a whole day in the 'French Camp' strictly against orders  This later case was disposed of by the Senior Naval Officer (a Rear Admiral) acting as Governor of Mudros with an award of five days cells. The Rear Admiral sought advice from the Vice Admiral commanding the Eastern Mediterranean Squadron and suggested that anyone acting as above on British ships in Government employ would be considered as delaying work necessary for the Defence of the Realm. Legal advise was taken by the Admiralty

April 1915 as part of her cargo she carried a new intermediate shaft for HMS S/m E11 which had been attacking shipping in the Sea of Marmara. An engine defect required a new shaft to be machined to size in the UK and brought out to Mudros. The submarines hull was opened, the shaft fitted and the boat was made water tight again

21 April 1915 at the Dardanelles HMS USK berthed alongside

18 June 1915 and 19 June 1915 at Mudros Bay working party onboard from HMS EUROPA

EUROPA 293

 

HMS EUROPA

 

21 June 1915 and 22 June 1915 at Mudros Bay a Carpenters working party onboard from HMS EUROPA

24 June 1915 and 25 June 1915 at Mudros Bay working party onboard from HMS EUROPA

29 June 1915 at Mudros Bay gunners working party onboard from HMS EUROPA

1 July 1915 Lieutenant Williams RNR made a formal complaint to the Senior Naval Officer, Mudros that seventeen members of the crew had refused to work as they believed that the articles they had signed had expired on 30 June 1915

2 July 1915 the SNO directed that the men concerned be removed from the ship by an armed guard. Some were then detained on HMS AGAMEMNON

HMS Agamemnon

HMS AGAMEMNON

6 July 1915 at Mudros Bay carpenters working party onboard from HMS EUROPA

22 July 1915 at Mudros Bay carpenters working party onboard from HMS EUROPA

26 July 1915 at Port Mudros received one shipwright from HMS GLORY

27 July 1915 at Port Mudros a working party of one Petty Officer and eight AB's on board from HMS ALBION

28 July 1915 summonses were issued alleging that the men had combined to disobey and the refusal of duty under the Merchant Shipping Act 1894 to 1906. The Agreement was exhibited which said 'they had agreeded to serve on board the ship until 30 June or first arrival of the ship in the UK after that date or discharge of cargo consequent on arrival. At Mudros Bay carpenters working party onboard from HMS EUROPA

30 July 1915 the Court was convened onboard HMS EUROPA and held onboard HMS CORNWALLIS. It consisted of Captain Alex P Davidson Royal Navy of HMS CORNWALLIS, Captain Robert Rideout Stone, Master of ss Gibraltar, Captain John Oliver Band, Master of ss Cairngowan. Assistant Paymaster A J Doweswell Royal Navy, HMS EUROPA was nominated as Clerk of the Court. All seventeen defendants were present and pleaded NOT guilty. After hearing the full evidence for both the prosecution and the defence the Court convicted all seventeen defendents. The Court sentenced each of the defendents: -

1. Lindsay Cameron, Assistant Steward - sentenced to eight weeks imprisonment with hard labour
2. George Murray, Assistant Steward - sentenced to eight weeks imprisonment with hard labour
3. William Grant Mitchell, Assistant Steward - sentenced to eight weeks imprisonemt with hard labour
4. Robert Russell, Assistant Steward - sentenced to six weeks imprisonment with hard labour
5. George Boyce Bennett, Assistant Steward  - sentenced to eight weeks imprisonment with hard labour
6. Joseph Vassallo, Scullion - sentenced to four weeks imprisonment with hard labour
7. Carmelo Pace, Scullion - sentenced to four weeks imprisonment with hard labour
8. John Andraid, Able Seaman - sentenced to six weeks imprisonment with hard labour
9. John Strong, Able Seaman - sentenced to eight weeks imprisonment with hard labour
10. Herbert Williams, Able Seaman - sentenced to eight weeks imprisonment with hard labour
11.Thomas Lambert, Able Seaman - sentenced to eight weeks imprisonment with hard labour
12. John Nolan, Able Seaman - sentenced to eight weeks imprisonment with hard labour
13. Frank Oatt Grant, Donkeyman - sentenced to six weeks imprisonment with hard labour
14. Robert Alphonsus Wilson, Engineroom Store Keeper - sentenced to eight weeks imprisonment with hard labour
15. John Joseph Ward,  Leading Fireman, sentenced to eight weeks imprisonment with hard labour
16. Antonia Gallo, Seaman, sentenced to eight weeks imprisonment with hard labour
17. John Clark, Assistant Cook, sentenced to four weeks imprisonment with hard labour

The Court directed their sentences were to commence on 30 July 1915 but they were to be returned to one of His Majesty's Prisons in the UK to serve any remaining time of their sentence upon their arrival.

4 August 1915 the seventeen prisoners were returned to England from Mudros aboard the Transport ss Berrima which sailed this day

 Berrima

H.M.Transport ss Berrima

5 August 1915 Joiner Laurence Lee discharged dead. He is buried in Kalkara Royal Naval Cemetery, Malta

7 August 1915 at Port Mudros a coaling party of one leading seaman and eight hands from HMS ALBION onboard

18 August 1915 at Port Mudros 57 ratings sent to HMS ALBION

19 August 1915 at Port Mudros one Carpenter rating and 11 stoker ratings received onoard from HMS GLORY

HMS Glory

HMS GLORY

9 September 1915 at Mudros Bay working party onboard from HMS EUROPA

11 September 1915 at Mudros Bay working party onboard from HMS EUROPA. 6th Engineer Officer Arthur William Hall RFA, aged 22, discharged dead having died from Typhoid fever.  He was buried in East Mudros Military Cemetery on the Greek Island of Limmos in grave II N 238

HALL AW

Courtesy and © of The War Graves Photographic Project

15 September 1915 at Mudros Bay working party onboard from HMS EUROPA

21 September 1915 at Mudros a working party onboard HMS BEN-MY-CHREE to strength her guns

22 September 1915 at Mudros HMS BEN-MY-CHREE berthed alongside

24 September 1915 at Mudros a working party onboard HMS BEN-MY-CHREE to strengthen her guns

25 September 1915 at Mudros Bay working party onboard from HMS EUROPA

26 September 1915 at Mudros HMS ENDYMION berthed alongside for repairs

30 September 1915 at Mudros HMS BEN-MY-CHREE berthed alongside

HMS Ben my Chree 1915

HMS BEN-MY-CHREE

3 October 1915 at Mudros divine service held on board

4 October 1915 at Mudros Bay working party onboard from HMS EUROPA

13 October 1915 at Mudros HMS BEN-MY-CHREE cast off

28 October 1915 at Mudros HMS ENDYMION berthed alongside for additional repairs

4 November 1915 and 5 November 1915 at Mudros Bay working party onboard from HMS EUROPA

7 November 1915 to 11 November 1915 at Mudros Bay working party onboard from HMS EUROPA also on 11 November 1915 Engineer Lieutenant Tom G Richardson RNR appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

1 December 1915 at Mudros delivering ammunition to HMS BEN-MY-CHEREE

18 December 1915 at Port Mudros received onboard from HMS GLORY of one Petty Officer and twelve hands

20 December 1915 at Port Mudros received a working party onboard from HMS HIBERNIA

21 December 1915 at Port Mudros received onboard from HMS GLORY a coaling party of two Petty Officers and forty hands

22 December 1915 at Port Mudros received onboard from HMS HIBERNIA a coaling party of one Warrant Officers and  sixty hands

23 December 1915 at Port Mudros received onboard from HMS HIBERNIA a coaling party of sixty hands

 

RFA Reliance Xmas Card

RFA Reliance Christmas Card

 

6 July 1916 at Mudros with Requisitioned Auxiliary OVERTON alongside with her fitters fitting a gun mounting

9 August 1916 to 11 August 1916 at Mudros workshop staff onboard HMS ARK ROYAL building platforms for after guns

6 October 1916 at Mudros with the Requisitioned Auxiliary Redbreast alongside to have her gun removed for overhaul

17 October 1916 to 19 October 1916 at Mudros Requisitioned Auxiliary Redbreast alongside to have her overhaulled gun refitted

20 November 1916  Engineer Sub Lieutenant William L Blackmore RNR appeared before a court martial charged with (a) Act to the prejudice of good order and naval discipline in purchasing whisky from the Officer's mess of His Majesty's Royal Fleet Auxiliary Reliance his wine bill being stopped at the time (b) drunk on board. The first charge was adjudged to be proved and the second charge not proved. He was adjudged to forfeit all seniority and to be reprimanded

28 June 1917 Engineer Lieutenant Joseph S Harrison RNR appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

26 July 1917 to 28 July 1917 at Mudros a working party from the ship working on the flight deck of HMS ARK ROYAL caulking

13 September 1917 Fireman J Reed and Fireman S Myers both sentenced to 90 days DQ's at Malta and discharged. Fireman Reed had signed on on 27 July 1915 and Fireman Myers had signed on the 28 July 1915 

18 October 1917 and 19 October 1917 at Mudros a working part from the ship working on the flight deck of HMS ARK ROYAL caulking

7 November 1917 Lieutenant Commander William Gregory RNR appointed in command 

20 January 1918 Sculleryman Walter Charles Gilmore and Able Seaman Thomas Cavalier both discharged dead.  They were buried at sea and are remembered on the Plymouth Naval Memorial

31 January 1918 Fireman Fred Thorogood sentenced to detention - reason or duration not shown

26 February 1918 Greaser Peter Murphy sentenced to 30 days DQ's at Malta and discharged the same day. He had signed on on the 20 January 1918. On the same day Fireman George True also sentenced to 30 days DQ's at Malta and discharged the ship. He had signed on on the 28 January 1918.

2 April 1918 Able Seaman L Henderson sentenced to 60 days DQ's at Malta. On the same day Trimmer Frederick Brooks MMR 808799 sentenced to 14 days DQ's and discharged to Portsmouth

 

Frederick Brooks

Trimmer Frederick Brooks MMR 808799

 

18 April 1918 Able Seaman L Henderson sentenced to a further 7 days DQ's at Malta. Signed off the ship on the same day. He had originally signed on on 29 November 1917. 

22 April 1918 Leading Fireman Joseph H Sinclair MMR 797618 discharged dead. He had signed on on the 14 March 1918 previously having served on RFA POLSHANNON. He was buried in East Mudros Military Cemetery on the Greek Island of Limmos in grave III H 236

 

SINCLAIR_JH

Courtesy and © of The War Graves Photographic Project

 7 May 1918 Switchboard Operator Ed George MMR 938462 sentenced to 14 days DQ's for sleeping on watch. He was discharged on 15 March 1919 having signed on originally on 13 March 1918.

16 May 1918 Inspector of Engine Fitters William E Armes and Plumber John Charles Bright MMR 340247 both discharged dead - both died from injuries sustained as a reult of an explosion.  They were both buried in East Mudros Military Cemetery on the Greek Island of Limmos

 

RFA RELIANCE William ARMES

Inspector of Engine Fitters William E Armes
kindly donated by Tina Dunning - William Armes' grand daughter 

 

ARMES_WE

BRIGHT_JC

Both courtesy and © of The War Graves Photographic Project

17 May 1918 Plumbers Mate Francis G Wykes discharged dead from accidental burns. He died on the Hospital Ship St. Margaret of Scotland and he is buried in East Mudros Military Cemetery on the Greek Island of Limmos in Grave III H 232

Copy of WYKES FG

Courtesy and © of The War Graves Photographic Project

20 August 1918 Fireman H J Smith MMR 863175 sentenced to cells (no period stated). He was discharged to barracks on 4 October 1918 subsequently signed on RFA FORTOL on 22 November 1918

9 October 1918 Engineer Sub-Lieutenant Norman Hirst RNR aged 39, discharged dead - natural causes. He died on the Hospital Ship St. Margaret of Scotland.  He had signed on on the 9 November 1917 and was buried in East Mudros Military Cemetery on the Greek Island of Limmos in grave III 1 250

 

HIRST_N

Courtesy and © of The War Graves Photographic Project

6 November 1918 at Port Mudros HMS APHIS berthed alongside

HMS Aphis 

HMS APHIS

2 March 1919 paid off at Devonport for disposal by the Ministry of Shipping

5 June 1919 Engineer Lieutenant Commander Harold Leather RNR appointed Chief Engineer Officer - bourne on HMS VIVID - appointment ended on 9 December 1919

17 December 1919 purchased by Societa Anonyme Angelo Parodi fu B & Ditta Salvatore Emmanuelle Fili Accame, Genoa and renamed EMMANUELLE LE ACCAME

17 November 1920 grounded in the north chanel of Metompkin Inlet, Accomack, VA

4 February 1921 arrived at Port Said for Saigon having sailed from New York

10 July 1922 arrived Ellis Island, New York with 46 passengers having sailed from Naples, Italy via Cardiff

11 November 1922 arrived at Galveston, Texas from Genoa, Italy

1923 dockers of Cardiff, Wales, refused the loading and bunkering of the Emanuelle Accame manned by members of a Fascist organization, as a protest against the outrages of that body and its members in Italy

10 October 1924 the Dockyard men employed onboard when the ship was at Mudros during the Great War were the subject of a Member of Parliaments question to the Admiralty -

 

 Press Cutting 10.10.1924 western Mor News RELIANCE Dockyard MENs Pay

Press Cutting from Western Morning News of 10 October 1924

25 October 1936 sailed Bahia Blanca for Avonmouth

14 November 1936 while on passage from Bahia Blanca for Avonmouth sailed Dakar

1937 sold to Polena Soc di Nav, Genoa and renamed Orata

28 May 1938 the Portsmouth Evening News reported that ...

Pmouth Even News 28 5 38

6 March 1940 detained by RN ships and escorted to the Downs off Deal contraband control as it was suspected she was carrying German coal - a banned cargo - for Italy - reported in the Times of this day

1940 laid up at Las Palmas

23 May 1954 arrived Hong Kong for breaking up. 

 

 

Ships of the same name

Reliance. A discovery vessel of 394 bm, 90 x 30 feet purchased in December 1793, reduced to harbour service in 1800.  Sold out of service on the 12 October 1815.

Reliance. A tender of 12 guns that was in service between 1812 and 1815.

Reliance. Repair ship of 14,250 tons built by Bethlehem Iron Works and launched on the 13 January 1944 as “Dutiful”, she was intended for service in the RN under the lend-lease programme, but was retained by the USN as USS Laertes.

 

 

Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2017 Christopher J White

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