In 1908 the then Director of Stores Sir John Forsey was rumoured to have recommended the construction of a group of oil tankers for the Admiralty account and the 5-strong BURMA GROUP was the result, with BURMA herself having the distinction of being the first oil tanker ever to be constructed to the order of the Admiralty. These vessels were very similar but were in no way sister ships. BURMA was fitted out with the express object of oiling the British Fleet at sea, being capable of towing another vessel and supplying her with oil fuel, or else being towed by a Dreadnought and supplying her with oil fuel at the same time. She could fuel vessels alongside from four different positions at the same time and carried about 2,500 tons of oil in 12 tanks. She had 2 powerful pumps in her pump-room which were capable of discharging 400 tons of oil per hour. In addition, she was also fitted with electric lighting and steam heating and a powerful steam driven fan for the purpose of exhausting her tanks of heavy and dangerous vapours which remained after the oil had been discharged. She conducted a number of OAS experiments.

 

Three of the ships had dimensions of around 270.0‘ (p.p.) x 39.0’ x 22.0‘ and were single screwed whilst the other two, TREFOIL and TURMOIL (1) which were experimental ships had a length of 279.0 ft (p.p.) and they had twin screws.. These two were unsatisfactory mechanically and were little used. Their complement varied between 30 and 36. MIXOL and THERMOL initially were unsatisfactory stability-wise and 200 tons of permanent ballast had to be carried in nos 1 and 3 tanks which were never pumped out. They were laid up in reserve in the large dry dock at Gibraltar for 13 years, being floated out on each Spring Cruise of the combined Mediterranean and Home Fleets and placed on the North Mole until the Fleet departed and were then again placed in the dry dock. After between 100 and 300 tons of steel upper works had been removed at the beginning of WW2 their stability was improved.

BURMA:

Burma-08

Builder: Greenock & Grangemouth Dockyard Co Ltd, Greenock.

Launched: 3 March 1911. Completed: 30 June 1911. Cost £43,854

Yard Nr: 326 Official Nr: 132547 Signal Letters: GQJT

Tonnages: 1832 grt 1090 nrt 2500 dwt 3945 full load displacement.

Dimensions: 270.5 (p.p.) x 36.6 x 22.0 ft

Machinery: Triple expansion 3 cyl by J.G. Kincaid Ltd, Greenock. 202 nhp.

Speed: 12 knots.

Pennant Nrs: N 96 / X 14

Battle Honour: None recorded

Fate: Sold for £3,715 for demolition by P & W McLellan Ltd at Bo’ness.



THERMOL:

THERMOL

Builder: Greenock & Grangemouth Dockyard Co Ltd, Greenock.

Launched: 29 April 1916 Completed: August 1916. Cost £103,535

Yard Nr: 378 Official Nr: 139142 Signal Letters: GXKX

Tonnages: 1902 grt 1018 nrt 2000 dwt 4326 full load displacement.

Dimensions: 270.2 (p..) x 38.6 x 22.9 ft

Machinery: Triple expansion 3 cyl by J.G. Kincaid Ltd, Greenock. 254 nhp.

Speed: 10½ knots.

Pennant Nrs: X 45 / X 71

Battle Honour: None recorded

Fate: Sold commercially in 1947 and renamed BROCODALE H. Renamed JULIA C the following year. Laid up at Port de Bouc on 15 October 1953. Arrived Savona after sale for £12,000 for demolition on 22 July 1954


MIXOL:

Mixol 2

Builder: Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd, Dundee.

Launched: 17th June 1016 Completed: October 1916

Yard Nr: 250 Official Nr: 139159 Signal Letters: GVSV

Tonnages: 1977 grt 1053 nrt 2100 dwt 4326 full load displacement

Dimensions: 270.0 (p.p.) x38.7 x 20.7 ft

Machinery: Triple expansion 3 cyl by the builders. 362 nhp

Speed: 10½ knots.

Pennant Nrs: X02 / X43 / A143

Battle Honour: None recorded

Fate: Sold commercially in 1948 and renamed WHITEBROOK. Renamed IRENE M in 1951. Arrived Antwerp for demolition on 27th December 1952

 


TREFOIL:


Builder: HM Dockyard, Pembroke Dock. Completed by Vickers Ltd, Barrow-in-Furness

Launched: 27 October 1913 Completed: 1917 after considerable delays

Yard Nr: N/A Official Nr: 139085 Signal Letters: GXIN

Tonnages: 2070 grt 861 nrt 2100 dwt 4060 full load displacement.

Dimensions: 279.0 (p.p.) x 39.0 x 21.9 ft

Machinery: 2 x 6 cyl diesels by J Samuel White, Cowes. 1500 bhp.

Speed: 12 knots.

Pennant Nrs: N93 / X11 / X73

Battle Honour: None recorded.

Fate: Arrived Bo’ness after sale for £5,854 for demolition by P & W McLellan


TURMOIL (1)

THERMOL

Builder: HM Dockyard, Pembroke Dock.

Launched: 7 March 1917 Completed: 1917

Yard Nr: N/A Official Nr: 140279 Signal Letters: GTJK

Tonnages: 2070 grt 861 nrt 2100 dwt 4060 full load displacement.

Dimensions: 278.7 (p.p.) x 39.0 x 21.9 ft

Machinery: 2 x Triple expansion 3 cyl by Ross & Duncan Ltd, Glasgow. 127 nhp. Was originally to have been engine by J Samuel White, Cowes but those engines were requisitioned by the monitor HMS MARSHALL SOULT.

Speed: 12 knots.

Pennant Nrs: X12 / X74

Battle Honour: None recorded

Fate: Arrived Bo’nesss after sale for £4,905 for demolition by P & W McLellan Ltd

Copyright © 2008 – 2017 Christopher J White

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