RFA Sobo
 
 

 

 

Previous name:
Subsequent name:               Jupiter

Official Number:                    110056                                                     

Class:                                   Torpedo Depot Ship

Pennant No:

Laid down:
Builder:                                Barclay Curle
Launched:                           29 September 1898
Into Service:                         Purchased 1914
Out of service:                      February 1920
Fate:                                     Sold to W. R. Davies & Co

 

Items of historic interest involving this ship: -

 

Background Data:  Some official lists, marked as  “Lists of RFA’s” show vessels which spent some time as RFA’s during the First World War. These records are extremely sketchy and some of these vessels were “Yard Craft”, partially or wholly Dockyard manned, partly by RNR or Reserve Fleet personnel. Some of the Depot Ships staffed by skilled civilian Dockyard workers were for a time White Ensign. The Director of Stores was understood to be concerned with their manning and operationally they remained under Admiralty control

 

29 September 1898 launched by  Barclay, Curle & Co Ltd, Whiteinch as Yard Nr: 416 named  SOBO for African Steamship Co (Elder, Dempster & Co Ltd, Managers) Liverpool. Named after a Niger delta tribe of the Warri-Sapele area of Nigeria

January 1899 completed 70 x 1st Class and  40 x 2nd Class passengers

26 January 1899 sailed Tail of the Bank to Liverpool in ballast

11 February 1899 sailed Liverpool to West African ports with Captain Robert Wharton as Master and Mr J A Wakeham as Chief Engineer Officer

27 May 1899 sailed Liverpool to West African ports

19 August 1899 sailed Liverpool to West African ports

11 November 1899 sailed Liverpool to West African ports with 73 passengers

24 January 1900 arrived Liverpool from West African ports

3 February 1900 sailed Liverpool to West African ports

5 May 1900 sailed Liverpool to West African ports

9 August 1900 sailed Liverpool to Gold Coast with nine army officers as passengers for the Ashanti Expedition

18 August 1900 at sea at 15.43N 12.40W Able Seaman George Brice discharged dead - stroke

24 October 1900 sailed Liverpool to West African ports

13 February 1901 sailed Liverpool to Grand Canaria and West African ports

5 June 1901 sailed Liverpool to West African ports

25 September 1901 sailed Liverpool to West African ports

25 December 1901 arrived at Plymouth Sound

15 January 1902 sailed Liverpool to Tenerife

7 May 1902 sailed Liverpool to Tenerife

9 August 1902 berthed at Liverpool from West African Ports

4 September 1902 sailed Liverpool to West African ports

3 January 1903 sailed Liverpool to West African ports - the ship returned

21 January 1903 sailed Liverpool to West African ports

11 April 1903 sailed Liverpool to West African ports

18 July 1903 sailed Liverpool to West African ports

16 September 1903 sailed Lagos

5 October 1903 arrived at Liverpool

24 October 1903 sailed Liverpool to West African ports

6 February 1904 sailed Liverpool to West African ports

16 April 1904 sailed Liverpool to West African ports

25 June 1904 sailed Liverpool to West African ports

31 December 1904 sailed Liverpool to West African ports

8 April 1905 sailed Liverpool to West African ports

15 July 1905 sailed Liverpool to West African ports

4 November 1905 sailed Liverpool to West African ports

20 January 1906 in collision on the River Mersey with the tug SANDOWN which capsized and sank with the loss of all 8 of her crew. The tug was later salvaged

10 February 1906 sailed Liverpool to West African ports

30 April 1906 berthed at Liverpool from Plymouth and West African ports

5 May 1906 sailed Liverpool to West African ports

18 May 1906 at Liverpool at a Board of Trade inquiry into the sinking of the tug SANDOWN (see above) the Master, Officers and Pilot of the SOBO were exonerated of any blame

 Press Cutting 18 May 06 Nott Even Post - SOBO

Press Cutting from Nottingham Evening Post of the 18 May 1906

14 July 1906 off Las Palmas Saloon Steward James Ward discharged dead - lost overboard

20 July 1906 arrived at Plymouth Sound

23 July 1906 berthed at Liverpool from Plymouth and West African ports

11 August 1906 sailed Liverpool to West African ports

25 October 1906 arrived at Plymouth Sound from Sekondi with a cargo of gold valued at £77,176 and weighing 19,142 ounces

 Press Report - Even Tele 25-10-1906 Sobo Gold

Press report from Evening Telegraph of 25 October 1906

27 October 1906 berthed at Liverpool from Plymouth and West African ports

14 November 1906 sailed Liverpool to West African ports

4 February 1907 berthed at Liverpool

1908 transferred to Elder Line, Liverpool under same Managers and name unchanged

9 November 1908 at Antigua Deck Boy Alan Williams discharged dead - burns

24 March 1909 sailed Quebec to the West Indies

1 December 1909 went to the assistance the German ship Grossherzogin Elizabeth which had gone ashore at Portsmouth, Dominica

17 August 1911 berthed at Liverpool from Halifax

14 December 1911 sailed Liverpool to West African ports with 113 passengers. Captain J H Watson was the Master

21 March 1912 sailed Accra for Liverpool

3 April 1912 sailed Sierra Leone for Liverpool

27 June 1912 sailed Liverpool to West african ports

10 September 1912 sailed Libreville to Liverpool

14 November 1912 sailed Liverpool to West African ports

8 April 1913 sailed Liverpool to West African ports

16 April 1913 sailed Sierra Leone for Liverpool

24 June 1913 sailed Libreville for Liverpool

16 July 1913 sailed Teneriffe for Liverpool

23 July 1913 berthed at Liverpool from Sierra Leone and Teneriffe with 91 passengers and 1 DBS. Captain J H Lawson was the ships Master

18 October 1913 sailed Liverpool to West African ports

30 December 1913 sailed Duala for Liverpool

18 January 1914 sailed Teneriffe for Liverpool

25 January 1914 berthed at Liverpool from West Africa

5 February 1914 sailed Liverpool to West African ports

1 May 1914 sailed Sierra Leone for Liverpool

11 May 1914 sailed Maderia for Liverpool

8 June 1914 sailed Liverpool to West African ports

7 January 1915 Lieutenant Joseph Leary RNR appointed in command

17 May 1915 Engineer Captain Harold Gaisford Royal Navy (retired) appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

26 October 1915 purchased by the Admiralty, along with SOKOTO for conversion into a Torpedo Depot Ship for the Grand Fleet, name unchanged. Served initially at Cromarty

30 April 1917 Engineer Commander RNR appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

14 January 1918 Engineer Commander William R Davies RNR (ret) appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

23 February 1919 Engineer Sub-Lieutenant Peter Alexander Roy RNR discharged dead having died of influenza at the Invergordon Naval Hospital. He is buried in Cathcart Cemetery, Renfrewshire - grave 2A 1090. Also remembered with pride on the Bute War Memorial

 

ROY_P_A_2A

DSC09626DSC09630

 

5 May 1919 Engineer Commander James Maxwell RNR appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

1 August 1919 Acting Commander Norman D Lillia RNR appointed in command

13 January 1920 at Gravesend fire broke out in the deck cabins aft. The contents of the cabins and the main deck were damaged before the fire was extinuished

12 February 1920 purchased by Soc Anon Les Affreteurs Reunis (Jean Stern, Manager) Paris and renamed JUPITER

 27 June 1925 sold to Italian ship breakers

 

Notes

 

 

1. The Admiralty paid a total of £55,000 for ARO, SOBO and SOKOTO

Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2017 Christopher J White

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