RFA War Afridi

 

 

Official Number:                   144340                                                                           

Class:                                     WAR CLASS Freighting Tanker - 7 cargo tanks

Pennant No:                           Y7.337 / X90

Laid down:
Builder:                                   Robert Duncan, Port Glasgow

Launched:                              11 November 1919
Into Service:                           29 January 1920

Out of service:                        1947

Fate:                                         Broken up

 

Items of historic interest involving this ship: -

 

Background Data: To combat the alarming losses of British merchant ships during WW1, the New Ministries and Secretaries Act was passed in December 1916, which provided for the appointment of a Shipping Controller with very wide powers “to take such steps as he thinks best for providing and maintaining an efficient supply of shipping”. On 20 December 1916, the first meeting of the Merchant Shipbuilding Advisory Committee took place where it was decided that an extensive shipbuilding programme should be started, the ships to be of a simple design and as far as possible to be of a standard type as regards hulls and engines. These new vessels for the Government were given a standard nomenclature, the prefix to their names being WAR. 821 vessels were ordered from U.K. yards and abroad and 416 were completed to Government order, 279 were sold and transferred to private owners before completion and the remainder were cancelled. Of the 416 completed to Government order, 15 were transferred to Admiralty service as oilers. They were all modified versions of the A and B Class standard dry cargo ships, known as the Z Class. All had 2 large dry cargo holds, 6 of them had 5 cargo tanks and the remaining 9 had 7 cargo tanks, specially designed for the carriage of heavy fuel oil. Most of them were initially under commercial management.

 

11 November 1919 after launching she was towed to the James Watt Dock at Greenock for her engines to be fitted.

29 January 1920 ran trials and placed under initial management of C.T. Bowring & Co Ltd, Liverpool

15 February 1920 arived Port Said from the Clyde

15 July 1920 arrived Suez from Abadan

16 July 1920 sailed Port Said for Constantinople

24 May 1920 sailed Port Said

4 September 1920 arrived at Suez from Abadan

20 September 1920 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

4 October 1920 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

5 October 1920 sailed Portsmouth Harbour

21 November 1920 berthed at Port Arthur, Texas from Rotterdam - source New York Herald of 22 November 1920. RFA BRITISH LANTERN berthed at Port Arthur on the same day

28 December 1920 sailed Port Arthur, Texas for Avonmouth

17 January 1921 berthed at Templepreedy from Port Arthur, Texas

3 February 1921 arrived at Port Said

10 February 1921 sailed Suez this day on passage to Abadan

14 February 1921 passed Perrim east bound

1921 RFA manned

11 March 1921 arrived Port Sudan

17 March 1921 passed Perrim East bound

23 June 1921 arrived at Suez from Abadan

24 June 1921 sailed Port Said for Devonport

7 August 1921 sailed Port Arthur for Devonport

11 August 1921 reported to the US Navy Radio Service her position was 27.52N 79.34W and published in the New York Tribune on 12 August 1921

15 September 1921 arrived Port Said from Milford Haven

17 October 1921 arrived Suez from Abadan

9 December 1921 while berthed on the River Clyde was hit by another vessel which had been involved in an accident with two other ships. All four ships were damaged - in the case of  War Afridi to her bow. The matter of blame was heard in the Scottish High Court in 1923. The other ships involved were the ss Bogota, the ss Alconda and a tug Samson

1 January 1922 arrived at Port Arthur from the Clyde

3 January 1922 in collision with a tug Waban - location currently unknown but reported in a US Congress report of 1926

25 January 1922 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing east

26 January 1922 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

28 January 1922 sailed Portsmouth Harbour

11 February 1922 sailed Suez for Abadan

1 April 1922 at 36.22N 0.1E Fireman James Brown discharged dead - natural causes - buried at sea

13 October 1922 arrived at Malta from Plymouth

30 November 1922 arrived Suez from Abadan

6 December 1922 sailed Malta for Devonport

18 December 1922 berthed at Devonport from Abadan with 2 passengers. Captain Alfred N Beavan was the Master

11 April 1923 arrived at Port Said from the Clyde

16 May 1923 alongside the Oil Wharf, Singapore

21 May 1923 at the Main Dock, Kepple Harbour, Singapore

2 July 1923 alongside the Oil Wharf, Singapore

28 September 1923 to 2 October 1923 in dry dock, Singapore

12 November 1923 alongside the Oil Wharf, Kepple Harbour, Singapore

15 November 1923 alongside the Main Wharf, Kepple Harbour, Singapore

18 November 1923 sailed Singapore for Abadan

26 November 1923 Captain Arthur Flower RFA as Master

Capt A Flower

Captain Arthur Flower RFA

24 December 1923 alongside the Oil Wharf, Kepple Harbour, Singapore

9 January 1924 at Abadan - sailed 13 January 1924

6 February 1924 arrived at Albany, Western Australia

16 February 1924 at Albany, Western Australia the ships football team played a local football team

20 February 1924 an advert from the Albany Advertiser of the date might suggest a 'good run ashore'

Press Report 16 Feb 1924 Albany WA

2 March 1924 1815hrs berthed alongside HMS HOOD at King Georges Sound, Albany, Western Australia and supplied 2,006 tons of FFO to the battle cruiser

HMS Hood

HMS HOOD

3 March 1924 cast off from HMS HOOD and moored alongside HMS REPULSE to refuel her

repulse hms

HMS REPULSE

7 March 1924 sailed Albany, Western Australia for Tarakan

27 March 1924 berthed at Singapore - sailed 1 April 1924

12 April 1924 berthed at Singapore

4 May 1924 at Suez - sailed 9 May 1924

14 May 1924 arrived at Aden - sailed 15 May 1924

25 May 1924 berthed at Abadan

25 June 1924 berthed at Abadan sailed 28 June 1924

30 June 1924 at sea in the Persian Gulf at 26.20N 55.27E Sailor Lee Ah Poo discharged dead. He died from beri - beri. He had signed on at Singapore on 1 April 1924. He was buried at sea.

15 July 1924 at Suez to transit Suez Canal arrived Port Said the same day

20 July 1924 berthed at Malta until 27 August 1924

15 September 1924 at Port Said to transit the Suez Canal having sailed from Malta

16 September 1924 arrived Suez

30 September 1924 berthed Abadan

16 October 1924 berthed at the Oil Wharf, Kepple Harbour, Singapore - sailed 17 October 1924

1 November 1924 berthed at Hong Kong

7 November 1924 berthed at Singapore - sailed the same day

22 November 1924 berthed at Abadan - sailed 25 November 1924

9 December 1924 arrived at Suez from Abadan

11 December 1924 at Port Said sailed to Malta arriving 15 December 1924

14 February 1925 berthed alongside the Oil Wharf, Kepple Harbour, Singapore at the same time as RFA OLEANDER (2)

20 March 1925 Captain Herman R Elsby RFA appointed as Master

22 June 1925 berthed at the Oil Wharf, Kepple Harbour

22 March 1926 Mr Charles A Smith RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

 

CEO_Charles_Smith

Chief Engineer Officer Charles A Smith RFA 

10 May 1926 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

14 May 1926 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

30 June 1926 off Sultan Shoal Quartermaster Chievi Leng discharged dead - disappeared - supposed drowned

6 May 1927 berthed at Freemantle from Abadan with bunkers for HMS RENOWN

24 May 1927 sailed Freemantle for Singapore

2 June 1927 berthed at Singapore

15 June 1927 at 17.42N 67.01E 2nd Engineer Officer Daniel David Barrett discharged dead - missing presumed drowned

 D D Barratt

2nd Engineer Officer Daniel David Barrett

7 July 1927 at 5.55N 95.37E Fireman Tong Leu discharged dead - natural causes

10 July 1927 arrived at Singapore from Abadan. Sailed same day to Hong Kong

3 August 1927 at the Oil Wharf, Kepple Harbour, Singapore

4 October 1927 at the General Hospital, Colombo Fireman Wong Heng discharged dead - neuro syphilis

1 November 1927 while under tow from the oil wharf at Keppel Harbour, SIngapore by the tug Varuna was in collision with a Chinese coasting vessel Ban Teck Guan which caused minor damage to the RFA. (Reported in The Singapore Free Press & Mercantile Advertiser of 2 November 1927)

17 November 1927 grounded at Abadan

24 February 1928 in the Albert Dry Dock, Tanjong Pagar

2 May 1928 Mr David E Morgan MIMarE, AMIME RFA appointed Chief Engineer Officer

CEO David E Morgan

Chief Engineer Officer David E Morgan MIMarE, MIME RFA

18 October 1928 sailed Milford Haven

20 October 1928 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

22 November 1928 Captain Reginald J Harland RFA appointed as Master

 HARLAND REGINALD JOHN

Captain Reginald J Harland RFA

24 November 1928 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

25 February 1929 berthed at Gibraltar from Port Said to discharge cargo

20 April 1929 berthed at Gibraltar from Port Said to discharge cargo

8 November 1929 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

30 November 1929 in Dock 15 at Portsmouth Harbour

4 December 1929 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour to Stokes Bay

17 September 1930 Mr Andrew C Fraser RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

17 November 1930 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

29 January 1931 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

19 February 1931 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

25 February 1931 Captain Richard D Williams RD RFA (Commander RNR (retd)) appointed as Master

Captain Richard D Williams

Captain Richard D Williams RD RFA

2 March 1931 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

31 May 1931 at sea at 28.48N 49.59E 3rd Officer Thomas Holt Mogg discharged dead from heat apoplexy. 3rd Officer Mogg had previously served on RFA Maine (3), RFA Petroleum, RFA Bacchus (1) and RFA Pearleaf (1)

30 October 1931 sailed Abadan for Malta

16 February 1932 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

24 March 1932 Mr Charles J Falconer RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

15 April 1932 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

4 May 1932 sailed Malta for Abadan

23 November 1932 Captain William T Williams RFA appointed as Master

 Captain WILLIAMS WM THOMAS

Captain William T Williams RFA

22 December 1932 sailed Abadan for Portsmouth

31 January 1933 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

7 February 1933 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour for Devonport

17 March 1933 at Gosport Police Court the ship's Master - Captain William T Williams RFA appeared charged with attempting to evade duties on various items in a prosecution brought by the Customs & Excise. He was fined £35 

 War Afridi Press report 1933 

Press report from the Western Morning News of 18 March 1933

March 1933 while in dry dock at Devonport sand and brass filings were found in machinery - reported in the press and mentioned in Parliament as deliberate sabotage

6 April 1933 arrived at Port Said

7 April 1933 sailed Suez for Abadan

12 May 1933 arrived at Suez from Abadan

30 May 1933 arrived at Port Said from Malta

8 July 1933 arrived Suez

27 July 1933 Captain Alfred L Jones RFA appointed as Master

12 October 1933 sailed Abadan for Hanjam

3 December 1933 arrived Port Said from Malta

12 January 1934 arrived at Suez from Abadan

13 February 1934 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

24 March 1934 sailed from Portmouth Harbour

18 May 1934 arrived Singapore from Abadan

9 June 1934 sailed Abadan for Gibraltar

24 June 1934 arrived Suez from Abadan

10 September 1934 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

19 September 1934 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

17 November 1934 arrived at Port Said from Malta

11 March 1935 Mr William H A Lawson RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

CEO William H A LAWSON

Chief Engineer Officer William H A Lawson RFA

19 May 1936 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

26 May 1936 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

3 October 1936 having sailed Darwin, Australia this day after discharging 8,000 tons of FFO into the Naval storage tanks there two male stowaways, both from the UK, were discovered on board. The ship was en route to the Persian Gulf. The stowaways were transferred to RFA War Sirdar which was due at Darwin on the 10 October 1936

12 December 1936 berthed at Gibraltar from Abadan and Port Said to discharge cargo

16 February 1937 arrived at Plymouth Sound

4 March 1937 Captain William H Green RFA appointed as Master

Captain WILLIAM HERBERT GREEN

Captain William H Green RFA

22 April 1937 came under full RFA control

23 April 1937 sailed the River Tyne for Sheerness

29 June 1937 sailed Darwin, Northern Territories, Australia for Colombo, Ceylon having discharged cargo

19 July 1937 at Colombo, Ceylon 2nd Steward William John Briars discharged dead - fell overboard from a rowing boat and drowned

23 October 1937 to 25 October 1937 in the Albert Dry Dock, Singapore

24 January 1938 berthed at Gibraltar from Abadan and Alexandria to discharge cargo

2 March 1938 berthed at Gibraltar from Trinidad to discharge cargo

12 April 1938 at Lyness Seaman Low Ah Rue discharged dead. Death subject to Police enquiries

 Press report - Aberdeen Jou 15.4.38 War Afridi

Press report from Aberdeen Journal of 15 April 1938

20 April 1938 Mr John Atchison RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

11 June 1938 berthed at Gibraltar from Trinidad to discharge cargo

25 April 1939 Mr Leonard T Tomlinson RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

9 June 1939 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing east

31 July 1939 at 15.03.N 52.25E Sailor Tang Ah Tay discharged dead - lost overboard

8 December 1939 sailed Gibraltar in convoy HG 10 with RFA’s THERMOL and WAR  BHARATA arriving Devonport on 16 December 1939

10 January 1940 and 11 January 1940 at Rosyth alongside HMS BERWICK refuelling her

7 Mar 1940 Captain John Gow RFA appointed as Master

 John Gow

Captain John Gow RFA

10 May 1940 Mr D L Walls RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

9 June 1940 at Rosyth alongside HMS YORK and supplied 150 tons of fuel oil

19 June 1940 at Rosyth alongside HMS YORK and supplied 110 tons of fuel oil

29 June 1940 at Rosyth alongside HMS YORK and supplied 170 tons of fuel oil

9 July 1940 at Rosyth alongside HMS YORK and supplied 122 tons of fuel oil

13 January 1941 at Rosyth berthed along side HMS HOOD to refuel her until the next day

8 March 1941 sailed Grangemeouth to Southend arriving 12 March 1941

16 June 1941 Mr William W Ridgway RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

27 August 1941 sailed Grangemeouth to Rosyth

28 October 1941 at Rosyth alongside HMS DUKE OF YORK refuelling her with 3,230 tons of FFO and 98 tons of diesol

2 June 1942 at Rosyth. Mr Charles A Smith DSC RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

12 August 1942 damaged the cruiser HMS LIVERPOOL at Rosyth

3 October 1942 Captain Archibald Hobson DSC RFA appointed as Master

 Capt Archibald Hobson Photo

Captain Archibald Hobson DSC RFA

 

26 October 1942 at Rosyth alongside HMS DUKE OF YORK refuelling her with 3,126 tons of FFO

2 November 1942 at Rosyth Dockyard Able Seaman John Galbraith discharged dead - fell into the entrance of an air raid shelter in the Dockyard - died from misadventure

4 December 1942 at Rosyth Dockyard Fireman Frank Watson discharged dead - accident

20 January 1943 at Rosyth alongside HMS NEWFOUNDLAND refuelling her with 592 tons of FFO

HMS lNewfoundland

HMS NEWFOUNDLAND

February 1943 in collision with RFA OLIGARCH

July 1943 fitted with tanks in forward hold to hold 120 tons of diesel oil

18 August 1943 Captain William H Green RFA appointed as Master

4 December 1943 Mr Harold R Bullimore RFA (Lieutenant Commander (E) (RN (ret)) appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

21 April 1944 Captain William H Green RFA appointed Master until 27 July 1945

19 December 1944 at Rosyth alongside HMS COLOSSUS refuelling her with 1,650 tons of FFO

22 January 1945 at Leith until 28 January 1945

11  June 1945 at Swan Hunter, Wallsend on Tyne - preparation for foreign service until 21 September 1945

21 September 1945 sailed the Tyne but had to put back through defects

22 September 1945 sailed the Tyne 

30 August 1945 Captain Charles H Noel OBE RFA appointed as Master

Charles Noel 3 - 1943

Captain Charles H Noel RFA

5 September 1945 Mr R R Burgh RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

1 October 1945 passed Gibraltar

11 October 1945 arrived and sailed Port Said

26 October 1945 arrived at Abadan

7 June 1946 Captain Charles H Noel RFA appointed as an Additional Officer of the Military Division of the most excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) vide the London Gazette of this date - page 2882

11 January 1947 at Hong Kong with HMAS BATAAN alongside being refuelled

1 April 1947 Captain L W J Hall RFA appointed as Master

9 April 1947 Mr A W Symonds RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

1947 at Hong Kong on Yard Craft agreement with Captain G W Bowden appointed as Master and Mr J L Pedrick appointed as Engineer (First Class)

1949 Captain G F W Reid appointed as Master and Mr S R Clark appoined as Engineer (First Class)

1 February 1951 at Hong Kong with HMAS BATAAN alongside being refuelled

12 April 1951 hulked

3 July 1951 at Hong Kong while berthed on No: 17 buoy refuelled HMAS MURCHISON alongside

12 August 1951 at Hong Kong while berthed on Buoy 18 at Kowloon refuelled HMAS ANZAC alongside

3 October 1951 at Hong Kong while berthed on Buoy 18 at Kowloon refuelled HMAS ANZAC alongside

10 December 1951 at Hong Kong while berthed on No: 17 buoy refuelled HMAS MURCHISON alongside

25 February 1952 refuelled HMAS BATAAN alongside

28 February 1952 refuelled HMAS BATAAN alongside

16 September 1952 at Hong Kong refuelled HMAS ANZAC alongside

1 April 1953 refuelled HMAS CULGOA alongside

27 April 1953 at Hong Kong refuelled HMAS ANZAC alongside

HMAS Anzac AWM P00271 001

HMAS ANZAC

 

23 July 1953 at Hong Kong refuelled HMAS CULGOA alongside

11 November 1953 at Hong Kong while berthed on No: 17 buoy refuelled HMAS MURCHISON alongside

12 April 1954 at Hong Kong refuelled HMAS MURCHISON alongside

30 June 1954 at Hong Kong refuelled HMAS MURCHISON alongside

4 April 1956 at Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong refuelled HMAS ANZAC alongside. Supplied 455 tons of FFO

21 May 1956 at Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong refuelled HMAS ANZAC alongside. Supplied 367 tons of FFO. HMAS TOBRUK also alongside being refuelled

4 July 1956 at Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong refuelled HMAS ANZAC alongside. Supplied 101 tons of FFO and 7,143 gallons of diesel oil

14 September 1956 at Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong refuelled HMAS ANZAC alongside. Supplied 332 tons of FFO

14 April 1958 offered for sale by tender 'as she lies' at Hong Kong in the Straits Times of this day - page 11

August 1958 arrived for breaking up at Hong Kong

Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2017 Christopher J White

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website, by continuing to use the site you agree to cookies being used. More info.