African_Prince-06

HMS Botlea before being commissioned and under her former name of African Prince

 

 

True name:                                         HMS Botlea

Previous name:                                   Glennevis  African Prince  Pentridge Hill

Subsequent name: 

Official Number:                                   137842                                                                          

Class:                                                 Special Service Freighter - Q ship

Pennant No:                                        X15 - F113

Laid down:                             
Builder:                                               Ayrshire Dockyard Company, Irvine, Scotland
Launched:                                           1917
Into Service:                                        1939      
Out of service:                                     March 1941
Fate:                                                   Scuttled 30 December 1945

 

Items of historic interest involving this ship: -

 

 

Background Data:  In 1939 Winston Churchill gave authority for a number of merchantmen to be requisitioned for service as Q-ships, although for security purposes they were referred to as Special Service Freighters. A fleet of 9 small mainly coal-burning vessels were acquired , 6 for deep-sea work and 3 for coastal work. All were commissioned as HM ships under their original names but were given RFA cover names and on entering harbour and while in harbour they flew the Blue Ensign, behaved as RFA’s and adopted the RFA commercial practices. None of them was really suitable for their intended roles and met with a complete lack of success. Their Q-ship service officially ended on 2 March 1941

 

1917 launched by Ayrshire Dockyard Co Ltd, Irvine as Yard Nr: 445 named GLENNEVIS for African Steam Ship Co Ltd (J. Gardiner & Co, Managers) Glasgow . 

May 1917 completed for the Rio Cape Line (Furness, Withy & Co, Managers) London

15 February 1920 sailed Buenos Aires for Liverpool

23 April 1920 sailed London for Rosario

19 May 1920 arrived at Monte Video from London

3 September 1920 sailed Porto Alejandro for Liverpool

11 September 1920 arrived at Liverpool

22 September 1920 sailed Liverpool for New York

28 October 1920 sailed New York to Buenos Ayres

1 March 1921 berthed at Liverpool from Buenos Ayres with three passengers. Captain W M Higgins was Master

19 March 1921 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing east

1922 renamed AFRICAN PRINCE by her owners

4 June 1922 arrived at New York from Hull

13 July 1922 at Dundee loading cargo for New York

29 September 1922 berthed at Dundee

15 October 1922 berthed at New York having sailed from Dundee

7 March 1923 arrived at New York

7 August 1923 arrived at Philadelphia from the River Plate

30 April 1924 at the Government Hospital, Durban Fireman & Trimmer Antonio Pais discharged dead with malaria

21 September 1924 arrived at Victoria from Rio de Janerio

5 November 1925 sailed Bahia for New Orleans

3 January 1927 sailed Newport News

22 May 1927 at Sanatorio Rio, Rio de Janerio Fireman & Trimmer Jospeh Lima discharged dead from a fractured pevis due to a fall

5 November 1927 at Rio de Janerio Sailor Paul Luszeck discharged dead having been killed by a locomotive

8 November 1927 berthed Santos from Rio de Janerio

16 September 1928 sailed River Mersey for Tunis

1930 laid up Rothesay Bay during the Depression

18 June 1930 sailed West Hartlepool for Antwerp

12 May 1932 at Rosella Hospital, Geralton, Western Australia Chief Engineer Officer William W Sinclair discharged dead suffering from acute pyclities

30 June 1932 berthed at Barry Docks from St. Vincent, Cape Verde Islands with 1 passenger and 1 DBS. Captain William R Harries was Master

W R Harries NON RFA

Captain William R Harries

14 November 1935 arrived at Greenock from Rothesay Bay

24 January 1936 sailed Cape Town for Port Elizabeth

28 January 1936 sailed East London for Durban

31 January 1936 sailed Durban for Lorenzo Marques

1 February 1936 arrived at Lorenzo Marques from Durban

5 February 1936 sailed Lorenzo Marques for Madagascar

13 February 1936 sailed Majunga for Diego Suarez

19 February 1936 sailed Tamatave for Reunion

26 March 1936 sailed Rangoon

18 April 1936 sailed Port Said

6 May 1936 sailed from the Keil Canal to Gdynia

11 May 1936 arrived at Gdynia from Rangoon

20 May 1936 sailed Gdynia for the Tyne

1936 purchased by Dorset Steamship Co Ltd, London and renamed PENTRIDGE HILL

15 September 1937 sailed the River Tyne to Hull in ballast

16 September 1937 berthed at Middle Dock, Hull

28 March 1938 arrived at Piraeus

8 May 1938 sailed Istanbul

4 August 1938 at Marseilles 2nd Mate Francis A Evans discharged dead with blood poisoning

 

 2nd mate evans

2nd Mate Francis A Evans

 

14 February 1939 arrived at Buenos Ayres

1939 acquired by the Board of Trade (later MoS and MoWT) and renamed BOTLEA under management of Sir William Reardon Smith & Sons Ltd, Cardiff

14 September 1939 Lieutenant Commander Thomas B Bruton Royal Naval appointed in command.

16 September 1939 commissioned as HMS BOTLEA

14 December 1939 conversion completed. Cover name RFA LAMBRIDGE. Complement 84 under the  command of Commander Thomas B. Brunton Royal Navy. Armed with 7 x single 4-inch guns, 4 x Lewis machine guns, 4 x single 21-inch torpedo tubes and 100 depth charges

22 December 1939 sailed Chatham for Sheerness then to the Solent area for work-up

3 January 1940 sailed from the Solent area on her first cruise and operated in the North Atlantic for the remainder of that year

8 January 1940 stopped off Dakar by HMS NEPTUNE while in the Lambridge disguise - she was not detected as a 'Q' ship

 

HMS Neptune

HMS NEPTUNE

 

19 February 1940 Able Seaman John Page C/J 22317 discharged dead. Drowned. Remembered with pride on the Chatham Naval Memorial

March 1940 at Gibraltar

April 1940 at Bermuda

28 August 1940 sailed Bermuda in convoy HX69 to Methil arriving 13 September 1940 - on convoy papers listed as RFA Lambridge thus maintaing her cover as a Q ship

27 January 1941 berthed at Simonstown Dockyard, South Africa for boiler cleaning a repairs to minor defects

6 February 1941 sailed from Simonstown Dockyard, South Africa

5 March 1941 at Colombo she hoisted the White Ensign for service as an Armed Merchant Cruiser with Pennant Number F 113

20 May 1941 arrived at Bombay escorting HMS CAPETOWN which was under tow of the tug TAIKOO for repairs

22 June 1941 sailed Aden under the command of Commander T I Scott-Bell DSC Royal Navy (Retd)

31 July 1941 berthed at Simonstown Dockyard, South Africa from Aden to be de stored and de ammunitioned in order to revert service as a merchant cargo ship

12 August 1941 sailed from Simonstown Dockyard, South Africa

1 October 1941 transferred to MoWT control

16 January 1942 sailed Cape Town independently to Lourenco Marques arriving 23 January 1942

7 February 1942 sailed Lourenco Marques independently to Cape Town arriving 13 February 1942

29 August 1942 sailed from Liverpool to New York arriving on the 18 September 1942

24 December 1942 sailed from Liverpool in convoy ON(S)156 to New York arrived 17 January 1943

22 April 1943 arrived at Cape Henry

4 June 1943 Bosun Robert Fraser awarded the British Empire Medal (Civil Division) in the Birthday Honours List 1943 - details published in the London Gazette of this day

8 August 1943 sailed Liverpool to Freetown in convoy OS53 arrived on 27 August 1943

15 June 1944 sailed Cape Town to Durban in convoy CD43 arrived on the 19 June 1944

10 August 1944 sailed Durban independently to Mombassa arriving on 21 August 1944

29 August 1944 sailed Mombassa independently to Durban arriving on 9 September 1944

22 September 1944 sailed Durban independently to Lourenco Marques arriving 24 September 1944

4 October 1944 sailed Lourenco Marques independently to Mombasa arriving 13 October 1944

23 May 1945 sailed Bone independently to Gibraltar arriving 26 May 1945

29 May 1945 sailed Gibraltar independently to Middlesborough arriving 7 June 1945

17 June 1945 sailed Middlesborough to the Tyne arriving the same day

30 December 1945 considered to have no further commercial use so was scuttled in position 55.30 N 11..00 W loaded with a cargo of poison gas shells as part of Phase 1 of Operation Sandcastle

 

Notes:

 

  1. RFA Lambridge was a cover name for the 'Q' Ship HMS Botlea. The name Lambridge was used when the ship was in port so her true identity was not disclosed. She never sailed as an RFA.

 

 

 

L3027

 

 

Previous name:                                       L 3027

Subsequent name:                                  HMS LOFOTEN

Official Number:                                                                                                             

Class:                                                      LST (3) / Accommodation Ship / Helicopter Support Ship /Accommodation Ship

Pennant No:                                             L 3027 / K 07

Laid down:                                               30 May 1944
Builder:                                                     Blyth Drydock & Shipbuilding Co., Cowpen Quay, Blyth        
Launched:                                                26 January 1945   
Into Service:                                             24 October 1945      
Out of service:                                         1991                     
Fate:                                                          Broken up October 1993 

                 

 

RFA Larchol

 

       

Official Number:                       140323                                                                  

Class:                                     SECOND 1000 t CREOSOL CLASS Harbour Oiler

Pennant No:                            X23 / A154

Laid down:
Builder:                                    Lobnitz & Co, Renfrew
Launched:                                19 June 1917
Into Service:                             9 August 1917

Out of service:                          Laid up in reserve at Pembroke Dock 13 July 1954
Fate:                                        Broken Up

 

Items of historic interest involving this ship: -

 

Background Data:  On the outbreak of WW1, the Admiralty embarked on a further programme of tanker construction for the newly-formed RFA Service. Eventually there were eighteen ships in this Class, twelve of which were named after trees with the OL suffix, while the remainder had names connected with the oil industry also with the OL suffix. Four of the Class were diesel engined and were sold after the Armistice but the rest, being triple expansion steamers, had long and successful lives

 

19 June 1917 launched by Lobnitz & Co, Renfrew as Yard Nr: 818 named LARCHOL

 24 June 1917 Engineer Lieutenant Stanley Black RNR appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

24 July 1917 Lieutenant William F Clay RNR appointed in command. He signed off on 11 May 1919 when he took command of RFA Birchol

Captain William Frederick Clay

Lieutenant William F Clay RNR

9 August 1917 Completed

18 September 1917 Fireman A Ayling signed on. He subsequently deserted - no date of his desertion traced at this time.

12 January 1918  Greaser James Kilcullen released from detention and signed off - to HMS Eaglet. He later served on RFA KURUMBA

James Kilcullen

Greaser James Kilcullen

19 April 1918 Engineer Lieutenant William H Doyle RNR appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

14 May 1919 Lieutenant John H T Lewis RNR appointed in command. He signed off on 31 March 1920

John H T Lewis

Lieutenant John H T Lewis RNR

19 May 1919 Trimmer J S Warwick MMR 999130 discharged as incompetent. He had signed on on 13 May 1919

27 June 1919 sailed Glasgow for Greenock in ballast

1 March 1920 Captain William T Williams RFA appointed as Master and Mr John H Manning RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

 

Captain WILLIAMS WM THOMASCEO MANNING JOHNHERBERT

              Captain                    Chief Engineer Officer           
William T Williams          John H Manning RFA   
RFA                                             
                                
 

17 March 1920 at Gibraltar alongside HMS CASTOR refuelling her with 620 tons of FFO

CASTOR

HMS CASTOR

29 September 1920 arrived at Devonport

30 September 1920 sailed from Plymouth

31 January 1921 sailed Plymouth for Sheerness

30 March 1921 at Sheerness alongside HMS DUNEDIN refuelling her

30 May 1921 arrived at Granton from Hull loaded with fuel oil

8 June 1921 berthed at  West Hartlepool

18 June 1921 arrived at Grangemouth from Granton the sailing the same day for Hull

5 July 1921 arrived at Hull in ballast from Newcastle

11 July 1921 sailed from Granton to Southampton in ballast

16 October 1921 sailed from Granton for Newcastle

3 November 1921 arrived at Granton from Salt End

5 November 1921 sailed Granton for Hull

24 November 1921 arrived at Granton from London

25 November 1921 sailed Granton for the River Tyne

26 November 1921 arrived at Jarrow

20 December 1921 arrived at Granton from Thames Haven

21 December 1921 sailed Granton for London

18 January 1922 Captain D Durrant RFA appointed as Master. He had previously been the Master of RFA PHILOL

1 January 1923 at Sheerness alongside HMS REPULSE refuelling her

2 January 1923 at Sheerness alongside HMS REPULSE refuelling her

repulse

HMS REPULSE

3 January 1923 at Sheerness alongside HMS REPULSE refuelling her

29 May 1923 at Sheerness alongside HMS REPULSE refuelling her (twice)

30 May 1923 at Sheerness alongside HMS REPULSE refuelling her

1924 to December 1939 on YC agreement at Sheerness

1 February 1924 Mr William P Keohane RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

13 March 1931 berthed at Salt End Jetty, Hull to discharge later sailed in ballast for Sheerness

14 March 1931 arrived at Sheerness

28 March 1934 at Sheerness alongside HMS ORION refuelling her with 480 tons FFO

HMS Orion 85

HMS ORION

18 May 1936 at Sheerness alongside HMS CUMERLAND refuelling her with 800 tons of FFO

Cumberland

HMS CUMBERLAND

3 September 1939 at Sheerness on the outbreak of WW2

11 September 1939 at Sheerness alongside HMS GLASGOW on No 8 buoy refuelling her

HMS Glasgow

HMS GLASGOW

12 September 1939 at Sheerness alongside HMS GLASGOW on No 8 buoy refuelling her

29 December 1939 Captain John McAngus RFA appointed as Master

Capt John Mc Angus

Captain John McAngus RFA

1 January 1940 sailed Harwich to Sheerness

19 January 1940 sailed Sheerness to Harwich

12 July 1940 sailed Southend in convoy FN 220 arriving Yarmouth 14 July 1940

3 August 1940 arrived Methil in convoy FN 241 and then sailed, same day, same convoy to Southend

20 August 1940 sailed Southend in convoy FN 258 arriving at Harwich on 22 August 1940

26 August 1940 sailed Southend in convoy FN 263 to Harwich arriving on 28 August 1940

4 September 1940 sailed Southend in convoy FN 272 to Harwich arriving on the next day

14 September 1940 sailed Southend in convoy FN 280 to Harwich arriving on 16 September 1940

17 September 1940 sailed Southend in convoy FN 283 to Harwich arriving on 19 September 1940

21 September 1940 sailed Southend in convoy FN 287 to Harwich arriving on 23 September 1940

26 September 1940 sailed Southend in convoy FN 291 to Harwich arriving on 28 September 1940

29 September 1940 sailed Southend in convoy FN 294 to Harwich arriving on 1 October 1940

2 October 1940 sailed Southend in convoy FN 297 to Harwich arriving on 4 October 1940

26 October 1940 Mr Arthur W Symons RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

CEO Arthur W SYMONS

Chief Engineer Officer Arthur W Symons RFA

3 December 1940 sailed Southend in convoy FN349 arriving at Harwich on 5 December 1940

27 December 1940 Engineer Lieutenant Commander James Wade-Thomas RNR (Retd) appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

James Wade Thomas No 2

Chief Engineer Officer James Wade-Thomas RFA

28 January 1941 sailed Southend in convoy FN 394 to Harwich arriving on 30 January 1940

4 February 1941 sailed Southend in convoy FN400 arriving at Harwich on 6 February 1941

11 August 1941 Captain Robert H Venning RFA appointed as Master

26 October 1941 sailed Dover 

15 January 1942 sustained damage at Dover

8 October 1942 Captain Ernest V Blyth RFA appointed as Master

Captain Ernest V Blyth

Captain Ernest V Blyth RFA

4 January 1943 Mr James E Hawthorn RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer 

Image of CEO James HAWTHORN

Chief Engineer Officer James E Hawthorn RFA

26 March 1943 Captain Sidney P Sice RFA appointed as Master

3 December 1943 Mr Lionel  W Pool RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

26 December 1945 Mr Raymond C Calderhead RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

8 March 1946 at Sheerness

4 April 1946 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

12 April 1946 Captain J H Phillips RFA appointed as Master

5 September 1946 at Sheerness

31 January 1947 sailed Plymouth for Sheerness

6 June 1947 sailed Sunderland for Sheerness

2 June 1947 Mr Frederick O Brims RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer until 23 June 1947

Frederick O Brims

Chief Engineer Officer Frederick O Brims RFA

23 June 1947 Captain Frank A Shaw RD RFA (Lieut-Commander RNR) appointed as Master

24 June 1947 Engineer Lieutenant Commander Harold R Bullimore Royal Navy (Retd) appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

26 October 1947 while on passage to Plymouth passed Dover this day

22 December 1947 Captain Donovan J S Newton MID RFA appointed as Master

7 January 1948 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour returning to her berth later the same day

26 March 1948 Captain Allistoun M Macquire-Samson RFA appointed as Master

30 September 1948 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

30 October 1948 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing west

22 November 1948 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing west

27 November 1948 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing east

5 January 1949 Mr R B Turner RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

13 January 1949 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

14 January 1949 at Portsmouth Harbour moved from Middle Slip Jetty to Gosport Oil Fuel Jetty

15 January 1949 at Portsmouth Harbour moved from the Harbour to B Lock

20 January 1949 at Portsmouth Harbour moved from No 11 Basin to B Lock

1 March 1949 at Portsmouth Harbour moved berth from Gosport Oil Fuel Jetty to the South Wall Tidal Basin

12 March 1949 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour and returned to her berth later the same day

29 March 1949 moved from the Gosport Oil Fuel Jetty to the Outer Spit Buoy

4 July 1949 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

24 February 1950 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

1 March 1950 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

8 March 1950 berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

17 March 1950 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

12 November 1950 Captain F G Evans RFA appointed as Master

12 December 1950 Mr John Ismay RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

8 December 1951 Mr Albert P Cox RFA appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

 CEO COX ALBERT PERCIVAL

Chief Engineer Officer Albert P Cox RFA

14 December 1951 at Plymouth Fireman/Greaser John Nicholas Knight discharged dead after an accident ashore

10 March 1952 Captain Douglas G Cox OBE RFA appointed as Master

4 January 1954 Captain F S Samson RFA appointed as Master

13 July 1954 laid up at Pembroke Dock

June 1958 purchased by R.S. Hayes, Pembroke Dock for scrap but resold

19 August 1959 sailed Pembroke Dock in tow for Belgian breakers

23 August 1959 arrived Antwerp for breaking up by Van den Bosche & Co, Boom

 

Additional information

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