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westkent78

H.M.S. Stephen Furness

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westkent78

Hoping someone can help with further information on this vessel. The man I am researching was the ship's cook and in the Mercantile Marine Reserve.

Below is what I've found so-far:

HMS Stephen Furness was an Armed Boarding Steamer, built at West Hartlepool in 1910 1,712 tons. Owned by the Tyne-Tees Shipping Co. Ltd, King Street, Newcastle upon Tyne. Ship No. 34 129,753.

Seconded Dec 1914. Served until Mar 1916. Ex -squadron supply ship.

Sunk by UB64 west of Isle of Man. 6 Officers & 95 men lost in sinking.

The questions I have are:

1. What was the purpose/role of an "armed boarding steamer"?

2. Which squadron would it have been part of?

3. Would Mercantile Marine Reservists have been serving on the ship while it was seconded to the Navy?

4. Any more information on the sinking?

Thank you in advance.

Matthew

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Malcolm

Armed Boarding Steamers were used to examine ships and thus enforce the blockade of Germany. They were used to search neutral ships. They usually worked with Cruiser Squadrons and because they were smaller they had the risky job of stopping while the inspections were conducted, something no Cruiser would do as they would be sitting ducks for UBoats.

Lough Larne patrol area.

Not sure if Merc Marine. possibly RN crew

13th December 1917 sunk by UB 64, a UB III class boat commisioned in August 1917 and commanded by Ernst Krieger, near Belfast Lough.

Aye

Malcolm

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westkent78

Thank you Malcolm.

A comprehensive answer as always.

Matthew

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SteveB

Just bought a plaque to a member of this ship's crew.

This thread saves me having to ask the same question.

A toast to Vernon Arthur Martin Evans, KIA 12/12/17. RIP.

SteveB

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kin47

Hello

In regard to the loss of STEPHEN FURNESS. 6 officers and 93 crewmen (38 M.M.R.) were lost in the ship. There were two other crewmen dying in the ship during the war, but not related to the sinking.

All best

don

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Michael Lowrey

I have UB 64's KTB, and can scan the description of the attack/sinking, if anyone is interested.

Best wishes,

Michael

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historydavid

Matthew,

Sunk 13th December 1917, ABS Stephen Furness, built 1910, 1,712 grt, torpedoed by German submarine SMU UB64, W from Isle of Man, Irish Sea.

Not sure what you mean by "Served until Mar 1916" because Janes lists the Stephen Furness as an ABS when sunk in 1917.

I believe that the crew was usually Mercantile Marine Reserve with a naval officer in command, and sometimes other naval ratings.

Armed Boarding Steamers were armed merchantmen under Admiralty control, which were used to go along side foreign ships and check for contraband, in order to reinforce the Blockade. As stated by Malcom, they were more expendable than navy cruisers or Armed Merchant Cruisers

They were used with the main blockade squadrons, Northern Patrol (North Sea), Lough Larne (North Channel) etc, and also acted alone in the North Sea, for example.

In the 'German Submarine War 1914-1918' by Gibson and Prendergast it states "Another of these boarding steamers, home from the Arctic, the Stephen Furness, waas torpedoed and sunk in the Irish Sea on the 13th, with heavy loss of life."

Not sure what she had been doing in the Arctic, but may have been patrolling around in the North Cape to Murmansk area.

At the time of the sinking it was probably part of the North Channel blockading squadron.

Hope this helps

David

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Lörscher

One slight correction from me:

CO of UB 64 during that patrol was Kapitänleutnant Walter Gude.

Ernst Krieger took over command only on 15.08.1918.

Oliver

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SteveB
I have UB 64's KTB, and can scan the description of the attack/sinking, if anyone is interested.

Best wishes,

Michael

Hi Michael,

If you don't mind, that would be great.

Cheers

Steve ;)

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westkent78

Thanks for the further information.

I'd like a scan too please.

I'll pm you my email if you don't want to post the scan on forum.

Best regards,

Matthew

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westkent78

Thanks all for the further information.

I'd like a scan too please.

I'll pm you my email if you don't want to post the scan on forum.

Best regards,

Matthew

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SteveB

RIP all the men who lost their lives on HMS Stephen Furness 89 years ago today.

SteveB

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Guest nichole

I would like a copy of the attack profile of the UB64 on the HMS Stephen Furness.

Thank you.

I have UB 64's KTB, and can scan the description of the attack/sinking, if anyone is interested.

Best wishes,

Michael

Thank you for the scan - I wondered if anyone had translated it into English?

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derekstevens1
I have UB 64's KTB, and can scan the description of the attack/sinking, if anyone is interested.

Best wishes,

Michael

Hi Micheal. If you would not mind I would love a scan copy.

Thank you Derek.

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derekstevens1
Hoping someone can help with further information on this vessel. The man I am researching was the ship's cook and in the Mercantile Marine Reserve.

Below is what I've found so-far:

HMS Stephen Furness was an Armed Boarding Steamer, built at West Hartlepool in 1910 1,712 tons. Owned by the Tyne-Tees Shipping Co. Ltd, King Street, Newcastle upon Tyne. Ship No. 34 129,753.

Seconded Dec 1914. Served until Mar 1916. Ex -squadron supply ship.

Sunk by UB64 west of Isle of Man. 6 Officers & 95 men lost in sinking.

The questions I have are:

1. What was the purpose/role of an "armed boarding steamer"?

2. Which squadron would it have been part of?

3. Would Mercantile Marine Reservists have been serving on the ship while it was seconded to the Navy?

4. Any more information on the sinking?

Thank you in advance.

Matthew

Hi Mathew.

H.M.S. Stephen Furnace was struck by a torpedo on the starboard side between the bridge and the funnel, she started dipping straight away and before the life boats could be lowered she suddenly went down with out lowering any of the boats. She sunk at 16.15 0n Thursday 13 December 1917 of the West Coast of the Isle of Man Latitude 54o 15’ Longitude 5o 7’w. About 15’ W. by N of Contrary Head Isle of Man. She was on her way to Liverpool for repairs. She had left Lerwick at 1400 on Tuesday 11 December 1917.This information is taken from the finding of the Court Martial which was held on the 1 February 1918 at Portsmouth.

Hope this is of some help. Derek.

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Wrecktec

Hello

I also have a list of the MMR crewmen who died on the ship, if anyone needs them ?

Cheers Ron

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derekstevens1
Hello

I also have a list of the MMR crewmen who died on the ship, if anyone needs them ?

Cheers Ron

Hi Ron.

My Grandfather died when that ship went down and I am trying to get as much info on it as possible, so if you could let me have a copy.

Thank you. Derek. derek@deljean.fsnet.co.uk

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clive_hughes

One of the identifiable casualties was buried at St.Mary's parish churchyard Llanfairynghornwy, on the north-western coast of Anglesey:

TALMEY, W. F. Able Seaman 170445 (PO.B 2184 Royal Fleet Reserve) RN

Sorry, I have no other details on this man.

LST_164

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Wrecktec

Hi Derek

Here is a list of all those that I can find in my files; note that some men died on a different date too:

BACH, Thomas Trimmer MMR 517845 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

BARKER, Arthur EngrsStrKpr MMR HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

BELL, Andrew Greaser MMR 827797 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

BOND, Charles Fireman MMR 8512SS HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

BOWLT, Bartholomew Fireman MMR HMS Stephen Furness drowned 28.9.15

BROWN, John David Greaser MMR 580219 HMS Stephen Furness drowned 13.12.17

BUCKETT, Richard Henry (DSM) Assistant Steward MMR 919848 HMS Stephen Furness drowned 13.12.17

BUNTING, John Greaser MMR HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

BURKE, Joseph Greaser MMR 895673 HMS Stephen Furness drowned 13.12.17

BURNS, Thomas Chief Cook MMR 661506 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

CAMP, George Robert Ship’s Cook MMR 790965 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

DAVIES, Sidney Lewis Trimmer MMR 908669 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

EVANS, Vernon Arthur Martin Trimmer MMR 606961 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

GAHAN, Thomas Trimmer MMR 882873 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

GALVIN, Joseph Trimmer MMR 919543 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

GROVES, Walter William Fireman MMR 803936 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

HAMMOND, Harry George Distilling Greaser MMR 882495 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

HOPKINS, James Assistant Steward MMR 919843 HMS Stephen Furness drowned 13.12.17

HOWSE, Thomas John Albert Fireman MMR 814969 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

HUNTER, William Thomas Messman MMR HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

KELLY, Willam Joseph Ck Steward MMR 766986 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

MANSELL, Herbert DistillingGreaser MMR 140295 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

McDONALD, James Fireman MMR HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

McDONALD, L. Fireman MMR 683636 HMS Stephen Furness 13.12.17

McKENZIE, John Fireman MMR 866084 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

McKENZIE, John McDonald Greaser MMR 912798 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

RAINFORD, Thomas Henry Fireman MMR 687088 HMS Stephen Furness drowned 13.12.17

REDFORD, Ralph Trimmer MMR 895534 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

ROBINSON, John Fireman MMR 708613 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

ROGERS, Henry Richard Fireman MMR 606957 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

SHIRLEY, William Fireman MMR 903163 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

SMITH, Francis Trimmer MMR HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

SOUTHALL, Sidney Assistant Cook MMR 871756 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

SOUTHWELL, Alfred, Steward MMR 897024 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

STEVENS, George Philip Lancelot Donkeyman MMR 102563 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

TAYLOR, Francis Thomas Trimmer MMR 884286 HMS Stephen Furness drowned 13.12.17

THORPE, James Trimmer MMR HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

WALLIS, John Edwin Assistant Steward MMR 919845 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

WENBORNE, William Fireman MMR 679029 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

BROWN, John Temp/Engineer Lt RNR HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

DYOTT, Kenelm Mitchill Temp/Surgeon RN HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

GOULD, William Henry Felix Temp/Sub-Lt RNR HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

GRIFFIN, E. A. (DSC) Chief Boatswain (Bosun) RN HMS Stephen Furness 25.6.18

McGREGOR, Alexander Thomson Temp/Engineer Lt RNR HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

SOREL-CAMERON, Herbert Augustus Acting Temp/Lt RNR HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

WINSLOW, Thomas Maitland (RD) Lt Cmdr RNR HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

ATKINSON, John Ernest BoylCl RN J/50189(PO) HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

BARLOW, Thomas Walter Sign RNVR Bn Stoker1Z.3863(D) HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

BARNES, W. Master at Arms RN 137358 HMS Stephen Furness 6.2.15

BROWN, C. H. Seaman RNR 6323.A HMS Stephen Furness 24.4.15

BUCKROYD, Jdur Edwin Able Seaman RN J.28417(PO) HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

CATTERMOLE, Christopher Stanley Boyl Cl RN J.56621 (PO) HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

CLAYTON, Fred Able Seaman RNVR Tyneside] 10204 © HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

CHURCHHOUSE, Arthur F Tel RNVR TynesideZ.5506 © HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

CRANG, Walter Able Seaman RNVR Bristoll1486 (D) HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

DALEY, J. Able Seaman RNVR KX.344 HMS Stephen Furness 13.12.17

DEELEY, Walter Able Seaman RNVR BnSto 1Z3950 (D) HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

DUPREY, Alfred Frank Sign RNVR London3.1923 © HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

ETCHELLS, William Able Seaman RNVR MerseyZ.940 (D) HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

FOXON, Harold Lewis Able Seaman RNVR WalesZ.2506 (D) HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.11.17

GAGE, Samuel Chief Stoker RN 154816 HMS Stephen Furness 25.5.15

GEORGE, Alastair Farquhar Able Seaman RNVR CZ7118 HMS Stephen Furness died 13.12.17

HALL, Joseph William Able Seaman RNVR BZ9158 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.11.17

HAWORTH, William Wirernn2C1 RN M.19828 (PO) HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

HESELETINE, Willie ArmrsCrew RN M.7833 (PO) HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

HODGKINSON, Francis George POl Q RN 154453 (10) HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

HONE, H. J. PO I Cl RN 186791 (CH) HMS Stephen Furness 23.4.15

JENNINGS, William Lionel Gregory Able Seaman RN 199999 (PO) HMS Stephen Furness acc/drowned 1.11.15

JUDGE, George 2ndHand RNR 2322.SA HMS Stephen Furness 15.9.17

LAWES, H. B. AB RNCVR VR.2614 HMS Stephen Furness 13.12.17

MACRAE, Alexander AB RNVR ClydeZ.7516 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

McCALLUM, D.0 OrdSrnn RNVR Clydez.8220 HMS Stephen Furness 13.12.17

MEEHAN, Henry Leo AB RNCVR VR.2598 HMS Stephen Furness 13.12.17

MEREDITH, Arthur Reginald Boyl Cl RN J.44147 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

MORRISON, John Seaman RNR 3486.A HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

MUDIE, John Fitzgerald LdgSmn RNR 3591.A HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.1211

MULLANEY, John AB RNVR Clyde14224 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

OAKES, Albert Pte RMLI PO, 18286 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

PALMER, George Walter Pte RMLI PO, 15895 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

PATIENCE, John William PO RNR 2923.C HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

PLANT, S. Chief PO RN1 7099(CH) HMS Stephen Furness 23.4.15

RATCLIFFE, Robert Francis Able Seaman RNVR WalesZ.2756 (D) HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.11.17

REED, Cuthbert Reveley Pte RMU PO.17455 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17 RHODES, Arthur Leslie ShipsStdsAsst RN M.14236 © HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

RITCHBE, Henry Smn RNR 4678A (PO) HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

ROBINSON, John Able Seaman RNVR BnstolZ4937 (D) HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

ROMANS, William Franklyn Able Seaman RNCVR VR.2653 HMS Stephen Furness 13.12.17

SKINNER, John Smn RNR 5282A (PO) HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

SMITH, Alfred Albert Pte RMJJ PO, 18226 HMS Stephen Furness killed 3.12.17

STEVENS, Sidney James Pte RMLI PO, 9089 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

STONE, Ernest William OrdSmn RNT OBiistoi HMS Stephen Furness 13.11.17

TALMEY, W. F. AB RN 170445 HMS Stephen Furness 13.12.17

TAYLOR, James Henry Pte RMU PO, l 1170 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

TUCKER, Leonard Francis AB RN 227581(PO) HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.11.17

WATT, E. D. AB RNCVR VR, 2532 HMS Stephen Furness 13.12.17

WHITE, William John AB RN SS, 16(D) HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

WIGMORE, A. E. AB RNCVR VR, 2524 HMS Stephen Furness 13.12.17

WILLIAMS, Frank David AB RNVR dydeZ, 5982(PO) HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

WILLIAMSON, Edward Thomas Sgt RMLI PO, 13798 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

WINGATE, J. W. OrdSmn RN J, 42198 HMS Stephen Furness 13.12.17

WOODHOUSE, James Leading Seaman RNR 3300.B(PO) HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

WOODLEY, Frank Leading Btmn RN CG, 150805(DEV) HMS Stephen Furness killed 25.4.15

WYBROW, Thomas James Pte RMUP0.9917 HMS Stephen Furness killed 13.12.17

Cheers Ron

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westkent78

Thanks Derek.

Very interesting. Another piece of the puzzle.

Best regards,

Matthew

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sadsac

WINSLOW Thomas M N/E Lt.Cdr. RNR 83P118

Stephen Furness Senior Naval Officer White Sea N/E N/E

Actions with enemy Submarines 09.06.17 N/E

Went to the assistance of Russian S.S. Nomi on the 9th June, 1917 and drove off the submarine.

Their Lordships' appreciation expressed.

MERCER George M N/E Lt. RNR 84S051

Stephen Furness Vice Admiral Dover Patrol 14.07.16 Gaztte

Auxiliary Patrols 01.01.15 - 31.01.16 DSC

For services in the Dover Auxiliary Patrol.

SMITH Horace B N/E Lt. RNR 84S051

Stephen Furness Vice Admiral Dover Patrol 14.07.16 Gazette

Auxiliary Patrols 01.01.15 - 31.01.16 DSC

For services in the Dover Auxiliary Patrol.

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sadsac

WINSLOW Thomas M N/E Lt.Cdr. RNR 83P118

Stephen Furness Senior Naval Officer White Sea N/E N/E

Actions with enemy Submarines 09.06.17 N/E

Went to the assistance of Russian S.S. Nomi on the 9th June, 1917 and drove off the submarine.

Their Lordships' appreciation expressed.

MERCER George M N/E Lt. RNR 84S051

Stephen Furness Vice Admiral Dover Patrol 14.07.16 Gazette

Auxiliary Patrols 01.01.15 - 31.01.16 DSC

For services in the Dover Auxiliary Patrol.

SMITH Horace B N/E Lt. RNR 84S051

Stephen Furness Vice Admiral Dover Patrol 14.07.16 Gazette

Auxiliary Patrols 01.01.15 - 31.01.16 DSC

For services in the Dover Auxiliary Patrol.

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clive_hughes

As I'm in the happy position of having a copy of most of the Naval Court Martial file relating to the loss of the HMS Stephen Furness on 13 December 1917, I thought I'd list the names and details of the twelve survivors of this tragic event. Addresses, ranks etc. are correct for 30 Jan. 1918, ready for the enquiry, held at the Navigation School at HM Dockyard,Portsmouth on 1 Feb 1918:

Officers

Tempy. Lieutenant P.S.Simmonds RNR of RN Hospital, Chatham

Tempy. Acting Paymaster H.W.Sheringham RNR of Flaxmore, Caston, nr. Attleboro, Norfolk

Tempy. Engineer Sub-Lieut. R.S.Clark RNR of 10 Quarrenden Street, Parsons Green, Fulham

Tempy. Engineer Sub-Lieut. J.C.Winfield RNR of RN Barracks, Portsmouth, pending his discharge from Admiralty service (in fact he wasn't present at the enquiry, having already been discharged & address unknown)

Mercantile Ratings

George Harris, Asst. Steward MMR 789783 now serving HMS Eagle (in fact not present at the enquiry, having been discharged, address unknown)

Lawrence McAvoy, Carpenter MMR 919846 now serving RN Barracks Portsmouth

John Olsson, Greaser MMR 702838 now serving RN Barracks Portsmouth

Charles Saddington, Fireman MMR 817735 now serving in HMS Colleen

Ratings

William Greer, Telegraphist C/Z 2759 RNVR now serving in RN Barracks Portsmouth

Frederick Chalk, A.B. VR/2652 R.Naval Canadian Volr. Reserve now serving in RN Barracks Portsmouth

Herbert Clifton Pragnell, Boy 1st Cl. J44676 (RN) now serving in RN Barracks Portsmouth

James Arthur Lyngnane, P.O. 194711 (RN) now serving in RN Barracks Portsmouth

A few sidelights: the Court called as witnesses Simmonds as senior surviving officer, Carpenter McAvoy, Telegraphist Greer, and Greaser Olsson. Lyngnane and Sheringham were also called but their testimonies were not copied for my version of the file. Simmonds had also submitted a formal account of the loss, written at Holyhead on the day following the sinking.

McAvoy was from Glasgow; questioned as to why he was perched on the gunwale of his lifeboat, poised to leap into the sea (which probably saved him - many others were trapped under the boats as they capsized and were dragged down), he cited his experience of an "abandon ship" when the Alcantara fought the raider Griffe (AMC Alcantara sank & was sunk by the raider SMS Greif in the North Sea 29 Feb. 1916).

Saddington helped the injured Simmonds onto a raft, from where they were rescued about 6.30pm by the trawler Elite, returning to Holyhead from convoy work and which came on them and the others by chance.

Interestingly, there is one telegram dated 15 December 1917 which lists the missing officers and then adds:

"Leading Seaman William Fraser RNR sent leave from Lerwick" so perhaps missed sailing; unlike "entries Ships Steward Bower ex HMS Tithonius also one trawler engineman ex HMS Intrepid discharged from hospital ship at Lerwick. Cable Officer William Ritchie taking passage from Kola was lost."

I can't see any of these listed on CWGC so am not sure how to interpret this message.

Clive

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