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Remembered Today:

S.S. QUEEN


kin47
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Hello

When S.S. QUEEN was lost on 28 June 1918, among the casualties was a Chief Yeoman of Signals, RN, and 3 RNVR Signalmen.

From a WW II standpoint, that makes her appear as she was carrying the Commodore of the convoy. Can anyone confirm or dispel this theory?

Many thanks

don

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Where all hands lost? If so, the CWGC can do more advanced searches than the web site offers and check for this rank

you could email them unless someone here has access....

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Don,

Seems to be some confusion re SS Queen sunk 28 June 1918

The Official History, Newbolt, Vol 4, has her sunk, in ballast, near Varne Lightship, Strait of Dover, by German destroyers of 17th Half Flotilla, after crew left her, picked up by P34 just before midnight.

From another source, usually reliable, I have: torpedoed and sunk by U53 130 miles N1/2W Cape Villano, carrying general and coal from Cardiff to Spezia, Italy. Ship owned by Fisher, Alimonda & Co Ltd - London and managed by Rome Steamship Co.

Hurd, Merchant Navy etc, makes no mention.

Will make enquiries and come back.

Best wishes

David

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Hello

A further bit on QUEEN was brought to my attention. She also had a Captain, RN (ret) from PRESIDENT lost in her. Sounds like a Commodore, doesn't it, especially in light of the large signals contingent.

All best

don

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Don,

Maybe more meat on the bone, to achieve the rank of Chief Yeoman, he had to be fit to take charge of the Signal Department of a Battleship.

27 crew of the SS Queen where rescued by US Coastguard Cutter Seneca of the Atlantic Fleet Patrol Forces, whilst acting as a convoy escort. She also assisted SS Piniche.

Regards Charles

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The location for the loss in both BVLAS and Lloyd's War Losses is consistant with the location off Cape Villano. Also, U 53 did claim a sinking that day. I have U 53's KTB, I can check it if need be.

Best wishes,

Michael

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The question of where SS Queen was sunk now seems to be resolved.

However, it raises the question of which vessel was the Official History referring?

Extract:

"Meanwhile, news of the raid had come through to Dover and Dunkirk. Commander W. H. Owen, R.N.R., in the yacht Ombra, was the first to give the alarm. He was somewhere near No. 11A buoy when the 10th Drifter Division was attacked; and as soon as he sighted gun flashes to the westward of him, he reported by wireless (at 10.30 p.m.) that there were " enemy warships 20 miles east of Dover." His signal was confirmed a few minutes later by a message from Calais which ran : " We observe flashes, apparently gun-fire, to the north of Calais from the sea." Admiral Bacon at once passed on the Ombra's signal to Dunkirk and set his available forces in motion. At 10.50 the " Tribal " destroyers, Viking, Mohawk, Tartar, Nubian, Cossack and Amazon, were ordered to slip and proceed; five minutes later the commodore at Dunkirk was ordered to send out the Laforey's division. As these second orders were sent out, Commander Owen sent in a further signal that the forces he had previously reported were " apparently three destroyers firing at object north of me." After sending in his first message he had steamed westwards, and at eleven o'clock was trying to get into touch with the 16th Drifter Division to warn them of the danger. Meanwhile, the two half flotillas of the 9th Flotilla, which had crossed the barrage about an hour before and had slipped past our outpost forces, were getting near the transport line between Dover and the French ports. As they approached the Straits (10.30 to 11.0 p.m.), four British vessels were particularly exposed. Patrol boat P 34 was duty to the north-westward of the Varne; the hospital ship Jan Breydel was crossing to Boulogne, and was still in Gris Nez area, making for Dover; the empty transport Queen was also on her way back from Boulogne, and was between the Varne and the French side; another hospital ship, St. Denis, was steering for Boulogne, and was still on northern side of the Straits. The transports which were cross to Boulogne during the night were, apparently, still well down the Channel and out of danger. The 17th and 18th Half Flotillas pressed well on into the Straits, and found nothing; at a quarter to eleven the 17th reached the southern end of the Colbart, and turned back; the 18th steamed on a little further, and turned north-east at a few minutes after eleven. The Jan Breydel was the first to sight them : at about eleven o'clock, when she was about seven miles northwest of Grisnez, she sighted a group of destroyers which must have been the 17th Half Flotilla. They were to the southward of her, and were crossing her bows. Her captain was unable to signal the news, as he was in charge of a hospital ship, bound by international law to take no part in any warlike operation. Shortly after this, the transport Queen and the hospital ship St. Denis passed one another, near the Varne, on opposite courses. It was noticed from the St. Denis that the Queen was burning all her navigation lights, and was being followed by five destroyers. The captain of the St. Denis suspected nothing, and steamed on towards Boulogne. When the two ships had passed, the German destroyers steamed rapidly up on each side of the Queen, and stopped her. An officer from V 80 came on board, and allowed the captain and the crew to get into the boats; the Queen was then sunk by gunfire. The German 17th Half Flotilla then continued its course for home. This second attack, which took place between eleven o'clock and half-past, was accompanied by a fresh onslaught against the drifters on the barrage."

The action described took place at the same time as raids on the Dover Barrage.

Perhaps someone could relate the account to another description of the barrage raids on 27/28th June 1918 and correctly identify the vessel wrongly named as Queen.

Best wishes

David

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David,

There seems to be a date problem with the account, as Keyes replaced Bacon in late December 1917. I suspect the account you quote refers to some earlier, perhaps from some time in 1917.

Best wishes,

Michael

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Well spotted Michael.

After getting a new pair of specs and looking again I see that the account is dated 26/27th October 1916.

So is the account correct and the ship was named Queen, even though we have not heard of a Queen Mk 1, to coin a phrase, being sunk?

Best wishes

David

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David,

Yes, it's correct. The name of the ship was The Queen, not Queen. She's in Lloyd's War Losses and BVLAS. Also sunk was in the raid was the destroyer Flirt and seven drifters.

Best wishes,

Michael

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  • 1 month later...

The destroyer Nubian had her bow blown off in the same engagement. The after part of Nubian was later joined with the fore part of Zulu (stern destroyed by a mine in November 1916) to create HMS Zubian.

Mick

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  • 5 months later...
Guest bob thompson

I have a picture that I would like to confirm is the SS The Queen sunk in 1916. This is a picture from about 1888 when the ship was used as an Imigrant steamer. It conveyed some relatives of mine at that time.

See attachment below.

bob thompson

S S Queen

Don,

Seems to be some confusion re SS Queen sunk 28 June 1918

The Official History, Newbolt, Vol 4, has her sunk, in ballast, near Varne Lightship, Strait of Dover, by German destroyers of 17th Half Flotilla, after crew left her, picked up by P34 just before midnight.

From another source, usually reliable, I have: torpedoed and sunk by U53 130 miles N1/2W Cape Villano, carrying general and coal from Cardiff to Spezia, Italy. Ship owned by Fisher, Alimonda & Co Ltd - London and managed by Rome Steamship Co.

Hurd, Merchant Navy etc, makes no mention.

Will make enquiries and come back.

Best wishes

David

:rolleyes:

post-20577-1176582422.jpg

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"among the casualties was a Chief Yeoman of Signals, RN," his service register online or at Kew in ADM 188.

"3 RNVR Signalmen" service registers at Kew ADM 337 in service number order.

"also had a Captain, RN (ret) from PRESIDENT" (admin 'ship' for the Admiralty, men listed here could be anywhere, on any duty to paraphrase the Navy List) records should be at Kew found using the card index for ADM 196.

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There could only be one RN ship with any given name, but there wasn't the same restriction for the mercantile marine (I think the restriction was by port of registration) hence confusion over names. What was unique was the regisery number. Have you ckecked the 'Lloyds List'?

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  • 7 years later...

Don,

Seems to be some confusion re SS Queen sunk 28 June 1918

The Official History, Newbolt, Vol 4, has her sunk, in ballast, near Varne Lightship, Strait of Dover, by German destroyers of 17th Half Flotilla, after crew left her, picked up by P34 just before midnight.

From another source, usually reliable, I have: torpedoed and sunk by U53 130 miles N1/2W Cape Villano, carrying general and coal from Cardiff to Spezia, Italy. Ship owned by Fisher, Alimonda & Co Ltd - London and managed by Rome Steamship Co.

Hurd, Merchant Navy etc, makes no mention.

Will make enquiries and come back.

Best wishes

David

SS QUEEN . Torpedoed and sunk on June 28th 1918 off the NW coast of Spain.

I have the Crew list for this voyage. The Master was R. Putt aged 33 and he drowned. My grandfather was the Bosun, Nicholas Hartley( age given as 46 but he was 51) and he drowned,too. SS QUEEN is often confused with SS THE QUEEN. Both ships are commemorated at Tower Hill

Brenda

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  • 7 years later...

Carlton V de M Cowper was lost on SS Queen - the record card shows him as 'Captain, Commodore of Convoy'

cowper ss queen 1918.jpg

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While escorting 29 merchant ships to Gibraltar, USCGC Seneca's men heard a terrific explosion, and observing the steamer Queen sinking, they drove Seneca at full speed to the rescue. So badly was the Queen hit that within five minutes of the explosion she was completely out of sight under the water, taking 25 of her men with her,  including the Commodore of the convoy. Twenty-seven survivors were clinging to the small boats and pieces of floating wreckage. Seneca's No. 1 lifeboat with Third Lieutenant F. W. Brown in charge, was lowered to pick them up. All 27 were safely on board Seneca within 40 minutes. For the remainder of the convoy's run, Captain Wheeler assumed command. (The Coast Guard in World War I: an Untold Story, Larzelere, Alex R.)

 

MB

 

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