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Remembered Today:

SS Elbing


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Looking for any information at all please on the Steamship Elbing during the war years, including if possible what she was doing in 1919. The only reference I can find to an SS Elbing on the net was one built in 1922. Yet I have a lad drowning while serving onboard her in June 1919.



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The ship you're interested in should be the Elbing of 5677 grt built in 1898 by Flensburger Schiffsbau Ges., Flensburg for the Deutsch-Austral. Dampfs. Ges., Hamburg. She was seized at Antwerp in August 1914 and detained there until the end of the war. In 1919, she came under The Shipping Controller with W. Runciman & Co., Ltd., acting as manager. Official number: 143331.

In 1921, she was sold back to Germany ownership and renamed Heinrich Kayser. She was reported missing in December 1922 while on a voyage from Fernandina, Fla., Savannah & Hampton Roads for Hamburg with a cargo of cotton, phosphate & general cargo. She cleared Hampton Roads on December 2 and was last reported in distress by wireless in 38.31N-62.12W, on December 6, 1922.

Best wishes,


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a little query - I assume that she was seized by the Belgians at the outbreak of war & then fell back into German control on the fall of the city - what was to stop the Germans sailing her for a home port?


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There was also a German cruiser Elbing lost at Jutland:



SS Elbing

The Times, Thursday, Aug 28, 1919; pg. 16; Issue 42190; col E

Mail and Shipping Intelligence. Oversea Mails.

Category: Shipping News



Suez - Elbing


Is this another Elbing?


STEAMER SUNK; 9 DROWNED.; The Elbing, from Australia, Founders in the North Sea.

July 11, 1911, Tuesday



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  • 6 years later...
Guest mirabell61

Hi John

Here a short update on the former Steamer "Elbing" built 1898 in Flensburg Germany....

Since 1921 she was renamed "Heinrich Kayser" owned by a Hamburg based shipping Company. In Sept 1922 it was her last yourney to the US eastcoast she brought 6000 tons of british coal from South Shields to Boston and other US eastcoast ports. My grandfather was captain of the ship, when on her return trip to Europe she went into a (several weeks ongoing) full gail in the Northwest Atlantic. It was the night of Dec. 6th when she was helplessly drifting with broken rudderchain, broken hold covering and making much water the SOS Location appr. over the New England Seamonts chain, where she foundered, taking 40 souls and 3 passengers down with her, and without a trace. One month later in Jan. 1923 a keelup drifting lifeboat of the Heinrich Kayser could be sighted and identified by US fishermen at the five fathoms bank lightship. I have built (in honour of all that went down with her) a model of the ship in scale 1:96



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