Clan Line

Captain John Bax
Source: "Gathering of the Clans" by N.L. Middlemiss
Merchant Fleets by Duncan Haws
Research: Terry Robins

Part Two

Clan Line Steamers was formed on 25th June 1890 at a special meeting of subscribers to the new company and Charles personally held the majority of shares (64ths) in the 13 ships of which it became the owners. 5000 shares were issued at £50 each and in addition to this power was created to issue 25,000 in 5% mortgage debentures of £100 each, of which 125,000 were issued. Six new steamers were now ordered, three from Alexander Stephen and three from William Doxford of Sunderland. Charles regained control of 7 ex-association steamers and together with the original 6 ships, now had their engines tripled by Alexander Stephen, J Howden and D. Rowen of Glasgow.

1891 _ 1902.

Official No. 98627. Grt 2268 Nrt 1473
305.0 X 39.0 X 23.3 Feet.

21.4.1891 launched and 5.1891 completed by A. Stephen and Sons, Glasgow (Yard No 332) for Clan Line Steamers Ltd. 1902 Sold to Furness Withy and Co. Ltd, West Hartlepool and renamed EVANGELINE. 1911 sold to A.Embiricos, Greece and renamed PELAGOS. 14.8.1912 stranded off Barry and later refloated and found too badly damaged. Sold to T.W.Ward Ltd. and broken up at Morecambe.

1894 - 1899

Official Number 99099. Grt 2605 Nrt 1664
305.0 X 41.1 X 18.8 ft

13.5.1892 launched and completed in June 1892 by J Bulmer and Co., Sunderland (Yard No 122) as SHAT EL ARAB for Persian Gulf Steam ship Co Ltd., London.1894 purchased by Clan Line Steamers Ltd. And renamed CLAN MACRAE. 16.5.1899 sold to Chadwick Steam Ship Co Ltd. (R.B. Avery manager), Newcastle and renamed Carmelite. 1916. Sold to Berg and Co (M.Ramet manager), London. 1916 sold to Page Shipping Co. Ltd., (Hopkins, Jones and Co.Ltd., managers) Cardiff. 1917 management transferred to John I. Jacobs and Co.

2.3.1918 torpedoed and sunk 10 miles S.W. by W.from Calf of Man by the German submarine U 105 while on a voyage from Bilbao to Cardiff with a cargo of iron ore. Two members of the crew were lost.

In October 1892 while being converted to triple expansion, CLAN MACARTHUR, MACINTOSH, MACPHERSON and MATHESON had their accommodations improved. Two staterooms were added with three cabins on the bridge deck, well-suited and better ventilation for the tropical climate in which these vessels operated. A large new marble panelled smoking room together with a larger music room and an unobstructed promenade deck of around 150 feet long were created on the bridge deck. In 1893 a new service commenced between New York and South-East Africa.

1894 _ 1914

Official No. 104576. Grt 2600 Nrt 1662
312.0 X 40.2 X 24.7 feet

3.9.1894 launched and 10.1894 completed by Naval Construction and Armaments Co Ltd., Barrow (Yard No 228) for Clan Line Steamers Ltd. 1914 sold to The Adelaide Steamship Co.Ltd., Newcastle, N.S.W. and renamed CAMIRA. 1925 sold to W. Mc Bain, China and renamed YUNG NING.1927 sold to CIE.Extreme Orientale, France. 1928 sold to Louis Dubest (Alex Gerondal manager), France and renamed COMMANDANT HENRI RIVIERE. 1936 sold to Shiu Tsing Hong (Far East Shipping Co., managers), China. December 1941 sunk by Japanese forces while lying at Canton.

1894 – 1914.

Official No. 194539. Grt. 2602 Nrt. 1664
312.0 X 40.2 X 24.7 feet.

7.6.1984 Launched and 10.1894 completed by Naval Construction and Armaments Co.Ltd., Barrow (Yard N0 227 for The Clan Line Steamers Ltd. 1914 sold to The Adelaide Steam Ship Co.Lt., Newcastle, N.S.W. and renamed CANTARA. 1924 sold to South China Steam Ship Co., China, and renamed HWAH CHENG. 1928 sold to Yee Cheong & Co., China. 1930 sold to shipbreakers.

1894 _ 1914.

Official No.104593. Grt 2600 Nrt 1654
312.0 X 40.2 X 24.7 feet.

31.10.1894 launched and 12.1894 completed by Naval Construction and Armaments Co, lt., Barrow (Yard No 229) for Clan Line Steamers Ltd. 1914 sold to Adelaide Steam Navigation Co Ltd., Newcastle N.S.W. and renamed CEDUNA. 1925 sold to Woo Kuei Fen (Tung, Tuck & Co., managers), China, and renamed TUNG _ TUCK. 1937 sold to Lee Yuan Steamship Co., China and renamed CHANG TEH. 1938 sold to J.D. Tsounias (China Hellenic Lines Ltd., managers), Greece, and renamed PANANIS. 1941 seized by Japanese Forces and became a war loss.

At the end of 1894 a new route to the Persian Gulf was opened up with the purchase at a cost of £ 63750 for four steamers of the Persian Gulf Steamship Company, the AMARA, TIGRIS, GORJI and SHAT-EL-ARAB, which was renamed CLAN MACRAE the following year and sold in 1889. The first three named ships were sold in 1895 and in that year CLAN DRUMMOND and CLAN FRASER were the first of the company ships to transit the Manchester Ship Canal having had their masts cut to enable them to pass under the bridges which spanned the canal in many places.

The CLAN MATHESON sailed from Tilbury on a cruise with Charles and his Family together with relatives and guests aboard to Kiel on the occasion of the opening of the Kiel Canal. This was in direct response to the cruise of Sir Donald Currie, also to Kiel aboard the TANTALLON CASTLE with Mr. Gladstone aboard. On arrival and while in Kiel the CLAN MATHESON was kept at a distance by German Officials until they discovered that a Royal Navy Admiral was a member of Charles party. They returned by way of Stavanger, Bergan and Kirkwall with the cruise terminating at Ayr and Greenock.

The next additions to the fleet consisted of six steamers, which were ordered from the Barrow yard of Naval Construction and Armaments Ltd., shortly after Charles was elected Conservative M.P. for Barrow in 1892, which he continued to represent for the next 14 years. The ships were the same size vessels as those ordered in 1891 and were to have remarkable long careers. Two, CLAN CAMBELL and CLAN MACKAY were to stay in service with other owners until scrapped in 1948.

Trade with the Malabar Coast, Southern India was commenced in 1896 and was entered into by invitation by the Chartering Coalition, an organization that had been formed some 10 years earlier by coffee growers with the object of having a regular service of chartered steamers for the export of their produce. Preference was given to Clan Line on 19th November 1897 by the said organization. In 1897 Charles was knighted and he was aboard CLAN MACPHERSON at the Diamond Jubilee Naval Review, by the beginning of 1898, Charles had purchased the eight remaining vessels of Clan Line Association. During the Boar War, a number of Clan Line ships were requisitioned and a great expansion of trade to South Africa took place. Clan Line ships did not have loading rights homeward and went on to Mauritius, Batavia and more frequently India in ballast before loading return cargoes of sugar, hides, tea, cotton and grain for shipment via The Suez Canal.

Around 1900 the original ships that the company had built up in the first five years of its operations were being sold on for further service, and the “turret” steamers, the first of which were delivered in 1897, were replacing them. They were built to take advantage of the loose wording of the payment clauses for the Suez Canal dues, which were based entirely on deck area calculations. The “Turrets” had very narrow decks superimposed on a hull of normal proportions and thus secured advantageous calculations of dues. The serious shortcoming of the “Turret” design was the stability at large angles of roll. The loss of buoyancy at the vessel’s side and deck gave them a decreased ability to withstand rolling force, although the full range of stability in degrees was as good as any other contemporary. While vulnerable hatch covers were well above the waterline, care still had to be taken when loading the ship with a full cargo, to ensure that the center of gravity was kept low thus keeping the metercentre within acceptable limits.



1896 _ 1898.

Official No. 106016. Grt 3442 Nrt 2177
340.2 X 45.6 X 24.5 feet.

Turret Deck Steamer.

25.4.1896 Launched and 7.1896 completed by W. Doxford and Sons Ltd., Sunderland (Yard No 242.) as IMPERIALIST for Angier Brothers, London.1896 purchased by Clan Line Steamers. 1898 renamed CLAN SHAW. 1898 sold to Nautilus Steam Shipping Co.Ltd., (F. and W Ritson, managers), Sunderland, and renamed VINE BRANCH. 23.3.1917 sailed from Dakar on a voyage to Liverpool with a cargo of nitrates and disappeared. She was presumed to have been torpedoed and sunk about 11.4.1917 with the loss of all 44 crew.


1896 _ 1898.
Official No. 106021. Grt 3442 Nrt 2177

340.3 X 45.6 X 24.5 feet.
Turret Deck Steamer.

27.6.1896 launched and 8.1896 completed by W.Doxford and Sons Ltd., Sunderland (Yard No 243) as BULLIONIST for Angier Brothers, London. 1896 purchased by Clan Line Steamer and never carried a Clan Name. 17.9.1898 sold to Nautilus Steam Shipping Co Ltd. (F and W Ritson, managers) Sunderland and renamed ORANGE BRANCH. 11.1919 sold to _ K _ Steamship Co. Ltd. (Kaye, Son and Co. Ltd., managers), London and renamed KEMMEL. 23.2.1920 wrecked at St Vincent, Cape Verde Islands while on a voyage from Rosario to Constantinople with a cargo of meat and flour.

1896 - 1925

Official No.105979. Grt 2669 Nrt 1704
312.3 X 40.2 X 23.5 feet.

1.2.1896 launched and 2.1896 completed by Naval Construction and Armaments Co Ltd., Barrow (Yard No 245) for Clan Line Steamers Ltd. 1925 sold to A.Ardito, Italy and renamed NOSTRA SIGNORA DI CORONATA. 1928 Broken up in Italy.

IMPERIALIST and BULLIONIST were purchased from Angier Brothers, London in 1896 and operated on a year’s trial to discover their capabilities. Charles was well satisfied with the performance of these ships and placed an order for five ships of a much larger size than previously built. CLAN MACDONALD appeared first in 1897 with two decks while CLAN BUCHANAN of 1907 which was the last of 30 built for the company, had three decks. All, except CLAN CUMMING and CLAN FERGUSON, which were built under licence by Vickers and Maxim, Barrow, were constructed at the Sunderland yard of William Doxford. The “Turret” ship came to be known as the mark of a Clan Line ship, however two capsized and sank whilst in Clan Line Service. CLAN RANALD under the command of Capt. Arthur Gladstone and completed in 1900, loaded 6,500 tons of grain and flour in Adelaide and in addition had about 70 tons of bunker coal on a turret deck, 50 on the starboard side and 20 on the port side as well as 50 tons on the upper fiddley deck. She sailed at 7 am on 31st January 1909 with a strong SSE wind blowing and a starboard list of four degrees, which increased, to six degrees. At 2 pm. that afternoon when off Edithburg, she suddenly heeled over further to starboard putting the turret deck under water. She stayed in this position until 5 p.m. when the helm was put over to head for shore. At 8 p.m. when about 2 miles off shore the anchor was let go and 90 fathoms of cable was paid out. The ship stopped and lay head–on to a moderate wind and sea, but she continued to heel over and at 10 p.m. she capsized and sank. There was a Board of Trade Enquiry following the capsizing of the CLAN RANALD on 31st of January 1909 and Doxfords examined in great detail the stability of all the “Turrets” they had built. Following this they issued special loading instructions to the owners, drawing attention to such matters as the necessity for putting water ballast into double bottom tanks if loaded down to the load line with a bulk cargo which filled the turret spaces, the same precaution was to be observed if bunker fuel was to be carried on the turret deck.

1897 _ 1922.

Official No. 106067. Grt 4838 Nrt 3113
400.6 X 50.2 X 27.7 feet.

Turret Deck Steamer.

3.3.1897 launched and 4.1897 completed by W.Doxford and Sons Ltd., Sunderland (Yard No 250) for Clan Line Steamers Ltd. 12.1897 in collision with steamer OBRA, owned by British India Steam Navigation Co., at Garden House Point in River Hooghly on a voyage from UK to Calcutta with general cargo. 1922 sold to Hokuyo Kisen Kabushiki Kaisha, Japan and renamed HOKUYO MARU. 1928 sold to ship breakers.

1899 _ 1925.

Official No. 108797. Grt 4898 Nrt 3108
400.6 X 50.2 X 27.5 feet.

Turret Deck Steamer.

26.1.1899 Launched by Vickers, Sons and Maxim Ltd., Barrow (Yard No.268) for Clan Line Steamers Ltd. 5.11.1917 torpedoed and damaged by a German submarine 20 miles S.W. of the Lizard while on a voyage from Baltimore to Brest with a cargo of copper, steel and timber. Towed to Falmouth and beached. She was later refloated, repaired and returned to service. 1925 sold to Soc. Anon. Cantiere Olivo, Italy and renamed ETTORE. 1927 sold to Tito Campanella S.A., Italy, and renamed ELISA CAMPANELLA. 1932 sold to ship breakers.

1898 _ 1917.

Official No. 108779. Grt 4808 Nrt 3107
400.6 X 50.2 X 27.5 feet.

Turret Deck Steamer.

4.10.1898 launched by Vickers, Sons and Maxim Ltd., Barrow (Yard No. 267) for The Clan Line Steamers Ltd. 6.9.1917 torpedoed and sunk 15 miles N.W. from Cape Spartel by the German submarine UB 49 while on a voyage from River Clyde to Bombay with a cargo of coal and general cargo. Ten members of the crew were lost.

1899 _ 1924

Official No.111188. Grt 2832 Nrt 1775
326.0 X 40.2 X 23.6 feet.

24.4.1899 launched by Mrs. J. Maclare and 6.1899 completed by A. Stephen and Sons, Glasgow (Yard No 382) for Clan Line Steamers Ltd. 20.6.1918 attacked by a submarine in the North Atlantic and escaped when the torpedo missed. 1924 sold to Kuribaysashi Shosen K.K.., Japan, and renamed MURORAN MARU No 6. 1933 sold to ship breakers.

1899 _ 1921.

Official No. 111220. Grt 2816 Nrt 1755
326.2 X 40.2 X 23.5 feet.
9.8.1899 launched and 9.1899 completed by Blackwood and Gordon, Port Glasgow (Yard No 241) for Clan Line Steamers Ltd. 2.5.1916 attacked by gunfire from a submarine in the Bay of Biscay while on a voyage from Mauritius to London with general cargo and escaped. 1921 sold to Yamamoto Shoji K.K., Japan, and renamed SHUNKA MARU. 1924 renamed SHINKA MARU. 1926 reverted to SHUNKA MARU. 19.7.1932 sank after striking a rock while on a voyage from Tsingtao to Chemulpo, Korea.

1899 _ 1917.

Official No.111232. Grt 3587 Nrt 2285
355.0 X 45.6 X 24.7 feet.

Turret Deck Steamer.

22.9.1899 launched and 10.1899 completed by W.Doxford and Sons Ltd., Sunderland (Yard No 273) for Clan Line Steamers Ltd. 9.6.1917 torpedoed and sunk 40 miles N.E ½ E from Muckle Flugga by the German submarine U 60 while on a voyage from the River Tyne to Archangel. Eight members of the crew were lost.

The Board of Trade Enquiry on the Master, who had allegedly contravened these loading instructions, blamed the loss of CLAN GORDON in 1919 off North Carolina on her Captain. CLAN GORDON, also completed in 1900, had left New York on 28th July 1919 with case oil and bags of wax for North China ports via Panama Canal. When clear of land her Master tested the ships stability by putting the helm over each way with no resulting heeling. Two days later in the morning, he decided to pump out the water in No’s 1 and 2 double bottom ballast tanks. This would put the ship down a little by the stern to give the propeller better power in the water and so increase speed, and also in the mistaken belief that this would improve her bad weather handling. During the afternoon the ship took a list of five degrees, but worse followed at 4.40 p.m. when the helm was put over to port to swing the ship for sun bearings and the ship heeled right over and capsized. There was no time to launch the lifeboats and the crew walked along the side of the ship and on to her bottom, where, they sat on the upturned keel until they were rescued, CLAN GORDON floated upside down for some time before sinking.

1900 _ 1909.

Official No.111290. Grt 3596 Nrt 2285
355.0 X 45.6 x 24.7 feet.

Turret Deck Ship.

31.7.1900 launched and 9.1900 completed by W.Doxford and Sons Ltd., Sunderland. (Yard No 279) for Clan Line Steamers Ltd. 31.1.1909 capsized and sank off Edithburgh, South Australia while on a voyage from Adelaide to Durban, East London and Capetown with a cargo of flour and wheat.

1900 - 1919

Official No.111269. Grt 3589 Nrt 2286
355.0 X 45.6 X 24.7 feet.

Turret Deck Steamer.

12.5.1900 launched and 6.1900 completed by W.Doxford and Sons Ltd., Sunderland. (Yard No 277) for Clan Line Steamers Ltd. 30.7.1919 capsized and sank 140 miles S.E. of Cape Hatteras while on a voyage from New York to Daire via the Panama Canal with a cargo of wax and cased of oil.

Launched as

1900 - 1917

Official No. 13919. Grt 3595 Nrt 2285
355.0 X 45.6 X 24.7 feet.
Turret Deck Steamer.

11.10.1900 launched as CLAN MACRAE (2) and 11.1900 completed by W.Doxford and Sons Ltd., Sunderland (Yard No 281) for Clan Line Steamers Ltd as CLAN CAMERON. (2) 22.12.1917 torpedoed and sunk 23 miles S.W. by S. ½ S from Portland Bill by the German Submarine UB. 58 while on a voyage from Chittagong to London with a cargo of jute and tea.

In 1901 the Assam – Bengal Railway was completed and the Jetties at Chittagong to the East of Calcutta were opened. Clan Line inaugurated sailings from that port for tea and jute, CLAN MENZIES taking the first cargo in July 1901. In the last six months of 1903, 15 Clan Line ships loaded at Chittagong.

1903 - 1929

Official No.115775. Grt 4807 Nrt 3053
395.5 X 51.1 X 27.0 feet.

1.4.1903 launched and 7.1903 completed by Furness Withy and Co.Ltd., West Hartlepool (Yard No 266) for Clan Line Steamers Ltd. 1929 sold to Soc.Anon.di Nav. Marco U Martinolich, Italy, for 16500 and renamed NORMA. 1932 sold to Italian Ship breakers.

1907 _ 1914.

Official No. 124334. Grt 3760 Nrt 2418
368.4 X 49.0 X 25.9 Feet.

20.2.1907 launched and 1907 completed by Furness Withy and Co. Ltd., West Hartlepool (Yard No 300) as RAPIDAN for Chesapeake and Ohio Steamship Co. Ltd. (Furness Withy and Co.Ltd., managers) London. 1907 purchased by Clan Line Steamers Ltd and renamed CLAN MACIVER. 1914 sold to Furness Withy and Co.Ltd., West Hartlepool, and renamed RAPIDAN.1924 sold to Charles G. Dunn Shipping Co.Ltd., Liverpool and renamed DOVENBY HALL. 1927 sold to P.M. Hadoulis and Partners, Greece and renamed PANAGHIS M.HADOULIS. 21.1.1933 sold to Messrs Oliver and Co., Panama, and renamed MIREILLE. 1934 sold to Italian ship breakers and broken up at Genoa.

1907 _ 1914.

Official No. 124329. Grt 3755 Nrt 2442
368.4 X 49.0 X 25.9 Feet.

28.12.1906 launched and 1907 completed by Furness, Withy and Co. Ltd., West Hartlepool (Yard No 299) as ROANOKE for Chesapeake and Ohio Steamship Co.Ltd. (Furness, Withy and Co. Ltd., managers), London. 1907 purchased by Clan Line Steamers Ltd. and renamed CLAN MACINNES. 1914 sold to Furness.Withy and Co.Ltd., West Hartlepool and renamed ROANOKE. 11.2.1917 torpedoed and damaged 4 miles S.E. of Girdleness while on a voyage from Dundee to New York with General Cargo. Towed to Dundee and repaired. 12.8.1917 captured by the German submarine UB.48 and sunk by bombs 100 miles W.N.W. of Butt of Lewis while on a voyage from Leith to Philadelphia with general cargo.

Cayzer Irvine & Co was incorporated into a limited company on 1st July 1907. Authorised capital was £1,000,000 consisting of 5000 5% cumulative Preference shares of £100 and 5,000 ordinary shares of £100 each. 4,000 Preference shares and 3,000 Ordinary shares were issued all of which, except 6 Ordinary shares, were allotted to Sir Charles. The other six went to the other directors i.e. his 4 eldest sons and his 2 sons–in–law. The business of Cayzer, Irvine & Co was acquired for £700,000 by Cayzer, Irvine & Co Ltd. Sir Charles’ second eldest son John, tragically died in 1908 and his fourth eldest son Arthur, died after a long illness in June, 1909. His eldest son Charles William retired early from the business in 1910 after a long series of disagreements with his father.

There were other ships constructed for the company during the “Turret” building programme and one of these, CLAN MACINTYRE completed in 1903 by Furness, Withy & Co at their West Hartlepool yard, was the last ship to sight the cargo liner WARATAH with 211 people on board eight hours out of Durban on 27th July, 1909. They exchanged signals and remained in sight for three hours, and then the WARATAH disappeared without trace. The end must have been sudden and she was not equipped with radio, which at that time was still a fairly recent development.

The “Turret” CLAN CAMERON, built in 1900, loaded at Birkenhead in 1909 a heavy boiler for Tuticorin by a floating crane into her No 2 tween deck. There was no crane in Tuticorin that was able to lift the weight of this boiler, so it was decided to drop it from the harbour deck of the turret into the water and float it ashore. The boiler had been tested previously for buoyancy by floating it in Birkenhead dock. CLAN CAMERON then sailed to Bombay, where the nearest suitable crane then lifted it out of her hold and onto the harbour deck after which she set sail for Tuticorin. On arrival, a lunch was arranged and the boiler was to be ceremoniously dropped into the harbour once the meal had been completed. The party of representatives, well fortified after a good lunch, assembled on the lower bridge to watch, and the mate wielding a polished lifeboat axe, cut through the single 4-inch manilla lashing holding the boiler. It plunged with a big splash into the water, bobbed up and down for a while, settled and then promptly sank. The incredulous expressions on the faces of the lunch party said it all – they just could not believe it. The explanation was simple: the floating of the boiler in the dock at Birkenhead had swelled the wooden plugs of the numerous inlet and outlet openings and in the subsequent six weeks of hot dry weather they had dried out, after the first big plug had fallen out when the boiler hit the water, the others blew out as water entered and compressed the air inside. The boiler lies to this day at the bottom of the harbour at Tuticorin. Needless to say this method of unloading heavy lifts was not tried again.

1907 _ 1933.

Official No. 124232. Grt 5212 Nrt 3288
400.1 X 52.1 X 27.4 feet.

Turret Deck Steamer.

24.9.1907 launched and 11.1907 completed by W.Doxford and Sons Ltd., Sunderland (Yard No 335) for Clan Line Steamers Ltd. 12.11.1916 attacked by gunfire from submarine off Cape Ortegal and escaped. 1933 sold to Hughes Bolckow Ship breaking Co. Ltd. and broken up at Blyth.

CLAN MACLAREN of 1899 under the command of Capt. George Shearer sailed to New Zealand in 1909 and rounded the Horn. She went outward to South Africa and then on to Bunbury for orders and was instructed to load a cargo of coal at Port Kembia, Queensland for Wellington. She doubled back for a cargo of concentrates to stiffen her bottom at Port Pirie before loading for Auckland, Gisborne, Napier, Lyttleton, Timaru, Omaru, Port Chalmers and Wellington. They left Wellington with 3 feet and 4 inches of freeboard and open gangways opposite the hatchways on the main deck, and soon after ran into a severe gale and lost 30 tons of coal and 10 sheep washed overboard from the deck. Lifelines were essential to moving around on deck. When wind was suitable, trysails and staysails were set during the 6,000 mile run to the Horn. Safely round the Horn they arrived in Surry Commercial Dock on their 62nd day out and discharged and excellent cargo in good condition.

1911 _ 1948.

Official No. 129596. Grt 5023 Nrt 3107
430.6 X 53.6 X 26.6 Feet.

12.6.1911 launched and 1911 completed by Sir W.G. Armstrong, Whitworth and Co. Ltd., Newcastle (Yard No 834) for Clan Line Steamers.1948 sold to Eastern Asia Navigation Co. Ltd., Hong Kong, and renamed MACLOCK. 16.1.1949 arrived Bruges to be broken up by Van Heyghen Freres. 3.2.1949 breaking up of ship commenced.

1912 _ 1921.

Official No. 133005. Grt 5058 Nrt 3166
430.0 x 53.5 X 26.6 Feet.

21.11.1911 launched and completed 2.1912 by W.Doxford and Sons Ltd., Sunderland (Yard No 429) for Clan Line Steamers Ltd. 9.1914 aided crew of H.M.S. PEGASUS after its sinking at Zanzibar by German Cruiser KÖNIGSBERG.

German Cruiser KÖNIGSBERG

10.1914 towed H.M.S CHATHAM off Leven Rocks near Kilindini, Mombasa. 9.3.1915 chased by submarine off Liverpool Bar Light Vessel, and managed to escape. 1921 transferred to British and South American Steam Navigation Co.Ltd. (Houston Line, managers) and renamed BANFFSHIRE. 29.9.1943 torpedoed and sunk by submarine U 532 in position 09º 26" N 71º 20" E, 380 miles S.W. of Mangalore.

1912 _ 1917.

Official No. 133017. Grt 5058 Nrt 3166
430.0 X 53.5 X 26.6 Feet.

19.12.1911 launched and 2.1912 completed by W.Doxford and Sons Ltd., Sunderland (Yard No 431) for Clan Line Steamers Ltd. 24.6.1917 torpedoed and sunk by submarine UC.17 130 miles S.W. by W ¼ W from the Scillies while on a voyage from Brisbane to London with general cargo.

1912 _ 1921

Official No. 133085. Grt 5815 Nrt 3614
450.1 X 57.1 X 26.8 Feet.

26.9.1912 launched and 1912 completed by Sir W.G.Armstrong, Whitworth and Co. Ltd., Newcastle (Yard No 846) for Clan Line Steamers Ltd. 27.4.1917 chased by a submarine off Scilly Isles but managed to escape. 1912 transferred to Scottish Shire Line (Turnbull, Martin and Co., managers) and renamed BERWICKSHIRE. 20.8.1944 torpedoed and sunk by submarine U 861 in position 30º 58' S 38º 50' E 500 miles E.S.E. of Durban while on a voyage from Durban to Tamatave and Mauritius.

1912 _ 1920.

Official No. 133053. Grt5140 Nrt 3190
430.5 X 53.6 X 26.6 Feet.

16.3.1912 launched and 1912 completed by Palmers Shipbuilding and Iron Co.Ltd., Jarrow (Yard No 817) for Clan Line Steamers Ltd. 1920 transferred to the British and South American Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. (Houston Line, managers) and renamed BUTESHIRE. 25.2.1948 arrived at Preston for breaking up.

Her sister CLAN MACFADYEN of 1899 had an unusual voyage in 1911 when after discharging at Cape Town and East London, she proceeded to Ananalava and Majunga in Madagascar to load mangrove bark from dhows at open beaches. A cable was received from Head Office to proceed to position 17° 5’S 38° 30'E to pick up 900 tons of bark stacked on the beach near the mouth of the Moebozi River. Capt. Mason knew this coast well and wisely went to Quelimane first to ask about this river mouth and anchored four miles off the coast at the indicated position and sent the ships boat to see if there was sufficient depth of water on the bar. At high water it was soon found that there was only 12 to 15 feet depth of water, with CLAN MACFAYDEN having a draft at this time of 19 feet. Unfortunately, the ship’s boat grounded and overturned during this process, but natives soon had the boat righted and relaunched to return to the ship. CLAN MACFAYDEN then went back to Quelimane to cable for instructions and was ordered to rendezvous with CLAN ALPINE, a “turret” built in 1899, and transfer 2,000tons of bark into her holds. CLAN MACFAYDEN then sailed for Chittagong to load jute and tea for London.

Her sister CLAN MACKINNON homeward bound from Savannah, Georgia with a general cargo for Glasgow under the command of Capt. H.R. East, rescued the entire crew of the Norwegian cutter ELSIE in 1910 that was in difficulties in extremely rough weather. After the rescue, CLAN MACKINNON was forced to hove to herself for several hours in deteriorating weather conditions. Later the Norwegian Government presented a silver commemoration cup to Capt. East in appreciation of his efforts.

1913 _ 1916.

Official No. 133100. Grt 5816 Nrt 3626
450.1 X 57.1 X 26.8 Feet.

9.12.1912 launched and 1913 completed by Sir W.G.Armstrong, Whitworth and Co.Ltd., Newcastle (Yard No 847) for Clan Line Steamers Ltd. 161.1916 sunk by German Raider MOEWE in position 30º 40' N 17º 10' W, 120 miles S.W. of Funchal on a voyage from Wellington to London with general cargo, eighteen Indian crew killed and three taken prisoner.

German Raider MOEWE pictured in Kiel Canal

1913 _ 1942

Official No.133157. Grt 5060 Nrt 3152
429.2 X 53.7 X 26.6 Feet.

16.9.1913 launched and 11.1913 completed by A.Stephens and Sons Ltd., Glasgow (Yard No 456) for Clan Line Steamers Ltd. 1914 requisitioned by the Admiralty as a Royal Naval Squadron supply ship. 13.6.1942 sunk by torpedo and gunfire from Italian submarine DA VINCI in position 5° 30' N 23° 30' W, 600 miles from Freetown.

Official No. 133153. Grt 5121 Nrt 3180
430.2 X 53.4 X 26.7 Feet.

4.9.1913 launched and 11.1913 completed by C.Connell and Co. Ltd., Glasgow (Yard No 354) for Clan Line Steamers Ltd. 17.11.1917 torpedoed and sunk by submarine UB.51 165 miles N.N.W. of Alexandria while on a voyage from Madras to London with general cargo.

Furness Withy managed two ships that had been built in 1907 at their West Hartlepool yard for the Chesapeake & Ohio Steamship Company Ltd. RAPIDAN and ROANOKE were then purchased by the company the following year to become CLAN MACIVER and CLAN MACINNES, but were sold back to Furness, Withy in 1914, resuming their former names. CLAN MACGILLIVRAY, completed in 1911 by Armstrong, Whitworth at their Walker, Newcastle yard, gave the longest service of any vessel owned by the company. She served as a Hospital Ship for the Anzac landing in Gallipoli in 1915. She survived two world wars and was still able to give a few more years before being scrapped in 1949. CLAN MACRAE and CLAN DAVIDSON. built in 1912 by William Doxford & Sons Ltd of Sunderland, were the first Clan Line vessels to be fitted with refrigeration equipment and were specially designed for the Australian homeward trade. The had a service speed of 14 knots and averaged 31 days for the voyage from Western Australia to Europe and had three refrigerated sisters, CLAN MACARTHUR, CLAN MACEWEN, and CLAN MACTAVISH, all with a capacity of 3,500 tons of refrigerated cargo in addition to general cargo CLAN MACQUARRIE of 1913, a shelter deck vessel was the last ship to be built at Linthouse,Govan for the Clan Line by Alexander Stephen & Son Ltd., this shipyard had financially supported the company in its early days. CLAN MACQUARRIE was one of five new vessels completed for the company in the year before the Great War, including one that was purchased while fitting out on the Tyne for J. & C. Harrison Ltd., London as HARFLETE. Tragically two of them, CLAN MACTAVISH and CLAN MACCORQUODALE were not to be afloat at the end of the war.

Part Three