Requisitioned Auxiliaries – Gretafield







Official Number:                     149468  

Laid down:

Builder:                                    Cammell, Laird & Co Ltd, Birkenhead

Launched:                               22 March 1928

Into Service:                            1939

Out of service:                         1940

Fate:                                        1940 torpedoed and damaged, broke in two and was declared a CTL


Items of historic interest involving this ship: –


Background Data:  One of an additional group of ships requisitioned by the Admiralty during WW2 to augment the ships of the RFA


Career Data:


22 March 1928 launched by Cammell, Laird & Co Ltd, Birkenhead as Yard Nr 931 named GRETAFIELD for Northern Petroleum Tank Steamship Co Ltd (Hunting & Son, Managers) Newcastle.

15 May 1928 completed

11 December 1928 arrived at Sourabaya, Indonesia from Falmouth

9 April 1929 berthed at Hull from Sourabaya, Indonesia

15 April 1929 sailed for Sourabaya, Indonesia

8 July 1929 sailed Hull for the River Tyne in ballast

28 October 1929 arrived at Port Said on passage to Sourabaya, Indonesia

2 November 1929 passed Perim

21 November 1929 sailed Samarang for Aden

6 December 1929 passed Perim

11 December 1929 sailed from Port Said

19 December 1929 passed Gibraltar

3 January 1930 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on Flamborough Head sailing north bound

12 December 1930 sailed from Southampton for Aruba

25 November 1931 arrived at Southampton

16 December 1935 sailed Abadan 

7 February 1937 at Hamburg Greaser Matthew Scott discharged dead after an accident

23 December 1938 at Gravesend was in collision with tanker Cleopatra. Damage unknown both ships continued on voyages – source Lloyds Casualty reports

1939 requisitioned for Admiralty service as an oiler

29 September 1939 sailed Southend in convoy OA12G – this convoy was reformed on 2 October 1939 as convoy OG1  at sea at 49.30N 7.30W and arrived at Gibraltar on 8 October 1939

8 October 1939 sailed from Gibraltar in convoy Green 4 to Port Said arriving on 17 October 1939

19 October 1939 sailed Suez independently to Abadan arriving 31 October 1939

2 November 1939 sailed Abadan independently to Suez arriving 18 November 1939 

19 November 1939 sailed Port Said in convoy HG 9 to the Downs arriving 9 December 1939

13 December 1939 sailed Southend in convoy FN54 to Methil arriving the next day

24 December 1939 sailed Rosyth independently to Liverpool arriving 26 December 1939

28 December 1939 sailed Liverpool in convoy OB62 until dispersal on 31 December 1939 and then sailed independently to Curacao arriving 17 January 1940

18 January 1940 sailed Curacao independently to Halifax arriving on 28 January 1940

31 January 1940 sailed Halifax in convoy HX 18

14 February 1940 torpedoed and damaged by the German submarine U-57 in the North Sea SE of Noss Head in position 58.27 N 02.33 W  while on passage from Curacao to Invergodon via Halifax, N.S. carrying 13,000t of fuel oil, a straggler from Convoy HX18 with the loss of eleven lives. Those who were lost are remembered with pride on the Tower Hill Memorial and the Merchant Navy Roll of Honour, The Scottish National War Memorial, Edinburgh Castle. Also Listed on the Kildonan War Memorial, Helmsdale. Thirty survivors were rescued  by HM trawlers PEGGY NUTTEN and STRATHALLADALE and landed at Wick. The ship was abandoned on fire and drifting


19 March 1940 drifted ashore at Dunbeath, Caithnesshire, broke in two and was declared a CTL


Memorial to one of those lost when the ship was sunk
and was erected in Laverton Burial Ground, Caithness
Image courtesy of the Scottish War Memorials Project
Greatfield CWGC

Image courtesy of the Scottish War Memorials Project