Requisitioned Auxiliary – Duchess of Devonshire


Dut of Devonshire


Official Number:                        99941

Laid down:

Builder:                                   Naval Construction & Armaments Co., Barrow

Launched:                               21 January 1897

Pennant No:                            M.09 / M 1.03 / M 1.02

Into Service:                           30 October 1914

Out of service:                        6 November 1919

Fate:                                     1949 Broken up


Items of historic interest involving this ship: –


Background Data:  One of an additional group of ships requisitioned by the Admiralty during WW1 & WW2  to augment the ships of the RFA

Career Data:

22 January 1897 launched by Naval Construction & Armanents Co., Barrow as Yard Nr: 255 named DUCHESS OF DEVONSHIRE for Barrow Steam Navigation Co (James Little & Co., Managers) Barrow

27 January 1897 the Lloyds List newspaper reported …


27 1 1897 Lloyds List Duchess of Devonshire


March 1897 completed

February 1906 owners became Midland Railway Co – name unchanged

30 October 1914 requisitioned for Admiralty service as an Armed Boarding Steamer and commissioned as HMS DUCHESS OF DEVONSHIRE

8 June 1918 Fireman Thomas Victory MMR 743416 discharged dead. He is remembered with pride on the Plymouth Naval Memorial

1919 was used to repatriate troops

1 January 1919 Seaman J Smith RNR 3516/B discharged dead. He is buried at Bragar Old Churchyard

19 March 1919 at Le Harve Gunner & Assistant Steward Stanley Nightingale discharged dead from pneumonia

6 November 1919 decommisitioned and returned to her owners as DUCHESS OF DEVONSHIRE

10 April 1920 at sea off the Isle of Man Greaser Charles Moore discharged dead – missing presumed drowned

24 August 1922 at sea Fireman Andrew McMillan discharged dead from shock following burns

25 August 1922 at Noble Hospital, Douglas, Isle of Man Fireman Frank Druce and Fireman Edward William Glen both discharged dead from shock following burns

1 January 1923 owners became London, Midland & Scottish Railway Co – name unchanged

July 1928 purchased for £6,200 by M H Bland & Co., Gibraltar and overhauled at a cost of £12,000

17 September 1928 arrived at Gibraltar and was renamed GIBEL DERSA

gibel dersa

Gibel Dersa

gibeldersa dining room

Gibel Dersa – dinning room

gibeldersa pax lounge

Gibel Dersa – passengers lounge

28 September 1928 first sailing from Gibraltar to Tangiers for her new owners

23 July 1936 while crossing the Straits of Gibraltar from Tangiers to Gibraltar came under air attack when two bombs were dropped near the ship. HMS WHITEHALL fired warning shots at the attacking aircraft

HMS Whitehall IWM FL 10658


27 June 1940 again requisitioned to evacuate civilians from Vichy held Casablanca

15 July 1940 was laid up at anchor at Gibraltar

November 1942 was used as a Naval Accommodation Ship at Gibraltar

September 1943 purchased for £7,000 by Dalhousie Steam and Motor Ship Co, London – name unchanged

May 1944 the charted and accommodation ship service ended and she was out up for disposal

September 1947 purchased by A Benamin & Co, Gibraltar – name unchanged

1949 after nine years of inactivity she was towed to Malaga and scrapped