Requisitioned Auxiliary – Fernhill


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Official Number:                        123194

Laid down:

Builder:                                   Richardson, Duck & Co. Ltd., Thornaby-on-Tees

Pennant Nr:                             Y 3.2

Launched:                               15 January 1908

Into Service:                            11 June 1913

Out of service:                         1918

Fate:                                       Broken up 3 April 1936


Items of historic interest involving this ship: –


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

Career Data:


15 January 1908 launched by Richardson, Duck & Co Ltd., Thornaby-on-Tees, Stockton as Yard Nr: 591 named Fernhill for Walter J Tillet & Co. Cardiff

February 1908 completed

28 January 1910 passed Prawle Point

21 February 1910 sailed from Barry, South Wales

13 May 1912 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard

11 June 1913 requisitioned for Admiralty service as a collier – name unchanged – at a rate of hire of £1,200 per month for 1 year decreasing to £1,150 per month thereafter

17 September 1913 at Oban alongside HMS CARNAVON supplying with 275 tons of bunker coal

6 November 1913 at No 8 wharf at Devonport alongside HMS CARNAVON supplying her with 185 tons of bunker coal

1914 owners became W J Tillet Steamship Co. Ltd., Cardiff

18 June 1914 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard 

19 August 1914 at Scapa Flow alongside HMS GIBRALTAR supplying bunker coal


HMS Gibraltar



19 December 1914 at Cromarty alongside HMS LEVIATHAN supplying bunker coal


HMS Leviathan



12 May 1915 at Invergordon alongside HMS PRINCESS ROYAL supplying bunker coal

11 June 1915 requisitioned as a Peace collier transport

25 April 1916 & 26 April 1916 off Rosyth alongside HMS HIBERNIA supplying 245 tons of bunker coal





27 March 1918 at Scapa Flow alongside HMS ACHILLES supplying 260 tons of bunker coal


HMS Achilles



4 June 1918 at Scapa Flow alongside HMS COMMONWEALTH supplying 330 tons of bunker coal


HMS Commonwealth



1 August 1918 at Scapa Flow alongside HMS COMMONWEALTH supplying 960 tons of bunker coal

6 October 1919 at Biorko alongside HMS VINDICTIVE 2 supplying bunker coal

1919 returned to her owners – name unchanged

1919 purchased by Llewellyn Shipping Co Ltd., Cardiff – name unchanged

1926 purchased by Smith, Hogg & Co Ltd., West Hartlepool and renamed Rowanburn

11 November 1928 at Palamos – vessel caught fire. Engine room, and officers quarters gutted. Part of the bridge, chart room and two life boats destroyed by fire. Fire in holds 3 & 4 extinguished by flooding – source Lloyds Casualty report

6 December 1929 while on passage from Cardiff to Santander reported in distress in heavy weather seven miles south of Wolf Rock – source Lloyds Casualty report

1932 purchased by A/B Union Steamship Co Ltd., (A/B Nielsen & Thorden Oy, Managers) Helsinki and renamed Union

3 April 1936 arrived at Hartlepool for demolition by South Stockton Shipbreaking Co Ltd.