Requisitioned Auxiliary – Murex



Copyright Helder acknowledged


Official Number:                    101899

Pennant No:                           Y.7.111

Laid down:                              

Builder:                                   Wm Gray & Co Ltd., West Hartlepool

Launched:                              28 May 1892

Into Service:                           4 February 1916

Out of service:                        21 December 1916

Fate:                                        Torpedoed and Sunk


Items of historic interest involving this ship: –


Background Data:  One of several ships requisitioned by the Admiralty for service during WW1 to augment the ships of the RFA

Career Data:

August 1891 ordered as one of 10 coal burning tankers

28 May 1892 launched by Wm Gray & Co Ltd., West Hartlepool as Yard Nr: 442 named Murex for M Samuel & Co, London

July 1892 completed as the first specifically designed and built tanker for her owners

26 July 1892 sailed West Hartlepool on her maiden voyage to Batum in the Black Sea where she loaded 4,000t of Russian kerosene

24 August 1892 proceeded southwards under tow through the Suez Canal and discharged her cargo at Singapore and Bangkok

26 August 1895 in the Straits of Bonifacio Lascar Seaman Yaub bin Hadji discharged dead from injuries sustain in an accidental fall

18 July 1896 at 12.39N 46.05E Seaman Allee Ahamed discharged dead from natural causes

10 December 1896 sailed Batoum to Port Said

1898 owners became Shell Transport & trading Co Ltd (M Samuel & Co. Managers), London – name unchanged

8 August 1901 having been refloated from a grounding was towed into Hong Kong to enter dry dock

26 September 1901 at Singapore General Hospital Quartermaster N Sterianos discharged dead from paraplegia. He had been discharged from the ship to the hospital on 21 July 1901

1902 was the first tanker to ship gasoline in bulk over a long distance and carried 4,000t from Balik Papan refinery in Borneo, around the Cape of Good Hope, to Thames Haven as tankers carrying benzine were not permitted to transit the Suez Canal at that time

27 October 1902 at Thames Haven Fireman Chang Ah Kam discharged dead from beri beri. He was buried on 29 October 1902 in the church yard of St Margarets Parish Church, Stanford le Hope, Essex

10 February 1903 sailed Singapore

3 April 1903 passed Cape Moreton while on passage from Sydney, NSW to Singapore

21 December 1904 at 5.35N 13.16W Fireman Chew ah Chew discharged dead from beri beri

16 June 1905 at 13.59N 106.14E Carpenter Tan Ah Seng, Sailor Ng Ah Tong and Sailor Cheong Ah Yew each discharged dead after being washed overboard and drowned

29 December 1906 berthed at Yokohama, Japan

17 March 1907 sailed Singapore

10 April 1907 sailed Shanghai, China

29 July 1907 owners restyled as Anglo Saxon Petroleum Co Ltd., – name unchanged

19 October 1907 sailed Calcutta

20 May 1908 at 0.53N 106.14E No: 2 Donkeyman Greaser Low Kam discharged dead from beri beri

3 February 1909 at 00.39S 97.14W Sailor Chung Ah Fook discharged dead from dropsey

15 October 1909 at Pt Bukum Bandary Cheong Yenn discharged dead from beri beri

21 October 1909 at 13.13S 05.58E Bandary Ling ah Song discharged dead from heart disease

5 January 1910 at Durban Fireman’s Boy Ah Choi discharged dead – cause not shown in the Register of Deceased Seaman

9 April 1911 sailed from Singapore for Adelaide

3 September 1911 berthed at Brisbane – the first tank steamer to berth at any port in Queensland. A tour of the ship followed by a celebration lunch was held while the ship was alongside at Mercantile Wharf

4 January 1912 passed Cape Borda

27 May 1912 before Adelaide Police Court two Chinese stowaways from Singapore appeared charged with being prohibited immigrants. Both pleaded Guilty and were each sentenced to 2 months imprisonment and deportation

2 July 1913 sailed Sydney, NSW

18 July 1913 went aground on the coast of the Celebes with damage to the forward hold while on passage from Sydney, NSW to Balik Papan

23 August 1913 refloated

20 September 1913 dry docked at Hong Kong for survey and repairs

17 April 1914 berthed at Melbourne from Singapore

1914 chartered by the Royal Australian Navy and took part in the operations against the German colonies in the Pacific

11 September 1914 together with HMAS’s AUSTRALIA, MELBOURNE, SYDNEY, ENCOUNTER, WARREGO, YARRA, PARRAMATTA and PROTECTOR together with HMAS/m AE1 & AE2 a troop transport Berrima with 1,500 troops and Requisitioned Auxiliaries Whangape, Grantala, Waihora & Koahomga (all colliers), Aorangi (supply ship), Upolu (submarine depot ship) arrived at New Britain to seize Rabaul and Herbertshohe

23 September 1914 sailed for Sydney, NSW with 40 German prisoners

1914 received the Battle Honour ‘Rabaul 1914’

26 December 1914 sailed Newcastle to Balik Papan

28 April 1915 berthed at Sydney, NSW from Balik Papan

30 April 1915 before Sydney Police Court the Captain appeared charged with entering Townsville while on passage from Hong Kong without waiting for a pratique. The ship had reached within 50 feet of the wharf. The Captain was fined £10 plus costs

3 July 1915 sailed Balik Papan for Sydney

4 February 1916 requisitioned for Admiralty service as an oiler – name unchanged

7 August 1916 at Port Mudros alongside HMS ARK ROYAL refuelling her – 392 tons of FFO supplied

21 December 1916 she was torpedoed and sunk by the German Submarine U73 in position 32.20N 31.00E while 94 miles NW of Port Said when on passage from Mudros, Greece to Port Said in ballast with one life lost.