Requisitioned Auxiliary – Roumanian Prince


Roumanian Prince 


Official Number:                       133526

Pennant No:                     Y.7.53

Laid down:

Builder:                                   Tyne Iron Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Willington Quay

Launched:                               7 January 1913

Into Service:                            12 November 1914

Out of service:                         1918

Fate:                                      Stranded and sunk 1933


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:


7 January 1913 launched by Tyne Iron Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Willington Quay as Yard Nr: 185 named ROUMANIAN PRINCE for Prince Line Ltd (J. Knott, Manager) Newcastle.

February 1913 completed

18 April 1913 sailed Middlesborough for Galveston

19 April 1913 passed Beachy Head

28 August 1913 at the City Hospital, New Jersey 2nd Steward & Assistant Cook J H Hirons discharged dead from peritonitis

5 November 1913 sailed Trinidad

25 November 1913 arrived at Gravesend from Trinidad

29 July 1914 at Tampico

12 October 1914 at sea at 40.24N 73.48W stopped by HMS CARONIA to take her ships mail back to the UK

12 November 1914 requisitioned for Admiralty service as an Oiler, name unchanged at a cost of £2,714 per month for 6 months and then at £3.075 per month

22 March 1915 at Porto Grande, St Vincent a member of the crew transfered to HMS AMPHITRITE and retained on the warship due to illness

31 May 1915 at St Vincent, Cape Verde Islands 2nd Mate A C Davidson discharged dead having drowned

25 August 1915 the Shields Daily News reported –

Shields Daily News 25 8 1915

19 September 1915 assisted in the rescue of 438 passengers and 70 crew from the burning Greek liner ATHINAI in
the Atlantic which was finally abandoned in position 40.54N 58.47W bringing 61 to New York

25 October 1915 at Sea 2nd Cook Sam Bell discharged dead having drowned

16 April 1916 at sea at 58.20N 15.01W challenged by HMS MANTUA while on passage from Middlesborough to New
Orleans and allowed to proceed

August 1916 owners taken over by Furness Withy & Co Ltd, name unchanged

17 December 1916 at 47.58N 18.09W stopped, checked and allowed to proceed by HMS GLOUCESTERSHIRE while on passage from Sabine to Queenstown

HMS Gloucestershire


2 July 1917 sailed Hampton Roads in a convoy of 22 other ships (including RFA BAYLEAF (1)) and escorted by HMS ROXBURGH

11 July 1917 at sea at 42.60N 36.00W pulled out of the convoy and stopped due to engine defects – repaired and rejoined the convoy

3 December 1917 salvaged by the HM tug Westbourne – salavge money paid to the tugs crew – details in the London Gazette of 19 July 1918 and 20 August 1918

6 March 1918 purchased by British Tanker Co Ltd, London and renamed BRITISH MAJOR

26 July 1918 attacked by gunfire in the Atlantic from U-140

19 November 1929 purchased by Cia Generale Armamento S.A, Genoa and renamed  RIVA SICULA

20 April 1933 stranded on Almadi Reef, Dakar while on passage from Constanta to Dakar carrying a cargo of fuel oil.

24 May 1933 was refloated but sank in port at Dakar




She was one of 4 tankers taken over by Furness Withy in 1916 which had been built for the oil trade from the Black Sea and America to Europe. This interest was abandoned in 1918 and the 4 tankers were sold