Requisitioned Auxiliary – Sea Serpent


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Laid down:

Builder:                                  A McMillan & Son, Dumbarton

Launched:                              5 September 1898

Pennant No:                           Y 8.29

Into Service:                            3 November 1914

Out of service:                         15 April 1915

Fate:                                      Mined and sunk  23 March 1916



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:


5 September 1898 launched by A McMillan & Son, Dumbarton as Yard Nr: 362 name Sea Serpent for Leach & Co Ltd., (C F Leach, Manager), London

November 1898 completed

18 December 1898 sailed Gravesend for Ghent

18 August 1900 sailed Gravesend for Ghent

28 October 1905 berthed at Ghent with the Captain and crew of Swedish Barquentine Svea whom they had rescued and which had been on passage from Hamburg to Ciudad Bolivar and which had foundered the previous day 25 miles off the West Hinder Lightship after being in collision with an unknown vessel believed French off the Goodwin Sands

3 November 1914 requisitioned for Admiralty service as a Stores Carrier – name unchanged

3 December 1914 at Scapa Flow berthed alongside HMS FALMOUTH supplying Naval Stores

HMS Falmouth

5 February 1915 at Scapa Flow berthed alongside HMS FALMOUTH supplying Naval Stores

8 February 1915 at Scapa Flow berthed alongside HMS GLOUCESTER supplying Naval Stores

29 March 1915 at Rosyth berthed alongside HMS HIBERNIA supplying Naval Stores




15 April 1915 returned to owners – name unchanged

23 March 1916 struck a mine laid by German submarine UC-6 in the Dover Straits and sank off Folkestone Pier while on passage from Birkenhead to Dunkirk with a cargo of corrugated iron with the loss of 14 lives, including that of her Master – Captain W Philps. Of those killed 12 have no known grave but the sea and are recorded with pride on the Tower Hill Memorial. Captain Philps and Chief Engineer Officer J Hill are both buried in Nunhead (All Saints) Cemetery in graves 77.32321 and 88.32319 respectively