RFA Corycia


Christine 1897

 Courtesy Royal Yacht Squadron


Official Number:                       106056

Builders:                                 David J. Dunlop, Port Glasgow

Launched:                              20 December 1896

Pennant No:                                     031

Signal Letters:                                  PNGT     (1915)

Into Service:                          25 September 1914

Out of service:                        1919

Fate:                                     1 June 1920 registry entry closed



Items of historic interest involving this ship: –


Background Data:  Hired then purchased by the Admiralty as an armed yacht before deploying as a salvage vessel and being manned as an RFA


Career Data:


20 December 1896 launched by David J Dunlop, Port Glasgow as Yard Nr: 235 named Christine for Sir William Scott of Ancrum

7 August 1896 the Edinburgh Evening News reported –


Edburgh Evening news 7 Augsut 1896


13 January 1897 ran official builders trials on the Firth of Clyde reaching 11.4 knots.

20 January 1897 completed as the owners private yacht. Captain Donald Cameron took command

27 January 1897 sailed Gibraltar

16 June 1897 arrived at Greenock

17 June 1897 the ships Engineer David Mackinnon was found to be missing from the yacht. Enquiries and trawling resulted in his body being found in the sea at Port Bannatyne

22 June 1897 sailed Rothsay Bay for Portsmouth encountering very heavy weather en-route

14 May 1898 arrived at Greenock

10 September 1898 the Greenock Telegraph & Clyde Shipping newspaper reported –


10.9.1898 Greenock Telegrapgh Christine Yacht


7 December 1899 arrived at Gibraltar from Greenock

1902 owner became Constance Monteath Scott of Ancrum – name unchanged

11 September 1902 arrived at Lerwick from Kirkwall and loaded bunker coal

1909 purchased by James W Miller, London – name unchanged

June 1912 at Portsmouth Harbour in collision with another vessel which required repairs to her stem

1913 renamed Corycia by her owner

24 May 1913 at Cowes, Isle of Wight fitting out

14 June 1913 finished fitting out and sailed for Southampton

16 August 1913 off the Isle of Wight

4 July 1914 fitting out at Cowes, Isle of Wight

23 September 1914 Lieutenant (Retired) Alexander Lyon Royal Navy appointed as Commanding Officer

25 September 1914 hired by the Admiralty for service as an Auxiliary Patrol Yacht – name unchanged

1 October 1914 Assistant Engineer Charles Inglis RNR appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

December 1914 near Frazerburgh salved a Danish steamer Kentucky. Actions of the crew and why no salvage money was paid raised in Parliament on 6 June 1919 and reported in Hansard

3 January 1915 at Peterhead arrived and berthed in the Inner Harbour

24 November 1917 purchased by the Admiralty as a salvage vessel

1918 purchased by James Towage & Transport Co Ltd., R E V James Manager) London

June 1918 off Portland in Lyme Bay at 50° 32’N 02° 32’W attempting to salvage or obtain intelligence from the German Submarine UB74 which had been sunk on 26 May 1918 by HMS LORNA

4 October 1918 Lieut Commander G Damant Royal Navy and his “Special Section” onboard were off Whitby attempting to salvage or obtain intelligence from the German Submarine UC-70 which had been sunk on 28 August 1918 by HMS OUSE at 54°32’N, 00°40’W

1 November 1918 Lieut Commander G Damant Royal Navy with his “Special Section” on board were at Scapa Flow attempting to salvage or obtain intelligence from the German Submarine UB-116. The submarine had been sunk off Hoxa Gate by a remote controlled mine field and depth charges while attempting to enter the empty fleet anchorage on 28 October 1918.

9 November 1918 while searching the sunken U-Boat divers found and recovered the vessels code books and cyphers. These were sent ashore and their contents were transmitted by telegraph to Naval Intelligence

14 November 1918 diving ceased

13 February 1919 at Southampton in dry dock

21 May 1919 ten ratings from HMS EXCELLENT joined the ship

24 May 1919 floated out of dry dock

27 May 1919 sailed from Southampton to Buncrana, County Donegal

26 June 1919 joined at Buncrana, County Donegal by RFA RACER to recommence salvaging the bullion on HMS LAURENTIC

12 August 1919 the Scotsman Newspaper reported –


Press cutting The Scotsman 12 8 19


18 August 1919 the Westminster Gazette newspaper reported …


18 8 1919 Westminster Gazette Corycia


13 September 1919 berthed at Liverpool and discharged 1.75 tons of salved gold which was conveyed to Lime Street Railway Station under Military Guard to Euston and thence to the Bank of England

1 November 1919 suggested by Lieutenant Commander G Damant Royal Navy (the o.i.c salvage work on HMS LAURENTIC) to the Director of Naval Equipment that RFA CORYCIA should be sold due to the costs of maintaining her during the winter months when laid up

1 June 1920 British Registry closed – no further details available