Cape St Andrew



Cape St. Andrew was a steam cargo ship that was in service from 1928 until she was torpedoed and sunk in 1940.

Note: The flag at the top of this page has been re-constructed based on outlines in old books. It may not be accurate and will be updated if an authentic version comes to light.

Sun Shipping Co.Ltd

The following information is provided by courtesy of Middlemass - External Ref. #69

William Mitchell Cotts was a Scotsman who went to South Africa before the turn of the (20th) Century and established the Natal Collieries. These collieries needed a supply of pitprops and Baltic timber was imported in tramps owned by his Sun Shipping Co. Ltd. He surrered two war losses in WW1 with Julia Park 2900/94, purchased from Park Steamship Co. Ltd (J.Smith Park), Glasgow on 30 May 1916 and Lord Charlemont purchased from the Irish Shipowners Co. Ltd. (T.Dixon & Sons), Belfast on 19 April 1918. He also had at this time four tramps under his South African subsidiary British Africa Shipping & Coaling Co. Ltd. and half a dozen coasters trading under Thesen's Steamshp Co. Ltd under the South AFrican flag. He purchased three large WAR 'A' class as replacements in 1919 renaming them Cape of Good Hope, Cape Colony and Cape Natal but sole the trio in December 1920 to the Union Steamship Co. Ltd. of New Zealand. ......

After the death of Sir William Mitchell Cotts, his son Crichton Mitchell Cotts steered the Sun Shipping Co. Ltd. through the difficult 1920s and owned seven big tramps at the beginning of the Depression in 1930:
  • Cape Cross - ex-German prize ship Hans Wilhelm Hemsoth
  • Cape St Agnes - ex War Briton
  • Cape St. Columba - ex Carlow Castle
  • Cape St Francis - ex Sutlej
  • Sunland
  • Cape St. Andrew
  • Cape St. George
The latter pair (Cape St. Andrew and Cape St George) had been completed at the Duncan yard on the Clyde in March and June 1928.

Funnels on Sun Shipping vessels were white with a black top. Hulls were black with red boot-topping. ("Boot Topping" is the area of a ship's hull between the light and full load waterlines. In other words the area that is immersed or exposed depending on whether the ship is laden or not.)

Mitchell, Cotts & Co head office was at Winchester House, Old Broad Street, London EC2.

The Sun Shippping Co. Ltd. head office was at 3 St. Helen's Place, London EC3.

Cape St Andrew
Cape St. Andrew - date and location not known. [1]

Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Registered owners, managers and operators Owners: Sun Shipping Co.
Managed by: Mitchell Cotts & Co
Builders R Duncan & Co
Yard Port Glasgow
Country UK
Yard number 381
Registry London
Official number 160385
Signal letters N/K
Call sign GNSV
Classification society N/K
Gross tonnage 5,094
Net tonnage 3,168
Deadweight N/K
Length 407 Ft
Overall Length N/K
Breadth 53.5 Ft
Depth 26.7 Ft
Draught N/K
Engines Triple Expansion steam engine with cylinders of 26", 44" and 73" bore and stroke 48".
Engine builders D.Rowan & Co. Ltd.
Works Glasgow
Country UK
Boilers 3 single-ended boilers operating at 200psi
Power 545 NHP
Propulsion Single screw
Speed N/K
Cargo capacity N/K
Crew N/K

Additional Construction Information

The Lloyds Register entry for Cape St. Andrew for 1940-41 has the following additional information about her:

  • Two steel decks

Career Highlights

Date Event
10 February 1928Launched
March 1928Completed for Sun Shipping Co.
13 November 1940Sunk by torpedo

Service Pre WW2

I have not found any specific information about the service history of Cape St. Andrew prior to WW2.

Service in WW2

Cape St Andrew took part in many convoys and independent voyages during WW2 according to information shown in the table below which is provided courtesy of Convoyweb - see External. Ref. #4.

Departure Convoy/Independent Arrival
Immingham, Sep 24, 1939 FS.10 (Methil - Southend) Southend, Sep 26, 1939
Southend, Sep 27, 1939 OA.11 (Southend - Dispersed) Cardiff, Sep 30, 1939
Cardiff, Oct 11, 1939 Independent Milford Haven, Oct 12, 1939
Milford Haven, Oct 13, 1939 OB.18 (Liverpool - Dispersed)
Independent Capetown, Nov 10, 1939
Capetown, Nov 11, 1939 Independent Durban, Nov 14, 1939
Durban, Nov 15, 1939 Independent Lourenco Marques, Nov 17, 1939
Lourenco Marques, Nov 18, 1939 Independent Djibouti, Dec 6, 1939
Independent Aden, Dec 22, 1939
Djibouti, Dec 22, 1939 Independent
Freetown, Feb 1, 1940 SL.19 (Freetown - Joined Sl 19f)
Freetown, Feb 5, 1940 SL.19F (Freetown - Liverpool) Liverpool, Feb 20, 1940
Methil, Mar 8, 1940 MT.26 (Methil - Tyne) Tyne, Mar 9, 1940
Tyne, Mar 23, 1940 FS.127 (Tyne - Southend) Southend, Mar 25, 1940
Southend, Mar 27, 1940 OA.118 (Southend - to OG 24F)
OG.24F (to AT SEA - Gibraltar) Passed Gibraltar, Apr 4, 1940
Passed Gibraltar, Apr 4, 1940 Independent Port Said, Apr 12, 1940
Suez, Apr 17, 1940 Independent Aden, Apr 22, 1940
Aden, Apr 22, 1940 Independent Bombay, May 3, 1940
Bombay, May 8, 1940 Independent Aden, May 15, 1940
Aden, May 15, 1940 Independent Suez, May 20, 1940
Port Said, May 26, 1940 Independent Oran, Jun 3, 1940
Oran, Jun 4, 1940 Independent Gibraltar, Jun 6, 1940
Gibraltar, Jun 8, 1940 HG.33 (Gibraltar - Liverpool) Downs, Jun 17, 1940
Southend, Jun 18, 1940 FN.199 (Southend - Methil) Hull, Jun 19, 1940
Hull, Jul 8, 1940 FN.217 (Southend - Methil)
Independent Nuevitas, Jul 29, 1940
Nuevitas, Jul 30, 1940 Independent Guantanamo, Aug 1, 1940
Guantanamo, Aug 7, 1940 Independent
Puerto Padre, Aug 14, 1940 Independent Nuevitas, Aug 15, 1940
Nuevitas, Aug 21, 1940 Independent Bermuda, Aug 26, 1940
Bermuda, Aug 27, 1940 BHX.69 (Bermuda - Jd HX 69)
HX.69 (Halifax - Liverpool) Methil Roads, Sep 13, 1940
Methil, Sep 14, 1940 FS.281 (Methil - Southend) Middlesbrough, Sep 15, 1940
Middlesbrough, Oct 24, 1940 FN.316 (Southend - Methil) Methil, Oct 25, 1940
Methil, Oct 27, 1940 EN.13/1 (Methil - Oban) Oban, Oct 31, 1940
Oban, Nov 9, 1940 OB.240 (Liverpool - Dispersed)

Loss of Cape St Andrew

According to uboat-net - External Ref. #3:

At 21.08 hours on 13 Nov, 1940, the unescorted Cape St. Andrew (Master Albert Roy Bebb), a straggler from convoy OB-240, was torpedoed by U-137 west-northwest of Aran Island. The ship was taken in tow by the rescue tug HMS Salvonia (W 43) (Lt G.M.M. Robinson, RNR) and escorted by HMS Hurricane (H 06) (LtCdr H.C. Simms, RN), but foundered the same day. The master, 13 crew members and one gunner were lost. 52 crew members and one gunner were picked up by the tug and landed at Greenock.

Roll of Honour

The table below lists the merchant seamen lost when Cape St. Andrew was sunk and is derived from the Tower Hill memorial and the Commonwealth War Grave Commission's "Debt of Honour" database.

Note: One of those lost was George Witten. A web page of his recollections and details of his life are under preparation as part of the Benjidog Recollections website and will be linked to from here when published.

Surname Forenames D.O.D. Rank Cemetery/Memorial Grave Ref. Additional Information
Amin Ullah 13/11/1940 Seacunny Bombay / Chittagong 1939-1945 War Memorials Age 52
Azam-Ud-Din 13/11/1940 Fireman Bombay / Chittagong 1939-1945 War Memorials Age 39
Bebb Albert Roy 13/11/1940 Master Tower Hill Memorial Panel 23. Age 33
Chandu Mian 13/11/1940 Greaser Bombay / Chittagong 1939-1945 War Memorials Age 34
Ganpat 13/11/1940 Topass Bombay / Chittagong 1939-1945 War Memorials Age 25
Moklesh Ullah 13/11/1940 Fireman Bombay / Chittagong 1939-1945 War Memorials Age 21
Nazir Ahmad 13/11/1940 Seaman Bombay / Chittagong 1939-1945 War Memorials
Nazir Anwar Ali Ahmad 13/11/1940 Cassab Bombay / Chittagong 1939-1945 War Memorials Age 42
Reid Roger Anthony Lyon 13/11/1940 Third Radio Officer Tower Hill Memorial Panel 23. Age 24. Son of James Reid, and of Mary Bridget Reid, of Lurgan, Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland. His Brother Felix Joseph Gerrard Reid Also Fell.
Sayid Ullah 13/11/1940 Greaser Bombay / Chittagong 1939-1945 War Memorials Age 26
Shera-Ul-Haq 13/11/1940 Seaman Bombay / Chittagong 1939-1945 War Memorials Age 41
Shiraz-Ul-Haq 13/11/1940 Greaser Bombay / Chittagong 1939-1945 War Memorials
Steele John Thomas 13/11/1940 Chief Officer Tower Hill Memorial Panel 23. Age 50. Son of John and Elizabeth Steele; Husband of A. Steele, of Wallsend, Northumberland.
Turner William Hubert 13/11/1940 Third Mate Tower Hill Memorial Panel 23. Age 44
Wilson John 13/11/1940 Fifth Engineer Officer Tower Hill Memorial Panel 23. Age 20. Son of John and Elizabeth Wilson, of Hull.
Witten George 13/11/1940 Chief Engineer Officer Tower Hill Memorial Panel 23. Age 68. Son of Richard and Jane Witten; Husband of Henrietta Thirza Witten.
Tower Hill Memorial
This is a photo of the panel on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission memorial at Tower Hill commemorating Cape St Andrew.[2]

Image Credits

  1. By courtesy of City of Vancouver Archives - item CVA 447-2071
  2. From the Benjidog Tower Hill Memorial Website