Copthall was built in 1922 as Emilie Dunford and after many changes of name and owner, was broken up at Briton Ferry after a service life of 42 years.

Note: As I have been unable to identify a shipping line flag for the original owners, I have put the Red Ensign at the top of this page. If anyone viewing the site is able to provide an image of the company flag of E.S.Dunford & Co I would be very grateful if you could contact me.

Copthall - the location and date are not known. [4]

Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Registered owners, managers and operators E.S.Dunford & Co
Builders Coaster Construction
Yard Montrose
Country UK
Yard number 106
Registry N/K
Official number 145490
Signal letters N/K
Call sign LEKD
Classification society N/K
Gross tonnage 940
Net tonnage 492
Deadweight N/K
Length 200.9 ft
Overall Length N/K
Breadth 33.1 ft
Depth 16.2 ft
Draught N/K
Engines Triple expansion steam engine with cylinders of bore 15", 25" and 40" with stroke 27".
Engine builders J.Milne & Son Ltd.
Works Edinburgh
Country UK
Boilers 2 single-ended boilers operating at 180 psi
Power 120 MN
Propulsion Single Screw
Speed 9 knots
Cargo capacity N/K
Crew N/K

Note: There is some doubt about the official number of this vessel. Miramar has it as 145490 but the Lloyds Register entry for her as Emilie Dunford in 1932-3 and as Samev in 1945-6 have no official numbers listed.

Additional Construction Information

The Lloyds Register entry for Copthall (then named Samev) for 1946 has the following additional information about her:

  • Machinery aft
  • 1 deck - steel
  • Cargo battens not fitted

Career Highlights

Date Event
1st Quarter 1922 Launched as Emilie Dunford for E.S.Dunford & Co
May 1922 Completed
1932 Name changed to Lysaker II and change of owner to L.Lorentzen
1932 Name changed to Samev and change of owner to O.M.Olsen
1950 Name changed to Copthall and change of owner to H.P.Marshal & Co.
1959 Name changed to Southport and change of owner to A.Moschakis & Co.
15 May 1964 Wrecked Briton Ferry entrance
24 June 1964 Broken up at Briton Ferry

Service Pre WW2

I have been able to find very little information about the service history of this ship - probably because of her relatively little size and the fact that she had Norwegian owners during the pre-war period.

The Warsailors website - External Ref. #6- has the following information:

Collided in Febr. 3-1937 with an unknown vessel near Graadyb (near Esbjerg, Denmark) on a voyage Sannesund-Ghent with cobble stones, sank, raised and taken to Esbjerg, condemned. Sold "as is" in Oct.-1937 to O. M. Olsen & Co., Fredrikstad, repaired and back in service. Owned by Skibs-AS Samev (O. M. Olsen & Co.), Fredrikstad June-1939, renamed Samev.

Service in WW2

The Warsailors website - External Ref. #6 describes the ship (then Samev) as being in "The Home Fleet" from April 1940 but does not elaborate on what she was doing.

This section lists Norwegian ships in the "Homefleet"; ships seized by the Germans, ships that would ordinarily have been in foreign trade but happened to be in Norway when the Germans invaded and were unable to get out, local passenger/cargo steamers, car/passenger ferries etc., in other words - vessels that mostly sailed in Norwegian waters and/or were in domestic trade. Even though there's no special war story for some of them, their job was an important one in that they kept "daily life" going, and they all sailed in the danger zones and deserve to be mentioned. Additionally, the Norwegians who sailed on them were in a difficult situation in that they had to sail for the "enemy", and risked being sunk by "their own".

There is also a reference to an external article but this information appears not to have been validated:

The Norwegian text here says she was attacked by aircraft off Stad in Apr.-1942, and the helmsman, Gustav Adolf Johansen was so seriously injured that he died on Apr. 22. It adds that the ship was later lost, possibly due to a limpet mine; went down while at quayside in Moss on May 19-1943. 2 died. If this is correct(?), she must have been raised and repaired. There's also an engineer listed, Arthur Oliver Larsen.

Service post WW2

There is a brief account by Stan Mayes who spent a short time on Copthall in 1950 that be accessed on the Benjidog Recollections website HERE.

Copthall. The location is believed to be at Railway Dock Hull in the mid 1950s. The barge alongside her is the James Barraclough former Humber Sloop Lucy-B. [2]

After 1950 I have only been able to discover her changes of name and ownership until the end of her life.

Copthall - with her later name Southport - at Avonmouth on 2 May 1962. [3]
Copthall - with her later name Southport - the location and date are not known. [1]

Loss as Southport

The Warsailors website - External Ref. #6- has the following information:

Ran aground May 15-1964 after departure Briton Ferry on voyage to London, refloated, ran aground again May 23, condemned. Sold that same year to Bisco for breaking up, arriving Briton Ferry on June 24-1964 to be broken up by Thor W.Ward Ltd.

Image Credits

  1. By courtesy of George Robinson
  2. By courtesy of SeaTheShips member Les.nhbarge
  3. By courtesy of Ray Perry
  4. Unknown source