Court Line used the name Rossington Court for just one ship.
Rossington Court was launched in 1928 and continued in operation until she sank as a result of a collision with another British ship in 1940 whilst sailing in a convoy from Canada to England. Her service life was just 12 years.
|Registered owners, managers and operators||United British Steamship Co. Ltd.
Managers Haldin & Philipps Ltd. London
|Builders||Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd.|
|Engines||Triple expansion steam engine with cylinders of bore 27", 45" and 75" and stroke 80".|
|Engine builders||J.G.Kincaid & Co. Ltd.|
|Boilers||Three single-ended boilers operating at 180psi.|
|Crew||"Fleet in 1942" gives complement as 45|
The 1930-31 Lloyds Register entry for Rossington Court has the following additional information about her:
- She had two steel decks
- Fitted with electric light
- She was fitted with wireless
- Fitted with radio direction-finding equipment (new entry in 1939-40 Register)
|1936||Owners restyled Court Line Ltd. - same managers|
|13 Mar 1940||Sunk after collision|
I have not found any information about the service history of Rossington Court before the war other than that she was one of the few Court Line ships that were NOT laid up during the depression of the 1930s.
Rossington Court took part in 4 convoys during WW2 as well as a number of independent voyages according to information shown in the table below which is provided courtesy of Convoyweb - External Reference #5.
|Cristobal, Sep 14, 1939||Independent||Kingston, Sep 17, 1939|
|Kingston, Sep 19, 1939||KJ.1 (Kingston,jamaica - UK Ports)||Southend, Oct 12, 1939|
|Southend, Oct 16, 1939||FN.22 (Southend - Methil)||Immingham, Oct 17, 1939|
|Immingham, Nov 9, 1939||Independent||Dunkirk, Nov 15, 1939|
|Dunkirk, Nov 18, 1939||Independent||Portsmouth, Nov 19, 1939|
|Portsmouth, Nov 19, 1939||OA.37 (Southend - Dispersed)|
|Independent||Cristobal, Dec 13, 1939|
|Balboa, Dec 13, 1939||Independent||Vancouver, Dec 31, 1939|
|Independent||Victoria Bc, Jan 13, 1940|
|New Westminster, Jan 13, 1940||Independent|
|Victoria Bc, Jan 16, 1940||Independent||Balboa, Feb 4, 1940|
|Cristobal, Feb 5, 1940||Independent||Kingston, Feb 9, 1940|
|Kingston, Feb 9, 1940||Independent||Halifax, Mar 4, 1940|
|Halifax, Mar 9, 1940||HX.26 (Halifax - Liverpool)|
According to Middlemiss - External Reference #4, Rossington Court sank following a collision 400 miles east of Halifax Nova Scotia en route from New Westminster to the Tyne carrying lumber and metal. Convoyweb - External Reference #5, adds that the collision took place during convoy HX26 and the other ship involved was Athelviking.
In an article added to the BBC's "WW2 People's War" - External Reference #33, Pamela Jacqueline Saville records information about her father James Saville:
My father was a Merchant Navy captain, in command of Rossington Court. His ship was sunk when the convoy he was in left Newfoundland.
Just before the convoy left, all the captains had a briefing meeting. My father’s was the largest ship, with medical supplies and food. The convoy had a non-Merchant Navy vessel — a full navy ship — as escort as it ploughed across the Atlantic. Another ship’s steering got jammed and it cut into my father’s ship. The Chief Engineer saw the bows cut into the engine room.
At the briefing, another captain had said that he’d come back if my father’s ship were in trouble. When dawn broke, he realised that my father’s ship was missing. He broke away from the convoy. The Atlantic was very rough — this was wintertime — but by a miracle he found the lifeboat. One lifeboat had been crushed, but all the crew and officers had managed to squeeze into the other boat, so everyone was saved. They had very little food, but managed to get back — I think to Falmouth.
My mother had been told that the ship had been sunk, but no other news. My father telephoned from Falmouth when he got back. In those days everything was so secret.
My father continued in the RNR. The war changed. He went over with the bridgeheads in France and supervised things there for the Normandy landings. Eventually he was posted to Sri Lanka.
- By courtesy of Clive Ketley.
- By courtesy of the City of Vancouver Archive