W.S. Kennaugh & Co. started in Whitehaven in 1905 and later moved to Liverpool. They started with steam coasters and built up a good reputation. The
company’s ships were named with a suffix of Force . (The word force means waterfall in the North of England). The company was renowned for the care with
which it maintained its vessels and one of their vessels is reported as having survived for 82 years. At one time Kennaugh had twenty steam ships, four
deep-water sailing ships and three managed ships.
There is an obscure reference to a battle between a U-boat and the Q-ship Strike Force but no details can be found on the Internet. If this happened it is likely
to have been in WW1.
A Q-Ship was an attack vessel disguised as a civilian ship. A typical Q-ship would be an old-looking tramp steamer calmly sailing alone near an
area where a U-boat was reported to be operating. By posing as a suitable target for the use of the U-boat's deck gun, the Q-ship would encourage the U-boat Captain
to bring his vessel to the surface rather than use one of his expensive torpedoes, which were in short supply. The cargoes of the Q-ships would be wooden caskets and
wood (eg balsa or cork) so even if torpedoed they would stay afloat, encouraging the U-boat to surface and use its gun. If necessary the crew could even stage
an 'abandon ship' routine. Once the U boat was in a suitable position the Q-ship would change rapidly, false panels would drop to reveal the hidden guns which would
start firing. At the same time the White Ensign (Royal Navy flag) would be raised. With the element of surprise the U-boat could be quickly overwhelmed.
In 1954 the following Kennaugh ships were still operational: Birker Force (1919), Dalegarth Force(1918) and Stock Force (1917). The company ceased to
exist in 1959.
Completed for J.Pridmore & A.E.Roe as Elloughton. Change of owner to Wm.A.Jenkins & Co 1923, change of owner to
W. A. Phillips 1930, change of owner to W.A. Phillips & Sons Ltd 1935, change of name to Birker Force and owner to West
Coast Sg Co Ltd 1935. Taken to Blyth 29 January 1959 for breaking by Hughes Bolckow Shipbreaking Co.
Cylinders of bore 15", 25 1/2", 41" and stroke 30"
Ross & Duncan
Engine Builder Works
Engine Builder Country
1 single-ended boiler operating at 180 psi
Additional Construction Information
1 deck - well deck
16 March 1918
Crew and Capacity Information
Status and Service History Information
Service History Information
Laid down as Islandmagee but completed for West Lancashire SS Co Ltd as Croxteth. Change of name to
Dalegarth Force and owner to West Coast Sg Co Ltd 1919. Taken to Granton 5 February 1959 for breaking by M.Brechin.
Completed for R.A.Constantine & Donking as Edenwood. Change of owner to Meteor SS Co Ltd 1918, change of owner to
West Coast Sg Co Ltd 1918, change of name to Eden Force and owner to West Coast Sg Co Ltd 1919. The vessel sank on 10
December 1940 as a result of a collision with Niceto De Larrinago approximately 3 cables SE of the East Breakwater at Barry.
She was en route from Liverpool to Barry.
Holme Force S.S. Co. Ltd. Manabers W. S. Kennaugh & Co.
Country First Registered
R. Williamson & Son
Country where built
Breadth or Beam
8 Ft 6"
Miramar gives this vessel as having a compound engine but the Shipping and Shipbuiliding website records a triple expansion
engine with cylinders of bore 12 1/2", 20", 33" and stroke 24". It is possible that the vessel was re-engined at some point.