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Kennaugh Line

History

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.

Ships

Birker Force

Birker Force
Click image for enlarged view

Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Original Owners and Managers J.Pridmore & A.E.Roe
Country First Registered UK
Shipbuilder Goole Shipbuilding & Repairing Co. Ltd.
Shipyard Goole
Country where built UK
Yard Number 179
Official Number 142761
Call Sign MJLN
Classification Society Lloyds Register
Gross Tonnage 953
Deadweight (DWT) N/K
Net Tonnage 489
Length 200 Ft 1"
Overall Length N/K
Breadth or Beam 32 Ft 1"
Depth 12 Ft 8"
Draught N/K
Engine Type Triple-expansion Steam Engine
Engine Details Cylinders of bore 15", 25", 40" and stroke 30"
Engine Builder Earle's Co Ltd
Engine Builder Works Hull
Engine Builder Country UK
Boiler Details 2 single-ended boilers operating at 180 psi
Propulsion Type Single Screw
Power 113 MN
Maximum Speed N/K

Additional Construction Information

  • 1 steel deck and well deck
  • Machinery aft

Career Highlights

Date Event
September 1918 Launched
January 1919 Completed

Crew and Capacity Information

Item Value
Crew N/K
Passengers N/K
Cargo Capacity N/K

Status and Service History Information

Item Value
Status Broken Up
Service History Information 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.

Dalegarth Force

Dalegarth Force
Click image for enlarged view

Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Original Owners and Managers West Lancashire SS Co Ltd
Country First Registered UK
Shipbuilder Fullerton & Co
Shipyard Merksworth Works Paisley
Country where built UK
Yard Number 244
Official Number 140565
Call Sign MJBF
Classification Society Lloyds Register
Gross Tonnage 825
Deadweight (DWT) N/K
Net Tonnage 393
Length 195 Ft
Overall Length 201 Ft 6"
Breadth or Beam 31 Ft 2"
Depth 11 Ft 8"
Draught N/K
Engine Type Triple-expansion Steam Engine
Engine Details Cylinders of bore 15", 25 1/2", 41" and stroke 30"
Engine Builder Ross & Duncan
Engine Builder Works Glasgow
Engine Builder Country UK
Boiler Details 1 single-ended boiler operating at 180 psi
Propulsion Type Single Screw
Power 95 RHP
Maximum Speed 10

Additional Construction Information

  • 1 deck - well deck
  • Machinery aft

Career Highlights

Date Event
N/K Launched
16 March 1918 Completed

Crew and Capacity Information

Item Value
Crew N/K
Passengers N/K
Cargo Capacity N/K

Status and Service History Information

Item Value
Status Broken Up
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.

Eden Force

Eden Force
Click image for enlarged view

Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Original Owners and Managers R.A.Constantine & Donking
Country First Registered UK
Shipbuilder Ropner & Sons
Shipyard Stockton on Tees
Country where built UK
Yard Number 502
Official Number 136076
Call Sign MFXS
Classification Society Lloyds Register
Gross Tonnage 863
Deadweight (DWT) N/K
Net Tonnage 414
Length 198 Ft
Overall Length N/K
Breadth or Beam 30 Ft 7"
Depth 12 Ft 4"
Draught N/K
Engine Type Triple-expansion Steam Engine
Engine Details Cylinders of bore 16", 27", 44" and stroke 30"
Engine Builder Blair & Co Ltd
Engine Builder Works Stockton
Engine Builder Country UK
Boiler Details 1 single-ended boiler operating at 180 psi
Propulsion Type Single Screw
Power 132 NHP
Maximum Speed N/K

Additional Construction Information

  • 1 decjk - well deck
  • Machinery aft

Career Highlights

Date Event
28 June 1915 Launched
August 1915 Completed

Crew and Capacity Information

Item Value
Crew N/K
Passengers N/K
Cargo Capacity N/K

Status and Service History Information

Item Value
Status Sunk/foundered (Peacetime)
Service History Information 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.

Greta Force

Greta Force
Click image for enlarged view

Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Original Owners and Managers West Coast Sg Co Ltd
Country First Registered UK
Shipbuilder Fullerton & Co
Shipyard Merksworth Works Paisley
Country where built UK
Yard Number 279
Official Number 134949
Call Sign MNYP
Classification Society N/K
Gross Tonnage 914
Deadweight (DWT) N/K
Net Tonnage 456
Length 195 Ft 5"
Overall Length 202 Ft 5"
Breadth or Beam 31 Ft 1"
Depth 12 Ft 5"
Draught N/K
Engine Type Triple-expansion Steam Engine
Engine Details Cylinders of bore 15", 25 1/2", 41" and stroke 30"
Engine Builder Aitchison, Blair & Co Ltd
Engine Builder Works Glasgow
Engine Builder Country UK
Boiler Details 2 single-ended boilers operating at 180 psi
Propulsion Type Single Screw
Power 85 RHP
Maximum Speed N/K

Additional Construction Information

  • 1 deck - well deck
  • Machinery aft

Career Highlights

Date Event
8 December 1927 Launched
February 1928 Completed

Crew and Capacity Information

Item Value
Crew N/K
Passengers N/K
Cargo Capacity N/K

Status and Service History Information

Item Value
Status Broken Up
Service History Information The vessel sank after striking a WW2 mine approximately 1.5nm off North Bishop's Rock on 11 May 1946 whilst en route from Barry to Irlam with a cargo of coal.

Holme Force (1887)

Holme Force (1887)
Click image for enlarged view

Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Original Owners and Managers Holme Force S.S. Co. Ltd. Manabers W. S. Kennaugh & Co.
Country First Registered UK
Shipbuilder R. Williamson & Son
Shipyard Workington
Country where built UK
Yard Number 84
Official Number 79128
Call Sign N/K
Classification Society N/K
Gross Tonnage 269
Deadweight (DWT) N/K
Net Tonnage 92
Length 144 Ft
Overall Length N/K
Breadth or Beam 23 Ft
Depth 8 Ft 6"
Draught N/K
Engine Type Compound Engine
Engine Details 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.
Engine Builder Dunsmuir & Jackson Ltd.
Engine Builder Works N/K
Engine Builder Country UK
Boiler Details N/K
Propulsion Type Single Screw
Power 55 RHP
Maximum Speed N/K

Career Highlights

Date Event
22 June 1887 Launched
June 1887 Completed

Crew and Capacity Information

Item Value
Crew N/K
Passengers N/K
Cargo Capacity N/K

Status and Service History Information

Item Value
Status Broken Up
Service History Information Taken to Preston for breaking July 1928.

Holme Force (1930)

Holme Force (1930)
Click image for enlarged view

Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Original Owners and Managers West Coast Sg Co Ltd
Country First Registered UK
Shipbuilder Goole Ship Building & Repairing Co. (1927) Ltd.
Shipyard Goole
Country where built UK
Yard Number 286
Official Number 134950
Call Sign MPRC
Classification Society Lloyds Register
Gross Tonnage 1,216
Deadweight (DWT) N/K
Net Tonnage 645
Length 216 Ft
Overall Length N/K
Breadth or Beam 34 Ft 2"
Depth 13 Ft 6"
Draught N/K
Engine Type Triple-expansion Steam Engine
Engine Details Cylinders of bore 16", 27", 44" and stroke 30"
Engine Builder MacColl & Pollock Ltd
Engine Builder Works Sunderland
Engine Builder Country UK
Boiler Details 2 single-ended boilers operating at 180 psi
Propulsion Type Single Screw
Power 144 NHP
Maximum Speed N/K

Additional Construction Information

  • 1 steel deck - well deck
  • Machinery aft

Career Highlights

Date Event
19 December 1929 Launched
February 1930 Completed

Crew and Capacity Information

Item Value
Crew N/K
Passengers N/K
Cargo Capacity N/K

Status and Service History Information

Item Value
Status Sunk/foundered (Act of War)
Service History Information The vessel was sunk on 8 August 1940 by torpedoes fired by an E-Boat 8 miles off Newhaven. Details of the casualties can be found on the Benjidog Tower Hill website HERE.

Rydal Force

Rydal Force
Click image for enlarged view

Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Original Owners and Managers West Coast Sg Co Ltd
Country First Registered UK
Shipbuilder Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd.
Shipyard Stannergate Dundee
Country where built UK
Yard Number 291
Official Number 134946
Call Sign MLZT
Classification Society Lloyds Register
Gross Tonnage 1,101
Deadweight (DWT) N/K
Net Tonnage 550
Length 210 Ft
Overall Length 217 Ft
Breadth or Beam 33 Ft 1"
Depth 13 Ft 1"
Draught N/K
Engine Type Triple-expansion Steam Engine
Engine Details Cylinders of bore 16", 27", 44" and stroke 30"
Engine Builder W. Beardmore & Co Ltd
Engine Builder Works Glasgow
Engine Builder Country UK
Boiler Details 2 single-ended boilers operating at 180 pse
Propulsion Type Single Screw
Power 149 NHP
Maximum Speed 9

Additional Construction Information

  • 1 deck - part steel - well deck
  • Machinery aft

Career Highlights

Date Event
2 July 1924 Launched
August 1924 Completed

Crew and Capacity Information

Item Value
Crew N/K
Passengers N/K
Cargo Capacity N/K

Status and Service History Information

Item Value
Status Sunk/foundered (Act of War)
Service History Information The vessel sank after striking a mine about 400yds South of the Gull Light Vessel in the Thames on 24 April 1940 whilse en route from Sunderland to Cowes with a cargo of coal

Stanley Force

Stanley Force
Click image for enlarged view

Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Original Owners and Managers West Coast Sg Co Ltd
Country First Registered UK
Shipbuilder R. Williamson & Son
Shipyard Workington
Country where built UK
Yard Number 228
Official Number 134944
Call Sign MJWZ
Classification Society Lloyds Register
Gross Tonnage 586
Deadweight (DWT) N/K
Net Tonnage 243
Length 165 Ft 9"
Overall Length 171 Ft 4"
Breadth or Beam 26 Ft 7"
Depth 11 Ft
Draught N/K
Engine Type Triple-expansion Steam Engine
Engine Details Cylinders of bore 13", 21 1/2", 35" and stroke 27"
Engine Builder W. Beardmore & Co Ltd
Engine Builder Works Glasgow
Engine Builder Country UK
Boiler Details 1 single-ended boiler operating at 180 psi
Propulsion Type Single Screw
Power 62 RHP
Maximum Speed N/K

Additional Construction Information

  • 1 steel deck - well deck
  • Machinery aft

Career Highlights

Date Event
6 January 1920 Launched
March 1920 Completed

Crew and Capacity Information

Item Value
Crew N/K
Passengers N/K
Cargo Capacity N/K

Status and Service History Information

Item Value
Status Sunk/foundered (Peacetime)
Service History Information The vessel struck and object and sank about 3nm SW of Cape La Hague on 14 February 1953 whilst en route from Guernsey to London with a cargo of stone.


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