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Built 1922

Tonnage: 6,434 / 9,420 tons

Cargo 5,850 tons of general cargo, including silver and one aircraft (Gipsy Moth)

Route: London - Loch Ewe - Capetown - Beira 

Sunk 13 MAY 41 by U-105 on pos  00º 49’N  20º 15’W 

28 Dead 

47 Survivors

The Benvrackie, Capt. W. E. R. Eyton-Jones, left the Tyne for Cape Town and Beira in convoy on April 15th, 1941. The convoy dispersed in mid-Atlantic, the Benvrackie thereafter sailing alone. On the afternoon of May 9th, when some 200 miles S.W. of the Cape Verde Islands, the vessel picked up the lifeboat of the Lassell which had been torpedoed nine days previously. The boat contained 25 persons four of whom, including one woman, were passengers. Reports by wireless of the torpedoing of other vessels in the vicinity came in on the 9th and 10th and survivors of the Lassell were posted to increase the number of lookouts for submarines. Despite the utmost vigilance, however, the Benvrackie was torpedoed at about 6.30 on the morning of the 13th. 

There were two explosions and the vessel sank in just under three minutes. The number on board including the people from the Lassell was 85, of whom 58 managed to get away in the boats, or on pieces of wreckage. A roll-call in the boats established that 15 men of the Lasse Ws company and 12 from the Benvrackie were lost. The 58 survivors were crowded into one lifeboat which was much overloaded, nevertheless although 13 days at sea and sailing 520 miles no further casualties occurred. On the morning of May 26th the boat was picked up by the hospital ship Oxfordshire and the survivors brought into Freetown. One other man, a steward, was taken off a raft by a Blue Star liner. 

Dictionary of the Age of Steam



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