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Forgotten Wrecks of the First World War

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 Forgotten Wreck Stories

Every single wreck that is being investigated by the Forgotten Wrecks project has its own story to tell. Some are tales of tragedy, others of survival. Some even contain instances of chivalry or a spark of humour. 

These case studies have been put together by staff and volunteers on the project and will be added to as wrecks are researched in more detail. 

Airship SSZ15 lost off Devon with a crew of 3 in April 1918.

Algerian: struck a mine off the Needles and sank off Gurnard whilst being towed back through the Solent.

Asturias, beached off Devon in 1917.

Ballarat: loaded with Australian troops, the sinking of this liner on the newly constituted Anzac Day was especially poignant.

Eleanor: targeted by a U-boat, this merchant ship sank with the loss of all but one officer.

Empress Queentroop transport ship which ran aground and was eventually abandoned.

Formidable: a battleship serving with the 5th Battle Squadron, torpedoed by U-24 on New Year's Day 1915 with very high loss of life. 

Glatton: a victim of ammunition failure and U-boat attack before it was finally sunk as it became a danger to other ships.

Indian City: torpedoed and sunk after the crew were ordered off by a German U-boat.

John Mitchell: a fishing trawler, hired by the admiralty for minesweeping duties, lost through collision in November 1917, all hands saved, 

Londonier: a Belgian ship, chartered by the French, torpedoed south of the Isle of Wight by UC-71 in March 1918 with the loss of 12 lives.

Netley Pier: built to serve an Empire, where First World War soldiers convalesced.

South Western: torpedoed south of the Isle of Wight by UB-59 in March 1918. Only six survivors from the crew and passengers.

Thisbesurprised by a U-boat in broad daylight, this vessel’s loss was especially tragic.

Tycho and Porthkerry: two ships sunk by the same U-boat as the crew of one rescued survivors from the other.

U-103in May 1918, the hunter became the hunted when Kapitänleutnant Claus Rücker of U-103 prepared to attack the ocean liner SS Olympic.

UB-81: a combination of tragic events resulted in the loss of the brand new coastal U-boat SM UB-81 and 29 of its crew in December 1917. 

War Knight: a catalogue of war-related misfortune resulted in the loss of this ship and nearly all of her crew as the ship caught fire following a collision in March 1918.


 If you’re interested in writing up the story of a wreck yourself, please get in touch.