british Hall Brothers Steamship Co. Ltd. SS Royal Sceptre [+1939]
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nationality british
purpose transport
type cargo ship
propulsion steam
date built 1937
weight (tons) 4853  grt
dimensions 126.5 x 17.7 x -- m
engine triple expansion engine
power 1450  h.p.
about the loss
cause lost torpedo
other reasons gunfire - shelled
date lost 05/09/1939  [dd/mm/yyyy]
casualties  max.1rank: 670
about people
Thompson Joseph L. & Sons, Sunderland
engine by
North Eastern Marine Engineers Ltd., Sunderland
Hall Brothers Steamship Co. Ltd., Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
about the wreck
depth (m.) 3400 max. / -- min. (m)
war grave
 Clay Blair, Hitler’S U-Boat War Vol I (1996)
entered by Allen Tony
entered 31/08/2006
last update Lettens Jan
last update 05/09/2011
Allen Tony26/06/2007
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copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu
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  Hydrographic Service UK  
Lockett Graham27/09/2010On September 5th, Schultze (U48) came across a big freighter inbound to the British Isles, but a shot from his deck gun failed to stop her. She bent on steam and hauled off, emitting clouds of soot, radioing SSS. In an attempt to silence the radio, Schultze directed gunfire at the bridge. The ship stopped and all the crew – save the radio operator – took to the lifeboats. While they did so, Schultze withheld fire, even though the SSS signals continued. After the crew had pulled off, Schultze closed on the ship and took off the radio operator. Then he fired a single torpedo, which ran true. Down went Royal Sceptre , a British ship of 4,853 tons, loaded with grain.

Approaching the lifeboats, Schultze asked if there were any wounded. There were none. All else in order he handed the radio operator over to the lifeboat, saluting his courage, then told the survivors to stand by. He had seen smoke on the horizon, an unidentified freighter coming up. (Schultze stopped the 5,332 ton British freighter SS Browning and instructed the crew to pick up the Royal Sceptre’s crew before allowing her on her way).
ref. used: 
 Clay Blair, Hitler’S U-Boat War Vol I (1996)
Allen Tony26/06/2007Royal Sceptre was a British cargo steamer of 4853 tons and built in 1937 and owned by HALL BROTHERS STEAMSHIP CO LTD. On the 5th September 1939 when on route from ROSARIO for BELFAST carrying a cargo of wheat she was torpedoed and sunk by gunfire from U-48. 1 crew lost.
Lettens Jan28/08/2008UK hydro member
ref. used: 
 UK Hydrographic Office

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About Owners
Hall Brothers Steamship Co. Ltd., Newcastle-Upon-Tyne

Founded in Newcastle in 1864 by the brothers John and James Hall. James was a forward looking shipowner and was the first to set up a Merchant Navy training establishment with the ship Wellesley moored at North Shields. He was also instrumental in instigating load lines in ships. By 1867 the brothers owned 16 sailing ships and 3 steamers. The last sailing ship was sold in 1886 and the company then traded worldwide with steamships. Six ships were lost to enemy action during the Great War and four in WWII. In 1968 the company entered short sea trading with the delivery of 1,400 ton coasters but in 1979 the company went into voluntary liquidation and the short sea traders were sold off.

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About Builders
 Thompson Joseph L. & Sons, Sunderland
Joseph L. Thompson and Sons of Sunderland was established in 1846 by Robert Thompson. They became the largest and most famous of all the shipbuilding yards. Based in North Sands and located in an arc around to the North dock. Thompson set up the company at North Sands with his three sons and manufactured their first small sailing ship. In 1854 Thompson's son of the same name left the company to set up his own yard: Robert Thompson and Sons. The yard changed its name to Joseph L. Thompson in February 1871. Joseph L. Thompson retired in 1875 and his three sons Robert, Joseph Lowes and Charles carried on the business. In 1954 the yard became a subsidiary of Sunderland Shipbuilding, Dry Dock and Engineering Co. This was made up of the Thompson, Laing and Crown yards and the repairer T. W. Greenwell and Co. In 1961 the company changed its name to Doxford and Sunderland Shipbuilding and Engineering Co. ---- J. L. Thompson’s yard was finally closed in 1979, although the fitting out quay was used by Doxford’s and Laing’s. The last ever launch took place at the North Sands yard on 24th May 1979.

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North Eastern Marine Engineers Ltd., Sunderland
North Eastern Marine Engineering Co of South Docks, Sunderland was formed in 1860. Engine builders in Sunderland and Wallsend, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. By 1889 the company's works at Sunderland and Wallsend have supplied 100 vessels afloat with their triples fitted. In 1925 sees the Application of Superheated Steam to Marine Engines at both Wallsend and Sunderland. Also now manufacturing marine engines, turbines, marine oil engines, boilers, condensers, feed and ballast pumps, evaporators, feed-water cleaners and heaters, circulating pumps etc. In 1938 became North Eastern Marine Engineers Co. (1938) Ltd., Sunderland.

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SS Royal Sceptre [+1939]
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