british Nitrate Producers Steamship Co. - Lawther, Latta & Co. SS Anglo Saxon (+1940)
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nationality british
purpose transport
type cargo ship
propulsion steam
date built 1929
weight (tons) 5596  grt
dimensions 129.84 x 16.76 x 7.92 m
engine quadruple expansion engine, single shaft, 1 screw
power 453  n.h.p.
about the loss
cause lost gunfire - shelled
other reasons torpedo
date lost 21/08/1940  [dd/mm/yyyy]
casualties  max.39rank: 606
about people
Short Brothers Ltd., Pallion (Sunderland)
Nitrate Producers Steamship Co. - Lawther, Latta & Co., London
captain Flynn
no. of crew 41
about the wreck
depth (m.)
war grave
entered by Allen Tony
entered 20/03/2009
last update Allen Tony
last update 19/01/2014
Lettens Jan07/10/2010
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Lettens Jan07/10/2010The British Tramp Steamer Anglo Saxon, owned by the Nitrate Steamship Company of 5,595 tons with a full cargo of Welsh coal and a crew of 41 crew, was sunk by gunfire and a torpedo from the German raider Widder (Capt. Ruchteschell) on the 21st. of August 1940, off the west coast of Africa.

The Anglo Saxon sank promptly and there was a report of two boats getting away from the stricken ship. The German Captain decided not to pick up any survivors and recorded in his war diary: "The boats are only (!) 800 miles from the Canaries, and the wind was favourable."
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Lettens Jan07/10/2010One of the longest journeys (71 days) in maritime history

Transatlantic August 21st - October 30th

When the Anglo Saxon sank, 2 jolly boats were manned. One of the boats was never heard of and on the other, out of the 7, only 2 lived to reach the Bahamas after 71 days at sea.

The men rowed and rowed westward, under a maddening heat in their open Jolly boat. On the tenth day, the wireless operator died. Four men jumped overboard. Only men alive after 25 days were Able Seamen Wilbert Roy Widdicombe, 24, and Robert George Tapscott, 19.

Parched, shriveled, black-skinned, they broke the glass of their compass and sipped the distilled water and alcohol. After that they never knew where they were going. They just drifted.

They saw two ships pass, and signaled frantically but without avail. They fought to keep hold of their minds. Widdicombe broke off his front teeth trying to eat his shoes.

On October 30th, Robert and Roy reached the Bahamas and had travelled more than 2.400 nautical miles in the Atlantic Ocean.

Roy Widdicombe when returning home 3 months later, died, when his ship SS Siamese Prince was torpedoed by U-69.
ref. used: 
[2] Imperial War Museum,
Allen Tony20/03/2009The British ship Anglo Saxon SS was sunk by a German raider on August 21st, 1940, while on a voyage from Newport, Mon., to Bahia Blanca. Two survivors landed on Eleuthera Island.
ref. used: 
 Hocking C., Dictionary of Disasters at Sea during the Age of Steam

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About Owners
Nitrate Producers Steamship Co. - Lawther, Latta & Co., London

"Nitrate Boats, The (Lawther, Latta & Co., Ltd.)"
Author: David Burrell,
ISBN: 0-905617-77-0 Ref: 0100 Publication Date: Jan 1996
About Builders
 Short Brothers Ltd., Pallion (Sunderland)
George Short started in 1850, and moved to Pallion in 1869. Short’s built more ships for local owners than any other yard. It closed in 1964 when the firm was unwilling to redevelop and build bigger ships. The yard was demolished, although Bartram’s took over the fitting out quay, which was still in use in the 1980s.
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SS Anglo Saxon (+1940)
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