new zealand Holm & Co. - Holm Shipping - Capt. Holm SS Holmwood (+1940)
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nationality new zealand
purpose transport
type passenger/cargo ship
subtype/class coastal cargo ship
propulsion steam
date built 1911
is nickname no
weight (tons) 546  grt
dimensions 50.4 x 8 x 3.9 m
material steel
engine 1 triple expansion engine, 1 single boiler, 1 screw
power 78  n.h.p.
yard no. 145
about the loss
cause lost gunfire - shelled
date lost 25/11/1940  [dd/mm/yyyy]
casualties 0
about people
Goole Shipbuilding & Repairing Co. Ltd., Goole
engine by
Richardsons, Westgarth & Co., Middlesbrough
last owner
[1]Holm & Co. - Holm Shipping - Capt. Holm, Wellington
SS Holmwood (+1940)
period 1940 ~ 1940
prev. owners
[2]Westland Shipping Co., Greymouth
period 1924 ~ 1940
[3]Dowell A.R., Greymouth
period 1922 ~ 1924
[4]Harrison John
period 1917 ~ 1922
[5]Hutchinson Edward P., Hull
period 1911 ~ 1917
no. of crew 17
no. of passengers 12
about the wreck
depth (m.)
protected no
war grave no
[1] Miramar Ship Index
[2] Hocking C., Dictionary of Disasters at Sea during the Age of Steam
entered by Vleggeert Nico
entered 01/09/2010
last update Racey Carl
last update 13/11/2012
Vleggeert Nico01/09/2010
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Palmer Ron16/04/2014"Holmwood" is recorded as a coastal vessel which is not really correct. "Holmwood" would have been trading with Foreign Going Articles. In those days (1940) and up until the 1980's or thereabouts vessels trading to the Chatham Islands were required to have Foreign Going Articles and be under the command of a FG Master with a FG Mate and 2nd Mate.
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 Ron Palmer
Lettens Jan13/11/2012On November 25, 1941, the German Raider KOMET finally caught her first victim, off Chatham Island. Capt. Eyssen rapidly closed in on her, ordering her to stop and not to use her wireless.

Her captain, reluctant to risk the lives of the women and children on board his ship, complied immediately, and the boarding party identified her as the 546-ton New Zealand Holm Line coaster, HOLMWOOD, with a crew of 17 and 12 passengers, including 4 women and 5 children, taking a cargo of 1,370 sheep, a horse, and wool from the island to Lyttelton, New Zealand.

Eyssen and Weyher briefly discussed the possibility of using the little coaster as an auxiliary minelayer, but rejected the idea due to her maximum speed being a mere 9 knots, and decided to sink her.

Her crew, passengers, and as many of the sheep as could be accommodated, were taken on board the three German ships, and the HOLMWOOD was scuttled and sunk by gunfire.

For thirty minutes they shot the little steamer to pieces, turning her blazing wreck into a funeral pyre for the thousand or so unfortunate sheep that had remained on board and went down with her.

On Eyssen’s orders, the horse had been put down before the shooting began. While the crews of all three ships (KOMET, ORION, KULMERLAND) initially welcomed the fresh meat, not surprisingly, in no time at all, they came to detest the taste of mutton.
Vleggeert Nico01/09/2010Early in the morning of 25th November the German raider Komet sighted and captured the steamer Holmwood, 546 tons, which had left the Chatham Islands a few hours before for Lyttelton. The crew and passengers, numbering twenty-nine, and including four women and two children, were taken off, as well as several hundred live sheep, after which the Holmwood was sunk by gunfire. Her passengers and crew were landed on Emirau Island, New Guinea on 21 December 1940
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About Owners
Holm & Co. - Holm Shipping - Capt. Holm, Wellington

Pehr Ferdinand Holm was a Swedish captain who sailed to New Zealand in 1868 and became a famous captain at Wellington. He owned several sailing ships. After his death, his sons continued the business as Holm Shipping Co.
About Builders
 Goole Shipbuilding & Repairing Co. Ltd., Goole
The Goole Shipbuilding and Repairing Co. was founded by the Craggs family in 1901 and was based on the Dutch River at Goole in Yorkshire, England. - - The yard had a towering reputation for building coasters, tugs and trawlers for the Hull and Grimsby fishing fleets. - - The yard's name was changed to Goole Shipbuilders in 1982, coasters, oil rig supply vessels and a coastal tanker were the last ships built under the Goole name. The yard closed on 27th April 1984.

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Richardsons, Westgarth & Co., Middlesbrough
Richardsons, Westgarth Co of Low Street, Sunderland were marine engineers in Hartlepool 1900 – 1982 --- Hartlepool Engine Works, Hartlepool; Commercial Street, Middlesbrough; Scotia Engine Works, Sunderland
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SS Holmwood (+1940)
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