british Constants Ltd. SS Heminge [+1940]
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nationality british
purpose transport
type cargo ship
subtype/class WWI H-class standard cargo ship (br.)
WWI H-class standard cargo ship (br.) Jeanne M. SS [+1940]
propulsion steam
date built 1919
weight (tons) 2499  grt
dimensions 92.4 x 13.1 x 5.8 m
material steel [*]
engine triple expansion engine
power 265  nominal horsepower  [*]
speed 10.5  knots
yard no. 916
about the loss
cause lost torpedo
date lost 30/09/1940  [dd/mm/yyyy]
casualties  max.1rank: 671
about people
William Gray & Co., Ltd., West Hartlepool (Sunderland)
last owner
[1]Constants Ltd., Cardiff
SS Heminge [+1940]
period 1934 ~ 1940
prev. owners
[2]Chester Steam Shipping, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
SS Rudchester
period 1929 ~ 1934
[3]Anglo-European Steamship, Coal & Pitwood Co., Hull
SS Leicester
period 1919 ~ 1929
[4]TSC - The Shipping Controller (WWI), London
SS War Currant
period 1919 ~ 1919
no. of crew 26
about the wreck
depth (m.) 2450 max. / -- min. (m)
war grave
entered by Allen Tony
entered 11/10/2007
last update Allen Tony
last update 16/11/2011

[*] means that the value was inherited from Jeanne M. SS [+1940], the reference for WWI H-class standard cargo ship (br.).
[1] Lettens Jan17/02/2009
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copyright: UK Hydrographic Office
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Allen Tony11/10/2007Heminge SS was a British Cargo Steamer built in 1919 and of 2,499 tons. She was formerly called RUDCHESTER (1934) and LEICESTER (1929). She was owned by Constants (SOUTH WALES ) LTD. On the 30th September 1940 when on route from the TYNE for TENERIFFE carrying a cargo of 3,300 tons of coal she was torpedoed by U-37 and sunk. 1 crew lost from a total crew of 26.
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About Owners
Constants Ltd., Cardiff

Operated from Cardiff (Constants South Wales) and from London.
About Builders
 William Gray & Co., Ltd., West Hartlepool (Sunderland)
William Gray and Company of Central Marine Engineering Works, West Hartlepool, was a shipbuilding firm from 1874-1963. They were the largest firm of shipbuilders in the Hartlepools and also lasted longer than any other local shipbuilding firm. For a hundred years the company ensured the towns’ prosperity by giving jobs to thousands of local people.

William Gray and Co always maintained its reputation for being in the vanguard of technological and technical innovation. The company regularly topped the output for British shipyards in the last decade of the nineteenth and early 20th century. Between 1883 and 1887 the yard expanded through the acquisition of one ten acre site (Central) and a three berth shipyard (Jackson).

Towards the end of the 19th century, demand was for bigger ships which could carry more cargo. This led to the opening, in 1887, of another Gray shipyard at the end of the Central Dock. In 1890 William Gray was knighted. He was active in the civil life of Hartlepool having been the first mayor of West Hartlepool among many other achievements.

In 1896 Matthew Gray died in 1896, followed two years later by both Sir William Gray, and Thomas Mudd. This left Sir William’s younger son, William Cresswell Gray, as Chairman of the company. In 1898 Sir William Gray died. His surviving son William Cresswell Gray became director of the yards.

During WWI output was 30 cargo-liners and tramps built to private order, 13 vessels built to Admiralty order and 30 standard "WAR" tramps built for the Shipping Controller. King George V and Queen Mary visited the yard to boost morale. The yard had a 100-ton hammer head crane which was a Hartlepool landmark until it was demolished in the 1960s.

The Company went into voluntary liquidation in 1962. The various yards were either acquired, auctioned or demolished in 1963.

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