british Watts, Watts & Co. Ltd. (Britain Steamship Co.) SS Deptford [+1939]
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nationality british
purpose transport
type cargo ship
propulsion steam
date built 1931
weight (tons) 4040  grt
dimensions 114.8 x 15.8 x 7.6 m
engine 3 Cyl. Triple expansion engine by Blair & Co. (1926) Ltd., Stockton-on-Tees, England.
power 368  n.h.p.
speed 10.5  knots
about the loss
cause lost torpedo
date lost 13/12/1939  [dd/mm/yyyy]
casualties  max.32rank: 615
about people
Smith's Dock Co. Ltd. (South Bank), Middlesbrough
Watts, Watts & Co. Ltd. (Britain Steamship Co.), London
about the wreck
depth (m.) 25 max. / -- min. (m)
war grave
entered by Allen Tony
entered 19/03/2008
last update Vleggeert Nico
last update 16/04/2010
[1] Lettens Jan21/02/2009
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Allen Tony19/03/2008Deptford SS was a British Cargo Steamer of 4,101 tons built in 1931 by Smith´s Dock Co Ltd, South Bank, Middlesbrough for Watts, Watts & Co Ltd, London. On the 13th December 1939 when on route from Narvik - Middlesbrough carrying a cargo of 6,000 tons of iron ore she was torpedoed by German submarine U-38 when 0.24 miles north-northwest of Honningsvaag, Norway and sunk. 32 dead and 5 survivors.
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Lettens Jan28/08/2008UK hydro member
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About Owners
Watts, Watts & Co. Ltd. (Britain Steamship Co.), London

Britain Steamship Co was formed in London in 1884 by Watts, Ward & Co. In 1896 Mr Ward died and the management was renamed Watts, Watts & Co. The company expanded quickly and by 1914 was operating 20 vessels in worldwide tramping. Fourteen vessels were lost to enemy action during the Great War but by 1920 the fleet was back to the pre war level of 20 ships. The company lost ten ships during the second world war and by 1945 owned only six ships. Edmund Watts died in 1962 and the ships were gradually sold off, the last two in 1967. In 1968 the Britain SS Co was sold to Bibby Line.

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About Builders
 Smith's Dock Co. Ltd. (South Bank), Middlesbrough
Smith's Dock Company who started at High Docks, South Shields, are often referred to simply as Smith's Dock, was a British shipbuilding company that became associated with South Bank in Middlesbrough on the River Tees in Northeast England, after opening an operation there in 1907.

Smiths Dock are perhaps most famous for preparing the design of the Flower class corvette, an anti-submarine convoy escort of WWII. In 1914 listed as Marine Engineers. During WWI the yard's output was 160 small ships. In the 1920's the yard began arc-welding along with riveting. Up to 1930 the yard mainly made colliers, tramps and cargo-liners.

In 1930 the yard entered the depression with a number of orders on its books. The worst year for the yard was 1932 when it was only able to launch one motor trawler. In 1931 the Stockton yard of Smiths Dock Co Ltd was purchased by National Shipbuilders Security for closure and dismantling. In 1936 the "Flower" class corvette based on the design of the whale-catcher Southern Pride, made its debut. 19 were made by the yard and 200 by other yards.

During the 1940s the yard made a number of cargo ships, tramps, colliers and the last case-oil carrier. In 1966 the yard was sold to Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson with the yard becoming part of the Swan Hunter Group later in the same year.

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SS Deptford [+1939]
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