british Gas Light & Coke Co. (Stephenson Clarke & Co) SS Ardens [+1917]
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nationality british
purpose transport
type cargo ship
subtype/class coal cargo ship (collier)
propulsion steam
date built 1878
live live
weight (tons) 1274  grt
dimensions 73.15 x 10.06 x 5.5 m
material iron
engine Steam Compound by G. Clark Ltd., Sunderland, one single boiler, single screw
armament 6 pounder QF Hotchkiss stern gun.
power 140  n.h.p.
yard no. 85
about the loss
cause lost torpedo
date lost 18/08/1917  [dd/mm/yyyy]
casualties  max.1rank: 670
about people
Short Brothers Ltd., Pallion (Sunderland)
engine by
Clark George Ltd., Sunderland
last owner
[1]Gas Light & Coke Co. (Stephenson Clarke & Co), London
SS Ardens [+1917]
period 1916 ~ 1917
prev. owners
[2]Taylor & Sanderson S. S. Co., Sunderland
SS Universal
period 1878 ~ 1916
captain Henry Thomas Shilling / J. W. Dinneen
no. of crew 19
about the wreck
status broken in two sections
depth (m.) 28 max. / 24 min. (m)
position on seabed upright
visibility average
current normal
sea bed mud
protected no
war grave no
 Racey Carl, A Century of Steamship Losses
entered by Lettens Jan
entered 27/08/2008
last update Racey Carl
last update 29/01/2012
Lettens Jan01/10/2009
latitudeUK hydro member
longitudeUK hydro member
AISUK hydro member
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dist. homeportdist. homeport
ref. used
 UK Hydrographic Office
position disp.
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  The Wreck today  

Lettens Jan01/10/2009

UK hydro member
ref. used
 UK Hydrographic Office

Racey Carl12/11/2012

First located and dived on in 1984 by Scarborough Sub-Aqua Club members. The wreck is broken in two with the bow and stern sections folded so that they lay together, but both leaning outwards. The gun has been removed but lives shells can be found around the stern.
This is an area of poor visibility at times and is a slack water dive as tides can be strong.
ref. used
 Arthur Godfrey & Peter Lassey, Dive Yorkshire

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copyright: Racey Carl
 copyright: Racey Carl copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu copyright: UK Hydrographic Office copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu 
 copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu 
 copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu    
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  Hydrographic Service UK  
Racey Carl15/03/2009Whilst proceeding south to London with a cargo of coal at 6.15 p.m. a torpedo from a German submarine struck the ARDENS amidships, the explosion tearing out her port side and causing the mainmast to fall. The wake from the torpedo had been sighted, but with insufficient time to take any avoiding action. The only crew man killed was an engine room donkey man, the engines were blown to pieces, so that the ship lost her weigh almost immediately.

The rest of the crew abandoned ship at once, getting clear and rowing for land. At 6.25 p.m. she was seen to turn over on one side and break in two, going down at 6.30 p.m. After rowing for about five minutes, the periscope of a submarine was seen following them, but this disappeared as a number of patrol boats approached. The survivors, which include d two injured crew, were picked up by the Filey lifeboat and other craft and landed at Filey.
ref. used: 
 Racey Carl, A Century of Steamship Losses
Racey Carl20/03/2009Built as UNIVERSAL for Taylor & Sanderson, Sunderland; Yard No 85; Launched 02/02/1878; In 1916 re-named ARDENS; Fitted with a 6 pounder QF Hotchkiss stern gun; Vessel torpedoed by UC-16, the torpedo struck on the port side amidships, the engines were blown to pieces and the ship parted amidships after turning over on her port beam, then bow and stern came up, and she sank; 19 crew, 1 life lost.
The ARDENS survived a previous attack by a U-Boat in the North sea on 30/06/1917
ref. used: 
 Racey Carl, A Century of Steamship Losses
Lettens Jan04/04/2013UK hydro member
ref. used: 
 UK Hydrographic Office

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About Owners
Gas Light & Coke Co. (Stephenson Clarke & Co), London

The Gas Light and Coke Company (GLCC), World’s First Public Supplier of Gas, were formed in 1812, the year of Napoleon’s great retreat from Moscow. In 1868, the GLCC received the Royal Assent to build a gas works along the side of the River Thames between the entrance of the Barking Creek and the Royal Victoria Dock.

Existed from 1812 - 1949. Not sure if the flag is correct. -- NORTH THAMES GAS BOARD from 01/05/49

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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.

Clark George Ltd., Sunderland
George Clark of Southwick Engine Works, Crown Road, Southwick, Sunderland
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SS Ardens [+1917]
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