Count Dohna and His SeaGull ©
Ships - Brecknockshire
Brecknockshire, a British steamship, was captured and sunk by SMS SeaGull in the late morning of February 15, 1917, 490 miles east by north from Cape Frio, Brazil.
Brecknockshire was a British steamship built by Harland and Wolff at Belfast, Northern Ireland. She was launched on September 12, 1916 and was of 8,423 tons, length of 480 feet and a speed of 12 knots. She was owned by the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, London, England. A 12-cm gun mounted at the stern.
Brecknockshire was the second steamship built by Harland and Wolff at Belfast to be lost on her maiden voyage. The luxury liner Titanic sank on April 15, 1912 after striking an iceberg with the loss of 1,517 lives.
Another ship sailing for the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company was sunk by the SeaGull. Radnorshire was captured and sunk January 7, 1917. In all 11 ships of the line were lost in the war. Brecknockshire is a traditional county in Wales bordering Radnorshire.
Captain G. A. McKenzie was in command with a crew of 89 when Brecknockshire departed Belfast, Ireland on January 11, 1917. After a stop in Liverpool, England she continued her maiden voyage sailing for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on January 22. Her cargo consisted of 7,650 tons of coal.
Her captain and crew arrived in Bremerhaven, Germany aboard SeaGull on March 22, 1917. One of the crew died the next day; the rest were interned as prisoners of war.
In remembrance of the loss of a soul after serving aboard Brecknockshire, on March 23, 1917.
- Greaser J. Riley, aged 53, died of tuberculosis after arrival in Bremerhaven, buried at Hamburg.
RELATED WEB SITES:
Prisoners of War 1914-1918 The Brecknockshire crew listed as POWs.
THE LOCH a TUATH NEWS, April 2005, an account of the Brecknockshire by Donald Stewart.
With thanks to his grandson Dr. Donald William Stewart.
ROYAL MAIL 1839-1939, by T. A. Bushell.
DER MOEWE FAHRTEN UND UBENTEUER, by Graf zu Dohna.
ROYAL MAIL WAR BOOK, by H. W. Leslie.
Last Revision: March 4, 2007.
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