Count Dohna and His SeaGull ©
Ships - French Prince
French Prince, a British steamship, was captured and sunk by SMS SeaGull just after midnight on February 16, 1917, 490 miles east northeast from Cape Frio, Brazil.
French Prince was built in 1900 as Mineola by Sir James Laing and Sons at Sunderland, England. She was acquired by Prince Line in 1912 and her name was changed to Bulgarian Prince. Her named changed to French Prince in late 1914 when Bulgaria aligned against the Entente Allies. She was a 4,766 ton ship, 391 feet in length with a speed of 11 knots.
Prince Line lost three ships to German raiders during the war. SeaGull sank Saxon Prince and French Prince. Indian Prince was captured by Kronprinz Wilhelm on September 4 and sunk on September 9, 1914.
Captain H. Jefferies-Davis was in command with a crew of 37, when French Prince departed La Plata, Argentina sailing for La Havre, France on December 22, 1916. She carried a cargo of 6,500 tons of oats, corn and tinned corned beef. The ship was in the service of the British Admiralty.
Also aboard were 24 sacks of mail, which provided reading material for the German seamen. They were particularly interested in two sacks; one from the British light cruiser HMS Amethyst and another from the British auxiliary cruiser Edinburgh Castle.
Her captain and crew arrived in Bremerhaven, Germany aboard SeaGull on March 22, 1917. Three of the crewmen were from neutral countries and were released. Those remaining were interned as prisoners of war.
RELATED WEB SITES:
Prisoners of War 1914-1918 The French Prince captain and crew listed as POWs.
THE LOG OF THE MOEWE, by Graf zu Dohna.
HILFSKREUZER MOEWE, by Otto Mielke, SOS Schicksale Deutscher Schiffe.
Last Revision: March 4, 2007.
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