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Count Dohna and His SeaGull ©

Ships - Radnorshire

Radnorshire, a British steamship, was captured by SMS SeaGull in the late evening of January 7, 1917 and sunk early the next day, 110 miles east from Pernambuco. Pernambuco is now known as Recife, Brazil.

Radnorshire was built in 1913 by Bartram and Sons at Sunderland, England. She was launched as the Salopian for John Mathias and Sons of Aberystwyth's Cambrian Steam Navigation Company. That same year she was purchased by the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, London, England and renamed Radnorshire. She was a steamship of 4,310 tons, 385 feet in length and a speed of 10 knots. A 12-cm gun was mounted at her stern.
Another ship sailing for the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company was sunk by the SeaGull. Brecknockshire was captured and sunk on February 15, 1917. In all 11 ships of the line were lost in the war. Radnorshire is a traditional county in Wales bordering Brecknockshire.
Captain C. L. Willatts was in command with a crew of 71 when Radnorshire departed Pernambuco, Brazil on January 5, 1917. She was sailing for London, England and then La Havre, France. Her cargo consisted of 6,500 tons of coffee, cocoa and sugar being shipped to Hard and Rand, coffee importers.
On January 12, 1917 her captain and 11 of the crew were transferred to the captured Japanese steamship Hudson Maru. They arrived in Pernambuco, Brazil, four days later. They then sailed for Lisbon, Portugal on the Dutch steamer Hollandia on January 23. And continued the journey home on the English steamship Drina sailing for Liverpool, England. On March 1st Drina struck a mine laid by the German submarine UC-65 off Milford Haven, Wales and sank with the loss of fifteen souls.
The other 60 crewmen of the Radnorshire remained on SeaGull until March 22, 1917 when she returned to Germany and then were freed.
Pernambuco is now known as Recife, Brazil.

Compass Directions
Hudson Maru


ROYAL MAIL 1839-1939, by T. A. Bushell.
DIARIO DE PERNAMBUCO, by Capitaine Carmene, Commandant du Nantes.

Last Revision: March 4, 2007.
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