Wrecks of the Penarth of Cardiff & George Royle of Sunderland. 1915.

4th September 2008, 19:53
Can any one please help? I am looking for details of the steamer "Penarth" of Cardiff and the steamer "George Royle" of Sunderland. Both were wrecked/foundered off Sheringham around the 9th January 1915 in different incidents in what was called a heavy gale with the loss of about 30 lives.
Any information such as owners, tonnage, etc will be a great help.
Thank you in advance.

K urgess
4th September 2008, 20:17
Try Miramar
for the bare details

5th September 2008, 09:14
Hi Kris.

Thanks for the links, these were very helpful with lots of information.

31st October 2008, 01:41
George Royle Lost 1915
She was stranded and sank on the west side of Sherringham shoal
Wreck believed to be George Royle locatated and surveyed in 1993 at position 53.02.006 N / 00110.574 E about 7 1/2 miles N/E of Blakeney Harbour at 20 mtrs

31st October 2008, 14:29

The Times carried the following report. I couldn't seem to find this description anywhere else, so decided to transcribe it here in full:

The Times, Tuesday, Jan 19, 1915
TWo steamers were wrecked off Sheringham,
Norfolk, during the heavy gale at the week-
end, with a loss of about 30 lives. One was the
Penarth, of Cardiff, 21 of whose crew of 27
were drowned, while another died after being
rescued. The other vessel, the George Royle,
of Sunderland, carried a crew of 12 to 18 hands,
and of these only five survivors have been
Shortly after midday yesterday the mine-sweeper
Glenprosen put into Lowestoft, having on board five
men, the sole survivors of the crew of 27 of the
Penarth, 3,035 tons, which left the River Plate for
Hull on December 6, with a cargo of maize. The
mine-sweeper also had on board the body of the
chief engineer, Wallace Stephens, of Cardiff, who
died soon after being rescued. The five survivors
were Charles Stewart, third engineer (Cardiff); John
Gill, boatswain (Swansea); Bernard Christensen, a
Norwegian; Alexander Wilson, cook (Leith) and
Archibald Black, able seaman (Leith).
The survivors, who were taken to the Sailors'
Home, stated that they had had an almost miraculous
escape from death. On Sunday afternoon the Penarth
was off the Norfolk coast; it was blow-
ing a gale, with frequent blinding showers
of snow and rain. About half-past 3 a heavy
sea struck the vessel and she ran on Sheringham
shoal, a treacherous sand about seven miles from
the shore. Great seas swept over the vessel, and
her deck fittings were smashed, the decks started,
the plates gave way and the grain in her hold poured
out. She had three boats but two of these were
smashed in.
Captain Wyves, of Caerphilly, and 26 men clam-
bered on the the remaining boat. She was launched
but speedily turned turtle, only seven men being left
clinging to the keel. They were tossed to and fro
by the waves and it was bitterly cold. More than
once a seaman let go his hand but managed to get
a renewed grip. So they were buffeted for nearly
two hours until, just before five, they sighted the
Glenprosen, which bore down, and by find seaman-
ship the crew managed to range near the upturned-
boat. One (of) the seven survivors jumped off and
tried to swim to the mine-sweeper but was drowned.
The other six were taken off, three being uncon-
scious from exposure. Two of these were brought
round but the third, the chief engineer, died on board.
Captain Stephen Nicoll, of the Glenprosen, stated
that when they got up to the boat they saw several
dead bodies floating about with lifebelts on. Two
bodies and some wreckage were washed ashore at
Mundesley and five bodies, with lifebelts marked
"s.s. Penarth," were cast up on the beach at Wey-

The George Royle, a vessel of 2,525 tons, which
left the Tyne last Friday bound for St. Nazaire,
foundered during the early hours of yesterday morn-
ing a mile to the east of Sheringham shoal and three
to four miles due north of the coast-guard station at
Weybourne. Of her crew of 12 to 18 hands it is feared
that all were lost save five, who were taken off by a
Lowestoft craft which had arrived at that port.
Between 8 and 10 yesterday morning five bodies
were recovered from the sea at Weybourne. Other
bodies were seen floating past too far out to be re-
covered by the people on the shore, who included
coastguards and Territorials. One was that of a
little boy not more than 10 years of age. Later in
the morning some other bodies were washed ashore
at Mundesley, 16 miles to the eastward, for the wind
and set of the current would take them well out
past Cromer, which is midway between there and
At 3 o'clock in the morning the Cromer lifeboat
was launched in response to flares seen from the
north-west of the town, which would be in the direc-
tion of Sheringham Shoal. The tide was about dead
low and it was in the teeth of a perfect blizzard that
her crew put off. No sooner had she taken the water
than a huge wave swept her broadside towards the
eastern breakwater. To the onlookers, among whom
was Mr. Noel Buxton, M.P., only a dark speck was
visible perilously near in, and only very smart seaman-
ship on the part of her coxswain and crew saved them
from being dashed against the breakwater. Once
more they got her head on to the seas and at last she
got safely off.
By 8 o'clock the wreckage on the shore at Cromer
told of disaster along the coast, and two empty
boats came in at Weybourne, one being dashed to
pieces as soon as it touched the shingle. The other
boat contained provisions. Later in the morning the
Cromer lifeboat passed eastward, making for Yar-
mouth, where she arrived in the afternoon having
aboard the crew of a sailing craft.