25th October 2008, 14:46
I am trying to find a decent map which will show just where the Naval Base was in 1942, and the position where tankers would load/offload, as well as the position of Elder Dempster involvement, London & Kano, United Africa Co, West Africa Soap Co, Lagos Cathedral etc; how can I discover the nature and degree of military/Naval presence at that time? Please can anyone offer any advice? I have found very little in the NA, but I now have some indications as to other sources in relation to the Lagos Incident of 5th December 1942; I have the full list of Admiralty Trawlers and losses of life; there were around 200 other losses of life, according to some reports. The ship in question was the Athelvictor, from which it is reported officially that 65 tons of spirit had leaked, no account of the cause of the fire has been determined, the explosion itself being the result of fire contact with one or other of the HM trawlers Kelt, Canna, Spaniard and Bengali. Only Kelt survived after near a year of repairs. Best Wishes, Raymond
25th October 2008, 15:17
Two further points ...
A section of the Claim was for loss by damage to the property of the Oil Storage Company of Apapa.
How long would it have taken for a loss of Motor Fuel of 65 tons to have escaped, approximately?
25th October 2008, 18:23
Just checked the Harper Collins Atlas of the Second World War for you Raymond but there was no detailed maps of the Lagos area unfortunately.
Good luck with your search.
25th October 2008, 18:51
Thanks Brian ... Britain did not have a base there until late 1941, with a series of Naval Trawlers, so the base should not have been a large one. The story that I have so far is confused, and with some discrepancies, I gather that the Nigerian Government had a small naval group of dredgers (to keep the channel free for tankers) and tugs; Elder Dempster appeared to have a fair base there. The length of time it would have taken for 65 tons of Motor Fuel to have leaked through open valves is somewhat crucial to the story, as well. As far as I can tell (besides the crew who were ashore) there was but one survivor (captain of the Kelt). The other very confusing entry in NA archives is the report of the explosion on board the Athelvictor and that she sunk ... which is very odd, in view of the fact that next day on board ship was normal procedure and she left port as soon as the investigation into her part in the incident was completed. Best Wishes, Raymond