RFA Denbydale

Dick Eburne
28th November 2005, 14:20
RFA Denbydale was sunk inside Gibraltar's harbour during WWII by Italian frogmen using human torpedoes. As it was in shallow water it came to rest upright. It was apparently still afloat but heavy laden. The repairs made it useable but not seaworthy.

In the early 1950s it was being used as a storage facility and accomodation ship for RFA crews visiting Gibraltar. Over the years since its sinking it had acquired by devious means some additions to its original fitments such as mahogany railings, vintage furniture, a piano and had been turned into a home from home - an unofficial RFA club.

As a 10 year old, I swam through the torpedo's hole in the side of the hull. I was very impressed with the damage, and also how clean and tidy the Denbydale was kept. It still seemed as if it were in service and much loved.


5th February 2006, 15:40
Previously named Empire Silver. after being Damaged by the Italians in September 1941. She was no longer seaworthy, her engines were removed for use in her sistership Derwentdale. and was used at Gibraltar as a fuel and accommodation hulk. She was towed back to the UK from Gibraltar in 1955 to be broken up.