SS Stokesley

22nd December 2005, 11:08
Previously posted in 'Test" - Benjidog advised new thread.

SS Stokesley, built Verschure & Co, Amsterdam, 1,149 grt, owned by JT Duncan Shipping Co. of Cardiff.

On 24th April 1940, en route from Antwerp to London (possibly grain cargo) she was sunk after hitting a mine in the Thames Estuary. Fourteen of the eighteen crew and the Thames Pilot were lost.

Has anyone got any more information about this ship and any chance of a photo?

Any help appreciated. Thanks.

John T.

27th December 2005, 19:45
I didn't get very far looking on the net. There is a one-line mention on but you probably found that already. Suggests she was purchased in 1895 - unless there was another ship of the same name. So would have been pretty ancient in 1940 if it is the same one. It doesn't help with your search when there is a place called Stokesley which has a pub called "The ship".

Unless one of the SN members come up with something, I suggest you take a look at the posting I made on 27 Nov in the thread "Is there any P&O archive ...." which is in the P&O forum. This summarises research guides available from the National Maritime Museum. Hopefully one of the resources listed will help you.

Good luck with your quest.

28th December 2005, 10:16
Thanks Brian. Yes I've seen that site.

This version of ss Stokesley was built in 1922 in Amsterdam.

By coicidence, I've fallen out of the front door of the Ship at Stokesley (North Yorkshire) on several occasions.

I'll have a look at your suggestions. I contacted IHC in Holland, the company which took over the builders (Verschure & Co - now defunct) and they recommended the "Baggermuseum" in Holland - this turns out to be a museum dedicated to dredgers and I think Verschure were big in dredgers, so will contact them when the silly season finishes.

Thanks again and Happy New Year.

John T.

28th December 2005, 10:41
Have you seen this mention

29th December 2005, 02:41
Have you seen this mention

Thanks a lot, Steve. The plot thickens!

John T.

29th December 2005, 07:19

Extracted from the following site;

Windsor Spinks

Chief Officer WINDSOR SPINKS S.S. Stokesley (Cardiff), Merchant Navy who died age 47 on 24 April 1940 Chief Officer SPINKS, Son of John Thomas Spinks and Martha Spinks, of Cardiff; husband of Gwendoline Amy Spinks, of Cardiff.

6th January 2006, 11:56
The ship had been carrying a cargo of sulphate of amonia at the time of her loss.

METCALF, Steward, LEONARD GORDON, S.S. Stokesley (Cardiff). Merchant Navy. 24th April 1940. Age 29. Son of Harold Brown Metcalf and Ellen Metcalf. Buried Sheerness (Isle-of-Sheppey) Cemetery. Sec. F. Grave 173.

SPINKS, Chief Officer, WINDSOR, S.S. Stokesley (Cardiff). Merchant Navy. 24th April 1940. Age 47. Son of John Thomas Spinks and Martha Spinks, of Cardiff; husband of Gwendoline Amy Spinks, of Cardiff. Buried Cardiff (Llanishen) Cemetery. Grave 245.

Tower Hill Panel 102

AUSTIN, Steward, FRANK, S.S. Stokesley (Cardiff). Merchant Navy. 24th April 1940. Age 19. Son of James and Bertha Austin, of Cardiff.

BELLENGER, Donkeyman, PAUL, S.S. Stokesley (Cardiff). Merchant Navy. 24th April 1940. Age 64. Husband of Margaret Bellenger, of Grangetown, Glamorgan.

BLACKETT, Fireman, SEYMOUR, S.S. Stokesley (Cardiff). Merchant Navy. 24th April 1940. Age 39. Son of Ernest and Louisa Blackett; husband of Kathleen Muriel Blackett, of Cardiff.

BUCHANAN, Fireman, GEORGE NATHANIEL, S.S. Stokesley (Cardiff). Merchant Navy. 24th April 1940. Age 37.

COX, Second Engineer Officer, ARTHUR JAMES, S.S. Stokesley (Cardiff). Merchant Navy. 24th April 1940. Age 58. Husband of Susan Cox, of Kingston-on-Thames. Surrey.

HENRICKSEN, Able Seaman, HORACE, S.S. Stokesley (Cardiff). Merchant Navy. 24th April 1940. Age 42.

LE MAREC, Able Seaman, JEAN LUTHER, S.S. Stokesley (Cardiff). Merchant Navy. 24th April 1940. Age 37.

MURRAY, Master, JOHN, S.S. Stokesley (Cardiff). Merchant Navy. 24th April 1940. Age 51. Husband of Lydia Ruth Murray, of Penarth, Glamorgan.

SEBLIN, Able Seaman, EDWARD LOUIS, S.S. Stokesley (Cardiff). Merchant Navy. 24th April 1940. Age 38.

THORNING, Sailor, SAMUEL ARTHUR MUDFORD, S.S. Stokesley (Cardiff). Merchant Navy. 24th April 1940. Age 19. Son of Willie Cyril and Jane Thorning, of Roath, Cardiff. His father Willie Cyril perished with him.

THORNING, Chief Engineer Officer, WILLIE CYRIL, S.S. Stokesley (Cardiff). Merchant Navy. 24th April 1940. Age 54. Son of Samuel and Jessie Thorning; husband of Jane Thorning, of Roath, Cardiff. His son Samuel Arthur Mudford perished with him.

TYLEY, Second Officer, MORGAN JAMES, S.S. Stokesley (Cardiff). Merchant Navy. 24th April 1940. Age 49. Son of Benjamin and Janetta Tyley; husband of Helen Tyley, of Gabalfa, Cardiff.

6th January 2006, 14:31
A very warm welcome to you Billy, with that information and your superb knowledge on running the MN site, it is a pleasure to have you here and your efforts on the Ropner
memorial are truly worthy. For members who do not know Billy runs the following site An absolute encyclopedia of information on ships and personnel. In case anybody wonders I do not know Billy only though his website.

7th January 2006, 17:40
Thanks for that. The site you mentioned is not mine. It belongs to Brian Probetts. All I do is answer queries on his forum. I used to run the British Merchant Navy at War 1939-1945 website till I lost all my files.

Baltic Wal
7th January 2006, 18:35
Following from my database, I also have a survivors report.

British Dry Cargo
Frances Duncan Steamships from 1937 to 1940
Technical data:
Built by Verschure & Co., Amsterdam (Yard No. 42) April 1922
Engine information:
1 Steam T3Cyl 120 Nhp by Shipbuilders Speed 9.0 knots
Original dimensions:
231.00 x 34.20 x 13.20
1,149 Grt 666 Net 1,740 Dwt
All dimensions are in Imperial
Completed as WYNDING for W. A. Souter & Co. Ltd., Newcastle
1937: Sold to Frances Duncan Steamship Co. Ltd., Cardiff (J. T. Duncan & Co. Ltd., managers); renamed STOKESLEY.
23.4.1940: Sailed from Antwerp on passage to London with 1,600t sulphate of ammonia.
24.4.1940: Mined and sunk in Thames Estuary, 11m NNW Margate.
14 crew and the Pilot lost.
Four survivors rescued by HMDrifter PLUMMER.

8th January 2006, 12:30
Thanks to all of you. Didn't realise she was originally called 'Wynding', could be a big help.

John T.

9th January 2006, 09:40
National Maritime Museum has one photo of her for sale. Below is the address and negative number to quote when ordering.

WYNDING (Br) 50.3 1922 General cargo, short sea W A Souter & Co Ltd
P13921 (6) B 1937? Under way.

Historic Photographs Section,
National Maritime Museum,
SE10 9NF
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8312 8600
Fax: +44 (0) 20 8317 0263

9th January 2006, 09:58
Many thanks Billy. Great to see you made your way on to this site.

Rgds. John T.

10th October 2008, 14:11

I'm a great-granddaughter of Morgan James Tyley, second officer of the S.S. Stokesley. I want to thank you for the information about the ship. It has helped me with my research into my family tree.
Billy I noticed that you had the names of Morgan's wife and parents and his age at his death. Would it be possible to tell me where you got the records from? I'm coming up against brick walls with geneology sites.


Ellen T
8th March 2013, 21:08
Hello - Maybe I can help with the two Stokesleys.

Stokesley (1) was 1047 tons and built in 1883 by R Craggs and Sons, Middlesborough. She was renamed Daisy in 1929 and in December 1951 was wrecked of Holman in the Baltic while on passage Sweden to Hull carrying timber after 68 years afloat.

Stokesley (2) was 1149 tons and built in 1922 by Verschure, Amsterdam as Wynding, for A Soulter and Company, Newcastle. She was sold in 1937 to the Frances Duncan Steamship Co Ltd and renamed Stokesley. As you know she was mined and sunk on 24th April 1940 near Nore Light Vessel, Thames Estuary. The name is taken from a district of Middlesborough.

An article was published in See Breeze shipping history (possibly issue 402) in the late 70s/early 80s which refers to both Stokesleys within the history of Cardiff shipping company Duncan Valette and Company, later J T Duncan and Co Ltd. Little more detail is contained about the Stokesley ships than is given here.

Last year a brief article was published under the title 'Those in Peril' by Llanishen Local History Society in a local free magazine. The article did contain a photo of Stokesley (2) while still named Wynding. As soon as I can scan and upload it I will.

Ellen T
8th March 2013, 22:35
Wynding, later renamed Stokesley.

9th March 2013, 10:38
Many thanks for the photo and info Ellen. I became interested in this ship when I stumbled upon the grave of Helen Tyley in a cemetery here in Brisbane. There was an plaque with an anchor on the grave and a mention of Helen's husband, 2nd Officer Morgan Tyley being killed on SS Stokesley. After reading the post on "War Sailors" mentioned by SteveCZ, I contacted Col Phillips, Morgans grandson, who turned out to live just a few miles from me and we corresponded for a while. I'll see if I can get hold of him again and forward the photograph.

Many thanks.

John T.

19th February 2014, 20:41
Windsor was my father's elder brother, (though I never met him, being born after the war)
Born and brought up in Cardiff in a seafaring family, he had served in the Merchant Navy in WW1 (and survived a torpedo attack). He went to live in the USA, but returned to serve when war broke out again.
His body was blown from SS Stokesley onto a following ship, and he is buried in Llanishen, Cardiff.

20th February 2014, 04:03
Hello, Janspinks, welcome to SN. As you will see above, I had a bit of interest in this incident. I lost contact with Col Tyler but think "Grandaughterdeb" may be his daughter. I'll look through what I've got to see if it's of any interest to her.

I think I found a photo of HMS Plumer, a Lowestoft steam drifter (I think). Could that be where your Uncle was found? She must have been damaged by the explosion too because she was listed as being alongside in Chatham for repairs the day afterwards. If any of this is of interest, I can look up my correspondence with Col and send it to you.

John T

23rd February 2014, 19:09
I don't know the name of the ship he was found on, but would be interested to find out.
A coincidence , if it was the Lowestoft steam drifter - his fathers family had origins in that town.
I have his photo, his medal and commendation. He and Gwen had no children of their own. She continued after the war to travel between USA and Cardiff, where she settled in retirement.

24th February 2014, 14:39
According to the survivors report given by one of the Stokesley's Able Seamen, the Stokesley had just overtaken the naval trawler HMT Plummer heading in the same direction shortly before detoanting the mine. The shock wave was felt throughout the trawler, stopping all the ships clocks. The only mention in the report of any bodies being recovered by the trawler was that of the river pilot.

2nd March 2014, 21:39
Thanks, but there is a written family story, and he is buried in Llanishen Churchyard, Cardiff, so his body was definitely recovered.
I have his funeral report.