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Lavington Court (2)

From SN Guides



Court Line used the name Lavington Court for two ships.

  1. Lavington Court (1) - a cargo ship launched in 1920 as Vincenzo Florio
  2. Lavington Court (2) - a cargo ship launched in 1940 - the subject of this entry

Lavington Court (2) had a working life of just over two years. After serving on 18 convoys she met her end when she was torpedoed and sunk by a U-boat.

Basic Data

  • Type: Cargo ship
  • Registered owners,managers and operators: Court Line Ltd. - Managers Haldin & Phillipps Ltd.
  • Builders: Harland & Wolff Ltd.
  • Yard: Govan
  • Country: UK
  • Yard number: 1032g
  • Registry: N/K
  • Official number: 167591
  • Signal letters: N/K
  • Call sign: N/K
  • Classification society: N/K
  • Gross tonnage: 5,372
  • Net tonnage: 3,153
  • Deadweight: N/K
  • Length: 433 ft
  • Breadth: 57.9 ft
  • Depth: 25.7 ft
  • Draught: N/K
  • Engines: 6 cylinder 4.S.C.S.A oil engine
  • Engine builders: Harland & Wolff Ltd.
  • Works: Glasgow
  • Country: UK
  • Power: N/K
  • Propulsion: Single screw
  • Speed: N/K
  • Cargo capacity: N/K
  • Crew: N/K

Career Highlights

  • 21 Mar 1940: Launched
  • 26 Jun 1940: Completed
  • 19 Jul 1942: Torpedoed and sunk

Participation in WW2 Convoys

The data in the following table has been extracted from External Resource #4 which indicates that Lavington Court (2) participated in 18 convoys and met her end on the last of these.

A key to the routes for these convoys can be found on this page: World War 2 Convoy Names

List of Convoys

Convoy No. Route Convoy No. Route
OB.180 Jul 1940: Liverpool - Dispersed HX.77 Sep 1940: Halifax - Liverpool
BHX.77 Sep 1940: Bermuda - Joined HX.77 FS.312 Oct 1940: Methil - Southend
EN.26/1 Nov 1940: Methil - Oban FN.331 Nov 1940: Southend - Methil
OB.248 Nov 1940: Liverpool - Dispersed BHX.110 Feb 1941: Bermuda - Joined HX.110
HX.110 Feb 1941: Halifax - Liverpool OB.311 Apr 1941: Liverpool - Dispersed 61N 32.40W
SC.47 Sep 1941: Sydney CB - Liverpool OS/KMS.12 Nov 1941: Liverpool - Freetown
C.4 Feb 1942: Colombo - Dispersed BX.21 May 1942: Boston - Halifax
HX.193 Jun 1942: Halifax - Liverpool WN.298 Jun 1942: Loch Ewe - Methil
EN.108 Jul 1942: Methil - Loch Ewe OS/KMS.34 Jul 1942: Liverpool - Freetown


According to External resource #5, Lavington Court (2) was in convoy OS/34 when she was attached by German submarine U-564 Captained by Reinhard Suhren at position 42.38N, 25.28W. Of the complement of 48 there were 7 dead and 41 survivors. She was carrying a cargo of 6000 tons of government stores, including 2 naval launches as deck cargo on a route from Leith - Oban (11 Jul) - Capetown - Middle East.

“At 02.30 hours on 19 Jul, 1942, U-564 attacked the convoy OS-34 about 200 miles north of the Azores and observed four detonations between 1 minute 15 seconds and 1 minute 27 seconds after firing. Suhren thought that he had hit four ships. However, only the Empire Hawksbill and Lavington Court were hit at this time. There were probably two hits each on the two ships.” “Five crew members, one gunner and one passenger (military personnel) from the Lavington Court (Master John William Sutherland) were lost. The ship was taken in tow, but foundered on 1 August southwest of Ireland in 49°40N/18°04W. The master, 33 crew members, five gunners and two passengers were picked up by the British sloop HMS Wellington (L 65) (LtCdr F.R. Segrave) and landed at Londonderry.”

Roll of Honour

The table below lists the merchant seamen who lost their lives: their names are on panel 64 of the memorial at Tower Hill.

The names of the DEMS gunner and military passenger are not known but will be added if anyone can supply them - see Home Page for contact details.

List of those that lost their lives

Surname. Forenames Description Age and other information
ROBERTSON JAMES WILLIAM Sailor Age 20. Son of Robert and Henrietta Robertson, of Walls, Zetland
ROSS DAVID Donkeyman Age 22. Son of David Ross, Engineman, R.N. Patrol Service, killed in action 7th September, 1940, and Henrietta Ross, of Edinburgh
TULLOCH PETER Able Seaman Age 24. Son of John and Margaret Tulloch

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.


According to External resource #6, U-564 was very successful and in its service life of just over 2 years sunk 18 merchant ships totalling 95,544 GRT, sunk 1 warship of 900 tons and damaged 4 merchant ships totalling 28,907 GRT.

She was herself sunk at 1730hrs on 14 June, 1943 north-west of Cape Ortegal, Spain, in position 44.17N, 10.25W, by depth charges from a British Whitley aircraft (10 OTU/G). There were 28 dead and 18 survivors.

“At 14.39 hours, two inbound boats were spotted by the Whitley in the Bay of Biscay and shadowed. U-564 was unable to dive after an air attack the day before and was escorted back to France by U-185. At 16.45 hours, the fuel of the aircraft was running low and the pilot decided to attack U-564. Both boats opened fire and hit the bomber, but its depth charges caused more damages on the boat and she sank at 17.30 hours. The hydraulics and the starboard engine of the Whitley were damaged, so the crew was forced to ditch and ended up as German prisoners after being picked up by a French trawler.”


To date no photo of this ship has been identified.


  1. Basis data provided by John Powell and Clive Ketley
  2. Additional research and construction of entry by Benjidog

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