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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
Image 1: Aldington_Court_1.jpg

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Basic Data
  • 3 Career Highlights
  • 4 Service Pre-War
  • 5 Participation in WW2 Convoys
  • 6 Sinking
  • 7 Roll of Honour
  • 8 Postscript
  • 9 External resources
  • 10 Images
  • 11 Main Contributors

Court Line used the name Aldington Court for two ships:

  1. Aldington Court (1) - a cargo ship launched in 1929 and the subject of this entry
  2. Aldington Court (2) - a cargo ship launched in 1944

Aldington Court (1) was in service from 1929 until she was sunk by enemy action in 1942 so had a working life of 13 years.

Basic Data[edit]
  • Type: Cargo ship
  • Registered owners,managers and operators: British United Steamship Co. Ltd. - Managers Haldin & Philipps Ltd. London
  • Builders: Pickersgill
  • Yard: Southwick
  • Country: UK
  • Yard number: 224
  • Registry: N/K
  • Official number: 161230
  • Signal letters: N/K
  • Call sign: N/K
  • Classification society: N/K
  • Gross tonnage: 4,891 grt
  • Net tonnage: 2,979 grt
  • Deadweight: N/K
  • Length: 405.6 ft
  • Breadth: 55.5 ft
  • Depth: 25.1 ft
  • Draught: N/K
  • Engines: Single 3 cylinder Doxford oil engine
  • Engine builders: William Doxford & Sons Ltd.
  • Works: Sunderland
  • Country: UK
  • Power: 1,850 bhp
  • Propulsion: Single screw
  • Speed: 10 knots
  • Cargo capacity:N/K
  • Crew: N/K

Career Highlights[edit]
  • 23 June 1929: Launched by Pickersgill
  • May 1929: Completed
  • 1936: Owners restyled Court Line Ltd. - same managers
  • 31 October 1942: Sunk by enemy action

Service Pre-War[edit]

According to External resource #3, Aldington Court (1) sailed from London on her maiden voyage on 26 May 1930 for Vladivostok uner charte to Glen Line with Glen funnel colours and houseflag. She was the first motorship for the company and the builder and the 1850 bhp 2-cylinder engine performed well at her service speed of 10 knots.

Unlike many of the Court Line ships, Aldington Court (1) does not appear to have been laid up during the years of the 1930s depression. She was used to take coal to Melbourne (including during a coal strike in Australia) and grain from Hobson's Bay to Melbourne, and also transportation of lumber from Vancouver to Sydney or Melbourne, and sugar from Cairns to Japan or India.

Participation in WW2 Convoys[edit]

The data in the following table has been extracted from External Resource #1.

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

Aldington Court took part in 30 convoys before being sunk.

List of Convoys

Convoy No.RouteConvoy No.Route
OA.19Oct 1939: Southend - DispersedHX.16Jan 1940: Halifax - Liverpool
OB.113Mar 1940: Liverpool - Formed OG.23FOG.23FMar 1940: Formed In 4924N 0652W - Gibraltar
SL/MKS.40Jul 1940: Freetown - LiverpoolFS.245Aug 1940: Tyne - Southend
FN.291Sep 1940: Southend - MethilOA.222Sep 1940: Methil - RV. With Ob 222
OB.222Oct 1940: Liverpool - DispersedBN.10Nov 1940: Bombay - Suez
BS.12Jan 1941: Suez - DispersedBS.12CJan 1941: Port sudan - Aden
SL/MKS.68Mar 1941: Freetown - DispersedSC.28Apr 1941: Halifax - Liverpool
EC.27May 1941: Southend - ClydeWN.122May 1941: Clyde - Methil
FN.473May 1941: Southend - MethilFS.482May 1941: Methil - Southend
OB.332Jun 1941: Liverpool - HalifaxSL/MKS.84Aug 1941: Freetown - Liverpool
OS/KMS.8Oct 1941: Liverpool - FreetownSL/MKS.96Dec 1941: Freetown - Dispersed
BB.134Feb 1942: Belfast Lough - Milford HavenOS/KMS.20Feb 1942: Liverpool - Freetown
SL/MKS.84Aug 1941: Freetown - LiverpoolKN.132Aug 1942: Key West - Hampton Roads
NG.307Sep 1942: NYC - GuantanamoGAT.9Sep 1942: Guantanamo - Trinidad
NG.307Sep 1942: Nyc - GuantanamoTRIN.16Oct 1942: Trinidad - Dispersed


Aldington Court (1) was reported as sunk on 31 October 1942 by U 172 - at that time commanded by Kptlt. Carl Emmermann (Knights Cross).

According to External resource #5 she was on a voyage from Philadelphia and Trinidad bound for Saldanha Bay and Alexandria and was torpedoed at 22:23 at position 30.20S/02.10W. Of her crew of 44, there were 34 lost including the Master.

U 172 appears to have been one of the more successful German submarines and was commissioned on 5 November 1941. By the end of the war she claimed to have sunk 26 Allied ships totalling 152,080 grt.

Roll of Honour[edit]

The table below lists most of those who are known to have died as a result of the sinking of Aldington Court (1).

List of those that lost their lives

Surname.ForenamesDescriptionAge and other information
ABBEYEDWIN STANLEY BURNEYSecond Engineer OfficerAge 32.
CONNOLLYFRANK NORTHMORE CROADAble SeamanAge 43. Son of Margaret Sleeman, of Plymouth.
DALYHENRY. CookAge 59.
DAVIESALECAble SeamanAge 24.
FREEMANEDWINCabin BoyAge 18. Son of John Freeman, and of Anne Freeman, of Flixton, Lancashire.
GOODFELLOWHarryChief Engineer OfficerAge 43. Son of James and Jane Goodfellow; husband of Mildred B. Goodfellow, of Fulwell, Sunderland, Co. Durham.
GRICEDAVID EWANThird Radio OfficerAge 21. Son of Robert John and Margaret Cecelia Grice, of Maesteg, Glamorgan.
HAMPTONKENNETH DAVIDFourth Engineer OfficerAge 19. Son of Alec John and Dorothy Alma May Hampton, of Fulham, London.
HARVEYJAMES ALFREDDeck BoyAge 19. Son of Mrs. E. F. Harvey, of Canton, Cardiff.
HENSHAWJAMESOrdinary SeamanAge 21. Son of Owen and Sarah Jane Henshaw, of Birkenhead.
HEPBURNJAMES KEITH ROGERSecond OfficerAge 25. Son of Albert and Ada Hepburn; husband of Irene Elsie Hepburn, of Ipswich, Suffolk.
HONGORDON JOSEPHGalley BoyAge 18. Son of Charles Anthony and Beatrice Hon, of Birkenhead.
JAMESGLYNDWRJunior Engineer OfficerAge 29.
MURPHYWILLIAMCabin BoyAge 18. Son of William and Elizabeth Murphy, of Chorlton, Lancashire.
NELSONWILLIAM IVORThird Engineer Officer Age 30. Husband of Violet R. Nelson of Rumney, Cardiff.
NEWBOLDREGINALD ALBERTFirst Radio OfficerAge 28. King's Commendation for Brave Conduct. Son of Alfred Mark and Florence Teresa Newbold, of Lee, London.
O'HAGANJOHNChief OfficerAge 51. Son of John and Mary O'Hagan.
RIGDENFREDERICK SANDFORDChief StewardAge 49. Son of William Sandford Rigden and Mary Jane Rigden; husband of Alice Rigden, of Whitby, Yorkshire.
STUARTALFREDMasterAge 45. Son of Mr. and Mrs. F. Stuart, of Whitby, Yorkshire; husband of Elsie Margaret Stuart, of Whitby.
WELLSANDREW JOSEPHCabin BoyAge 18. Son of Andrew and Margaret Wells, of Town Hill, Swansea.
WELSONDAVID ALBERTJunior Engineer OfficerAge 23. Son of Edwin Albert and Margaret Ellen Welson, of Verwig, Cardiganshire.
WHITE JAMES GERARD Junior EngineerAge 27.

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, U172 was herself sunk mid-Atlantic on 13 December, 1943 after a 27 hour fight west of the Canary Islands, in position 26.29N, 29.58W, by depth charges and Fido homing torpedoes from Avenger and Wildcat aircraft (VC-19) of the American escort carrier USS Bogue and by some 200 depth charges from the US destroyers USS George E. Badger, USS Clemson, USS Osmond Ingram and USS Du Pont. There were 13 dead and 46 survivors.

External resources[edit]
  1. Arnold Hague Convoy Database: [1]
  2. Miramar Ship Index: Miramar
  3. Information extracted from Lloyds Registers by John Powell
  4. Norman Middlemiss: Travel of the Tramps - Twenty Tramp Fleets ISBN: 1871128021
  5. Ubootwaffe:

  1. From the collection of Stuart Smith

Main Contributors[edit]
  1. John Powell and Clive Ketley - basic ships information and history
  2. Benjidog - further research and construction of Directory entry
  3. Billy McGee - names and information about those lost
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