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Image 1: Vehicle Boat Ship Watercraft Armored cruiser

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Basic Data
  • 3 Career Highlights
  • 4 Pre WW2 History
  • 5 Participation in WW2 Convoys
  • 6 Roll of Honour
  • 7 Service post WW2
  • 8 External resources
  • 9 Images
  • 10 Contributors

Court Line used the name Dallington Court for just one ship which was launched in 1929.

This ship had a 36 year service life, including significant service during WW2 before being broken up in 1965 in Belgium.

Basic Data[edit]
  • Type: Cargo ship
  • Registered owners,managers and operators: Framlington Syndicate, (Haldin and Philipps Ttd. Managers)
  • Builders: Northumberland Shipbuilding Co. (1927) Ltd.
  • Yard: Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Country: UK
  • Yard number:413
  • Registry: London
  • Official number: 161306
  • Signal letters: N/K
  • Call sign: GCWB
  • Classification society: 100 A1
  • Gross tonnage: 6,889 grt
  • Net tonnage: 4,329
  • Deadweight: N/K
  • Length: 420ft
  • Breadth: 56.5ft
  • Depth: 33.8ft
  • Draught: 33' .8
  • Engines: Triple expansion steam engine
  • Engine builders: Wallsend Slipway & Engineering Co.Ltd
  • Works: Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Country: UK
  • Power: N/K nhp
  • Propulsion: Single screw
  • Speed: 10
  • Boilers: N/K
  • Cargo capacity:N/K
  • Crew: N/K but see note below
  • Employment: General purpose cargo vessel

Notes on Basic Data:

  1. Crew: Although the "official" number of crew has not been located, Stan Mayes has the following recollection from the three voyages described later in this Directory Entry:

Captain - Chief Officer - 2nd Officer - 3rd Officer - a Cadet - Chief Engineer - 2nd Eng. -3rd Eng. -4th Eng. - a Radio Officer - Chief Steward - 2nd Steward - 2 Stewards - Chief Cook - 2nd Cook - Galleyboy - Bosun - Carpenter - 10 Seamen - Donkeyman - 9 Somali Firemen/Greasers. Total 39

Stan also observes In tramp ships the 3rd Engineer was also the ships Electrician. This also applied to many tanker companies.

  1. Tonnages: John Powell reports that according to Lloyd's register, the ship's tonnages were amended in 1960 to 6941g 4285n 11064d

Career Highlights[edit]
  • Oct 1929: Completed
  • 1936: Owners restyled Court Line Ltd. - same managers
  • 1950: Sold to Cia Nav. Punta Arenas S.A. Panama and renamed Irene
  • 25 Mar 1965: Broken up at Ghent Belgium
Pre WW2 History[edit]

No information currently available other than that Dallington Court was laid up for some years at Sunderland during the years of the 1930s depression.

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

Dallington Court took part in 75 convoys in all. No information has come to light about damage during this period.

List of Convoys

Convoy No.RouteConvoy No.Route
OA.9Sep 1939: Southend - DispersedOB.216Sep 1940: Liverpool - Dispersed 53N 17.05W
SC.8Oct 1940: Sydney CB - LiverpoolWN.31Nov 1940: Clyde - Methil
EN.36/1Dec 1940: Methil - ObanOB.257Dec 1940: Liverpool - Dispersed
HX.104Jan 1941: Halifax - LiverpoolWN.88Feb 1941: Clyde - Methil
FS.425Mar 1941: Methil - SouthendEC.2Apr 1941: Southend - Clyde
OB.308Apr 1941: Liverpool - Dispersed 66.21N 32.10WWN.131May 1941: Clyde - Methil
FS.501May 1941: Methil - SouthendHX.125AMay 1941: Halifax - Liverpool
EC.31Jun 1941: Southend - ClydeEC.41Jul 1941: Southend - Clyde
OB.346Jul 1941: Liverpool - FreetownSL/MKS.99Jan 1942: Freetown - Liverpool
OS/KMS.23Mar 1942: Liverpool - FreetownGN.28Dec 1942: Guantanamo - NYC
TM.1/1Dec 1942: Trinidad - GibraltarSC.118Jan 1943: NYC - Liverpool
WN.397Feb 1943: Loch Ewe - MethilFS.1048Feb 1943: Methil - Southend
EN.212Apr 1943: Methil - Loch EweFN.984Apr 1943: Southend - Methil
ONS.3Apr 1943: Liverpool - HalifaxSC.130May 1943: Halifax - Liverpool
WN.433May 1943: Loch Ewe - MethilEN.239Jun 1943: Methil - Loch Ewe
HF.62Jun 1943: Halifax - St. John NBONS.10Jun 1943: Liverpool - Halifax
FH.65Jul 1943: St John NB - HalifaxSC.137Jul 1943: Halifax - Liverpool
EN.270Aug 1943: Methil - Loch EweWN.462Aug 1943: Loch Ewe - Methil
ONS.17Aug 1943: Liverpool - HalifaxSC.143Sep 1943: Halifax - Liverpool
KMS.32Nov 1943: Gibraltar - Port SaidKMS.32GNov 1943: Ex OS58/ KMS32 - Gibraltar
OS/KMS.58KMNov 1943: Liverpool - Convoy SplitKMS.35Dec 1943: Gibraltar - Port Said
AH.21Jan 1944: Augusta - BariMKS.38Jan 1944: Port Said - Gibraltar
MKS.42Feb 1944: Port Said - GibraltarHA.22Feb 1944: Brindisi - Augusta
KMS.40Feb 1944: Gibraltar - Port SaidKMS.44Mar 1944: Gibraltar - Port Said
AH.29Mar 1944: Augusta - BariHA.30Mar 1944: Bari - Augusta
KMS.47Apr 1944: Gibraltar - Port SaidAH.36Apr 1944: Augusta - Bari
GUS.36Apr 1944: Port Said - Hampton RoadsKMS.50May 1944: Gibraltar - Port Said
HA.43May 1944: Bari - AugustaAH.42May 1944: Augusta - Bari
GUS.39May 1944: Port Said - Hampton RoadsGUS.42Jun 1944: Port Said - Hampton Roads
AH.48AJun 1944: Augusta - BariGUS.43Jun 1944: Port Said - Hampton Roads
UGS.45Jun 1944: Hampton Roads - Port SaidHA.49Jun 1944: Bari - Augusta
MKS.57Jul 1944: Port Said - GibraltarGUS.47Jul 1944: Port Said - Hampton Roads
VN.51Jul 1944: Augusta - NaplesKMS.60Aug 1944: Gibraltar - Port Said
NV.60Aug 1944: Naples - AugustaGUS.58Nov 1944: Port Said - Oran
MKS.69GDec 1944: Gibraltar - Rendezvous with SL.178SL/MKS.178MKDec 1944: Rendezvous of SL178 with MKS69 - Liverpool
OS/KMS.112KMFeb 1945: Clyde & Downs - Dispersed 44.08N 11.18WBB.85/2Apr 1945: Belfast Lough - Milford Haven
MH.97/2Apr 1945: M haven - ClydeMKS.93GApr 1945: Gibraltar - Liverpool
ONS.49May 1945: Liverpool - Halifax

Roll of Honour[edit]

One person is known to have lost his life in service during WW2 on board Dallington Court but nothing is currently known of the cir***stances. The information available which was provided by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission is shown in the Roll of Honour below.

List of those that lost their lives

Surname.ForenamesDescriptionAge and other information
ZAMUDIOJoseph Rene VictorChief OfficerAge 42. Grave Ref. Sec CA (Con). Grave 887 Berwick-on-Tweed

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.

Red Petal Lip Flower Plant

Service post WW2[edit]

Stan Mayes has provided the following accounts of voyages on Dallington Court shortly after WW2.

I made three voyages in this tramp; voyages 1 and 2 with Captain Kilgour and Voyage 3 with Captain Llew.Thomas. Total time 29th Dec.1945 to 11th Nov.1946.

Voyage 1

The seamens accomodation was for'ard. Six ABs in a cabin port bow and four OSs in a cabin starboard bow. Coal fired Bogey stoves provided heating in the cabins with chimneys up to the fo'c'sle head. Somali firemen/greasers were accomodated in the poop. Although it was six months since the war ended the ship was still painted grey overall except the funnel - Court Line, Buff with black top. The rafts were still installed on deck and the wartime protection was still around the bridge.

Image 2: Deck Vehicle Ship Watercraft Boat

Image 2 was taken in January 1946 looking forward from the bridge front.

The bows contained the accommodation for the seamen and the H shaped chimneys were for the smoke extraction from the crew's coal fired bogeys. This photo shows the entrance to the crew accomodation. The port holes are messroom and bathroom. Fresh water was drawn from a tap in galvanised buckets - the tap was outside the galley amidships. In warm weather we bathed naked outside the galley using the buckets, but in cold weather we carried the buckets to a small washroom for'ard. Outside toilets are under the ladders. The hawsepipes were in the alleyway outside our cabin doors. Somali firemen/greasers had accomodation in the poop. Note no hatchtop locking bars and no ventilators on the masthouses. Degaussing gear is seen in the scuppers and it continued into our cabins.

I signed on as AB and joined the ship on Bevans Wharf Northfleet where she was loading cement for West African ports on Elder Dempster Line charter. Completing the loading of 4,000 tons we then moved upriver to KGV Dock London to load general cargo and vehicles. We sailed from London on 7th Jan 1946.

My first voyage was from 29th Dec.1945 to 25th March 1946 and the discharging ports were Bathurst - Freetown and here we embarked 40 Kroo boys, African stevedores who remain with the ship to work cargo in ports we visited along the coast. They were in the charge of a Headman and had their own cook and supplied their own food. At end of a days work they rigged a large tent across a hatchtop for sleeping under. They were very competent and skillful workers.

From Freetown to Takoradi - then on to Lagos and Apapa for discharging and on completion the holds were cleaned by the Kroo boys and we sailed for the creek port of Sapele about 100 miles inland. A Nigerian pilot took us up the river and it was quite an experience. With so many sharp bends we bounced off trees and banks to bring the ships head around onto course. Arriving across the river from Sapele we moored to huge trees and it was very uncomfortable with swarms of mosquitoes and other nasties. Using the ships derricks we loaded mahogany logs which had been floated down the river. We were pleased when we sailed from that swampy jungle area.

Image 3: Wood Architecture Photography Lumber Stock photography

Image 3 was taken on 7 February 1946. Mahogany logs are waiting alongside for loading aboard Dallington Court, Sapele, Nigeria . Each log was lashed to a pair of more buoyant logs to make a raft and prevent loss of the valuable timber. Rafts with men living on them drift downriver for weeks before reaching Sapele

Image 4: Vehicle Ship Watercraft Naval architecture

Image 4 was taken on 7 February 1946. A mahogany log is coming aboard Dallington Court while tied up at Sapele, Nigeria. This view also shows the wartime bridge protection still in place 9 months after the cessation of hostilities.

Image 5: Vehicle Boat Watercraft Ship

Image 5 was taken on 7 February 1946. Another view of logs being loaded.

We then loaded palm kernels, groundnuts and rubber at Warri and Port Harcourt; then to Lagos to load logs as deck cargo. A call into Freetown to pay off the Kroo boys and we then proceeded to our next port Hull. Becoming short of coal bunkers in the Bay we burned old hatchboards and dunnage and made Plymouth where we bunkered. At Hull we discharged groundnuts and palm kernels and then to Victoria Dock London for final discharge of cargo and pay off.

Image 6: Boat Vehicle Fishing vessel Naval architecture Ship

Image 6 was taken on 13 January 1946 while the ship was off Dakar. It is looking aft from the forecastle at the bridge shuttering installed to protect the bridge and occupants from enemy action during the WW2. Also visible are the two fore deck life rafts in their wartime stowed positions.

Image 7: Tree

Image 7 was taken on 8 February 1946 and shows the proximity of the ship to the surrounding jungle.

It was an uncomfortable time as the seamens accomodation was in an open fo'c'sle; we were moored to trees.

Note the Kroo boys drawing fresh water from a tap outside the galley. We had 40 Kroo boys from Freetown. Note also the pudding boom above their heads. This boom was used during the war when the lifeboats were always swung out. The padded boom lashed horizontally to the davits prevented the boats from being damaged when the ship was rolling.

In all these photos,awning spars are seen but no awnings set up. There were none on the ship and as we lived in the bows it was unbearable at times in the cabins. We kept cool by swimming in the swampy river.

Image 8: Photograph People Standing

Image 8 was taken on 10 February 1946 and shows Sapele market with local children and Dallington Court's Chief Steward, Chief Cook and Stan Mayes.

The children on the right appear to be suffering from a protein deficiency disease know as Kwarshiorkor.

Image 9: People Photograph Standing History Team

Image 9 was taken on 10 February 1946 and shows Sapele market with local children and Dallington Court's Chief Steward, Chief Cook and Stan Mayes. They appear to have brought all kinds of objects with a view to selling them to the crew.

Image 10: Team Crew Recreation History

Image 10 was taken around 10 February 1946 and shows some of the crew apparently about to go for a swim to cool down.

Sapele is a creek port about 100 miles inland,fresh water always on the ebb. The logs are lashed together to form large rafts and take weeks to drift downriver with the ebb tide. Men live on them during this period. I don't know if we were advised not to swim in that swampy river but I do remember there were many kinds of nasties in the water.

Image 11: Vehicle Black-and-white Ship Boat Watercraft

Image 11 was taken January 1946 off Dakar. It provides a clear view of one of the fore deck liferafts.

Although the ship was an old tramp, the seamen had become good friends and decided to make another trip together so after a few days home leave we rejoined the ship.

Voyage 2

This voyage lasted fro 1st April to 21st May 1946.

Again on charter to Elder Dempster Line we sailed from London in ballast for Takoradi, and at this port we loaded 10,000 tons of iron ore for South Bank Middlesbrough. We were at Takoradi from 20th to 27th April. Again becoming short of bunkers before reaching our destination we diverted into Dartmouth and bunkered.

On hearing the ship would be going to Canada on her next trip we seamen decided to make a third voyage so after some home leave we rejoined the ship.

Voyage 3

This voyage lasted from 26th May to 11th November 1946.

We rejoined in Smiths Drydock South Bank and in the next drydock was a tanker. She was ADULA and I made a trip in her during 1941. After I left her she was converted to a MAC ship, Merchant Aircraft Carrier for service in convoys. She was being reconverted and returned to commercial service.

During our previous trip the Master had purchased on behalf of the company a large amount of prepared mahogany boards in Takoradi. During the following months we cut, planed and shaped the boards and then demolished the concrete protection slabs around the bridge and the gun emplacements in wings of the bridge and all this debris was dumped into the sea. We then began rebuilding it to its prewar condition during our many days between ports - the Captain and Cadets steered the ship so all the seamen could work on deck in refurbishment of the bridge. My Account of Wages for that almost 6 months trip records Overtime as 39 hours at 2 shillings per hour - £3 . 18 shillings. How much did the company save by not having a shipyard do the work?

On the way to Canada we worked for many days in the holds rigging shifting boards for a grain cargo but on arriving at Montreal the Port Authorities removed it and replaced it with new timber. We were told that second hand wood was banned from reuse. We loaded grain in the lower holds and bagged flour in the tween decks and this cargo was for Capetown.

We sailed from Montreal on 26th June and it proved to be a long and slow voyage of 51 days due to constant engine failures and stoppages at sea for repairs.

On 15th July we entered Las Palmas for coal bunkers and a few hours later proceeded on voyage. While at Las Palmas I bought a puppy from a bumboat and named him Rivets. I gave Rivets to a British Army Sergeant in Trieste about three months later as we would soon be homeward bound and Captain Thomas had told me it would be costly for quarantine charges for Rivets.

Image 12: Crew Barechested Team

Image 12 was taken 15 july 1946 at Las Palmas. Stan Mayes is wearing the check shirt and cloth cap and is next to the policeman in the naval type uniform. The 3rd Engineer is holding the puppy referred to in the previous paragraph.

Image 13: Vehicle Ship Boat Convoy rescue ship Watercraft

Image 13 was taken 16 july 1946 at Las Palmas. It shows Gaelic Star leaving Las Palmas.

Note the progress made by the crew in refurbishing the bridge. Mahogany cabs in the wings of the bridge have replaced wartime gun emplacements. On left a bumboat man displays his wares. I bought a month old puppy from him.

After sailing from Las Palmas we again experienced many engine problems and stoppages and we became short of food,being without potatoes,vegetables and butter. For the last few days before reaching Capetown our daily menus consisted of anything made from flour taken from the cargo - puddings, pancakes and dumplings. Occasionally we had a treat of beans or peas and each time we stopped for repairs we caught fish to supplement our diet..Fresh water was also rationed. Arriving at Capetown on 15th August our priority was to draw a Sub and off ashore to the nearest restaurant for a long awaited nice meal.

Image 14: Vehicle Boat Ship Watercraft Depot ship

Image14 was taken on 20 August 1946 at Cape Town - discharging grain and bagged flour from Montreal.

Due to constant engine problems and stoppages at sea we were 51 days Montreal to Capetown. Note the bridge has been rebuilt including cabs in wings of the bridge.

Following discharge of our cargo we sailed for Lourenco Marques arriving there on 31st August and went to anchor for two days to await a berth. Later we berthed and began to load 10,000 tons of coal for Italy. The loading procedure was primitive. A large cylinder was on the quay and it was attached to a crane; it was of 15 tons capacity. Staging was rigged around the cylinder and about 100 men, women and children ascended the staging with baskets of coal on their heads and tipped them out. As they came down they were given tin tallies which they exchanged for payment at end of a days work. When full the cylinder was raised and swung above a hold - the bottom was opened and the coal was emptied and consequently clouds of coal dust filled the air. Our full cargo took ten days to load.

Sailing from Lourenco Marques [now Maputo] we headed North for the Red Sea and Suez and passed through the canal on 4th October. Our first port of discharge was Trieste and we arrived there on 11th October. The port facilities had been devastated by Allied bombing and many ships lay sunken in the port and bay. The large Italian liner REX lay on the bottom with her side just above the water; she was bombed and set on fire by the RAF on 8th September 1944 - this was the same day as the V2 rockets were launched against London from Holland. The first V2 exploded in Chiswick.

We used the ships derricks to discharge 5000 tons in one week. Trieste was still occupied by Allied forces and a midnight curfew was in operation as there was much fighting and shooting between Yugoslavs and Italians who were in dispute over the control of the city and port. Needless to say we did not venture much beyond the nearest bar except for an occasion when a British Army Sergeant took four of us on a tour in his Jeep and we saw a large statue of Mussolini which had been toppled over on the side of a hill. I gave Rivets to the Sergeant as a present for his Italian girl friend. Leaving Trieste for Venice we passed through the Grand Canal and berthed at Porto Margera for final discharge of our cargo. Noticeably there was virtually no war damage to Venice from air attack. Four days here and we then sailed for Melilla Morocco on 1st November. At this port we loaded iron ore for the Tyne and after a call into Gibraltar for bunkers we continued on voyage for South Shields and payoff.

Image 15: Ship Boat Vehicle Waterway Watercraft

Image 15 was taken on 21 October 1946 at Venice discharging coal from Lourenco Marques. The refurbishment of the bridge was almost complete.

Image 16: Crew Team Black-and-white

Image 16 was also taken on 21 October 1946 at Venice loading coal from Lourenco Marques.

OS Swan with me. Loading coal at Lourenco Marques was primitive - behind us is a huge cylinder of 15 tons capacity suspended over No1 hold. The cylinder is filled on the quay by 100 men, women and children each ascending staging with a basket of coal on their heads which is tipped into the cylinder. As they come down they are given tin tallies which they exchange for payment at end of a days work. We were at Lourenco Marques for ten days.

Image 17: Ship Vehicle Boat Watercraft Water transportation

Image 17 was taken on 28 October 1946 of the port of Melilla in Morocco from the deck of Dallington Court.

A pleasant surprise on arrival was to see the Chairman and Directors of Court Line on the quay - we were complimented on the appearance of the ship. Checking my Account of Wages for that almost 6 months trip it records Overtime at 39 hours at 2 shillings per hour - total £3.18 shillings. During many days at sea betwen ports, the Captain, 2 Cadets and occasionally the 2nd and 3rd Mates steered the ship, so the seamen watchkeepers were free to work on deck during the refurbishment. Consequently no overtime was involved in this. Also whereas a seaman does weekend nigh****ch in port on overtime, the Deck Cadets did that job so it was cheap labour. For that same period of time in a tanker I would have earned ten times more.

After all that hard work for little remuneration DALLINGTON COURT was sold to Greeks less than four years later. She was renamed IRENE Panama flag and owners were Naviera Puntas Arenas Co. They traded her profitably for another 15 years before she went to breakers.

External resources[edit]
  1. Arnold Hague Convoy Database:
  2. Norman Middlemiss: Travel of the Tramps - Twenty Tramp Fleets
  3. Miramar Ship Index: Miramar Ship Index
  4. Information provided to Benjidob by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
  1. The Allen Collection: The Allen Collection
  2. By permission of Stan Mayes
  3. By permission of Stan Mayes
  4. By permission of Stan Mayes
  5. By permission of Stan Mayes
  6. By permission of Stan Mayes
  7. By permission of Stan Mayes
  8. By permission of Stan Mayes
  9. By permission of Stan Mayes
  10. By permission of Stan Mayes
  11. By permission of Stan Mayes
  12. By permission of Stan Mayes
  13. By permission of Stan Mayes
  14. By permission of Stan Mayes
  15. By permission of Stan Mayes
  16. By permission of Stan Mayes
  17. By permission of Stan Mayes

  1. Information and personal accounts provided by Stan Mayes
  2. Information from Lloyds Register provided by John Powell
  3. Additional research and construction of entry by Benjidog
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