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4,558 Posts
  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Basic Data
  • 3 Career Highlights
  • 4 Service History
  • 5 Sinking
  • 6 External resources
  • 7 Images
  • 8 Contributors

Court Line used the name Lavington Court for two ships.

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

Lavington Court (1) had a working life of 20 years including a period of being laid up in the depression of the 1930s. She had been sold to a German company before WW2 started and was unfortunate to be in Norway at the outbreak of war. She was captured by the Norwegians and scuttled.

Basic Data[edit]
  • Type: Cargo ship
  • Registered owners,managers and operators: Florio Soc. Italiana di Nav. - Managers I. & V. Florio (built as Vincenzo Florio)
  • Builders: William Doxford & Sons Ltd.
  • Yard: Pallion, Sunderland
  • Country: UK
  • Yard number: 545
  • Registry: N/K
  • Official number: 149740
  • Signal letters: N/K
  • Call sign: N/K
  • Classification society: N/K
  • Gross tonnage: 6,569
  • Net tonnage: 4,080
  • Deadweight: N/K
  • Length: 420 ft
  • Breadth: 54 ft
  • Depth: 34.3 Ft
  • Draught: N/K
  • Engines: Triple expansion steam engine
  • Engine builders: G.Clark Ltd.
  • Works: Sunderland
  • Country: UK
  • Power: N/k
  • Propulsion: Single screw
  • Speed: N/K
  • Boilers: N/K
  • Cargo capacity:N/K
  • Crew: N/K
  • Employment: General purpose cargo vessel

Career Highlights[edit]
  • 5 May 1920: Launched as Vincenzo Florio
  • Oct 1920: Completed
  • 1927: Acquired by The United British Steam Ship Co. Ltd. - managers Haldin & Phillipps Ltd. and renamed Lavington Court
  • 1936: Owners restyled Court Line Ltd. - same managers
  • 1937:Sold to Atlas Reederei A.G., Emden, Germany and renamed Afrika
  • 9 April 1940: Scuttled

Service History[edit]

We know little about the service history of Lavington Court (1). She is known to have been laid up at Milford Haven for some years during the depression of the 1930s prior to being sold to Atlas Reederei AG.

She was in Norway at the outbreak of WW2 - basically in the wrong place at the wrong time.


External resource #4 is about HNoMS Stegg but provides this account of the sinking of Lavington Court (1) - then name Afrika:

The Stegg had a brief and intense period of service in the Norwegian Campaign after the German invasion of Norway. When the invasion came on 9 April 1940 she was anchored at Skudeneshavn and commanded by lieutenant H. M. Hansen. She entered the Hardangerfjord on 10 April 1940 and quickly captured two German merchant ships; first the 5,295 ton Cläre Hugo Stinnes on 12 April 1940 and then the 6,503 ton iron ore laden Afrika five days later. The German crews were held as POWs by Norwegian land forces.

Cläre Hugo Stinnes was used by the Norwegian forces from 14 April as the depot ship of the Hardangerfjord naval air group in Eidfjord.[5] The two captured ships were later to become the centres of battles at Kinsarvik (Cläre Hugo Stinnes) and Ulvik (Afrika). Afrika, having been captured on her way from Narvik to Germany, ended up being scuttled by its Norwegian captors in the heat of battle at Ulvik.

External resource #5 states:

SS Afrika, a German cargo freighter, was sailing fom Narvik to Germany when the war broke out in Scandinavia. The vessel sailed to Bergen, by then under German control, until ordered to sail to Germany. The ship sailed under a false Dutch flag using the pseudonym 'Frik'. However, the vessel was boarded by the Norwegian torpedo boat Stegg in Korsfjorden and the crew and ship were interned in Ulvik. The Norwegians, suspecting that it wouldn't take long before the Germans arrived in Ulvik, decided to scuttle the vessel in the fjord on the 17th of April 1940. The wreck rests upright in a depth ranging from 7 to 30 metres.

External resource #6 gives the location of the wreck as 60º 34´N 06° 55´E. It also states:

The Afrika lies upright and fairly intact in about 30m.The masts and funnels and some cargo were removed in 1953. The hull is damaged around the cargo hatches as a result of explosives being used during the salvage operation.

External resources[edit]
  1. Information extracted from Lloyds Registers by John Powell
  2. Norman Middlemiss: Travel of the Tramps - Twenty Tramp Fleets ISBN: 1871128021
  3. Miramar Ships Index:
  4. Wikipaedia Entry: HNoMS Stegg
  5. Dive Norway website
  6. [1]


Awaiting an image of this vessel

  1. Basic research and construction of entry by Benjidog
  2. History and basic details by John Powell and Clive Ketley
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