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H.M.S. Snaefell (Sunk in WW2)

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Mal Murray View Drop Down
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    Posted: 19 Jan 2012 at 17:08
While conducting reseearch into the Irish casualties of the Gallipoli campaign, I came across an entry in the War Diary for the 6th Bn. Royal Irish Fusiliers for the 6th and 7th of August 1915, which referred to the H.M.S. Snafell (Minsweeper).
This ship is not listed on the original list of ships that served at Gallipoli (I will add her to the list shortly)
Some photos of HMS Snaefell in action may be viewed in the photo section of the forum, here;
An excellent little history of the vessel is available in PDF Format here;
H.M.S. Snaefell

Builders: Built as Barry by John Brown & Co 1907

Launched on 4th May 1907 by John Brown at Clydebank

Propulsion type: Paddle two cylinder compound diagonal

Engines : Compound diagonal 25.5 and 54 in x 54 in

Dimensions : 225.5 ft x 26.6 ft

471 Gross Registered Tonnes

Tonnage: Net 185 Gross 642

Owners: Barry Railway, Barry & Bristol Steamship Company, P & A Campbell Ltd

Built as PS Barry for the Barry Railway Company in their new venture to capture a

share of the Bristol Channel excursion trade

On the withdrawal of the Barry Company from steamer operations in 1910 she passed

to the Bristol Channel Passenger Boats Ltd.

Came into Campbell ownership in 1911

The HMS Snaefell was built as the P.S. Barry and launched on 4th May 1907 by John Brown at Clydebank. Requisitioned in World War I, being stationed in Greece, based in Salonika and taking part in the Gallipoli landings.

P.S. Barry was renamed Waverley in 1926 and sent to the Brighton station replacing Ravenswood after the previous Waverley of 1885 had not been reconditioned after her service in World War One and scrapped in 1919. She saw war service in the Great - War, the Barry’s distinguished war service (1914-1918) has been described as outstanding.

After a period transporting German prisoners, the Barry achieved everlasting fame by sailing to the Mediterranean and carrying troops at the Gallipoli landings. She was used as a transport and store carrier in the Gallioplli campaign.

She was used as a transport and store carrier in the Gallioplli campaign. She was almost lost there when a mine twice struck her paddle wheels but fortunately did not damage her. The PS Barry was the last ship to leave Suvla Bay after the evacuation and later served at Salonika.

After further service in the Mediterranean she was reconditioned by the Ailsa yard in Troon in 1920. In 1926 she was renamed Waverley by Campbell’s and was transferred to the South Coast. Became HMS Snaefell in 1939 for World War II and sent to the Tyne, based at North Shields.

Attended Dunkirk where she was involved in the rescue of her grounded stablemate, Glen Gower, and evacuated 981 soldiers.

Her final voyage was on July 5th, 1941 in which three were killed and nine wounded during a bombing raid off Sunderland.

Extract from the War Diary of 6th Bn Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Fri. 6 Aug. 06:30 - MInsweepers "Snaefell" and "Honeysuckle" left Port  Mitylene Island for Salt Lake Bay Gallipoli Peninsula with the following numbers on board.

       Snaefell:  17 Officers                                           Honeysuckle:  10 Officers
                      180 "C" Coy                                                                 165 "A" Coy
                      163 "D" Coy                                                                 168 "B" Coy
                        66  Headquarters Staff                                                  9 Hqrs Staff
                      426                                                                               352
Sat. 7 Aug. 05:00 - Arrived off Coast Salt Lake Bay Gallipoli Peninsula & subjected to heavy shrapnel and infantry fire. Landing made at 08:30 am under shrapnel fire (One Sergeant being wounded was left on board the mine-sweeper).

Edited by Mal Murray - 19 Jan 2012 at 17:49
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mal Murray Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jan 2012 at 17:43
Heres more on this little vessel in the form of a poem;
1907 – The PADDLE STEAMER 'BARRY' – 2007

Cheers to the pleasure steamer – popular and fast,
With a jaunty rake of funnel and bunting from the mast,
Paddles swooshing easily foaming as they churn,
Leaving wake – ruler straight, trailing there astern.

Her glossy shining paintwork of red and pearly white,
Flying proud the ensign on halyard whipping tight,
The cheering of the passengers leaning on the rail,
And jingle of the telegraph when about to sail.

The fascinating engines steaming hell for leather,
Captain's orders from the bridge open to the weather,
Called upon in wartime years for such sterling work,
Plus helping out the Navy and Army at Dunkirk.

One such vessel of renown was the P.S. Barry,
Famous in the Great War for troops she had to carry,
Outstanding in Gallipoli and last from Suvla Bay,
Serving at Salonika toiled in danger's way.

She was built upon the Clyde one hundred years ago,
Excursion fit for passengers on deck and down below,
Registered in Barry – in her early years,
Calling in the Channel ports mooring at the piers.

Ilfracombe or Weston, down to old Minehead,
Burnham and the Mumbles – then home in time for bed,
She gave so many people, hours of bracing pleasure,
Merrymaking families enjoying days to treasure.

Later on in 'twenty-six she worked our southern climes,
Sailing out of Brighton and Hastings many times,
Then sweeping mines in 'forty-one on a fatal run,
She perished in the North Sea, sunk there by the Hun.

It's right recalling history of South Wales long ago,
Of local crew and seamen sailing to and fro,
For they worked the paddle steamers giving them their power,
In our favorite waters – from Bristol to the Gower.

J.S.Earl. Bristol M.N.A.
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