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S.S. River Clyde

Printed From: The Gallipoli Association
Category: Research
Forum Name: Support Ships that served at Gallipoli.
Forum Description: For infoprmation on Support Ships that served during the campaign. (Hospital Ships, Transports etc).
Printed Date: 21 Aug 2019 at 00:46
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Topic: S.S. River Clyde
Posted By: Mal Murray
Subject: S.S. River Clyde
Date Posted: 30 Sep 2010 at 18:20

S.S. River Clyde -

The SS River Clyde was a 4,000 ton collier built in - Glasgow in 1905 and named after the - River Clyde in - Scotland . On April 25, 1915, the River Clyde was used as a - Trojan horse for the - landing at Cape Helles during the - Battle of Gallipoli . The ship, carrying 2,000 - soldiers , mainly from the 1st Battalion of the - Royal Munster Fusiliers , - 29th Division , and also, but often not mentioned, men from the - Royal Dublin Fusiliers , - [1] was beached beneath the - Sedd el Bahr castle at V Beach, Cape Helles, on the tip of the - Gallipoli peninsula. However, the plan failed and the River Clyde, lying under the guns of the - Turkish defenders, became a death trap.

For the landing, the River Clyde was commanded by Commander - Edward Unwin , a former merchant seaman and - Royal Navy officer who had returned from retirement at the start of the war to command the - torpedo gunboat , - HMS Hussar , in the - Mediterranean . The River Clyde had a battery of eleven - machine guns from the - Royal Naval Air Service under the command of - Josiah Wedgwood mounted on the bow behind boiler plate and sandbags. Holes had been cut in the steel hull to provide sally ports from which the troops would emerge onto gangways and then to a bridge of smaller boats linking the ship to the beach. The hull was to be painted a sandy - yellow as - camouflage but the work was incomplete by the time of the landing.">">
Soldiers of the - Australian 2nd Infantry Brigade disembarking from the River Clyde dock, May 6, 1915, prior to the - Second Battle of Krithia . The light coloured patch on the starboard bow is part of the incompletely applied yellow camouflage paint.

Three attempts were made to get ashore by companies of the Munsters, the Royal Dublins and - The Hampshire Regiment but all ended in costly failure. Further attempts to land were abandoned and the surviving soldiers waited until nightfall before trying again. The efforts of sailors to maintain the bridge from the ship to the beach, and to recover the wounded, were rewarded by six - Victoria Crosses . The recipients were Commander Unwin (aged 51), Midshipmen - George Drewry (20) and - Wilfred Malleson (18), Able Seaman - William Williams (34), Seaman - George Samson (26) and Sub-Lieutenant - Arthur Tisdall (24) from the - Royal Naval Division (RND). Of these men, only Williams died during the landing. Samson was severely wounded the following day. On his return to - Scotland he was handed a - white feather while wearing civilian clothes. Tisdall was killed on May 6 when the 6th (Hood) Battalion of the RND, made its advance along Kanli Dere during the - Second Battle of Krithia . Drewry, Samson and Williams had come from the Hussar along with Unwin. Malleson, who died in 1975, served on the - battleship - HMS Cornwallis .

After the Helles beachhead was established, V Beach became the base for the - French contingent and the River Clyde remained beached as a dock and breakwater. Her condensers were used to provide fresh - water and a field dressing station was established in the hull. She remained a constant target for Turkish gunners on the - Asian shore.

In 1919, after the war had ended, the River Clyde was refloated and taken to - Malta for repairs. As a - tramp steamer , she was operated by - Spanish shipping companies for another 50 years in the - Mediterranean under various names, the last being Maruja y Aurora. In 1965 there was an attempt to purchase the River Clyde for preservation but in 1966 she was sold for scrap instead and broken up at - Avilés , Spain.


  1. - ^ H.C.Wylly 'Neill's Blue Caps'

Posted By: Mal Murray
Date Posted: 26 May 2013 at 18:06
When the River Clyde was being scrapped there were attempts to purchase her and prevent her scrapping. It was hoped that she could be preserved as a memorial, unfortunately the attempts failed.

It appears that this was NOT the first time that this suggestion had been made as the following extract from Prime Minister's Question time (House of Commons, 18 December 1919) shows.

Major Earl Winterton asked the Prime Minister if the "River Clyde" steamship can be brought home from Cape Helles, Gallipoli, and moored permanently in the Thames?

To protect our history, we must secure it's future.

Posted By: BG2012
Date Posted: 26 May 2013 at 22:59

Made interesting reading could you imagine walking her decks today knowing what happended to the brave men aboard.

Posted By: Mal Murray
Date Posted: 25 Sep 2013 at 15:48
Here is some further information regarding this vessel.
Lloyds Registry shows three names for her.
S.S. River Clyde  -    1905 to 1921
S.S. Angela         -     1921 to 1929
MARUJA Y AURORA 1929 to 1966
Technical Speciafications/Service Details.
S.S. RIVER CLYDE built by Russell & Co Port Glasgow,
Yard No 537
Engines by J.G Kincaid & Co, Greenock
Last Name: MARUJA Y AURORA (1929)
Previous Names: 1905-21 RIVER CLYDE / 1921-29 ANGELA
Propulsion: Steam Triple Exp 3 Cyl (HP 25.18", IP 41", LP 67", Stroke 48")
Launched: Thursday, 23/02/1905
Built: 1905
Ship Type: Cargo Vessel
Tonnage: 3913grt
Length: 344.8 feet
Breadth: 49.8 feet
Draught: 17.9 feet
Owner History:
1905-15 River Clyde S,S Co Ltd (Ormond, Cook & Co), Glasgow
1915 Sefton S.S Co Ltd (H.E Moss & Co), Glasgow
1915-21 British Admiralty
1921-29 A Pardo, Santander
1929-48 Gumersindo Junquera Blanco, Gijon
1948-66 Gumersindo Junquera S.A, Gijon
Status: Scrapped - 15/03/1966
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27/08/1937 Captured by Spanish Nationalists at Santander.
1966 Broken up at Aviles, Spain." rel="nofollow -

To protect our history, we must secure it's future.

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