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Cau Ailosod

AGBERI

Manylion y Safle

© Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 274777

Cyfeirnod Map SG73NE

Cyfeirnod Grid SG7723937184

Awdurdod Lleol Arforol

Hen Sir Arforol

Cymuned Maritime

Math o Safle LLONGDDRYLLIAD

Dosbarth Cyffredinol ARFOROL

Cyfnod Modern

Disgrifiad o´r Safle This wreck lies with the keel is orientated 090/270 degrees and its bow lying on its starboard side. There is break in the centre line of the ship corresponding to the location of the torpedo strike. The upper bulwarks of the ship's side forward and amidships, where a line of portholes was formerly located, presents a very broken appearance (e.g. many plates/portholes missing). The stern of the vessel sits more upright than the bow. The wreck has a length of over 120m and a height of 19m. The aft mast lies on the seabed in a semblance of its original position.

Event and Historical Information:
The AGBERI was a 4821gt steel hulled steamship built in Belfast by Workman, Clark and Co Ltd in 1905. Technical and configuration specifications are given as 4821gt; 370ft length (113m) x 49ft breadth x 21ft height; 3 cylinder triple expansion engine; 2 decks; boat deck 98ft; forecastle 48ft; armed with a 1 x 12pdr gun and a 12cwt stern gun; official number 120880, registered Liverpool 68 in 1905; international code HDMC. At time of loss, the vessel was owned by the Elder Line, Elder Line Limited (Elder Dempster Ltd), Colonial House, 20 Water Street, Liverpool, with John Craig being given as the manager. From 3 September 1915, the ship had been requisitioned for service as an Ammunition Carrier to Northern Russia for Russian Government. The ship completed four round voyages to the Arctic carrying Russian troops to Brest for the Imperial Russian Government. It also acted as a collier (carrying coal). Between June and December 1916, it was sub-chartered to the Hudson’s Bay Co. The vessel had been armed with a 12 pounder gun and had two dedicated gunners onboard (M Holdsworth, Able Seaman, and D Hales, Ordinary Seaman, both RNVR). The ship left Dakar on 8 December in a convoy led by HMS MOTAGUA heading for Liverpool. The master was Herbert Lamont and the ship was carrying a cargo of 3,500 tons of African produce. The ship was zig-zagging and travelling at 8 knots and had posted lookouts in the crow's nest, one on top of the wheelhouse and two officers on the bridge. The torpedo was not seen until it was 40 or 50 yards away. The intelligence collated by the Admiralty gave 3.05pm (other sources 2.45pm) as the approximate time that the ship was attacked by the German submarine U-87 (see NPRNs 240507 and 274776), Commanded by Kapitänleutnant Rudolf von Speth-Schülzburg . The uboat's torpedo struck midships on the port side, just forward of the bunkers, and the explosion destroyed all the portside lifeboats amidships. The 54 crewmembers and 9 passengers were able to get away in the ship's other lifeboats. The AGEBRI sank at 3.10pm (or 3.30pm sources differ). Those who had been onboard were rescued by patrol vessels and taken to Holyhead. The contemporary loss location was given as 18 miles northwest 1/2 north from Bardsey Island. HMS FAWN located this wreck in 1981. The ship was included in the multi-beam echocounder surveys undertaken by Bangor University in 2018, as part of the Royal Commission's HLF funded Partnership Project - 'Commemorating the Forgotten U-Boat War around the Welsh Coast 1914-18'.

Sources include:
HMSO, 1998, British Vessels Lost at Sea 1914-18 pg 76
Larn and Larn Shipwreck Database 2002
Lloyds Confidential War Loss Record 1941-18 pg 191
Lloyds Register of British and Foreign Shipping , 1 July 1915- 30 June 1916, number 316 in A
Mercantile Navy List 1910, pg7
Mercantile Navy List 1915, pg8
Tennant, A J, 1990, British Merchant Ships Sunk by U-Boats in 1914-18 War, pg72
UK Hydrographic Office Wrecks and Obstructions Database. © Crown Copyright and database rights. Reproduced by permission of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office and the UK Hydrographic Office (www.ukho.gov.uk)

WWW resources include:
Historical RFA - http://historicalrfa.org/requisitioned-auxiliaries/160-requisitioned-auxiliaries-a/2546-requisitioned-auxiliary-agberi
U-Boat.net - https://uboat.net/wwi/ships_hit/85.html and https://uboat.net/wwi/men/commanders/333.html

Maritime Officer, RCAHMW, May 2019.