You have no advanced search rows. Add one by clicking the '+ Add Row' button

Redvers Buller

Loading Map
Map ReferenceST26SW
Grid ReferenceST2118363508
Unitary (Local) AuthorityMaritime
Old CountyMaritime
Type Of SiteWRECK
Period20th Century

At time of sinking the wreck was reported to be lying on its port side orientated north-north east. Over time a build up of sand on the western side has largely buried the wreck. The wreck may also have settled into the large scour that was reported on the eastern side in the 1970s. No scouring was reported on survey undertaken in the 1990s and the wreck now lies with its keel orientated 000/180 degrees.

Event and Historical Information
The vessel was built for the War Office in 1895 by Cook, Welton and Gemmel Ltd, Hull. The name suggests an army use. The vessel originally named SIR REDVERS BULLER, after Sir Redvers Henry Buller who was born in 1839 in Credition, Devon. Redvers Buller joined the 60th rifles in May 1858. His early army career included the 1860 China campaign; the Canadian Red River expedition in 1870; service in South Africa during the Zulu Wars under Sir Evelyn Wood; and service in the first Boer War in 1881. He was sent to Sudan in 1881 and fought at the battles of El Teb and Tamai. He was with the expeditionary force that went to relieve General Gordon in 1885. In 1895, at the time of the ship's building, he was a Lieutenant General and expected to become Commander-in-Chief on the retirement of Lord Wolseley. Defeats during the second Boer War earned him the nickname 'Reverse Buller' and cast a shadow over his later army career. The ship's military service history is unknown. However at the time of loss on 5 October 1932, the ship was owned by T White and registered at Swansea. It had been converted to a sand dredger. Technical and configuration specifications are given as 370gt, 143nt; 130ft length x 23ft breadth x 11ft depth; screw propulsion powered by a single steam boiler linked to compound engine producing 62hp. The REDVERS BULLER was travelling from Sandholm to Swansea when it capsized and sank with the loss of four crew. Three crew members managed to scramble onto an upturned lifeboat and cling to its keel. They were rescued by a Bristol tug after being washed up and down the channel for six hours. The position given for the loss by Trinity House was bearing 222.5 degrees, 8.6 cables from the Flat Holm Light. A Notice to Mariners was issued (NM 1873/32). The wreck was examined by HMS WOODLARK in 1977 and more recently by commercial survey companies.


Sources include:

Larn and Larn Shipwreck Database 2002
Lloyd's Register Casualty Returns, 1 October - 31 December 1932, p.5 (b)
SS Redvers Buller, Wreck Site EU
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 (


Maritime Officer, RCAHMW, March 2009.

This record was enhanced in 2020 with funding from Lloyd's Register Foundation as part of the project ‘Making the Link: Lloyd's Register and the National Monuments Record of Wales’. Visit Lloyd’s Register Foundation Heritage and Education Centre for more resources.