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LA LIBERTE

Site Details

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

NPRN 519181

Map Reference SR15SW

Grid Reference SR1319850696

Unitary (Local) Authority Maritime

Old County Maritime

Community Maritime

Type of Site WRECK

Broad Class MARITIME

Period Modern

Site Description Archaeological remains associated with the loss of this vessel are not confirmed as present at this location, but may be in the vicinity.

Event and Historical Information:
The LA LIBERTE, was a three-masted wooden schooner or barquentine built in 1895 by Gaultier fils, St Malo. At time of loss on 8 June 1915, it was owned by Boniface et cie, Fécamp and carrying coal from Swansea to Bougie. Local newspapers tell the story of the sinking in connection with the loss of the STRATH CARRON close by and on the same day. A crewmember of the STRATH CARRON (see NPRN 274643) told reporters that 'It was a short time afterwards and about three miles from where our ship went down that we saw a submarine. She was circling round and round and was commencing to fire on a sailing ship. This proved to be the LA LIBERTE whose crew had also taken to their boat. Several shells were fired at her and she sank.' The German submarine was U35 under the command of Waldemar Kophamel and the location given for the incident was 60 miles west of Lundy Island. The French vessel's crew and those from the STRATH CARRON were later picked up by the steamship BRANKSOME HALL and transferred to the examination vessel HERALD to be landed at Milford Haven. LA LIBERTE's crew were taken to the Institute of the National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen, where they were seen 'being given a substantial meal, Miss Cooper herself personally assisting in the good work.' Note: U35 undertook 17 patrols, sank 226 ships, and was the most successful German u-boat of the Great War. It was surrendered on 26 November 1918 and broken up at Blyth in 1919-20.

Sources include:
Larn and Larn shipwreck database 2002

WWW resources:
Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph, 9 June 1915 (http://welshnewspapers.llgc.org.uk/en/page/view/4118525//ART29)
Liverpool Echo, 9 June 1915, pg5 (https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000271/19150609/040/0005)
LA LIBERTE, http://www.uboat.net/wwi/boats/index.html?boat=35
U35, http://www.uboat.net/wwi/boats/index.html?boat=35
https://www.peoplescollection.wales/items/465219

Maritime Officer, RCAHMW, February 2019.