Part of the Acorn Archive

Hearts of Oak




Athel Line Ships



4 vessels of this name



5,948 grt

418.5ft x 55ft,

speed 10½ knots.

Built 1917 by Earle's SB & Eng. Co, Hull

Launched as OLIVET for the Admiralty,

Completed as ELMLEAF for the Shipping Controller, London

Managed by Lane & MacAndrew.

1920 sold to Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Co, London,

1921 renamed MELONA.

1925 sold to British Molasses Co, London renamed ATHELCREST.

1926 company became United Molasses Co.

1935 sold to N.V. Vlissingsche Mineraalolie en Asphalt Raffinaderij,

      Vlissingen, Holland, renamed VLISMAR II, converted to a storage hulk.

1983 towed from Flushing to Burcht, Belgium for scrapping.



Athelcrest (1) at Vlissingen


2  ATHELCREST  ( 1940-1940 )

Built 1940; by Sir James Laing at Sunderland.

Completed 5th of April 1940 for United Molasses Co.

6,825 tons

426ft 3ins x 59ft 3ins x 34ft 3ins

256 nhp; 11 knots; oil engines.

Sailed on her maiden voyage, May 16th 1940 - HX43, returning August 18th 1940 - HX65 …….

1940  25th August, just four months after completion, at 0245hrs, returning from Halifax and sailing close to the Hebrides ( 170miles West of Lewis ), she was torpedoed by U-48. She did not sink and, as she was badly damaged and was a hazard to shipping, she had to be sunk with gunfire from one of the convoy’s escorts. Position 58°24'N-11°21'W. Out of the ship’s crew of 36 there were only 6 survivors, including Captain V J Evans.


Men who died 25th August 1940


BINKS, Cabin Boy, RICHARD JOHN. Age 17.

Son of Richard John and Isabella Binks; North Shields, Northumberland.


BROCK, Radio Officer, GEORGE ALBERT. Age 27.

Son of William George and Harriet Brock;

husband of Edna Brock, of Holmwood, Surrey.


CLARK, Greaser, ANTHONY. Age 20.

Son of George and  Jane A. Clark, of Sunderland, Co. Durham.


DEW, Chief Officer, HENRY. Age 31.

Son of Mr. and Mrs. John Thomas Dew;

husband of Martha Allithea Dew (nee Livingston); Heston, Middlesex.


FORREST, Chief Engineer Officer, WILLIAM. Age 41.

Son of Thomas Forrest, F.C.M.S., and Ellen Forrest.


GILLIES, Able Seaman, NEIL. Age 43.

Husband of Edith Gillies, of North Shields, Northumberland.


GOLIGHTLY, Second Engineer Officer, JOHN GEORGE. Age 27.

Son of George and Agnes Golightly; Whitehaven, Cumberland.


GOULD, Cook, EDWARD. Age 55.

Son of George and Mary Gould;

husband of Edith May Gould, of Hessle, Yorkshire.



Son of Christopher and Mary Grains;

husband of Mary A. D. Grains; South Shields, Co. Durham.


HALES, Assistant Cook, HAROLD. Age 25.

Son of William P. and Jane Boyle Hales; North Shields, Northumberland;

stepson of George H. Denton.


HEDDLES, Able Seaman, JOHN. Age 36.

Son of John and Mary Heddles; South Shields, Co. Durham.


HENDRY, Fourth Engineer Officer, JOSEPH. Age 20.

Son of William and Maria Hendry; Greenock, Renfrewshire.


JENKINS, Boatswain, EDWARD. Age 61.

Son of Edward Evan and Maria Jenkins;

husband of Elizabeth Jane Jenkins; South Shields, Co. Durham.


JOHNSTON, Senior Fourth Engineer Officer, ROBERT C.. Age 25.

Son of John and Margaret Jane Johnston; Belfast, Northern Ireland.


JONES, Senior Second Engineer Officer, FRANCIS. Age 28.


MANSON, Able Seaman, JOHN NORMAN. Age 40.


McNULTY, Steward, JOHN THOMAS. Age 48.

Husband of L. McNulty; Edinburgh.


NELSON, Greaser, DANIEL GUNN. Age 22.


O'SULLIVAN, Able Seaman, DENNIS. Age 35.


PARAMOR, Able Seaman, JAMES. Age 28.

Son of Mr. and Mrs. John Paramor.


ROSSITER, Third Engineer Officer, PHILIP. Age 23.



Son of Armstrong and Rosanna Sanderson; Fulwell, Sunderland, Co. Durham.


SCOTT, Sailor, RALPH. Age 22.


SNELL, Steward, THOMAS ROBERT. Age 26.

Son of Alfred and Jessie Snell.


TANSEY, Carpenter, ROGER. Age 29.

Son of Thomas and Aris Tansey;

husband of M. Tansey; Southwick, Sunderland, Co. Durham.


TURNER, Senior Third Engineer Officer, WILLIAM. Age 23.

Son of William and Letitia Turner.


WALKER, Able Seaman, HUGH BERESFORD. Age 20.


WILSON, Donkeyman, THOMAS RICHARD. Age 39.

Son of Thomas Christopher and Catherine Wilson;

husband of Ellen Wilson; Sunderland, Co. Durham.


WORRALL, Donkeyman, ALEXANDER. Age 27.

Son of Richard and Sarah E. Worrall; North Shields, Northumberland.


OSWALD, DEMS Gunner : Able Seaman, JOSEPH HENRY,

P/SSX 31534. H.M.S. President III. Royal Navy.

(lost in S.S. Athelcrest). Age 42.

Son of Robert T. and Mary Oswald;

husband of Irene Edna Oswald; Hutton-le-Hole, Yorkshire.


Launch of Athelcrest (2)

With thanks to Raymond John Solly


3  ATHELCREST  ( 1941 – 1954 )

ON 160471

Call Sign : GCJR

Registered : London

Built 1928  Sir W.G.Armstrong, Whitworth & Co. Ltd., Walker-On-Tyne


For Tankers Ltd., of 37-41 Gracechurch St., London EC3.

The ship was launched on the 5th of March 1928.

442 ft x 57 ft x 33 ft ; single screw; 4Q cylinders; 11 knots

7,087 grt ; 4190 nt ; 11,130 dwt.

Tank capacity : 461,030 cu ft.

Sold to United Molasses December 1941.

1940 November  Bombed North Sea –

     Read the story at Ships of Long Ago

M.O.W.T., from April 23, 1940 to March 19, 1946.

1951 Taken into the Athel fleet and renamed ATHELCREST.

29 July 1954 arrived at Blythe for breaking up.


Athelcrest (3) as Scottish Heather


4  ATHELCREST ( 1957 – 1976 )

Built 1957 Lithgows Port Glasgow,

Yard No 1096

Engines by David Rowan & Co Glasgow

Port of Registry: Liverpool

Propulsion: Doxford oil 2SA 4cyl 3300bhp 12.5 knots

Launched: Wednesday, 12 June 1957

Tanker  7548 grt; 4035 nrt; 10290 dwt

459ft x 61ft 3ins x 25ft 6ins

Owner : Athel Line Liverpool

"a fine modern ship which carried aviation and motor spirit

1979 Scrapped as  AL SALIMI V

Information from Paul Strathdee and Stuart Cameron and


Athelcrest (4)




Raymond Forward