SS Basildon

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Name: Empire Bromley (1945-46)
Levenwood (1946-51)
Basildon (1951-67)
Owner: Ministry of War Transport (1945-46)
Constantine Shipping Co (1946-61)
Panax (Overseas) Ltd (1961-62)
Don Shipping Co Ltd (1962-63)
R S Braggs & Co (Shipping) Ltd (1963-67)
Operator: Joseph Constantine Steamship Line Ltd (1945-61)
Panax (Overseas) Ltd (1961-62)
C M Willie & Co (Shipping) Ltd (1962-63)
R S Braggs & Co (Shipping) Ltd (1963-67)
Port of registry: United Kingdom Greenock (1945-46)
United Kingdom Middlesbrough (1946-67)
Builder: G Brown & Co (Marine) Ltd, Greenock.
Yard number: 233
Launched: 26 May 1945
Completed: June 1945
Out of service: October 1967
Identification: UK Official Number 169524
Code Letters GDTM (1945-46)
Fate: Scrapped
General characteristics
Tonnage: 1,058 GRT
584 NRT
1,410 DWT
Length: 204 feet 8 inches (62.38 m)
Beam: 32 feet 8 inches (9.96 m)
Depth: 13 feet 7 inches (4.14 m)
Propulsion: 1 x triple expansion steam engine

Basildon was a 1,055 GRT coaster which was built in 1945 as Empire Bromley for the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). She was sold into civil service in 1946 and renamed Levenwood. Another change of ownership saw her renamed Basildon and she served under this name until scrapped in 1967.


Empire Bromley was built by G Brown & Co (Marine) Ltd, Greenock.[1] She was yard number 233.[2] Launched on 26 May 1945, she was completed in June 1945.[1]

The ship was 204 feet 8 inches (62.38 m) long, with a beam of 32 feet 8 inches (9.96 m) and a depth of 13 feet 7 inches (4.14 m). She was propelled by a triple expansion steam engine which had cylinders of 14 inches (36 cm), 24 inches (61 cm) and 40 inches (100 cm) bore by 27 inches (69 cm) stroke. The engine was built by Rankin & Blackmore Ltd, Greenock.[3] She had a GRT of 1,058, with a NRT of 584 and a DWT of 1,410.[4]


Empire Bromley's port of registry was Greenock. She was operated under the management of John Kelly Ltd,[4] and then Joseph Constantine Steamship Co Ltd.[3] In 1946, she was sold to Constantine Shipping Co and renamed Levenwood.[1] Her port of registry was changed to Middlesbrough.[4] She was operated under the management of J Constantine Steamship Line Ltd. On 31 January 1953, Levenwood was in the North Sea and in danger of drifting ashore on the Lincolnshire coast. A distress call was issued and a tug requested.[5]

Levenwood was sold in 1961 to Panax (Overseas) Ltd, London and renamed Basildon. She was sold in 1962 to Don Shipping Co Ltd, operated under the management of C M Willie & Co (Shipping) Ltd. Basildon was sold in 1963 to R S Braggs & Co (Shipping) Ltd. She was scrapped in October 1967 at Burcht, Belgium.[1]

Official Numbers and Code Letters

Official Numbers were a forerunner to IMO Numbers. The ship had the UK Official Number 169524.[2] Empire Bromley used the Code Letters GDTM.[3]

SS Levenwood

The Joseph Constantine Steamship Co Ltd also owned an earlier vessel which sailed under the name SS Levenwood. The 800 ton store ship distinguished itself at Dunkirk on Friday 31st May 1940. The vessel was armed as a DEMS ship by soldiers of the Royal Lancashire Regiment and rescued soldiers from the Bray Dunes area of the beach during Operation Dynamo. The crew decorations are listed in the Dunkirk lists at Greenwich as one DSC (Captain William Oswald Young) and two DSM's (Fireman Robert Moody and Gunner George Knight).[6] This vessel was damaged towards the end of the war and renamed SS Devenbrook in 1946.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Mitchell, W H, and Sawyer, L A (1995). The Empire Ships. London, New York, Hamburg, Hong Kong: Lloyd's of London Press Ltd. ISBN 1-85044-275-4. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 ""1169524"" (subscription required). Miramar Ship Index. R.B. Haworth. Retrieved 8 December 2009. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "LLOYD'S REGISTER, STEAMERS & MOTORSHIPS". Plimsoll Ship Data. Retrieved 16 December 2009. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Launched 1945: ss EMPIRE BROMLEY". Clydesite. Retrieved 16 December 2009. 
  5. "FIFTY YEARS OF RAYNET IN LINCOLNSHIRE PT1". Raynet. Retrieved 16 December 2009. 
  6. The Twenty Five Days John Masefield 2003 Pen & Sword Books ISBN: 9781844150373 }