SS Empire Arthur

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Name: Empire Arthur (1942-49)
Merula (1949-51)
Adherity (1951-62)
Owner: Ministry of War Transport (1942-48)
Ape Azionaria Petroliere, Italy (1949-51)
F. T. Everard & Sons, London (1951-62)
Port of registry: United Kingdom Grangemouth (1942-43)
22x20px Italy (1949-51)
United Kingdom London (1951-62)
Builder: Grangemouth Dockyard
Yard number: 439
Launched: 5 March 1942
Completed: June 1942
Identification: UK Official Number 168798 (1942-43)
Code letters LDWW (1942-43)
Fate: Scrapped in 1962
General characteristics
Tonnage: 784 GRT
Length: 193 feet (58.83 m)
Beam: 30 feet 7 inches (9.32 m)
Depth: 14 feet 1 inch (4.29 m)
Propulsion: 1 x triple expansion steam engine (Rowland & Co Ltd, Glasgow)

SS Empire Arthur was a 784 ton coastal tanker which was built in 1942. She saw service mainly in British coastal waters during the Second World War, and was briefly used as an auxiliary, supporting Royal Navy operations off Africa. Her capsize in 1943 put an end to this, but she was salvaged postwar and returned to service for several companies, under the names Merula, and then Adherity, before being scrapped in 1962.

Wartime career

Empire Arthur was built by Grangemouth Dockyard, Grangemouth as yard number 439.[1] She was launched on 5 March 1942 and completed in June 1942.[1] Empire Arthur was built for the Ministry of War Transport and managed by Rowbotham & Sons.[2]

She was requisitioned to serve as a water carrier in October 1942, and used as an auxiliary to supply naval ships and merchants.[3] She served in a number of convoys during the war, spent mostly sailing between British ports, particularly Methil, Oban and Southend, and several times visiting Loch Ewe, an assembly point for merchants and naval escorts assigned to the Arctic convoys.[4] She sailed in ballast from Liverpool on 11 July 1942 as part of convoy OS 34, and arrived at Freetown on 30 July 1942.[5] She remained stationed at Freetown until capsizing there on 22 November 1943.[3] At least one man was killed in the sinking, Chief Engineering Officer Andrew M. Booth, whose name was inscribed on the City of Dundee's Roll of Honour.[6] The stricken Empire Arthur was assessed, but declared a total loss.[7]


It was not until 1948, several years after the end of the Second World War, that the Empire Arthur was completely salvaged.[7] She was duly repaired and returned to service in 1949, sailing with the Italian shipping firm, Ape Azionaria Petroliere as the Merula.[1] Her service with her Italian owners was short, and by 1951 she was owned by the London based F. T. Everard & Sons, and had been renamed Adherity.[1][7] She sailed with them until 1962, when she was scrapped at Lekkerkerk, in the Netherlands.[7]

Official Number and Code Letters

Official Numbers were a forerunner to IMO Numbers.

Empire Arthur had the UK Official Number 168798. Empire Arthur used the Code Letters LDWW.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 ""1168798"" (subscription required). Miramar Ship Index. R.B. Haworth. Retrieved 6 January 2009. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "LLOYD'S REGISTER, STEAMERS AND MOTOR SHIPS". Plimsoll Ship Data. Retrieved 6 January 2009. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Colledge. Ships of the Royal Navy, Vol. 2. p. 119. 
  4. "Ship search". Convoyweb. Retrieved 6 January 2009.  (Enter search term 'Empire Arthur')
  5. "Ship search". Convoyweb.!~osmain. Retrieved 6 January 2009. 
  6. "City of Dundee ROLL Of HONOUR - Andrew M. Booth". Retrieved 7 January 2009. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "EMPIRE - A". Retrieved 6 January 2009.